HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A weather prognosticator for The Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack says the upcoming winter is going to be cold, snowy and severe. How does he know? Caterpillars.

Almanack Weather Prognosticator William O’Toole looked at the markings on pictures of wooly bear caterpillars submitted by area residents for an almanac contest in order to make his prediction.

The markings on the caterpillar are believed to indicate how severe or mild a coming winter will be.

This year, the front and back bands on the caterpillars were darker and thicker than average, indicating a more severe winter from beginning to end.

More than 60 entries were submitted for judging on size and cuddliness. The winner got a $100 cash prize.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (11)
  1. jill m says:

    as a cyclist i notice a lot of things on the road. last year i noticed tons of these caterpillars and commented to someone that they mean something but couldn’t remember what. well it appears they meant a really bad winter. as i was riding this season, i didn’t notice nearly as many caterpillars and commented again to another friend that i was riding with at the time. based on my observations, i don’t think this winter is going to be as bad.

  2. Evan Dog says:

    hahahahah its not how many catepillars you see its there coat that matters!

  3. Evan Dog says:

    hahahahah its not how many catepillars you see its there coat that matters

  4. Jason Yang says:

    heh i think i saw none but i want the winter storm cus no school cant wait?

  5. SNOWMAN says:


    1. tylerjake says:

      LOL, I don’t like it either SNOWMAN!

  6. Carla says:

    I am also not a fan of this new layout. I can’t find anything anymore.

  7. shirl says:

    I don’t like the new website, why did you change it

  8. Johny Dep says:

    I dont like it either.

  9. Balto4930 says:

    I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in the Hagertstown Almanack. Very cutesy and folksy but check out their prediction for last winter: “November and January will have close to average precipitation, but December, February, and March will have below average precipitation. Overall, there will be a deficit of about 5 inches of precipitation for the five-month period.” hmmmmmm?
    I prefer the pros at Foots Forecast who were the only ones to call last year’s storms.

  10. Erundand says:

    sell 2011 chanel for more detail

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