The weather rock or weather stone is a humour display that pokes fun at the intricate technology used in modern weather forecasts, as well as the fact that their accuracy is less than perfect. A rock is typically hung from a tripod and accompanied by a sign indicating how to read it.
Some examples of the instructions commonly provided for "reading" a weather rock include:
- If the rock is wet, it's raining.
- If the rock is swinging, the wind is blowing.
- If the rock casts a shadow, the sun is shining.
- If the rock does not cast a shadow and is not wet, the sky is cloudy.
- If the rock is difficult to see, it is foggy.
- If the rock is white, it is snowing.
- If the rock is coated with ice, there is a frost.
- If the ice is thick, it's a heavy frost.
- If the rock is bouncing, there is an earthquake.
- If the rock is under water, there is a flood.
- If the rock is warm, it is sunny.
- If the rock is missing, there was a tornado.
- If the rock is wet and swinging violently, there is a hurricane.
- If the rock can be felt but not seen, it is night time.
- If the rock has white splats on it, watch out for birds.
- If there are two rocks, stop drinking, you are drunk.
Weather rocks will also sometimes include rules for proper maintenance of the system such as, "Please do not disturb the weather rock, it is a finely tuned instrument!"
In certain circumstances the string may be incorporated into the saying:
- If the string is on fire then there is a bushfire.
- If the string is cut a Wendigo has passed by.
This section possibly contains original research. (March 2019)
Weather rocks are located all over the world. Some examples include:
- The weather rock at Fort Drum, a US military site in New York
- In the Nature Area at Camp Rotary, a Boy Scout summer camp located in Clare, Michigan
- Camp Wolfeboro, a Boy Scout summer camp in Arnold, California
- Camp Yawgoog, a Boy Scout summer camp at the Yawgoog Scout Reservation in Rockville, Rhode Island
- The Donner's Pass Historic Site, near Lake Tahoe, CA
- Bloomington Zoo in Central Illinois
- In Rhododendron, Oregon, near the Zigzag River off Road 10
- On Spangler Road near Highway 213 in Oregon City, Oregon
- At the Pancake Bay Trading Post, near Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
- Boron, California, in front of Domingo's Mexican and Seafood Restaurant, a famous astronaut hangout near Edwards Air Force Base
- Seven Ranges Boy Scout Reservation in Kensington, Ohio
- Firelands Scout Reservation in Wakeman, Ohio
- Outside the McDonald's restaurant in Lithgow, NSW, Australia
- Tenterfield in NSW, Australia
- Pannawonica in WA, Australia
- Oostdorp, the Netherlands
- Nature Camp in Vesuvius, Virginia
- Whippi Dip ice cream store, at the Pontaluna road in Spring Lake, MI, near Hoffmaster State Park
- Lobster Pot Tea-room on the island of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland
- Lynnhaven Inlet Fishing Pier in Virginia Beach
- The Halyards Hotel in Port Alfred, South Africa
- The Kia Kima Scout Reservation in Hardy, Arkansas
- Casa Sul Lago, USA