Animals That Predict the Weather

Animals That Predict the Weather: Top 12 Name Revealed!

Animals That Predict the WeatherMost of us know about Groundhog Day. No, it’s not the film Bill Murray was stuck in. It’s the old American tradition that tells us the phenomenon of the groundhog and how it signals the end of winter. It has its roots deep into animal folklore.

But is it the only animal that shows a peculiar behavior during a weather change? No, there are almost a dozen other animals that predict the weather. The folklore is full of stories of how they manifest in different animals.

My question is this; do they actually predict the weather? Or is it something else? We don’t even know if what folks say about the animals is even true or not!

What we want to do is verify them. And those animals that do seem to have the power of prediction should have some scientific explanations, shouldn’t they? Well, that is what this article is all about.

Why Can Animals Sense Changes in the Weather?

Why do some animals have this blessing of sensing weather changes before it even happens? And we humans only feel it when it physically affects us. I thought humans were supposed to be higher beings.

According to the experts, animals have an acute sense of perception that lets them detect the minute of variation in atmospheric pressure, humidity, and other factors.

It is because of a heightened sense compared to us humans. They can smell, feel and taste the changes in the air.

The exact cause of this acute sensitivity varies from animal to animal. It can be explained by the environment they live in as their bodies adapt accordingly.

12 Animals That Predict the Weather

Let us see if the folklore myths have any truth to them. Observing the animals might give us the answer to our question.

1. Frogs

Those who live in the rural areas may have already experienced the frog’s peculiar behavior. It’s a common sound in places with lots of greenery and ponds. It has everything to do with their reproductive season.

Frogs need water to live and lay eggs. A good rainstorm is what they need. And that is why we hear frogs croaking their throats off as mating calls when they feel the rain coming on the horizon. This croaking sound continues as long as the rain pours throughout the monsoon season.

2. Birds

Birds and the condition of the weather have a connection that anyone with eyes can see. The behavior of these avian animals has been a clear indicator of the sky.

When the birds are flying closer to the ground, according to the stories, it means the weather is going to turn foul. The researchers aren’t so sure about it. But a clearer indicator of storms is when birds suddenly migrate from the coastal areas to the inland.

They are better at detecting infrasound, i.e., low frequency. This ability allows them to hear storms from hundreds of miles away.

3. Cows

“When cows lie down, the rain will pour down”, it’s a proverb that has its place in rural society. Researchers wanted to know if there’s a direct correlation between a cow’s lying down and rainy weather. And the jury’s in.

It is true that when cows lie down, they do it to conserve energy. They lose heat if they stand. So when they feel a drop in atmospheric temperature.

In recent times, farmers in the Midwestern U.S.A. knew the cold won’t be like the cold in the past. This wasn’t because of any meteorology. But rather, it was their cows.

Before the winter came, the cows were seen to eat more than their normal amount in an attempt to put on weight. It’s how they prepare for the cold.

These may be anecdotal incidents, but these happen far too often to rule out as coincidence.

4. Bees and Butterflies

Just like Birds, these insects too can tell you something about the weather. They can easily sense the pressure changes in the atmosphere. And that causes them to behave differently in foul weather.

If there are no butterflies to be seen in the garden, it’s most likely that they have taken shelter from the upcoming rain. It’s the same with Bees.

5. Sheep

If Cows can do a little prediction work, I guess sheep shouldn’t be far off too. These cute woolly friends of the rural population can say a lot without saying anything.

There’s a proverb that says, if sheep start swarming, you’re going to need a little warming. It means when the sheep start gathering in a place, it means the weather is getting cold in preparation for rain.

But when they scatter, it means better weather. In good weather, there is no need for the group-warmth.

6. Cats

If there is only one sensitive animal, cats will take that spot. So, people were led to believe that they can detect the change in weather before the change takes place.

Paying attention to cats, it has been observed that when cats snore or wash behind their ears, you can prepare for rain. Other signs include sitting while facing the fire and sneezing.

An unconfirmed saying from folklore is that a can washing itself is a sign of clear weather.

7. Ladybugs

Those cute little animals can predict the weather, and you can’t? Well, we used to have a sixth sense for the weather. But since we have learned to build shelters, we don’t have that sense of urgency anymore.

On the other hand, ladybugs will move into localities and take shelter in houses in times of emergency. And that is a telltale sign of bad weather. They have come to take shelter.

8. Crickets

Another animal that has been commonly associated with “weather prediction” is the cricket. Back in 1857, scientist Amos Dolbear wrote an article titled “The Cricket as a Thermometer”.

In it, he mentioned the correlation between the atmospheric temperature and the cricket’s rate of chirping. The article also mentioned a formula to figure out what the crickets chirp’s mean.

According to the article, adding 40 to the number of cricket chirps in 14 seconds will give you an approximate temperature. So if you hear 30 chirps in 14 seconds, the ambient temperature will likely be 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Badgers

In Germany, Badgers are like the USA’s Groundhogs. When Groundhog Day became a point of celebration from adopting the Christian Candlemas holiday, Germans also adopted it but a bit differently.

The time and occasion are the same. It’s to forecast the end of winter and the start of the spring. Only the animal is different. If a badger saw its own shadow, it meant winter is far from over.

While there is a correlation between the two, the animals can easily be fooled by a moving cloud. So just like the groundhog theory, the badger theory isn’t entirely accurate.

10. Woolly Bear Caterpillars

It’s been said about these colorful caterpillars that the colors on its body can tell you how bad the upcoming winter will be.

Folklore says that if the body has more black than brown color, gather your supplies and prepare for a long cold winter. On the other hand, if the caterpillars have a wide brown band in the middle and small black bands at the end, the winter will be a mild one.

11. Ants

It is said that ants have the ability to detect changes in the atmosphere with their antennas. We know ants can sense the smell and other chemical signatures in the air. But there isn’t anything scientific about their so-called ability to predict weather changes.

That being said, ants living on flood prone lands create a type of dam around their nest. This earthen wall is a way to divert water during and after heavy rain.

12. Squirrels

According to the tradition, when squirrels build their nests high up on the trees, it means they’re in preparation for a harsh winter.

An amazing fact about squirrels is their use of tails. According to this research, they can use the tail to control their body temperature. It can shut off the blood flow to the body or keep it open.

In this way, squirrels cool-off in summer and conserve the warmth in winter. That is why the tail of squirrels becomes bushier and fluffier when it’s close to the winter season.

Things to Consider Before Choosing Weather Observing Animal

Now, don’t go rushing to get a pet animal to predict the next storm. It doesn’t work like that. And not animals are suitable for keeping at home or close to you. If you really want to choose an animal for this purpose, you need to keep a few things in mind.

Animals Behave Differently During Emergency

This is an important point regarding the animal’s ability to detect a change in weather. The motivating factor behind the behavior change is their urgency to get to shelter and protect themselves. Animals that live indoors usually get accustomed to comfort and stop behaving like wild animals.

So, a house cat won’t behave the same as a stray wild cat. And a frog in a bathtub won‎‎’t be calling out for mating if there’s no female scent around.

Get an Animal That’s Safe for the House

If you want to keep the animal as a pet inside the house, don’t choose animals like Horses, cows, or sheep. Dogs and cats are the only recommended options.

Avoid Insects

While ladybugs look cute, they can mess with your house and spread everywhere. The same could be said about crickets and woolly caterpillars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can animals predict the weather?

A few animals show weird behavior patterns at different times of the year. These constant behaviors help us to predict the change in weather. So, yes, in a certain way, they can forecast weather.

Can animals predict earthquakes?

It has been observed that animals quickly change their routine behavior just before an earthquake. There is no scientific evidence for it, but it is possible since animals have a heightened sense that smell gases released from quartz crystals when the ground shakes underneath.

Can horses predict foul weather?

Yes, they can predict a change in weather. When horses stretch out their necks to sniff the air, the rain will appear. This is common folklore also associated with cows.

Final Words

I think it’s clear that there are quite a few animals that predict the weather. Or you could say their aberrant behavioral pattern helps us to predict the weather. This method has been helping human society to prepare for foul weather or avoid traveling through areas with bad weather.

Despite the correlation between the weird behavior of the animals and weather change, it doesn’t always pan out exactly as predicted. I, for one, am grateful for modern technology like Weatherflow tempest. However, it’s certainly amazing how the animals without intelligent thinking have a natural protective instinct.

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