Saturday, December 1, 2007

Weather Folklore

Today I was driving down the road and we had a little shower/freezing drizzle in the Denver area -- and at the same time the sun was shining. It made for a beautiful rainbow.

Growing up in the south, we would say that if it rains and the sun shines at the same time, it will rain the same time again tomorrow.

There is no meteorological truth to that, and most likely that is said because you tend to get afternoon showers and thunderstorms during the warm season in the southeast states just about the same time each afternoon when a humid, hot airmass is in place.

But nonetheless, it is interesting.

Do you know any weather folklore? If so, share it with us.


  1. Yes, I remember when it was normal to have summer afternoon thunderstorms in southern Maryland. This summer we just didn't get them, but we still had the humidity!

  2. The one I know of is about coffee but and bubbles.

    Bubbles on the side of the cup - expect rain.

    Bubbles in the middle - fair weather

  3. In 1952 on this day heavy smog in London kills 4000 people.

    High-pressure air mass stalled over the Thames River Valley. When cold air arrived suddenly from the west, the air over London became trapped in place. The problem was exacerbated by low temperatures, which caused residents to burn extra coal in their furnaces. The smoke, soot and sulfur dioxide from the area’s industries along with that from cars and consumer energy usage caused extraordinarily heavy smog to smother the city. By the morning of December 5, there was a visible pall cast over hundreds of square miles.

    The smog became so thick and dense that by December 7 there was virtually no sunlight and visibility was reduced to five yards in many places.

    4000 is the conservative estimate and as many as 8000 people could have died.

  4. In Minnesota there's a saying that goes something like this: "Brown Christmas, full churchyard in March." Perhaps of Scandanavian origin -- probably rural. It refers to the lack of snowcover by end of December, bringing illness in the spring. There might be statistical basis, but I don't know it. Elders with whom I worked 20 years ago told me about this lore.

  5. Here in New Mexico, there's a Hispanic saying something like this: "It's raining snakes and toads." I used to know the Spanish, but can't write it at this moment. Equivalent to midwesterns saying "It's raining cats and dogs." The "snakes and toads" refers to the phenomenon of desert thunderstorms in the summer... critters emerge from below the surface. Very charming.