More Winter Weather Folklore


This week I posted a story about how the seeds of a persimmon have been thought to predict the type of winter to expect.  That post generated quite a bit of discussion which made me wonder about other folklore that claims to predict winter weather.  Weather folklore is often dismissed as legend, old sayings, or superstitions.  However, sometimes folklore is based on observations that can be explained scientifically.  Other times this is not the case.  Any way you look at it, though, weather folklore is interesting!

Image by David St. Lawrence

Here are some winter weather folklore items to think about as the winter season approaches.  Folklore states that these will predict a colder and snowier winter:

  • An abnormally large amount of acorns on the ground by the end of September.
  • More berries than usual in October.
  • Birds and badgers are fat in October.
  • Nests of bees and wasps are higher.
  • Ant hills were high in July.
  • Wild grasses and weeds were tall in the summer.
  • Fruit bearing and nut bearing plants are unusually loaded.
  • Leaves fall unusually late.
  • Squirrels are unusually busy gathering nuts.
  • Onion skins are thick and tough.
  • Corn husks are thick and tight.
  • Apple skins are tough.
  • The Thanksgiving goose’s breastbone is red or has spots.
  • The wooly bear caterpillar’s brown, middle band is thinner.
  • Crickets come indoors.
  • Ants march in single file rather than meandering.
  • Spiders spin larger than usual webs.

It will be fun to observe whether any of these factors happen this fall and to see how winter progresses.  If you have observed any of these, let us hear from you!

Mike Wilhelm