It's never been an easy task to predict the weather on our little island. This week, I came across an account of traditional ways to predict the weather, in The School's Collection in the National Folklore archive (www.duchas.ie).
This account was collected by a young Evans Byrne, a student of the Christian Brothers school, who asked a Mrs. Byrne in the Faythe to tell him about the weather. It's a trove of information, with beautiful images of nature and daily life as well an account of weather watching gone by.
You can read the original paper scan here:
The change in the weather is known by the sailors and old people of Wexford by different signs such as:-
Signs of Rain:-
(1) A ring around the moon
(2) A red sunrise
(3) A cat sitting with its backs to the fire
(4) Sea-gulls flying over the land.
Signs of a Storm:-
(1) A new moon or half moon on its back.
(2) A "cock's eyes" around the moon.
(3) The curlew's cry at night
(4) Swift clouds
Signs of fine weather:-
(1) A red sunset
(2) A fog in the Summer-time
(3) When the smoke of a chimney goes up straight
(4) When the mountains look far away.