Can People Smell the Weather?

Many people believe that they can smell the weather, particularly before a thunderstorm hits. Experts note that these people might be smelling ozone, a type of oxygen that can be produced by lightning. In addition, rainy weather is often accompanied by humidity, which enhances the ability to smell the environment. High winds and raindrops also stir up and transport the scents of both natural and man-made substances, such as asphalt, trees and vegetation.

More about weather detection:

  • There is some scientific evidence that changes in air pressure or temperature can trigger joint aches or even migraine headaches.

  • Some animals appear to be able to detect changes in weather patterns and might seek shelter when they sense a drop in atmospheric pressure. A pressure drop can signal an oncoming storm.

  • The Old Farmer's Almanac has offered 18-month weather predictions each year since 1792. Despite numerous advances in weather prediction technology, many farmers still consider the Almanac to be more reliable.

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Discussion Comments


I can remember the "rainy-tornado" smell from when I was young, and the orange tinge to the atmosphere, and no drugs. Just because we were young.

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