Weather On St. Swithin’s Day (July 15): Will It Rain For 40 Days?

According to folklore, the weather on St. Swithin's Day determines the weather for the next 40 days. Learn why.

What’s the weather doing outside your window today? July 15th is St. Swithin’s Day, a church holiday honoring St. Swithin (also spelled Swithun), and according to folklore, the weather on this day will determine the weather for the next 40 days.

If on St. Swithin’s Day, ye do rain
for forty days, it will remain.
If on St. Swithin’s Day, it be fair
For forty days, t’will rain no more.

Who Was St. Swithin?

St. Swithin was a medieval Ango-Saxon bishop who lived in the 9th century and died as the Bishop of Winchester in 862. He was buried, according to his wishes, outside the walls of the Cathedral, “where the rain could fall and comfort him” and “steps of passersby might fall on his grave.”

But over a century later, on July 15, 971, due to an expansion of the Cathedral, his body was removed and placed inside the cathedral, contrary to his wishes. According to legend, after his body was moved inside, a terrible storm ensued. Heavy rain stopped the priests from doing their work. They could not resume until the next day, but yet the rain continued for 40 days. Thus the saying seems to be more legend than weather prediction.

In addition to his role in this old lore, St. Swithin is also one of the saints traditionally prayed to during periods of drought.

Is There Any Truth To It?

Like many weather folklore sayings, the St. Swithin’s Day legend has been passed down from generations. And as far as record-keeping goes back, there hasn’t been rain (or sun) for 40 days following the weather on St. Swithin’s Day that historians can locate. While the thought of 40 days of rain isn’t likely very appealing to most, chances are, it doesn’t sound too bad to those experiencing drought conditions.

For those of you sweating it out under hot, dry skies, here’s hoping, in the name of St. Swithin, that you get some rain soon!

Read about the Man Who Could Make It Rain.

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!

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Melvin reeves

My grandad talked about the heat here in Bloomington

Rena Brannd

This is also very true… If a woman knows about the week she gets pregnant start from that week even if the full moon is in that week count each full moon from that week she conceived thru every month until she counts 10 full moons and her baby will be born in the week of her 10th full moon…. If she knows the exact day she conceived count 10 full moons from that day and the baby will be born within 72 hours from the last(10th) full moon. COUNT ONLY THE FULL MOONS EVEN IF ONE MONTH HAS 2 IN IT YOU COUNT BOTH.


We’re having lots of rain in the Deep South right now and that’s okay by me. Please, just slow down the rate at which the grass grows.


Oh please our Heavenly Father God, let it rain today, so it shall renew & refresh all our land!!!!!


The Thunder Moon came in shortly after 2:30 A.M., accompanied by long, low drumrolls of distant thunder. Today, the famous I-4 Corridor/ Thunder Road storms set in, and we should, indeed, have them every day until September… not because of blessed St. Swithin, but because of the Florida rainy season.

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