Jump to content
Thunder?
Local
Radar
Pollen
IGNORED

Weather Folklore


Jane Louise

Recommended Posts

Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    This is one of my favorite subjects. Do you have any old Storm Weather lore that you believe in and have found to be true.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • Replies 18
    • Created
    • Last Reply
    Posted
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL

    My great-grandmother used to tell me, over tea and crumpets (which she always burned) that when there was reasonably high CAPE and a trigger mechanism, there was a good chance of a storm. It's just an old wives tale though I reckon.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    I'm not sure this is exactly folklore but dogs and other animals seem to become quite distressed before thunderstorms. A quick trawl of the web offers various suggestions for this and one on www.understandinganimals.com says:

    During her talk, 'Clinical Treatment of Thunderstorm Phobia,' given at the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2002 Convention, Dr. Simpson stated, "The disorder is triggered by one or more of the stimuli associated with storms, such as wind, rain, thunder, lightening, changes in barometric pressure or ionisation, and low frequency rumbles that precede storms."

    Another site ( www.vetbase.co.uk ) reports:

    Dogs which were kept in the presence of other canines that remained calm during the storm recording had less of a fear response and returned to normal more quickly than those without calm canine companions. The relationship with their human owner did not seem to make any difference to their fear. It was pointed out that dogs were only exposed to a recording of thunder and they may behave differently during a real thunderstorm. (Dreschel and Granger; 2005)

    So maybe it is the change in pressure, ionisation, and/or low frequency rumbles before a storm that give dogs prior warning that its on its way, as animals (especially dogs) do have hearing capabilities and other senses that are far more developed than us dumb humans!

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    Good one Coast!

    Yes animals do react before storms.I think it has a lot to do with the pressure dropping.My springer spaniel starts acting strange and clingy,she will even go out and sniff the air.Once the storm is here she will stay very close by me I am trying to teach her not to be afraid of them.Birds also fly lower when the air pressure drops and leaves of plants and trees turn over to.I have loads of storm lore in a book which I have which I will post up at some point. :rolleyes:

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    OK here are a few more borrowed from various places on the WWW:

    People hit by lightning were thought by many ancient Africans to have incurred the anger of the gods. Lightning bolts were considered bolts of justice.

    In Kenya, the god of thunder, Mkunga Mburu, is believed by some to travel the heavens on a huge black bull with a spear in each hand, ready to hurl them at the clouds to make the loud noises

    In Nigeria, the Yorubas are said to have believed that lightning was a storm spirit who carried powerful magic. That spirit scolded them with fiery bolts of light shot from his mouth. He was believed to punish people for their wrong doings by destroying things on the ground or by hitting someone with his bolts of light.

    In medieval times, many British people believed that thunderstorms were evil spirits. Church bells were rung so the sound would chase away the evil thunder. Often people used a variety of rituals to save themselves during thunderstorms. They would hide scissors, cover every mirror, lie down on feather beds, and stay away from wet dogs and horses!

    In ancient times, the Etruscan soothsayers from Northern Italy were considered divine weather watchers. They were said to have foretold disaster or good fortune from slight changes of the wind direction, claps of thunder, or bolts of lightning (that would be the NW Forecast team these days then?)

    When children heard thunder in long-ago Sweden, they were told it is only Thor, the god of thunder, riding his chariot across the skies. Lightning, as well as thunder, was part of the legend of Thor, the god of thunder in long-ago Sweden. Children were told that lightning is only sparks from Thor's hammer as they fly through the air.

    Apparently, horses run fast before a violent storm or before windy conditions.

    Expect rain and maybe severe weather when dogs eat grass.

    In the middle ages in Germany, the Church bells used to be rung by by the sexton during thunderstorms and he received a special payment from all the farmers for his exertions in pulling the rope. These 'dues' were paid right up until the 19th Century in some places. At Jubar in the Altmark, whenever there was a thunderstorm the sexton received five 'thundersheaves' from every farmer for his pains! Many churches had special bells just for this purpose and in the monastery of Weingarten they have the 'Holy Blood Bell'.

    The Thunderbird is a legendary creature in North American indigenous peoples' history and culture. It's considered a "supernatural" bird of power and strength. It is especially important, and richly depicted, in the art, songs and oral histories of many Pacific Northwest Coast cultures, but is also found in various forms among the peoples of the American Southwest and Great Plains. The Thunderbird's name comes from that common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    The thunderstorms of the season will come from the same quarter as the first one.

    First thunder in winter or spring indicates rain and very cold weather --- Dr John Menual

    After the first thunder comes the rain Zuni indians

    Thunder and lightning in the summer show

    The point from which the freshening breeze will blow. J.Lambs

    Thunder and lightning early in winter or late in fall indicates warm weather.

    Forked lightning at night

    The next day clear and bright

    The distant thunder speaks of coming rain.

    If it sinks from the north

    It will double its wrath

    If it sinks from the south

    It will open its mouth.

    If it sinks from the west

    it is never at rest

    If it sinks from the east

    It will leave us in peace -- Kent

    If the weather gets warmer while the barometer is high and the wind north-easterly,we may look for a sudden shift of wind to the south. On the other hand, if the weather becomes colder while the wind is south-westerly and the barometer low,we may look for a sudden squall or a severe storm from the north-west,with a fall of snow it it be winter-time.

    A summer thunderstorm,which does not much depress the barometer,will be very local and of slight consequence.

    When the barometer falls considerably without any particular change of weather,you may be certain that a violent storm is raging at a distance.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    Animal Lore

    When a cow tries to scratch its ear

    It means a shower is very near;

    When it thumps its ribs with its tail,

    Look out for thunder,lightning, hail.

    Old sheep are said to eat greedily before a storm, and sparingly before a thaw. When they leave the high grounds,and bleat much in the evening and during the night,severe weather is expected. In winter, when they feed down the hill, a snowstorm is looked for; when they feed up the grass,wet weather is near.

    (Will have to keep an eye on that one as the caravan is right next to a field of sheep lol)

    If the birds be silent,expect thunder.

    A screeching owl indicates cold or a storm.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Godalming, Surrey
  • Location: Godalming, Surrey

    I have found animals to be a good indicator, the fields by my house always go from very noisy to silent when a storm is coming. The birds fly away form the storm too!

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    Ash before the oak, the summer's all a soak. Oak before the ash, the summer's but a splash

    A backing wind says storms are nigh

    When cumulus clouds become heaped in leeward during a strong wind at sunset, thunder may be expected during the night

    When mountains and cliffs in the clouds appear, some sudden and violent showers appear

    Two full moons in the same month will cause severe weather in the following month.

    Full Moon names date back to Native Americans

    The Full Buck Moon July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month's Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

    Sound in nature is louder before stormy weather because, instead of traveling up and out into the atmosphere, sound waves are bent back to the earth and their range is extended. Bird calls will sound sharper and a train whistling in the distance may seem much nearer than it is.

    Meteorites (the pieces that make it to Earth) were long ago thought to be cast down as gifts from angels. Others thought the gods were displaying their anger. As late as the 17th Century, many believed they fell from thunderstorms (they were nicknamed "thunder stones"). Many scientists were skeptical that stones could fall from the the clouds or the heavens, and often they simply didn't believe the accounts of people who claimed to have seen such things.

    The sudden storm lasts not three hours. The sharper the blast, the sooner 'tis past

    Always a calm before a storm

    I have found animals to be a good indicator, the fields by my house always go from very noisy to silent when a storm is coming. The birds fly away form the storm too!

    Same here dave, Nature is a very good indicator of any forthcoming weather.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    Storm glass

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Crystals forming in a storm glass prior to a storm

    A storm glass is a type of weather forecasting device, composed of a sealed glass container, filled with liquid, that allows the user to forecast the weather by observing the appearance of the liquid in the glass.

    The liquid within the glass is a mixture of several ingredients, most commonly distilled water, ethanol, potassium nitrate, ammonium chloride, and camphor. This specific mixture was developed by Admiral Robert FitzRoy and used on his voyage with Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle.

    During the historic voyage, FitzRoy carefully documented how the storm glass would predict the weather:

    * If the liquid in the glass is clear, the weather will be bright and clear.

    * If the liquid is cloudy, the weather will be cloudy as well, perhaps with precipitation.

    * If there are small dots in the liquid, humid or foggy weather can be expected.

    * A cloudy glass with small stars indicates thunderstorms.

    * If the liquid contains small stars on sunny winter days, then snow is coming.

    * If there are large flakes throughout the liquid, it will be overcast in temperate seasons or snowy in the winter.

    * If there are crystals at the bottom, this indicates frost.

    * If there are threads near the top, it will be windy.

    A storm glass works on the premise that temperature and pressure affect solubility, sometimes resulting in clear liquid; other times causing precipitants to form. However, the method by which this works is not fully understood. Although it is well-established that temperature affects solubility, some studies have simultaneously observed several different storm glasses forming similar crystal patterns at different temperatures. In addition, sealed glasses are not exposed to atmospheric pressure changes and do not react to the pressure variations associated with weather systems. Some people have proposed that surface interactions between the glass wall of the storm glass and the liquid contents account for the crystals. Explanations sometimes include effects of electricity or quantum tunneling across the glass.

    In 1859, violent storms struck the British Isles. In response, the British Crown distributed storm glasses, then known as "FitzRoy's storm barometers," to many small fishing communities around the British Isles that were to be consulted by ships at port before setting sail

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Beware of an oak,

    It draws the stroke,

    Beware of an ash

    It counts the flash.

    Creep under the thorn,

    It can save you from harm.

    Benjamin Franklin was well known for his experiment involving lightning and a kite, but he also developed a device to help him understand electricity. Called "lightning bells," the bells would jingle when lightning was in the air. The following are two descriptions:

    In September 1752, I erected an Iron Rod to draw the Lightning down into my House, in order to make some Experiments on it, with two Bells to give Notice when the Rod should be electrified. A contrivance obvious to every Electrician.

    I found the Bells rang sometimes when there was no Lightning or Thunder, but only a dark Cloud over the Rod; that sometimes after a Flash of Lightning they would suddenly stop; and at other times, when they had not rang before, they would, after a Flash, suddenly begin to ring; that the Electricity was sometimes very faint, so that when a small Spark was obtained, another could not be got for sometime after; at other times the Sparks would follow extremely quick, and once I had a continual Stream from Bell to Bell, the size of a Crow-Quill. Even during the same Gust there were considerable variations.

    Excerpted from: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. Edited by Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962. Vol. 5, p. 69, letter from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson dated September 1753

    A thunderstone is an apparently worked stone object - often wedge-shaped, like an axe blade - alleged to have fallen from the sky. Tales of thunderstones are found in many cultures around the world, from Greece to China, and are often associated with a thunder god.

    In recent times, it is known that these objects are often the result of a lightning strike into the ground. Under the enormous heat induced by the lightning, sand in the soil melts into a solid block of silica. This is why "thunderstones" in a desert tend to be larger and more cylindrical, whereas in grassland they are often shaped like a blade and are significantly thinner.

    They are also known as thunderaxes, storm stones, sky arrows, thunderbolts, lightning stones, sky axes, and thunder teeth. In Brazil, a thunderstone is known as a raio ("lightning flash").

    Source: Wiki

    It was believed that a particular problem in storms was that thunder would spoil stored liquor unless prevented. John Aubrey (1686) reported as a practice to protect beer 'they lay a piece of iron on the barrell to keepe it from sowring', but according to the more scientifically minded editor of The Agreeable Companion (1742), 42, the "violent motion and unnatural fermentation" could be prevented by any weight.

    If a thunderstorm occurred during a marriage ceremony the couple would have no children, and nursing mothers should never suckle their babies during a thunderstorm as their milk would be tainted with brimstone and sulphur.

    It was considered unlucky to point to, or otherwise draw particular attention to thunder or lightning. This is reported as far back as Pliny (Natural History (AD. 77), ii. 55) and several times in Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries. The interpretation of thunder and lightning as the voice or weapon of God is also quoted from Pliny and Tacitus and in Britain since at least the 16th century.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    Thanks Coast for sharing. It's amazing what type of things they used to do and what they believed back in those days.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
  • Location: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire

    Yes very true Jane :)

    They could have tried to find a word which actually rhymed with 'thorn' though :)

    Beware of an oak,

    It draws the stroke,

    Beware of an ash

    It counts the flash.

    Creep under the thorn,

    It can save you from harm.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
    Yes very true Jane :)

    They could have tried to find a word which actually rhymed with 'thorn' though :)

    Lol...now what word rhymes with thorn.I will have to think about that one lol

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cambridgeshire Fens. 3m ASL
  • Location: Cambridgeshire Fens. 3m ASL

    Halcyon days

    The well known expression halcyon days derives from a Greek myth relating to weather.

    Two lovers Ceyx and Alcyone incurred the wrath of Zeus and Hera (King and Queen of the Gods). As a result, ceyx's ship was wrecked in a storm, and he died. Alcyone, grief stricken then drowned herself in the sea. The dead lovers were transformed into Kingfishers, that were believed to build floating nests. To protect the nests every year, Aeolus, Alcyone's father and guardian of the winds, suspended the winds for 7 days and 7 nights before and after the winter solstice (around 22nd December)

    This calm period became known an Halcyon days.

    A leaking May and a warm June bring on the harvest very soon. (Scotland)

    January wet no wine you get. (Southern Europe)

    When birds and Badgers are fat in October expect a cold winter. (North America)

    Frost on the shortest day (Around 22nd December) indicates a severe winter. (England)

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
  • Location: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
    Lol...now what word rhymes with thorn.I will have to think about that one lol

    I have thought of one

    Creep under the Thorn and your trousers get torn :)

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    If crows fly low, winds going to blow;

    If crows fly high, winds going to die

    The moon and the weather may change together

    but change of the moon does not change the weather.

    When sea birds fly to land there truly is a storm at hand (or it's seagulls after you scraps in the garden!)

    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

    Onionskin is very thin, mild winter is coming in.

    Onionskin is thick and tough winter will be cold and rough :)

    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.

    St. Swithin's Day if it do rain,

    for 40 days it will remain.

    St. Swithin's Day if it be fair,

    for 40 days will rain no more

    A cow's tail to the west is weather coming at its best;

    a cow's tail to the east is weather coming at its least

    d078.gif

    Snow like cotton, soon forgotten -

    snow like meal, it'll snow a great deal

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
    Halcyon days

    The well known expression halcyon days derives from a Greek myth relating to weather.

    Two lovers Ceyx and Alcyone incurred the wrath of Zeus and Hera (King and Queen of the Gods). As a result, ceyx's ship was wrecked in a storm, and he died. Alcyone, grief stricken then drowned herself in the sea. The dead lovers were transformed into Kingfishers, that were believed to build floating nests. To protect the nests every year, Aeolus, Alcyone's father and guardian of the winds, suspended the winds for 7 days and 7 nights before and after the winter solstice (around 22nd December)

    This calm period became known an Halcyon days.

    A leaking May and a warm June bring on the harvest very soon. (Scotland)

    January wet no wine you get. (Southern Europe)

    When birds and Badgers are fat in October expect a cold winter. (North America)

    Frost on the shortest day (Around 22nd December) indicates a severe winter. (England)

    Thanks Greyowl

    Very interesting :)

    I have thought of one

    Creep under the Thorn and your trousers get torn :)

    :) lol

    I can't think of a good one,but I came across this,although it's not related to weather lore lol

    Needles and pins

    Needles and pins

    When a Man marries

    His Trouble begins. :):D

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

    When the wind is blowing from the north,

    No fisherman should set forth.

    When the wind is blowing from the east,

    'Tis not fit for man nor beast.

    When the wind is blowing from the south,

    It brings food to fish's mouth.

    When the wind is blowing in the west,

    That is when the fishing is best!

    A Farmer's Chant

    Go plant the bean when the moon is light,

    and you will find that this is right.

    Plant the potatoes when the moon is dark,

    and to this you always hark.

    But if you vary from this rule,

    You will find that you're the fool.

    If you always follow this rule to the end,

    You will always have money to spend.

    Infallible signs of Rainy Weather:

    If Ducks or Drakes their Wings do flutter high

    Or tender Colts upon their Backs do lie,

    If Sheep do bleat, or play, or skip about,

    Or Swine hide Straw by bearing on their Snout,

    If Oxen lick themselves against the Hair,

    Or grazing Kine to feed apace appear,

    If Cattle bellow, grazine from below,

    Or if Dogs Entrails rumble to and fro,

    If Doves or Pigeons in the Evening come

    Later than usual to their Dove-House Home,

    If Crows and Daws do oft themselves be-wet,

    Or Ants and Pismires Home a-pace do get,

    If in the dust Hens do their Pinions shake,

    Or by their flocking a great Number make,

    If Swallows fly upon the Water low,

    Or Wood-Lice seem in Armies for to go,

    If Flies or Gnats, or Fleas infest and bite,

    Or sting more than they're wont by Day or Night,

    If Toads hie Home, or Frogs do croak amain,

    Or Peacocks cry

    Soon after look for Rain!

    St Paul's Day - jan 25

    If Saint Paul's day be faire and cleare, It doth betide a happy yeare ; But if by chance it then should rain, It will make deare all kinds of graine; And if ye clouds make dark ye skie, Then neats and fowles this year shall die; If blustering winds do blow aloft, Then wars shall trouble ye realm full oft.

    If the twenty-fourth of August be fair and clear, Then hope for a prosperous autumn that year.

    Winter thunder, Rich man's food and poor man's hunger

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Archived

    This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

    ×
    ×
    • Create New...