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CINDY DAY: A message in a bottle

A stormglass.
A stormglass. - Contributed

As the storm was racing towards our coastline, water was gushing from my storm glass and I had to share my excitement with my Facebook friends. Soon after, I realized two things:  many of you are keen weather enthusiasts and were already watching your storm glass while others didn’t know about the old instrument, but were curious. 

The storm glass is also known as a Mariner’s weather glass. Many years ago, these were used on ships to warn sailors of impending storms. They work just as well today! You simply fill the glass with coloured water and let Mother Nature do the rest.  

Nice weather comes when an area of high pressure is overhead. If the air pressure is high, it pushes down on the water in the spout, backing it into the vessel. Conversely, when the atmospheric pressure is low, there is less pressure on the water and it will rise up the spout.   

When the water slowly rises in the spout, stormy weather is about 24 hours away.  Rapidly rising water means the storm is very close, and a quick drop in the water level means the storm has moved off.  This inexpensive yet serviceable barometer makes a great gift, too.    

Left: A storm glass owned by Nina Tourett-Reetieffe from Mainland on Port au Port Peninsula N.L. Nina was one of dozens of readers who reached out to share their storm glass photos and experiences. Right: My very own storm glass, which bubbled over Saturday afternoon.
Left: A storm glass owned by Nina Tourett-Reetieffe from Mainland on Port au Port Peninsula N.L. Nina was one of dozens of readers who reached out to share their storm glass photos and experiences. Right: My very own storm glass, which bubbled over Saturday afternoon.

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.


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