Winter . . . is coming.

What kind of winter? Who knows. But there are predictions a’plenty!

For me, in my corner of the world, the predicted El Niño is supposed to bring us a warmer-than-normal winter, with less storm-activity than usual. (Neither of those things – temperature or storms – have been “normal” for years, so I don’t know what this might even mean. Normal . . . how? Old normal? New normal?)

Then, there is the added bonus of “lake effect” weather. Because Michigan is surrounded by water (and a lot of it), our weather is also very dependent on the state of the lakes. Like . . . if the air is cold coming across the warm(er) lake . . . we get a lot of snow. Not from a storm, but from the lake. If the air is cold coming across a frozen lake (which does happen) . . . we don’t get a lot of snow. Just a lot of cold air.

So. If the El Niño keeps things warmer-than-normal, the lakes are less likely to freeze. And when the cold winds blow across the lake, we could be in for a lot of lake-effect snow. But not snow from storms, because apparently fewer of them will impact our weather patterns. Because El Niño.

I’ll bet your winter weather predictions are kind of like mine are: pretty much worthless.

So I place my bets on . . . the woolly bear caterpillar! I found this little guy on my porch last week. And his wide brown band tells me . . . mild winter ahead.

(But I still signed a snow removal contract.)
(Because who the hell knows.)