Weather Lore Calendar – Sense or Nonsense?

For centuries, farmers and sailors – people whose livelihoods depend on the weather – relied on ‘lore’ to forecast the weather. They quickly connected changes in nature with rhythms or patterns of the weather.

Here is a collection of proverbs relating to months, weeks and days. Some of them make scientific sense, but some of them also sound like something Jim from The Vicar of Dibley would come up with!

Do you know any others? Let me know in the comments.


Fog in January brings a wet Spring

[13th] St. Hilary, the coldest day of the year

[22nd] If the Sun shines on St. Vincent, there shall be much wind


There is always one fine week in February

If bees get out in February, the next day will be windy and rainy

Fogs in February mean frosts in May

Winter’s back breaks about the middle of February

When the cat lies in the sun in February, she will creep behind the stove in March

Of all the months of the year, curse a fair February

If it thunders in February, it will frost in April

If February give much snow, a fine summer it doth foreshow


When March has April’s weather, April will have March’s weather

Thunder in March betokens a fruitful year

Dust in March brings grass and foliage

A March sun sticks like a lock of wool

A wet March makes a sad harvest

March dry, good rye

A dry March and a wet May, fill barns and bays with corn and hay

If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb

As it rains in March, so it rains in June

March winds and April showers, bring forth May flowers


[1st] If it thunders on All Fools’ Day, it brings good crops of corn and hay

Moist April, clear June

Cloudy April, dewy May

Snow in April is manure

April wet, good wheat

A cold April brings us bread and wine

April showers, bring forth May flowers

If April blows its horn, it’ll bring forth hay and corn

Till April’s dead, change not a thread

If early April is foggy, rain in June will make lanes boggy


[1st] Hoar frost on 1st May indicates a good harvest

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay

In the middle of May comes the tail of winter

Water in May brings bread through all the year

Mist in May, heat in June, makes harvest come right soon

A wet May makes a big load of hay

A cold May is kindly and fills the barn finely

Cast ne’er a clout till May be out


A good leak in June sets all in tune

When it is hottest in June it will be coldest in the corresponding days of the next February

[24th] Rain on St. John’s Day and we may expect a wet harvest

A calm June puts the farmer in tune

June damp and warm, does the farmer no harm


[1st] If the 1st of July be rainy weather, it will rain more or less three weeks together

Ne’er trust a July sky

[3rd] Dog days bright and clear, indicate a happy year

[15th] St. Swithin’s Day, if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain; St. Swithin’s Day, if thou be fair, for forty days ’twill rain nae mair


If the first week in August is unusually warm, the winter will be white and long

[24th] Thunderstorms after St. Bartholomew are mostly violent

When it rains in August, it rains honey and wine

[24th] If St. Bartholomew’s be clear, a prosperous autumn comes that year

Dry August and warm doth harvest no harm


[1st] Fair on September 1st, fair for the month

Heavy September rains bring drought

[19th] If on September 19th there is a storm from the south, a mild winter can be expected

[29th] If St. Michael’s brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow

[29th] A dark Michaelmas, a light Christmas


Much rain in October, much wind in December

For every fog in October, a snow in winter

Full moon in October without frost, no frost till full moon in November

If ducks do slide at Hallowtide, at Christmas they will swim; If ducks do swim at Hallowtide, at Christmas they will slide

When berries are many in October, beware a hard winter

When birds and badgers are fat in October, expect a hard winter


A heavy November snow will last until April

Thunder in November, a fertile year to come

Flowers in bloom late in autumn indicate a bad winter

A cold November, a warm Christmas

[11th] Wind in the North-west on St. Martin’s Day, there’s a severe winter on the way; Wind in the South-west on St. Martin’s Day, there it will remain till February, and a mild winter will be had

A warm November is a sign of a bad winter to come

Ice before Martinmas, enough to bear a duck, the rest of winter, is sure to be but muck.


Thunder in December presages fine weather

A green Christmas, a white Easter

As the days lengthen, so the cold strengthens

If it rains much during the 12 days after Christmas, it will be a wet year

If sun shines through the apple trees upon a Christmas Day, when autumn comes they will a load of fruit display

If New Year’s Eve night-wind blows south, It betokeneth warmth and growth; If west, much milk, and fish in the sea; If north, cold and storms there will be; If east, the trees will bear much fruit; If north-east, flee it, man and brute!

If Christmas day be bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year

A clear, star-filled sky on Christmas Eve will bring good crops in the summer


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