Don't have a thermometer or access to a weather app? This is kinda wild, but you can actually check the temperature outside this summer with the help of a common Kentucky bug.

The Cricket Chirp Challenge

Lots of folks think that nature can be used to predict the weather. From wooly worms, to foggy mornings, these were ways that humans have dealt with Mother Nature before modern day meteorology. The Old Farmer's Almanac is a source for all kinds of "old-fashioned" techniques and for this temperature gauge, they call is the Cricket Chirp Challenge.

Dolbear's Law

Developed in the late 1800s by a man named Amos Dolbear, this technique compares the temperature of an environment and the number of chirps a cricket makes in a given time period. Crickets chirp to find a mate or warn of predators and the muscles they use to do so are effected by how hot or cold it is outside. Contrary to popular belief, crickets do not use their prickly legs to make this sound, but the edges of their wings.

How to Determine Temperature By Counting Cricket Chirps

Using this very simple formula, you can find out how hot it is this summer if you hear crickets chirping outside.


  1. Go outside in the evening if you know a place where crickets chirp (or have a pet cricket).

  2. Bring a stopwatch (a mobile phone has one). Pick out the chirping sound of a single cricket.

  3. Just count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, then add 40 to get the temperature. (Perhaps do this a few times, just to see if you’re getting the same number. Take the average.)

  4. Check the temperature on an outdoor thermometer. Is it close?

  5. Try it again on a cooler evening. See how the chirp frequency changes.

Other bugs like spiders, ants, bees, and more can also tell you a lot about the weather. Have you ever tried this Cricket Chirp method before? Give it a go the next time you are outside during a cricket symphony and let me know what you find! Pretty cool!

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