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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. Only one person takes climatology to a level like this. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. 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!

My Old Country Almanac For The Week Of Sept. 15-21st

During this week we usually see 2 days with measurable rainfall. It can range from 0 days to 6 days with rain. During this week there is an 18% chance of seeing 1" or more of rain during any of the 7 days. Over my many years of records, my earliest minimum temperature in the 20's occurred on Sept. 15, 2007. That same morning Elkader got down to 28 degrees. The day(s) with the highest probability for rain are the 19th and 20th, each with a 40% chance. The day with the lowest probability is the 16th with a 23% chance.

Here's my lunar weather forecast for the almanac. As usual I ask for a 24 hour leeway.

Sept. 15th - According to the weather folklore, " this day is fine 6 of 7 years."

Sept. 16th - After midnight, Mars is seen on the left side of the moon. This is traditionally the driest day of the week.

Sept. 17th - It's the last Quarter Moon, the weather will see variable temperatures, breezy conditions and a 63% chance of rain.

Sept. 18th - the weather will be warmer and breezy with a 50% chance of rain.

Sept. 19th - "If on the 19th of September there is a storm from the south, a mild winter is expected." The moon is at Apogee, the farthest distance from the Earth. Weather-wise, expect warmer temperatures, breezy conditions and a 65% chance of rain.

Sept. 20th - " A prediction is seldom found on a single sign."

Sept. 21st - "If the wind blows from the south on the the 21st of September, it indicates a warm autumn."

Some More Weather Predicting Tips From Rover

When dogs chew on grass, it is going to rain.

When a dog acts restless and unusually alert, rain is coming.

If a dog howls, expect a storm.

If a dog pulls his feet up high while walking, a change in the weather is coming.

Those Are Not Woolly Bears

I have had several reports from friends that they have seen woolly bears but they were actually the longer haired Virginian Tiger or Yellow Bear moth caterpillars. They can be yellow, light brown, dark brown or black in color. The woolly bear is the Isabella Tiger moth caterpillar with very short hair, usually with black on both ends and a rusty brown in the middle. It usually takes a good cold snap to get the woolly bears moving, usually in late September and early October.

Some More Corn Folklore For Predicting The Weather

If corn silk has a light texture, look for a light winter; if a heavy texture, a heavy winter.

If corn silk is abundant, a cold winter is portended; if scanty, a warm winter.

If corncobs have scattered grains, prepare for an uneven winter; if corncobs are full grained , prepare for a normal winter.

If the kernels on corncobs are in crooked rows, an irregular winter will follow; if in straight rows, a regular winter.

Can Your Tabby Predict The Weather?

Some years ago, my friend Rex had a black, long haired tomcat named Riley who was exceptionally good at predicting the weather. From the summer of 2013 until his untimely death in April of 2016, Rex watched Riley and told me what he was doing. During this time, Riley correctly predicted the daily weather 95% of the time and he was right on for all 3 of his winter forecasts. When a big storm was coming he would either hide under the golf cart or up in the rafters in the garage. He was always correct with these intuitions as well.

If you are the owner of a cat, you may want to watch for these signs?

A cat sleeping on it's head is a sign of a storm.

An old cat frisking about like a kitten, foretells a storm.

If a cat chews grass, a rain approaches, the earlier in the day the chewing, the sooner the rain.

High winds are indicated after a cat becoming frisky and dashes about wildly or climbs trees.

A Deadly September Storm

On Sept. 16, 1978, at 7:25 p.m., a complex of thunderstorms produced an F3 tornado, 200 yards wide that tracked for a total of 26 miles through Marshall, Jasper and Poweshiek counties. The tornado moved E, then SE from 1 mile S of Rhodes and Melbourne to 3 miles S of Grinnell. In the rural areas many farms and trailers were damaged or destroyed. A father and daughter were killed in a trailer S of Laurel.

The storm then tore through a business area at the I-80 and Hwy 146 intersection 2 miles S of Grinnell. Four people were killed in 2 cars that were carried for 100 yards. There were 45 injuries, most of them occurred in a restaurant that was unroofed and ripped apart. Ten trucks, 15 trailers and 30 cars were destroyed. About 20 farms lost buildings. The storms also produced 3" diameter hail around the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area.

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

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