An Almanac Minute: Woolly Worm

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According to folklore, the woolly worm’s stripes predict winter weather. Watch this short video and tell us what you think!

Read more about the history and weather-predicting abilities of the woolly worm.

 

 

 

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woolly catipillar in February

I live in western washington state and have noticed last fall not many of the woolly catipillars around and now it is february and I am seeing them all over ...I have lived here all my life of 54 years and have NEVER seen this before ...has anyone else and what is going on ?

wooly bear caterpilars

what is coincidered a wide brown band and what is coincidered narrow?

band width

A general rule of thumb might be if there is more black than brown, it is narrow. If there is an even amount of both, or more brown than black, then the brown band is wide. Supposedly, most banded woolly worms have 13 segments of bristles, so perhaps you could go by the rule that 7 or more segments (more than half) being brown would be considered wide.

I have seen these little

I have seen these little wooly bears in my area today while taking a stroll on the local walking trail. They're little brown bands were quite short. I believe it's going to be one cold and unforgiving winter.

Clinton, Maryland

I have seen a couple blonde

I have seen a couple blonde woolly worms and several other solid black ones--one was about three times the size of normal woollys, solid black and active at night. Usually they are curled up under boards or some other protective covering. I live in Spotsy, VA on a farm and am getting my chicken and duck coops ready for a bad winter... I too have had a massive amount of acorns this year, few butterflies or bees but a massive nest of tiny wasps on my front porch. I'm getting my generator serviced immediately.

I live outside of Charlotte

I live outside of Charlotte NC. I have seen quite of few in my yard and when I'm walking my dogs. Ive seen black ones but the majority are black tips with the brown in the middle (like the video). Considerably more than I've seen in the 25 years I've lived here.

Have seen several in KY with

Have seen several in KY with orange/brown all over except for black strip down the middle back from head to toe. Scarey!!!!

If the wooley worm is all

If the wooley worm is all white it's going to be a very bad winter.

I only saw a few and they

I only saw a few and they were completely black with no brown at all. Everything I have read so far states we are going to be in for a snowy winter. I am in the I-95 corridor in Stafford, VA. We have also had acorns falling since August.

I, too, have seen only solid

I, too, have seen only solid black woolie-worms; I am in southern Ohio. We've also had an early 'rain' of acorns. I don't know HOW much snow we'll get or how cold it will be, but I don't like winter weather of ANY kind! Brrrrrr! Already dreading the heating bill....

I have been told by landscape

I have been told by landscape architechs, when wasps, nest high in branches, it is an indicator of high snow volumes, rather than nest in or near the ground..The higher the nests, the more the snow..

I have seen an all black

I have seen an all black wooly worm on my door this past week...what does that signify?

Looks like a tough winter

Looks like a tough winter ahead

I'm a photographer and on my

I'm a photographer and on my many outdoor adventures I have seen quite a few of these wooly little friends and they are all telling me here in NE Pennsylvania, that we are going to have another mild winter by sporting mostly brown fuzz. I was raised that the more brown the milder the winter... brown is a good color LOL. I know before I upset someone, the cold kills off bugs and insects. (brown,brown,brown,)

I have not seen any this year

I have not seen any this year either in MCcreary co ky but if the weather we are having right now is what to look forward to we will have a cold wet winter hopefully alot of snow. and the almanac sure hit it for this week cold,&snow and giving alot more coming i love it

Since coming to the mountains

Since coming to the mountains of Western NC, I've noticed that a mild winter usually means a mild summer, while a harsh winter means a hot summer. I don't think there is rhyme or reason to predicting winter that way, but winter sure seems to predict summer.

Here in Missouri, I have seen

Here in Missouri, I have seen very few wooly's. The ones that I have seen were dead. Does anyone know what that means

North West Virginia, I've

North West Virginia, I've seen many wooley worms this fall season and they very from all black to wide varied bands of brown, orange coloring. I guess the winter weather will be mild, cold, light snow, freezing and somewhat warm.

I've heard; If a Bee Nest is

I've heard; If a Bee Nest is very high up in a tree, we will have a bad winter. So far I have seen 4.

i have heard that if a

i have heard that if a hornets nest is low it will be a bad winter i know in 93 we got a huge snow in march 20in and we had one on our home almost on the ground so i dont know which way is right

Our woolies here in CT are

Our woolies here in CT are tipped with black on the top and bottom and mostly brown in the middle. One mild year I remember the woolies were all brown and another year they were mostly black, we had a hard, cold winter. I believe they predict very well what the weather will be for the winter. I also predict spring frost by the tree frogs (peepers). When I hear the peepers it always means we will get three more frosts and that is usually true.

We spotted 3 Woolly Bears

We spotted 3 Woolly Bears today and all have a black head, brown body then a black tail. We live in Southwest Michigan.

We live in the country in

We live in the country in South Central Illinois. I grew up here and my Grandfather always predicted the winter weather w/these little guys. He always said that if the "Woolies" were mostly dark, the winter would be cold and snowy and if they were light blonde, it would be a light winter. I am 62 and have been observing these little "Woolies" since I was 6 and Grandpa has been right all these years. I am now telling my Grand Kids about the "Woolies" and they are starting to keep records to see if I am right. I have found that most of the time, the old ways are the best. :-)

Here in northwestern NJ we've

Here in northwestern NJ we've seen many Woolly Bears. Every single one I've seen has brown from one end to the other except for a small band of black on the head end.

That sign indicates the small

That sign indicates the small black on the head which means start of winter season will be more extreme. Hope his "prediction" is right !

A winter snow for every fog

A winter snow for every fog in August.

We had 24 days of heavy fog

We had 24 days of heavy fog here in Guston, KY. I heard the same thing about the fog days.

Down in the deep south the

Down in the deep south the wolly worm is all black no bands,we have mild winters with few frost and freezes.

In the Northwest the woolie

In the Northwest the woolie worms have a huge band. There has even been no black on them. The squirrels and Bluejays have been Very busy collecting. It usually means hard weather, but little freezing, really wet!

Yes I do. I look out the

Yes I do. I look out the window.

I always watch where the

I always watch where the squirrels nest are located. The higher the nest, the more severe the Winter. This year all the nest in the trees are about half-way up. And I haven't seen a woolie worm this Fall, either. Don't know what to think of that!

I know if I see all black

I know if I see all black ones were infor a very nasty winter in Illinois....if he has yellow----lolo a rain slicker on ...were mild..if he has his car-hearts on...give it up...were snowed in..--true..

Carhartt not car-hearts

Carhartt not car-hearts lol

I live in south central KY

I live in south central KY and the wooly worms around here indicate that we will have a milder than usual winter. However, the Almanac has forecast a much colder than usual winter. I hope the wooly worms are correct. But I will be prepared in case the Almanac is.

I live in maryland.the ones i

I live in maryland.the ones i have been seeing are mostly brown..indicating a mild winter...its worth mentioning though...a few winters ago in md. We had the wost winter on record...and i do honestly recall that year most of the woolys i saw were compleately black.i remember that was the first time time in my life that i had seen so many all black...and ive lived here for 30 years

I have seen several wooly

I have seen several wooly worms in the last month in Mercer County NJ and they have just the tiniest bit of black on them. I'd say they are 90% brown and 10% black.

Here in NW PA, we have seen

Here in NW PA, we have seen several Woolly Bears that are almost all brown with just a bit of black on the tip. Last year, they had black strips at both ends with a wide brown band down the center.

I haven't seen any wooly

I haven't seen any wooly worms this year either and we usually see a lot crossing the roads. I live in MO. What does it mean?

I don't know about wooly

I don't know about wooly worms,but when native ants build their mounds high you can look for a lot of wet weather

Found A Blonde Woolies Worm

Found A Blonde Woolies Worm In My Back Yard. Never Seen One That Color. What Does That Mean About Our Weather In Virginia?

The Wolley Bears were right

The Wolley Bears were right for the winters of 1976-77 and 1977-78. I wrote the book White Death The Blizzard of '77 about these snow disasters and you can see my famous pics and hear blizzard stories at www.whitedeath.com. Beware of snowflakes.

I am in N. Florida (near

I am in N. Florida (near Monticello) and have been seeing what I am calling woolly bears around here lately that are ALL BLACK. Are these true woolly bears? If so, we are in for a COLD winter!

I use the size and position

I use the size and position of the winter homes for the grey and fox squirrels, size fortels temp. extrem, and position the severity, ie. closer to the trunk of tree the more blustery the winter. Combine this information with the accumulation of fat and the urgency of food collection usually gets us a good idea of whats ahead. An old squirrel hunter.

Here in the mountains of sw

Here in the mountains of sw VA the woolies I've seen so far are predicting cold and stormy first and last of season, but relatively mild otherwise. I've been observing them for years and found them more reliable than the weatherman.

I really never truly

I really never truly understood this little creature. I saw one of these at my daughters near Pittsbugh this year . . it was all black. Wear lots of clothes.

My wooley worms are almost

My wooley worms are almost all black. Barely a hint of brown. This is the second year of an incredibly abundant acorn crop. Last year was very mild though. Seems to be a medium amount of squirrel activity. I have 19 squirrels that live in the yard all the time. Cincinnati, Ohio

Watch the squirrels! Around

Watch the squirrels! Around here in Illinois, they have been busier than usual, storing up buried foodstuff in prep for what, by this indicator, will be a very rough winter — not at all like our last one!

The only wooly bears I've

The only wooly bears I've seen this fall have absolutely NO stripes! The almanac forecasts differ from the forecasts on my TV. Is the wooly bear the deciding factor?

Same here in St. Louis, MO.

Same here in St. Louis, MO. No bands on the wooly worms...all black.

One method of telling the

One method of telling the coming winter never fails....the indians used to watch the whiteman gathering firewood!

and the white man watched the

and the white man watched the indians!

Having grown up and lived in

Having grown up and lived in the mountains of Western NC, I've always heard since I was a kid, that where the band's start and stop tells more. For instance, recently I have seen wooly worms with a small black band at the head with brown covering the rest (3/4) of its body. This means that winter will start off stormy with a lot of snow, then turn mild for the rest of the winter.

What does it mean when you

What does it mean when you just don't see any woolies? I usually see them around the garage every year, but this year none? I am located in Northeast Iowa, lots of box elder bugs no wooly bears?

I agree, I have not see any

I agree, I have not see any this year either so what does that mean?

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