Woolly Worm winner warns of wicked winter
A woolly worm named Yo-Yo Ma raced by Matt Buckland of Morganton was the grand prize-winner Saturday at the 2011 Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk.
The black-and-brown stripped caterpillar won the right to make the official winter weather forecast by outrunning all comers in the 34th annual worm races.
Yo-Yo Ma predicts that the first week after the winter solstice (Dec. 22) will have light snow and cold temperatures. The first three weeks of January will be cold and snowy, followed by light snow and cold in the last week of January. During the month of February and through the first week of
March, the High Country can expect normal cold temperatures. The season will close out during the second and third week of March with cold and snowy weather.
Buckland told officials that he found his winning worm at the Brown Mountain Overlook on N.C. 181 in Burke County. Former NBA and N.C. State basketball star Tommy Burleson read the caterpillar’s stripes to interpret the official winter forecast.