What kind of winter can we expect?
The Weather Service is scheduled to issue its major outlook later this week. But, before modern forecasting, and for some today, animals and insects were used to predict the weather ahead.
One expert said most of these clues, like the coloration of wooly caterpillars are, “more of an indication of past events than a predictor of future conditions.”
Kansas State University Climatologist Mary Knapp said an example of this is we are seeing more squirrels out gathering nuts and storing them, which could be an indication of a bad winter on the way. However, Knapp said that’s not the case.
“The nut crop was very plentiful, so you see a lot of evidence of them storing them up, not necessarily an indication of how severe the winter will be.”
Also, researchers say they can find no correlation between the stripe patterns of wooly caterpillars and the coming winter, and the same for cows and horses putting on their winter coats earlier than normal.
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