Is there anything better than a night under the stars? Whether in a hammock under a tarpaulin or in a tent – such outdoor pleasures, however, can soon end if there is heavy rain or strong wind. You should always look at the sky before pitching your sleeping bag. The sky can tell you all you need to know about the coming weather.
An alert and open mind is definitely a precondition in order to see and appreciate the beauties of nature. It could be helpful for the weather to be estimated at least for a certain length of time over one day. You should therefore take a close look at your surroundings: Cloud formation? Cloud color? Wind? Animal behavior? There are some simple signs and the coming weather can be “forecast”. TATONKA gives you 5 tips for your own weather forecast.
1) The classic indication of weather phenomena: At the end of a day of beautiful sunshine, swallows are seen to be flying low and thus announce the arrival of rain. Why is this? Insects feel the growing humidity and hover close to the ground in order to be able to seek protection from leaves and plants when it begins to rain. Swallows make full use of this opportunity to fill their bellies before retiring for the night.
2) Watch the cloud formations! If the clouds are “frayed”, looking like down feathers, then a change in the weather is on the cards – although it could be a whole day before actual rainfall. Rain occurs considerably sooner when the clouds appear like waves and are closing the skies. A broad, dark cloud front means rain – you are sure to have seen this, when such clouds form over the countryside. If the clouds are black and threatening, this means a real storm is brewing. But clouds are not always the indicators of bad weather: There are also candy floss clouds or “cirrocumuli” which gather on a wonderful summer’s day in brilliant blue skies and look like great balls of fluff. When you see clouds like this, the weather will stay stable and good.
3) Sun, moon and stars also provide us with information about the weather that can be expected over the coming hours. An old farmers’ wisdom for example says: “Red sky at night, shepherds delight; red sky in the morning, shepherds warning”. At the end of a lovely sunny day, take a look at the moon: If the moon is surrounded by a circle of light, this could mean rain within the next 12 to 24 hours.
4) When smoke from your chimney or campfire rises vertically into the air when the wind is still, the air is dry – an indication that the weather is stable and will remain good. If the smoke continues to hang over the fire, this could mean rain.
5) Watching planes in the sky is not only a way to get into the holiday mood or can serve as a reminder of a past holiday; it can also give you information about the weather: If the condensation spreads out instead of evaporating, the weather will become worse.
Special care in the event of a storm!
Especially in summer, a storm can happen suddenly – and if you cannot take refuge in good time in a building or a safe place, this may be not only unpleasant but could also be really dangerous. Stay away from metallic objects, tall trees, forests and power masts and if a storm is brewing, then get out of the water. Also dangerous are isolated buildings such as towers, barns or structures like masts; if you are en route with your family or a group on a mountainside, then the protruding places such as the summit cross, the peak itself, securing wires, iron climbing hoop ladders etc. can be extremely dangerous.