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If Mother Nature is correct, Winter 2021-2022 is going to keep the 10Weather Team very busy

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

Each fall, the 10Weather team has some fun and takes a look at the weather folklore of East Tennessee.

So what is Mother Nature trying to tell us about the upcoming winter season?

Let's start with persimmons.

These small tomato-looking fruits apparently contain a wealth of knowledge about meteorology... and the seeds are sometimes hard to interpret. 

Credit: WBIR Weather

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.

These were the results from Fort Loudoun State Historic Area:

Credit: WBIR Weather

The results show nothing-but-spoons, which would indicate that we will have lots of snow to shovel.

So according to the persimmon seeds, we can expect a harsh winter with biting cold and plenty of snow.

RELATED: How does TDOT prepare when winter weather is on the way?

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Now to the Woolly Worm...

Each of the worm's 13 segments represents a week of winter.

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

Credit: WBIR Weather

The pattern on this worm would foretell of a chilly start, mild middle and cold ending to the winter season. 

RELATED: Winter Weather Outlook: The 'Horseshoe Effect' plays a key role in why some areas see more snow than others

What about the acorn crop?

This was a banner year for acorns in the Smokies, which would indicate that a long and harsh winter is ahead.

Lots of acorns means lots of fat bears and folklore says that a large acorn crop is Mother Nature's way of taking care of wildlife in preparation for the cold months ahead.

RELATED: Winter Weather Outlook: Winterizing your home

The number of days with fog in August is said to equal the number of days with snow during the winter.

Credit: WBIR Weather

This year, we had 16 days with fog reported at the McGhee Tyson Airport (our official climate site). 1 of those days was "thick" with visibility of 1/4 of a mile or less.

So according to those numbers, it looks like we can expect 16 days with snow this winter, including at least 1 heavy snow event.

And finally... The spider webs.

Spooky season started early this year and the spiders have been very busy building A LOT of webs.

Credit: WBIR Weather

So based on these signs from nature, we should have a doozy of a winter season.

While talking about weather folklore is interesting and fun, the best way to know what is expected this winter is to tune often for updates to the forecast!

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