Winter Weather Folklore (Signs, signs, everywhere a sign!)

Posted By: FatherFrost  Posted On: Aug 5th, 2011  Filed Under: Weather

So I would like to present you with the following weather folklore that I have noticed around here that indicate a harsh winter:

- The Squirrels have been going crazy all Summer long!
- The nests of the bees and wasps are high up this year.
- Ant hills were high in July.
- The wild grasses and weeds are quite tall this Summer.
- The fruit bearing plants have been absolutely loaded! And the birds have cleaned the fruit 
bearing trees out already!
- Fruits are ripening and falling early.
- The insects have been RIDICULOUS this year…no matter how much we spray…ants and
spiders everywhere!
- The first week of August has been warm, and that fortells a winter white and long.

Some to look for as we head towards and into Autumn:
- If St. Bartholomews be clear, a prosperous Autumn comes that year (St.
Bartholomews is August 24th).
- Dry August and warm, doth harvest no harm.
- If Michaelmas (Sept. 29th) brings many acorns, christmas will cover the
fields with snow.
- When berries are many in October, beware a hard winter.
- When birds and badgers are fat in October, Winter will be harsh.
- If the wind comes from the NW on St. Martins Day (Nov. 11th) there’s
a severe winter on the way.

  1. Jayne1954 says:

    Suz1991, I know I feel like we are under a bug and insect invasion here. Oh and the spider’s are all over the place also and trying very hard to get indoors, and they are winning to!

  2. fatoldladyinpjs says:

    A surefire weather sign is the pets in your own home.  Watch for changes in their fur.  All three of our pets began losing more fur than usual at the same time in July.  Shortly afterwards, we had a heat wave.  Their coats will begin to thin as spring sets in and winter is ending.  An animal’s coat will begin to thicken when true winter and cold sets in.  Our cats’ fur gets especially plush and fluffy right before a big snow storm.  They may begin to have static charges in their fur at that time as well.

  3. Jayne1954 says:

    Thank you fatoldladyinpjs that makes sense. The only pet I have is a bird,lol! I will try to watch my kid’s dog’s though. That’s the closest I can get. :)

  4. TheMaineMan says:

    I’m just now starting to see some color in some of the “early-changers”, here and there. Kate, our peak foliage season is October 1-15. I usually don’t see much color at all in August, only after a very dry summer.
    Starting to see some acorns fall. I picked up a few and noticed that they are rock hard and very dense this year. I skipped them along the pavement and they just kept bouncing and rolling….bouncing and rolling. That’s a sign of a cold/snowy winter because the seeds need to be tougher to make it into the spring when the young oaks would hatch.
    Having a hard time keeping insects out of the house. Mostly ants. Been putting out traps, spraying, killing on sight, etc. Fortunately I haven’t seen too many yellowjackets around… my wife is allergic and whenever I do find a nest I spray it to keep her safe since they are by far the most aggressive stinging insect in our state… but I haven’t had to spray any yet.
    My garden, which hadn’t done well until recently, has suddenly taken off. I was worried about not getting any crops prior to frost season, but now I’m getting everything that I planted.
    Sunset sure is getting earlier… been working in the yard a lot lately… outdoor projects to get done before winter (I like winter but I don’t want it to come TOO early this year… gotta get these projects done!)  been too dark to work around 7:45 pm and pitch black by 8:00 pm.
    Weeds that normally flower in August are now flowering. They came out late this year. Due to dry summer, I guess? We’ve had some decent rain lately. The weeds are quite tall, I’d say a bit taller than normal.
    Starting to see Canada geese out in the daytime again. Saw a HUGE flock flying the other day (they were NOT going south) but just seeing them out in the daylight is a start. They usually fly south in late October/November.

  5. The Rickster says:

    Alright..well..I am starting to pay attention to nature here in South Carolina. I’ve seen quite a few spider webs. All have been fairly large in size. Two have been a minimum of 5 feet (from one object its attatched to, to another object). The last one I seen yesterday (Monday, Sept. 5th) belonged to a black and yellow garden spider (yuck)…it was probably two feet, maybe two and a half feet from end to end. My aunt said she has seen ONE snow bird already. That threw me for a flip. Persimmon trees are already producing their fruits. I’ll be delivering my shape findings as soon as I can get ahold of a few Persimmons! Noticed more crickets than last year. Other then that…haven’t noticed much.

  6. fatima20 says:

    i’ll be getting some persimmons soon possibly. Snow bird? Do they usually come in the winter, then you know it’s gonna snow?

  7. snowboi1 says:

    Does anyone know if seeing a good many Butterflies means anything?

  8. FatherFrost says:

    An update on the changes here in southeastern Virginia:

    - I’m noticing some early, HEALTHY color change in the trees here.
    - The fall spiders are EVERYWHERE! Making huge webs that stretch well over 5 feet!
    - Acorns are starting to fall from the Oaks like rain.
    - The fruit bearing trees bore a heavy crop this year, the apples are still going.
    - It has been VERY wet…This bodes well in my eyes. Soil moisture content often indicates where the coldest and warmest anomalies will be in the Winter.
    - As I witnessed this weekend while at my Kingdom’s 30-Year birthday celebration (I’m part of a medieval reenactment group), the yellow jackets are rampant this year…
    - The weeds and wild grasses grew very tall this year and are still tall.
    - Saw a wooly worm the other day while driving. I just was driving slow enough to catch a glimpse of it inching across the street.
    - The days are definitely noticeably shorter as MaineMan mentioned.
    - There are a lot of insects in general. Spiders, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, cicadas, beetles…theyre EVERYWHERE…

  9. snowlover says:

    Hello FatherFrost.  Question.  I saw an all black wooly worm yesterday.  What does folklore say about the color of the worm again?  I know…I know we go through this every year :)  Thanks.  Oh, also I too have seen a lot of insects.  We’re being clobbered by rain today and forecasted for rain until the weekend.  Whew!  At least Katia shouldn’t give us any headaches… (I hope not anyway:)

  10. FatherFrost says:

    All black indicates a stormy, cold Winter. Black ends with a brown stripe indicates a cold start and finish to Winter. A blonde worm indicates a very snowy winter. And an all brown worm indicates a mild, dry Winter. HOWEVER…the wooly fun as it is to talk about…have proven quite inaccurate.

  11. TheMaineMan says:

    Ouch to your yellowjacket observation FatherFrost… dare I ask? I was working in my yard a couple of days ago and had to spray some water from the garden hose at the house… I sprayed it near the bottom of the siding (where the wood sticks out) and I suddenly heard a fuss of buzzing and some swarming insects… I RAN and managed to get away without any stings (thank goodness I was wearing running shoes) but yeah they’re out. I demonstrated Albert Einstein’s law of relativity: as you hear more buzzing and see more swarming insects, your ability to run fast increases exponentially.
    Surprised you have so many acorns falling down there… I see a lot of acorns up in the oak trees, but very few have fallen yet where I live. Also, our early color is anything but healthy… brownish tint and a dead look. I’m a bit worried about fall foliage this year. :(

  12. snowboi1 says:

    Does a lot of butterflies mean anything?

  13. FatherFrost says:

    Nothing too serious MaineMan. While at feast they were swarming our food and drinks and I ended up dancing like a mental patient waving my bright red fan around trying to get them to go away. hahahahaaa..

  14. The Rickster says:

    Seen a few more butterflies here than usual as well  I don’t know if that means anything or not. As for the snow bird remark…it beats me. I’d like to THINK thats what it means.

  15. Fatima30 says:

    great observations fatherfrost i thinkthat our area honestly will see a terrible winter and it will be very serious. I was talking on this weathr forum before about yellow jackets and this was like a month ago! so winter’s coming early for us over here. And the first snowfall in august?! what’s going on? then i noticed the sun going down really early and the days really short. I saw some thick patches of fog one night last weekend, and all the bugs and critters are acting very wild and there’s been too much spider invasions. The webs were super huge, and 5 feet? this is truly a sig of some major snowstorms and blizzards! This isn’t very good for the winter as it looks to be severe right now.I seen a huge spider on a giant spider web on one of the many bushes in my yard yesterday, and it was huge with black and yellow all over it. I mean it looked nasty and kind of creeped me out very much frankly. It will truly be bad is all I have to say. every winter has progressively ben getting compulsivly bad and it will be even worse than las winter and could possibly be the first worst winter in over 20 years here!

  16. undercover921 says:

    So here in North Jersey,, the leaves are falling. The critters are still quiet, even the fog. We didn’t get much fog in Aug,,, or the begining of Sept. Also still having some warm days…

  17. spellbound says:

    Here the coats of the deer are very dark, and they are gaining wieght  another sign of a bad winter

  18. BlizzardKing says:

    I seen some discussions about halos being seen around the moon at night at times on here. What does that mean exactly? What signs is a noticeable halo around the moon might be showing weather wise? I live in Fort Wayne Indiana and I don’t think I am the only member on here to see it unless it was isolated!

  19. snowlover says:

    Please don’t quote me; but I think a halo indicates some kind of storm coming really soon.  I saw one a few years ago, and a couple of days later we had a bad snow storm.  However, I don’t think it’s exactly snow, it could be rain as well.  I guess it depends on the temperature.  Someone also said ice too.  I’m sorry that I’m not 100% clear.  I seen a faint ring myself last night.  It wasn’t complete though.  I too wondered about the wives tale about the ring. 

  20. BlizzardKing says:

    Where I was at it could not be missed and I usually don’t bother to go out of my way to look for signs of winter since I don’t have a very good understanding of them as of yet and like you guys say they are not totally reliable. Now and then I will notice something by accident like the halo yesterday. accuweather and weather channel don’t seem to support a storm any time soon for my region, but I seen it where blizzards hit a few days later and it don’t show up on forecast until almost at the last minute so I don’t completely trust any forecast. It is rare for me to see halos and last time I saw a halo was I think last January right before that huge blizzard that went through the country that brought Chicago down to its knees!

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