Old rule of thumb for winter 

Posted: 6:34 pm Thursday, November 30th, 2017

By Kirk Mellish

I’ve been keenly interested in weather since I was oh 5 years old or so, always wanted to become a meteorologist, although like all boys had some other potential interests as well, just none as strong or consistent.

I can’t quite remember when I first came across this winter prediction “old wives tale” or rule of thumb, I think I was still in high school but not sure.

Keep in mind, I have seen no independent scientific evidence to support it, just like the silly ones about fog days and snow, lightning/thunder days and snow, or any other unsupported old saws like that… woolly worms, squirrels and nuts, persimmon seeds, wild berries etc. None are supported by scientific evidence, but they’re fun, like this one.

It says that November tips the hand of Old Man Winter, with a particular emphasis on the week around Thanksgiving.

So here’s what that looked like this year, for what it’s worth. (probably not much)

But just for fun:






I’ll update when complete data is in, but as of now this old rule of thumb indicates drier than normal winter with temperatures near-normal to maybe slightly below-normal on average for the winter. The precip signal is consistent while you can see the temperature signals conflict.

Another old rule of thumb about winter states that the position of the mean ridge in the Fall predicts where the mean trough will be in the winter, and the mean trough in the autumn predicts where the mean ridge will be in the winter. Put another way, the winter is supposed to be largely opposite the fall. Never seen any validity metrics on this one either.

I’ll have my final winter outlook on the radio next Wednesday morning 12/6.

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