Alternative Meteorology


When I was a child, my mum taught me that:

"A red sky at night is a Shepherd's delight, a red sky in the morning is a Shepherd's warning". She has a lot to answer forů

Forecasting the weather is a serious business. Every year, huge amounts of money are spent on satellites and computer models to predict everything from the path and severity of hurricanes, to the probability of sunshine so that supermarkets can order in extra salads.

There's nothing new about predicting the weather; it was just as important before the advent of today's technology. But back then, all people could rely on was their instincts and experience. Every culture has it's own set of weather prophesies, and some, like the Shepherd's saying, are still commonly used today.

In 1995 I founded the Institute for Alternative Meteorology (Neath) under the premise that these old sayings wouldn't have lasted so long if they never worked. Our aim at the Institute is to collect, collate and - if possible - test, as many prophesies as our limited resources allow.

Projects currently underway:

  • Forecasting the Weather using your cat
  • Field trials of low-cost seaweed barometers.
  • Psychological profiling of sheep-herding personnel to ascertain whether a coloured sky at the end of their working day produces any noticeable feelings of well being (red skies in the morning are being used as a control in this study).
  • Analysis of the stance of domestic bovine in relation to incoming weather fronts.

We are always keen to hear from members of the public who would like to share their weather prophesies or help us with our fieldwork. Please e-mail us at the institute.

Want to know more? Check out the Wildlife Weather Sayings Archive.

Looking for a weather forecast you can rely on?  The Met Office.

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