Calm before the storm--not!

@dragon54u (31339)
United States
February 5, 2010 7:02am CST
A winter storm is moving in and our snow estimate has been revised from 4-6" to 6-10". There is no precipitation yet but at this normally calm and quiet time of day (8am) there is quite a bit of activity! Normally, the birds don't arrive at my feeders for another 30-45 minutes but today they are gathering early. Their normal camaraderie is gone and there have been a few arguments break out. The crows are flying north instead of east this morning, cawing loudly to each other as if to say "hurry up!" The dogs that have been let outside are not happy about it, either. Normally my neighbors let their dogs outside for awhile or even for the day and this morning they are barking and whining to be let back in. Geese have also taken to the skies while they are normally all settled in for the day wherever they choose to be. What things do you notice that your local birds and animals do before a storm? Can you tell the severity of a storm by the way the animals act beforehand? I myself could not sleep well last night even though winter storms don't usually bother me. I was up very early for some reason!
3 people like this
10 responses
@savypat (20248)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I don't know where you are located, but we are hearing winter storm warnings on the east and west coast. Right now the Sun is shining, but we have been warned to expect a bad day tomorrow. Many times the weather reports are wrong here, we are protected by mountians and the storms often ride right over us. If you are on the East Coast things look bad they have even stopped the flights already so the planes don't get stuck there. Hope you stay well and warm.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I'm in southwestern Ohio and the snow is really falling fast and heavy right now. It's really beautiful, especially when I look out and see the gorgeous red cardinals in the white trees and picking seeds off the ground. I'm all set to a few days of staying home and off the roads. I'll be warm and cozy, thanks! I'm very glad I'm not on the East Coast!
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
6 Feb 10
I'm on the east coast!
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
6 Feb 10
I can't say that anything out of the ordinary has happened with me. I haven't noticed any unusual wildlife behavior, either. It is generally very quiet hours before a storm hits, though. None of the birds were singing this morning. But my cat and dogs were behaving normally and I've been just fine, sleep-wise. You already know what we're supposed to get from this system here in northern Virginia: 20 to 30 inches. I'm thinking that it's going to be closer to 30 because we already had about 14 or 15 inches by 8:00 p.m. and it's snowing even heavier now. I believe my son stayed home from work tonight. He said he was going to try to get in but I told him that they were saying extreme emergencies only. I had him look up Winchester's website to see if there was anything about the roads and it said that we're only allowed on the roads right now if we have chains on our tires. So, he had better have stayed home! He doesn't have chains. He said that a WalMart store in West Virginia was closed by the State Police during the last massive storm we had. I hope this WalMart is closed during this one. For once, it looks like the weather gurus are on-target. Figures, huh? I hope you fare very well through this storm. I hope everyone does! Well, actually, I heard not long ago that two people were killed earlier today because they were struck by traffic while assisting another driver who was stuck on Rte. 81 here in Virginia. Another car or truck had slid and hit them both. This storm is extremely hazardous. I hope that even the idiots who think they are indestructible will use caution until the roads are cleared.
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
6 Feb 10
It's mostly over now. So sorry your socked in like that! I should have turned the page before typing my reply on the last page about the robins, they are here, too! We are under a level 2 snow emergency which means only drive if necessary. There's no way I'm going out in this, not for a few days until everything is clear and dry! I hope your son stays safe!
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
6 Feb 10
I don't think it's ever going to end here! Still coming down heavy, although they're saying only 1 to 3 more inches. But, they also said, last night, that we had a total of 15.5 inches here when I know it was either 2 feet or very close to 2 feet. I just looked out on our deck (my poor kitty wants to go out so badly) and, well, the deck isn't there. There's about 8 inches of railing and the rest is all snow. My son's car (parked here for the time being) is literally just a big white hump. It's a red car but no red is showing, not even a tinge of pink. I'll take some photos once the snow stops, assuming it EVER will!
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
6 Feb 10
Deck at 10:00 a.m. - The snow is still coming down hard but I wanted to show you what we got so far.
I couldn't wait for the snow to stop. Here's a pic of the deck at just past 10:00 a.m. Another 1 to 3 inches is expected.
@LaDeBoheme (1963)
• United States
6 Feb 10
I am in VA and the winter storm warnings have been changed to blizzard warnings; the estimate changed from 16"-20" to 24"-30". I have not noticed any changes in the birds because I haven't seen any for a few days. I guess that pretty much says it. They all got out of Dodge. I have observed a habit that appears to be indigenous to the human species though. The advent of snowstorms always precipitates a HUGE migration to grocery stores. Parking lots and check-outs become overwhelmed with wide-eyed humans, obsessed with hoarding cat litter and toilet paper, pushing impossibly overloaded carts. Another peculiar habit before a snow is that there always seems to be a mass exodus of vehicles on the roads frequently slowing travel down to a crawl. *scratching head over the exact purpose of this one*
• United States
6 Feb 10
I-ve got to tell you the truth -- I don't know what I'm going to do with 30" of snow either! I didn't really want to have to find out. I am not originally from here and I have seen major snows before, but the northern VA/DC area is not used to dealing with this much white crap and it will pretty much paralyze the region. Of course, the news media is freaking everybody out with warnings of immobility for 3-5 days, possibilities of a new record (beating the last one set in 1922), issuances of state emergencies (Already! And it's just beginning! Suppose to continue into tomorrow night reaching blizzard proportions overnight!) Oh yeah. This is going to be a whole lot of fun. *sighs*
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
6 Feb 10
Snowball fight!!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 10
Incoming... SPLAT!
1 person likes this
@flowerchilde (12520)
• United States
6 Feb 10
What I've been noticing around here are what I think are signs of an early spring.. (don't ask me what they were tho! maybe I'll remember them later..) Hopefully this isn't just wishful thinking! I wish I'd notice and think about things like this more often.. but often I am quite oblivious. It's kind of sounds like you may be somewhere around where my husband is driving through today, he's a truck driver, and the storm was moving in this morning and now he's driving home through it. I think he and the storm are moving the same way..
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
6 Feb 10
You know what I saw a few days ago? A robin! We don't see robins until Spring! The saying is that when you see your first robin, it's officially Spring. Right, uh huh. We have maybe 18 or 20 inches of snow outside right now and the storm is picking up momentum! Spring, right. It was just a very confused robin I saw. LOL
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
6 Feb 10
Flowerchilde, I hope your husband got home okay! It was bad last night but not nearly as bad as in Virginia and on the coast.
@Hatley (159473)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Feb 10
hi dragon54u well the seagulls have come in and are roosting on top of the Cietnamese market we see out our window and the rain storm will be here soon. I am in the US, in little Saigon, a vietnamese area of about 12 square blocks here in Garden Grove California. seems these people all came from same area on the same boat and settled here in Southern California, odd but they are really great neighbors. anyway the seagulls always gather just before the heavy rains start.also here in southern Ca just before an earthquake all the birds stop singing,the crows hunker down then the dogs allstart a town cry, then it starts, a roar and a jiggle, sometimes seems to go on forever but actually only about fourty seconds at most. The dogs really seem to sense the coming movement of the earth. then when it happens they all shut up.Its so eery with the birds as it seems like just all of a sudden all singing just stops.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (159473)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Feb 10
typo alert not cietnamese but Vietnamese, clumsy darned fingers.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I didn't know that about the sea gulls but it freaks me out when the birds stop singing, the crickets are quiet and the dogs shake. Animals know more than we give them credit for and we should pay more attention to them! Your neighborhood sounds lovely! I know by now the area you live in. When I see your name I get a mental picture of sunny streets, fluttering palms and bright ocean waves.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (159473)
• Garden Grove, California
6 Feb 10
hi Garden Grove is about seven miles from the ocean but we get a lot of sun, andyes there are palm trees, and right soon end of this month the gorgeous jacaranda trees will be covered with these little bell shaped blooms in a haze of purple and they smell so delicious, they really are a lovely sight to see.
@kellyjeanne (1578)
• United States
6 Feb 10
That's an interesting question. I live in San Diego where we get a lot of aftershocks from earthquakes in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Mexico. Mija (my furbaby kitty) usually paces in a circle. She'll even pace when I don't feel anything. So, I assume that there must be imperceptible shock waves somewhere that she feels. This past Tuesday at around 6:30 am or so I was on the couch watching T.V. and on the Internet when the couch shook. I'm used to it because we get a LOT of them here in San Diego, but, because we haven't had one in such a long time I thought Mija was shaking the couch (which is a ridiculous thought because Mija is a 10 lb cat! LOL!). When I finally realized that it was an earthquake I didn't do anything. Like I said, most of them are simply aftershocks from miles away. It lasted for about 3 seconds. Also, I'm on the top (6th) floor of my apartmen building and we feel even the tiniest shakes. Those who live on the lower floors don't feel much. Anyway, I changed the channel to CNN and just at that moment the anchorwoman said that her mom had called the station and mentioned that there was an earthquake in San Diego. The weatherman said he didn't hear anything about it and had some staff behind the camera do some research and she mentioned that there was, in fact, a 4.8 earthquake. She never mentioned where, though. Have a great day! Purrs, Catwoman=^..^= & Mija
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
6 Feb 10
Animals are the first to know when the earth will shake. You get those there frequently?! OMG, I would move away from there so fast!! I've never been in an earthquake but it is one of the few things that would probably scare the dickens outta me!
• United States
9 Feb 10
LOL! It's not as bad as all that! San Diego is really a very nice place to live, actually. When you are living here you're not thinking of the next earthquake that we're going to have! LOL! Take care, hon! Purrs, Catwoman=^..^= & Mija
@dawnald (84155)
• Shingle Springs, California
5 Feb 10
I have never really noticed what they do before a storm, only during a storm...
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
5 Feb 10
Next time a storm is approaching, watch the birds and other animals. They'll tell you how close it is and how bad it will be. Animals are great weather predictors!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84155)
• Shingle Springs, California
5 Feb 10
Yep, I will if I remember...
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 10
I've noticed where I am, all the animals, especially the birds tend to be out and about making a lot more noise and running around. Also, before a storm I've noticed the birds are on the ground a lot more eating a lot more food. And, we're in the path of the storm as well but as of right now we're just getting a lot of sleet and rain. It's just a bit icy out and the roads are mostly slush but it's still not the best ideal driving conditions.
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@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I'm hoping we don't get sleet, the roads are already a mess! Slush everywhere and I guess there's been a few slide-off accidents. People just get in such a hurry, most of them could be avoided if they'd just slow down. I was just out on my front porch watching it and the flakes are still kind of big but nowhere near the giant flakes we had up until a couple of hours ago. The neighborhood kids will be having a ball tomorrow, I can't wait to see all the snowmen!
@eileenleyva (9390)
• Philippines
5 Feb 10
I live in a tropical country and my islands are located in the Pacific where storms are never icy as your winter storms. Our typhoons have different characteristics. Some are swift and windy. Some are slow and watery. The speed and the volume of water define the intensity of the storm. When we receive a strong typhoon signal from the weather bureau a few days before the actual rampaging of the storm, we can actually feel the restlessness of the animals. Our maya crisscross canopies for appropriate shelter. The goats stay put as near their houses. The dogs would most likely stay beside their owners. I just don't notice what the cats do. They seem to make themselves invisible during these times.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
5 Feb 10
There are many times when animals can tell us a lot more than the weatherman can! I would not want to be in a typhoon, I've heard of some that are very deadly. I hope you stay safe! I enjoy our snow, it is beautiful and makes me so happy to greet the spring!
@GardenGerty (91046)
• Marion, Kansas
5 Feb 10
I have not been out much to pay attention, but my cats slept a lot right before the last storm, and it was a small one. It was warm and foggy this morning and the cats were active. This afternoon I am incredibly sleepy and so are they. We are supposed to get some snow tonight, but they keep changing just what it is we are expecting. If I were to go to Wal Mart the grackles or starlings, what ever they are would be on top of every light pole and "talking"
@dragon54u (31339)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I haven't been sleepy today and I usually am around 2-3PM. I also woke up at 5:30 and couldn't get back to sleep and that's also unusual. Must be the storm! My starlings have been very active all day at the suet feeders but they seem to have disappeared right now--in fact, I see no birds in the tree at all and it's only 5PM!