Before there were weather apps for your smartphone, Doppler radar, or the National Weather Service, people looked to the signs of nature to prepare for what’s to come. A wonderful friend of Farmers’ Almanac’s Editor, Ray Geiger’s, Cleveland weather guru Dick Goddard put together a laundry list of 20 signs of nature that can predict a harsh winter ahead. We featured these in the 1978 Farmers’ Almanac, and it is still relevant today.
Here are the signs of a hard winter to come according to folklore:
7. Heavy and Numerous Fogs During August.
18. The Size of the Orange Band on the Woollybear (or Woollyworm) Caterpillar. According to folklore, if the caterpillar’s orange band is narrow, the winter will be snowy; conversely, a wide orange band means a mild winter. All black caterpillars are not Woollybears. And fuzzier-than-normal woollybear caterpillars are said to mean that winter will be very cold.
What signs of a hard winter are you seeing in your back yard?