CACTI Some species of Cacti bloom and show signs of new growth in readiness for a wet period.
CROCUS Crocus are commonly seen in gardens and bloom intermittently during Autumn, Winter and Spring. In many parts of Australia, the Crocus will bloom a week or so prior to rain, regardless of the season.
DANDELION If the seed-heads of dandelion are seen rising into the air, despite no noticeable wind, then bad weather is to be expected.
DATURA (Angel’s Trumpets) Datura does not have any particular flowering period, but rather, display blooms throughout the year. When the plant stops blooming a wet period follows.
EUCALYPTUS Many Eucalyptus trees display unseasonal growth prior to rain.
A species of Eucalyptus (Wild Apple) comes into a mass of buds and flowers prior to a drought breaking.
IPOMOEA (Morning Glory) If the day is going to be wet, Morning Glory flowers will not open in the morning.
MANGO TREES If Mango trees have an exceptionally heavy covering of blossoms, a particularly severe cyclonic season can be expected.
Mango trees will often show intensely red new tips before heavy rainfall.
MELALEUCA When a heavy, wet period is on the way, several species of Melaleuca are known to bloom out of season.
MURRAYA (Mock Orange) The ‘Mock Orange’ Murraya is an ornamental shrub that bears a profusion of sweetly scented blossoms several times through the year and usually after rain. During a dry spell, if the ‘Mock Orange’ blooms the rain is sure to follow.
* Throughout Australia, various plants with ‘lily-like’ flowers will bloom prior to rain. Many will display colourful new growth, and even old trees will show a covering of bright, light green tips. When this is seen during very dry periods it is an indicator that there are favourable weather changes ahead.
NATURE’S WEATHER FORECASTERS - INSECTS and SPIDERS
ANTS Ants are the most reliable weather forecasters on earth. A change in the weather is inevitable if the ants behave in a manner which is out of the ordinary. They will be extra industrious and work frantically to clean out nests, construct and move into new nests, and gather in food, when heavy rains are on the way.
Ants building cones or crowns around their nests in the ground are excellent indications that rain is on the way. When ants build nests on top of fence posts or old stumps, rain is imminent.
Nests can also be found in or around any object that the ant deems to be higher than ground level when rain is on the way. Pot plants and hard leafed plants make ideal hide-outs.
During dry times ants often come into houses (without necessarily relocating their nests) searching for food and moisture.
Some species of ants become hostile and aggressive prior to the breaking of a long drought, with some ant species attacking others.
CRICKETS Crickets chirping is quite a common sound heard at night during warmer months of the year. When they call/chirp throughout the night it is a sign that a change of weather is on the way.
FIRE FLIES (Glow Bugs) Fire flies become more noticeable prior to rain. Male beetles fly around in spring and flash their lights as mating signals to the wingless female. As the larvae of the firefly live in damp, organic matter and feed on tiny slugs and snails, it is assumed that the anticipation of rain initiates the mating rush as this would coincide with the production of firefly larvae.
FLIES Common houseflies (which are usually very quick moving) become ‘sticky’ before the onset of wet weather. There are usually more flies around than normal prior to rain.
Flies tend to become sluggish and crawl on exposed body parts prior to hot, humid, wet weather coming. This is also noticeable before cyclonic weather.
Some species that do not generally bite humans, have been known to bite rather strongly before bad weather.
FLYING ANTS (Thunder Bugs) Swarms of flying ants usually predicts wet weather. Millions of insects can be seen crawling up tree trunks, entering homes (attracted by the bright lights) and flying around in the late afternoon and early evening when ran is on the way.
DRAGONFLIES Dragonflies, when seen hovering just above the ground, are a good indication that rain is coming.
MOLE CRICKETS Mole crickets will attempt to get inside houses a couple of days before rain, and most often before flooding rains.
MOTHS In general, moths can appear in large numbers, circling night lights prior to rain.
SLATEY BEETLES (Slaters) When slatey beetles are on the move in scrub country, it is an indication that rain is imminent.
SPIDERS Spiders react to weather changes in a number of ways. Baby spiders emerge from egg sacs, and older spiders shed their skins with changes in humidity and temperature. There are four main groups of spiders - those that construct webs and leave them; those that rebuild them daily; those that are free-roving ground hunters; and trapdoor and funnel web spiders that burrow in the ground. Each of these different types of spiders react differently to changes in the weather.
Rain is indicated when spiders build their webs higher than usual, and when they over-spin their webs. Huntsman spiders are more noticeable high up on walls and ceilings inside houses and sheds. Some ‘daily rebuilder’ spiders construct smaller webs if wet weather is anticipated.
Spiderlings disperse only in certain light winds. They must be able to sense the movement of high and low pressure systems and gauge the wind intensities, and leave the egg sac when the right winds are anticipated.
Spider webs being over-spun can indicate a period of windy weather.
STINK BEETLES There are a number of species of insects known as stink beetles or stink bugs. Prior to rain there is a large increase in the numbers of stink beetles.
Many other insect species also tend to increase in numbers prior to the onset of rain. This may be due to the weather providing ideal conditions for food production such as fresh growth on plants etc.
WHITE ANTS (Termites) Termites will take to the air when conditions are fine and favourable.
Swarms of flying ants can indicate several days of hot weather to come.
During very dry weather, activities such as nest building are put on hold as the termites conserve all available moisture for self-preservation. Once rains are on the way the termites will once again tend to building mounds and extending their nests.
A ‘halo’ or ring around the Moon can indicate weather variations. When an exceptionally dark area encircles the Moon inside a halo or ring, torrential rain is to follow.
If there is no good rain within 4 or 5 days either side of a Full Moon, there will be no good rain falls within the following weeks. However, if there is a good rain within this 4 to 5 day period, more of the same can be expected.
During a drought, if rain falls just before a Full Moon then drought-breaking rains should follow.
If the New Moon is in a ‘dish’ position (able to hold water) then no rain is to be expected. If the New Moon is in a vertical position (where water can pour off it), then wet weather is on its way.
RAINBOWS Rainbows are usually seen when the Sun or Moon shines onto water droplets. The more intense the rainbow’s colours, the heavier the rain.
Occasionally a second Rainbow can be seen above the main Rainbow. The second Rainbow will have its colours reversed.
A Rainbow during the night or early in the morning indicates unsettled weather to come. A Rainbow high in the sky means that rain will be coming, but not for a couple of hours.
STARS If the Stars appear to be twinkling or flickering brightly, wet days are ahead.
If Stars can be seen within a crescent Moon, there will be rain within a day.
If the Stars seem indistinct or if they appear to be very close, there will be rain within the week.
SUN A ‘halo’ around the Sun is caused by ‘cirroform’ clouds. These clouds appear with an approaching front and falls of rain or snow will follow within a day or so. Sometimes small images of the Sun can be seen on the outside of the halo and these are known as ‘Sun Dogs’. This is caused by refractions of the Sun.
If the setting Sun is deep red there will be no rain the next day. If the setting Sun is pale and watery either wet or windy days can be expected.
The weather influences the way we feel and behave. During the 1950’s, international scientists formed a group to investigate the integral link between the weather and the mental and physical well-being of humans. This is known as ‘biometeorology’.
The ability to sense temperature and weather changes is certainly not restricted to the creatures of the world. Many humans, both men and women, are ‘weather sensitive’ and are able to predict a weather and/or temperature change, simply by the way they feel. Humidity, temperature, high winds and stormy weather affects people in different ways.
Science is yet to fully explain exactly how and why people who have suffered (or suffer from) broken bones, painful rheumatic joints and general aching, prior to wet weather and storms. Some people claim that muscular pains are more prevalent prior to rain, whilst others vow that corns and scar tissue begin to ache. It is suggested that low pressure weather systems moving in may intensify the pain.
A fall in atmospheric pressure and/or a rise in humidity can affect energy levels as well as mental and physical functions. An increase in negative or positive ions within the atmosphere (typical during storm activity) will also affect the way we humans behave and feel.
Certain winds can have an adverse effect on our wellbeing and general health on both the mental and physical planes. Many illnesses can be aggravated by changes in the weather, and the winds play a major part in how we behave and perform.
Strong, dry winds have a negative effect on our temperament, as well as our skin. Children and animals tend to behave erratically and are more difficult to control when high, strong winds are prevalent. Be mindful when dealing with animals and people after a day or two of strong dry winds as both can be irritable and moody.
Humans are able to notice anomalies and read into them ... for example, clearly seeing hills and mountains as though they are closer than they are, indicates rain coming.
Occasionally television screens may show a faint glow in the dark even though they have not been used for a number of hours. An increase in humidity with the possibility of rain can cause current fluctuations within the television set, which may then produce a faint glow.
Hair brushes and combs will feel very hard on the scalp when the weather is dry. No rain is on its way when brushes and combs are hard.
A spell of dry weather (with low humidity) is due when static electricity builds up in synthetic clothes, carpet and hair, accompanied by tiny stings and sparks.
Glass doors on refrigerators and freezers tend to fog up and moisture can be felt on the outside of refrigerators if rain is to come. The same is true is a wisp of fog is seen momentarily when the doors of refrigerators are opened.
Salt, sugar and soot become damp and sticky prior to and during wet weather. This is because they absorb moisture readily and the humidity in the air increases prior to rain.
The weather plays a major part in our daily lives, and knowing what the future weather is likely to be may enable us to be prepared for any changes in our physical or mental state, enabling us to prepare appropriately.