Of all the different predictions about the upcoming winter, only one is a certainty: winter is coming.
Set to begin Dec. 21, winter will spend 90 days with us. What it brings with it is anyone’s guess.
Guesswork, or weather lore, has been practiced for many years. Each of us knows someone (or is someone) who uses nature to help forecast weather.
The inside of a persimmon seed is one of the more prevalent “sources” of snowfall prognostications. Inside the pit will be either a fork (which suggests a mild winter); a knife (which foretells of a cold winter), or a spoon which is alleged to be an indicator of heavy snowfall.
Seed from three persimmons were sliced in half earlier this week to help forecast the area winter. The persimmons, courtesy of County Oaks Golf Course’s persimmon tree on Hole 7, indicate “spoon,” which means those who like snow will realize their fancy this winter.
Snow not only is indicated by the persimmon seeds, the snow outlook is supported by the Old Farmer’s Almanac, in which snow is predicted. According to the Almanac, a snowstorm could hit in late November, followed by another snow in late December. Rain, not snow, is expected to fall on Christmas.
January is expected to register intermittent days of snow and rain, while snow is expected in early and late February. Snow also is expected periodically during March, especially mid- and late-March.
Expectations of snow, in many cases, are based on one’s ties to lore.
One Internet sites touts “three infallible methods” for predicting snow. Those methods are: 1) count the number of foggy days in August; 2) if the sun shines while snow is falling, expect snow to follow very soon, and, 3) if your dog howls at the moon the howl signifies an early snow.
Those households that do not have a dog but have access to a calendar and a calculator can estimate the number of snowfalls by noting the day of the first snowfall. The number of days between the first snowfall and Dec. 25 is the number of snowfalls for the winter.
If there is snow on Christmas the Easter will be green, but if Christmas is green then Easter will be snowy, according to lore.
Lore also foretells the killing frost: it is to occur precisely 90 days after the katydid began to sing.
If frost is of interest, as is the severity of winter, one Internet site assures the length and severity of winter can be determined by obtaining the breastbone of a recently-deceased goose: the longer the breastbone, the longer the winter, and a white breastbone means a mild winter.
Irrespective of forecast methodology, it is likely snow, rain and cold temperatures will hit the area in the 90-day winter season.