About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Is there any truth to the saying “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb?”

If March comes in with bad weather (like a lion), will it go out sunny and calm (like a lamb)? I grew up hearing that saying along with many others like:
- March winds and April showers? Bring forth May flowers.
- If it rains before seven, it clears by eleven.
- Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailors delight.

Where did the saying come from?
A proverb is usually an instructive sentence or common saying that is full of knowledge and passed along easily. People whose survival depended on weather prediction looked for common rhythms or patterns. In like a lion and out like a lamb, became a very common saying in 19th century England even though it was recognized to not work well. 
It may be that the relative positions of constellations created the origin of this phrase. In the beginning of March, Leo the Lion's constellation is rising on the eastern horizon of the evening sky, while by the end of the month, Aries the Ram (or lamb) is setting in the west.

With March being such a changeable month where we can see warm spring-like temperatures or late-season snowstorms, perhaps it is understandable why people would like to pass on the hope that nice weather is just around the corner.

Related Articles:
-          Can birds predict the weather? http://bit.ly/w3bhs8
-          Weather is everywhere. http://bit.ly/ybOkpT
-          Does the Woolly Bear predict the weather? http://bit.ly/x8CYjU
-          Where birds go when it storms http://bit.ly/xpvtC0

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