Is The Monarch Butterfly to Blame for South Dakota Winter?
Growing up on a farm in South Central South Dakota I used to look around for what I thought were signs. Signs of Spring and sometimes signs of an upcoming long winter. I I would tip over bales looking for caterpillars. I had heard, longer the light brown stripe in the middle, the longer the winter.
More recently, I observed what I will call the butterfly effect. I'm no meteorologist, and cannot claim any of this is true, but the more Monarch Butterflies I see in the fall, the longer, more drawn out the upcoming winter seems to be. 1996, I saw scads of them. That snow didn't melt till May. 2009, it was just cold and miserable.
Last fall, on September 14, 2018 I wrote on what would be our new studio calendar, on February 21, 2019 how I thought we could be in for a doozy of a winter. Now it hasn't been tough, but winter 2019 is kind of hanging on, and our February has been one of the snowiest on record. 3 more inches this month and we hit a record for the Sioux Falls area for February. Throw in the HEAVY snows that the northeast part of our state and the pounding North Dakota and Minnesota have had to endure and who knows, maybe there's something to it.
What do you think? Does the Monarch Butterfly have anything to do with it? Or was it blind luck that there were a lot of them and winters been kind of a drag? Let me know in an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] or post in the Facebook comments. I'd love to hear what the local meteorologists think as well.
The downside to the whole prediction, we're not even done with February yet. And the winds are supposed to blow this weekend. Who knows. Maybe it's true.