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When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right

here on Take it away Steve!


On August 13-14, 1964 an area of high pressure settled in over the state. As a result there were record lows at many locations on both nights over N.E. Iowa. At Saratoga a record low of 32 degrees on the morning of the 14th was the earliest August freeze ever in the state. Other lows were:

Elkader - 33

Decorah - 36

Fayette - 34

Grundy Center & Oelwein - 38


On August 19, 1994 a severe thunderstorm with very large hail cut a swath from Osage to Charles City E.S.E. to Dubuque during the afternoon hours. The largest hailstones up to 4.5" in diameter fell at Dubuque causing millions in damage.


There is weather folklore that states - the taller the weeds during the summer, the deeper the snow in winter. I have only tested this saying for the past 2 years and during 2018 the horse weed around here was taller than the corn. That winter season I had a total of 72.6" of snow. Last year the horse weed was around the normal height and I had 45.6" of snow. This year the horse weed was much taller than the corn so there should be above normal snowfall.


In my 53 years of studying weather folklore I have never seen these particular formulas. I found them in an old book.

The number of days from when the first snowflakes fall til Christmas will tell you how many times it will snow this winter.

The date of the first snowflakes tells how many times it will snow:

1-10th - below normal snowfall.

11-20th - normal snowfall.

21-31st - lots of snow.

The date of the first snowflakes plus the number of days past the new moon tells how many times it will snow this winter:

1-19 days - below normal snowfall.

20-38 days - normal snowfall.

39 or more days - snowy winter.

The number of days past the new moon you have the first snowflakes tells how many times it will snow this winter:

1-9 days - below normal snowfall.

10-18 days - normal snowfall.

19 or more days - snowy winter.

You will have to tests them and see which one is the most accurate. I will see how they do against the 4 other snowfall formulas that I know.

That's all for this addition. On the "wild" side of weather, I'm Steve Gottschalk.

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