Storm Team of Aquarium Animals

Chattanooga Chuck, the Tennessee Aquarium’s groundhog, is one of the many animals visitors have a chance to meet up close during an animal encounter.

Most people are familiar with the groundhog’s story – If he sees his shadow on February 2nd, there will be six more weeks of winter. If not, an early spring is expected. But many visitors may be surprised to discover that both Aquarium buildings are home to dozens of creatures with weather folklore touting their forecasting skills. Stingrays, sharks, catfish, trout and even butterflies have sayings related to their ability to predict atmospheric changes. 

Do screech owls really hoot before it rains? Can parrots foretell a storm? Will frogs call more loudly before showers?

Our experts have taken a look at many of the weather proverbs related to Chattanooga Chuck’s “Storm Team of Aquarium Animals” to see which tales are weather fact, weather fun or weather fiction. You might meet animals that are fabled forecasters during Extraordinary Experience programs.

Before or after your next Aquarium visit, check out these weather proverbs and what our animal experts have to say about their accuracy.

  • Weather Facts:  Proverbs with some scientific explanation of observed animal behavior
  • Weather Fun:  Proverbs that may be colorful, but not necessarily true
  • Weather Fiction:  Proverbs that can be disproven or may appear truthful by chance only

Thanks to the following Tennessee Aquarium staff members: Christine Bock, lead horticulturist, Dave Collins, curator of forests, Kevin Calhoon, assistant curator of forests, Susie Grant, senior educator, Bill Haley, education outreach coordinator, Rob Mottice, senior aquarist, Charlene Nash, horticulturist and Jennifer Taylor, entomologist. They helped evaluate the weather proverbs.