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Farmer's Almanac Editor Talks About History's Weather Proverbs

Last updated on Monday, November 30, 2009

(UNDATED) - Weather proverbs have been around for thousands of years, passing from sailors to farmers and on to city folks.

Most proverbs persist despite a dubious track record of accuracy.

But some of mother nature's weather cues do provide a short-term forecast for a specific area.

They are the tales that express a strong cause-and-effect relationship between science and nature.

Janice Stillman, Editor of the Old Farmers Almanac, says the Wooly Worm, who is often seen trying to cross the road, is a good winter weather forecaster.

The wider the middle brown section of the Wooly Worm, the milder the winter.

A narrow brown band on the worm predicts a harsh winter.

She also says the colors displayed by a drying breastbone from a cooked goose is another indicator of winter's severity and so are the shapes of the kernels inside a persimmon.

But Stillman says the best proverb the Farmer's Almanac got was a letter that went into great detail about predicting the weather by watching a dog who is left outside.

The letter stated that for the best accuracy, the dog should be left out all the time.

The letter was signed by, "The Cat".

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