I spend a lot of days on the water, which means I’ve had to learn to use non-visual senses to alert me of approaching storms. Sure, you can simply go by the tell-tale storm clouds on the horizon, or the ancient sea-farer’s caution, “red skies in morn, sailors take warn”. But, sighted or not, summer storms can creep up on you pretty fast, and experience has taught me that the track of a really big storm has little to do with wind direction. The following are seven non-visual indicators I depend on to detect approaching storms:
- Wind drops right off and the water becomes flat calm;
- A sudden and significant drop in Temperature;
- Wind speed increases and shifts, and waves gain height;
- A smell of Ozone in the air;
- Sound of distant thunder;
- Ear and sinus pressure changes due to dropping Atmospheric pressure;
and the one I really pay close attention to,
- Bristling hair on the back of my neck warning of an imminent lightning strike.
Always keep your senses open to changes in your environment and stay safe.