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Can Animals Predict the Weather?

Yesterday was a very bad weather day for many parts of the eastern US.  Jen was worried, because the birds weren’t out and about and the feral cats didn’t show up at the usual time looking for a meal.  But when the feral kitties showed up late in the afternoon, I told Jen that everything was gonna be OK. Was I right?

Can animals really predict the weather?

Can a snow dog predict snow?

.

There is some evidence that animals CAN predict the weather, but it’s not some kinda sixth sense we have.  Instead, there’s logical reasons why.

First of all, most animals have a greater range of hearing than humans.  A cat can hear lower frequencies than a human, and a cow can hear even lower frequencies than a cat! Some animals can hear some sounds associated with severe weather before a human, like distant thunder, earthquake shockwaves, or ocean waves.

So when the ferals came ’round looking for a meal, I was right to say all was well!

This kitty knew the coast was clear!

But what about the birds?  What’s their story? Can they hear thunder far away too? Birds are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure (air pressure) and hydrostatic pressure (water pressure).  If there’s a big change in the air pressure because of a hurricane or severe storms, birds are going to hunker down to wait it out, or get the heck outta Dodge!  Bees also sense changes in barometric pressure.

So if the birds aren’t out and about as usual, that might be a clue to be concerned.

Well, maybe not this bird......

And there ya have it folks! I wouldn’t suggest using us instead of your professional weather forecaster, but I do suggest you become more aware of the patterns of behavior in nature, so you can investigate further when changes occur.

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About Rumpy Drummond

I am a malamute that was rescued by Jen. I live with June Buggie the cat. I blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com. You can follow me on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE my Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

79 thoughts on “Can Animals Predict the Weather?

  1. Thank you so much for a very informative post with humor. I love visiting your post to see what the animals are up too.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Posted by fgassette | March 3, 2012, 6:42 AM
  2. Mom, Isaiah and I are very happy that you are all okay. Mom was concerned yesterday and she kept on looking at radar for your location. We were glad to see your posts last night. We were having horrible weather Thursday with snow and in the mornng there were no birds at the feeders, so no kitty Television. In the afternoon they were out in force and Isaiah and I kept hopping from window to window there were so many.

    Posted by Cleo The-diva Sykes | March 3, 2012, 6:43 AM
  3. Oh I definitely think animals “know” – one of those extra senses I think when the weather is changing – especially if it’s dangerous weather coming. We remember when the tornado came here a few years ago, Sam knew before WE knew – he came flying by us heading for the basement so we followed him and sure enough, ten minutes later the tornado arrived. That morning had been extremely quiet too – no birds at the feeders, our two feral kitty visitors didn’t come for their free meal, and no deer either. They feel it in their bones I think!!

    Pam and Sam

    Posted by onespoiledcat | March 3, 2012, 6:44 AM
  4. I agree – listening to the animals is more accurate than the weather channel. Thanks for the post.

    Posted by dogdaz | March 3, 2012, 7:19 AM
  5. Great post Rumpy! I happen to think animals know when the weather is changing and loved reading more about why. Pretty neat! Cute feral kitty, too :)

    Posted by For the Love of My Dogs | March 3, 2012, 7:27 AM
  6. Very interesting. I always figure it had to do with superior hearing, our dogs know when its going to rain for sure

    Posted by Urban Hounds | March 3, 2012, 7:31 AM
    • Yeah! We dogs hear the higher frequencies and some lower than humans. Humans can’t hear near as good as the rest of us animals, and they are often distracted so they don’t really take in everything that they DO hear.

      Posted by rumpydog | March 3, 2012, 7:37 AM
  7. We are sure happy to know that you all are safe and sound. Nice informative post. Mumsy thinks watching the wildlife is a great way to help predict the weather. Hugs and nose kisses

    Posted by Chancy, Mumsy and Crew | March 3, 2012, 7:38 AM
  8. First of all, I’m very relieved that everypawdy in your family was safe Rumpy!
    Yes I totally agree that animals can predict the weather and also a convulsion of nature. When we had a terrible eathequakes on the 11th of March last year, it was said that lots of feral cats did disappear around the areas where Tunami and earthequakes hit. It’s also said that cats can feel the electromagnetic wave that is caused just before eathquakes happen, so they escape from the center of it. Animals who live in the natural world must have special talents than the animals who live with humans. We have to pay our respects to them for their unusual power. :)

    Posted by eripanwkevin | March 3, 2012, 7:40 AM
    • Great point Kevin! I think when humans realize that there are scientific explanations instead of just anecdotal, they will be more apt to pay attention to what we have to say about what’s happening in the world around us.

      Posted by rumpydog | March 3, 2012, 7:48 AM
  9. Reblogged this on delia1979.

    Posted by delia1979 | March 3, 2012, 7:43 AM
  10. i think they can not only predict the weather, but the apocalypse!

    Posted by sweetmother | March 3, 2012, 7:48 AM
  11. We looked on a map to see where the tornadoes were. Glad they didn’t come near you! We remembered when that tree fell over in your yard last year. Zhaan thinks the feral kitty looks a lot like her, so maybe they’re cousins. Be sure to tell us if you feel snow coming, so we can do The Dance of Joy for you. We know you love snow!

    Posted by Annabelle Essert (@RainbowCatsx8) | March 3, 2012, 8:09 AM
  12. Glad you made it through OK! I remember how the horses would always act before an incoming storm. I think it had to do with the change in air pressure but I was never sure.

    Posted by Howlin' Mad Heather | March 3, 2012, 8:26 AM
  13. A tornado was so close to our furend Sweet William’s house that he and his Lady.. went to their Basement. It blew out some of their windows and they could HEAR it.

    I totally Know we can tell when bad thingys are comin.

    Posted by Frankie Furter and Ernie | March 3, 2012, 8:48 AM
  14. Whenever a storm is approaching our gorgeous dog, Sweetie, becomes a little agitated. Her little tail sinks between her legs and she slinks about the house as if looking for an intruder; all the while emitting a low growl. This can be up to an hour before the storm….!
    Tornadoes are not very common here in Australia… I imagine they must be quite a scary thing to experience…. !

    Posted by carolynpageabc | March 3, 2012, 9:09 AM
  15. Very interesting post Rumpy! Here in Florida, when the lizards just start scattering, we know a strom is in the horizon. They are NEVER wrong!

    Posted by Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey | March 3, 2012, 9:13 AM
  16. I also think smell has something to do with it too. You know how Jen and other humans can smell rain? Well, I think dogs like you Rumpy, and other animals, can also smell if rain or bad weather is approaching.

    Great post! :)

    Posted by Palm Trees & Bare Feet | March 3, 2012, 9:24 AM
  17. Phantom is a good predictor of when there is bad weather in the area, like t-storms or tornadoes. But his range is pretty wide, so he isn’t super accurate about when it actually will hit us. But the warning is still good.

    As for snow, of which we have had very little this winter, we usually get very excited the day before snow is due, we often have our snooters up in the air, and we don’t want to come in at night. Now if only we could have some snow so we could demonstrate our powers:)

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    Posted by Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning | March 3, 2012, 9:48 AM
  18. Cool post, Rumpy! Us animals are amazing creatures!
    Love,
    Payton

    Posted by Payton | March 3, 2012, 10:00 AM
  19. It’s not only weather. My cats can tell when we are getting company way before we hear the car turning in the driveway. Our first clue is the swift flight of 3 cats up the steps to peer down through the banister.

    Posted by katecrimmins | March 3, 2012, 10:06 AM
  20. Yes, there is a lot we can learn from nature, Rumpy.

    BTW thanks for the heads up on the non toxic flea stuff. Though I get mine from the vet now, I’ll look into it xx

    Posted by CATachresis | March 3, 2012, 10:08 AM
  21. I know the Ched would disagree with this but I definitely think that canines are the best weather predictors.We had several doggies when I was a kid and when a storm was brewing they were runniing around in circles, looking up at the sky etc…it was so interesting to watch. And they were always right! :)

    Sorry Ched, felines can’t be first at everything. ;)

    Good post Rumpy!

    Posted by Geraldine | March 3, 2012, 11:02 AM
  22. No Rumpy, it’s not scientific at all – we all sneak a peek at weatapps on cell phones when people aren’t looking :)

    Posted by Bassas Blog | March 3, 2012, 11:28 AM
  23. I meant weather apps – pity we can’t all spell :)

    Posted by Bassas Blog | March 3, 2012, 11:29 AM
  24. I don’t know- I sometimes think we animals are just a touch better at this weather predicting than the meteorologists. I guess, at least we don’t go telling the whole world what’s coming and find out hours later we were wrong. We try to keep it to ourselves unless someone asks!

    Posted by onecoolgriff | March 3, 2012, 11:54 AM
  25. Cool post! My dog, Charlie, always knows when visitors are coming, he hears the car before it even gets to the driveway! Then of course he likes to announce their visit for the next 5 mins! The cats & dogs also knew about each earthquake & severe aftershocks here in Christchurch, New Zealand. The cats disappeared pronto & dogs managed to warn their owners with some being dragged from homes & shops before the buildings collapsed. In my view animals are much better meteorologists,than what we here in NZ!! Thanks Rumpy :)

    Posted by a BUMP to the HEAD | March 3, 2012, 1:32 PM
  26. Well any animal is better than the TV weatherman hoo gets it wrong EVERY time! xx

    Posted by Milo and Alfie | March 3, 2012, 1:49 PM
  27. Yes! In the apls we say, when a dog eats grass, or the birds fly low, it’ll rain ;)
    peace
    xandi

    Posted by xandimusic | March 3, 2012, 2:48 PM
  28. Hi Y’all,

    Yep, but sometimes I think my Human is just as sensitive as she gets a severe migraine any time weather fronts approach. Do y’all think she was an animal in another life?

    Just hopped by to catch up on your happenings and say hello! Have a great weekend!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    Posted by Hawk aka BrownDog | March 3, 2012, 3:06 PM
  29. I have a prof friend who studies animal behavior particular to earthquakes, and they do signal an event.

    Posted by apronheadlilly | March 3, 2012, 3:26 PM
  30. I think animals can sense the weather. Poppy acts really weird when she knows there is a storm brewing somewhere – long before it comes.
    Birds also are a good indicator that something is is going on with the weather, we just need to take note of all these things.
    Great informative post Rumpy!

    Posted by barb19 | March 3, 2012, 4:06 PM
  31. I absolutely believe they do know (for all the logical genetic reasons you mentioned). Ants are a great barometer too. I also notice that Georgia gets affected by seasonal changes. There’s usually a sort of down period. It used to freak me out but the vet said she was just probably adjusting.

    Posted by Georgia Little Pea | March 3, 2012, 4:13 PM
  32. Hi,
    I have read of dogs in whole neighborhoods barking madly before an earthquake hit, so I think they do have a lot of senses that are very tuned in to what is around them.

    Posted by magsx2 | March 3, 2012, 5:06 PM
  33. Hey Rumpy, Jet here. As usual, another show of your investigative prowess. If the humans read or heard reports at the time of the tsunami, the animals fled to higher ground.

    I sniff when I exit the garage each evening to determine if the weather makes me feel safe or not… After a minute or so, I give Mom the “sign”.

    Have a great night.

    Posted by heyitsjethere | March 3, 2012, 8:06 PM
  34. You guys can, Rumpy, no doubt about it. And we humans are grateful for that.

    My hometown (in the countryside of the Philippines) is typhoon-prone and we somehow know if one is going to be really bad because there is a very eerie silence that cloaks everything. The domestic animals and livestock that you would usually hear are at first agitated then become all quiet and crouched down. The birds fly off the trees and go every which way, like they’ve lost their sense of direction. We go out to our backyard and no sound can be heard.

    It is always frightening when that happens. By experience, we know that within half an hour, a really strong typhoon will hit.

    Posted by tita buds | March 3, 2012, 11:39 PM
  35. I think us animals can predict the weather better than my weather person any day.

    Posted by Bongo | March 4, 2012, 12:10 AM
  36. Great post! I do think animals can sense a lot more than we give them credit for.

    Posted by Bassetmomma | March 4, 2012, 3:04 AM
  37. Great post! I think animals can predict the weather. :)

    Posted by Dianda | March 4, 2012, 7:52 AM
  38. You are quite right. The last time we had a major earthquake here (many years ago now) our feline friends knew something was up. They simply would not leave the hallway in the apartment we rented and sure enough we had a shake up. When it was over they continued to go about the apartment. I was assured things would be alright.

    Posted by Renee Espriu | March 4, 2012, 10:20 AM
  39. I agree with you dear Jenny, they can do this. I always feel better when I hear the birds around my home, but when I can’t hear them, I know something is wrong… Thank you dear Jenny, with my love, nia

    Posted by niasunset | March 4, 2012, 12:37 PM
  40. A fun *and* informative post!

    Posted by kathryningrid | March 4, 2012, 2:21 PM
  41. Haha, professional weather forecasters are so wrong so often!

    Posted by Anne Schilde | March 4, 2012, 2:50 PM
  42. Hi Rumpy,,,,
    Thanks for stopping by my place to meet me. You have some great info in this post, and I believe every word of it. When I sense a storm coming in, and in the St. Louis, Mo. area we have been having plenty of them, I quit joking around and head for cover under my best friend .

    Posted by Joke Puppy | March 4, 2012, 4:04 PM
  43. I think animals can definitely predict the weather. The know when storms are coming.

    Posted by 2browndawgs | March 4, 2012, 5:39 PM
  44. Not only weather but earthquakes too. I know from experience!

    Posted by marina kanavaki | March 5, 2012, 4:05 AM
  45. All the critters, especially the birds, certainly do know when severe weather is approaching. Excellent and important post here today to help everyone stay safer!

    Posted by granbee | March 5, 2012, 12:33 PM
  46. You make a lovely snow dog :) A very intelligent one too! That was very interesting info, we don’t have birds on Europa…-176 degrees C is a touch cold for them to survive in! Scientists think there may be strange things in our under-ice oceans but we’re not telling lol ;) Our weather guessers are hopeless but my internet connection is awesome at predicting snow and cloudy, rainy, stormy weather… it runs away and takes cover till it’s all over! And us wolfies sit around the pack laptop staring at a blank screen telling us Howlnet Explorer can’t connect to the server, please howl again later! Oh wolf, oh flea!!

    Posted by europasicewolf | March 5, 2012, 3:55 PM
    • Oh Dog! Why is it so cold there? Brrrr…….

      Posted by rumpydog | March 5, 2012, 6:37 PM
      • It’s millions of rumpy-paws away from that big toasty hot yellow thing in the sky so it doesn’t get sunbathing hot like Earth :) It’s way out past that scary ghoulish red world where the little green aliens live and there’s a big bumpy lumpy asteroid belt to negotiate before the rumpy-paws would get near Jupiter and my little icy moon world of Europa! Good for dog sledding and ice skating though!!

        Posted by europasicewolf | March 7, 2012, 4:34 PM
  47. this is very informative rumpy thanks for sharing…

    Posted by willofheart | March 5, 2012, 6:30 PM
  48. Hi Rumpy,
    I knew right away something bad was about to happen last Friday evening and I tried to tell Joy we needed to head for the basement. I was right, but all she did was sit in her chair and watch the weather on T,V, Maybe next time she’ll listen to my whines and realize my pacing didn’t just mean I had to pee.
    Loved reading your post with Joy. By the way we are fine.
    Joy

    Posted by illumylife by Joy | March 5, 2012, 7:09 PM
  49. I think so. ;-)

    Posted by eof737 | March 6, 2012, 4:39 AM

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about.me

Rumpy Dog

Rumpy Dog

All About Me!

Hi! My name is Rumpy, and I am an Alaskan Malamute. I used to live in Middle Tennessee, but now my family and I reside in southeast Alabama. I have this cool blog that I started in 2011. Here at rumpydog.com we talk about all things animal, with a focus on animal welfare and responsible animal companion guardianship. But we also like to throw in a heaping helping of cute! cute! cute! I mean, how could you look at me and not melt, right?

My story? Well, I was found on the side of a busy street. Jenny thought she would help me find my home, but nobody claimed me. So now I live with her. She's a pretty good ole' gal, but she is mighty stingy with the dog cookies. *sigh*

There are also some cats- they each have their own story. June Buggie is their chief spokesperson. He is 16 years old, crotchety, and not afraid to say what's on his mind.

All writings and photos are the copyright property of Jenny Threet (unless the writer is a guest blogger, in which case it is the property of that guest blogger) and may not be used without permission.

You can contact me at rumpydog@hotmail.com.

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