Folklore Forecast: Predicting the winter ahead

Folklore Forecast: Predicting the winter ahead

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Throughout generations, people have used folklore forecast to find different ways to predict when fall and winter will arrive.

So what do all of it mean?

When love bugs come early, it means cooler weather is on the way. In South Mississippi, the love bugs have already arrived and left. Sure enough, not too long after they arrived, the area begin to see its first cold fronts.

The shape found in a persimmon seed is a little more complicated. Native American Marion Waltmon, who says he knows all about the folklore, notes that one of three shapes will be found.

"You either going to get a spoon, a knife, or a fork." Waltmon said.

A fork indicates a mild winter, a spoons means a lot of heavy snow, and a knife means strong, cold wind.

Tim Ray with the Mississippi State Extension Office doesn't count the persimmon seed out completely for trying to forecast the winter ahead, but says it may not work as well in South Mississippi.

"It probably depends on where you live. If you live in an area where you have a lot of different weather patterns, I'd say persimmon seeds are probably an easier way to predict the winter," said Ray. "But as far as down here on the Gulf Coast, I don't think so."

Many say that if wolly worms have a lot of fur on them, the colder the winter. The worms are used in folklore forecasting in all sorts of ways; from the size of the brown stripe in the middle of their body, to the amount of fur they have, and even to how many are seen on the road.

Corn husks can also be considered a way to predict how cold the winter will be. The thicker the husk, the colder the winter.

While all of the ways of forecasting are fun, computer models are leaning a different directions than the cooler and wet winter the persimmon seed has forecast.

The computer models that put out weather data for meteorologists are calling for a warmer and drier winter in South Mississippi as a La Nina phase nears. While the trend for a La Nina means weather is usually drier and warmer, don't count out the snow just yet.

By the end of the winter residents will know if it was the computer models, or the persimmon seed, that nailed the forecast.

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