Montana may be full of smoke and you may feel like you are living on the surface of the sun right now. But, soon you will be waist-deep in the snow with your nose hairs sticking together every time you take a breath. Winter is coming and we can only hope it is not going to be a brutal one.

Humans may have science on our side when it comes to predicting weather patterns. But, as we have noticed our entire lives, the weatherman is not always correct. Even time-tested things like the "Old Farmers Almanac" cannot predict just how intense the weather may get. Animals, on the other hand, have a heightened sense of what may come in the future.

It has been a tradition for over a century to have people gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to hear a groundhogs prediction on when Spring will arrive. But, what kind of animal can give us a warning of when winter will arrive, and just how brutal it may get?

According to, there are a few Montana animals to watch in order to get an idea of just how cold winter will be.

  • Squirrels: These little guys are constantly prepping for winter. Gathering food to last them through the long cold nights. It is said that how "bushy" their tails are in the fall, can give you an idea of how bad winter may get. You can also get an idea of how much snow to expect depending on how high the squirrels nest is in a tree
  • Bees: Much like squirrels, if you notice bee hives are higher up in a tree than normal, you can expect more snow and more cold than usual.
  • Spiders: Animal folklore says that spiders in your basement are usually a sign that cold weather is coming. They also tend to spin larger webs if a cold winter is coming.
  • Birds: Clearly, if you see birds beginning to migrate far earlier than usual, it is a sign that they are expecting things to get ugly. Early migration could mean a long/cold winter.

Keep an eye on these critters over the next few weeks to get a better idea of what to expect from this year's winter weather. Just keep the sweater packed away until it is absolutely necessary.

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