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How to Predict Weather After SHTF

The last thing you need, is to set off to go replenish your supplies and then get caught in a severe storm or blizzard. How to predict the weather after SHTF will be a necessity for safety and planning.

Predicting the Weather After SHTF

Many of the old weather proverbs, are still used today and can be quite accurate and may help you when predicting the weather after SHTF.


Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

A reddish sunset means that the air is dusty and dry. Since weather in North American latitudes usually moves from west to east, a red sky at sunset means dry weather (which equates to smooth seas for sailing) is moving east.

A reddish sunrise means that dry air from the west has already passed us on its way easy, clearing the way for a storm to move in.

Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.

A rainbow in the morning indicates that showers are west of you and you’re probably in their path.


Clouds like towers, the Earth is refreshed by frequent showers.

Large, white clouds, that look like cauliflower or castles in the sky, indicates that there is probably lots of dynamic weather going on inside. Innocent clouds look like billowy cotton, not towers. If the clouds start to swell and take on a gray tint, they’re probably turning into thunderstorms.  Watch out!

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.

If you spot wispy, thin clouds way up high, where jets fly, expect pleasant weather.

Watch out for the smaller puff clouds (cumulus), especially in the morning or early afternoon. If the rounded tops of these clouds, with flat bases, grow higher than the cloud’s width, then there’s greater chances of severe weather.

Rain foretold, long last. Short notice, soon will pass.

If you find yourself toting an umbrella around for days “just in case,” rain will stick around for several hours when it finally comes. The gray overcast dominating the horizon means a large area is affected. Conversely, if you get caught in a surprise shower, it’s likely to be short-lived.

Other Cloud signs to watch for

Altocumulus clouds, (similar to fish scales), are indicators of  bad weather within the next 36 hours. A sailor’s saying is “Mares tails and mackerel scales, tall ships carry short sails.”  Rain is likely to follow on the next day.

altocumulus clouds

Cirrocumulus clouds (small and puffy in rows) means cold weather is on the way.

cirrocumulus clouds

Cirrus clouds (stringy and fluffy), high in the sky like long streamers, mean bad weather within the next 36 hours.

cirrus clouds

Cumulus towers (almost like a mushroom cloud)  indicate the possibility of showers later in the day.

cumulus nimbus clouds

Mammatus cloud (puffy, pocket looking clouds) can form with both severe and non-severe thunderstorms as well as other cloud types.

mammatus clouds

Nimbostratus clouds (rain clouds) hang low and heavy in the sky, and mean rain is imminent.

Nimbostratus clouds


Ring around the moon, Rain real soon.

A ring around the moon many times indicates an advancing warm front. This normally will bring precipitation. Under those conditions, high, thin clouds get lower and thicker as they pass over the moon. Ice crystals are reflected by the moon’s light, causing a halo to appear. Rain or snow will come in the next 3 days.

Clear Moon, frost soon.

When the night sky is clear,  with no cloud cover to keep heat in, the Earth’s surface cools rapidly. If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drop enough, frost will form. Expect a chilly morning!

Human Senses

The smell of earth and compost tells you that moisture is coming.

The smell of nitrogen indicates a thunder storm.

A stronger scent from your flowers, that what is normal, means rain is on its way.

Achy joints may indicate a change in the weather.  As storms approach, barometric pressure drops, resulting in some people experiencing an increase in aches and pains. A decline in the barometric pressure may make inflamed joints swell, causing the  the thin tissue lining the capsule surrounding a joint to stretch.


Birds flying high, in the sky, fair weather will stay around.

Bats flying in the evening is an indicator fair weather.

Cattle seeking a corner of a field or lying down together, in a group out in the fields, tells you that a severe storm is immanent.

Cats clean their ears before a rain.

The louder the frogs, the more the rain.

When the dogs eat grass, rain is coming.


Spiders come down from their webs before a rain.

Ants build their ant hills with steeper walls, when the rain is coming.

Find the temperature from the chirps of crickets: Count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature in  degrees Fahrenheit.

Ambient Weather Stations

barometer-234911_640Ambient Weather Stations hang on your wall and include a barometer, thermometer and hygrometer. These can give you really good insight into what the weather holds for your area and what to expect. These instruments do not require electricity or batteries, so they should last you a lifetime.

Personal Weather Stations

Maybe you need more data than the Ambient weather station provides, then a full blown weather station might be what you require.

These can be very accurate and powerful weather prediction tools, but require electricity or batteries to function.

weather station

How to predict the weather after SHTF will be a key to planning and scheduling your tasks and will help keep you from becoming caught in severe weather.



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