Pictures: Your wooly worms predict winter forecast

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


Note: Karli Ritter, FOX 4 meteorologist, originally posted this in September 2014, but it still applies today!

It’s that time of the year, fall is here and people are getting their first taste of cooler weather. With the reminder that snow, ice and bitterly cold air isn’t too far away, I start getting asked what my thoughts are on the upcoming winter. While I do certainly look at several meteorological websites, air and sea temperatures and overall weather patterns, I always find myself looking at two other pretty accurate “sources.” What I like most about these two sources are that they come from you, the viewer, and they are 100 percent local! One is the persimmon seed, the other is the wooly worm!

Oh, the wooly worm! I was introduced to these fuzzy little creatures shortly after moving to Kansas City in 2007. Since then I’ve kept track of their “predictions,” and I must say these little worms have a pretty good track record. From what I understand, the fuzzier they are coincides with some bitterly cold air expected for winter (think fuzzy, warm coats to keep you warm with the cold air in place). I have also learned the color of that fuzz is very important! Brown/reddish colors signal a milder winter where the black fuzz signals a colder winter. A few years ago I also found out about the white wooly worms! Did you know that white fuzz means blizzard?! And wouldn’t you know, we did have blizzard conditions a couple of times since I’ve moved to Kansas City (which happened to coincide with the years people saw white, fuzzy worms).

So what does this all mean? It means that as much stock as I put in the weather patterns, I find it hard to ignore the wooly worms “prediction” they produce with their ‘coats’ each year.  They are local “sources” who know how to prepare for the upcoming seasons. With that being said, please upload pictures of the wooly worms in your neighborhood. Although, if they are all black or all white, maybe don’t keep them to yourself! Ignorance is bliss, right?!

Upload your photos to the gallery below.


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.