weather lore

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  • Meteorology and Climatology
  • Maritime History


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The ability of the seaman, before the days of marine meteorology, to foretell the weather by the appearance of the sky, change of direction of the wind, cloud formations, variation of atmospheric pressure, etc. It was often expressed in jingles:If the wind is north-east three days without rain,Eight days will go by before south again.If woolly fleeces deck the heavenly wayBe sure no rain will mar a summer's day.With the rain before the windStays and topsails you must mind,But with the wind before the rainYour topsails you may set again.When the sea-hog [porpoise] jumps,Stand by at your pumps.First rise [of a barometer] after lowForetells a stronger blow.Seagull, seagull, sit on the sand,It's never good weather when you're on the land.Mackerel sky and mare's tailsMake tall ships carry low sails.When the glass rises high,Your kites you may fly.When the wind shifts against the sun,Trust it not for back it will run.When the wind follows the sun,Fine weather will never be done.Although often true of the northern hemisphere, the reverse holds good in the southern.

Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology — Maritime History.

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