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Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 12:00 am

Stateline due 25 more snows

Harlem-Roscoe Deputy Fire Chief John Presley is predicting 25 more snowfalls after Thursday’s latest blanket of white.

Presley learned his snow prediction method from his father Oscar Presley, a retired Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief. Oscar Presley predicted the number of seasonal snowfalls for the Stateline Area for more than 25 years, and credits a Native American man in Brodhead for giving him the idea.

His equation for forecasting the precipitation is based upon the phases of the moon and the date of the first measurable accumulation of snow.

The snow must be deep enough to track a cat through the snow on soft turf. In recent years, John Presley just scouts for squirrel or raccoon tracks. Then he counts back from the first snow to the previous full moon and adds the number of days to the date of the snowfall.

John Presley said the first snowfall was on Friday, Dec. 3. Although he didn’t actually track an animal that day he said the four inches he got on his lawn was sufficient to count. He then counted back to the last new moon which fell 28 days earlier, indicating 28 snowfalls for the season. He counted the thick snow on Dec. 3 and 4 to be two separate snows, and added on Thursday’s snow as the third official snowfall. He said the Stateline is therefore left with 25 remaining snowfalls.

In the past Oscar Presley predicted around 30-35 snowfalls a year, so John Presley said this year could be a milder winter, in terms of snow accumulation. However, it still could be mighty cold.

John Presley confessed he doesn’t have the figures from last year, although he speculates he was off by about three snowfalls. This year he’s committed to keeping records of each snow and the amount received. This winter is his second year taking over the snowy prediction tradition.

John Presley said his father is currently enjoying the warm weather in sunny Florida.

“He wished me good luck and told me to have a good time,” John Presley said.

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