Weather Folklore, Sayings & Proverbs

Many traditional sayings or proverbs were used to predict the weather long before meteorologists using sophisticated technology came along. These sayings are based upon observations of the sky, nature and animals.

  • Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.
  • March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb
  • Red evening sky and bright morn’ are a good travel companion.
  • Count on a good weather day if it starts out foggy gray.
  • Fog brings rain when it rises, but clear weather when it falls.
  • If twice rotates the weather vane, it’s indicating wind and rain.
  • Thunderstorms in June mean the grain will not be lean.
  • Frequent heavy dew keeps the heavens blue.
  • A ring around the moon means rain, a ring around the sun, big storms.
  • If the Milky Way is clear to see, the weather will stay nice.
  • January in foggy white sends in March snow and ice.
  • The darker the night, the nicer the day.
  • The frostier January is, the better (the weather) the whole year is.
  • Light rain makes a strong wind die down.
  • If in January the ice and snow crunches, At harvest time there’ll be grain and clover in bunches.
  • If the rooster crows on the manure pile, the weather will change; if he crows on the chicken coop, the weather will last the week.
  • A lark that sings too early has never brought on summer. But if the cuckoo or nightingale call, summer is not far off.
  • Monday’s weather won’t last the week.
  • Red sky on New Year’s morn’ – the whole year will be a scorn.
  • A north wind drives away the rain.
  • If the frogs croak in April, there’s snow and cold yet to come.
  • Rainbow in the morning, shepherds take warning; rainbow at night, shepherds’ delight.
  • If you see the swallows flying low, you’ll get rainy weather. If the swallows are flying high,
  • beautiful weather is nigh.
  • If the leaves fall late, they’ll come back early.
  • If wind comes before rain, it doesn’t mean much. But if rain comes before wind, then lower the sails right away.
  • When the wild geese and ducks take their leave, winter will soon be here.
  • When the spider withdraws into its chamber, winter will follow her right away.
  • If crows fly low, winds going to blow; If crows fly high, winds going to die.
  • A sunshiny shower won’t last half an hour.
  • From twelve ‘til two tells what the day will do.
  • The more rain, the more rest; fair weather’s not always best.
  • When sea birds fly to land there truly is a storm at hand.
  • To talk of the weather is nothing but folly; when it rains on the hill, it suns in the valley.
  • The sharper the (lightning) blast, the sooner it’s past.
  • Yellow streaks in sunset sky, wind and daylong rain is nigh.
  • Year of snow, fruit will grow.
  • The chill is on, near and far, in all the months that have an ‘R’.
  • Rainbow at noon, more rain soon.
  • The south wind brings wet weather…the north wind, wet and cold together; the west wind always brings us rain…the east wind blows it back again.
  • When a cow tries to scratch her ear it means a shower is very near.
  • Onionskin is very thin, mild winter is coming in. Onionskin is thick and tough winter will be cold and rough.
  • Ice in November to walk a duck, the winter will be all rain and muck.
  • Rain before seven, quit by eleven.
  • Evening red and morning gray speed the traveler on his way. Evening gray and morning red bring down rain upon his head.
  • Rainbow in the east, sailors at peace. Rainbow in the west, sailors in distress.
  • Pale moon doth rain, red moon doth blow, white moon doth neither rain nor snow.
  • When the dew is on the grass, rain will never come to pass.
  • Wind from the West, fish bite the best. Wind from the East, fish bite the least. Wind from the North, do not go forth. Wind from the South blows bait in their mouth.

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Celebrating the wonderful and sometimes whimsical world of weathervanes and whirligigs!