Enjoying a camping trip equals little if no communication with the “civilized” world, meaning you probably looked at extended weather forecasts before you left. We all know how unbelievably wrong extended forecasts are the majority of time, so if feeling unsure about the great wide open pre-trip, check out a few tips for predicting the weather using–wait for it–nature!
Clouds are a fantastic indicator of weather, and not just those black ones that form before major thunder or hail storms. Cirrus clouds, which some describe as looking “raked,” indicate high atmospheric pressure and no chance of precipitation. Cumulonimbus clouds appear as “sky mountains” with dark-gray bottoms, and mean thunder, hail, or extreme downpours are a-comin’. Look at the tip of such clouds, which point in the direction the storm is moving.
Cumulus clouds look like big, puffy pillows, and can indicate rain when super-thick.
Sniff It Out
Plants know it’s going to rain long before we do, and increase their release of oxygen in response to higher moisture content. Enjoy the scent of fresh grass, leaves, and trees, but make certain to put valuables in your tent or RV, because it’s about to get wet.
Pay Attention To The Wind
Has it suddenly gotten crazy-windy? Did the temperature seem to drop out of nowhere? This two signs are big honkin’ indicators of heavy rain. The general rule is, if your day starts warm and wind-free but gets cooler and windier, head for your campsite.
Use the Moon
Look for rings around the moon in combination with dew on the ground. This means increased air moisture, and the possibility of next-day precipitation.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you go camping or hiking, as they’ll help you stay warm and dry!
What are your best tips for predicting the weather when camping? Share them in the comments section!
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