Posts Tagged ‘weather’


Is it just me or has this last year’s seasons been really…real? For the past few years we’ve had strange seasons – two weeks worth of spring and fall, mild winters and decent summers.

But this year, we had a real spring, with showers and mild weather.

We had a decent summer (although it started a bit later than usual) with hot temperatures and sunny days.

A real fall, with cooler temps, some rain, cloudy days that make the color of autumn foliage really pop against a grey sky. Although this week we’ve been enjoying something of an indian summer with temps getting up to 17 today (!?)…

I have a feeling the trend will continue and we’ll have a real winter.

With snow.

Just in time for the holidays.

Speaking of which…is it too early to want to start listening to Christmas music?

I’m trying to pace myself but man – it’s tough. 🙂

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The electrical storm that passed over Toronto Wednesday night offered some great photo opportunities. A fabulous collection has been posted over on Blog TO.

My favorite:

Photo by Richard Gottardo

Here are a couple of videos that show the intensity and frequency of the lightning that night.

It was incredible… There were tornado warnings all over the GTA but no reported touchdowns.

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I’ve mentioned the heat in an earlier post. It’s been called a few choice names thus far and several hashtags have been suggested: Hotpocalypse, Thermageddon, OvenTO, SwelterTO, heatwaveTO…

Looking at the long-term forecast… Things will cool down a little bit but the humidity will keep things nice and tropical-rain-foresty (i.e. like the gates of hell have opened over Toronto) for at least another week. And all of those “isolated showers” you see in these charts – ya, they never happen. We had a sad drizzle one morning last week (it didn’t even warrant an umbrella). No big storm, no rain to cut the humidity. Unless it did rain but it was so damn hot it evaporated by the time it hits the ground. Could happen.

In CelsiusIn Farenheit

Using wicked witch of the west voice in Oz: I’m WILTING!!!

Must stay inside.

Or I may die.

No, not really.

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We had our first scorcher today – hot, humid, think it got up to 33 degrees C (that’s 91 F). Check out what’s coming tomorrow:

33C (91F) but feels like 41 (105.8F).


Last Sunday, I spent a lazy day by the pool (and in it!) and it was awesome – first day of reading, relaxing and swimming of the season! Interesting thing – when we opened up the patio umbrella for the first time, there was a small bee’s nest attached to the top of the umbrella – like really stuck on there, about the size of half a Timbit (or doughnut hole). There was one bee on it, working furiously.

My husband decided to hose it off and it was stuck on there so well that it took him a good 5-10 minutes for it to unstick! It finally came off and was pretty much torn to shreds, but for the entire afternoon, the bee kept hovering around the umbrella (above, under, around), looking for the little nest. Part of me felt bad for the bee, but the other part thought “You lost bee! Now shoo!”

So of course I dreamt about the bee that night. Sigh.

Last night, I dreamt about explosions and zombies crawling out of the earth. I think it had something to do with the Game of Thrones episode this week and the dead guy coming back to life.

That’s why I don’t watch scary movies. My imagination gets the best of me every time.

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Fog in the City

We had some pretty major fog on Friday night and it lasted well into Saturday morning. Here are some of the pics that were taken – full article here. It was eerie yet beautiful and peaceful at the same time. I left work at about 5pm and downtown TO looked like it was covered in smoke. At first I thought it was fire, but then realized that it was fog!

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Old-fashioned weather predictions

Long before technology was developed to predict the weather, people had to rely on observation, patterns and folklore to avoid being caught off guard by the elements.

These methods probably aren’t foolproof, but with the success rate of today’s high-tech weather forecasters, it couldn’t could to learn some of these to be able to predict your own weather!

1. Check the grass for dew at sunrise.

If the grass is dry, this indicates clouds or strong breezes, which can mean rain. If there’s dew, it probably won’t rain that day. However, if it rained during the night, this method will not be reliable.

2. Remember the rhyme: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”

Look for any sign of red in the sky (not a red sun); it will not be a bold orange or red the majority of the time, but that depends a little on where you live.

Sailor’s delight – If you see a red sky during sunset (when you’re looking to the west), there is a high pressure system with dry air that is stirring dust particles in the air, causing the sky to look red. Since prevailing front movements and jet streams weather usually move from west to east, the dry air is heading towards you.

A red sky in the morning (in the East, where the sun rises) means that the dry air has already moved past you, and what follows behind it (on its way towards you) is a low pressure system that carries moisture.

3. Look for a rainbow in the west.

This is the result of the rising sun’s morning rays from the east striking moisture in the west. Most major storm fronts travel west to east, and a rainbow in the west means moisture, which can mean rain is on its way. On the other hand, a rainbow in the east around sunset means that the rain is on its way out and you can look forward to sunny days. Remember: Rainbow in the morning, need for a warning.

4. Detect which direction the wind is blowing.

If unable to immediately detect the wind’s direction, throw a small piece of grass in to the air and watch its descent. Easterly winds can indicate an approaching storm front, westerly winds the opposite. Strong winds indicate high pressure differences, which can be a sign of advancing storm fronts. Deciduous trees show the undersides of their leaves during unusual winds, supposedly because they grow in a way that keeps them right-side up during typical prevalent winds.

5. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and smell the air.

Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain.

Swamps will release gasses just before a storm because of the lower pressure, which leads to unpleasant smells.

A proverb says “Flowers smell best just before a rain.” Scents are stronger in moist air, associated with rainy weather.

6. Check for humidity.

Many people can feel humidity, especially in their hair (it curls up and gets frizzy). You can also look at the leaves of oak or maple trees. These leaves tend to curl in high humidity, which tends to precede a heavy rain. Pine cone scales remain closed if the humidity is high, but open in dry air. Under humid conditions, wood swells (look out for those sticky doors) and salt clumps (is that shaker working well?).

7. Watch the clouds.

Clouds going in different directions (e.g. one layer going west, another layer going north) – bad weather coming, probably hail.

Cumulonimbus clouds early in the day and developing throughout the day – greater chances of severe weather.

Cumulonimbus clouds

Mammatus cloud (formed by sinking air) – thunderstorm is dissipating (not forming).

Mammatus cloud formations

Cirrus clouds high in the sky like long streamers – bad weather within the next 36 hours.

Cirrus fibratus - also known as "mare's tail"

Altocumulus clouds like mackerel scales – bad weather within the next 36 hours. The old sailor’s saying for these types of clouds is “Mares tails and mackerel scales, tall ships carry short sails.” Another is “Mackerel skies and mare’s tails, sailors furl their sails.” Mackerel skies and mares tails formations sometimes appear in the same sky. When that happens, rain is sure to follow the next day.

Altocumulus - "mackerel sky"

Cloud cover on a winter night – expect warmer weather because clouds prevent heat radiation that would lower the temperature on a clear night.

Cumulus towers (cumulus castellanus) – possibility of showers later in the day.

Cumulus towers

8. Observe animals.

They are more likely to react to changes in air pressure than we are.

If birds are flying high in the sky, there will probably be fair weather. (Falling air pressure caused by an imminent storm causes discomfort in birds’ ears, so they fly low to alleviate it. Large numbers of birds roosting on power lines indicates swiftly falling air pressure.)

Seagulls tend to stop flying and take refuge at the coast if a storm is coming.

Animals, especially birds, get quiet immediately before it rains.

Cows will typically lie down before a thunderstorm. They also tend to stay close together if bad weather’s on the way.

Ants build their hills with very steep sides just before a rain.

Cats tend to clean behind their ears before rain.

Turtles often search for higher ground when a large amount of rain is expected. You will often see them in the road during this period (1 to 2 days before the rain).

A very old wives tale says if birds feed in a storm it will rain for a long time, if they don’t it will clear soon.

9. Make a campfire.

The smoke should rise steadily. Smoke that swirls and descends is caused by low pressure (i.e. rain on the way).

10. Look at the moon during the night.

If it is reddish or pale, dust is in the air. But if the moon is bright and sharply focused, it’s probably because low pressure has cleared out the dust, and low pressure means rain. Also, a ring around the moon (caused by light shining through cirrostratus clouds associated with warm fronts and moisture) can indicate that rain will probably fall within the next three days. Remember: Circle around the moon, rain or snow soon.

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I read this article: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930822,00.html

And am now wondering (again) what our world is coming to. Do they not watch the movies about messing with the weather? They generally end in some form of end-of-the-world d-day scenarios… The planet survives but not after some pretty scary stuff with casualties along the way… and usually, the bad guy ends up dead in a bad way, as well as his groupies.

It just seems like all these head honchos are so busy one-upping each other in the “playground of life” that no one is stopping to think of the adverse side effects to this type of thing. They have all this money to spend and they’re playing with clouds and snow. Cure something for pete’s sake!


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