Volume X, No. 3, Spring 1983


Compiled by Jeff Zander

"Clouds will be moving in this evening with a low pressure system. This will bring our region an eighty-five percent chance for some rain by morning."

You have probably heard this on your early evening news at one time or another so that you could prepare for the weather change. In the past, however, people had no radio or television to tell them the weather. They had to rely on their ability to read the signs of nature to tell them a forecast. The following signs and events to forecast the weather have been passed down in the Ozarks and are still heard today. Predictions from animal behavior are very common.

   When snakes become very active,
expect rain.

   A snake lying on its back means

   If a turtle crosses the road, it
will rain within twenty-four hours.

   When a beetle kicks, it will rain

   If owls hoot before dark, look
out for rain.

   When a hog carries wood in its
mouth, bad weather is coming.

   When horses and cattle refuse to
drink in very dry weather, expect a

   Horses suddenly stopping to feed
and scratch themselves on trees and
fences is a sign of heavy rain.

   When dogs and cats carry their
young to higher ground, expect floods or

   If a cat lies in a coil, bad weather
is coming. If it yawns and stretches,
weather will be good.

   When chickens or turkeys stand with
their backs to the wind with ruffled
tails, a storm is on its way.

   Anticipate rain if chickens stand on
a woodpile and pick their feathers.

   If poultry eat in the rain, it will
rain for at least twenty-four hours

   When poultry get noisy for no
reason, it is a sign of rain.

   If a yellow-billed cuckoo (rain
crow) calls, expect wet weather.

   If wild game enters the winter
season with thick hair, plan on a bad

   Besides speaking to us through
critters, nature had other ways of
warning us of weather changes.

   A red sunset indicates dry weather
for twenty-four hours.

   When the sun shines during a storm,
the rain will be short.

   It will rain soon if leaves turn
upside down.

   Expect rain very soon when flowers
which usually close at night stay open.

   A dry March indicates plenty of
rain for the rest of the spring.

   If the first day of November is
clear and cold, expect storms soon.

   Quickly souring milk indicates

   If it rains on a Monday, it will
rain three more days before the week
is done.

   If toadstools suddenly come up,
anticipate rain.

    Most signs are forecasts or warnings,
but here is one precaution to
take in bad weather. When a cyclone
comes, stick a knife in the ground to
split the wind.


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

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