Farmer’s Almanac vs. Wacky Weather Wisdom

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, an entertaining booklet which predicts the climate for the coming year, has forecast a colder than normal winter for Ohio. In contrast, many ‘traditional’ methods of predicting the weather have determined… Well, they have not determined much of anything, but they are still fun to read! 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac 
The Almanac’s history goes back to 1792. In the 223 years since, they have claimed about an 80% accuracy in predicting the weather. 
 
Bad news for those who dislike winter, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a colder than normal season, with plenty of ice and snow. It also foresees a white Thanksgiving, with more snow through Christmas, and plenty more until mid March. Remember, “colder than normal” temperatures are really only a 2 to 5 degree difference than ordinary winters.    
Wacky Weather Wisdom, Folklore or Fact?
Traditional methods for predicting the weather have been around for hundreds of years. Some are based on science, while others are not based on much of anything. Let’s explore some of these eccentric weather indicators. 
The Caterpillar Knows 
 
The Woolly Bear caterpillar has the reputation of being able to predict the coming winter.  Woolly Bears have 13 body segments, corresponding to the 13 weeks of winter. The dark brown/black indicates bitter cold with a lot of snow, while the light brown foresees a milder time. 
The above Caterpillar indicates a cold and snowy periods of time at the beginning and end of the season, and moderate weather in between. To date, there has not been any scientific evidence to prove that Woolly Bears can predict winter weather, but watch this winter to see if it is true! 
The New Moon
This legend states, the nearer the New Moon to Christmas Day, the worse the winter. This year, the New moon falls on December 21st, just four days from Christmas. To compare from last year, the closest new moon to Christmas was 7 days away. Even though there is no scientific evidence, this legend helps to back up the unusually cold and snowy winter that the  Farmer’s Almanac predicted.  
Find Yourself a Dead Goose
For this method, acquire the breastbone of a (previously) dead goose, good luck. The length of the breastbone indicates the duration of the coming winter, while the color reveals the harshness. A white bone prophesies a mild season, while a darker one foresees cold temperatures and lots of snow. 
If it is early in the winter season, and you cannot find yourself a goose. Instead, watch them fly south. The sooner the geese leave an area, the harsher the winter. If plenty of geese are still “obtainable” in late November, spare a goose because the winter will be a peaceful one.  
Foggy August Mornings
Tradition says, for every foggy August morning, there will be a snowfall in the winter. So, mark your calendar for next year to see if this prediction comes true. Or, if you are not a morning person, count the number of days from the first snowfall until Christmas. The number of days will indicate the number of snowfalls to expect. At Wahkeena, our first snowfall was November 14th, showing that we will have 41 snowfalls this coming winter.  Like all of the others, there is no scientific evidence to  date that help to back up this theory. 
There are many other ways of predicting winter weather, do you have any of your own? Have you had luck with any of the legends listed above? 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
-Nora

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