It's that time of year again! Send in those Woolly Worm pictures ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Last year, I saw many black Woolly Worms, and we ended up having a cold and snowy winter, just as the folklore predicted.
However, this year I've seen one almost all black and one all red (pictures below). So, does that mean we'll have some extremes? The Climate Prediction Center is calling for better than average chances of a warmer and wetter winter (CPC's Winter Forecast). But, every winter we'll have a few cold snaps, and maybe a cold spell will coincide with some moisture for a good snowstorm. Maybe. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below and we'll discuss.
(At McNeely Lake Park Thursday, October 28th, 2010) (Right, Early October, Shelby County)
As the Woolly Worm theory goes, the blacker/darker the worm, the worse the winter (cold and snowy). If the middle band of the worm is large and brownish-red, then a mild winter is expected. If the brownish-red band is small, then a harsh winter is predicted. Apparently, the American Indians helped early settlers forecast the weather ahead with the worms, and even with today's technology, there's not much else out there to produce a better long range forecast. Enthusiasts say they are 85% correct, or mostly correct. I'd take those odds!
Last years Woolly Worm discussion was incredibly accurate...
Fall 2009: "Well, so far I've gotten reports (and seen myself) of many all solid black Woolly Worms. Other reports are reddish, black and dark red, reddish-brown middle with black ends, and finally, black tips with long light brown middle. That just runs the gamut there. I would say I've heard more darker colored worms so far, so therefore, I'm calling for a slightly colder than average winter, with a few good snowfalls. What's your Woolly Worm Winter Forecast?" - Ben Pine