WASHINGTON – Folklore claims that you can predict the severity of an upcoming winter by measuring the stripes on wooly bear caterpillars. Now someone has checked the record books and found that federal government shutdowns are almost always followed by cold and snowy winters.
The Washington Post reports that of 12 winters with government shutdowns, 8 of them had more snow than average in Washington D.C.
At 18 days, one of the longest shutdowns was in the the fall of 1978 – that winter, 38 inches of snow fell on the nation’s capital. The last big shutdown was in the winter of 1995, and that winter we had 46 inches of snow. Get your boots out of the back of the closet.
That’s not all: Extra-cold weather has followed 9 of 12 shutdowns since 1976.