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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Winter Weather Indicators

While I have heard from a couple people who discount the signs of nature as it relates to winter, I have received hundreds of e-mails commenting on what they have seen through their own observations. As a reminder:

Persimmon Seeds. When you cut open a persimmon seed, you will see one of three shapes. If it is shaped like a spoon, the winter will have heavy snow. If it is a fork, then it will be a biting (or numbingly) cold winter. Finally, if the seed is shaped like a fork, then it will be a mild winter. Most years I hear about all three. But, so far I have received an incredible number of reports about the seed. So far, no forks. 96% are spoons and 4% are knives. The preponderance of reports are coming from the middle part of the US including these three:

I live in between Salem and rolla Missouri, 6 Persimmon Seeds all spoons and have seen only a couple wooly worms…mostly black. It has been my experience that the persimmon seed has been too accurate!! This is the first I have heard of the wooly worm….Thanks.

Opened about a dozen seeds in the past few weeks all have had spoons. Sounds exciting. North Central Arkansas

In Indiana southern part to different counties 100 spoons 1 knife

The woollybear caterpillar is another story. If he has an narrow orange band in the middle, it warns of a heavy snow; So, what does it meant and fuzzy caterpillars presage bitter cold. So, the blacker, the worse the winter. The more orange, the more mild. At least this is what was observed over centuries.  Here are a couple of sightings:

My husband and I opened our garage door to find a huge black wooly worm on our driveway. It was bigger than normal and coal black. No other color on him. We’re in central Ohio

I live in central Florida and have seen numerous woolies. My mother-in-law has about a dozen in her garden, all black with VERY thick fur. They are in her garden so not sure of their direction. Possibly a cold winter here?! Would be great since the winters have been warm the last couple of years!

We’ll soon find out if nature and or the Farmers’ Almanac are right with their call for winter. Stay tuned.

Technorati Tags:
Woollybear Caterpillars, Persimmon Seeds, Winter Weather

6 comments

1 Sandy { 11.23.09 at 9:51 pm }

Here in Pana,Illinois everyone I have talked to says all the persimmons have had a SPOON in them.
An edlerly man told me a long time ago to watch the squirrels. The higher the nest the higher the snow. I also had squirrels putting ears of corn in my flower pots the first part of October. Don’t really know what that means, unless they thought the snow would be to high and would be easier to get out of my pots. Thanks

2 Margaret { 10.06.09 at 11:11 am }

I live in Central Arkansas and I’ve noticed some changes in our weather that have occurred early. It has been a very wet September and also early Octoberand we usually have a wet November. My hummigbirds left a month early at the end of September. The trees, pecan,oak and holly are loaded with nuts acorns and berries. The squirrels are already gathering them. These are signs that this may be a very cold and harsh winter.

3 Joan { 09.03.09 at 4:29 pm }

Just this morning there was a very black thick coated caterpillar on my front steps. It was lying length ways east to west..do not know the front from the back, I just quickly swept it off into the yard. I live in west central Pennsylvania. They say (whoever they are) that with the cool summer we have had here indicates a very harse cold and snowy winter…yuk

4 Renee Mueck { 12.22.08 at 2:11 am }

I live in Texas and I have heard of the persimmon predictions and have not cut into one this year yet but back in the later part of October we were feeding our cattle and noticed that the calves and some of the cows were already getting a very thick coat on them and we decided that this was a sign of a bad winter for Texas and so far it has held true because we have already had alot of days under freezing and that is very abnormal for Texas we usually do not get very many before January and here it is Dec. 22nd and we have already had 6 days in the 20′s so maybe this is a sign that we will have a colder winter than normal.

5 Robert Elliott { 11.30.08 at 12:29 am }

I am new at this, but I find this site very interesting. I don’t know anything about the Persimmon Seeds, or much about the Wooly Caterpillar.
I live in the northwest Ohio. Normally, I have seen the wooly caterpillars crossing the roads by this time, but, so far, I have seen none. Normally, the rivers and streams have received adequate amounts of rainfall to make their levels normal. Normally, the rainfall comes during September and October, but these months have been rather dry. The Maumee River, the Sandusky River, the Portage River, and other rivers are low enough that one could walk accross without getting their knees wet.
I am a firm believer that Mother Nature tries to make up for the defecits one way or the other. Due to global warming, I think the Seasons have been altered. What has been the norm, is now changed to where the Seasons have been delayed for 2 to 3 months. So, when we would expect the rainfall to occur between September and October, will now be put off until Dec or Jan. If that is true, then the precipitation will fall as snow or ice, since we will be entering the colder Season. I think this part of the country is overdue and from global warming, is most likely to receive a heavy snow this winter. I have a feeling, I will not be seeing those wooly caterpillars crossing the road until sometime in Dec.

6 allison { 11.14.08 at 4:21 pm }

hi. can you clarify the second paragraph where it says ‘fork’ twice? thanks,
If it is a FORK, then it will be a biting (or numbingly) cold winter. Finally, if the seed is shaped like a FORK, then it will be a mild winter.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.