Today, December 21, marks the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere! While it’s clear and cool at the WorldStrides headquarters in Charlottesville for now, we decided to have some fun and look up winter weather folklore to see if we can predict the winter ahead.

We’re going to rely on our local weather forecasters to tell us when to expect cold and snow, but for fun, here are 9 winter weather folklore sayings to share with your students:

  • When flowers that usually bloom during the spring bloom again in the fall, winter will be cold.
  • A big berry crop means the following winter will be a cold one.
  • Lots of acorns and walnuts in the fall also indicate a cold winter ahead.
  • Take a look at woolly worms. The thicker and more black bands they have, the more severe a winter will be. If they are rusty orange in color, however, winter will be mild.
  • If squirrels are busy storing lots of food in the fall, winter will be harsh. Bushy squirrel tales and nests built high in trees are also signs of a hard winter ahead.
  • For every fog in August, it is believed there will be a snowfall during winter.
  • Winter will be cold and snow if corn husks are thick and tight, apple skins are tough, and birds migrate early.
  • When persimmon seeds are split in half, they reveal either a spoon, knife, or fork shape. A knife indicates a winter that will be very cold, a spoon (which looks like a shovel!) predicts lots of snow, and a fork says winter will be mild.
  • Keep an eye on the weather on October 9. If it’s sunny, the following winter will be very cold. If it’s cloudy, winter will be milder.

According to these folklore beliefs, what will the winter be like in your area?

If you’re looking to escape somewhere snowy, check out our programs to places like Iceland and Alaska. Want something a little warmer? Take a look at our Hawaii or Costa Rica programs!