Weather Wednesday: Leaves Signaling Rainfall

Weather Wednesday

Throughout decades, weather sayings survive the test of time and people wonder if the sayings are true or false.  With time, weather instruments have come a long way and advanced forward with technology.  Before the development of many weather instruments, people used nature to help forecast. 

A viewer asked us, why do leaves flip or turn ahead of rainfall?  In this week’s Weather Wednesday, StormTracker 6 meteorologist Diane Phillips investigates this topic, and whether the saying is true or false. 

The mechanics of a thunderstorm are the main reason for seeing leaves flip. Each storm has a downdraft that pushes precipitation and cold air to the ground. An outflow boundary is similar to that, expect there is a boundary between the cool air and the air surrounding the thunderstorm. Both mechanisms push cold air away from the storm, but the direction is not always the same as the storm motion or a perfect circle away from the storm’s center.

In this radar image from Saturday, August 3, 2019, the storm was traveling southeast. An outflow boundary formed and pushed southwest of the storm.

Watch the video above to see if turning leaves are a reliable predictor for rainfall. 

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