Years ago we would speak with Gus Wickstrom, a retired Canadian farmer who had quite a knack for predicting winter weather using a very strange method. All Gus needed to forecast was the spleen of a pig.

Every year, just before winter hit the Quad Cities, we would send Gus a spleen from a local pig and wait for his predictions. And Gus was good at what he did, he predicted huge snow storms way before any meteorologist did.

Unfortunately Gus passed away in 2007, but not before passing on his legacy and spleen predicting knowledge to his nephew, Jeff Woodward.

We spoke with Jeff this morning and have put him to task. A few weeks ago we sent him three local pig spleens that Klinger procured... somehow.

Jeff broke down his prediction for us and even filled us in on the history of the pig spleen forecast which began in his family back in the 1930s. It all started a looong time ago in Europe. At the end of the year, farmers would look at pig spleens. Apparently pigs have a great ability to prepare for winter and the spleen holds all their secrets.

The spleen gets divided into six equal pieces with each chunk representing one month, January through June. Jeff then looked that the bumps and fat in each section to figure out what the temperature and precipitation will be.

According to the spleens, something weird is going to happen at the end of March into early April. Here's what Jeff has forecast for the winter in the Quad Cities:

  • The winter will be fairly normal with slightly colder and wetter weather, nothing too extreme.
  • Based on the spleens and the weather Canada is experiencing, we will have a white Christmas.
  • January will start off cold, in the the 10-15 degree range. After the 10th, temps will normalize.
  • There will be a steady snowfall from January 10th-20th, accumulating about a half-inch per day.
  • A major snowfall event is set for January 14th, expect about four inches.
  • Early February will have temps dropping low for a few days with scattered snow throughout the month. Large accumulation early on.
  • March 1st will feature another snowfall event of around four inches.
  • March 27th to April 10th will be filled with a snow/rain/fog mix. Jeff said the spleens had some weird, meshy fat for those months.
  • Major flooding will hit the area between April 12th-17th with a big rain event hitting on the 30th.

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