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STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...


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 TSwails.com. Take it away Steve!


FROM SEVERE WEATHER TO HEAVY SNOW:

On October 19, 1882 a strong storm system produced severe weather across the state which was followed by heavy snow across the northern half of Iowa.


During the day thunderstorms swept across the region with quarter size hail for more than 10 minutes at Cleghorn in Cherokee county which accumulated to 3,000 lbs. on the scale at the farmer's coop elevator.

 Later that night and into the morning hours of the 20th, heavy snow fell across the north with Sioux City receiving 8.0", Sibley - 7.0", Cresco - 4.0", Independence - 3.0", Decorah - 2.0" and Iowa Falls, New Hampton and Oelwein - 1.5".

DEADLIEST IOWA OCTOBER TORNADO?

On October 8, 1878 an F2 tornado tracked northeast from Crawford county into Sac county hitting 8 homes, and destroying a railroad bridge across the Boyer River. The heaviest damage was at Wall Lake. Eighteen persons were killed in this storm.


That same day an F3 tornado swept across Jones county from 3 miles WSW of Monticello up through the southern part of town around 5:30 p.m. The tornado was 400 yards wide and it traveled along an 8 mile path. In town 10 homes, 2 churches, 9 barns and an ice house were destroyed along with another 52 buildings being damaged. Eleven persons were injured in the storm.

ONION SKINS AND THE WINTER:

I have never tested this bit of weather folklore - "Onion skins very thin, mild winter's coming in: onions skins thick and tough, coming winter, cold and rough." I am not a fan of onions so maybe some of you readers out there know if this is true or not?

WOOLLY BEAR UPDATE:

I still have only 2 woolly bear reports so far. This time last year I had 40 reports already. I was looking through my records the other night and found that since 1990 when the fuzzy little critters were scarce, meaning less than 20 of them, the winter tended to be warmer. It's still early and I am hoping to find more of them.


TICKING CLOCKS AND WEATHER CHANGES:

I have an antique parlor clock which is 135 years old and I noticed over the years that when it has a louder, ticking sound there will be a change in the weather. As the barometric pressure falls the atmosphere becomes more hollow allowing the sound to carry much easier thus making the ticking sound, louder. I have noticed that this is more common during the colder months, September through April.


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

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