How old is Weather Forecasting

Jules Verne (1828-1905) in his book "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" writes "By degrees the fog disappeared under the action of the sun's rays, the radiant orb rose from behind the eastern horizon. The sea flamed under its glance like a train of gunpowder. The clouds scattered in the heights were coloured with lively tints of beautiful shades, and numerous "mare's tails," which betokened wind for that day."

A Shakespeare poem "Venus and Adonis", 1593, is described as "a long narrative poem that tells of Adonis' rejection of the goddess of love". In it an observation of the red sky is related to the coming weather.

Once more the ruby-coloured portal open,
Which to his speech did honey passage yield;
Like a red morn, that ever yet betokened
Wrack to the seaman, tempest to the field,
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.

The Bible in Matthew chapter 16 verses 2-3 records red sky in both the morning and evening and relates it to the expected weather. Thus this weather pattern was known to folks over 2000 years ago.
"He answered and said unto them.
When it is evening ye say, it will be fair weather for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today for the sky is red and lowering. 0 ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"     The contributor.

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) wrote 150 philosophical treatises including one on Meteorology. Based on first-hand observations his thoughts on earth sciences encompassed rain, cloud, mist, dew, snow, hail, wind, thunder, lightning, hurricanes, haloes and rainbows.

The above items prove that weather observations are world wide. It was thought that they had originated in England and migrated to the rest of the world. We now see that they were valid in the eastern Mediterranean over 2,000 years ago.

To assist in remembering each pattern the rhymes developed, which then made it easier to pass the information on to the next generation. They appear to have been developed by three different groups of people, the sailor / fisherman group, the farmer / shepherd group and the general community.

Next we need to establish when the adages (sayings) became rhymes.

Prognostications Of The Weather (from Robert Merry's Museum, November 1844) indicates that the weather observations had commenced to be converted into rhymes by the early 1800's.

I am informed that the below is a 16th century rhyme regarding St. Swithin's day which is celebrated on the 15 July each year. It relates to a ninth century bishop of Winchester, England and thus is a northern hemisphere saying.

St Swithin's day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain;
St Swithin's day, if thou be fair,
For forty days 'twill rain na mair.

Countries that have reported folklore weather forecasting saying:- It appears that the adages on these pages apply world wide as we know they work at 45 degrees South and up to 48 degrees North. We do not believe that longitude, east or west, has any influence. However, Chile, South America may be affected by the Andes mountain range. Therefore, we need more reports of tests.
Email your report now to  Tom Wills 

Definitions of words used in these pages.
Folklore : - The unwritten literature (stories, proverbs, riddles and songs) of a culture.
Adage : - A condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people.
Saying : - A word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations.