October is without a doubt, one of my favorite months of the year. We begin the month with an average high of 77 at the beginning of the month, falling to 68 by Halloween. The average low temperature runs from 59 now to 48 by the end of the month.
On my Facebook page, we have a legion of amateur meteorologists who are forecasting all sorts of winter weather this year! I get such a kick out of this. Many are saying they see “spoons” in the persimmon seeds, which means a snowy winter according to folklore.
Then we have the Wolly Bear caterpillar, which will eventually become the Isabella Tiger Moth. They are black and brown and when they have a larger brown band, our winter weather will be mild. When the majority of their color is black, winter is expected to be harsh. I have so many people sending me pictures of all-black caterpillars, which have been misidentified as Wolly Bears or Wolly Worms, as they are sometimes called. See the accompanying photo of what they actually look like for future reference.
There are many more signs you can look for in nature that will predict a harsh winter. Thicker than normal onion or corn husks, the early departure of geese, heavy or numerous fogs, any marching in line rather than meandering, an unusual abundance of acorns, and frequent halos around the sun or moon.
The Farmer’s Almanac uses many of these signs of nature to make its winter weather prediction and it is predicting a doozie of a winter for us.
On the other hand, this will be the third straight year (highly unusual) of La Nina. The official Climate Prediction Center Outlook however, says the complete opposite. Temperatures are expected to be above average with near average to below average precipitation.
It will always be fun to see who wins – high-tech computer modeling or the signs given to us by Ma Nature.
We shall soon get the answer.