John Malan's Weather Blog
Winter weather predictions--from folklore to science
MILWAUKEE - If on the trees the leaves long hold the coming winter will be cold!
That is one of the standard folklores about predicting the winter weather in the Midwest.
Weather folklore for predicting the coming winter season runs from the thickness of onion skins
to the width of a caterpillar’s band and squirrel activity. Another looks at the height of a
hornet’s nest above the ground to predict the severity of the coming winter snow falls.
Most folks don’t take these forecasts seriously, but do give some credence to the Old Farmer’s and Farmer’s Almanacs. Their forecasts for winter have been issued and
they are exactly opposite in their winter scenario for the state of Wisconsin.
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a cold and snowy winter while the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild and less snowy winter season.
The Winter Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center has an equal chance for either above or below normal temperatures and less snow this winter.
The odds favor a mild winter if you look at the trend of winters over the past thirty years in Milwaukee. Starting with the winter of 1982-83 there have been nineteen out of
thirty mild or above average winter seasons in Milwaukee. During the eleven colder than
normal winter seasons only three were well below normal.