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Weather Predictions 2008: Can animals predict the weather? Consider this!

Animal Weather Predictions

11 November 2008 – Lady Jane

It's a Hit!

"Not a bad winter this year, Mom," Lady quietly stated, then she explained that we would have "a regular amount of snow, but it won't get really cold."

Lady indicated that snow would come, the sun would come out, it would melt a little, warm up a bit, then snow again. This is Lady's second time predicting weather (25 August, 2005) and her first time was a hit. Lady is currently stabled in Mexico, NY, within the Tug Hill Plateau. It sits at the east end of Lake Ontario and it's winter weather is often reported on The Weather Channel.

31 May, 2009

Marci reported this regarding Lady's prediction for last winter: "Hi Colleen—Lady's forecast was pretty accurate......this past winter wasn't terribly cold, actually for the most part we didn't have to coat the horses that much this winter, except for a cold spell that only lasted about a week. As far as snow goes.....Lady was correct. We would get a good snowfall, then it would melt ......then some more snow and it would melt. We got our average fair share of snow, but it wasn't overwhelming this year like it has been in the past. All in all I would say Lady was accurate in her forecasting:)"

9 November 2008

"It won't be too cold this winter, but we'll have snow," Jenny was quick to say, and as the herd leader of 6 in her new barn, this was interesting because this is Jenny's first winter in Clyde, NY, part of Central New York.

For this winter she spoke of how it would be filled with snow, and although she showed me that it would come, then get sunny, more would come again. She didn't show me much melting off inbetween snowfalls.

At this stable call, Jenny was the first of 49 animals to speak that day. Not very long after her it was Doo's turn, even though he spoke from a distance while being warm and at home in Fulton, NY. He also indicated that this would be an easy winter - warmer than ones in the pat. Considering that I live not too far from these two, I sure hope they are right.

5 September 2008

It's a Hit!

"Will we have enough straw in our house this year, Mom?"


Bumper, a little black pig in New Madison, OH, seemed concerned about the upcoming winter. He and his herd actually have blankets in their houses, but like any good nesting pig, they'll get whatever they can add-to when the need arises. Many pigs have been known to drag in twigs, branches, brooms, screwdrivers, tool belts, a television set (that Bushka in England pulled off the table in the kitchen one time) and one ever tried to pull a mattress in from the other room! So asking for extra straw was not a surprise. The fact he was asking for it in the beginning of September raised my eyebrow because THIS was a weather prediction.

Upon inquiry, Bumper went on to say he was worried about the upcoming winter. He wasn't as concerned about it being frigid cold, but that there would more snow than usual.

"I hope he is wrong about the snow," Cindy said in an email she sent with Bumper's pigture.

"Last year he was concerned about the cold and we had more days below zero... like -20º below zero... than I ever remembered in year's past!"

Update 1 june, 2009

Cindy wrote, reporting this regarding Bumper's wintertime prediction: "Winter was colder than usual. We usually see some warm days here and there starting in Jan. This year the frigid temps ran through March. Along with the frigid temps we had terrible wind. One evening I nearly got blown to the ground while I was checking the plastic around Bernice's porch. Never felt wind that strong before during the winter. I actually put straw around Bernice's porch on the south side which I had never had to do before. The wind just never quit this past winter and kept things even colder."

"We also usually have maybe 2 large snowfalls with nothing in between. This year we had continuous flurries. Every couple of days we would have some accumulation and then back to flurries every day in between. Then we suddenly got a week the end of March that was highs in the 60's and mid 30's at night. The next week? We had to turn on heat lamps again, put the plastic back up and we only had highs in the upper 20's during the day and teens at night? Crazy weather for sure. Then it was pretty much spring after that weird week."

21 July 2008 — Lindsey

It's a Hit!

A beautiful little sheltie from Jacksonville, FL, Lindsey allerted her mom to worries of an impending storm.

Click images to enlarge

Like so many animals from the Jacksonville area this year, Lindsey was insistent that I pay attention and relay her message to her. Lucinda's notes reflect her dog's concern.

Lindsey "really wanted to talk to me about hurricanes and that we would have to get in the car and leave. She said there would be three and it was the middle one we would get in the car and leave for," Lucinda remembered.

Update 29 July, 2008

During another call for her brother Toby, Lindsey again turned the conversation to storms. Lucinda sent this from her notes:

"The first one was going to be in mid-August, about 3 weeks away. I told her Jacksonville doesn't usually get hit, but she said it would be coming across the state and that Jacksonville would get it."

Update 26 August, 2008

Today, during another call for Toby, Lucinda started with the fun news first—Lindsey and her predictions.

"Lindsey was right!" she exclaimed, making note that if any of her 3 dogs would know, she felt it would have been Danny who is the storm sensitive one, so this was unexpected. Lucinda reflected on how she had put Lindsey off, thinking she could not be right because Jacksonville rarely has a direct storm hit. With this, the little dog jumped in, saying: "But mom, when it started raining, you thought about putting cookies in the car for us."

"Does this make sense, Lucinda?" I asked.

"Yes!" she laughed. "I did start thinking about their food and having enough of their food and everything else for them in the container we would take with us if we had to leave."

We asked Lindsey if Fay was the first or second of the three storms, and like Mercedes it was hard to understand what she meant as she said, "No." But then gave me the number 2, and repeated it with 1 - 2. I believe she meant that Fay represented storms one and two, for unlike anyother storm in history, Fay made landfall 4 times, coming in from the gulf, then a direct hit to Jacksonville from the Atlantic. Both of these landfalls did affect Jacksonville, the second of which, thankfully, did not require evacuation.

I asked Lindsey about Gustav who was just turning into a Tropical Depression in the Atlantic, would this be the second of the three storms she was worried about, but with exhasperation at her interpretation of me as an apparently slow-witted human, she again said no. Fay was 1 - 2. She wasn't sure about Gustav, but felt that it would track to the left as it came up the Gulf, hitting from Louisianna, over toward Texas or Mexico.

I am still amazed at these creatures who predict these storms such as Katrina, Rita and Fay because they are doing so months in advance! What else can the animals tell us about the world around them? What else, I wonder, is built into their instinct or perception of weather that perhaps we, as humans, can learn to recall for ourselves?


UPDATE November 23, 2008 3:11:18 PM EST Lucinda wrote:

Yes, she was very accurate. We didn't have to evacuate - but she did revise that after her first communication. She is a fabulous little princess!

2 July 2008 — Mercedes

It's a Hit!

Mercedes burst forth with weather worries today as he asked LeaAnn if the roof would stay on the barn in high winds, and it seemed like winds that moved in one

direction to me, such as straight-line winds — something I am familiar with.

We assumed he was talking about the high winds of hurricanes as he had just made his prediction of three, late this summer a few weeks before. LeaAnn told him he didn't have to worry because the roof was strapped onto the barn (as all roofs need to be to stay within code since Hurricane Andrew unleashed its devastation upon FL back in 1992).

He was greatly concerned about this and said that the straps didn't matter, so she assured him that if the storms came she would take them to a safer area until it passed.

He said all right, that he wasn't really worried about his safety with this, rather the inconvenience it would cause to everyone and to the herd's routine.

Update 14 August, 2008

LeaAnn called in to report that the weather guys are investigating what appears to have been straight-line winds that came through Jacksonville, FL, yesterday. "It took down two $6.million cranes at the main docks, down on the river," she said. "It dropped them like tinker-toys."

We are awaiting a video link from the Jacksonville news crews, but are happy to report that Mercedes barn was not in the storms' path.

11 June 2008 — Mercedes

It's a Hit!

"Three big ones are coming," Mercedes reported today. When LeaAnn questioned him as to when, the reply was about the end of August. Two would come close

Click image to enlarge

together — in a row — and then the last one would come through a few weeks later. 

As any horse owner in hurricane territory would wonder, LeaAnn asked Mercedes if they would be safe staying in their barn?

"I'm not sure, Mom," he replied. "I'm not sure which way the wind will blow."

He went on to say he hoped she would have water on hand via a water purification system. 

"We drink a lot," he told me. "You know my mom will worry about parasites in our water and hers," he said.

Mercedes then went on to show us that the storms would cause power outages that will last perhaps for a few weeks.

He also said that we will see from this year until next spring heat in the Jacksonville area of FL unlike ever seen before and weather pattern changes that will effect many things in the animal world, such as the movement of the alligators.

Update 5 August, 2008

I spoke with Mercedes he was still concerned about the roof staying on the barn as they are moving to a new barn in a week or so. He still talked about 2-3 hurricanes and the 2nd one he'll be watching for evacuation warnings. He feels the 2 events are on top of each other and will be a Cat 3 or high Cat 2 in Jax.

One will come in from the Gulf and two from the Atlantic. The second (middle) one, will be the worst, with ankle-deep water from the 1st already on the ground - hence his worries of clean drinking water. He is concerned about weakened roofs from the first one becoming incapable of withstanding the winds of the 2nd, which seems to come right on the heels of the first storm. He was glad to know that Randy & LeaAnn can fix a roof themselves and won't need to wait for contractors.

"It's too warm, Mom. The water is too warm," he said in a wearisome way. Although it has been very hot this year, LeaAnn felt he meant the waters are too warm in the oceans, which feed hurricanes.

This was the only quote from Mercedes this time around and of course points to the ocean and Gulf. He shows me that one of these storms comes in differently than most. As we in the North typically see weather coverage of hurricanes, the storms coming in from the Atlantic typically skip or travel up the coast of FL, either hitting FL or bending out to hit the Carolina's or open ocean. But in this instance, Mercedes shows me it slamming right into the coast from the Atlantic - no skipping or cruising the coast at all. I had never seen this kind of picture before, however LeaAnn said it can happen and the last time it did was in the 60's (I think she said the 60's) when Dora hit FL dead-on in the same fashion.

So, in trying to decipher all this - which is still new to me as an interpretor - it seems he is having a bit less lack of clarity AND this seems to stem from 2 coming back to back, with the last one following about 3 weeks later.

As usual, I don't know what to make of this, but at least he is not talking Cats 4 or 5, like Katrina, Rita and Andrew.

I'll be watching the forecast with all you Floridians in mind.


Update 14 August, 2008

It was reported this morning on the Jacksonville news that they are watching one particular tropical disturbance in the Atlantic Basin. This particular storm keeps forming, falling apart, then forming again. Today they are continuing to send research planes down to investigate this particular depression because computer models are showing it could develop FAST. Trajectory projections to date put it as coming in past Bermuda and onto the FL coastline from the east, although it was noted it is too early to really tell, it could go to the west.

Update 25 August, 2008

LeaAnn wrote to let me know they had all endured Fay's lengthy visit and that on her way to the house, a bass swam past her — in the driveway! She emailed:

"Well, reeling from the storms. Green Cove Springs, FL has a recorded 18.54 inches of rain from the last 4ish days... I am now getting flooded with calls from friends that I told what Cedes said... all wanting (demanding is more like it) to know about this next storm... was it the one or now is Gustav the second storm? The current track is 'eastern' (although I have not studied it much yet)... and my friends are saying I need to speak with Cedes again. It's getting weird here, but I am truly glad for my horse. He's saved us thus far!

"18.54" of rain — mosquitoes galore, horeseflies, deerflies, fire ants floating in the water, and the list goes on. Will call to discuss more soon! I'm off to buy bug spray... go figure. LeaAnn"

26 May 2008 — Dee Dee

It's a Hit!

DeeDee the rescued Rottie is worried about a BIG hurricane she feels will hit the Jacksonville, FL area this summer.

Her concerns came to light during a session one of her handlers was having with another of the rescued dogs at the Jacksonville Humane Society.

"She said she thought we were going to have a big hurricane hit Jacksonville this year.  Lots of very heavy wind, but you didn't see flooding," Cheryl B. recapped when sending me DeeDee's picture.

"DeeDee is a very sweet girl.  She has bad arthritis in her toes and it hurts to walk," she added.

DeeDee has her own web page on Petfinder: http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=11089937

Or check out the Jacksonville Humane society Adoptees:


What makes DeeDee's prediction stand out for me is that just 3 days before I had made the same predition made by a pack of rescued dogs at another Jacksonville rescue facility - ALONG with Mercedes the horse who you will see with his own running tabs here in the Weather Predictors section of our website. This pack was worried about a big hurricane coming through Jacksonville this summer, which seemed like mid August, and they were worried if they would be safe. Sue assured them they would be very safe where they are, but if a big storm did come, she would move them to safety before the storm arrived.

To visit "the pack," you can visit The Barking Lot here: http://www.thebarkinglot.us/

Update Nov 23, 2008, at 2:37 PM, Cheryl wrote:

While we didn't get hit by a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane, Faye sat on top of us for days and soaked the whole state with 10 or more inches of rain. It was like being in a washing machine and thousands were without power for hours to days. DeeDee was at JHS and some staff stayed there with a generator for 3 nights. DeeDee, being old and sick, was in the office, not the kennel, so she was better protected, but those buildings are little more than trailers... No hurricane has ever stuck around so long. "Faye, Faye, Go Away" was the tv headline. From the dogs' points of view, it must have lasted forever and they probably have their own standards, so yes, I do think her prediction was accurate. Ask her!

So I have asked DeeDee about last summer's weather and she simply says, "It is nice here now."

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