TULSA - Before green leaves turn orange, anxious viewers ask us about the severity of the upcoming winter.
Hoping there is some secret crystal ball we keep under wraps in a dusty corner of the weather center just waiting to reveal how much snow to expect.
Sadly there is no crystal ball.
We show the Climate Prediction Center's 90-Day outlooks, but honestly they are very vague and not very accurate. Still we show them because that is about the only thing that has any science behind it.
Several years ago I included persimmon seeds as part of a Weather Myth on predicting winter weather. People still ask me about what clue they may provide about the cold weather, snow, and ice for winter.
Here is how you can check for yourself:
Get your hands on some persimmon seeds and carefully cut them in halves. If the inside whitish colored kernel is shaped like a spoon then you can expect a lot of heavy snow. If the kernel is more of a forked shape then expect a powdery light snow and a mild winter. Folklore says if the inside is shaped like a knife you can expect a icy and cutting wind. Personally, I am hoping to find a lot of forks.
If you try this, please let me know what you find.
Here are some other folklore to use as a sign of a hard winter:
The size and frequency of spider webs, foretells the severity of winter.
If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long
Onion skins very thin, a mild winter coming in; Onion skins thick and tough, the coming winter cold and rough.
A warm October, then expect a cold February.
The wider the brown middle band on a wooly bear caterpillar, the milder the winter.
If the first snowfall lands on unfrozen ground, the winter will be mild. If the breast bone of the Thanksgiving goose is red or has many spots, expect a cold and stormy winter; but if only a few spots are visible, expect a mild winter.
A warm November is a sign of a bad winter to come.
When birds and badgers are fat in October, expect a hard winter.
I didn't have the opportunity to weigh a badger in October but I can tell you November has been overall a very warm month. Does this mean it will be a harsh winter?