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10 Ways Animals Supposedly Predict the Weather

        Science | Storms

6
Birds Evacuate Before Major Storms
Scientists noticed that golden-winged warblers left town days before a tornado in Tennessee and returned afterwards. It could be they were able to hear the infrasound from the approaching storm system. Daniel Trim Photography/Getty Images
Scientists noticed that golden-winged warblers left town days before a tornado in Tennessee and returned afterwards. It could be they were able to hear the infrasound from the approaching storm system. Daniel Trim Photography/Getty Images

For many years people have believed that birds fly low when a storm is approaching, and high in fair weather. The idea behind this is that increased air pressure commonly caused by storm systems is painful to birds, so they opt to skim the earth, rather than the clouds, when in flight [source: Mother Nature Network].

Recent findings may have one-upped that theory, suggesting that birds actually possess the capability to evacuate before bad weather hits. Scientists studying a group of Tennessee-based golden-winged warblers documented that the birds flew south in advance of a devastating tornado and made their way back a few days later, when everything had settled. The scientists hypothesize that the birds heard infrasound (a low-frequency noise) coming from an approaching storm system days in advance and very smartly got out of town before catastrophe struck. This ability to detect infrasound helps our feathered friends settle on migration patterns because they can identify treacherous weather far before they can see it – sort of like built-in weather radar [source: Arnold]. Meteorologists, eat your hearts out!