Appalachian Dialect Weather

Falling Weather

falling weather on the mountain

falling weather noun
1 Rain or snow; weather portending rain or snow.
1924 (in 1952 Mathes Tall Tales 49) Granny Mag’s falling weather was at hand. Occasional lightening flashes filled the room with dazzling whiteness after which the tiny oil lamps in their wall brackets glowed sickly yellow again. 1936 LAMSAS (Madison Co NC). 1938 Justus No-End Hollow 227 By failing weather she meant rain or snow. 1939 Hall Coll. Sevierville TN We’re gonna have some fallin’ weather. (R. L. Branton) 1995 Montgomery Coll. (Cardwell)
2 Autumn weather
1942 Thomas Blue Ridge 63 It was in the falling weather. These hills…were a blaze of glory.

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

We’ve had falling weather this week. Yesterday was cold and rainy and I hear we’re going to have our first dip into the 30s by the weekend. With tomorrow being the first of October I guess its time.


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  • Reply
    Paul Sechler
    October 5, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    My mother would refer to falling weather as a prediction of rain or snow in the near future. Smoke from the coal cookstove and the “Warm Morning” heating stove would come out of the chimney and stay very close to the ground as a sign of falling weather.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Doing a little catch-up reading of my Blind Pig posts. When I ran across this one I immediately though of a falling barometer meaning stormy weather ahead. The air pressure falls, warmed air rises higher, meets colder and colder air, and if it carries a lot of moisture depending on prevailing winds (from the coast?), voila! – rain or snow! This is pure speculation – I’m hoping some expert will confirm it – I could use a few times being right about something lately but won’t be too disappointed if my theory is wrong.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Haven’t heard the term ”falling weather”, yet if it meant a big snow ( which I love), or a needed rain, or the falling weather of seasons change, I do enjoy it. I do enjoy something about every season….seems like only yesterday I was longing to see the greens of spring and summer with all it brings…then when I begin to experience fall’s crispness in the air I get kinda enlivened with the changes and joys to come in the months ahead. We haven’t had a first frost , but it’s cooler with some change in the leaves but not on a grand scale yet. The hummingbirds are still here ….I think not for long though. Great camping weather.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve never heard of falling weather, but it goes to show you that a retired teacher can learn something new. I was watching the radar on my tablet last night, and rain covered all of Virginia into Maryland.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    September 30, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Tipper this is great info on weather never heard it called this. Boy in April 1942 in Cherokee County a deep Snow of 26 inches. We enjoy your web site so much , thank you

  • Reply
    September 30, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Never heard of falling- weather, but I now look forward to it, as it keeps me inside with easier work. Won’t be long until snow is flying. The snow is especially wonderful to watch from a big window since Ido not have to be out driving- in it.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 30, 2020 at 10:33 am

    To Tipper and Blind Pig Readers/Responder: “Falling Weather” is, indeed, a term known to me, for I was “born and raised”–“reared”–right in the midst of Appalachia in Choestoe (“the Place Where Rabbits Dance”, Cherokee meaning of the name of my farm community near Vogel State Park) in Union, County, Blairsville, GA. In September and October, my father, a noted sorghum-syrup maker and farmer in Union County, spend from 6 to 8 weeks each fall making sorghum syrup–from our own cane pateches, and for farmers in a broad area around us who hauled their harvested cane stalkes piled high on either wagons or pick-up trucks to Daddy’s sorghum syrup mill to be made into that delectable “breakfast-sweet” food, sorghum syrup, delicious on a homemade biscuit with a little butter (we worked too hard for that breakfast sweet to make us “fat”)–hence we didn’t have to worry about gaining weight. The “falling weather” if rain, often interfered with the cane being harvested, and if hard and prolonged during a day, prevented my daddy and his workers grinding the cane into juice and my Daddy turning the strained juice into the delectable product, sorgum syrup as he toiled over the long boiler set atop the furnace he had built to fit the long boiler. Two of my jobs (especially after my mother died when I was age 14), was getting the noon meal for teh sorghum-syrup-mill-and-cane-harvester workmen. My Daddy got me “hardship-excused” from high school for the period; I did my lessons at home, sent to me by my dear high school teachers–a weeks’ assignment in each subject.” After I finished serving the country meal, from products on our farm, including fryers for meat, and vegetables from our late garden, and got the kitchen/dining room “in order” again, I went to the syrup mill to be Daddy’s “measuring-up” worker, putting the barrel-full of cooked syrup into gallon, half-gallon, and quart containers for sale. Sorghum, and Daddy’s “turn” of that he made for others, was one of our major money crops of the year. All this was hard work, but we expected it to be so, and did not complain. We prayed that the “Falling Weather” would hold up until ours and the area-farmers’ cane crop could be harvested and made into syrup. Much of our yearly tax money, money for new wnter shoes and clothes, our tithe for church, and some “surplus” cash to help us until the next year when first crops could be sold, was so necessary. I cannot remember the “Falling Weather” being more than a day or few days’ challenge. Therefore, God did answer our prayers about the weather–that was important in how we conducted our important fall work. Thanks for reminding me of “Falling Weather.” So enjoy “Blind Pig and the Acorn!”

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    September 30, 2020 at 10:27 am

    A full day of “falling weather” ushered in autumn’s brisk breezes to Appalachian Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake yesterday, though first frost has already fuzzed the grass and the rooftops white ( Sept. 19th and again on the 20th). Flashy red maples are heralding autumn glory on the lakeshore and mountainsides, a spread of brilliance rising to peak color over the next two weeks.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    September 30, 2020 at 10:07 am

    i have never heard of that either. stay warm and dry dear tipper. we love you all. fall is here in sw pa, its raining and some trees have dropped their leaves…not much color tho.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2020 at 9:33 am

    I have never heard of falling weather. Monday was an ugly, depressing day as we had falling weather and got much needed rain. Looks like our first frost will arrive about a week or two earlier than normal as the temperature drops to the 30s this weekend. The persimmons were killed during the hard freeze we had in May, leaving me with no way to predict our winter weather. Tipper, I know you are hoping to find lots of spoons in your persimmon seeds.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    September 30, 2020 at 9:00 am

    I use falling weather for rain or snow but my Father-In-Law used it in two ways. He not only used it for rain or snow but for the change of the seasons from summer to fall and fall to winter.
    Tipper, we had that falling weather too but looks like it’s going to be pretty rest of week. The temperatures this weekend are dropping into the mid 40’s.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 30, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Yep, I’ve heard that expression “gonna be a falling in the weather”. I’ve never been quite sure what “falling” included. But I think it means any one of, or a combination of, rain, snow and colder temperatures.

    I recall a fella I worked with telling the story of the work crew seeing a possum carrying leaves. It was fall and nice weather still. But a fella on the crew said, “Boys there’s gonna be a falling in rhe weather and it ain’t gonna be rain.” That night it came a big snow.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    September 30, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Miss Cindy spoke my same sentiments. One’s time to break out the girls beautiful sweaters to stay toasty warm! I’m also hearing of folks feeling down due to the weather changing. The wooly caterpillars are black ALL OVER here which means a bad winter….my goodness!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    September 30, 2020 at 7:44 am

    I have heard of falling weather before, but only because I was doing research for a historical fiction story I was writing and it showed up in my research. I thought it was kind of an old-fashioned way of talking about rainy weather so I put it in my manuscript.

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    September 30, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Love this time of the year. To be honest I think I look forward to each season for different reasons. Fall, the beauty of the leaves. Winter, the smell of wood burning. Spring, the rebirth. Summer, the flowers and time spent outside. What a great place to live.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 30, 2020 at 6:47 am

    New one on me! I’ve never heard of falling weather but it certainly is a fitting name for weather falling out of the sky.

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