Today I’ve been all about the weather again due to this saintly couplet:
First comes David, then comes Chad
Then comes Winnol, roaring like mad
Although you could just as easily sub out Winnol for one of these – Winneral, Winnal, Winnwaloe, Winwaloe, or Winnold as nobody’s quite sure how the good Saint spelled his name. Anyhow, the David is St David from two days ago, then comes yesterday’s naked St Chad, with Winnol landing today. Basically, the rhyme serves to remind those who don’t have access to the Met Office Twitter account to expect dodgy weather at the beginning of March. But despite today being a hood up, double jumper kind of day, Winnol hasn’t been roaring, at least not round our way, and Dave and Chad were ambivalently tame too, which is not a bad thing given the recent downpours.
So given that the boys have proven themselves to be decidedly mediocre in their predictions this year, here are a few other far more interesting storm warnings to live by:
Mares’ tails and mackerel scales
Make lofty ships carry low sails
Mares’ tails and mackerel scales, as well as being the name of my new Indy band, refer to the clouds cirrus and altocumulous respectively, and when seen together suggest a storm is on the way.
When the peacock loudly bawls
Soon we’ll have both rain and squalls
According to Chloe Rhodes in her book One For Sorrow, she suggests that noise carries better if the air is full of moisture, so a peacock’s cry could sound louder. Plus the bird might get agitated by the drop in atmospheric pressure that comes before a storm.
Vows made in storms are forgotten in calms
Or in other words, never trust a politician.
Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Rhodes, C. (2001) One For Sorrow… A Book of Old-Fashioned Lore, London, Michael O’Mara Books Limited
Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books