The old wooly bear caterpillar is black which means a cold and snowy winter while the Old Farmers Almanac is predicting heavy snowfall and cold temperatures for the Great Lakes Region and the NOAA outlook has temperatures that will be much warmer and below-average snowfall across the northern United States which of course includes the Great Lakes Region. So, which one do you believe?

Many folks have sworn by the wooly worm for generations. The folklore says that if you find a black wooly work then expect a harsh snowy winter. The problem comes when you compare the wooly caterpillars. We have a photo of a black wooly bear but, we also have a couple of pictures of brown wollies with black spots.

Many people will rush out to get the Farmer’s Almanac for its winter weather predictions. This winter the Great Lakes Region outlook is for snowy and very cold conditions.

To add more confusion the NOAA Winter Outlook has warmer winter temperatures and below-average snowfall. The NOAA Outlook is the only diatribe that gives us a clue as to why these designations were chosen. The explanation has to do with the warmer water in the western Pacific Ocean. When this happens, it depends on how much warmer these waters are. We can compare it with El Nino scenarios in the past to see what to expect.

The past El Nino winters show that a strong El Nino, which by all indications this one is, causes the strongest jet stream to get pushed toward the southern US and creates a wet winter pattern. In the past, this scenario also caused storms to strengthen and move up the East Coast which has fueled powerful Nor’Easters.

So which scenario do you believe? Only time will tell if the folklore will be more accurate than the science.

The NOAA forecast is keeping it dry and much warmer in the north and wet in the south
The NOAA official outlook is calling for below-average precipitation/snowfall in the northern states