Champaign, IL (WCIA)
The wooly worm forecast, predicting the upcoming winter season according to the coat of the wooly worm is a blue ridge mountain custom stretching back several centuries…when native americans taught the settlers how to read the coat of the wooly worm.
Judy has been collecting the woolies with the help of my viewers for 30 some years. Generally speaking they have about an 80% accuracy rate.
Persimmons, Squirrels (busy means harsh winter), Leaf Falls (late=harsh), Wooly Worms
The coat of the wooly worm. Its color. Its rings or bands.
They have thirteen segments. Each representing the 13 weeks of winter.
All that and the thickness of its coat are all determining factors in predicting the winter season.
Judy looks for four things when determining her forecast:
- Color of the coat…The blacker the color, the more harsh the winter. The lighter the color, the milder the winter
- Appearance of the coat…Bushy, fat…Skinny, sparse…Spiky
- Location of the bands…13 bands representing 13 weeks of winter
When a worm has a band of dark color at it’s head and tail but a lighter band of brown in the middle…it means…a cold start and finish to winter with mild weather for the bulk of the winter season…if the worm has spiky protrusions, watch out for ice…if its woolier, better bundle up…
- Direction of travel…Moving south, cold…Moving north, mild
The direction they are moving is critical too…if they are moving north, it’s a mild winter…moving south…brrr!
20% of the caterpillars were brown or orange or beige…
30% were white and gold, which has a bit of an edge over their more popular cousins because they predict more than temperature ranges. They are a strong indicator of heavier than average snows for the season.
But the majority of the worm reports Judy received this year 50% were a combination of black and very dark brown…a few had the darker bands at the head of the wooly worm and the tail end…
Based On This Sampling Of Reports. Here Is What We Find:
Wooly Worm Report
50% Were Black, and Very Dark Brown
20% Were Orange, multi-colored, Light Brown
30% Were White, Yellow, Gray
2021-2022 Wooly Worm Forecast:
After careful worm study and consideration
This is the 2021/2022 “winter forecast” according to the worm
Wooly worm say …
“Get out your woolies and your shovels”
It’s going to be a “shivery, snowman kind of winter”