Monday, September 15, 2008

How's the Weather?

Folks, there’s a chill in the air today. This reminds me that it sure as heck is mid-September and fall is here and winter is just around the corner. I’d thought I’d devote this post to the many ways to determine the timing and severity of winter according to folklore. Here’s a list of the ways I can think of, do you know of any more?


• If the wooly worm is solid black, there will be an early fall, bad winter and late spring.

• If the hornets build nests high in the grass or in trees, there will be a lot of snow that winter.

• After you hear the first fall cricket, it will be 6 weeks until frost.


• If the bark on hickory trees is really thick, it will be a colder than normal winter, conversely, if the bark is thin, it will be a warm winter.

• If squirrels gather nuts after sundown in October, it will be a hard winter.


• If the deer are dark in color, it is an indication of a bad winter to come.

• If buzzards congregate, it is a sign of a change in the weather.


• The first three days of each new quarter will determine the weather for that quarter. For example, the first three days of January will indicate the weather for January, February and March. The first three days of April will determine the weather in April, May and June. The first three days of July will determine July, August and September, and the first three days of October determines the weather for October, November and December. A quarter starts on the first day of the month following a solstice.

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


• If the first week in August is uncommonly hot, the coming winter will be snowy and long.

• For every fog in August, there will be a snowfall in winter.

• If a cold August follows a hot July, it foretells a cold and dry winter.

• A lot of rain in October means a lot of wind in December.

• A warm October foretells a cold February.


• If the first frost hasn’t occurred before the full moon in October, then there won’t be a frost until the full moon in November.

• Flowers bloomin’ in late fall is a sure sign of a bad winter for all.

• A warm November means a bad December.

• Thunder in the fall foretells a cold Winter.

• If onion skins are thick and tough, Old Man Winter’s gonna be rough.

• A green Christmas means a white Easter.

• A hard winter is in the making if corn husks are thick and tight.

• Expect a cold winter if apple peelings are tougher than average.

• It will be an early winter if the birds migrate early.

• It will be an unusually cold winter if a squirrel’s tail is very bushy.

• Expect a long, hard winter if berries and nuts are plentiful.

• If the first snowfall lands on unfrozen ground, the winter will be mild.

• Snowfall won’t amount to anything until the rivers are running full.

• If wood smoke hovers near the ground, a bad storm is coming.

• If you see a ring around the moon, and it has stars inside the ring, that will tell you how many days until there is a big storm.

• March will borrow from April, and April will always collect its debt.

4 comments:

tipper said...

Neat list! I've been hearing everyone-including the Almanac- saying its going to be a bad winter. There were plenty of berries this year-and the trees are hanging full of acorns and hickory nuts-so maybe.

Janet said...

Wow! There's a lot on your list I haven't heard of.
We just saw a black wooly worm a few days ago, I had a ton of berries this year, and the trees are full of nuts.
I guess we'd better get prepared.

Julie in Louisiana said...

If it thunders in February, it will frost in April on the same day of the month. That one is from my Granny. I still mark the calendar each stormy day in February. Sometimes there's no frost, but there's almost always a cool spell. The old timers didn't need the Weather Channel!

Rich said...

What a wonderful collection of material.
Thank you very much for making it available.
Every year, I look forward to reading about the time honoured forecasting methods as it gives sort of a link with the past that one can almost feel.