Inventions That Changed the World: The Weather Station
- Monday, October 19, 2009
Growing up in a rural dairy farming area provided me with ample opportunities to see cows grazing in pastures. My mom would predict the weather by observing the cows. If they were standing, she would say, "It must be going to be nice today." If they were lying down, she said "It's going to rain." I often wondered what was going on when half were standing and half were lying down. Was it going to be partly cloudy?
Predicting the weather has always been a fascination for man. After all, weather is very important. In this issue, we will explore a number of small inventions that combined to form a much larger invention: the weather station.
The World Before the Weather Station
Do you think that weather is important? As Christians, we should. Weather has had a profound impact on all of us. In Genesis 7:4, we are told of the first major weather event on earth: the Flood. God used weather as a tool to remove wickedness from the earth.
For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
It might surprise you just how many times weather is mentioned in the Bible. Here are some types of weather phenomena and a few corresponding Bible passages you can explore:
• Rain: Deuteronomy 11:14-15, 1 Samuel 12:18
• Hail: Exodus 9:22-29, Joshua 10:11, Revelation 16:21
• Thunder: 1 Samuel 7:10
• Wind: Nahum 1:3
• Drought: Leviticus 26:19-20, Deuteronomy 28:24, Hosea 13:15
One question you might ask is, "How did people in biblical times predict the weather?" There were no weather stations, and they certainly could not go on the Internet to see what the forecast was going to be. As it turns out, they did the best they could through visual observations of the following:
• Cloud patterns
• Locations of stars and planets
• Phases of the moon
• Movement of winds
Have you ever heard the old saying, "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning"? Compare this to what Jesus said in Matthew 16:2-3b:
He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering.
There are many false sayings, but you might be surprised at how many, such as the one above, are fairly accurate. Some that actually have some meteorological truth to them include:
• "No weather is ill, if the wind be still."
• "Seagull, seagull, sit on the sand. It's never good weather when you're on land."
• "When halo rings the moon or sun, rain's approaching on the run."
• "When windows won't open, and the salt clogs the shaker, the weather will favor the umbrella maker."
See if you can do a little research and find out why the four sayings above have some truth to them!
Here are some sayings and folklore that have not proven to be true:
• "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb."
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