Breakdown: Why August fog could predict winter snowfall

Why August fog could predict winter snowfall

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Can the amount of fog we saw in August be used to predict the snowfall this winter?

According to the old folklore, it really can. The saying is, “For every foggy morning in August, it will snow that many days this winter.”

While we might think this will be a simple thing to keep track of, it’s a bit harder than you might think. Like many old proverbs you hear, it won’t work for all times and places.

The Mississippi River bottom in August will produce fog, but that does not always extend up the bluff and outside the wide floodplain.

Why even count the fogs anyway? Well, people explain this helps us cope with the uncertainty of the future.

We looked back at climate data. In August of 2017 we saw 11 mornings with fog at Memphis International Airport. During the winter of 2017-2018 we saw 4 days with some form of snow falling and that took place in the month of January.

Looking at the month of August 2018 we saw 5 days with morning fog at Memphis. Whereas during the winter season of 2018-2019, in November we saw 3 days with snow, December one day with snow, January had 2 days of snow and then March had 1 day of snow. That gave us a total of 7 snows that winter.

Now let’s look at this past August. During the month, Memphis International Airport reported 9 days with fog. That means in theory, we will look for 9 days with some form of snow, from flurries to inches.

Time will tell if this folklore will come true this winter, nevertheless, keep it with WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather Team for the latest on the Mid-South winter forecast.

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