1-Sentence-Summary: The Secret World of Weather is a guide to forecasting weather through various clues found in nature, such as plants, the wind, or clouds, to come up with an accurate calculation of the weather without having to check the news.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
When we rely on weather apps with our entire schedules and even our outfit for the day, it can be pretty frustrating to find out that they were wrong and that we have to rearrange everything at the last minute. This usually happens due to the fact that weather forecasts cover large areas, but what you experience is on a much smaller territory and it can differ.
Fortunately, there are ways to tell what the weather will look like, using nature’s elements and a bit of intuition. Unconventional wisdom is often used in areas like medicine or therapy, and trying it out when forecasting the weather seems to be working too. You just have to know the right methods and where to look for clues.
The Secret World of Weather teaches you just that! Instead of relying on meteorologists, it’s better to see for yourself what the weather is like in your microclimate. For example, if you live in a big city, it could rain on one side of it, and the other one can be completely dry. However, the news will not report it like this, but rather give you a more general overview of the weather in that city.
Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:
- Learn to read clues found in the clouds.
- Wind is a great way to tell which type of weather is coming.
- Animals and extreme weather can warn us about nature
Lesson 1: Interpreting how the clouds look is a great way to predict the weather.
When we want to tell how the weather will turn out in the immediate future, we instinctively look up to the sky. That is because most of the clues we need are exactly there. Clouds can tell you about the air, the water, and the temperature.
There are three big cloud families, namely: cirrus, stratus, and cumulus clouds. The first type is similar to cotton candy or feathers. They sometimes look like a comma with a trailing tail. An interesting fact is that the longer the tail is, the stronger the wind. When these clouds multiply, there’s a strong chance of upcoming bad weather.
The second type of cloud covers flat, wide portions of the sky. They usually move slowly, meaning that the weather won’t change much from what it looks like at that given moment. These clouds indicate stability, so you can be sure that your plans will stick when you see them.
Cumulus clouds are the result of warm air rising from the ground, causing them to take the shape of what we usually draw them like. They have flat bottoms and big bulges on top. And we commonly see them over the cities in the afternoon. They signal instability, as when taller and lower-level clouds combine, it’s quite likely that rain showers will follow.
Lesson 2: Wind is strongly linked with clouds and other environmental factors.
So what is wind? Scientifically, it is created when a warm front, such as a high-pressure air mass, collides with a cool front, or a low-pressure air mass. When the wind is strong and shifts direction, it shows that the air masses are changing, and so is the weather.
Just like there are three types of clouds, there are three types of wind as well: the ground wind, the main wind, and the high wind. The first type is the one that moves cirrus clouds, the ones that look like cotton candy, as it blows really high.
The main wind covers a bigger landmass and blows lower. In fact, this is the wind that the meteorologists talk about when presenting the weather. However, we experience ground winds during the day. They’re local winds influenced by local landscapes.
An interesting fact is that ground wind is greatly affected by mountains, trees, or any object that it encounters on its way. Moreover, if the wind blows from south to north, it signals that bad weather is on its way. Next time you observe this in your city, you’ll also notice that it starts to rain a couple of hours later
Lesson 3: Other elements from nature, such as animals or extreme weather, can teach us essential things.
It is said that the behavior of animals can help us predict the weather. Although some of the presumptions are not true, such as cows lying down before the rain, there are certain things that animals do before bad weather approaches. For example, spiders start to spin smaller webs when it’s windy.
Birds can tell a lot about the weather also. For example, if they glide through the air easily, it means that the atmosphere is stable. However, if they go high, a storm is likely to approach. Moreover, birds usually face the wind, as it makes it easier for them to fly. So if you see them switching a lot during the day, it could also signal wind instability and a future storm.
Another way to forecast weather is to look at natural phenomena around you. This is particularly important as extreme weather can put our lives in danger. For example, when the ground is unusually cold or wet or the temperature suddenly drops, fog will form. Moreover, you should be wary of storm clouds.
They usually last no more than 90 minutes. However, at peak, they can have as much energy as an atomic bomb! So you should be wary not to expose yourself when you see those clouds and find shelter nearby. Not only can they produce lightning and thunder, but they can also create tornadoes or even hurricanes.
The Secret World of Weather Review
The Secret World of Weather is everyone’s guide to forecasting the weather and learning its particularities. This book will teach you when you should take precautions, how to tell if bad weather is approaching, and ways to read nature’s clues. It is a great read, as it gives practical advice that you can use wherever you are, without having to rely on meteorologists.
Who would I recommend The Secret World of Weather summary to?
The nature lover who likes to take trips in the forest and get by on their own, the person who likes to go on camping and wants to learn more about the weather, or anyone who doesn’t trust their weather apps or the TV channels and want to double-check the information.