Can Animals Predict the Weather?

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Should you trust your dog over the local weatherman telling you if it's going to rain today? Maybe, according to CNYC Central.

Brian Underwood, Research Wildlife Biologist at SUNY ESF, believes that much of the animal kingdom has the innate ability to predict the weather. "They are able to respond to these very short-term events. And the really big one, for most wild animals, are low pressure systems. They have an internal barometer that is remarkable."

Can animals also predict long term weather patterns? Underwood says, "I think there's probably some - a modicum - of truth to some of that. But, I think anything longer than about 2 or 3 months is probably stretching it. Most mammals, for example, have a little gland in their head that keeps track of the sunlight they are exposed to, and it's a cumulative thing."

When animals accumulate the sunlight, they obtain information that helps them change their physiological processes over time. For example, an animal can begin to grow its winter coat or gather food when it senses that a season is coming.

Although they may not be able to predict the exact temperature of today's weather, their physical responses can certainly indicate upcoming meteorological patterns.

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