Near burrow, far rain…

Forums Atmospheric Phenomena Near burrow, far rain…

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    David Basey

    I guess most of you reading this will be familiar with the atmospheric phenomena of halos (rings) and coronae (circular, coloured patches) occasionally centred on the Moon and Sun when seen through thin cloud.

    Growing up in East Norfolk in the 1960s, on seeing one, my late Grandfather would sometimes come out with the following piece of folklore:

              Near burrow, far rain
              Far burrow, near rain.

    Burrow here is a name, possibly local, that refers to a halo or corona. The implication is that the appearance of these can be use to predict the weather. A glow close to the Sun or Moon suggests that the weather is likely to remain fine while a distant glow tokens oncoming rain.

    An internet search turned up one reference from West Suffolk suggesting this was at least a piece of East Anglian folklore. The writer there uses the term ‘halo’. My gut feeling is that this is a generic term for a glow rather than an astronomically specific term. My recollection of Grandfather is that he would use this folklore on the appearance of a corona not just a true halo. Given that the corona is close in (near) and the smallest halo has a diameter of 22 degrees (far) this would make sense.

    Has anyone else come across a similar piece of folklore from any where in the country involving halos and coronae?

    Does it actually work? Well, coronae and halos are caused by different cloud conditions Halos by small ice crystals and coronae by water droplets or comparatively large ice crystals. If the cloud conditions are different then possibly the likelihood for rain is different too. Who knows?

    Neil Morrison

    Well here is another observing  challenge.  The best way to  find out is to  look and record. Perhaps  come up with a rule of thumb as to how long we have  to  take  down our  equipment and scuttle back indoors. 

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