March Comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb. This proverb has been around since its mention in a 1732. Such weather proverbs and sayings have many origins. This one probably came from observations and a desire for accurate weather predictions.
Trouble is March can arrive as a lamb then turn lion-like in the end making the proverb an unreliable forecasting guide.
Historically Old Man Winter reluctantly allows Spring its turn at the climate. That’s because March is a pivotal meteorological month with an unpredictable seasonal pattern.
While the adage most likely refers to the weather, other sources trace its origins to the stars. If you look to the western horizon this time of year, you can see the constellations of Leo the Lion and Aries the Ram (or lamb).
Leo the Lion rises from the east in early March, meaning the month is coming in “like a lion.” By the end of the month, Leo is almost overhead, while Aries the Ram (lamb) is setting on the western horizon. Hence, the month is going out like a lamb.
Another theory claims the saying is biblical and the animal references symbolic. Jesus’s first appeared as the sacrificial lamb but returns as the Lion of Judah. Problem with that theory is the lion appears first, which is theologically inaccurate.
Perhaps the best solution to what the saying – March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb – means is to take it at face value. March may well start with fierce weather, but it’s always a clear signal spring is on its way.
Our March has been like a roller coast. One day warm and sunny (think 80s), the next wet and chilly (highs in the 50s), and another both cold and rainy the same day when one of those Texas northers comes through. Lion one day, lamb the next, or both in the same day. Old Man Winter is definitely fighting Springs arrival.
How’s your March weather?
Want to know whether you can expect lion or lamb weather in your area during these last days of March? You can find the Farmer’s Almanac long-range weather forecast, here.