Keeping Weather Records -Tradition and Science

Keeping Weather Records – From the Archives

Tradition and Science

Do we personally need to keep track of the weather? Probably not. We could just rely on a weather app or the television meteorologist. Many people live, work, and play indoors in climate-controlled environments. They live as if the weather has little effect on their daily lives. But the simple act of keeping track of the weather will keep us in touch with our natural world and build an appreciation for the science behind common folklore and traditions.

Recording of the weather has not only been a pastime for thousands of years, but it has also been essential to predicting the weather and its effects on everyday life. What should we wear? When should we travel? Is it time to plant our garden? We make many of our decisions based on the weather and its patterns and cycles.

Do you eagerly look forward to Groundhog Day each February? Many of us are curious to see if the groundhog will see his shadow, indicating another six weeks of winter or not. Turns out he is not a great predictor of spring.

Have you heard any of the weather folklore that people have historically used to predict the weather? Read about the science of these expressions in the Almanac.

  • Red skies at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
  • If there is a halo around the sun (or moon), then we can expect rain quite soon.
  • Dew on the grass, no rain will come to pass.

Here is an example from my weather records. Jotting notes down on a chart keeps them organized and you can start to see patterns.

All these sayings are based on observations over time. When we take note of the weather and the patterns created over time, ideally writing the details down, the relationships between what we see out the window and what is coming soon becomes clearer. The record does not need to be elaborate or take much time. Our family has a clipboard with a weather chart and pencil on our front table near the window. Not every day, but often, we note the weather conditions.


Weather Record Chart

You can download this free printable chart:

Weather Record Chart

Ideas for Records:

  • Use a weather chart – simple chart for recording data
  • Note the weather on a wall calendar
  • Create a book of firsts – keep track of the first rain, first snow, first frost, etc. This link will remind you that the March 2015 edition of this newsletter featured a book of firsts. All memberships to my website include the archived newsletters to download and use with your family.

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter March 2015

Keep some weather records this season and see if your family can find some patterns and connections between the observations made and predicting the weather.


Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter October 2016 cover

You can read more weather related nature study ideas in the October 2016 newsletter found in the Member’s Library newsletter archives.


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Use the discount code NATURE5 for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.





Outdoor Hour Challenge: Bloodroot Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Bloodroot Nature Study

The very early spring is a time to anticipate the coming of the spring ephemerals, those wildflowers that mark the ending of winter and the start of spring. (Read more about Spring Ephemerals in my archives.) This challenge will prepare you for getting out in the woods and parks to spot early wildflowers like bloodroot.

Please use the information in the original Outdoor Hour Challenge to learn more about bloodroot, including links and videos. In addition, I found this awesome new link for you to read for you study: The Ephemeral Beauty of Bloodroot.

Bloodroot Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Bloodroot.

blood root 1

bloodroot 2

If you have access to the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, click on over to the Join Us page at any time.

You can use the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 off your Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

Members can download and use any of the wildflower challenges from the three ebooks available in the Member’s Library.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

OHC Wildflower Set 2 @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker




Once a Month Nature Journal Project Out My Window – From the Archives

Once a Month Nature Journal Project

Out My Window – From the Archives

I spend a fair amount of time looking out my window each day once the temperatures drop and the ground is covered in snow and/or ice. Making this a habit has helped me learn that there is usually something of interest going on outside if I just take a few minutes to slow down and observe carefully.

From the original post:

“This month try to create at least one nature journal that features something you see out your window. Pull up a chair and get comfortable, noting something of interest that catches your attention. It could be the clouds, the bare branches of a tree, the birds in your feeder, or the landscape view from your window.”

Nature Journal Out Your Window @handbookofnaturestudyHere are a few ideas for nature journal pages you can create after looking out your window:

  • Weather Study
  • Bird Count (remember the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming)
  • My Favorite View
  • Living Things in My Yard
  • Squirrel Watch (notebook page in Member’s Library)

Any of these ideas are appropriate for any season!

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter February 2015 Nature Study in Winter coverThere is also a notebook page included with the February 2015 newsletter with the theme: Nature From My Window. This makes it super easy to create a nature journal that incorporates a view from your window.

Nature Study Out the Window printable

If you still need to purchase a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study, click over to the join us page to see all of the many benefits of having access to the newsletters, the ebooks, and the printables available to members.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Use promo code NATURE5 to receive $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

Complete list of all the Once a Month Nature Journal Project Ideas

Getting Started with Nature Journals

Click over to my nature journal page for many more nature journal ideas.