Weather changes occur very drastically such that at times we barely notice the weather change coming. This can be very dangerous especially for campers because it can find you unawares. At times, we rely on meteorologists’ prediction on the expected weather changes.
We, however, rarely know that these meteorologists also experience difficulties in predicting rapid weather changes. But how do you know that bad weather is approaching without using the artificial means? What indicates that foul weather is approaching?
There are some phenomena you can look out for which occur naturally just when there is some likelihood that foul weather is approaching.
Signs to Look for as an Indicator of Bad Weather
These signs can help you prepare your backpacking tent or even waterproof it in readiness for a heavy downpour. This is because a leaking tent in the wilderness can give you a hell of an experience. This article has explained about some of the signs that will inform you about bad weather and help you get the right mitigation measures to ensure that you, your family and friends are safe.
It’s not all times when you will have access to predictions from meteorologists and neither can you rely on the results they give at all times. You need to rely on your observational skills so that you can easily foresee the changes likely to occur in the environment. Here are some methods which can help you foresee the occurrence of foul weather:
1. Observing the sky and clouds
This is the most obvious way of detecting foul weather. We always say that a good day starts in the morning. For you to decide that you will wear that light clothing while camping, you should have observed a bright blue sky with high clouds. That is an outright indicator that the day’s weather will be extremely good.
Our main issue of concern is the detection of foul weather. If you observe that the sky has a dark appearance that is associated with foul weather, you should obviously get ready for bad weather. If you want the best prediction on the likelihood of foul weather later in the day, you had better learn how to make observations, particularly on the clouds.
Presence of nimbostratus clouds, stratocumulus clouds, mammatus clouds, and cirrus clouds are enough indicators that you should be getting ready for a storm. For the mammatus clouds, the certainty of a storm occurring is not at a hundred percent, but it is only right that you be prepared just in case there is foul weather after some time.
2. Animal behavior
There are animals that can behave in a certain way when foul weather is approaching. Here are some of the distinct behavior in certain animals you should look out for to put in place the right measures to avoid too much destruction in case a storm happens.
If you reside in an area that is quite rocky, I am sure that snails are very common around you. If you find several snails sitting on the rocks, they are not concerned with shielding themselves from any foul weather, and so you should not worry.
If you can barely find any sitting on the rocks, you need to seek safety. This is because they seek shelter beneath the rocks whenever they detect the approach of foul weather that is usually accompanied by heavy rains and strong winds.
You will find these everywhere; it is only that we barely notice them due to their small size. Whether they are the red or black ants, they are good at indicating the approach of foul weather.
If you notice most ants building up their mounds, you should beware of bad weather approaching. The reason why the ants result in molding their houses is to enhance safety by providing extra protection when they expect bad weather.
Bees appear to be buzzing around the flower beds most of the time when the temperatures are fair. To know that foul weather is approaching, you will barely spot a single bee on the flower beds.
Just like the bees, when you fail to see butterflies in the flower beds, that is also another sign that there will be pretty bad weather in a couple of hours or minutes, say heavy rains or a heavy storm.
When cows sense that bad weather is approaching, they get extremely restless and are always beating off the stubborn flies with their tails. They also secure a safe and dry spot, mostly by lying at the far corner of their shed or field. If you notice these signs in your cow, it means that foul weather is approaching.
These are the most common animals whose behavior has always been associated with weather changes. Their behavior has helped many people a great deal when it comes to detecting the approach of foul weather.
If a great storm is bound to happen, you will always see very many seagulls at the coast. Also, the sight of birds flying very low in the sky shows that they are uncomfortable to fly high in the sky due to the high pressure.
Sheep always like being together, but in some instances, it may be a sign that foul weather is approaching. The simple flocking together is a sign that the sheep are simply protecting each other from the expected bad weather.
These turtles are rare to find especially if you don’t live close to a water body. If you are lucky enough to have a home close to the sea or lake shore, seeing turtles seeking refuge in higher grounds is an indicator that there will be a terrible storm or very heavy rains.
3. Temperature changes
There are sudden temperature changes that can make you sense the possibility of bad weather approaching. For instance, if you are camping along the shores of a lake or an ocean, a sudden drop in temperature can mean that there is a storm approaching your area.
4. Beware of climatic change emerging from the west
In most cases, foul weather emerges from the Western side. However much you should pay attention to that, you also need to know that the strongest and most terrible storms come from the East. They are far much stronger compared to those that emerge from the West.
5. Direction of the Prevailing Winds
The direction of the winds and waves plays a major role in helping a keen observer to determine when foul weather is approaching. The winds come in varying frequencies which can help you know the kind of bad weather you are getting ready for.
For instance, if the winds are light or moderate, this is a great day to go fishing since the good weather will last all day. The moderate winds have a speed which less than 12 knots while the moderate winds have a speed which is not less than 12 knots and not over 19 knots.
For winds with a speed which is more than the 19 knots for the moderate needs, that is already foul weather that will most likely escalate to extremely bad extents such as a storm.
As the day progresses, if you realize that everything smells stronger than it does on a normal day, that could be an indicator that you should be expecting a downpour. Normally, an increase in humidity leads to an increase in your sense of smell. This one could be more effective if it is accompanied by other indicators of impending foul weather just to be sure.
7. Keep checking your barometer
Who said that we should totally ditch the artificial ways of predicting bad weather? Having a barometer in your campsite will be an added advantage. If you have one, I would advise you to check it, say after every two hours constantly. If it shows a sudden great drop in temperature, that is an indicator that a storm is approaching.
Measures to take if you are caught up in a storm when camping
It is always nice to go camping on the weekends. A sky which was totally blue in the morning can turn all cloudy indicating that there will be a storm beyond any reasonable doubt. If this sudden and sad occurrence happens to you, here are some measures that will help you emerge safely after the storm.
Prevent yourself from getting struck by lightning by seeking shelter before the storm strikes. If the storm occurs when you are still in your tent, disconnect all the electrical appliances and keep off any metallic objects.
Dress yourself warmly to avoid exposing yourself to the excessively cold weather
In case it rains, you need to keep walking to reach your campsite, get your raincoat and put it on so that you don’t get rained on.
Predicting the likelihood of bad weather approaching with utmost certainty and accuracy has never been easy. However, armed with the knowledge of what indicates that foul weather is approaching, I am sure that they will be of great help in sensing the likelihood that there will be heavy rains or a terrible storm after some time.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure and that you can always seek the right mitigation measures to reduce the impacts expected after the foul weather. The main reason why you take part in outdoor activities is to enjoy yourself despite the weather, so make sure that you can predict foul weather and take the necessary measures.
I hope that you did like the article. If you have any suggestions or comments regarding this topic, feel free to state them. Share the post widely to raise awareness which will, in turn, save many lives. If you need clarification on any issue, ask, and I will gladly offer assistance.