20 Signs Of A Hard Winter Ahead

Nov 20, 2020Uncategorized

Here’s an informative article by Peter Geiger on signs of a hard winter ahead for The Farmer’s Almanac.

Before there were weather apps for your smartphone, Doppler radar, or the National Weather Service, our ancestors looked to the signs from nature to prepare for what was to come. A wonderful friend of Farmers’ Almanac’s Editor, Ray Geiger’s, Cleveland weather guru Dick Goddard put together a laundry list of 20 signs of nature that can predict a harsh winter ahead. We featured the list in the 1978 Farmers’ Almanac, and it is still relevant today.

20 Signs of a Cold and Harsh Winter

Here are the signs of a hard winter to come according to folklore:

1. Thicker-Than-Normal Onions or Corn Husks.

If you grew corn or harvested some onions from the garden, check the skins to see if they’re thicker or thinner (it doesn’t count with store-bought onions, which may have been grown elsewhere).

2. Woodpeckers Sharing a Tree

3. The Early Arrival of the Snowy Owl

4. The Early Departure of Geese and Ducks

5. The Early Migration of the Monarch Butterfly

6. Thick Hair on the Nape of a Cow’s Neck

7. Heavy and Numerous Fogs During August

Pay attention and count the number of fogs in August. Folklore says the number will correspond to the number of snowstorms the coming winter.

8. Raccoons With Thick Tails and Bright Bands

9. Mice Chewing Furiously To Get Into Your Home

10. The Early Arrival of Crickets on the Hearth

Crickets are not only a symbol of good luck but they can also tell us about the winter weather ahead.

11. Spiders Spinning Larger-Than-Usual Webs and Entering the House in Great Numbers

12. Pigs Gathering Sticks

13. Ants Marching in a Line Rather Than Meandering

14. Early Seclusion of Bees Within the Hive

15. Unusual Abundance of Acorns

An abundance of acorns is a sign of things to come.

16. Muskrats Burrowing Holes High on the River Bank

17. “See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest.”

18. The Size of the Orange Band on the Woolly Bear (or Woolly Worm) Caterpillar

According to folklore, if the woolly worm caterpillar’s orange band is narrow, the winter will be snowy; conversely, a wide orange band means a mild winter (all black caterpillars are not woolly worms). And fuzzier-than-normal woolly worm caterpillars are said to mean that winter will be very cold.

19. Squirrels Gathering Nuts Early to Fortify Against a Hard Winter

Are the squirrels in your backyard furiously gathering and storing nuts? A hard winter may be in store.

20. Frequent Halos or Rings Around the Sun or Moon Forecasts Numerous Snowfalls

What About Persimmons?

Winter weather lore says to cut inside the seed of a ripe persimmon—the shape of the cotyledon will tell you what’s in store for winter.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay in touch with us to get latest news and discount coupons