Weather Predictions 2007: Can animals predict the weather? Consider this!
Animal Weather Predictions
11 Oct 2007 — Kat and Coco
"It will be a hard and cold winter, with ice, a lot of snow and cold winds. Be sure the windows can go in, and that the big door will close, Mom."
Kathiawar, a 17 year old Saddlebred, offered this advice to Lynn recently which brought her to the realization they should really get to preparing the barn for winter, especially if Kat's prediction rings true. She told me their area, in general, can get a lot of snow in the winter, but Kat's comments put it above and beyond the norm.
Coco also chimed in with fears of his own about the roof of the barn falling in by his stall. I asked Lynn if they ever get that much snow to cause a roof to cave in, much like the many roofs which did so in our area last year when Oswego and surrounding townships got 10 feet of snow in a weekend. I kid you not! But Lynn said, "Never." She assured Coco the roof is good and sturdy, but then with the next thought remembered there is a dead tree which needs to come down as strong winds could possibly drop that tree — even into the barn. It's my hope that putting this worry to words will help insure Coco's worry never come to light!
Below is a note from Lynn sent yesterday along with Kat's picture. Date: October 18, 2007 3:41:36 PM EDT
This is a picture of Kathiawar, our weather predictor. Hope Coco isn't one too, they have tornado warnings out this evening, wouldn't be impossible for that dead tree to fall on the barn right by his stall!
Kat is 17 years old and is an American Saddlebred. We live in Michigan near Flint. Lynn
Update October 19, 2007 10:01:46 AM EDT
Nope, we were spared again, the storm hit west of us and turned north before it reached us so the barn still stands and so does the tree! Lynn
Update March 27, 2008 11:19:22 AM EDT
"I was just thinking of this the other day! Mr. Kat's weather predicting, I think, is a hit! As of now, it's been the second snowiest winter on record. It wasn't frigid cold but the cold has come and stayed most of the winter including being below normal even now.
"I'm not sure about the wind part. I haven't heard anything about wether or not it's actually been more windy than usual but the barn roof has held without any problems. Probably because the snow didn't fall in record amounts at any ONE time... there were just so many more days of an inch here an inch there.
9 Oct 2007 — Leon
"It won't be a bad winter, Mom," Leon stated as his human Jennifer searched for a way to begin her talk with him. "He thinks he can make it through the holidays," I added as Leon showed me himself wandering about the farm, freely.
"The ground is easier to walk on than the mud of last year's winter," he added, for which Jennifer agreed - last winter had been very muddy where they live. In fact it had been very muddy here where I live too, right through January. It was a very odd year, but I didn't realize it had reached so far away.
Leon lives in Fishs Eddy, south of Binghamton, NY which is still considered the edge of the central NY region and is responsible enough to be able to wander the farm freely. Because I had only recently had the first winter weather prediction come in a few days before, for our area, I questioned Leon a bit further to see if he was expecting the bitter cold snap Dyna had for mid-late January. But Leon's answer was swift and to the point: "I'm 35. I don't have to think that far out."
This was all welcomed information to Jennifer who had called to speak with the whole herd, but especially to Leon. At 35 years old, she didn't know if her old-timer could handle the upcoming winter, or if it was fair to make him do so. Leon's words helped a lot, as Jennifer's email with his picture states:
"Dear Colleen, Thank you so much for speaking with me and the crew today! It was VERY enlightening, and reassuring to hear from my babies... I am attaching a photo of dear Leon. He is a wise old fellow, and he is correct that he is VERY RESPONSIBLE. I am still reeling from the session today... Thank you again! Jennifer"
Update March 27, 2008 4:08:06 PM EDT
How strange to receive an email from you this week. I am sorry to say, we had put Leon down two days ago due to health issues. His weather predictions were right on, and apparently the holiday he was referring to was Easter. We mourn our beloved and wise old horse, as do the other horses here.
"It was indeed a mild winter, and there were few days when the horses were not turned out." Jennifer
NOTE: At nearly 36 (if not already) Leon lived a very long life. We wish his people and herd much love and support at this sad time, and I thank them for sharing this special horse with me.
1 Oct 2007 — Dyna
"This coming winter will be easy," Dyna said when I met her for the first time during a local stable call. With howed me frozen ground with maybe a dusting to an inch or so of snow, but no real winter weather as we central New Yorker's are used to. "But we will have a bitter, bitter cold snap," she went on to say and the time frame appeared to be mid-late January 2008. What she imparted was 2-3 weeks of bitter, 0º to below temps, and at this stage she would be happy to wear her new blankets.
Dyna lives here in the northern suburbs of Syracuse, NY — smack dab in the middle of New York State. She is also pregnant, due in mid-March, and this was the first thing she had told us that evening. (I did not know this, going into this stable.) With her weather prediction, she also predicted her foal would be a colt, but she still liked little hot-pink halters, one of which her human, Cindy, said would be forthcoming. Dyna asked that it hang on her stall door, along with hers. Because she is pregnant, she is warmer than usual, so Dyna doesn't think she'll be needing her blankets really until sometime after the holidays, but if she's shivering, she'll ask for them before that.
Update March 25, 2008 11:06:55 PM EDT
"Dear Colleen, I am proud to announce that my horse Dyna had a healthy baby boy, just as she predicted, February 26, 2008.
Throughout her entire pregnancy, we were told by the breeders who own the stallion that she was sure to have a filly as their stallion has thrown 99% fillies and only a couple of colts.
Not only were we wrong, but Dyna reminded us in her October 1st reading by you that she was indeed having a colt, and she did. I did grant her wish and hung a hot pink halter on her stall for the whole pregnancy which the baby now wears every day. We call him Riley.
Dyna was also correct about the weather we had in January and was correct on the fact that she was much to warm for any blanket. I rarely blanketed her at all this winter. Only if it got below 0 degrees." Cindy I, N Syracuse, NY.
Regarding the sub-zero weather Dyna predicted for 2-3 weeks in mid-end January: We did drop below zero a few times, but the mid-west to just west of NY, suffered the real, record-breaking deep freeze. It was amazing to me that what she predicted did in fact really happen, animals did suffer horrid freezing temps and just as amazing to us, it was NOT us here in central NY! Colleen
1 May 2007 — Mercedes
"A major (hurricane) storm coming in off the Atlantic early this year," was the surprise statement Mercedes made during a recent communication about all things other than the weather. He went on to elaborate, "It will come in late July or early August. It'll be followed by three more which aren't as strong. They are more like Jean or Francis were."
Mercedes is a very accurate weather predictor and you can see more of his predictions on this page (July 2005). When his mom replied, "I hope you're wrong, Mercedes," his simple reply was, "Don't count on it."
Mercedes lives outside Jacksonville, FL with his herd of two, Chance and Reign. Although he did not say he felt they would need to evacuate for these storms, as he's done in the past, he did say it needed to be planned for. He always makes note that the horse trailer only holds two and although LeaAnn promises to NEVER leave anyone behind if evacuating she's working on getting a three-horse trailer soon.
Update 21 August, 2007
As Hurricane Dean moves past Jamaica on it's way toward the Yucatan Peninsula as a Cat 5 storm, Mercedes has revised/or rather clarified his hurricane predictions for the Jacksonville, FL area.
"Colleen, what Cedes said in May was that we'd have one in July and one in early August. Which in fact we did," LeaAnn recently wrote. She went on to remind me that when she commented at the time July was VERY early for a hurricane, even though it is still officially during the season, he didn't respond, except to say there would be one in early August also.
"I took that as a change of his mind to August," LeaAnn continued. " WRONG....we had a tropical storm develop right off the coast in the Atlantic (something completely unheard of) and just blow about. It was not serious in any way, low numbers for everything so the weathermen weren't alarmed about it in any way, except that it was something new to study. But the horse WAS right."
"Then early August there was Tropical Storm Erin that blew through Houston and left more rain." And now Hurricane Dean, and so early in the season too.... especially for the nasty one Dean! Those don't get going till later usually," LeaAnn added.
"Three, three, three," Mercedes stated in a communication today. Three more coming is what he seemed to be saying in a very calm manner, very unlike Mercedes when he is talking about hurricanes - a subject that usually has him inquiring about evacuation plans and the size of their horse trailer.
He spoke of the first one to come in off the Atlantic which would make his mom's hair stand on end. LeaAnn wasn't sure if the wind would make it stand up or it would be scared up, but Mercedes seemed to indicate it would scare Jax, then go up the coast and blast the Carolinas, North Carolina to be specific.
He predicted two more hurricanes coming in off the Gulf Coast into FL, but he gave them nothing more than a mere mention.
If you don't remember, Mercedes has proven a very accurate equine weather predictor. And his track record shows that when a storm is coming, he gets antsy; not wanting to be left in the pasture alone and even eliciting wild behavior that causes him ailments, such as the torn suspensory ligament he suffered in his freak-out as Katrina came ashore two years ago, even though it did not bring worries to his area.
We can only watch and see how Mercedes prediction will pan out this year, but in the meantime, we'll keep the updates coming, as they come in from our leading hurricane watcher in Jax.
"Hi! It's late and I am exhausted. Wanted to tell you, have you noticed the weather in Florida? We've been drowned by what started out as a Noreaster....but then part of what was left of tropical storm Irene?(will check name) that broke up in Bahamas reformed ....where? Right on the coast of Jax. Well, Cedes was right...and the right time frame too. It has the spin, the wind....it will have a name tomorrow of some sort (maybe sub-tropical storm from the NHC) but he was right...and right on. There's one in the gulf that might form by early next week.... we'll see....so far my little horse is dead on right.....the wind IS blowing and my hair IS standing up. will talk friday.. lea ann"
Interestingly enough, a few days after Mercedes gave us his previous update for this season, another horse in Jacksonville, predicted the same thing in August. Lil Man and Stacy do not know Mercedes or LeaAnn, so I felt you'd find
this as amazing as me. Here's the email from his human, Stacy, too.
Update September 19th, 2007 9:01:09 PM EDT "Hi Colleen, Just to let you know, we've been having a major storm in Jacksonville, Florida---started raining Sunday night and has not stopped and is expected to continue for at least another day or more! When I spoke with you and Lil' Man, about the first of Sept., Lil' Man said he was concerned about a storm coming, he thought in about 2 weeks----and here is a big storm. You said he was the second horse to mention a storm coming. Thought you might find that interesting, I do. Take Care, Stacy"
28 February 2007 — Daphney
"We have to make an evacuation plan Mom," she said with urgency in her message.
"We have one Daphney," Petra replied. "We have two horse trailers and 20 horses, but we have a plan and we'll be alright."
"Not for a hurricane, Mom," Daphney said with such a serious tone I knew something big was coming. She then went on to show me a tornado.
Jacksonville, FL is not really prone to tornadoes unless they spin off hurricanes, I was told. But Daphney was worried about this kind of event. She showed me how she wanted to be with her mom at the barn when she put the identifying tags on all the horses halters so they would be ready in advance.
"We just turn them loose Mom, right?" she asked hopefully.
"Yes Daphney," Petra replied. "For that we would turn them all loose. And you can come help me put the tags on all the halters."
Daphney, a Mexican Chihuahua, came across with the feeling of a Welsch Corgi. I was surprised to find she was not the breed of dog often associated with horse farms, but nonetheless, she takes her horse duties seriously.
Daphney indicated April as being the timeframe she was most worried about — early April.