Old Timers Weather Sayings                          

These sayings were found in a little 10-cent, spiral note book of mine, from more than a half century ago.  Except for those attributed to Kansans, the remainder probably came from my mother who was born on a farm northwest of Lake View, in Sac County, Iowa, and lived there most of her life.

Red in the morning, sailor's warning; red at night, sailor's delight.
Red a.m.   Usually windy day
Red p.m.   Nice next day  

Yellow sunset (sun of coppery hue), stormy weather coming.

Yellow clouds during a thunderstorm means hail, and sometimes, a tornado if the wind is in the southwest

Mare's tail, lambs fleece, mackerel clouds (ribbed, wavy) ―usually rain within 24 hrs.

If chickens run for shelter when it begins to rain, the shower won't last long.  If, however, they stand out in it and eat, it will be lasting.

Rain before seven, quit before eleven―usually true, Mom says.

If old-timers joints ache, it's a sign of rain―
Mom thinks it's due to humidity.

When wind shifts with the movement of the sun during the day, change of weather.

Maple leaves show undersides, sign of rain.

Circle around moon, change of weather―number of stars within circle, tells number of days till change.

If snowflakes or raindrops large at the beginning of precipitation, the snowfall or rain will be of short duration.

Northeast wind brings snow. 

Roosters crowing in the afternoon, sign of weather changing.

After a long dry spell, three weeks or so, wind has to go clear around.

Spring water runs slower before a storm.  Also, before rain. (The farm had a spring)

If potatoes boil dry* (or other vegetables of non-juicy variety [tomatoes example of juicy kind], usually sign of storm.
                                  * Within ordinary time of cooking, usually you have to drain the water off.

In winter, if distant woods look gray or black, it's cold.  If they look blue or hazy, it will warm up right away.

If lake water or creek looks muddy, troubled, it's a sign of rain.

Water pipes sweat, sign of rain.

Hear sounds long distance at night (e.g., train), sign of rain.

Hog scratching back means change of weather.

Rain while sun shines, rain all next day.

If chickens come out during a rain, it won't last.

If cows run around like crazy or come running home, it's a sign of weather change. 

Before a bad storm, cattle move to higher ground.

If sky looks hazy or dirty, it's a sign of weather change.

Wind will be in the direction of a meteor's fall, the next day.

From Kansans (I went to college in Atchison, Kansas and taught a couple years there, during the time period 1954-1960:
Rainbow in the morning, sailor's warning; Rainbow at night sailor's delight.

Wind in the north, couple of clear days ahead at Atchison.

Lightning in February, frost in May

Wet salt, sign of wet weather.    


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Site Last Updated on 05/02/12