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Mostly Weather Episode 17 - Weather lore: from lying cows to fishy birds

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In this month’s episode podcast regulars Claire, Doug, Jeff and Catherine delve into the surprisingly broad subject that is weather lore.

From observing animal behaviour to watching the colour of the sky, our ancestors have employed many different techniques to forecast weather.

The team investigate a variety of examples of ancient weather lore and discover that whilst some appear to be based almost solely in fantasy, many sayings and proverbs from history have a startling amount of science behind them.

The podcast starts with an assessment of the well known "Red sky at night" saying, which can be traced back to the book "The Shepherd of Banbury’s Rules to judge the changes of the weather" published in 1670.  The picture below shows the page from the Shepherd of Banbury's Rules on Red Sky and clouds.

The next image shows the text of the poem "Signs of Rain" that Catherine reads in the podcast, which references all manner of signs of forthcoming rain.  This is from "Weather Wisdom, with how to make cheap and simple weather glasses" published in 1860.
 
 
More images from the historical texts discussed in the podcast can be found on our Weather Lore page.  For more information on these books visit the National Meteorological Library and Archive's Digital Library.
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