Predicting snowstorms? Follow cat tracks and the moon
Advertise on WalworthCountyToday.com
To promote your business, contact our account executives HERE.
ELKHORN Want to know how many snowstorms to expect this winter? Some follow meteorological formulas that include wind patterns, anticipated cold fronts and temperature predictions.
And then there are the ones who swear by cat tracks and new moons.
Writer Margaret Plevak discovered Walworth County's secret to predicting the severity of winter while reporting the cover story for this week's Walworth County Sunday.
“It’s our very scientific, incredibly complex method of estimating the number of snow events for the season,” Walworth County Public Works Director Shane Crawford told Plevak. “It should be shared with only the tightest-lipped newspaper readers.”
Crawford is joking, but the formula, put forth by Don Kreft, an assistant superintendent who is retiring after 31 years in the county’s public works department, has been fairly accurate more often than not.
“Don has always been within just a couple of events, if not dead on,” Crawford said.
Kreft’s formula takes the age of the new moon in days plus the date of the first snow that one can track a cat in. This winter, for instance, Crawford said, there was enough snow to track a cat at 2 a.m. Dec. 4. The last new moon was on Nov. 5, making the moon 28 days old. So 28 plus 4 equals 32, the number of snow events for the season.
— Margaret Plevak