Weather Lore

Mountains Create Their Own Weather

How often have you seen mist clinging to the mountain tops, even on a sunny day? The wind carries moist, warm air up the slopes where it meets cooler air, and the water vapour then condenses and creates mist, cloud and rain. It’s also colder and windier up there. The higher you climb, the colder it gets. For every 150 meters you climb (approx. 500 feet) the temperature drops by 1°C. The intensity of the sun however, increases 4% for every 300 meters of accent, so sun block is a good idea too.

Do not underestimate the conditions because the weather can change extremely quickly. Make sure you carry extra clothing, waterproofs and a map and compass. If you see the weather closing in, take a compass reading while you can still see the way ahead. If you think a lightening storm is coming, then get down to lower ground as soon as possible.

High summer in Scotland covers June, July and August. May and September are good months to visit as well. The months outside of these times bring more rain, lower temperatures and shorter days.

Weather Lore - Can You Predict The Weather?

These old sayings often have some truth in them and are worth remembering.

a cloud

Observing the Sky:

  • Red sky at night shepherd’s delight, red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning.
  • Mackerel sky, mackerel sky, never long wet and never long dry.
  • When mountains and castles in the sky appear, sudden and violent showers are near.
  • If there is enough blue sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers, the day will improve.
  • If clouds move against the wind, rain will follow.

Observing the Wind:

  • When the wind is out of the east, it’s neither good for man or beast.
  • The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow.

Observing the Moon:

  • Halo around the sun or moon, rain soon.
  • Pale moon rains, red moon blows, white moon neither rains nor snows.
birds flying

Observing Wildlife:

  • Listen to a cricket’s chirps for the temperature. Count the number of chirps over 14 seconds then add 40 to give you the current temperature.
  • Ants in a line the weather will be wet, ants running free the weather will be fine.
  • If birds fly low, winds will blow; if birds fly high, winds will die.
  • When sea birds fly to land, there is a storm at hand.
sun behind cloud

Other Observations:

  • When dew is on the grass, rain will never come to pass. When grass is dry at morning light, look for rain before the night.
  • Rain before seven, fine by eleven.
  • A sun-shiny shower won’t last half an hour.
  • A summer fog means fair, a winter fog means rain.

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3 sheep