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5 Ways You Can Predict the Weather

Become your own weather forecaster. Check out these 5 weather sayings and learn what they mean.

Don’t let it rain on your parade or beach day! Check out these weather sayings then commit them to memory. Let us know how accurate they are too.

1. Hoping for a nice, dry day? Check for dew on the grass. According to weather lore:

When the dew is on the grass
Rain will never come to pass.
When grass is dry at morning light,
Look for rain before the night.

Why? If dew has time to form on the ground overnight, it means the night was clear without any clouds. Clear skies allow the earth to cool, and water to condense in the form of dew (or frost at cooler times of the year). If the night is cloudy, the clouds act as a heat barrier keeping the heat in and not allowing dew to form. This saying assumes that if the night skies are clear, the day following will also be cloud-free.

2. Tails have it. No, we’re not talking coins; we’re talking horses and cattle. According to lore:

Tails pointing west,
Weather’s at its best.
Tails pointing east,
Weather is least.

If  you can locate a cow or horse, note which way their tails are facing. People have observed that cows and horses prefer not to have the wind blowing in their faces, so they usually stand with their backs to the wind. Since westerly winds typically mean arriving or continuing fair weather and easterly winds usually indicate arriving or continuing unsettled weather, a tail is as good a way as any of knowing what the weather will be up to for the next few hours.

3. Summer fog means fair weather is on its way. Fog is made up of condensed water droplets which are the result of the air being cooled to the point where it can no longer hold water vapors. In the summer, the air can only cool enough if the night sky is clear enough that the heat can be radiated into space. If the night is cloudy, the clouds act as a blanket to keep it in. If you see a fog during the summer, it usually means that the next day will be clear. Here’s the rhyme:

Summer fog for fair,
A winter fog for rain.
A fact most everywhere,
In valley or on plain.

4. Think Fish. There are many weather sayings that are associated with fish. If you fish, you know the weather is a factor in how successful (or not) you’ll be that day. This lore has to do with trout. The saying goes:

Trout jump high,
when a rain is nigh.

The belief behind this lore is that when air pressure lowers, gasses created by decaying plant matter, which resides on the bottom of the lake or body of water, begin to release. This, in turn, causes the tiny microorganisms that live in these plants to be released into the water, creating a feeding frenzy among the fish. This frenzy sometimes causes the little fish and big fish to start jumping around. Thus the saying.

5. If the rooster crows on going to bed, You may rise with a watery head. Many people believe that animals, especially birds, can sense when there’s a decrease in air pressure. People have observed that an approaching storm makes birds restless. And when a rooster can’t rest, he tends to crow more.

Have you ever used signs from nature to predict the weather? Share your experiences below.

Sandi Duncan is the Managing Editor of the Farmers' Almanac. Click here to read Sandi's full biography.

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Bill

I’ve been told by my grandfather and father that if cows are standing fishing is good. If they are lying down fishing isn’t good. I’ve never actually tested this wise tale, but it sounds logical.

Jenny

I know when a storm is coming whether it be rain or snow because I get a miserable migraine. Low pressure = unbearable head pain. Usually a day before for me. I live in the upper north east. When a hurricane is brewing down south waters, my headaches begin and last days on end.

Dusty

Yes I totally agree! I actually will throw up if there’s going to be a big snowstorm coming at least 12hours before it arrives or longer. Same in the summer if a big rain is coming. Live in Wisconsin and these storms haven’t been bad last year but I don’t know how much longer I can handle? 2 years ago I couldn’t sleep the night before or I would stay up, because I would wake up either with a migraine from hell! Or I will be throwing up. Grrrrr

Jan Humphrey

My Grandfather said to watch the amount of extra fur the animals began to grow in the fall preparing for winter. If they became heavy with fur, there was a really cold winter ahead. If not, winter wouldn’t be quite so bad. I’ve watched all our animals for 60 years. It hasn’t failed me in 60 years. Then watch at how they shed in the spring to prepare for summer and you can predict the summer weather.

Dusty

I cannot tell you where to look for this information I was always told by this old man to take the wind direction the first 3 days that’ll tell you your outcome of the season. Like this fall. 18th,19th,20th, we have had mainly a SE WIND. So it should mainly be that wind direction for the entire fall. So if I remember that means a lot of precipitation. Or cold from the west meeting warm weather be alot of snow. If anyone knows please refresh my memory.
Thanks

Gretchen Saaduddin

To Jennifer….the reason you started feeling lousy before weather changes in 2009 was because that year was the major rollout of geoengineering and the actual creation of weather. Hurricane Sandy was produced by HAARP manipilation of chemtrails. You could actually watch HAARP steering the storm in an unprecidented turn, in an unprecidented direction with both rain and snow. These days I get severe migrains with each weather change, and we have red skies in the morning and at sunset. The reason I found this website is because we were supposed to have a bad rain today, but it is sunny, even though the same websites have both predictions. Weathermen can no longer do their jobs, and many of these very good weather indicaters will be useless. I can tell you, my farmgirl Mom used to be excellent at predicting weather, and The Farmers’Almanac was absolutely uncanny in its accuracy. Too bad man is trying to do God’s work. This manipulation of weather is also responsible for the California drought, and making Monsanto and Nestle very wealthy.

Dusty

I totally agree with u! I really would love to hear more about this and understand.
It seems to be very quiet. I was told that China and USA had a argument, and that is y that big hurricane i believe hit Hawaii? Or somewhere in the area.

Brian

As a farmer I always marked the calender 90 days and 100 days after fog.If it wasn’t raining in the morning of the 90th day then I cut my hay because I had 10 days before rain to get my hay up dry, this was accurate about 99 % of the time.I farmed for 40 years. I live in Canada always new in March what day I would start making hay in June either 90 or 100 days from the fog.

Jacob Sumner

Dogs are skiddish when it’s about to rain. I’ve witnessed this with my dog and many of my friends dogs.

Glenn Ryzebol

Someone once told me that if the crab apple trees are loaded with apples, that a harsh winter was on it`s way. I do commercial and industrial snow removal in winter and since I heard this, 10 years ago or so, the crab apple trees have not been wrong yet. Lots of apples? tonnes of snow and/or brutal cold. Few apples; less snow and less cold

Jay Johnson

My great grandma , who was part Cherokee , used ta say …a hundred days from a fog it either rains or it snows……works more often than not, if ya have fog calculate 100 days from that date and mark calendar. Obviously if winter months snow …rain in other months.

onefeather

If you see cows laying down it will rain, this I always go by and it is right even if it does not rain that day and sometimes the next but by the third day we will have rain. My little 4 pound Chihuahua lets me know when a storm/lighting is on it’s way, she gets very nervous and I have to hold her, Look at a persimmon, cut it open, if you see the center looks like a Knife it says ice/icy a fork says light powder snow or light snow, a spoon it means heavy wet snow.

Carolyn

When the leaves turn over to the lighter side, it means the wind has changed direction and the rain is on its way.

Janet Thames

My grandfather would say ~ ring around the moon rain before noon ~

Andrea

My grandmother used to say that if March came in like a lion it would go out like a lamb, and vice versa. Meaning if it came in windy it would end mildly but if I came in calmly we’d have strong winds before the end of the month.

Jen

My grandpa was in the navy and shared with us a way to tell if a storm was near. He always said this rhyme: Red clouds in the morning the sailors give warning. Red clouds at night, sailors delight.

slashbaylor98

If mostly all cows are laying down in a pasture there is rain soon. Always found to be true.

Thelma Kilman

I remember my daddy telling me that if someone killed a snake they should turn it belly up over a fence or lay it down on the ground. That this way it would rain. He work in the fields back then. One day he was out on a field and his boss came up to him. As they were talking my daddy saw a snake. He killed the snake and laid it belly up on a post. His boss asked him why he did that. My daddy told him so it would rain. Of course his boss snickered as walked off. A few hours later it became very cloudy and then the rain started coming down hard. His boss came just in time as my daddy was getting in his truck. His boss told him, “I guess it is true about the snake belly up.”

midilang3

Hickory nuts have two shell’s..the thicker the first outside shell, the harder the winter. Plus, you will notice that the squirrel’s will be really busy storing up extra nuts for the hard winter months ahead.

carolann

The leaves turn up…..that means they are preparing to catch the rain. It always seems to work in my yard ! ” )

Candy A

I live on the Gulf Coast. I watch the seagulls. If the are standing in a large grouping all facing the sea we are in for a storm off the gulf. The further from the beach, the bigger the storm. They tend to hang out at the golf course five miles north of the beach if twe are getting any tropical storm type weather. Better than a computer model tracker.

Melissa

Cat’s laying on their back with feet up indicates a storm coming.

Angela Mariano

My grandpa always used to say, when the crickets are yelling in the morning, expect a really hot day (it’s an old Sicilian saying). I’ve always found that to be true!

Michelle

You might think Im crazy but I have never seen this fail. If you kill a snake and hang it belly up over a fence it will rain either that night or the following morning. We were in a drought for about 2 1/2 months. My friend killed a snake and hung it over the fence and it rained that evening and every day after that for 2 weeks straight!

Jennifer

My grandfather told me and I find it to be true… If it is raining and the sun shining it will also rain the next day. The maple leaf will also turn up just before rain comes. I feel the weather. Just before a low pressure gets here, I hurt all over and usually have to sleep. My skin will burn and random places in my body will twitch, all lessening once the rain starts. I can feel major storms from thousands of miles away, the stronger they are the sooner I will feel it. It started around the year 2009. I was so ill, I wanted to die. I didn’t have internet or tv so no weather forecast for me to consult. I would call my mom, asking her to check what’s going on because I could feel something coming. She would tell me Hurricanes were in the Atlantic, in the gulf, or storms coming from the north west. I could almost swear I must be a walking barometer. I don’t understand what has happened but this connection is very painful. I feel too much and wish it would stop.

Deborah

I completely act we with you on being able to predict storms and tain by pain.
The barometric preside plays havoc on the body.
I got to this page trying to find out why a noisy feild of crickets would suddenly stop chirping.
My body k,Ord.
Stro,g storm coming.(

Dottie

I always know when a storm is on it’s way….especially a lightning storm. My dog who hates storms becomes very restless and starts following me around. And every single time my husband and I are baffled and don’t know why our dog is acting that way until the storm comes and we remember why he was acting that way.

Rboos

Southern hemisphere: “strong winds from the north, strong showers will come when the wind rotates to southwest” – “new spider’s web inside the house: rain; new spider’s web outside the house: good weather”

Wolfgang

When Ants build dams on Dirt roads-rain in a day or 2. When a small wind funnel travels toward the sun counter clockwise – rain coming. When it travels away from the sun clockwise rotation- no rain. Also my Dad always says if it drizzles in the morning before 11 am then it will continue all day. However if it starts after 11 am then it will clear up. Finally a bit of a strange one, but my friend in Germany says it works. You peel an onion and kind of make 12 little boats out of them. Put some salt in them and put them on the window sill at a certain time in December. The next day when you check on them the ones that are wet will tell you which month or months will be rainy.

Synwell

“Rain at seven done by eleven” is what my husband says if it is raining in the morning and it holds true every time.

Also birds will fly close to the ground when the barometer is low or falling.

liecy

When the fysh lie in the sea
Then good weather it will be
But when the fysh lie in the lake
The weather it will break.

Lorraine Measor

Red Sky at Night…..Sailors’ Delight! Red Sky in the Morning …..Sailors’ Warning!

jane adams

my dad always said if smoke goes to the ground will be a change in the weather. live in sw missouri

jessieB

I know we are talking about rain but my daddy taught me that when there is a ring around the moon you count the stars in the ring and that’s how many days till snow arrives.

Regina

Since it’s coming into Dog Days, My parents often said the way dog days sets in is the weather you will have for 40 days. Dog Days sets in July 3, 2014. There was a year I remember when the weather set in raining hard day and night in the area I lived in. It rained hard for 40 days & nights. A friend I had told about Dog Days asked me when it would end and I told him Aug, 11. and sure enough there was no rain for several days in our area after Aug 11. Not sure of the year but it was when the Central and Eastern States flooded and so many people lost their ;life. Another one I remember was the weather set it perfect for me. Mid-70’s during the day and rain during the evening and almost no humidity at all.
The Bible talks of the sky color:
“……When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering…….”

Brenda

My mom always said (and I have actually found this to be uncannily accurate) that when tree frogs holler, there will be stormy weather. I live in the Ozarks, and a few years ago, on May 3, it was an unsettled warm/hot day and the tree frogs hollered a lot. The next day, May 4, the weather was very stormy and unsettled, and Pierce City, MO, area was struck by a tornado.

TDay

The high desert is hard to predict, with mountains, valleys,etc. but predicting wind is easy in the Spring. It is said, ” that only fools and new comers predict the weather in New Mexico.

Sally Ragsdale Harvey

My Grandmaw always told me when there are crows on the ground the rain will come down. And its true. And when the leaves turn over there will be rain. True also…

sandy

rain on easter rain 7 more sundays

sandy

sun n shower won’t last half an hour. when cottonwood flying crappie are biting

Bryan

Marestails [ high altitude cirrus clouds] in the sky, a change in the weather, usually in < 48°

Bryan

Halo around the moon, rain within 48°…………

Isabelle Garcia

My mom always said that you could tell it was gonna rain when the leaves on the trees turned over. I have always looked to the leaves on the trees to forecast rain. It is very accurate.

Sumaya

Back home in Quebec, we say when swallows fly low, there will be rain.

Stephen Bradley

Our old farm manager use to say that when chimney smoke turns toward the ground then snow is on the way.

danyx99@hotmail.com

I look at cloud formation……..hairs mare cirrus…rain within 2 days

Lauren

I always heard the taller the wild onions grew in spring & summer, the harder the winter would be. Same as the more acorns & berries there are the more snow there will be. Also when birds & bugs are quiet, rain is coming.

Carolyn

My Mother used to say if it rains on the first day of the month it would rain fifteen days of that month. Also if it thunders in February you would have a good fruit crop. You can tell if rain is coming by the flies on the pourch and trying to get in the house.

daisyrothschild

Yes, the New England one: Red sky at morning, sailor take warning
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Here in Colorado, when the Oak tree’s leaves fold over backwards, it always is a sign of precipitation. The Oak is the first to drop its leaved in fall when winter truly begins, and the last to leaf out in Spring. That’s when we plant. Used to be we could tell the severity of winter by how fuzzy the catepillars were, but we don’t see many anymore. If they spun cocoons early in the fall, winter wasn’t far off. We’ve been organic 20 years now. We have more birds than ever, they eat the bugs.

DC M

The amount of fur on animals in fall can predict the winter’s severity. Not sure how climate change and/or pollution effects this olde time method. Many tree leaves turn down just before and during rain and up to catch sun.

l k rajkhowa

Itching inside ear of a man may predict rain or fair weather; it depends on man to man whether the ear inside oily or dry. If ear is oily it will be prediction of rain.

Jch

My father came in from outside early in morning nit was a cloudless day a beautiful sunrise I overheard him call my aunt n predicted it was going to hail today sure enough at 2 icloud astorm cloud came from southeast and it started hailing n the sun was still out how did he know that he took it to his death he never told me???????

Maryann

What is the old saying about snow falling at first real fine that it will last a long time?

becky

Curdle clouds up in the sky will never leave this land of ours dry … that’s what my Dad always told me and it is pretty much true! Also ring around the moon means change in the weather – number of stars in the ring will tell you how many days before it hits!

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