LITTLE ROCK, Ark — We are halfway through the fall season, but people always seem anxious to know, what type of winter can we expect?
There’s a known weather folklore about persimmons seeds and how they are used to determine the winter weather outlook.
Persimmons are these small, orange fruits about the size of a peach. Persimmon seed forecasting is believed to have originated here in Arkansas, out of the Ozarks.
It’s been thought that when you cut open the seed, the white markings or kernel inside can give us clues about the upcoming winter. If the white marking is in the shape of a knife, it’s been thought that winters would be bitter cold with icy winds that can "cut like a knife."
If it’s in the shape of the spoon, then you could expect to shovel plenty of snow. If it was in the shape of a fork that meant an average to mild winter with light, powdery snow.
Persimmon seed-based winter predictions don’t always have the best track record in winter weather prediction.
For one, there isn’t a set method on how many persimmons seeds you need to cut open to determine this probability. You're just as well off flipping a coin to guess the forecast.
There are a lot of factors even meteorologists and climatologists must consider when forecasting far into the seasons.
Certain weather patterns such as El Nino and La Nina are one of the methods used to determine the set-up of the season. According to NOAA, a La Nina set up is expected now and through the winter, which means warmer and drier conditions are possible for us in the South. Even then, it’s never an exact science.
When it comes to persimmon seeds being used to predict the outlook for the winter season, the science says to not break out those snow boots and shovels just yet.