The length of women's skirts is a good way of forecasting whether to expect rain or shine, it has been claimed.
The bizarre claim is the result of a research at Internet auction site eBay, which says that the rises and falls in the length of skirts can be used to predict what the weather will be like three days in advance.
Analysts at the company said the length of skirts sold on the website becomes shorter several days before the weather changes for the better, and lengthens when colder conditions are due.
On occasions, the trend is said to have predicted a shift in the weather before any advice has been issued by the Met Office using more traditional meteorological methods.
Demand for skirts on the site reportedly rose by 200 per cent a week before the recent hot weather began, several days before forecasters had announced it.
"We're calling it mini skirt meteorology. If you want to know what the weather is going to be like in three days, just take a look at hemlines," the Telegraph quoted Ruth Szyszkowski, of eBay, as telling the Daily Mail.