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bright blue sky indicates fine weather. Generally, the softer clouds look, the less wind (but perhaps more rain) may be expected;—and the harder, more“ greasy," rolled, tufted, or ragged, -the stronger the coming wind will prove. Alsoma bright yellow sky at sunset presages wind : a pale yellow, wet: orange or copper coloured, wind and rainand thus by the prevalence of red, yellow, green, grey, or other tints, the coming weather may be foretold very nearly:-indeed, if aided by instruments, almost exactly
Light, delicate, quiet tints or colours, with soft, indefinite forms of clouds, indicate and accompany fine weather: but gaudy or unusual hues, with hard, definitely outlined clouds, foretell rain, and probably strong wind.
Small inky-looking clouds foretell rain:- light scud clouds driving across heavy masses show wind and rain ; but, if alone, may indicate wind only-proportionate to their motion.
High upper clouds crossing the sun, moon, or stars, in a direction different from that of the lower clouds, or the wind then felt below,-foretell a change of wind toward their direction.
NOTE.—Between the tropics, or in the regions of the Trade Winds, there is generally an upper and counter current of air, with very light clouds, which is not an indication of any approaching change. In middle latitudes such upper currents are not so frequent (or evident ?) except before a change of weather.
After fine clear weather, the first signs in the sky of a coming change, are usually light streaks, curls, wisps, or mottled patches of white distant cloud, which increase and are followed by an overcasting of murky vapour that grows into cloudiness. This appearance, more or less oily, or watery, as wind or rain will prevail, is an infallible sign.
Usually the higher and more distant such clouds seem to be, the more gradual, but, general, the coming change of weather will prove.
Misty clouds forming or hanging on heights, show wind and rain coming-if they remain, increase, or descend. If they rise or disperse—the weather will improve or become fine.
When sea birds fly out early, and far to seaward, moderate wind and fair weather may be expected. When they hang about the land, or over it, sometimes flying inland, strong winds with stormy weather are probable. As, besides birds, many creatures are affected by the approach of rain or wind, their indications should not be slighted by an observer who wishes to foresee changes.
There are other signs of coming change in the weather known less generally than is desirable ; and therefore worth notice : such as,—when birds of long flight, rooks, swallows, or others, hang about home, and fly up and down or low-rain or wind may be expected. Also when animals seek sheltered places, instead of spreading over their usual range ;- when pigs carry straw to their styes ; when smoke from chimneys does not ascend readily (straight upwards during calm), unfavourable change is probable.
Dew is an indication of coming fine weather. Its formation never begins under an overcast sky, or when there is much wind.
Remarkable clearness of atmosphere, especially near the horizon : distant objects, such as hills, unusually visible, or well defined ; or raised (by refraction,-much refraction is a sign of easterly wind)—and what is called “a good hearing day," may be mentioned among signs of wet, if not wind, to be expected in a short time.
More than usual twinkling or apparent size of the stars ; indistinctness or apparent multiplication of the moon's horns; haloes; “wind-dogs" (fragments or pieces, as it were, of rainbows (sometimes called “ wind-galls ") seen on detached clouds),-and the rainbow ; are more or less significant of increasing wind, if not approaching rain, with or without wind.
Near land, in sheltered harbours, in valleys, or over low ground, there is usually a marked diminution of wind and a dispersion of clouds during the early part of the night. At such times an eye on an overlooking height may see a body of vapour extending below (rendered visible by the cooling of night) which seems to check the wind.
" North-stormy, stormy and bold,
“A rainbow in the morning,
Is the sailor's warning,
But a rainbow at night,
Is a sailor's delight."
Red in the West the sailor likes best.”
CHARLES WILSON. (late J, W, Norie & Wilson,) 157, Leadenhall Street, London, E.C.