Will it be a brutal or mild winter around the Sioux Falls area this year?

The Old Farmers Almanac is saying: The winter of 2021-22 will see “Winter temperatures and precipitation will be above normal, while snowfall will be above normal in the east and below normal in the west.

The coldest periods will be in early to mid and late December, late January, and late February. The snowiest periods will be in late December, early and late January, late February, and early March.”

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But what about the squirrels? What are they predicting for this winter in South Dakota? There are many urban legends about how the conduct of Squirrels in the fall can predict the severity of a South Dakota winter.

  • According to long-held lore, squirrel nesting patterns can predict how severe the coming winter will be. If nests are mostly built high in trees winter weather will be exceptionally harsh. If the nests are constructed lower in the branches there will be milder weather.
  • A bushy Tail on a Squirrel in the fall indicates a Cold Winter Coming Up!
  • Another belief is that squirrels will start gathering eggcorns and nuts earlier than usual they are stocking up to fortify themselves against a hard winter.
  • As one saying goes: "Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry, Will cause snow to gather in a hurry."

So if you are wondering how to plan for our upcoming South Dakota winter weather just watch and see what your neighborhood squirrel is doing with his nuts. ( ...I couldn't stop myself...)

Jefferson High School