Elsie & Fleur

For all those that buy their gardening bits and bobs from us and for anyone who is British (with an endless fascination of the weather), here’s our handy guide to how to find out what the weather will be doing for Bank Holiday weekend without turning on the radio, TV or PC.

  • Knowing your clouds is crucial – rain is coming if they become very large. Anvil-shaped cumulonimbus lean towards hail, thunder and lightning. Puffy white cumulus are fair-weather clouds, as they often form on the top of hot air currents.
  • Look to nature for clues too – in dry weather pine cones shrivel and become stiff but if moisture is on its way, then they become more flexible and return to a cone shape. Morning glory and scarlet pimpernel close their petals when rain is coming and kelp swells and becomes damp to touch (Elsie forecast by the kelp she kept in her front room).
  • Wildlife and domestic animals can sense weather changes as well. Birds can detect shifts in pressure and low pressure brings clouds, wind and rain.
  • There is some sense in the old sayings from the past too: ‘Seabirds, stay out from the land, we won’t have good weather while you’re on the sand.’ Also ‘Swallows high, staying dry, swallows low, wet will blow’ – insects that birds feed on tend to be up high on the thermal currents in good weather so this definitely has some merits.

Written by Cherry Pullinger — April 23, 2018

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