Personal Safety

Weather Forecasting The Old Fashioned Way



Feature | road with beautiful sky | Weather Forecasting The Old Fashioned Way

Learn weather forecasting the old-fashioned way and have a handy survival skill both in off-grid living and in a survival scenario!

In this article:

  1. The Importance of Weather Forecasting
  2. What the Clouds Tell About the Weather
      1. Cloud Cover on a Winter Night
      2. Mammatus Clouds
      3. Cumulus Towers
      4. Cumulonimbus Clouds
      5. Cirrus Clouds

Weather Forecasting | A Survival Skill You Should Learn


The Importance of Weather Forecasting

The first thing I do every morning is open up the weather forecasting app on my phone so I can see what the temperature and conditions will be like for the rest of the day. This determines what I'll do, how I'll dress, and oftentimes, how I'll feel that day.

This morning, however, when I tried to check the weather, I found that my app was malfunctioning. The message read, “Info not available at this time.”

It immediately struck me how dependent we are on modern conveniences to do things our ancestors knew how to do naturally. Your grandfather never checked an app to see what the weather was like — he went outside and saw for himself!

So I decided to do some research and learn how to predict the weather myself. I came across the article below and found it very informative. Maybe you will, too!

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What the Clouds Tell About the Weather

Cloudy skies | Weather Forecasting The Old Fashioned Way

People nowadays are too dependent on gadgets. In fact, you can turn on your mobile phone and you'll know how the weather is going to develop in the next few days.

However, this can be a problem when you're out in the middle of nowhere and the signal is weak. This is when gadget-less weather forecasting methods come in handy, indeed.

Practically everything surrounding you can help forecast the weather if you know where to look. While there are a few more old-fashioned weather forecasting methods, the skies or clouds above are usually the most reliable.

They tell you all you need to know about the incoming weather. Learn more about weather forecasting here.

RELATED: Hurricane Preparedness | What To Do In A Hurricane

1. Cloud Cover on a Winter Night

Due to the ability of clouds to prevent heat radiation, expect warmer weather when cloud cover forms on a winter night.

Clouds in the atmosphere reduce radiant energy, resulting in an increase in temperature. Cloud formation is one of the best ways to predict weather in the winter time.

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2. Mammatus Clouds

The skyscape appears dreamy with mammatus clouds, especially during sunset, but mammatus clouds most often form under the anvil of thunderstorms. So these clouds could indicate severe weather coming.

What are mammatus clouds? They are pouch-like cloud patterns which connect or hang underneath an even bigger cloud formation. They form when cold air sinks down, thus forming the pouches.

3. Cumulus Towers

There are few things to look for when cumulus towers are forming, and they can tell you much about a weather development. Check how wide the tower is, crisp edges, and if the tower is getting wider.

Big bulky towers that are continuously growing may indicate a storm is coming. Although most of the time, this type of cloud form indicate the possibility of rain later in the day.

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4. Cumulonimbus Clouds

Cumulonimbus clouds have similar properties to cumulus clouds but are larger, taller, and darker. They form from cumulus clouds yet have a high concentration of water droplets.

These clouds are associated with heavy rain, hail, and snow. With that said, cumulonimbus clouds pose greater chances of severe weather.

5. Cirrus Clouds

Cirrus clouds indicate a change in the weather is about to happen. These clouds appear thin because they're made up of ice crystals that form very high in the sky.

The presence of these clouds forecasts nice weather throughout the day, but can also indicate bad weather within the next 36 hours.


Check out this video by NWS Albuquerque for a tutorial on cloud types:

Besides the benefits of weather forecasting in agriculture, it also important as a survival skill, especially when you're an outdoors person. Now you know a simple observation of cloud formation can help you tell the weather in the next hours or so.

So, wherever you find yourself in the outdoors, or however you use your weather predictions, they can help you, indeed!

Do you have your own way of predicting the weather? Let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next: Tips For Backpack Camping In The Rain

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 31, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  4. bob setliff

    February 4, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    A lot of the article about reading the weather above is pure BUNK (example: Mamatus clouds [Cumulonimbus Mamatus] is the cloud that drops out Tornados, NOT a sign of a T-Storm dissipating as the graphic states! How do I know? I am a retired Meteorologist with over 20 years in the field!


      January 22, 2019 at 2:05 PM

      What’s your take on Chem trails and please don’t tell me you buy into the “contrail” excuse…
      Supposedly the jets they make now don’t even produce contrails anymore from what I have heard, I still have to do a little research on that one. But indeed contrails dissipate the chemtrails actually widen and spread across the sky like a net. It’s ridiculous the types of chemicals that are in them.

  5. Joe Wells

    February 4, 2018 at 8:42 PM

    If you see a halo around the moon, it will rain within 24 hours, been watching this for the last 40 years, better than 90% accurate

  6. Angie

    February 5, 2018 at 2:13 AM

    My favorite is Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning. sailor take warning. I think it predicts for the next day’s weather as to red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

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