Next time you see an insect, spider, or other “creepy-crawly,” check out what it’s doing! It could let you know something about the upcoming weather. Check out our weather proverbs and folklore about insects and other creatures.
Insect Weather Folklore
Observe ants, bees, fireflies, and other insects, and you’ll see that they give us cues about upcoming weather, too! Here is folklore from the Almanac archives:
- If ants their walls do frequently build, rain will from the clouds be spilled.
- Ants are busy, gnats bite, crickets sing louder than usual, and flies gather in houses just before rain.
- When bees to distance wing their flight, days are warm and skies are bright; But when their flight ends near their home, stormy weather is sure to come.
- Fireflies in great numbers indicate fair weather.
- When hornets build their nests near the ground, expect a cold and early winter.
- When cicadas are heard, dry weather will follow, and frost will come in six weeks.
The more quickly crickets chirp, the warmer the temperature.
This actually isn’t folklore! Crickets’ chirps are proven to be a measure of temperature. The equation for calculating the temperature (in Fahrenheit) from cricket chirps involves counting the number of chirps in 14 seconds, then adding 40. The resulting number is the approximate outside temperature. Read more about predicting weather with cricket chirps!
Observe spiders and their webs closely to gauge weather.
- When spiders’ webs in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.
- When spiderwebs are wet with dew that soon dries, expect a fine day.
- Spiderwebs floating at autumn sunset; bring a night frost, on this you may bet.
- Spiders move down from their webs before rain.
The Woolly Worms’ Bands
Certainly, many of you may have heard of the woolly bear caterpillar’s ability to forecast winter weather. These caterpillars have black and brown bands; according to folklore, more black than brown indicates a harsh, cold winter, while more brown than black points to a mild winter. Read more about woolly worms!
Reptiles & Amphibians
Observe reptiles and amphibians as weather predictors, too!
- The louder the frogs, the more the rain.
- Frogs singing in the evening indicates fair weather the next day.
- Hang up a snakeskin and it will bring rain.
More Weather Folklore
Cows, sheep, cats, and mammals have their cues, too. Learn about how other animals predict weather.
Did we miss any? Share your favorite proverbs and sayings below!