Winter means snow. Years ago farmers desperately needed to determine how long, cold, and snowy the winter might be, as that would both help them plan but also suggest which crops would do best the following summer. Today many of you look to weather lore to see if nature agrees with our weather forecast
Each year when we share our 20 Signs of a Hard Winter, we get people commenting and questioning what signs might mean snow is on the way. Relying on unique indicators such as the shape inside persimmon seeds, the width of woolly bear caterpillar stripes, or the thickness of farm animals’ fur, many of our readers and friends share their insight and predictions for what the upcoming winter may bring.
Over the years, we’ve listed many of the most widely known bits of weather folklore for predicting everything from a rainstorm to a hard winter. Now that winter is nearly upon us, though, the biggest question most people have is, “How much snow are we going to get?” With that in mind, here’s a look at some folklore sayings that are specific to snow:
- As many days old as is the Moon on the first snow, there will be that many snowfalls by crop planting time.
- If ant hills are high in July, winter will be snowy.
- If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long.
- The first snowfall comes six weeks after the last thunderstorm in September.
- For every fog in August, there will be a snowfall the following winter.
- Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry will cause snow to gather in a hurry.
- As high as the weeds grow, so will the bank of snow.
- A green Christmas = a white Easter.
- If the first snowfall lands on unfrozen ground, winter will be mild.
- If there is thunder in winter, it will snow seven days later.
- See how high the hornet’s nest, ’twill tell how high the snow will rest.
- The higher muskrats’ holes are on the riverbank, the higher the snow will be.
- A halo ’round the moon means ’twill rain or snow soon.
- Mushrooms galore, much snow in store. No mushrooms at all, no snow will fall.
- The day of the month on which the first snowstorm comes gives the number of storms you can expect in the following winter.
What are your favorite signs for predicting that a big snow is on the way?
Caleb Weatherbee is the official forecaster for the Farmers' Almanac. His name is actually a pseudonym that has been passed down through generations of Almanac prognosticators and has been used to conceal the true identity of the men and women behind our predictions.