Appalachia Weather

Too Much Rain in Lots of Places


Back in the spring we had record breaking rain for the month of May. The rainy trend has continued, and with hurricane Florence headed inland I’m sure this month will be added to the record books too.

As I’ve thought about the horrendous flooding that’s happening on the coast my mind has gone back to the posts and comments about rain that have been published over the years here on the Blind Pig. Here’s a peek back at a few of them.


I jumped over to the Frank C. Brown Collection of NC Folklore to see if it had anything to say about rain. From sayings to folklore the book has a lot to say about rain.

  • Like a picked chicken in a rain storm (sounds very uncomfortable)
  • Raining like cattle with their horns down (seems like I’ve heard this one, but not sure)
  • A bull frog knows more about rain than the Almanac (true)
  • A small rain will lay a great dust (a very deep saying if you study on it)
  • As right as rain
  • More rain, more rest (I’m sure this one was from the days when most folks were farmers)
  • Sense enough to come in out of the rain (I hear this one often)
  • The rain doesn’t know broadcloth from jeans
  • Voice like rain on a tin roof (I think that would be a very pretty voice)
  • It never rains but it pours (ain’t that the truth!)
  • One raindrop can’t make a crop
  • As welcome as the sun after a rain
  • Sunshine follows the rain
  • The morning rain is like an old woman’s dance, soon over (not this go around-its rained at all hours of the day and night)
  • Gully-washer – A heavy rain
  • Rain-seed – mottled clouds that mean rain is coming
  • Trash-breaker, trash-washer – A big and sudden downpour of rain


Forecast for Rain

Seeing the various flood watches for our surrounding area has left me worrying about other folks. The impending weather also reminded me of posts I’d shared in the past about rain especially one where I mentioned a heavy rain being called a “little Noah” a term I wasn’t familiar with until I read it in the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. Here are a few comments from you about rain.

  • Mamabug: Never heard of a little Noah. Folks around here sometimes refer to heavy rain as gully washers or frog stranglers. We had a hard rain here last night.
  • Steve in TN: Rain is a great soother. It is best when you don’t have to work in it, but as I get older, it is always welcome. But I have also learned that too little or too much of anything isn’t good. We called them gully washers.
  • Bradley: I’ve heard most of the sayings about rain. There was one I used to hear concerning an impending hard rain. Granny used to say (and I was never really sure of the mechanics ), “Boys, now you need to get inside cause it’s fixin’ to rain like two cats a fightin’.” I suppose she meant when two male cats were competing for the attention of a female that they would spit at one another alot. I suppose the amount of spitting would be directly proportional to the desirability of the female. That is about as good a G-rating description as I can say.
  • Wanda in NoAla: Tipper, I haven’t heard little Noah, but all the rest are commonly used here. My daddy used to say ‘the bottom fell out’.
  • Don Casada: “Fell a flood” was mentioned at our family reunion last Sunday. Around 1940, there was what Pearl Cable called a water spout in Coots Cove, on the east side of Pilkey Creek basin. It was a very localized pouring (Pearl didn’t recall it even raining at their house, less than a mile away) which completely decimated the area, washing away homes, Mae Posey’s mill, and the bridge below the mill. A dead cow was left hanging up in a tree more than ten feet off the ground. The swath it cut appears to have been close to 100 ft wide in places, leaving nothing other than rocks in its wake. This is on a feeder stream which a 60 year old feller wearing a backpack can normally jump across. In early September of 1951, there was a washout event over on the TN side where a wall of water came down the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River in Gatlinburg and carried cars downstream. Good thing neither of these events happened recently – they’d surely have been the result of global warming 😉
  • Ken: Tipper, I’m very familiar with the Deer Hunter’s saying about rain. And I say it came a “young Noah” when it comes a downburst and starts flooding. Way back in the 30’s, before I was even thought about, my parents had a cloudburst and they escaped in the middle of the night with 3 of my older brothers. They lost everything…Ken
  • Ed Ammons: The first TV we ever had, had come from a TV shop in Franklin that had been flooded. The set worked just fine when we could “get a picture”. When it finally gave up, me and Harold opened it up to try to fix it and it still had mud inside.


  • Ray P. Algee: There’ll be some good rock hunting after these “Mississippi Log Rollers”!
  • Dee Parks: A frog strangler and its raining cats and dogs. Gully washer. We had a Deluge. We have been having a lot of rain but we did have two sunny days here in south central PA. Now we are back to probable showers every day for what looks like 6 or 7 days. The poor town of Elicott City, Maryland had a torrent of rain gushing down its main street rising as high as the first floor of their buildings. Children, me included in days gone by, love to dance around in a summer rain and love to jump in mud puddles created from all that rain. And then there are those songs that stick in your head: Rainy Night in GA, Kentucky Rain, Raindrops Keep Falling on my head, I Love a Rainy Night (great sleeping), and one of my favorites – Singing in The Rain. Lately, though it seems like the Temptations must have been singing “I Wish It Would Rain.” Me, I’m ready for the sunshine.
  • Bill Burnett: I’ve heard most of these but a couple more are “A stump floater” & “A frog drowner” come to mind. A few days ago we had downpour, a neighbor’s garden end up downtown Bryson City which is a mile away. The branch which drains our neighborhood enters the Tuckasegee right behind the Pavilion where the Presley Girls were scheduled to perform so they may have seen a little of this downfall or the results of the same.

Our area isn’t expecting a lot of damage this go around and I’m thankful. But my heart goes out to all the folks who’ve been in the path of destruction. I send them all God Speed.


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  • Reply
    harry adams
    September 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    “Rain when the sun is shining and it will rain again tomorrow.” My daddy used to say that in the summer and I have watched it for several years and it seems to hold true. It is the time when there are brief summer showers and it may be raining in one area and sun shining in another.

    I have two friends who grew up on farms and when it rained their fathers had work in the barn for them. There was no rest because it was raining. Both told me similar stories never knowing the other person.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    September 15, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I remember Hurricane Hazel in ’54. It was raining when the school bus picked us up. It was really raining by the time we reached the school. The principal met the bus and told the driver to that school had been canceled and take us back home. There was an area where a small creek ran alongside the road. It resembled a river on the return trip. Got soaking wet moving all the critters to an old log barn on higher ground. Went through many hurricanes and typhoons at sea. Hazel was the only one I experienced ashore until Iniki in ’92.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 15, 2018 at 10:59 am

    “Cow peeing on a flat rock”–an old friend used to say this. “Come on down, sweet drops of rest.”–Mama & sisters out in the cotton fields as children.

    I know the costal areas are beautiful but I’m glad I don’t live there. So hope everyone will be ok.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Looks like Florence is going to just barely scoot by us here in Burke County but she ain’t going away for a while. The project possible path puts us just on the outer right edge, curving around us, until early Monday. When I looked at the NOAA map it reminded me of a rooster fighting. You know how they lean sideways with their wings spread out trying to circle their opponent, one wingtip touching the ground. Well that’s me, at that point. The point Florence is dragging her right wing. That makes me uneasy as she could turn and give me a flogging at any time.

    Looks like your place will be at the left side of the path tomorrow. Please take precautions! Those Things are very unpredictable and can turn on you in a heartbeat!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2018 at 9:28 am

    This storm will definitely make history and I’m glad you and your family will not be in it’s direct path. My cousin in Eastern Ky will have a few sleepless nights as he stays up during heavy rains to keep an eye on a creek that is way too close to his house. Praying for all the folks who have lost so much during this difficult time.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Alot of different kinds of rain. There’s nothing more peaceful than listening and watching a slow rain.Those are tje good ones. Thats one thing people has no control over, only Our God in Heaven!!! God Bless!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 15, 2018 at 8:15 am

    No rain from Florence here just south of the mountain in north Georgia. Best chance tomorrow (60%) then back to dry. My garden needs some.

    Hope western North Carolina doesn’t get enough rain to cause those mud slides that have been mentioned.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 15, 2018 at 6:55 am

    That’s quite a collection of rain sayings and I can’t remember any that are not listed…well, maybe one but it’s not printable.
    You know, we might not be getting the heavy rain that the coast is getting but we are still getting that funny feel in the air and the funny look in the sky!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2018 at 6:52 am

    I’ve heard quit a few of the sayings, but in reference to rain here is a little scripture to go a lone with it, Math. 5: 43 – 45

    43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

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