In early June 2010, I had an avalanche of acorns dropping on my house, deck and lawn and it never stopped until November. As the summer progressed, it became apparent that the many signs of a hard winter were facing us. So, I asked what others were observing, including early squirrel activity, enormous acorn drops, woolly bear caterpillars, larger spider webs, persimmon seeds, etc. I heard from hundreds of you from all over the US with observations that you experienced the same thing. Fast forward a few months and everyone got whacked with extreme cold and snow. I think it snowed in 49 states (sorry Hawaii) that winter.
Last fall, the acorns were small and relatively few. So, again, I asked about those trusted signs, and while I heard from only a few dozen people, the response was underwhelming and the observations not nearly as dire. Most who reported about caterpillars indicated that it might be mild winter. Granted, we are only in the “middle” of winter, but it has been nothing short of unusual. Most places have been mild weather and northern states are seeing temperatures of 0 degrees one day followed by 49 degrees the next.
So, how would you rate this winter in your backyard? Has this been severe, average or mild? How are we doing with our predictions? As a reminder, here is our winter weather map.