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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

What’s Your (Weather) Sign?

What’s Your (Weather) Sign?

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again, when we release our predictions for the coming winter. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out our 2014 weather outlook.

It’s also the time when I start to ask you what kinds of signs you’re seeing in nature that may or may not foretell what Old Man Winter will bring this year.

In the past, we’ve talked about an abundance of acorns (and squirrels busily putting them away for a harsh season), woolly bear caterpillars, persimmon seeds, and a few of the other signs of a hard winter. In case you need a refresher, here is a list of 20 supposed signs from Mother Nature that a hard winter is on the way.

Are you seeing a lot of acorns in your area? Have you found a woolly bear caterpillar, and if so, is the orange stripe on its back thick or thin? What’s your most trusted sign of winter? Inquiring minds want to know!

16 comments

1 donna brown { 05.31.14 at 10:37 am }

I miss the mid an East Coast I live down here in New Mexico now and we have hot hot hot and then a rainy season wish I was back on the East Coast I found these articles very interesting as when I lived up there I also looked at the wooly bears on the squirrels in spiders and things to tell what type of winter we were going to have you folks that live up there are very fortunate even though you have to shovel snow

2 Jane { 10.23.13 at 9:11 am }

I have 8 walnut trees, and in the 27 years that I’ve lived here, I have never had to shovel the walnuts out of my backyard! There are too many to rake! They fall on me as I’m trying to get the others off the ground so I don’t twist my ankle as I’m walking.

3 juanito crandello { 09.21.13 at 7:35 pm }

In Sacramento: I live outside the city on an old ranch – in a 12 x 45 trailer and a Black Walnut canopy covers the entire place. I’ve lived here ten years and garden all around the trailer and I pick up the fallen walnuts each summer to keep the rodents away. This year the crop has been twice as heavy as EVER before and the nuts have hung on by far the latest. I’m getting bombarded round the clock!

4 Teri { 09.17.13 at 11:30 am }

Here in Montana we’ve had a lot of hornets at the end of this summer. Lots of moths as well. The dogs are definitely shedding and the leaves are turning yellow.

5 Hex { 09.12.13 at 4:02 pm }

Sept 12, 2013 3:00 PM EST NJ Just found a Wooly Bear Caterpillar. I can’t tell you if the Orange band is thick or thin. I took several photos. I could send them to you. The Wooly Bear was crawling up the brick wall. Not heading South. So I think it was going North. Although the wall is on the West side. So does this mean a harsh winter? It had 5 sets of legs in the Orange Band? What does this fortell for NJ. Thanks Hex

6 Carol { 09.02.13 at 10:20 am }

A lot of green acorns are falling today in Concord NH. They are green without caps rather than the brown acorns with caps.

7 Darla { 08.30.13 at 5:37 pm }

Here in the Midstate of SC the spiders are building their webs higher than normal. Plus the tree bark on my Dogwood is thickening, with the leaves turning. The squirrels have also been out and about as well.

8 dredzone { 08.29.13 at 11:07 pm }

roadkill was what i always heard predicted a bad winter. the furry little ones scurrying to get all their acorns back to the homestead before the ensuing dead of winter.

but, have had lots of FROGS this summer, as well!!!

9 Denise { 08.29.13 at 4:52 pm }

Squirrels are very busy here in central Virginia. Acorns are already falling, and I will be looking at it more as we get into September. Some leaves are beginning to change (of course it is still only late August so its still green) plus its been foggy in August this year. Its been a yucky summer so hopefully we’ll have more sunshine this fall. Mild days, chilly nights and abundant sunshine promote the best color.

10 CAROLYN FIELDS { 08.29.13 at 4:22 pm }

WE HAVE A LOT OF FROGS THIS YR ???

11 B Johnson { 08.29.13 at 3:31 pm }

Snow 3 times early to mid August

12 Ralph { 08.29.13 at 2:22 pm }

Southern NY and CT. Leaves are changing colors 4 weeks early. Acorns are falling. Squirrels are leaving a mess eating them. My dog has been shedding. She usually starts in October. This past spring she shredded into her summer coat 4 weeks late and sure enough it was a cool spring.

13 april { 08.29.13 at 2:07 pm }

The geese are doing their practice flying early in southern illinois and the wooly worms and fat and dark. They are also out on the move early.

14 Delina { 08.29.13 at 2:05 pm }

A couple weeks back the squirrels were busy working on those acorns. I figured they knew something was up and then I saw the almanacs forecast for the Midwest :(

15 gretchensmith { 08.29.13 at 1:31 pm }

My husband and I have each seen several all black woolly bear caterpillars around Lancaster County, PA. Our understanding is those mean it will be cold and snowy all winter.

16 robert fincham { 08.29.13 at 1:27 pm }

bear wooly worms and stink bugs

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