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Persimmons, worms and acorns: Mother Nature is sending mixed signals for the coming winter

Can the woolly worm really be trusted? Or should you follow the guidance of the persimmon seed? Let's not forget the acorns, either!

The pesky persimmon seed. These small tomato-looking fruits apparently contain a wealth of knowledge about meteorology... and are sometimes hard to interpret.

The shape of the root within a persimmon seed is said to foretell how harsh the cold weather season will be.

There are three options:

  1. A spoon indicates plenty of snow for you to "shovel".
  2. A knife foretells of sharp cold that will "cut" through you.
  3. A fork represents mild conditions.

Chief Meteorologist Todd Howell and Meteorologist Cassie Nall took on the challenge of cutting a seed open, revealing that we will experience sharp, cold winter thanks to a knife-shaped root.

Credit: WBIR Weather

Meanwhile, the prognosticator of winter weather, the woolly worm, says otherwise.

Each of their 13 segments represents a week of winter.

Black fur represents cold weather. Brown fur indicates milder conditions.

The winning worm at this year's Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, North Carolina, was named "Wild Worm Will," and Will had quite a bit of brown, which would foretell of mild conditions.

Credit: Avery County Chamber of Commerce

Do you see why this can be confusing?

To add to the confusion, the number of days with fog in August is said to equal the number of days with snow during the winter.

This year, we had 8 days that reported fog at the McGhee Tyson Airport (our official climate site), so it looks like we can expect 8 days with snow this winter.

And the acorn crop was HUGE this year! Wait... you don't know about the acorns? 

RELATED: No rain, no problem for bears' fall food in Smokies

Lots of acorns mean lots of fat bears. And lots of fat bears would indicate that a long winter is ahead.

Folklore says that a large acorn crop is Mother Nature's way of taking care of wildlife in preparation for the cold months ahead.

Looks like the best way to know what is expected this winter is to tune in for Todd's official winter weather forecast on 10News Monday at 6 p.m.!

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