Can Nature And Woolly Bear Caterpillars Be Simple Predictors Of Our Winter Weather Forecast? – CBS Boston


BOSTON (CBS) – As the leaves flip colours and start to fall, temperatures drop and maybe you discover that first frost on the grass and even see the primary snowflakes of the season, we’re immediately interested by what this winter can be like.

This is the time of 12 months once we meteorologists try to predict what the upcoming coldest months of the 12 months can be like. For weeks, we analyze charts and graphs, developments and climatology. We look to the oceans, the arctic and even Siberia for hints. But, are we simply complicating issues?

Some specialists would say all you must do is go outdoors and let nature be your information.

There are some organic markers similar to crops which have a documented historical past of sure patterns which might be stated to correlate to the upcoming winter circumstances. When flowers that often bloom in the course of the spring bloom once more within the fall, winter can be chilly. If you discover an enormous berry crop, that may be a sign the next winter can be a chilly one.

Maybe it’s an animal’s intuition that may inform us about winter. A harsh winter could in retailer if you happen to see a snowy owl arrive early, or witness the early migration of geese, geese and even monarch butterflies.

There is even a preferred phrase “squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry will cause snow to gather in a hurry.” This saying ties with the idea that many acorns in a given 12 months is usually an indication of plentiful snowfall on the way in which.

Even bugs have been linked to predicting winter climate. If you see bees’ nests excessive within the timber or ants marching in a single file, folklore suggests the winter can be harsh.

However, there isn’t a creature, large or small (except the groundhog) that’s extra famend for his or her climate prediction than that of the woolly bear caterpillar. Wooly worms are black and brown and if the brown phase is small, the winter is claimed to be chilly and lengthy. If the brown half takes up a lot of the caterpillar then the winter is meant to be delicate.

Have you seen one but?

A Woolly Bear Caterpillar in Toronto on October 13, 2008. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto through Getty Images)

Believe it or not, the woolly caterpillar’s prediction has been studied now for over 80 years! Dr. Charles Curran, a curator of bugs at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History discovered an 80% accuracy again within the Forties with woolly worm.

So, may winter forecasting truly be as simple as stepping outdoors and observing nature? We’ll see, however for now I feel we’re nonetheless going to depend on expertise to information our forecasts.