MadSci Network: Other

Re: What is the connection with the wooly bear & predicting winter weather?

Date: Tue Sep 22 21:10:02 1998
Posted By: Nezette Rydell, forecaster,National Weather Service
Area of science: Other
ID: 905458682.Ot

Coming from a geographic area (South Texas) not terribly familiar with 
either wooly bear caterpillars or groundhogs, I have little personal 
experience with the forecasting skills of these critters.  Folklore 
concerning early sightings or differences in appearance of various animals 
abound in the history of lay weather forecasting however, their accuracy is 
usually questionable.  If I were to see a groundhog this far south 
in the middle of the winter, I would guess that something terrible had 
indeed sent him/her fleeing his/her home in the north.  Being a bit 
hesitant to take on a northern winter myself, I might surmise that animals 
might feel the same way.

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