Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jeudi: Weather-Wise

Much of our weather knowledge in times gone by came from sailors, just as much of our weather comes from the large bodies of water that make life on Earth possible.  The information is usually simple, direct and easy to remember; because there’s enough to think about at sea, frankly.

A good example is this rhyme, which probably originated in New England around the turn of the 19th century.  It is more the kind of pneumonic device that would be used by children than adults, but it doubtless got its start – and accuracy – from the seasoned salts who knew their coastline oh so well:     

North winds send hail,
South winds bring rain,
East winds we bewail,
West winds blow amain.
Northeast is too cold,
Southeast not too warm,
Northwest is too bold,
Southwest blows no harm.

Keeping this rhyme in mind, a quick glance at any working weather vane would tell a local what type of conditions to expect when the wind kicked up.  One imagines such things were and probably still are just as accurate as, if not more so than, any media forecast available.  A votre santé ~

Header: Boreas by John William Waterhouse c 1903


Timmy! said...

That's a good one, Pauline. I never cease to be amazed at how often our modern media weather forecast gets it wrong, despite all of the satelite radar and other modern meteorological technology at their disposal.

Pauline said...

I was thinking that too. Sometimes, especially in coastal areas, it's best to stick to the old sailor wisdom. "Red sky and night," and what not.