By: Bears Butt

For most of us outdoors types, we can look up at the sky and from the clouds we see decide if it’s going to rain or snow.  We may not be right all the time but we can pretty much decide if we need a warm dry coat or an umbrella or not.

However, when we are out for a considerable time and the weather has been favorable for what our outing has been so far, and we look up and see those streaking, high whispy clouds going overhead we might not totally understand what we are seeing.

Those type of clouds have always been known as “mares tails” to me.  Mother taught me about them and she said that in a couple of days we will see a change in the weather from usually fair weather to some sort of storm.  Rain in summer, snow in winter…and so far I must say she has been pretty much spot on.

Whenever I see mares tails streaking across the sky I say, a storm is going to happen within 24 hours.

I came across an old sailor saying about mares tails today:  “Mackerel Scales and Mares Tails, cause a sailor to lower his sails”.

Mackerel Scales was a new one to me and so of course I looked it up.  Clouds that are not totally collected together, but there are a whole lot of them bunched up individually like popcorn in a bowl overhead, if you will.  They said they resembled the scales on a mackerel fish.  I suppose if you had been out to sea long enough you could imagine that.  But being a “land lubber” all my life I am not sure I have ever seen such clouds over my head.

(The saying means that when a sailor see clouds like those, he best be lowering his main sail or his ship will tip over in the high winds that are about to hit his area).

On the other hand I’ve seen lots and lots of Mares Tails and both of these cloud types indicate a storm is very likely within 36 hours.  High winds force the clouds along and these clouds are way the dickens up in the air, like higher than a jet usually goes and the air is extremely cold there.  So what you are actually seeing is frozen water vapors being carried along.

So, when you are out and about during the winter and look up and see clouds like these you might just want to stock up on some firewood for the cabin, find your warmest coats and insulated boots and have them handy to grab.  Put some extra feed out for the animals and get your snow shovel ready.  You only have about 36 hours at the most…And mother said 24 hours.

Bears Butt

Oct. 30, 2012

Written on October 30th, 2012 , Uncategorized

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.