Since moving to Germany last summer, I kept hearing stories about a man in Bavaria that could forecast the long-range winter weather with high accuracy. Over lunch last week, I got more of the details. Details that leave me wondering if his forecast method could work in Northern Arizona. I can’t remember anyone mentioning it to me in Arizona, but we have the necessary supplies to try it. Check out the picture below.
Sepp Haslinger inspects a Wetterkerze to predict the winter weather. (From the Merkur Newspaper)
Does the plant in the photo look familiar?In North America, it is known as the Great Mullein. Some call it the Woolly Mullein because of its very fuzzy leaves. It’s native to Europe, but some consider it a noxious weed in Arizona.
Sepp Haslinger lives in or near a town call Bad Tolz which is at the base of the German Alps. He calls the plant a Wetterkerze, or weather candle. Bad Tolz is not far from Munich. The photo is from an article about him in the Merkur newspaper. Much like Flagstaff, the region depends on revenue from skiers and snowboarders. Therefore, a strong winter is important to the local economy. Herr Haslinger inspects the blooms on the candle-like Great Mullein to forecast the weather for the local region. He stresses it is only locally applicable. He claims a 90% historic accuracy. Like many mountain areas, the weather can very greatly over fairly short distances. Currently, he believes a white Christmas is unlikely in the region, but a long, hard, snowy winter is to follow after the New Year. I may have to try to connect with him sometime.
I am wondering if anyone has heard of this being done in Arizona? Please, drop me a note if you have.
I’m back in AZ for the next month. I’m comfortably in Phoenix for today’s expected snow. Those of you who have felt like it has been too warm and dry since mid-November, should hold on tight. It all ends. Temperatures are going to plummet. Snow is going to fall. A very large storm is possible before or during Christmas.