Why Does An East Wind Always Bring Thunderstorms?
Ah, you're out on a camping trip. The sun is shining, there's a light breeze out of the west, the fish are biting and life is grand. Relaxing is what it is.
And then you notice the wind has shifted a bit, to the north and then to the east. You know what that means...rain is on the way. And probably a thunderstorm or two.
It always happens, doesn't it. When that breeze comes out of the east you're going to get wet and maybe more. It happens every time. Or does it?
There's lots of weather myths, the 'old sayings' that aren't really true. Things like 'a hot summer means a cold winter' (weather conditions of a summer do not affect the weather of a coming winter), 'stripes on a woolly bear caterpillar tell what type of winter we'll have' (pure superstition), or 'there's a calm before a storm' (not usually so, it's basically an old sailor's tale). But that east wind thing bringing a storm? Yes, that's most often times true.
Why? Well, according to an article at sun-sentinel.com the technical reason is:
East winds often do come before bad storms. Rough weather occurs in areas of low air pressure, which suck-in air masses, swirling counterclockwise, then fling the air mass upward. As the air rises it cools -- hence rain or snow. East winds suggest that a weather system is to our southwest and the whole system with all its turbulence and precipitation will pass overhead.
So while there's a lot of things the ol' folks used to say that may or may not be true, this one hits the mark.
If you're out there enjoying the out-of-doors at your favorite park, river or lake and the wind turns around and comes in from the east, there's a pretty good chance rain is on the way.
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