Sarah and Kaiti unravel what’s real in Whatever the weather video podcast

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Sarah and Kaiti address a few different weather myths and folklore in Episode 4 of their Whatever the weather Podcast. Here’s a look at the topics they’re reflecting and discussing this week:

1. “It never rains at home!” Storms always surround me! -SARAH

Sometimes you watch the radar or watch the news from your home, anticipating the rain. Then you miss, and it may look like rain always you bypass or miss your house.

In fact, our physical location is very, very small compared to the scale of the world, in Texas or even San Antonio. A person only covers a few feet of space, and a house only covers a few hundred feet. In contrast, when we look at the radar, we see our surroundings on a large scale – miles away!

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It is quite true that during an event, a storm can pass south or north of you. But it’s often a few miles from where you are if you look at the radar. Chances are, if you put a pin on another part of the map, that place would have as many “missers” as you. In fact, below is a picture of last year’s actual rainfall around San Antonio. At least 2 feet of rain fell in every location around San Antonio!

Rainfall around San Antonio Courtesy of NWS / NOAA (Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

2. Tornadoes cannot occur in a valley and / or they do not cross geographic boundaries – KAITI

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most dangerous and awe-inspiring events. For this reason, there are a number of myths around them. One of the most common is the myth that tornadoes cannot cross certain geographic boundaries. For example: “Tornadoes cannot pass through valleys, so I will always be safe as long as I live in the valley. “

The truth is that tornadoes can happen all over – as long as the right weather conditions are in place. These conditions include a lot of buoyancy and rotation in the atmosphere.

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However, some areas of the United States experience tornado-prone conditions more often. In addition, many of them are flatter – like the Great plains. So, this could be a reason why some people think that tornadoes cannot happen in places like valleys. They can to arrive there. It’s just not as common.

A map showing the number of tornadoes by county across the United States from 1955 to 2014. (NOAA)

3. Cows lie down before it rains – SARAH

This is the one I heard growing up! Theories range from the idea that cows can feel the increase in air pressure / humidity before storms. However, there is no scientific evidence that definitively correlates cows sitting before a storm.

Cows are herds and often do what others do. So if one cow lies down, several will join – sometimes all the cows lie down.

Cows also lie down often, not just in a thunderstorm. It helps them digest their food and conserve energy!

4. Green sky in severe weather – KAITI

When I think of a green sky in severe weather, I think of this scene from the movie Tornado. All. Alone. Time. ️

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The thing about this phenomenon is that the sky Is take on a green tint when a thunderstorm is around …sometimes. However, this certainly does not happen every time.

According to NOAA, there is a theory that the color green can develop when there is large hail in a thunderstorm. This would be caused by the scattering of green light from the hailstones tossed about in the storm.

Overall, there seem to be more questions than answers when it comes to this one. ??

5. Farmers Almanac – SARAH

Sarah did a full article and explanation on the Farmers Almanac. Check it out here!

6. Red sky at night, a delight for sailors; red sky in the morning, sailor warning – KAITI

My grandfather used to say that all the time! I never really knew the origin, however. So, I’m glad I reviewed it.

The first idea to establish here is that large scale weather systems move from west to east across the country. With that in mind, let’s simplify things and stick to the assumption that:

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  • clouds on the western horizon mean active weather is approaching

  • clouds on the eastern horizon mean active weather is going away

PS: “active weather” in this case would be things like rain, thunderstorms, a cold front, etc.

So when the sun goes down at night, the sunlight reflects off the clouds on the eastern horizon when the active weather leaves the area. It would suggest calm and quiet weather at night – a good thing for sailors!

On the flip side: when the sun rises in the morning, sunlight reflects off the clouds on the western horizon as the active weather approaches the region. It would suggest an active time to come on this day. It would not be ideal for sailors stuck on a boat. In fact, I don’t think anyone would like to be on a boat rocked by a thunderstorm. ??

7. “The devil beats his wife” – SARAH

It’s an idiom I grew up hearing, and it represents a solar shower. The origins of this expression go back to the 1700s in France. Basically the sun’s rays represent the devil’s rage and the raindrops represent his wife’s tears – kinda messed up, if you ask me!

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8. “An acorn on the windowsill, that will keep all lightning away” – KAITI

I had never heard this saying before. However, after doing some research, I think this has become my favorite piece of meteorological folklore.

This saying has its origins in Norse or Scandinavian mythology. Enter: Thor. Apparently the god of thunder really liked oak trees and they were considered his “tree of life”.

Oak = Acorn = Thunder = Lightning

Long story short: The writers of this saying seemed to believe that placing an acorn on a window sill in their home would prevent it from being struck by lightning.

In fact, I learned more than I thought about acorns, thanks to This site. Interesting stuff!

It turns out that there is an interesting connection between acorns and the god of thunder. (Pixabay)

About the podcast

Whatever the weather, meteorologists Kaiti Blake and Sarah Spivey covered it on the local news – for about three minutes, between commercials.

Rarely, however, do they have the time to explain weather phenomena in depth. On “Whatever the Weather,” Kaiti and Sarah dig deeper and tell you everything you want to know about Mother Nature – from tornadoes and freezing rain to climate change. They also discuss what it’s like to be TV meteorologists and the challenges they sometimes face in everyday TV life.

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So put on your most old-fashioned glasses, put on your best headphones and enjoy … Whatever the weather!


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Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.


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