Caterpillars or climatologists?

We've all heard of various forms of weather folklore used to predict what kind of weather can be expected in a certain area.

Our Fact Finder Team was contacted recently when almost 100 caterpillars were found at the Novinger, Missouri Preschool.

Legend has it caterpillars, or wooly worms, can tell us how harsh and how long our winter will be. Fact Finder discovered the legend says the more black hairs the creature has, the worse the winter may be. If the caterpillar has more orange, we can expect a mild winter. But Fact Finder learned the legend goes even further to say that each 'segment' represents a week of winter.

Teachers asked the science teacher what these caterpillars tell us about our winter.

He said at least this year, from the look of these caterpillars the first of the winter is going to be brutal and the end of the winter is going to be brutal. But in between there was a lot of brown on the wooly bear, wooly worm. So the middle of the winter should be mild. But he said now that's not scientific, says Novinger Preschool Teacher Rhonda Miller.

Miller tells Fact Finder the rare occurrence has turned into a project for the kids. The preschoolers are keeping a tally of the caterpillars as they find them. Some of the creatures are living in a habitat inside the classroom so the students can watch them grow and live.