What Indicates that Foul Weather is Approaching?

No matter if you are camping, fishing, or outdoors, in general, it is important to be able to tell if bad weather is approaching. Luckily for you, there are a lot of different signs of possible foul weather coming. All you have to do is pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of things. If you are an outdoors person, then this probably won’t be too hard for you to do. Read on to learn all the different things that indicate that foul weather is approaching. That way the next time you are outside and the weather is changing you will realize it and be able to prepare yourself.

What Indicates that Foul Weather is Approaching

What Indicates that Foul Weather is Approaching


You do not need to know the science behind weather changing to notice when bad weather is approaching. Normally bad weather comes from two different fronts running into each other. You have high pressure and low-pressure fronts and when they collide bad weather comes, but you don’t need fancy tools to be able to measure these fronts changing. Other signs in nature can give you all the clues you need. Having a barometer can help you tell that bad weather is approaching, but there are a lot of other ways to tell too, and anyone observant can identify when the weather is changing.


The first way to tell if bad weather is approaching is by paying attention to the sky. That is because rain and other weather come from the clouds in the sky. The type of clouds in the sky, matter though. Tall clouds are more likely to contain bad weather or storms. If you notice a rapid buildup of clouds, especially in the west, then the chance is a different front is forming.

Weather movement

To the west is important because most areas have their weather come from the west. Winds normally move from southwest to northeast or northwest to southeast. Warm air will move in from the south and push cool north air out or cool air will push in from the north and mix with the south warm air. This is what causes storms to pop up. Knowing this will help you notice if bad weather might be coming.


The wind changing direction can also be a major indicator of bad weather coming because what we have said about different temperatures of air mixing and causing storms. If you notice that the wind changed direction, then there might be a chance of bad weather. Sometimes you can’t always feel a breeze though or tell which direction it is coming from. If that is the case, then you can look to the trees for help. It is important to pay attention to the tops of the trees to get a true idea of what direction the wind is blowing. That is because the tops of the trees are closer to the clouds and will give you a more accurate reading of the overall wind direction.

Choppy Water

If you are boating or near water, then you can use that as an indication of possible weather changes. That is because choppy water can show you if the wind is picking up. Also, it can show if the wind changed direction. If you are near water and see it is getting choppy or wavier, then chances are good the weather is about to change and it will likely get worse. This is especially true if it is combined with the cloud build-up and other signs. That is because something is making the water choppy and it is most likely a storm.

Temperature change

Another sure sign of the weather about to change is if the temperature changes rapidly. If it gets colder or hotter quickly, then the winds have likely changed and a front has moved in from the north or south depending on the direction of the change. This means that warm and cool air are mixing, which gives the atmosphere the energy needs to pop up storms. Have you noticed that it is normally cooler after it storms, well this is why. Cool air moved in, causing a storm and cooled things off. Then, as the water evaporates, it gets hot and humid again, which sometimes leads to another wave of storms.


The high humidity normally always comes before storms. Sometimes it is so humid that fog will form. Fog is water near the ground that is in a visible gas state. If you notice that it is getting extra humid, then a storm might likely be about to happen. That is because all the humidity and moisture in the air will condense and become rain. That is because the humidity is water. A barometer is a tool that reads humidity, but there are signs in nature that can tell you it as well. Leaves curling or turning over can indicate high humidity. Curling or frizzing hair can as well. If you notice any of these things, then it is likely humidity is high. Pine cones also stay on the trees when the humidity is high and fall off when it isn’t.


Besides trees and plants, animals can also be a good sign of weather about to come. If birds are flying low, then that means there is a pressure in the upper sky causing them to avoid it. Other animals such as cows or sheep get restless and gather together. If you don’t notice insects such as bees or butterflies, then that means heavy rain is approaching. Other animals seek high ground when storms are approaching. If you notice ants building tall mounds or turtles moving up hills, then heavy rain is likely coming.


Plants also release their waste when storms are coming. For plants that is oxygen. That means the air gets more oxygen in it. This can sometimes smell like compost. Some people say they can smell the rain, which is true. If you notice a change in smell, then it is likely to rain is coming. Again, this is especially true if combined with these other signs.

How far

Lastly, if you see lightning and hear thunder, then a storm is coming. You might be wondering how far away this storm is though. Well, there is a simple math trick you can do to figure that out. All you have to do is start counting seconds to yourself when you see the lightning. Then when you hear the thunder stop counting. You take the number you got and divide it by five. The result is roughly how far the storm is away in miles. That is because light travels faster than sound, so you see the lightning before hearing the thunder even though they occur at the same time.


So, now you know all kinds of different ways to know when foul weather is approaching. By knowing these signs you don’t need fancy equipment or knowledge of the science behind it. Instead, you can just observe nature and let nature tell you if bad weather is coming. Normally multiple of these happen at the same time to give you a good idea of the weather changing. If you see dark clouds forming, winds shifting, and animals acting different, then chances are good a storm is coming or the weather is about to change.

Tom Chandler

"When your hands hit the floor, they get cut up. When mine hit the floor, they slide with ease"

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