July Is A Month Full Of Weather Lore

July is the start of many summer events that prompted a wave of weather folklore sayings. See the list!

If you dive into any dictionary to explore the meaning of “lore,” you’ll find it described as a body of knowledge, often traditional or anecdotal, that revolves around a particular subject.” At Farmers’ Almanac, we’re enthusiasts of weather lore, and July’s anecdotes have a special charm!

The Dog Days of Summer Kick Off

Jack Russell Terrier taking a drink from a garden hose.

July 3rd marks the beginning of the “Dog Days of Summer.” Spanning from July 3rd to August 11th, this period marks when the Sun aligns with Sirius, the Dog Star. In ancient times, people believed that this celestial event resulted in scorching hot weather when Sirius and the Sun worked together.

Important July Dates And Their Weather Lore Connections

Sky - Clouds puffy white clouds.

July 4th — Knee-High By The Fourth of July – This is an old saying once used by farmers to measure the success of their corn crops—if it had grown knee-high by Independence Day, it was a good sign and meant they could count on high yields for the year. Today, due to the advancements in agriculture, growing techniques, and better disease and pest control, corn farmers can expect plants to reach 8 feet by July, according to the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Now, knee-high doesn’t quite measure up!

July 15St. Swithin’s Dayif on St. Swithin’s Day ye do rain, for forty days it will remain.

July 25Puffy white clouds on this day foretells much snow in the coming winter.

July 26St. Anne’s Day — Rain on St. Anne’s will continue for a month and a week.

Puffy white clouds on July 25th foretell a snowy winter.

But there are many more sayings.

More July Weather Lore: you heard any of these?

If ant hills are high in July,
winter will be snowy.

If the sky beyond the clouds is blue,
Be glad, there is a picnic for you.

When wind comes before rain,
Soon you may make sail again.

For I fear a hurricane;
Last night the moon had a golden ring,
And tonight no moon we see.

When the moon is in the north,
The skillful fisher goes not forth;
When the wind is in the east,
‘Tis good for neither man nor beast;

When the wind is in the south,
It blows the flies in the fish’s Mouth;
But when the win is in the west,
There it is the very best.

Know any other weather lore sayings associated with July? Share them with us here!

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My grandfather taught me when I was very young that if you see cows laying down it is going to rain. If you see cows standing in a circle with heads in, it is going to be very high winds, or other bad weather, like blizzards. So far from what I have seen in over 30 years, it is true.

Sandi Duncan

Hi Patsy,
Ahh the wisdom of our grandparent. Thanks for sharing. We had heard of the laying down one but not the circle. Thanks for sharing.

Carol Satterlee

Knee high by the 4th of July, or as high as an elephant’s eye

Barb in NH

My Dad used to say “Rain at 7…Sun by 11.”
Seemed to be true. I would wash my clothes on a rainy morning and hang them on the clothes line by lunch time and bring them in, all dried, by supper.


My dad used to say, “In time, we will only know the changing of the seasons by the falling of the leaves.”

Jennifer Comer

I love the almanac

Susan Higgins

Thanks, Jennifer! We love fans like you!

Mary Jane Joyner

I always heard it doesn’t rain the nights of July but if it does it will realy be a good heavy rain


This one is good anytime/any month — Rain on Monday … rain on four more days of the week.


Red at night sailors delight
Red in the morn sailors be warned

Deb Graham

Once you hear the song of the cicada, it signals the return of the monsoon weather pattern and 6 weeks until the first frost. I heard a cicada last night for the first time.


Corn should be: Knee high by the 4th of July.


My Aunt Ruth always said…..If there is enough blue in the sky to make a pair if pants , it will be a nice day.


On July 25 the clouds in the sky are supposed to be “white puffy clouds” to determine how much snow we will be receiving. What if the clouds aren’t “white puffy clouds”? What if they are dark rain clouds (I could hope). Does the weather lore still hold true?

Janet Moses

I wondered the same thing. However, today, here in Virginia, the sky is full of white puffy clouds, lol. So, we shall see what this winter brings.


I have heard many of these sayings in my lifetime from my grandmother and my mother. The one I am paying most attention to now is the dog days saying….if it rains on the first day of dog days it will rain everyday for 30 days….I’ve watched it over the years and it is true.


In Texas when we see the katydids, it means the first mosquitoes will follow.


If there are LOTS of wooly caterpillars – foretelling of a harse winter. This panned out a few years ago in Colorado. We had LOTS of snow where we normally don’t have that much and for that long…..there were many of those little critters in the fall!

Bob Herndon

When you see the first Katydid, mark the date. It will be 90 days until the first frost. (I have seen it over the last 30 years have remarkable accuracy. Sometimes it would be a cold snap without actual frost, but most of the time there was frost.)

Janet Moses

That’s interesting, I am in a rural county in Virginia, a town called Afton. I haven’t seen any Katydid’s for a long time


When the wind is in the east,
‘Tis neither good for man or beast;
When the wind is in the north,
The skillful fisher goes not forth;
When the wind is in the south,
It blows the bait in the fishes’ mouth;
When the wind is in the west,
Then tis at it’s very best.


Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

Farada Nagel

Red clouds in the morning, sailor take warning.


The first full moon in the sign of Cancer is variously known as the Melon Moon or the Thunder Moon, and if it comes late here, it is said to foretell a late rainy season. The first full moon of Leo sometimes falls in July. That moon is known locally as the Hurricane Moon, because, although the official start of the hurricane season is June 1, it is rare for a hurricane to menace Florida before this moon is in the sky.

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