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Comment: What is the story about storms and seeing the backs of
leaves............old wives tale ?

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Ahead of a storm front comes wind. Wind blows the leaves, so you can see the bottoms/backs. The bottom side is often a very different shade from the top side: for instance, in summer maple leaves are a very deep green, but the bottoms are light grayish green.

When the trees change color (because the wind at the edge of the front is blowing the leaves), then a storm's a'comin' (or at least the weather is a'changin').

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The holes on the leaves are only on the bottom side.

So if a plant wants to get some water that might not make it to its roots it has to turn the leaves up so that the "bottom" side gets wet"

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Silver maple trees will "turn" their leaves when rain is expected.

I've seen instances where the weather man is jumping up and down that it's "Gonna Rain!!" but the leaves were still "green"... and it didn't rain.

Then I've seen times where the weather man says, "Dry as a bone today!" but the silver maples' leaves were "silver" (bottom side up), and it rained.

I can't speak for any other flavor of tree.

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We have tons of trees in back of our house- the public golf course's 18th hole is right there. Every leafed tree does that before it rains. I've used that as a guide my whole life (having lived in many places around the country as an Army brat-then-wife). I'm not sure of every tree back there, but we have Oak, Birch, Willow, Maple and Sycamore; and a few very large bush-like trees. They all do that under-side of the leaf thing when it is going to rain.

My parents are former farm kids (from this area, no less) and it is simply something they've always said.

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For what it's worth... around here, summer thunderstorms create a lot of wind which flips over leaves before the actual rain hits. So you see the pale underside of leaves before you get any rain. The winds can be well in advance of the rainstorm, which may lend credence to the tale of "turned-over leaves = going to rain" (since turned-over leaves while it's raining are not nearly as exciting).

So, no scientific proof, just my observations.

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Posts: 31 | From: Durham, NC | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator

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