Being The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we LOVE some good folklore! Although our special formula for predicting the weather with 80% accuracy is kept under lock and key, we love to test out these other great ways to predict the weather—through animals and watching our gardens grow! We challenge you to try this out for yourself and let us know if these predictions hold true!
SURE-FIRE Methods for Predicting the Weather
Yes, the Animals and Birds Know
- Sheep run to and fro, jump from the ground, and fight in their gambols before a change of weather.
- When cattle lie out, or pigs lie down for the night without covering themselves with litter, fine weather will continue.
- Asses hanging their ears forward or rubbing themselves against walls or trees prognosticate rain.
- Cats remaining indoors, devoid of vivacity, forecast wet or windy weather.
- Frogs croaking more than usual, moles throwing up more soil than usual, toads in great numbers, and oxen licking their forefeet all mean rain.
- Swallows flying near the ground, robins coming near the house, and sparrows chirping a great deal all mean rain or wind.
- If the kingfisher disappears, expect fine weather.
Using Flowers and Vegetables
- The common chickweed (Stellaria media) has a small white flower that, if closed, means that rain is close at hand. In dry weather, it is regularly open from 9:00 in the morning until noon.
- When the African marigold remains closed after 8:00 A.M. or before 5:00 P.M., rain may be expected.
- Many other flower varieties close their petals as rain or night approaches, opening them again after the rain or when morning comes. Examples include germander, speedwell, red campion, wood sorrel, Hieraciums, succor, common daisies, wintergreen, and white water lily.
- Watch for rain if any of the following open later or close earlier than usual: day lily (opens at 7:00 A.M., closes at 7:00 P.M.); dandelion (opens at 7:00 A.M., closes at 8:00 P.M.); lettuce (opens at 8:00 A.M., closes at 9:00 P.M.).
- Plenty of berries or acorns indicates a severe winter ahead. Thin and delicate onion skins mean a mild winter.
If you would like to get this year’s weather predictions, we suggest that you pick up your own copy of The 2015 Old Farmer’s Almanac in stores and at Almanac.com now!