We've been going to Steve Gottschalk AKA The Caterpillar Man for his winter weather forecast for a few years now. Not only is he very accurate, but he doesn't use fancy equipment to predict weather. No, Steve uses caterpillars.

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Here's the forecast that Steve sent us for Winter 2016-2017:

I have only 8 woolly bears so far but they are showing what the rest of my findings are saying: a colder winter. The unusually warm Fall has kept them from coming out, they like a few frosty mornings to get them moving. They have been correct the last 3 winters.

There are a lot of spiders around this Fall and they are coming indoors, this is usually a sign of a colder winter.
I have been seeing a lot more crickets too and they are coming inside, this usually means more snow than usual. They have been right 2 out of the last 3 winters.

A warmer than normal summer, of which we had, is usually followed by cold winter 70% of the time. A wet summer precedes a cold and stormy winter. Our summer was excessively wet. This is correct 80% of the time for temperatures and 60% for the snowfall.

A warm Autumn is followed by a colder winter 75% of the time. We are having one of our warmest Autumn's on record.

I have found that when the first day of winter occurs during the week of the Last Quarter moon there is a 62% chance that the winter will be colder than normal and a 54% chance that the snowfall will be above normal.

Using my records I think the following will occur:

  • November will be warmer than normal with below normal snowfall. No big snowstorm like we had last November.
  • December will have near normal temperatures with above normal snowfall.
  • January will see below normal temperatures and near normal snowfall.
  • February will see below normal temperatures and above normal snowfall.
  • March will have below normal temperatures and below normal snowfall.

We won't have Riley the weather cat around to predict this winter, he died from an accident on April 1st. He was right on all 3 of his weather predictions for the temperatures. We thought his buddy Lily was going to take his place but she gave up on predicting back in June as she would rather catch some mice.

RIP Riley.