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(texte français: cliquez ici)   Weather prediction


Old Lipariot fishermen predict the weather from the activity of the Stromboli and from the direction of its smokes. Is this practice a weak echo of the knowledge accumulated by ancient Greek and Roman scholars ?
Winds of Lipari islands
Aeolus' kingdom
3 Squall phenomenon
4 Extract from ship's log
5 Signs of squall
6 Meteorological explanation
7 Weather prediction
Stakes of weather prediction
The plume of smoke spitted by Stromboli, a sign for the fishermen living in the Eolian Islands to prognosticate the coming weather.
Before putting out to sea most fishermen look at the activity of the volcano : the intensity of its projections, the colour and direction of its smokes, the force and frequency of its explosions. Many proverbs explicit these practices : "Strummuli non fa marinaru" : a sudden activity of the volcano is a sign of bad weather. Or, when the Stromboli spits out tappi di fuoco (stony emissions accompanied with flames anf explosions) : "Quando Stromboli fa fanalui o ¦ sciroccu o ¦ mastraeli" : when the Stromboli shines like a lantern, there will be sirocco or mistral. Travelers of previous centuries already noted that fishermen of these islands had a strange tendency to connect volcanism with meteorology (...). Weather prediction from the activity of Aeolian volcanoes date back indeed to remote antiquity. Plinus, Strabo, Diodores of Sicily mention it abundantly. They all refer more or less directly to the Odyssey that presents Aeolus on its bronze island as the lord of winds. Could this association of volcanic and atmospheric activities in the sailors' consciousness, far from being crude, be the weak echo of the knowledge accumulated by ancient Greek and Roman scholars ? Are not the comments and proverbs we collected from modest fishermen the ultimate version, still well organized, of the verses sung by Greek aedes on their lyre ? next
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