Which old wives’ tales CAN you rely on?
RED SKY AT NIGHT, SHEPHERD’S DELIGHT
Believed by 83% and largely
TRUE. It is a sign of fair conditions to the west, from where most of our weather comes. High pressure traps dust and dirt in the air. This scatters blue light, leaving only the red light in the sky.
IT’S TOO COLD TO SNOW
Believed by 62% but UNTRUE. The colder the air, the less water vapour there is in it, reducing the chance of snow. However, there are many other factors and in Ireland it is unlikely to be cold enough to stop it snowing.
COWS LIE DOWN WHEN IT’S ABOUT TO RAIN
Believed by 61% but UNTRUE. There is no scientific backing for this at all. Cows lie down for many reasons.
AN OPEN PINE CONE IS A SIGN OF GOOD WEATHER
Believed by 55%, it is TRUE. In dry weather, pine cones dry out, which causes their scales to stand out, giving an ‘open’ appearance.
RAIN BEFORE SEVEN, FINE BY 11
Believed by 32% and OFTEN
TRUE. Our weather systems can sweep across very quickly. So four hours is often enough time for rain to pass.
RAIN ON ST SWITHIN’S DAY, RAIN FOR 40 DAYS
Believed by 27% but FALSE. Since records began, there has been no period of rainfall lasting that long.