There are days when being able to accurately predict the weather is a desirable superpower—particularly in the rain-filled month of April. But Karen from Mean Girls might have actually been on to something, as according to experts, it’s not such a superhuman ability after all: Your body is actually skilled at being able to detect and subtly hint that a rainstorm is coming.
“Your body can, in some ways, predict an upcoming change in the weather because of barometric pressure (AKA the weight of the atmosphere).” —Dr. Jaspal Singh
To forecast the weather, meteorologists examine atmospheric pressure changes—which your body’s joints do on their own. “Your body can, in some ways, predict an upcoming change in the weather because of barometric pressure (AKA the weight of the atmosphere),” Jaspal Singh, MD, and co-director of the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care, told The New York Times.
Essentially, your body reacts to changes in the atmospheric pressure. Normal and high levels of pressure keep your body from expanding, but when the weather is gloomy (think dampness, rain, snow), the pressure drops, thereby making your body expand. That can cause jostling among your joints, leading to discomfort, aches, and pains, which is why you might have heard people who have arthritis mention that they have an uncanny ability to predict when it’s going to rain.
Unfortunately, as far as science can tell, there’s no way to reverse this power to predict when sunny days and clear skies are coming, since only decreases in barometric pressure cause the body to expand. But regardless of what your body is subliminally telling you, you can always add a chic sheer raincoat to your wardrobe so no weather obscures your on-point spring style.
When the weather is chilly, here’s what you need to know about staying hydrated and keeping up your vitamin D levels.
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