Ponds Begin to Bubble
If you’re at a lake that begins to bubble, you may want to move away from trees or anything else that could fall—an earthquake could be on its way. The bubbles are caused by pockets of gas that begin to escape when the ground moves. You won’t have time to leave, but you know ahead of time that you should move away from tall objects that could fall over.
J-Shaped trees are hilarious to see when you’re hiking, but be wary. A patch of J-shaped trees could be a sign that a landslide could happen. This happens because the ground is very slowly moving, making the trees grow in an odd way.
Hair Standing on End
Hair standing on end can be kinda funny if you don’t know what it means. When you learn what it means, it’s much less comedic. Hair standing on ends indicates that the area will receive a lightning strike. If you can’t get inside, get low to the ground while standing on the balls of your feet.
Cracking in the Ground
A good sign that a landslide is imminent is cracking in the ground, whether it be in the sidewalk, street, or dirt. We’re not talking about cracks that very slowly creep up. These usually appear pretty suddenly and in an area that’s sloped.
There are Bands in the Sky
If you’re looking up at the sky and you see bands or streaks, a storm is coming. These are called “inflow bands,” and it’s when a storm is pulling low-level air into it from far away. Professional storm chasers will use these inflow bands to figure out if a tornado will form, so they have a chance to warn everyone in the area.
The Sky is Green
The sky isn’t supposed to be green; that’s just a fact. If you do see a green sky, seek shelter. The sky turns this color when a storm is exceptionally tall and has the potential to produce tornados. Even if tornadoes don’t happen, large hail could fall and cause some major damage.
Sudden Ocean Level Drops
You never want to be near the ocean if the tide starts to suddenly recede. This could mean that a tsunami is on its way. This is particularly true if there’s been a recent, major earthquake in the area. Earthquakes can cause a huge shift in the ocean, sending a tsunami to shore.
Water is Brown and Muddy
If you’re looking at a stream that’s ordinarily clear but is now muddy and dirty, a flood is on its way. Water can become brown and muddy when sediment breaks loose and becomes swept up by sudden influxes of water.
Metal Objects Vibrate, Buzz, or Crackle
Metal objects aren’t supposed to vibrate, buzz, or crackle. If this is happening, then that means that the area you’re in could be struck by lightning. The metal object is getting charged from the electricity in the air. Go inside if possible. If you can’t, get as low to the ground as possible while avoiding any tall structures.
The Ocean has Square Waves
Square waves? Yes, square waves. If you’ve never seen them, consider yourself lucky. They occur when two wave systems run into each other. It’s pretty to look at it, but it can be dangerous to swimmers, ships, and surfers. The scariest part is that it can happen pretty close to shore, which can cause people to drown pretty easily.
Clouds are Funneling Down
Those who live in tornado alley know that a funnel cloud is dangerous, even if it doesn’t touch all the way down on the ground. These types of tornadoes are still sweeping up debris at the base—something you won’t see until it’s too late. If you see a funnel cloud, go somewhere without windows and huddle.
Water Levels Dramatically Rise
Does a stream or river look like it’s rising a little more than usual? Get to higher ground! Even if there hasn’t been a lot of rain in your area, you can still experience flooding. When another place received a lot of rain, rivers swell as a result. The water must go somewhere, so it rushes through every state until it reaches the ocean.
Tons of Fish on the Beach
Basically, any time there’s dead animals somewhere, don’t be there. If you see dead fish on the beach, they didn’t get there by accident. A couple of things can cause lots of dead fish. The first could be a tsunami or hurricane. The second is scarier. It’s possible that there’s a “red tide,” when the water turns a reddish color due to toxic algae blooms.
There are Wall Clouds
Have you ever seen a cloud that super low? This is called a wall cloud, and it’s when an area of a cloud drops from the sky due to rotation. When you hear clouds and rotation, you should think “tornadoes.” Don’t confuse this with a shelf cloud, however. A shelf cloud covers the entire horizon, while a wall cloud is one area (although they can be as large as five miles long).
Animals Start Leaving
Animals are usually pretty good at predicting bad weather and natural disasters. That’s why dogs get scared before a big storm, but it can be more than that. Back in ancient Greece, people reported animals and insects migrating en masse prior to an earthquake. This still reigns true today.
Snow Feels Hallow and Cracks
Avalanches are one of the most terrifying things that can happen in nature. Many people think there’s no way of predicting them, but that’s all wrong. When you’re walking around, pay attention to the consistency of the snow. If it feels hallow or cracks under your foot, leave the area. This means that an avalanche could occur, and that goes double if there’s been rain recently.
Volcanoes Get Gassy
Some volcanoes are a little gassy all the time no matter how many Tums you throw in. That being said, if a volcano gets extra gassy or an inactive one pumps out a little gas, leave immediately—it’s about to erupt! Along with being gassy, volcanoes tend to swell, but that’s something you’re probably not going to notice unless you’re an expert.
The Sky is Red in the Morning
There’s an old saying that goes, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.” A red sunrise means that there’s a high-pressure system is on its way, so storms are very likely. A red sky at night is less concerning because it means the storm is heading out.
Sharks Swimming Deeper into the Ocean
When sharks run away, then you know it’s serious. If sharks are swimming deeper into the ocean, then that’s a good sign a hurricane is on the way. They do this because they sense a drop in barometric pressure, and they’re trying to bail before things get ugly.
Streams Change Direction
You know when people say streams and rivers change direction when there’s an earthquake? That’s actually true! Sometimes, streams change direction during an earthquake. Even larger rivers can be impacted! Scary, but it’s also a little cool, right?
Animals Running Toward People
Clouds are Growing Tall and Dense
Tall, dense clouds are called “cumulonimbus,” and they’re the type of clouds that form before and during a thunderstorm. They’re created when water vapor is hoisted upward by air currents. They’re also known as “thunderheads.” When you see them, head inside.
There’s a Ring Around the Moon or Sun
A ring or halo around the sun or moon is caused by a cirrus cloud. These are very thin, high-up clouds that split the light as it reaches Earth. While it looks heavenly, cirrus clouds usually occur before a storm—about one or two days prior.
The Ocean Makes a Weird Roaring Noise
The ocean can be beautiful, but it’s also deadly. Sometimes, it can make a loud, roaring noise that sounds like a train. It’s pretty unusual, but you’ll never forget the sound. When this happens, a tsunami is coming, so run for the hills—literally!
A Tree has Deep Cracks or Missing Bark
All things grow and die. It’s the natural circle of life, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious of it. Trees can sometimes have deep cracks or missing bark, which indicates the tree is unhealthy. Unhealthy trees have a habit of falling over, so call a professional tree service. Your house (and wallet) will thank you.
You read that right! Sudden headaches can be a big sign that nature is about to strike. You can get headaches when the barometric pressure drops from an incoming storm or hurricane. For hurricanes, it usually happens around 30 to 36 hours before the actual storm hits land. Low barometric pressure can also cause low blood pressure.
Several Small Earthquakes
It’s well known that a lot of small earthquakes could be a massive signal that “the big one” is coming. Most often, this happens where earthquakes are prone, like California. Most of the earthquakes will be small—around magnitude three or so. Sometimes these little earthquakes can occur as much as an hour before a larger one hits.
Metallic Taste in Mouth
This is one of the scarier signs on the list. When lightning is about to strike, you may have a metallic or sour taste in your mouth. It’s caused by a rush of ions in the sky and the ozone. The air reacts with your spit and creates an acidic taste that’s metallic for some and sour for others. If you start tasting metal or sour, get safe!
A Brightly Colored Animal
Brightly colored animals are beautiful—there’s no denying that. However, bright colors are nature’s way of telling you the animal is dangerous. Snakes can be a great example of bright colors meaning danger. A coral snake has bright yellow and red stripes to tell everyone that it’s venomous. While some animals sport bright colors without being poisonous (king snake), it’s better to be safe than sorry.
All Golden-Winged Warblers Disappear
You may not notice golden-winged warblers until today, but you’ll keep an eye out after reading this. In 2014, a group of researchers was studying golden-winged warblers when they all disappeared. A huge storm hit, and the warblers returned. Lots of warblers: good. No warblers: bad.