Let's be real. Nothing and no one can, with 100% certainty, predict the weather, right? But, considering this will be my first winter experience I'm not dismissing anything. Not even squirrels.

A recent post from Metro Detroit News highlighted an interesting old wives tale about the upcoming winter season which you can see below.

Cue me actively and obsessively watching squirrels to see if they're gathering nuts "normally" or "faster than usual". But, what other signs should I be on the lookout for? And do these old wives tales hold any truth?

The definition of old wives tales is "a traditional belief, story, or idea that is often of a superstitious nature," according to Dictionary.com. Superstitious or not, here's a list of unexpected things that could predict a harsh winter.

1. Heavy fog in August

pine trees on mountain in mist

According to one wives tale, the number of heavy fogs in August predicts the number of snowfalls in the upcoming winter

2. Lightening in winter

Lightning, Storm, City, Urban Scene, Heat Lightning

Another tale claims that if you see lightning in winter it will supposedly snow within 10 days. As well, if the first thunder comes from the east winter is over.

3. The Wooly Bear Caterpillar 

Woolly Bear caterpillar on leaf

The Wooly Bear Caterpillar apparently has 13 segments that can be either brown or black. According to the legend, the more brown segments a caterpillar has the harsher the winter will be. Before you shrug this off you should know that the wooly caterpillar's weather predictions have been 80% accurate since the 1950's. Coincidence?

4. Animals getting thicc. 

Grey squirrel yawning

Yes. That word is spelled incorrectly on purpose. Are you seeing squirrels, skunks, birds and other wildlife getting a little plump prior to winter? That most likely means a cold winter. The same cannot be said for people. We'll just continue to blame it on quarantine and covid.

5. A halo around the moon

closeup of a full moon showing craters

This one even rhymes, "A halo around the moon means there will be snow soon". This one might have some truth. Some meteorologists say that snow filled clouds may cause a visible halo around the moon in certain situations.

Thanks to Resortime.com and Webecoist.com for information about wintertime old wives tales. They may not be the scientific source to trust but considering this is my very first winter with actual snow don't be surprised if you catch me staring at the moon or counting brown spots on wooly caterpillars. One can never be too prepared, right?

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