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Can Butterflies Fly Through a Hurricane?

Written By Sara Sabharwal


Can Butterflies Fly Through a Hurricane

Butterflies are beautiful and gracious creatures. However, these nimble little aerial acrobats are incredibly light in weight and very small in size. With this in mind, can butterflies fly through a hurricane or not?

Hurricanes are destructive storms that can level entire cities, so it is no surprise that butterflies cannot fly in hurricanes. This is especially detrimental as some butterflies’ migratory patterns travel through the heart of hurricane-prone areas.

Can Butterflies Fly in the Wind?

Strong winds are no match for a small butterfly. These graceful fliers cannot account for and navigate winds.

Sudden wind gusts can knock a butterfly over, whether in flight or resting on a flower or perch. Butterfly wings are easy to catch the wind and a sudden change in air pressure can cause a butterfly to begin spiralling down.

Butterflies knocked from their perch or the air in flight can become disoriented. Unsure of their surroundings, they are susceptible to predators or landing in an unsafe environment.

Butterflies cannot swim, so accidentally landing in a puddle could drown them. 

When the winds begin to blow, butterflies look for a safe haven to wait out the adverse weather. They will seek shelter that prevents the wind from getting to them to avoid being knocked down. They prefer places with tall grass or solid walls. 

In your garden, you can add butterfly hotels which are specially designed butterfly houses that allow these creatures to safely take refuge during adverse weather or when they need to rest.

These houses have slits that are optimal for butterflies but will prevent other insects and predators from entering. 

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Can Butterflies Fly in the Rain?

If we look at the size of a butterfly and then at the size of a raindrop, it is easy to see how a single raindrop can cause massive damage to a little butterfly.

Because the weight and impact of a raindrop can severely throw a butterfly off course, knock them down, or even hurt them, butterflies do not commonly fly in rain. 

Butterflies are adapted and in-tune creatures. They can sense when a storm is coming so they can properly prepare. They will often seek shelter well before the clouds even grow dark. 

Butterflies use the sun to help warm their muscles for flying. When a storm comes rolling in and the temperature drops, butterflies often have difficulty warming their wing muscles.

This can cause many problems, mainly the inability to fly efficiently and effectively. 

Even if the butterfly could fly away, a single raindrop is enough to knock a butterfly from the sky. If one drop can do that, imagine what a rainstorm could do.

When the butterflies are knocked off course, they can land in dangerous places or become injured in the fall.

If the ground is wet, a butterfly could easily drown if knocked into a small puddle with the inability to get up as more raindrops fall on them. To avoid possible disasters, butterflies choose not to fly in adverse weather.

You can make your garden a safe place for butterflies to ride out the storm by incorporating many places of shelter. Butterfly houses, rock structures, and bird houses surrounded by strong shrubs and bushes all create an ideal environment for butterflies to stay safe. 

Can Butterflies Fly With Wet Wings?

No, butterflies cannot fly when their wings are wet. Instead, they will find a warm spot to lay in to dry off before heading off on their flight. Wet wings cause imbalance when flying.

Can Butterflies Fly Through a Tornado?

Tornadoes are funnels of air that are created during optimal storm conditions. These weather anomalies are incredibly strong and dangerous, creating winds of over 100 mph!

Tornadoes are destructive, sometimes levelling entire cities and destroying everything in their paths. When you look at a storm that can lift an entire home from its foundation, it is easy to see that butterflies cannot fly against these strong winds.

Tornadoes are often partnered with strong winds and thunderstorms, none of which is conducive to butterflies’ flight. Instead, butterflies will seek shelter and wait until the storms are over before emerging again. 

Can Butterflies Fly With Damaged Wings?

If the damage is incredibly minor, then a butterfly might be able to fly. In most cases, however, damaged wings will result in a butterfly never flying again, unfortunately.


Adverse weather is frequently too much for a small butterfly to brave. Strong winds, large and consistent raindrops, and thunderstorms create an unsafe environment for butterflies. 

Wind can knock a butterfly from mid-flight or even make them tumble from perches or flowers. Butterflies’ wings are no match for winds, making it nearly impossible to fly efficiently when blowing. 

Raindrops can knock a butterfly to the ground or injure them. Raindrops are incredibly large when compared to the size of a small butterfly.

Sadly, butterflies cannot swim, so even a small puddle could drown a butterfly if they are unable to get up because of the heavy rainfall. 

You can help butterflies by creating safe places in your garden and around your home that offer shelters for them. Adding a butterfly house, solid rock structures or strong bushes and shrubs allow butterflies to have a solid and safe place to stay safe.

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