Folklore vs science
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