|Photo: John L’Heureux, Special to the Appalachian|
The old wives’ tale originated as an ancient Indian tale, using foggy days in fall to predict the severity of the winter snows.
The unscientific way of calculating this, as proven by a contributor to L’Heureux’s study from West Jefferson, who wishes to remain anonymous, is to put a small bean in a jar for each light morning fog in August and a large bean in that same jar for each heavy morning fog.
During the winter, the contributor advises, remove a small bean for each snowfall “less than 4 inches, but deep enough to track a rabbit” and remove a large bean for each snowfall over 4 inches.Ray Russell, of Ray’s Weather, said he does not give much clout to old wives’ tales, and said they “can no more predict weather than your dog or cat can do your homework.”
According to L’Heureux’s contributor, who has been successfully tracking the snowfalls for at least the past five years, though, the bean count prediction was only off by one-quarter of an inch in the 2009-10 winter.
As a side project, L’Heureux is trying to find a meteorological connection between what causes the foggy days in August to the causes of winter snowstorms.
“I feel like I am doing a version of ‘weather Mythbusters,’” L’Heureux said.
The bean collection gives him a rough estimate of which days he should go back to look at for data, but not each of the days will be used due to factors such as wind flow, duration of the fog and coverage.
Most of the foggy days he is looking for are caused by cold air damming events, in which a surface high gets trapped over the Northeast, sending cool air into the Piedmont and trapping the air on the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains.
In the fall, this event causes heavy fog and cool conditions even down in the Piedmont, but in the winter, it causes prime conditions for an ice storm.
These conditions are common in the winter, but very rare in the summer. While validating the old wives’ tale, L’Heureux is also trying to determine how many of the fog events were the result of cold air damming.
For more information, visit “L’Heureux’s Weather” at facebook.com/LHeureuxs.Weather?ref=ts#!/LHeureuxs.Weather?v=wall.
Story: BRANDI CROSMER, Intern News Reporter
Photo: JOHN L'HEUREUX, Special to the Appalachian
RT @TheAppSports: Finished in Boone. Charlotte defeats App by a final score of 77-59. Mountaineers back in action Dec. 15 vs. Winthrop, tip…
Copyright ©1996-2013 The Appalachian | ASU Student Media
a Cube Creative Design site