Can a Woolly Worm Forecast the Winter? What Does it Say This Year? | Weather
The woolly worm, also called the woolly bear, is really a caterpillar of an Isabella tiger moth. It lives mainly in the northeastern and Midwestern United States and when the moth comes out, it is gorgeous! But it is not the beauty that the tiger moth is known for... It is the folklore that says it can predict the upcoming winter is what it is known for!
Here is how it works: The woolly worm has 13 segments to its body. Typically the ends are black and the middle part is brownish orange. The folklore behind the woolly moth is that if the brown area on the inside is larger than half of the blody length, it will be a mild winter. If the black ends are bigger, it will be a cold and snowy winter. If it is almost entirely black, it will be a very harsh winter.
In 1948, a man named Dr. C. H. Curren decided to check out the folklore and collected the caterpillars for 8 years. Out of each of those years the brown segments represented about 1/2 of the body of the caterpillar which according to folklore, would make it a mild winter. Each of those 8 years were mild.
After that numerous scientists studies these little creatures and the results were pretty much inconclusive. However there are plenty of scientists that will say under their breath that these guys are actually pretty accurate, up to 80%. I am not sure I believe that :-)
By the way there is a festival in Banner Elk, NC on the 19th and 20th of October!
Send me your pics if you have seen one!
From what I have read this year's woolly worm is calling for a mild winter. I guess we will see!
Here is another cool blog on some more winter folklore!
Here are some other cool blogs with tornado video and the most incredible video of a sinkhole swallowing around 3 acres of trees in a spit second!
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