in January means more than rumbling in the sky to many East Texans.
For many, many years East Texans have been predicting the weather
by trying to make heads or tails of signs from Mother Nature. The
state of the weather is often the first subject people discuss when
they meet. If you are living in East
Texas it is highly likely you have been hearing thunder that began
yesterday evening on January 8. What does thunder in January mean?
Thunder in January
means different things to different people. Out of everyone we spoke
to, not one person gave the same answer.
“Thunder in Texas means your fixing
to get wet…any month of the year,” according to one East Texan who
doesn’t put much stock in weather-lore.
Other East Texans still hold closely to the old wives’ tales that
have been passed down from generation to generation.
“My grand-daddy used to say, thunder in January or February means
frost in May,” Jana Pace of Cushing
One old wives’ tale suggests that thunder in the winter means there
will be snow within a week to 10 days. Another says thunder in January
means there will be a crop-killing frost early in the fall. Another
January thunder tale predicts great floods for the month of June.
Others say it’s thunder in February that is significant. One Houston
County resident told MYETX they have always heard, “If it thunders
in February it will frost on that same day in April.”
Several East Texans recall hearing thunder in January of 2011. Last
year, 2011 proved to be one of the driest years on record in Texas
and broke drought records across the state. However, it did snow
on a few occasions throughout the Pineywoods last year.
MYETX split a persimmon seed
again this year and found a spoon. Finding a spoon in a persimmon
seed foretells a wet winter with possible snow. East
Texas persimmons have portrayed
spoons for the last several years and for the last several years,
it has snowed in East Texas.
In 2007, it snowed on Easter.
in East Texas predict
the weather based on a “feeling.” Weather is known to effect the way
people feel and when the weather is damp and cold, some folks experience
aches and pains. A change in the weather has been to blame for many
achy knees and backs.
is one of the most popular topics among readers, especially in the
weeks and months leading up to winter each year and in the event of
strange weather. If you look up the word “lore” in the dictionary
the official definition is “the body of knowledge, especially of a
traditional, anecdotal, or popular nature, on a particular subject.”
While meteorologists use sophisticated equipment to forecast the weather,
old timers have been making their own predictions for centuries by
looking to the skies, their surroundings, animal behavior and other
factors they believe help determine future weather conditions.
MYETX has compiled a list of popular weather-lore sayings that East
Texans have lived by for nearly two centuries.
If a dog lies
on his back, it is going to rain.
When the cows
lie down in the field, it is going to rain.
If the cows
are lying down in the field, the fishing is not good.
When the maple
leaves turn inside out, it is going to rain.
If you see
a ring around the moon, it will rain within 24 hours.
If you see
the quarter moon tipped down, it will rain.
It will rain
if you kill a spider in the house.
7 will stop before 11 (a.m.).
the undersides of their leaves foretell rain.
If ant hills
are high in July, winter will be snowy.
If the first
week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy
fog in August, there will be a snowfall the following winter.
nuts in a flurry will cause snow to gather in a hurry.
A green Christmas
= a white Easter.
© Dana Goolsby
"In The Pines With Dana Goolsby"
January 27, 2012 Column
This article was originally published on MYETX.com