New Year’s Day Weather Folklore

December 24, 2020
Winter Tree at Sunset
Pixabay

A new year is always ripe with possibilities. Though we have our forecasts, we also enjoy the tradition of looking to weather folklore. Enjoy this New Year’s lore and see if it rings true!

New Year’s Weather Folklore

In particular, weather folklore often looks to the wind. Try this. Step outside as the sun sets on New Year’s Eve. Feel the wind and recite:

If New Year’s Eve the wind blows south
It betokens warmth and growth.
If west, much milk and fish in the sea.
If north, cold and storms there will be.
If east, the trees will bear much fruit.
If north east, then flee it, man and brute.

Then throw your new year wishes to the wind!


Photo Credit: Weather.gov

Others believed the time to check out the wind was at sunrise on New Year’s Day, but if you had any fun the night before, it will be hard to wake up at dawn.

If you forgot to check the wind, don’t worry.

First 12 Days of January

Other lore says that the first 12 days of the year are just as useful: The first 12 days of January foretell the weather for each month of the year.

So, the weather on the first, good or bad, will reflect how January will feel. The second day forecasts February and so on.

You may have also heard: If there is thunder in January, it will snow 7 days later. 

And fog in January brings a wet spring.

My favorite is the onion story. Get twelve onions. Between 11:00pm and midnight on New Year’s Eve cut off the tops and scoop out a depression in the centers.

Get out your compass and line the onions in an east-west orientation. Place an equal amount of salt in each depression.  (Then explain to your fellow partiers why you smell like an onion!)


If all else fails, check the onions!

Don’t look at the vegetables until the next morning. The salt has dissolved to varying degrees in each onion. The more water in each onion the wetter the corresponding month will be in the coming year. After this, carefully add potatoes and other root veggies, rub with olive oil and spices and bake.

Whether the onions are right or wrong, you’ll have a nice New Year’s Day feast.

Oddly enough, the majority of weather superstitions cited here do have a scientific basis in fact and generally work fairly well. Had they not worked, of course, they wouldn’t have been repeated and remembered.

Of course, you can also check this year’s Almanac forecast as a “human” point of reference. See The 2021 Old Farmer’s Almanac to start the year off right!

About This Blog

Mike Steinberg is Senior Vice President for Special Initiatives at AccuWeather Inc in State College, Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the National Weather Association and the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

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