Dog Days and Wooly Worms

August’s dog days complete with high temps and humidity are upon us, making this chronic bellyacher even more miserable. The current season has been right up there with the past several summers for what I like to call, “Dante’s Inferno.” In fact, reports claim July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. According to an article from the New York Times:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the global average temperature last month was 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit (16.7 degrees Celsius). That is 0.05 degree Fahrenheit higher than July 2016, and 1.7 degrees higher than the average for the 20th century.

The National Weather Service at Mount Holly, NJ, the prognosticators for Sweat City—another favorite moniker of mine for Philadelphia—has been issuing forecasts for morning fog in the region lately. I made a comment on one of their tweets as follows:

Of course, they, nor anyone else for that matter, responded. I thought it was a relatively informative statement to make. Maybe all of Twitterverse has me on ignore. It’s rather nettlesome to me.

Anyhow, tonight’s forecast from them calls for fog again in the early-morning hours, which will make three for this month so far, if it holds true. This morning was foggy as predicted. With the horrendous summer we’ve been having, I wouldn’t be surprised if the upcoming winter will be just as brutal.

Speaking of weather, why is it the weatherman is always spot-on with crappy forecasts, but has a large margin of error for clear skies and sunshine? That’s my observation only. No backup data for that is available.

I use Yahoo Weather at a glance for general information on the laptop and smartphone. The following is an example of their format for my locale:

Notice they have the temperature with the weather conditions broken down hourly at the top of the info-graphic, followed by the predicted scenario for the next nine days below it, stating also the percentage of precipitation with the high and low temps for the each day.

To the right of all that, the following appears:

Yahoo’s weather-people have it made. They update the graphic every hour, so if their prediction for rain didn’t materialize during that time period, it’s changed to the correct condition presently; this way, the forecast is never wrong.

I’ve read their forebodings as being, “Clear tonight with a 75% chance of precipitation.” That is certainly a safe presentment either way. If it rains, they were right. If the moon shines brightly until the sun rises, the forecast was spot-on again.

I found a wooly worm today, which determines another one of folk lore’s winter-severity prognostications. Also know as “wooly-bear caterpillars,” which morph eventually into isabella tiger moths, the insect predicts how stormy and cold, or pleasant and mild the season will be by the bands on the larva’s body:

Wooly Worm

According to the legend, the respective amounts of brown and black hair on the wooly worm are directly proportionate to the severity of the coming winter. If the brown band is wide, winter will be mild. Should the brown band be thin, the winter will be a bummer.

The photo above was taken last year at Pennypack Park on the Delaware River in Philly. Notice the brown band was very large compared to the black ones, calling for a mild winter with a couple of short storms at the beginning and end of the season, which was indeed the case.

Got some bad news. Here’s today’s discovery:

Better buy a big coat, a snowblower or a decent snow shovel.

Gotcha! I’m just joshing. Borrowed that picture from the Interwebs. Haven’t found one yet for this forthcoming winter. Hopefully it won’t look like the one above.

Thanks for stopping by, and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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2 Responses to Dog Days and Wooly Worms

  1. Jack Maher says:

    Mike can you email me Jack Maher

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