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How Can Truck Drivers Predict the Weather Without a Forecast: Part 2

“I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping planes, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rain,” but while this love of the country may run deep for the truckies responsible for heavy haulage Australia relies on, the droughts and flooding rains part can cause havoc with your heavy transport schedule.

When you’re out on a remote and desolate road, truckies have to be able to read the land for signs of bad weather and plan their route accordingly. Following on from Part 1 of our tips on how to predict the weather, National Heavy Haulage brings you Part 2 with useful, funny and just plain weird tips for how to read the weather without a forecast.

Read the sky beyond the clouds

The most obvious way of finding out if a storm is approaching is by looking up at the sky, but what do you look for? In Part 1, we went through how to read the clouds but there are plenty of other things that the sky can tell you. Do you remember these traditional sayings?

  • “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.” A reddish sunset usually means dry and stable air in the west, while a reddish sunrise usually indicates a storm moving in from the east.
  • “Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.” Sometimes instead of a pot of gold, a rainbow in the morning, especially in the west, can bring rain.
  • The moon can give you some clues too. There’s anything from, “clear moon, frost soon,” to “ring around the moon, rain real soon.”

What do insects do when it’s about to rain?

  • Ants are said to stay near the entrance of their nest prior to rain, and even build steep sides and cover up the entrance just before rain. It’s said to be all down to air pressure.
  •  Spiders tend to make their webs stronger with more cross-sections to reinforce it, but this might be a little difficult to spot from the cab of your truck!
  • Unfortunately, mozzies will give us no clues as they are just about bullet-proof and can fly through a downpour.

See what the cattle are doing

If you’re in the Australian heavy haulage industry, it’s highly likely that the roads you take will be through cattle grazing regions. Besides being a major road hazard for big rigs, they can be a useful weather predictor.

  • If they’re spread out, you’re likely in the clear.
  • If they’re bunched together and there’s no cattlemen in sight, it might mean a storm is brewing.
  • Look out if they’re lying down; it could mean that severe weather is on the way.

What are birds up to?

A good tip is that if birds are flying high, the air pressure is stable and it’s a safe bet that there’ll be good weather. However, if you see birds flying low or roosting on power lines they may be avoiding the falling air pressure, which means rain is on the way. Australian birds are usually quite noisy too, so listen out. They’ll go quiet right before the rain hits.

Finally, can your coffee predict the weather?

In researching this topic we found a doozy of a tip that you’ll just have to try. Next time you pour a cup of coffee, watch the way the bubbles go. If they move quickly to the rim, there’s high air pressure and it’ll likely be good weather. But, if they float around in the middle, pressure is low and rain could be on its way. Try it yourself!

Heavy transport that will get you there

At National Heavy Haulage, we know how important it is for your heavy and oversized equipment to arrive safely and on time, no matter the weather. To find out more useful tips on all things trucking related, head to our News section, check out our Photo Gallery and Like us on Facebook.

National Heavy Haulage provides heavy haulage Australia can count on. Contact us for a quote or more information on our reliable heavy transport services.

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