Check out which beasts, bugs and birds may forecast climate changes
Come February 2, everyone will be tuning in to find out if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow—meaning six more weeks of winter—or if we can look forward to an early spring. But according to the National Climatic Data Center, Phil has only been correct 39 percent of the time! Whether the basis for Groundhog's Day is fact or fiction, Phil and his groundhog brethren aren't the only animals humans look to for weather predictions. From frogs to cows, find out which beasts are believed to forecast a coming storm or a hot day.
These loud amphibians are said to croak even longer and louder than usual when bad weather is on the horizon. So as soon as you hear their volume increase, you can assume a storm is brewing.
Depending on how low our feathered friends are flying, we can gauge how bad the weather is going to be. It’s been said that if they're flying high, weather is clear. But if they’re flying closer to the ground, the air pressure of a storm system is causing them pain at higher altitudes.
Even farmers claim their animals can forecast the weather. According to legend, when cows sense bad weather, you’ll find them restless, antsy and swatting flies with their tails, or lying down in the pasture to save a dry spot.
Bees and Butterflies
When bees and butterflies have disappeared from the flower beds, you can expect some heavy weather coming your way. The folklore goes that if they’re not in their usual spots, something is up.
“When sheep gather in a huddle, tomorrow will have a puddle.” Although this rhyme is cute, the weather that comes with it isn't. It's believed you can expect a storm if these animals crowd together and shield each other.
One of the cutest insects around can also give us a hint as to the day's thermostat: “When they swarm, expect a day that’s warm.” On the other hand, if you notice the black and red bugs looking for shelter, then cold weather is on its way.
In preparation for bad weather, red and black ants have been known to build up their mounds for extra protection and even to cover the mounds’ holes. So if you notice higher mounds in your yard than usual, it's probably best to close the windows.
In America, the most popular legend of an animal that can predict the weather is the groundhog, and the most famous groundhog is Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If Phil sees his shadow, it means there will be six more weeks of winter, but if not, we can look forward to an early spring.