Need A Weather Prediction? Ask Your Cat!
The fact that animals can sense natural disasters well before they occur, is quite well-known - There are the red ants that leave their mounds prior to earthquakes and monkeys known to move to higher ground before tsunamis. However, the fact that animals have the ability to predict changes in day-to-day weather, seems to have been a well-kept secret known only to people that inhabited the world a few centuries ago. Now, thanks to the resurfacing of an ancient book, we too can partake in some of that wisdom.
In 1883, H.H.C. Dunwoody, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Service, the predecessor to the U.S. National Weather Service, was commissioned by the War Department to create something akin to the Farmer's Almanac. However, instead of conjuring up complicated mathematical and astronomical formulas, Dunwoody's Weather Proverbs advised people to take cues from the behavior of animals to deduce future weather conditions. And while the book features the predictive power of many creatures, it is the cat that appears to have the most foresight. So for those that have one or multiple felines at home, here are some insights on what to look for.
if your cat has a sneezing fit, it is not a sign of allergies, but a premonition that rain is on the way.
Another indication that wet weather may be heading your way, is if your pet is spending copious amounts of time cleaning the section of his/her head behind the ears.
When your cat starts to snore or lie on his/her back for extensive periods to time, get ready for a 'snow day' because that is the cue that the weather is about to turn for the worse and that there may even be a storm on the way.
These predictions too broad for your liking? No worries! Your cat can even predict the direction of the wind, after a rainstorm. All you have to do is observe which side of face, he/she is grooming.
In case you are wondering, cats are also capable of predicting good weather. Apparently, prior to a warming trend, cats sit with their backs turned to a warm welcoming fire. Unfortunately, Dunwoody does not say how to read a warming trend when the heating is turned on!
Whether the observations by this army man are true has never been scientifically proven. So be sure to 'test' them out and let us know, if cats are indeed better at predicting the weather than meteorologists!
Resources: NPR.org, time.com
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Reading Comprehension (3 questions)
- Why did H.H.C. Dunwoody decide to write 'Weather Proverbs'?
- What animal did he seem to have observed the most?
Critical Thinking Challenge
Do you believe that animals are more in-tune with mother nature than...