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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
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Top 4 Folklore Favorites

Top 4 Folklore Favorites

Weather sayings are as colorful as our imagination. While many sayings are based on careful observations and turn out to be accurate, others are merely rhymes or beliefs of the people who came before us. Here are four favorite folklore sayings.

If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.”
People used to believe that bad spirits could affect the weather adversely, so they were cautious as to what they did or did not do in certain situations. Those beliefs often included ideas that there should be a balance in weather and life. So, if a month came in bad (like a lion), it should go out good and calm (like a lamb).

With March being such a changeable month in which we can see warm spring-like temperatures or late-season snowstorms, you can understand how this saying might hold true in some instances. We can only hope that if March starts off cold and stormy, it will end warm and sunny, but the key word is hope.

If a circle forms ‘round the moon, ‘twill rain or snow soon.
The halo that sometimes surrounds the moon is a beautiful sight. The halo is caused by light that is refracted as it passes through ice crystals of high-level clouds.While these high-level clouds themselves don’t carry any precipitation, they often foretell an advancing system of low pressure, which tends to bring undesirable weather conditions. While rain or snow may not always follow, the appearance of a halo provides a higher probability of wet weather.

Cold is the night . . .
When the stars shine bright.

The more moisture there is in the sky, the more the light from the sun, moon, and stars is dimmed or reddened. A very clear sky permits more starlight to penetrate, thus the stars appear brighter. Moisture tends to hold in the day’s heat like a blanket. The less moisture there is in the air at night, the more the temperature tends to fall. Thus, the brighter the stars appear, the cooler is the night.

“If birds fly low, then rain we shall know.”
A drop in air pressure causes air to become “heavier,” making it difficult for birds to fly at higher altitudes.

When birds fly low in the sky, you can be certain a weather system is approaching. This is because bad weather is associated with low pressure. The arrival of low pressure can also cause certain birds to hunt for insects that are flying lower to the ground for the same “heavy air” reason.

This proverb doesn’t only apply to heavy precipitation and wind – oncoming winter weather can also cause birds to fly low.

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.