Growing up, we were taught to predict the coming winter by the first (living) wooly worm we saw. And here he is! This is my interpretation for East Tennessee’s approaching cold:
The head and tail are black, meaning the beginning and end of winter will be harsh. The middle of his fur is brown, showing a time with either no snow or a lot of wetness. The blackness at the end is a bit smaller than that at the head, meaning that winter should be over come the mid-April. So March could definitely “come in like a lamb and leave like a lion” as mama always said. Since the head portion of black is longer than the tail, we could have an early winter, coming as soon as Halloween or mid-November that will bring freezes and snow until about the end of January.
These meanings are paired back to the fogs we had in February and August that I took note of (excluding the areas near the river): they total out to one in February and nine in August; a couple were very strong meaning about 6” more of snow, while others were faint wisps. So it will be mostly harsh this winter temperature-wise and not so much with snow. These could line up well with the warm temperatures or wetness predicted by the brown portion of the wooly worm.
So if you garden, I’d start harvesting and clearing out this month. I’m going to stop later and get an updated farmers almanac to compare to my notes here. If you already have one, feel free to give the predictions from the FA in the comments!!! Otherwise, I’ll come back and update this post.
And y’all thought us hicks were just superstitious and there wasn’t nothing to this!
Update: looks like the FA lines up with my predictions with the worm and the fogs: https://www.almanac.com/content/2019-winter-weather-forecast