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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Why is it raining cats and dogs?!

While I sit here in NJ complaining about “boring weather,” I’m sure people on the West Coast are hoping for some “boring conditions.” They have been inundated with flooding rains, mountain snows, and damaging winds. Yes it’s been raining cats and dogs for quite some time.

Have you ever wondered where or why we say, “it’s raining casts and dog?” According to the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac, there are a few theories on the origin of this weather-related saying.

One relates it to northern mythology, which associated felines and canines with wind and rain. During this time, dogs were often pictured as the attendants of Odin, the storm god, and cats were believed to cause storms.

Another theory points to seventeenth-century England, when during heavy rains some city streets became raging rivers of filth carrying many drowned cats and dogs.

But the truth appears to be more mundane. Cats and dogs make a lot of noise when they fight (hence, fighting like cats and dogs), so they have become a metaphor for a noisy rain.

Whatever the reason is sure to be careful driving in these terrible conditions. Check out our must-read driving tips for wet, rainy roads, and I’ll do my best to send some boring conditions westward!

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.