DH’s weather stick, an old-time, highly effective barometer

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The sticks up…it’s going to be a nice day  

From the days of the Abenaki Indians, even before there was such a thing as New England, weather forecasting was a science. The Abenaki invented what is now called the weather stick, a slender piece of balsam fir wood, about 15-16″ long, that was affixed to a vertical surface.

If the stick bent upward, fair weather was in store; downward meant inclement weather was near.

In Vermont it’s called a Vermont weather stick. In Maine, they call it… surprise, the Maine weather stick. But by whatever name, it is a remarkably effective barometer. It fascinates my husband who plans his day around the weather. 

How could something so simple work?  

I don’t have a clue. But it is fun to watch it moving. Fair weather approaches and the weather stick reaches toward the sky. When the weather begins to turn, the stick points to the ground.

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Bad weather’s coming. We’ve got to hurry to get our outside stuff done.

Weather sticks can be ordered from old-time country stores in the northeast…just google Vermont Weather Sticks. Or if you or your significant other likes working with wood, try making your own.

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  1. risingrainbow’s avatar

    That pretty interesting. I hadn’t heard of that before. I wonder if it has to do with humidity but then barometer suggest barometric pressure. If I knew what that was, I’d probably be dangerous.

    Hi risingrainbow,

    I hadn’t heard of it before my husband got one either. He is fascinated by any kind of gadget. Even if the gadget is a stick. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Merri’s avatar

    How interesting indeed!
    I would be interested in knowing how it is placed so that it works?
    I will have to investigate through google..
    :).

    Hi Merri,

    My husband said you mount it and then watch it. When it is sunny, place it so the stick points up.

    It DOES work. Believe it or not.

    Reply

  3. Strawberry Lane’s avatar

    Fascinating. Now, one would think a Nebraska girl would have heard of that. That’s a new one to me.

    I’m assuming from the position of your weather stick in the photo that it is raining or very damp.

    Wonder if I can talk anyone at my house into installing a “California” Weather Stick. 🙂

    Reply

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