Weather Folk Sayings

Research Topics Presentation Tips Student Essays Old Wives Tales Legends NC Mountain Superstitions North Carolina Mountains Weather Folklore

Weather Urban Legends and Folklore

Folklore for predicting the weather are urban legends, old wives tales, superstitions, folk tales and old sayings. Most folklore has its foundations in observation. Long ago weather lore became an important part of religion. Priests decided what dates to sow seed or harvest. It was important to interpret weather signs. Weather lore ranges from common sense to superstitions based upon observation and more often wishful thinking. Many folklore tales contradict one another. They have never been proven to be true. However, I have met mountain folk in the Asheville area who swear they are true.

  • Dogwood Winter - Every year when the Dogwood trees bloom, it gets real cold. (Never seems to fail, it always gets cold in the NC mountains when the dogwood bloom)
  • Blackberry Winter - Every year when the blackberries bloom, it gets real cold. (Never seems to fail, it always gets cold in the NC mountains when the blackberry bloom)
  • Never plant crops on a Sunday, they will fail if you do.
  • Plant crops on Good Friday for a good harvest.
  • If yellowjackets are building their nests above ground, then it will be a wet winter.
  • If the wooly worm has a lot of wool, it will be a bad winter.
  • If the squirrels and birds are feeding in the winter, expect a bad snow storm
  • For every foggy morning in August, it will snow that many days that following winter.
  • If it rains when the sun is out, the devil is beating his wife
  • If it lightning in winter within 10 days it will snow.
  • If the first thunder is from the east, winter is over.
  • Rain and wind increase after a thunderclap
  • A ring around the sun or moon is a sign that rain is approaching
  • Do business with men when the wind is in the northwest
  • People who have chronic ailments such as arthritis, gout, rheumatism and corns can predict a change in weather by the increase of their aches and pains.

    Red Sky

    • Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning
    • Red sky at night, Sheppard's delight, Red sky in morning Sheppard's take warning
    • From the bible, Matthew 16:2-3 - When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather: for the sky is red.