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History of the Weather Stick

Also known as a Maine Weather Stick, Maine is a state of the United States. It is probably named after the French province of Maine. Another possibility for the name "Maine" is that the people living on islands along the coast of Maine used to speak of going to the mainland as "going over to the Main." Its U.S. postal abbreviation is ME.

Weather comprises all the various phenomena that occur in the atmosphere of a planet. "Weather" is normally taken to mean the activity of these phenomena over a period of a few days. The average weather over a longer period is known as the climate. This aspect of the weather is studied with great interest by climatologists, for any signs of climate change.

The weather stick is a balsam fir. The Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) is an North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada (Newfoundland west to central Alberta) and the northeastern United States (Wisconsin east to Maine, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to West Virginia). It is a small to medium-size evergreen tree typically 14-20 m tall, rarely to 27 m tall, with a narrow conic crown.

The Weather Stick is generally about 40cm (16") long which when mounted outside it will point upward with the onset of good weather (high pressure) and down as bad weather approaches (low pressure). These sticks were first used by the natives of the American northeast and the Canadian east and southeast, who noticed the behavior of dry branches prior to the arrival of weather changes. The weather stick is a rare example of a weather prediction tool which predates the mercury barometer (An instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure).

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