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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 Sept. 26, 1959 a squall line ahead of a cold front spawned severe thunderstorms across much of eastern, southeastern and southern Iowa.

The storms did considerable damage to crops and property and injured 3 people. At the Cedar Rapids airport, 17 aircraft were damaged by the high winds and at Waterloo reached 90 mph. A small tornado touched down in northeast Cedar County damaging several farms.

The storms produced heavy rains and flooding in some southern Iowa locations with amounts as high as 2.95" at Lamoni.

The following day, Sept. 27th saw more severe thunderstorms develop across parts of Iowa. One storm east of Park View in Scott County produced hail up to 7" in diameter which is one of the largest hailstones on record in the state. The storm shattered windows in several homes and businesses in Davenport where one greenhouse lost 3,000 panes of glass.

Another storm produced an F2 tornado which touched down south of Davenport and then crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois. Other storms farther west produced heavy rains with 3.38" falling at Osceola.


I received a question about crickets a couple of weeks ago. The week of heavy rain probably did stir them up a bit as many people have been telling me that they were hopping all over their lawn, coming into their garages and trying to come indoors.

I started to keep track of their numbers beginning in the late summer of 1993. After 10 years of observing I noticed that in the years their numbers were greater, the following winter saw above normal snowfall. During the past 27 years they have been correct 85% of the time. Their numbers are above normal this season.


In my 7 years of living up here in the N.E. part of town I have never seen the squirrels so busy burying the walnuts like they are this season. They have been carrying the nuts from as far as 3 blocks away. I have never studied this weather saying before - " when the squirrels gather in a large supply of nuts, a cold winter is expected". I guess we will see how this works out?


The late professor Elmar Reiter, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University came up with a way to predict rainfall patterns months in advance by measuring the ground temperature down at 40".

If the soil is warmer in the fall it means a wet winter.

If the soil is cooler in the fall it means a dry winter.

He claims it worked 9 out of 10 times.

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

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