Pin It

Dark days ahead 

I have an odd habit--picked up from my Kentucky grandfather--where for some reason I always look up in the sky, squint and say "Winter's coming" on the first day of summer. The inverse happens as well on the winter solstice, which this year falls on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 7:42 a.m.

Along with this peculiarity comes a fascination with long-term weather prediction through both scientific and, well, less-scientific means. Like wooly worms.

This year marked the 27th annual running of the worms at the Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. Each year the race winner is used to predict the intensity of the winter season. According to the markings on Sparky, who streaked across the finish line first, the initial four weeks of winter will be cold and snowy, weeks five to 11 cold but no snow and weeks 12 and 13 cold and snowy again.

That's not too far off some of the more official forecasts. Accu-Weather, the commercial weather behemoth, is predicting average precipitation and colder temps with a big swath of the Appalachians slated for heavy precipitation. The National Weather Service has this part of the state in for a slightly colder winter with average precipitation. A handful of local weather celebs also are on board with this outlook.

With the stars and worms lining up, it wouldn't be a bad idea to lay in a load of wood, plug up the leaks in your galoshes and storm windows, toss a bag of kitty litter in the trunk and test out the camp stove in advance.

Apparently, the iceman cometh.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

More by Kirk Ross

  • In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013

    We'll never forget the woman who came to work in whatever wild array of colors the day required, a laptop under one arm and a little white dog under the other.
    • Sep 25, 2013
  • The GOP sacrifices N.C. citizens—for what?

    A national conversation is happening about what's going down here. It's as if Gov. McCrory and the Legislature don't realize there is a geographical limit to their supermajority superpowers.
    • Jul 17, 2013
  • More »

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity

Comments

What a nice story! I have a dear old friend, a true "elder" also, who as she grows old and …

by Eklutna on Maya Angelou, 1928-2014 (Front Porch)

This was a very touching piece, and I appreciate you sharing your experience, Grayson. It takes a very humble, kind, …

by sibel yaman on Race home (Front Porch)

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation