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10 Unlikely Natural Signals That Predict Rain

Legends surrounding nature and portents of rain and storm are many, but there may be some truth in some of them.

Folklore in different parts of the world tells us how to recognise signs of rain. Sometimes it is in the behaviour of animals, and sometimes in the way plants and flowers change. These are said to be nature’s signals for impending rain.

  1. Bats

    Bare said to fly lower just before it starts to rain.

  2. Photo: Wikipedia creative commons

    This piece of wisdom is common in Europe and is probably true, in part. Bats don’t like rain as they have fur which gets wet and heavy. They would automatically come down lower to seek shelter when rain was imminent.

  3. Cats

    Cats sit with tails towards the fire when it is going to rain, according to European legend. Cats sit by the fire when they are cold.

  4. Fish

    Fish take the bait more easily when it is about to rain according to folklore. I have heard fisherman say that fishing is much better in the rain.

  5. Dolphins

    Legends about dolphin behaviour are many and it is sometimes said that dolphins swim closer to land when it is going to rain. They are known to do this during severe weather.

  6. Frogs

  7. Photo: Wikipedia creative commons

    It is commonly claimed that frogs come out of the water croaking when it is going to rain. They normally only croak during the mating season, so maybe they are coming out of the water to mate on dry land and croaking at the same time.

  8. Daisies

  9. Photo: Wikipedia creative commons

    There are many different species of daisy and many of them, including this Arctotis close when the sun goes in. So, they would appear to close their petals before rain. The Livingstone daisy is a very common garden plant that opens and closes all day according to whether, or not it gets direct sunlight.

  10. Roosters

    Roosters crow before going to sleep as a sign of rain. Rooster normally only crow at dawn as a signal to other roosters which literally says ‘This is my patch!’

  11. Wolves

  12. Photo: Wikipedia creative commons

    This is an southeast Asian folklore tale that is prevalent in India and parts of China. Wolves howl to announce their presence and as a communication tool.

  13. Birds

  14. Photo: Wikipedia creative commons

    This is probably not generally true but I have personally witnessed birds gathering together and making a lot of noise just before a storm.

  15. Cattle

  16. Photo: Wikipedia creative commons

    Cattle do seem to herd together when the weather is bad. This is for protection.

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User Comments
  1. Jake marcob

    On February 23, 2008 at 10:00 am

    nice article, very intersting, I like the way you put in pictures too.

    plz check out my stuff next time you can

  2. IcyCucky

    On February 23, 2008 at 10:20 am

    GREAT article, Louie. They all made sense to me..

  3. Lucy Lockett

    On February 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    There seems to be an element of truth to these observations.

  4. Dee Huff

    On February 23, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    In your picture the cow was sitting down, and I’ve always understood that’s what they do when it’s going to rain, but you didn’t mention that in your paragraph. Have I got it wrong? Great article, very interesting! The verification characters that I have to type in for this comment are ‘bic6s’. If you read it out loud, you’ll see that this article will maybe be a ‘big success’!

  5. Judy Sheldon

    On February 24, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Cute article, and nice pictures. Animals have natural instincts,while we ignore ours. I like Dee’s observation, about her security string.

  6. Alexa Gates

    On February 26, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    The one about the daisy is true… i see it happen all of the time in the summer… i just never put two and two together

  7. Ocman

    On March 13, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    The sad thing is that I would have to go to the zoo to check out what are any of these animals doing. I live in the city!

  8. Pneal

    On March 25, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    After some ado, I have yet to see any mention of a cat predicting eminent rain by the way it sleeps. My grandmother told me when I was a child that when a cat “sleeps on its head” meaning lying on its side with its head upside down, then it is either raining, or it will rain within 24 hours. I have had two cats in my life. One that lived 16 years and another who is currently 15. Through 31 years of observation, they have NEVER been wrong. I urge all cat owners that are reading this to see for yourself. I’m confident you will concur.

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