(Aired 11/11/2020)  Again this year we take a very unscientific look at the signals Mother Nature has given us, and fearlessly forecast the winter weather to come.  We’re off to an unusual start this season, but what hasn’t been unusual about 2020, right?  Last year we had late October snows which caused a bit of recalculation in our formula.  Our adjustments made us pretty darn close.  28 measurable snows were predicted, we received 29.  

Observations have been made, measurements taken, and guesses pondered as we make our bold predictions.  Combining some folksy traditions, a healthy dose of experience, a dash of guesswork, and a pinch of silliness, with apologies to the great Gordon Kilgore, I offer my 2020-21 Winter Weather Prognostication.  

Mother Nature is keeping her cards close to her chest this year, the signs are difficult to read, and mainly unremarkable.  Spider and squirrel activity is down a bit from last year, and squirrel fat is considered about average.  The Wooly Bear caterpillars have been less plentiful, and their mix of black to tan seems to indicate a somewhat shorter winter than last.  Muskrat lodges are shorter and broader this year, while hornet’s nests are a bit lower than usual.  Kingfisher nests seem about the same as in the past few years.  


Like we did last year, we had late October snows this year.  The first of these deep enough to track a cat fell on October 25.  As we do when we don’t get a cat-tracker until December, we adjust the formula and predict 25 measurable snows for the season.  As the snows prior to the cat tracker don’t count, and we had a measurable snow on October 26th, we’re left with 24 more to come this season.

Look for wide swings in temperatures this winter.  We’ll see some very cold weather, and some unusually mild days.  There will be plenty of snow, but unseasonably warm spells will melt the cover away on multiple occasions.  Look for a bit of everything this winter, but not too much of any one thing.

Llate winter snowstorm in Alexandria
The Washington Post/Getty Images

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