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Weather Fun

Weather Fun: Proverbs that may be colorful, but not necessarily true


When frogs croak three times, it indicates that winter has broken.  There is no magic number, but continued or repeated calling would indicate the onset of moist or warmer weather.

When birds of passage arrive early in their southern passage, severe weather may be looked for soon. Possible, but many times birds fly south early because weather conditions up north are bad. However, those weather conditions may not actually affect local weather.

When lizards chirrup, it is a sure indication of rain. Many lizards vocalize to attract a mate, but not to forecast approaching rain.
 
When birds cease to sing, rain and thunder will probably occur.
Possible, as some bird species are sensitive to pressure changes.

When tarantulas crawl by day, rain will surely come.  This saying was attributed to a contributor from California. It’s possible that these animals also respond to barometric pressure changes. Many individuals who keep tarantulas as pets report increased activity prior to major storms.

The appearance of crabs and lobsters indicates that spring has come, and that there will be no more freezing weather. This could be possible due to seasonal migration patterns of lobsters. Lobsters have also been observed moving into deeper waters before a tropical storm or hurricane in response to changing ocean currents.

Tree-frogs crawl up to the branches of trees before a change of weather. 
Changing weather frequently stimulates movements in tree frogs, but not always crawling up into branches.  Often they are stimulated to come down from branches to enter breeding ponds.
 
First robins indicate the approach of spring. Regional: In Tennesee, robins are here all the time.
 
It is said that parrots and canaries dress their feathers and are wakeful the evening before a storm. While all birds from macaws to penguins maintain their feathers by preening, some species may remain restless in response to pressure changes and/or changing wind conditions.
 
The first thunder of the year awakes the frogs and snakes from their winter sleep.  Aquarium experts are not aware of any research that demonstrates frogs or snakes respond specifically to thunder, but both groups are highly sensitive to vibrations in the earth. Thunder could combine with a variety of other environmental cues that stimulate these animal to emerge from hibernation or brumation, the hibernation-like state that cold-blooded animals utilize during very cold weather.

Salmon and trout plentiful in river (Columbia) show an abundance of rain in the surrounding country by which the river has risen. Probable - If there’s a lot of rain and the river is higher, there would be more available food for the fish.

When the white butterfly flies from the southwest, expect rain
. True - Butterflies cannot fly against a strong wind. The dominant wind flow ahead of an approaching cold front with storms is south or southwest. In fact, Doppler radar will sometimes show a very fine line ahead of a “squall-line” of storms. These echoes are frequently insects being detected by the sensitive radar. There have been a number of radar entomology studies focused on honeybees and other insects like Mayflies: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/mayfly.php  Bats and birds have also been studied with Doppler radar. Radar ornithology is another area of scientific research that continues to grow. Doppler radar can detect birds leaving their roosting locations early in the morning. This animation shows these “roost rings” expanding as the birds disperse from several central locations:

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