Author: Mary Knapp

It is Fall again, and again the questions arise: What do the wooly bear caterpillars say about the winter? What about the squirrels and the nuts they bury? How accurate are these forecasts? Humans have always looked for signs and portents of what the weather will be like in the upcoming season. Folklore has it that when the brown band on the wooly bear is wide, the winter will be mild. Research show this just isn’t the case. While there may be a mild winter when the wooly bears have a wide brown band, it is just as likely to be harsh. This is because the caterpillars reflect is what’s happening right now, or what happened when they hatched. And as for the other old reliable – if the squirrels are burying a lot of nuts this year, that’s because we’re having a really good crop of nuts.

Wooly Bear (public domain)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library