Other Signs Of A Harsh Winter?

Can animals and late summer events indicate what the winter will be like? Our cat Hayli claims she can!

Forget all the satellite photos, charts, meteorologists and their reams of data – and especially all the computer models forecasting barbecue winters – or  barbecue summers. (Right now it seems most computer models are projecting a freezer-winter for the northern hemisphere and Arctic regions).

When you talk to people who make their living working outdoors, like farmers, fishermen, etc., especially the old-timers, they sometimes have ways of making seasonal forecasts that seem just as accurate, if not more accurate, than all them super-computer-satellite generated forecasts. Just ask Hadley!

As a kid in Vermont in Northern New England, I recall hearing that heavy fogs in late summer were a sign of an upcoming snowy winter.

Well, this also appears to be a rule for North Carolina too, read August Fogs Could Mean Lots Of Snow. Here Jason Gilmer writes:

There’s an old wives’ tale that says the number of fogs on August mornings are the same as the number of snows in the winter. According to some reports, there were anywhere between 14 and 31 foggy mornings in August.

It looks like we are going to get the chance to test that theory, at least this winter anyway. Fill up the jar with beans.

And according to Gilmer, SkiSoutheast.com’s Mike Doplehas, who has been covering the ski slopes in the area for 15 years, says this was the first year that each morning has been foggy.

”That much snow would make for another great ski season, he said. ‘

The Farmer’s Almanac also forecasts a harsh winter, according to Jason Gilmer:

Farmers’ Almanac gives these other ways to determine the severity of the winter: the thickness of onion skins, lots of acorns, a small orange band on a wooly worm, pigs gathering sticks and trees laden with leaves late in the fall.


Germany is big on so-called Bauernregeln: farmer rules for the weather. Here’s a list Bauernregeln in German, and a few I’ve selected for the coming winter:

1. Jakobi ohne Regen, deutet auf strengen Winter – Jakobi klar und rein, wird’s Christfest frostig sein. In English: “A Jacobi (July 25) without rain means a hard winter.” A Jacobi that’s clear and clean, means Christmas will be frosty.
Here it was sunny and dry. So it looks like a cold winter.

2. Bringt der August viel Gewitter, wird der Winter kalt und bitter. In English: “If August brings a lot of thunder, then the winter will be cold and bitter.”
Last August was cool and wet, but not much thunder. I guess it could mean a cold winter.

3. Tragt der Has’ lang sein Sommerkleid, ist der Winter noch sehr weit. In English: “If the hare wears its summer fur for a long time, then the winter is still far off.”

4. Ist der November kalt und klar, wird trüb und mild der Januar. In English: “If November is cold and clear, then January will be mild and gray.”

And I’ve noticed our cat Hayli has had a voracious appetite lately, constantly hanging out near her food bowl and yowling for more food. It’s autumn and nature is telling her to fatten up for the winter. This time around nature is screaming at her to do so.

8 responses to “Other Signs Of A Harsh Winter?”

  1. R. de Haan

    – indians collecting fire wood

    It was fall, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new chief if the winter was going to be mild or cold. Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, so when he looked to the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather would be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was going to be cold and the members should collect wood to be prepared. But, also being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth and called the National Weather Service to see what the coming winter was predicted to be like. The meteorologist told the chief that it looked like it was going to be a cold winter, so the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.

    A week later, the Chief called the National Weather Service again and asked if they were still predicting a cold winter. His answer was a strong, “Yes, most definitely a cold winter.” He then went back to the tribe and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later, the Chief called the National Weather Service again just to make sure they were still predicting a cold winter. “Absolutely”, they told the Chief, “it’s going to be one the coldest winters ever!” The Chief then asked how they could be so sure about their predictions. The weatherman replied, “Because the Indians are collecting wood like crazy!”

  2. Ike


  3. R. de Haan

    The triple crown of cooling contains an unpredictable wild card, volcanic eruptions.

    Solar minimum and increased seismic and volcanic activity seem to go hand in hand.

    So what is the trigger that triggers this increase?

    What is the trigger that makes wild animals grow a thicker fur?

    What makes migrating birds to start their voyage earlier and what triggers them to fly further South?

    Is it the sun, changes in solar magnetic output or changes in the UV output or is it the moon?

    We have so much to learn.

  4. Edward.

    A good pointer in Britain, is the winter birds, when certain European species of middle European/Scandinavian birds fly to winter in Britain, it is a sign of a harsh winter (in Europe) and in Britain it can mean the same, the Waxwing is a good example.


  5. DirkH

    Not our usual fare here, but very exciting; a world first: driverless car masters the 11 km Ring in Braunschweig (a ring-shaped artery with lots of crossings, traffic lights, two lanes each direction, accident-prone, dense traffic).
    VW Passat; TU Braunschweig institute amongst the researchers. Caveat: the car doesn’t recognize the traffic lights ATM and needed a person to help it there; but other than that, it handled this difficult road with real-life traffic well. In an earlier test the car even managed to stop when it recognized a bicycle driver suddenly getting in the way (frequent danger in German cities).


  6. R. de Haan

    You can already buy a robotic lawnmower, same technology as the robotic “Staubzauger”.

    The best way however is to replace the lawn with asphalt and use it as a solar collector.

    Why, because it’s going to get cold!

    The latest from Bastardi:
    SATURDAY 10 AM HELLO ITS MEI ( The multivariate Enso Index) This continues its plummet and is the strongest since.. well look at this link http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/ The SOI in the meantime continues to run close to the alltime greatest SOI autumnal negative ( 1917) and is ahead of the 1916 first year Nina drop off. Its interesting to note that previous monster 90 day negatives occurred when the Nina was well established.. so here is my theory:

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