What You Need for Self Supported Touring by Bicycle
Concerns - Weather
Believing the weather can be predicted more than a day or two in advance will certainly add an element of adventure to your trip.
- "Rain tomorrow" can mean "while you sleep"
- "Scattered showers" means "clouds will follow you around; some will dump on you.
- "Rain Saturday", predicted on Wednesday, means Saturday will be sunny.
- "Rain all day" means they don't know which three hours you will get it.
Mother Nature Speaks
- High pressure centers bring good weather; Low pressure centers bring bad weather.
- Wind around High pressure centers is clockwise.
- Wind around Low pressure centers is counterclockwise.
- As a High pressure center passes over you, the temperature will get warmer and the wind direction will go calm, then reverse.
- The closer a High is to a Low, the windier it will be between them.
- The closer the isobars on a weather map are together, the windier it will be.
- Long rain fronts pass quickly and are done
- Storms that cover an area shaped like a comma will strike twice, first with a warm rain, then a calm, dry period, and finish with a cooler rain.
- Look at the moon at night.
- If you can see the dark part clearly, there will be good weather for the next day or two.
- If you see a halo around it (caused by ice crystals in the Cirrus and cirrostratus clouds), count the stars you can see through the halo. Good weather will remain 24 hours for each bright star plus 12 hours for each faint star.
- If the face of the moon is red, rain is coming. The red comes from dust being pushed along ahead of a low pressure front.
- Look towards the sun.
- At midday, a rainbow or white band around it means a drastic change in the weather.
- At dawn or dusk, a red sun brings dry weather.
- Look at the sky
- In the morning, a red sky is shining through dust particles that have already left the area, to be followed by wet weather.
- In the evening, a red sky is created by dust particles being pushed ahead of a high pressure area that is bringing dry weather.
- It's going to rain if:
- a marsh or swamp stinks real bad
- far away objects appear much closer and more sharply focused
- sounds, like birds, seem sharper and more focused
- birds are flying low to the ground
- smoke is hanging low
- broadleaf trees have the bottoms of their leaves turned up
- the pedals fold on dandelions, clover, and tulips