Let’s talk about the weather…

Jul 4, 2012 by Anita Kaltenbaugh

Sea gull, sea gull, sits on the sand,

It’s never good weather while you’re on the land

 

Really? Even if tasty food is lying on the sand and the seagull is hungry?

Folks have been predicting the weather since caveman times. Shepard’s, sailors, and soldiers at war relied on weather lore, history and luck to predict what’s up next in our atmosphere. Farmers looked to the skies, the moon and the wind for a prediction of future crops. Sailors looked to the sea, the moon and the sky for what was to come. Sudden changes were noted and signs were observed.

Years ago, weather forecasting operated on all human prediction. Easy to remember rhymes were passed down generation to generation, traveling country to country as folks migrated, helping man to remember patterns or predictions from days past. Some of the most common limericks are known in numerous languages and familiar worldwide. Here are a few useful weather rhymes that may come in handy while at the beach in Rocky Point:

 

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight;

Red sky in morning, sailor takes warning

(Recite this one at every spectacular rocky point sunset with glowing red skies; your human prediction rate will be about 99% accurate)

 

When the wind blows from the west, fish bite best.

When it blows from the east, fish bite least. (Need to have a fisherperson give their advice on the accuracy of this one!)

 

When sea-gulls fly to land, a storm is at hand

Rain before seven, fine before eleven.

Evening red and morning grey, two sure signs of one fine day.

A ring around the sun or moon means rain or snow coming soon.

 

Perhaps, a few sound familiar, multitudes of rhymes exist. I grew up with the one about the cows laying down, or standing up… When cows are standing no rain, if they are lying down in the field, rain will arrive. Aches and pains brought rain, if the salt was clumping in the salt shaker, well..You get the point…, one could fill a newspaper with weather rhymes, farmer’s almanac predictions and 2012 catastrophic insights.

 

Although I like reciting the weather lore rhymes, the lunar phases and the old fashioned animal behavior patterns, it is not my first choice in checking the weather. No, I don’t use them to plan my weekend at the beach in Rocky Point or any other trip. Modern technology has changed weather forecasting forever.

 

With the help of weather stations, weather buoys at sea mixed together with pulse Doppler’s, analysis methods, algorithms, satellites and anemometer’s, we can predict the weather worldwide and even how strong the wind will blow 5 days ahead of time. Meteorology is amazing when you compare what was then and what we have now.

There were two men who are credited with the birth of weather forecasting, Frances Beaufort and Robert Fitzroy. Yes, Beaufort and Fitzroy have two famous inventions. The Beaufort Scale (wind force scale) and Fitzroy barometer. Fitzroy, according to historical documents, developed charts to allow predictions to be made, which he called “forecasting the weather”, historians credit him with coining the term weather forecast. Fitzroy, set up barometers at ports to predict the weather at sea. He also set up land stations and through telegraphs communicated daily weather reports to him at set times.  What would Beaufort and Fitzroy think of the 24 hour weather channel or weather apps we pull up on our phones. The 24 hour weather channel has been on the air since 1982, and now 30 years later we can check the wind speed for Sandy Beach in Rocky Point in our hand on our phone.

A popular phone app is the wunderground.com application. It is a free smart phone, Android, IPhone or IPad app (and website) providing local and reliable weather data. Wunderground has more than 24,000 personal weather stations with one right here in Playa La Jolla next to Las Conchas. Wunderground is the largest network of weather reporting stations in the world and the first weather site on the Internet founded in 1995. If you are in the USA using wunderground you can also select a nearby radio station and enjoy old fashioned radio from your computer or you smart phone app. For the fishing crowd or boaters out there, weather tools are available for specialist marine, aviation and tropical storm.

 

Many websites and phone apps are out there to predict the weather. If your sitting on your patio looking at the sea a longstanding wall thermometer works great. Of course now we have the ones you buy at Costco with the international time station and indoor and outdoor temps readable as well as the humidity and forecast. Clearly, we have come a long way.

 

The best thing about weather in Rocky Point? It is pretty predictable even without rhymes, thermometers or the internet. Clear skies, little rain and loads of sunshine. When I first moved to Rocky Point someone told me a rhyme about the wind…Can’t remember how it goes exactly…but I know it’s something about 3 days of wind and then calm again. When it’s windy, weather app or not I end up counting the days and know in 3 days it will be calm again. Guess I still rely on the weather lore.

 

So here’s my weather prediction for Puerto Peñasco without any internet. I predict brilliant blue skies, turquoise waters, little or no rain, no hurricanes or notable earthquakes in any near future, nonexistent mosquitoes and a little bit of humidity snuggling close to us in July, August and September, but indoor /outdoor weather 7 months of the year, with a slight chill in the air in winter months but plenty of sunshine every day. …that about sums up picture perfect weather in Rocky Point. …

Okay, add a dash of wind and a plethora of awe inspiring color hues shattering the sky when the sun plops into the sea and I think that covers it.

 

Of course there are always these:

The sudden storm lasts not three hours

The sharper the blast, the sooner ’tis past.

The higher the clouds the better the weather.

Cold is the night when the stars shine bright.

 

Anita Kaltenbaugh is the Mexico travel examiner at examiner.com and author of the book “Travel Secrets- Insider guide to planning, affording and taking more vacations” available on Amazon.com, Kindle and Nook.

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