The Farmer's Almanac says Old Man Winter's going to take up residence in the middle of the country this year. We'll see more days of shivery conditions with temperatures averaging below normal for about three-quarters of the nation. The coldest temperatures will be over the northern Great Lakes and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Near-normal amounts of precipitation are expected over the eastern third of the country, as well as over the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains, while drier-than-normal conditions are forecast to occur over the Southwest and the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes. Only the Central and Southern Plains are expected to receive above-average amounts of precipitation. Significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone.
I'm watching the other tried and true ways to know how severe the winter will be, the shape of the persimmon seed. I kid you not! According to old timers, you can tell what the winter will be like by cutting a persimmon seed open.
If the shape inside the seed is that of a knife, it is believed to mean the winter will be cutting cold. So cold the wind feels like its cutting right through you like a knife.
When the shape inside the seed looks like a spoon it is said to mean it will be a heavy winter. The spoon represents lots of shoveling.
The appearance of a fork shape within the seed is believed to mean that winter will be easy with only a light dusting of snow.
It may sound ridiculous, but Arkansans have used this method reliably for many years!
Until the local weathermen have a better track record, I am going to be on the lookout for a Persimmon Tree!