A lot of us spent some time out in Meridian for Oktoberfest over the weekend and if we didn't know any better, a lot of us would've thought that it was still summertime.

How will we know that cold weather is coming?

While there's no doubt sunny weather in Idaho is amazing, some of us are craving the much cozier winter weather that the Treasure Valley is known for. We're not talking about a Snowpocalypse-level event either - just cool weather that makes wearing hoodies and jackets just right.

Believe it or not - there's a small creature in the Treasure Valley that many believe can give us that information by predicting just how severe Idaho's winter will be.


That bug is the woolly bear caterpillar. According to Weather.gov:

The longer the woolly bear's black bands, the longer, colder, snowier, and more severe the winter will be.  Similarly, the wider the middle brown band is associated with a milder upcoming winter.  The position of the longest dark bands supposedly indicates which part of winter will be coldest or hardest.

There are other versions of the folklore that Weather.gov dives into but we have to break the news to you:

This myth has been debunked.

According to Weather.gov, the woolly bear caterpillar has its looks because of what has already happened... and it makes sense when you think about it:

The woolly bear caterpillar's coloring is based on how long caterpillar has been feeding, its age, and species.  The better the growing season is the bigger it will grow ... Thus, the width of the banding is an indicator of the current or past season's growth rather than an indicator of the severity of the upcoming winter.

While it's a cute, warm, and fuzzy feeling to think about winter when you see one of these critters around Idaho, they don't have anything to do with what's to come.

All of that being said, we cannot wait for cooler weather in the Treasure Valley.

Do you think these other indicators are accurate when trying to figure out how bad Idaho's winter will be?

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