Pat Shingleton for Dec. 21, 2012

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Welcome to Winter. The direction of the wind is a determining factor as to changing weather conditions. In my younger days, my grandfather would ask us to “check that thar weather vane” on top of the house.

As noted in a previous column, where many weathervanes on barns and towers included animals, birds and other objects, our weather vane was a simple, four-point directional vane connected to a lightning rod.

Once we would report to him where the arrow was pointing, he’d make his weather prediction.

Winds from the south noted a warm period and if the vane was pointing south, cold.

Today is St. Thomas Day, and weather tradition states “in which quarter the wind lies, it will keep blowing from that direction for three months.”

Fastcast: Staying cold.