Skip to Content

Woolly Bear Worm Folklore Indicates Severe UC Winter

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Woolly Bear Worm Folklore Indicates Severe UC Winter

Before there were weathermen and meteorologists, farmers would use woolly bear worms to predict winter.

Van Buren Ag Extension Agent Chris Binkley said that according to folklore, it’s the colors of the worms that would indicate a mild or severe winter.

“The woolly bear worm is basically black and a rusty color,” Binkley said. “Bigger the rusty band, the milder the winter and the more black they have, means the more severe, more cold, more snow winter.”

Binkley said that he’s seen mostly black woolly worms in the Upper Cumberland, indicating a severe winter. He said that for those interested in trying out their own predictions, you can find woolly worms in leaf piles, on roads or sidewalks, or any covered place where they might wait out the winter.

Binkley said while it may just be an old wives’ tale passed down from generation to generation, some scientists actually tested the veracity of the woolly bear worm theory.

“I think it was the University of Missouri,” Binkley said. “Back in the 40s or 50s, they did a kind of study, not necessarily a study, but they kind of watched that. And some winters it would be spot on, and some it would just not. So it’s just kind of one of those folk tales that either it hits or it’s not.”


The post Woolly Bear Worm Folklore Indicates Severe UC Winter appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.