Aside postWilderness Weather Predicition

So last week we told you about The Weather Rock. It’s reliable and it is never wrong. Which is more than we can say for your local weatherman – who are also known as “Bastards”. This week, we thought we would give you some useful tips for predicting the weather in the wilderness when your too lazy to build the rock weather station.  It’s actually fairly simple, but there are some scientific “shenanigans” going on with all the names of clouds and processes that make it sort of difficult to learn.  Of course.. you know we like to help out. Let’s simplify it for your lazy ass.

Here is what you need to know.
First, find the sky. Sounds simple right? Try it after an afternoon of drinking. You know, the point where your lying on the ground and you have to hold on. You know you’ve been there.

OK now the next point takes some practice so start trying this now and in a few weeks you’ll be a pro. Start looking at the clouds and determining what are high, medium and low-level clouds. Literally.. are those clouds you see high in the sky? Medium height? Low?

High clouds (18,000 feet or higher and called the Cirrocumulus for the science nerds) that look like this means you should have good weather for at least 24 hours, but there is a change coming. The close they are together the closer the rain or storms are.
Man Speak = Keep drinking everything is fine

Medium clouds (6500 – 18,000 feet high) come in two forms: What most people refer to as overcast (Greyish clouds that cover the sky) and clouds that look like the photo to the left Altocumulus.  Generally overcast clouds warn of constant rain but not much more. Altocumulus clouds are white and grey and are letting you know that a rain is coming soon. 
Man Speak = If you see these in the morning… cover the booze by the afternoon cause it’s going to storm.

Low Level clouds (You guessed it, below 6500 feet) come in two forms (There are always more but were simplifying remember?) Fluffy clouds with blue sky in between –
Man Speak = Weather’s still great! But rain will be on the way tomorrow.
The other type (Nimbostratus )should be self-explanatory and is pictured left.
Man Speak = Rain. You can keep the drink in your hand, but you’ll be wet.

Generally, the lower the clouds, the sooner it will rain. Keep in mind things like wind speed as well. If the wind is blowing had, it can bring a storm faster than expected.

The exception to the rules above is high clouds that look like an anvil, or nuclear explosion mushroom clouds. These guys are deceiving. Even though they are usually white and not grey. The plum of cloud rising towards the sky means a thunderstorm is coming. Watch out for the ones that are flat at the top where the wind has flattened them out.

Practice for a few weeks and see how you do. I guarantee you will be better than the weather bastards.

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