(WGHP) — Since I arrived in the Piedmont Triad 33 years ago, I started hearing old timers say it was “Blackberry Winter” when we had chilly weather in May.
We had some chilly weather last week with lows dipping to the 30s and lower 40s for several mornings. After checking, I have determined it was NOT Blackberry Winter. It was actually “Locust Winter.”
Did you know that we actually have several mini-winter seasons? As we move from the start of spring to the start of summer, we always experience big swings in temperatures from chilly to warm back to chilly, etc. These chilly spells were recognized by the old timers often by what trees were in bloom at the time.
“Dogwood Winter” is very common and occurs in April when we see the Dogwood trees in bloom and have a chilly spell after we have gotten used to some warm days.
When we have a cold spell in early May, that is known as “Locust Winter.” That is what we actually had last week. Locust trees are more common in the mountains.
When we have a cold spell in mid-May (May 10-15 according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac) that is known as “Blackberry Winter.” I don’t see cold air this year during that period, so no “Blackberry Winter” this year.
By the way, if we have another chilly spell in late May, that will be called “Britches Winter.” That name came about from old timers when people needed to go back to wearing their homespun linen wool long underwear (linsey-woolsey britches) due to 30s and 40s returning.