Science vs. Folklore: Does East Texas have a brutal winter ahead?

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texas may be headed into a hard winter, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

“I have always been mesmerized by the fact that the farmer’s almanac can be as accurate as it is,” said James Wilhite, a Tyler Horticulturist.

Wilhite uses the Farmer’s Almanac to an extent, since many people have depended on it for centuries. “I don’t know how they do it, they are not always spot on, but boy they are more accurate than they’re not,” said Wilhite.

While scientists rely on technology, some people say that there are more natural ways to predict the winter season ahead.

“There are all kinds of ways that people look at the nature or natural systems to try and predict weather. You  know, that’s our nature to try and figure out what’s going on in advance or try or figure out an answer or a why. I think our weatherman is going to give us a good clue”, says Wilhite.

The clues could include wooly worms, the amount of leaves on trees and persimmon seeds. The persimmon seeds from Made From Scratch Farm in Frankston, Texas, showed what looks like an image of a spoon, which tells us to expect a hard winter.

The science, however, disagrees. Carson Vickroy, KETK’s Morning Meteorologist said, “Just based on the pattern that I have seen in September of this year, we are seeing about 70% to 80% of a pattern called La Nina, which is typically cooler than normal water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, and that’s been known to correlate with warmer and drier winters for us”, said Vickroy. “If I had to make a prediction, I’d have to say we are going to be warmer and drier.”

The people behind the Old Farmer’s Almanac said they use a secret strategy to predict the weather. They also boast an 80% accuracy rating. Though, there are different ways to identify what the next season may bring. Wilhite says you should always be prepared for the unknown. Double check that your plants are good, healthy and watered before going into this cold season.

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