After back-to-back lows near freezing, tonight’s low holds in the mid to upper 40s.

By Charlotte Underwood

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The Redbuds are blooming, so I think it’s “Redbud winter.” The Service Berry trees are blooming too though, so it could be “Sarvice winter.” Sometimes it’s hard to tell as there are several of these weather patterns that occur back-to-back this time of year.   

These spring cold snaps are called “little winters” in Campbell County and East Tennessee. There’s around six of them between now and May. They get their names from the plants and animals native to the area. 

Growing up I can remember my grandparents and parents talking about these different “little winters” and what they meant for spring planting and farming.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been hearing the little “spring peeper” frogs calling from our pond on the farm, and it always reminds me of something my great grandma Parley would say about them… “They’ll be peeping through the ice!”

Despite the cold snaps, Spring is in full swing with the honey bees and mason bees out gathering food and flowers in bloom!

These weather patterns are traditionally known as Redbud winter, Dogwood winter, Locust winter, “Sarvis” winter (after the Service Berry Tree), Blackberry winter, Britches winter (after linsey-woolsey long johns) and Whippoorwill winter (when the Whippoorwills sing). These occur in late March to mid-May. Many are named after the plants that bloom during each particular cold snap.

Dogwood winter is probably my favorite because of the Dogwood blooms. Whippoorwill winter is another favorite of mine; it is the last to come and is always the mildest. I love to sit outside on my porch and listen to the whippoorwills sing.

Happy spring!

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/25/2024-6AM)