The Boring Word About Weather Forecasting

February 19, 1997

This past weekend’s weather was the final determining factor in my belief in the wooly worm caterpillar as a weather forecaster. For those of you who may have forgotten, early in the fall we had a comment from one of our readers that this year there would be a bad fall and spring and a very mild winter. John Hyduk told us the wooly worms in his yard had wide brown stripes on either end of their bodies and a narrow black stripe around the middle. From that came the forecast which has, for the most part, been as good – if not better – than the ones I see each night on TV.

If I had truly believed the wooly worm, perhaps we would not have invested in the large snow blower which has sat unused in the garage all winter. However, Friday morning it got a workout and I am pleased to say it was running just fine.

All winter long I looked upon that snow blower as an insurance policy – similar to the service policy on a new appliance. If you have it, you won’t need it; if you don’t, you will. Of one thing I’m sure – we will have other winters and our snowblower will be put to use again. In the meantime, I’m going to check the wooly worms this fall and then decide if the snow blower should be moved to the back of the garage or kept up front near the door!

Although the mild winter has been welcomed by most of the people I know, there are still a few who miss the blanket of snow we usually see. It was hard to envision Santa on his sleigh with no snow under the runners and those who received skis and sleds for Christmas have had little use for them.

I’m now looking forward to summer. If any of you know a way to predict how that weather let me know, please. I don’t want to pack away the sweat clothes if I’ll be needing them.