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Weather Predicting Folklore

Updated on August 9, 2015

Folklore Weather Predicting - Accurate or Amusing

Many put down folklore weather predicting down to make believe stories or sayings that have been created to amuse one. There is more truth to the folklore sayings than you might believe. Folklore is directly based on observations of nature, the sky and the animals. For the men and women of the past their very life depended on being able to accurately predict the weather.

There are many, many different folklore sayings involving weather predictions. Some of them amusing and some of them based on good old common sense. I have included both types. Keep in mind as you read, these weather predicting folklore sayings are based on many years of watching animals and nature. Many of them are quite accurate.

Preditions involving animals

  • If birds sing in the rain, fair weather is coming.
  • When herons fly up and down as if in doubt about where to nest, expect rain.
  • If bears and horses get thick coats early, then expect a severe winter.
  • When seagulls fly inland, expect a storm.
  • When ants travel in a straight line, expect rain: when scattered, expect fair weather.
  • When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.
  • If wasps build their nests high, a severe winter is on its way.
  • When pigs gather leaves and straw in all, expect a cold winter.
  • If cows lie down and refuse to go to pasture, you can expect a storm to blow up soon
  • Mare's tails and mackerel scales make tall ships take in their sails.
  • If a rooster crows at night, there will be rain by morning.
  • Locusts sing when the air is hot and dry.
  • When toads appear in large numbers, you can expect rain.
  • Squirrels are busier gathering nuts before a bad winter.
  • When toads appear in large numbers, you can expect rain.
  • Seagull, seagull sit on the sand, it’s never good weather when you’re on land.


Predictions involving nature

  • Red sky at morning, sailor take warning; red sky at night, a sailor's delight.
  • If the sail no longer catches the wind, then expect a violent storm to blow up in just a few hours.
  • Thicker acorn shells mean an extra-cold winter.
  • When leaves show their back, rain we won't lack.
  • When the chairs squeak, it's of rain they speak.
  • When the bushes are full of berries, a hard winter is on the way.
  • The brighter the fall foliage, the colder and snowier the winter ahead
  • If salt pork turns sour, then be ready for a shower.
  • When the wind is blowing in the East, tis not fit for man nor beast.
  • The first frost of autumn will occur exactly six months after the first thunderstorm in the spring.
  • Rain before seven, clear by eleven.
  • When windows won’t open and the salt clogs the shaker, the weather will favour the umbrella maker!
  • Smoke from a chimney flows toward or settles on the ground, it will be a harsh winter
  • A mild winter precedes a cool spring.
  • If you see lightning during the winter, it will snow in 10 days
  • When ditches and ponds affect the nose, look for rains and stormy blows.
  • If the moon rises red and appears very large, then rain is only a half day away.
  • If trees produce a greater quantity of larger pine cones than usual it will be a severe winter.
  • A dry summer means a cold winter.


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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      janderson99 you would be amazed at how many weather change operations are just as simple.

    • janderson99 profile image

      Dr. John Anderson 

      4 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

      It is interesting that air pressure changes via a barometer can still be used to predict weather changes - very simple concept

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      DDE, back in the day I guess this was the only way they could predict the weather.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome, and it is just so unbelievable at times to know what one has taught us from generations ago.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Eiddwen, I love it. It makes perfect sense.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      kashmir56, it is fun to read folklore - I also love old wives tales.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Genna East, a lot of the sayings are firmly based on logic and instinct. It's fun to read them.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Dolores Monet, some of the folklore sayings are accurate and some are way off. I so enjoy reading about them.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      dahoglund, I'm afraid I would not know how to read ther signs myself. Thanks for reading.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      hawaiianodysseus, there are so many folklore saying that I couldn't included as many as I wanted. I tried to mix ones that are familiar with obscure ones.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful KKG I loved each one and Ihave another to add to your list.

      If the cows are all huddled together in one corner of the field then it will rain ????

      Thanks again for this gem.


    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      This was a very interesting read and have enjoyed these folklore weather predictions . Some I've heard before and some not.

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Fascinating hub. I believe in a lot of this folklore. Especially, “If cows lie down and refuse to go to pasture, you can expect a storm to blow up soon.” Well done. Cheers! :-)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love those old weather folk predictions. So many of them make sense but I just don't trust the ones where plants and animals predict winter months in advance. Like the one that claims a tree or shrub with a ton of berries in fall means a tough winter - the berries are for the birds to eat. So how does the bush know winter will be cold. I suspect it has more to do with summer rainfall. Loved the hub. (Voted up for being awesome!)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I am so far removed from nature knowledge that I am afraid I would not recognize these signs. However, when peoples lives and livelihood depend on it, you learn things like this. up votes and sharing.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I'd heard some of these folklore sayings, but your very informative hub fleshed several of them as well as others out for me. Thank you for sharing, KoffeeKlatch Gals! Blessings and aloha from the Pacific Northwest where many of these sayings phenomenally are proven, year in and year out!


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