A Few “Old School” Forecasting Rules

January 13, 2013

LurkeyLoo from this blog sent these forecasting tips in..thanks!  Actually I’ve had them in my Inbox for quite awhile.  But now that the weather is going to turn REAL slow, here you go…

It will be a bad winter if:
*squirrels begin gathering nuts early (mid or late Sept)
*muskrat houses are big
*beaver lodges have more logs
*the north side of a beaver dam is more covered with sticks than the south side
*squirrels tails grow bushier
*fur or hair on animals such as horses, sheep, mules, cows, and dogs is thicker than usual
*the fur on the bottom of a rabbit’s foot is thicker
*cow hooves break off earlier
*squirrels build nests low in trees
*wild hogs gather stick, straw, and shucks to make a bed
*animals grow a short, fuzzy coat under their regular one
*crows gather together
*hoot owls call late in the fall
*screech owls sound like women crying
*juncos are feeding in the trees
*birds huddle on the ground
*birds eat up all the berries early

It will be a hard winter if:
*hornets and yellow jackets build their nests heavier and closer to the ground than usual
*worms are bending up and going into peoples’ houses and abandoned building in Oct.
*there are a lot of spiders, frost worms, and black bugs around
*miller moths hit the screen trying to get in
*crickets are in the chimney
*ant hills are high

It will be a hard winter if:
*blackberry blooms are especially heavy
*carrots grow deeper
*grapes, cockleburrs, and apples mature early
*sweet potatoes have a tougher skin
*onions grow more layers
*trees are laden with green leaves late in the fall
*the crop of holly and dogwood berries is heavy
*hickory nuts have a heavy shell
*there is a heavy crop of berries, acorns, and pinecones
*bark on trees is thicker
*tree bark is heavier on the north side
*corn shucks and silk grow thicker and the shucks grow tighter around, and further over the ends of the ears
*leaves shed before they turn
*moss grows heavy on trees
*the old-time corn ear (shank) hangs downward
*laurel leaves roll up
*pine cones open early
*the darker green the grass is during the summer, the harder the winter

*two frosts and lots of rain mean cold weather is near
*a late frost means a bad winter
*for every frost or fog in August, there will be a snowy day in winter
*at least three severe fogs in June or July mean early snow
*if it snows “crosslegged” it will be a deep one
*if the first snow stays on the ground for three days, another snow will come to top it
*if it frosts before November 23, it will be a bad winter
*a long hot summer means a long cold winter — the hotter the summer, the colder the winter

*when you build a fire outside and it pops, it will snow in three days
*if a fire tramps snow coming down the chimney (if noises come from the chimney that sound like boots in deep snow) there will be a deep snow
*if smoke from the chimney flows toward or settles on the ground, it will snow within 26 days
*if it’s cloudy and smoke rises, there’s a chance of snow

*the number of days old the moon is at the first snow tells how many snows there will be during winter

It will rain:
*within 3 days if the horns of the moon point down
*if leaves show their backs
*if cows lie down in the pasture
*if there is a ring around the moon — count the number of stars in the ring and it will rain within hat many days
*if the sun sets with clouds
*if you see a black snake in a tree, it will rain within 3 days
*if an ant covers the hole to its hill
*if smoke goes to the ground
*if earthworms come to the surface
*if birds fly low
*if it hasn’t rained in a long time and it starts raining before 7am, it’ll quit before 11am
*if it rains on “Blasting Days” (the three longest days of the year), there won’t be any “mast” (acorns, chestnuts, etc.) for animals to feed on
*if it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain every Sunday for 7 weeks
*if it begins raining on the day the moon becomes full, it will continue raining until the moon quarters
the first twelve days after Christmas indicate what each month in the next year will be like

The weather will be fair if:
*you hear a screech owl
*smoke rises
*crickets holler (the temp will rise)

A Cold Morning; Stuck in the Clouds

January 13, 2013

Sunday, 8am…

I didn’t plan on posting anything this morning, but got this picture in email and had to share:


It’s yesterday afternoon/evening from Chris Markes.  Hopefully you recognize it as Mt. Hood.  It’s okay if you just moved here and don’t.

This morning is interesting…the low cloud/fog deck has expanded in coverage and appears to be up around 1,000-1,500′.  This is the beginnings of our own little “cold pool” in the western valleys.  Similar to what is often seen east of the Cascades when we get the east wind.  The morning sounding at Salem showed the coldest temp up around 2,000′ or so, then SLIGHTLY warmer above (-5.5 at 850mb).    The KPTV tower at 1800′ is significantly colder this morning near the top of that “cold pool”, yet temperatures at the lowest elevations are warmer compared to Saturday with more cloud/fog coverage.  It is the coldest morning of winter so far at the edges of the clouds/fog.  Sandy, Estacada, Colton, Corbett, all very chilly with clear skies much (or all) of the night.  Some of those spots made it into the teens.  Same thing north of the metro area with clear skies dropping the Longview area into the teens.

Don’t complain, it dropped to -26 last night in Lakeview!  That’s the coldest temperature I’ve seen in Oregon in a long time…

I thought the lower dewpoints Friday would have kept a solid stratus layer from developing, but looking at dewpoints (mid-upper 20s) at the lowest elevations, it’s clear that didn’t happen.  Gut feeling is we maybe be locked in with gray the whole week; that’s after tossing model information out the window.  Tomorrow and Tuesday much warmer air arrives overhead, and that should seal our fate, creating a strong inversion. 

By the way, it was interesting that a bunch of the 00z ECMWF ensemble members must try to push something cold down the east side of the ridge next Thursday-Friday.  Look how many of them have the big dip on the 17th:


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen