Snowy Winter? Tim Koehler’s Annual Dubuque Area Winter Prognostication
Dubuque Area Weather Prediction 2021-2022
It’s an autumn tradition, a not-so-formal prediction of the winter to come. Although we’re seeing lots of examples of the dangers of ignoring science, we take an unscientific shot at a long-range forecast. Last winter’s prediction was fairly close to the eventual outcome overall. My prediction of 25 measurable snows was a bit over, though. We recorded 21 total. Adjustments have been made accordingly.
It’s late in the game, but Mother Nature’s schedule is not always easily understood. Again for the winter of 2021-2022 we analyze the signs she gives us, apply a number of folksy traditions, a healthy dose of experience, some guesswork and a bit of playfulness as we plug the data from our observations into our time-tested formula, and with apologies to the great Gordon Kilgore, offer Tim Koehler’s Annual Winter Prognostication.
The mild autumn weather and late-arriving initial snow are signs to be read in themselves. Spider activity has been very light this year. Rodents, especially mice, have been plenty busy, though. Squirrels are reported to be especially large and healthy, with about an average amount of fat. The Wooly Bear caterpillars stripes have indicated a medium to long winter. Kingfisher nest heights have again been about normal, while hornet nests have been a bit on the high side. Muskrat lodges seem closer to normal than last year.
It was a long time in arriving, but we've finally recorded the season’s first snowfall deep enough to track a cat. You may recall that last year we had significant snowfall in October, this year however, the first "cat-tracker" arrived on December 11th. That means we expect 11 total snows of an inch or more before the end of wintertime. Expect a snowy winter that isn’t terribly cold. That is not to say there will be no cold weather, but that overall temperatures will be a bit warmer, and cold snaps will be of shorter duration. It would be advisable to tune up the snowblower, be ready with fuel and salt, and prepare to enjoy a rather snowy winter.