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Nature has a special way of giving us signs of what is coming. Even though no method of forecasting is totally infallible, there are simple observations that may indicate what type of weather is moving into the area.

Although many people laugh at such sayings as "red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning," there is a certain amount of truth in this prediction. If you are living in the Northern Hemisphere most of your weather is coming from the west and when the sun sets, it shines through tomorrow's weather. When the sunset is red this is because the air moving toward you is dry and clear, which indicates a beautiful day. When the sky is red around the rising sun this indicates that dry, clear air has passed to the east and more often then not is heralding wet weather. All weather moves in masses of air that are propelled into and around pools and eddies of high and low pressure. Air inside these masses is circulating clockwise and away from the center of a high pressure area. With a low pressure area the air circulates counter clockwise where it escapes upward then cools, leaving its moisture in the form of rain or snow. In most cases a high usually means good weather while a low means the weather will be poor. When you detect a change in winds this is an indication of a change in pressure. When the wind changes are a wide deviation from the prevailing winds a low is indicated. You can find out what the prevailing wind directions are in an area by contacting your local weather bureau or looking at a detailed atlas.

One of the most helpful weather indicators are the clouds. Clouds are classified as high, medium or low in altitude and divided into three basic types. The cirrus clouds appear feathery or wispy, cumulus are large, fluffy clouds and status are flat, layered clouds. All three types are sometimes combined and any of them can produce rain clouds. When you note isolated cirrus clouds this is an indication of the advance of warm, moist air even though it does not necessarily mean rain. When cirrus clouds become dense or broader this will tell you that a low is on its way. If these clouds develop into long, straight rows that form a halo around the sun or moon, you can plan for a prolonged period of rain or snow. Stratus clouds that are low lying and gray will usually bring mist, drizzle or rain. Especially if they cover much of the sky. When stratus clouds are higher in the sky and appear flat, gray or featureless with the sun shining dimly through them there will usually be a few hours of rain or snow that is heavy. In most cases cumulus clouds are a favorable sign unless they darken or appear to descend. Anytime a cumulus cloud develops a tall thunder head you can prepare for a storm.

If you are in a humid atmosphere of a low check the smoke from your campfire or any other available smoke. When a low is occurring smoke will stay close to the ground, bird and insects are silent, sounds seem louder and distant objects appear closer. If you only see one or two of these signs this indicates a mild low. But any time all these indicators are present at once a heavy storm is developing in the area. Check with your local weather bureau to see what is brewing or if you are hiking or camping, begin making preparations to weather the storm.