Folk­lore vs sci­ence

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

SOME 64% of us are more in­clined to trust old say­ings and folk­lore than sci­en­tific weather fore­casts, a re­cent Met of­fice study sug­gests. Phrases such as ‘red sky at night, shep­herd’s de­light’ (be­lieved by 83%) and ‘rain be­fore seven, fine by 11’ (32%) and ideas such as cows ly­ing down be­fore it rains (61%) and it be­ing too cold to snow (62%) are preva­lent in our na­tional psy­che, even though some of them, in­clud­ing the 40-day down­pour if st swithin’s day is wet, are bi­b­li­cal in ori­gin. that said, some ‘old wives’ tales’ are based on sci­ence: high pres­sure, which leads to good weather, does pro­duce a red light in the evening and, usu­ally, four hours (from 7am to 11am) is long enough for rain to pass. How­ever, cows just like to have a rest some­times, what­ever the weather, and, in the UK at least, it’s never too cold to snow.

Ud­der non­sense: a cow ly­ing down isn’t a sign of rain

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