Monday, October 5, 2009

Watch The Clouds

The weather can be a killer, any time of year. With flashfloods and heat waves in the summer, blizzards and sub-zero cold in the winter, and the chance of falling victim to hypothermia in the spring and fall, you need to keep a close eye of what the weather is doing.

            • Watch the clouds. If they are building rapidly, with a lot of upward movement, the atmosphere is very unstable. There is a chance of thunderstorms, lightning, high winds (or even microbursts), heavy downpours and possible flash floods.

            • Warm fronts generally move into an area slowly, beginning with cirrus clouds that lead to gradually thickening clouds that bring steady rain and wind. Cold fronts are generally more volatile, move through an area quickly and can bring violent weather with rain, hail, snow and squally winds.

            • Watch the barometer. A falling barometer can (among other things) indicate the strength of coming wind conditions. A barometer that falls 1 millibar per hour indicates Force 6 (25 to 31 mph). Falling 2 mb/hour indicates 32 to 46 mph winds. Dropping 3 mb/hour tells you a powerful winds are coming, above 47 miles per hour. 

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