Forget the Old Farmers’ Almanac, caterpillars are expecting a mild winter. UW-Madison bug expert Phil Pellitteri has been checking out the woolly bear caterpillars, noting the size of the reddish band around their middle. “The ones from this year … I would say it’s approaching 60 percent — 55 to 60 percent — of the total body length, which is a good sign. Whereas if it’s relatively minimal — 20 or 30 percent — that’s not a good sign.”
Pellitteri has been watching the critters for three decades, and says their predictions are right about 70 percent of the time. He also says there’s absolutely no scientific reason whatsoever for the woollies to be able to forecast the severity of winter. He says the predictions are somewhat tongue and cheek.
John Colbert, WIBA