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Signs for forecasting weather

You don't have to be a meteorologist to predict what the weather is going to do. There are signs to look for in the sky and on the ground that might help plan your day.

Radio interview source: Brenda Brock, Chief Meterologist, National Weather Service, Des Moines, IA

 
Seeing fog or condensation over the pond in the early morning seems to signal a nice day.
 
Brenda Brock is the chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service. She says fog indicates the temperature and the dew point are close together and there's moisture in the atmosphere. If the sun burns it off by noon, you will often have a nice day. However, the excess moisture could also be a sign of rain.
 
A brilliant moon with a ring around it on a clear night may be foretelling as well.
 
"If you see a ring around the moon, that could be an indicator of moisture and of course as high up as the moon is, that's moisture that you're seeing not way up at the moon – actually it looks like it – but within the atmosphere itself," she says. "There will be a ring of moisture which might indicate moisture moving into the area like some real high cirrus clouds."
 
Moisture from cirrus clouds rarely reaches the earth. However, if a low pressure system is approaching and the barometer is falling at the same time, the ring could indicate rain is
coming. 
 
In the Northern Hemisphere, our weather systems flow primarily from west to east. But when a low pressure system comes in, the air flow is counter-clockwise, or east-to-west. Brock says she sees cattle on her way home from work every day, and they often confirm what she knows is happening.
 
"The cows don't like the wind in their face," says Brock. "If there's a little breeze at all they'll have their back end to that wind, and their face away from it. And so there's an old saying that I can recall that said 'A cow with its tail to the west makes the weather best, and a cow with its tail to the east makes the weather least'."
 
Brock says there are indicators of coming weather if you know where to look for them. 

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