Why do frogs make noise when it’s going to rain? An expert explains

Closer look into frog folklore, what it means for your backyard forecast

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Ever notice frogs make a lot of noise before it starts to rain? Some Native American groups believed frogs “singing” brought the rain. Is this true? Are frogs nature’s meteorologists? We decided to find out.

Savannah Boan, the crocodilian enrichment coordinator at Gatorland, says frogs love it when it rains.

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“Their colors appear brighter,” Boan said. “Frogs generally start to call when there is moisture in the air before, during and after the rain.”

Savannah Boan seen with her frog Feiffer. Boan is a crocodilian enrichment coordinator at Gatorland. (Gatorland)

The symphony of sounds people hear from these little amphibians is more than just a forecast: Could it mean love is in the air?

Mostly it’s males calling for females,” she said. “Higher temperatures in spring and summer, combined with all that moisture in the air, it’s the perfect time for frog romance.”

The fresh water is important for frog eggs, tadpoles, froglets, and adult frogs to survive and thrive for the 16 of 27 species of frogs that call Central Florida home. It’s not just the opportunity to mate that makes these local hoppers happy.

“An added bonus to the rain are puddles and extra food. Raindrops come down like tiny water bombs and sometimes hit bugs along the way, creating a delicious frog buffet,” Boan said. Who doesn’t love food with a good romance, right?

“Like humans, frogs have vocal cords, but they also have a vocal sac which is like an amplifier,” Boan said.

The sounds heard are more than just food and romance. It’s also frogs letting others know who’s boss to protect their territory. Boan said they can be very loud, and some can even be heard up to a mile away.

While we don’t condone solely relying on the symphony of sounds frogs belt out as a sure fire way of letting someone know it’s about to rain, it is Mother Nature’s indicator that rain is coming or has just passed. Apparently they get just as excited as us when there’s rain in the forecast. Of course, to find out what day and time it will rain, the Pinpoint Weather team has that covered on the mobile app, TV, and right here on ClickOrlando.com.


About the Author:

Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist Samara Cokinos joined the News 6 team in September 2017. In her free time, she loves running and being outside.