My Winter Weather Predictions
By Elaine Searer on October 15, 2012
It's fall here in Pennsylvania, the time when we hear predictions about what winter weather is coming our way. Most people like to predict harsh winters. I actually like winter, so predictions of freezing temps and mile high snow drifts don't scare me. Bring it on, I say!
This year, I've decided to throw my hat into the ring and make my own winter weather prediction. I have a particular method in mind for drawing my winter weather conclusions.
There he is! The wooly caterpillar who will, along with others of his kind, help me to predict the severity of winter weather we will enjoy (or endure) in the coming months. In the Old Farmer's Almanac, I found this:
According to legend, the wider that middle brown section is (i.e., the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. Conversely, a narrow brown band is said to predict a harsh winter. But is it true?
In order to draw a conclusion, I used data collected on two consecutive days. On the first day, I took a walk out our lane, and I saw three completely black wooly caterpillars. My heart was filled with glee at the thought of the cold, snowy days ahead.
On the second day of data gathering, I walked the same route and saw seven wooly caterpillars. Five of them had wide brown bands around their middles. (One was inside out courtesy of a passing vehicle.) Just one of the caterpillars was completely black. My hope for a deliciously cold and snowy winter was scattering like powdery snow in a blizzard wind.
After evaluating all of the data that I'd collected--ten pictures on my digital camera-- I was ready to make my prediction. Here it is:
We will enjoy some sunny days with temperatures above freezing this winter. We will also have some below normal winter temperatures sometimes accompanied by high winds. We will have at least two plowable snows, which will be predicted well in advance. I predict that after hearing these reports, we will rush to the grocery store to buy up extra milk and bread, which we don't even use at our house, but that's just the way it's done here.
Mark my words, folks. That's the way it's going to happen this year, and I've got my caterpillar pictures to prove it!
Why not leave a comment with your winter predictions? We'll come back in April and see who was right!
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