Weather Lore: Can Leaves Predict a Storm?

Can you forecast rain based on leaves? Our ancestors did it! See if there's any truth to the old weather lore saying.

When leaves show their undersides, be very sure rain betides.

Weather folklore has always been a big part of the Farmers’ Almanac. Long before there were scientific instruments to measure and predict the weather, people used the only instrument they had: the power of observation.

“Old wives’ tales,” like the one recorded above, came about because people noticed patterns in nature, and passed those observations down from generation to generation. Whereas today, we can just switch on the local news (or crack open a Farmers’ Almanac) to get a weather report, our ancestors had to rely on their senses.

Leaves and Weather Lore

But does seeing the undersides of leaves really mean rain is on the way? In this case, our forebears were definitely onto something. The leaves of deciduous trees, like maples and poplars, do often to turn upward before heavy rain. The leaves are actually reacting to the sudden increase in humidity that usually precedes a storm. Leaves with soft stems can become limp in response to abrupt changes in humidity, allowing the wind to flip them over.

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Farmers' Almanac - Itch
Jaime McLeod

Jaime McLeod is a longtime journalist who has written for a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including She enjoys the outdoors, growing and eating organic food, and is interested in all aspects of natural wellness.

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Paul Curtis

Next time you go shell fishing to watch the birds . Look where they’re going . Look at what they’re looking at . . I live in Plymouth Massachusetts . The towns around Plymouth Bay used to be called
” The Clam Towns”. because there were so many clams here . There were so many lobsters here at one time that the Pilgrims used to feed them to pigs .

Sandi Duncan

Hi Paul,

That’s true – lobsters were s plentiful in Maine years ago, they fed them to prisoners! Thanks for reading and and commenting here.

Rena Brannd

I have always been told by my grandparents and parents and it is true. On the fist day of the month if it is raining or storming it will do the same for 15 days out of the month but not constantly…..

I also have another one that I have seen with my own eyes, on the first day of spring you can take an egg laid that morning and at noon turn it top side down if it stays by its self sitting there then it is an actual sign that the earth is balanced on its axis at that moment and that is the hour spring begins.

Loretta Cogar

Rena, with the leaves I’ve seen that to be the case also. Definitely when rain is approaching the leaves turn up their undersides. I live in North Central West Virginia.


I’ve had an egg to stand in its end several time during the equinox.
We did this at school in my kindergarten class and kids loved it!
The old timers were very smart and observant of nature.
I learned so much from them and now I’m an old timer, passing along what I learned and how to observe the things around us that makes life beautiful! ❤️

Cory lester

think you so much this helpt alot

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