Narrow orange band in the middle of the Woollybear caterpillar warns of heavy snow; fat and fuzzy caterpillars presage bitter cold.
I would say the woolly bear caterpillar I photographed today has a medium width stripe. According to the lore, this is indicative of an average winter. However, this Ohio University article claims the stripe width does not matter:
The truth behind the woolly bear’s band length actually has more to do with age than with predicting the weather. As the caterpillar prepares to overwinter, the caterpillar molts, becoming less black and more reddish-brown as it ages…
“The length of the bands have nothing to do with the severity of winter,” said Bloestcher. “Woolly bears hole themselves up somewhere for winter. What do they care what color they are?”
I actually saw several fuzzy caterpillars today. Does that mean bitter cold is on the way? Well, the Capital Weather Gang forecast mentions a polar cold front coming this weekend with a “small” chance of snow on Monday night.
Woolly Bear Caterpillar
The woolly bear caterpillar turns into the Isabella Tiger Moth.
Hickory Tussock Caterpillar
Caution: The hickory tussock caterpillar has stinging hairs that cause irritation, especially if they get in your eyes.