People have looked for many years to various signs from nature as sources of meteorology, according to Country America magazine. Some are simple facts and some have tales behind them.
Here's a sampling:Q. What do early-blooming wildflowers, e.g. black-eyed Susans, tell about the weather?
A. Fall will be dropping by early.
Q. Sun dogs, orange spots that appear before sunset, are a prediction of what?
A. It will rain in the next 24 hours.
Q. What do the rings on the woolly bear caterpillar's body signify?
A. The harshness of the coming winter. For example, if the caterpillar has black bands on either end and a brown middle band, expect a hard, cold winter at the beginning and end with milder temperatures during the middle months.
Q: What do spider webs on the ground mean?
A. Bundle up because a cold, hard winter is coming.
Q. What if a spider spins its web in the morning?
A. A folk proverb says, "When spiders weave their webs by noon, fine weather coming soon." A web's threads absorb moisture and break in high humidity. When humidity is low, webs hold strong.
Q. The date in February on which a heavy thunderstorm occurs indicates what?
A. The date in May to expect a late frost.
Q. What about the date on which the first katydids appear in July?
A. Look for early frost in October on that date.
Q. What does an abundance of fall leaves on the ground signify about the coming winter?
A. A harsh winter. The leaf cover protects the vegetation underneath.
Q. Birds feeding in the rain means what?
A. The storm will last all day. If it were a passing shower, they would feed later.
Q. Low-flying swallows predict what weather occurrence?
A. Another folk proverb says, "Swallows fly high, clear blue sky; swallows fly low, rain we shall know." Swallows fly low to the ground to compensate for falling barometric pressure.