Whether you believe in weather predictions or not,
it's always good to be prepared


2017 - 2018
21st Annual Persimmon Seed Weather Theory

For twenty-years years the Jefferson County Extension office has collected and checked local persimmon seeds to compare winter weather theories with actual weather events for the county. So far the persimmon seeds have been accurate (in theory) fifteen out of nineteen years. This year, for added weather forecasting, we collected persimmon seeds from three different parts of the county – west central and northwest and central - to see if there would be different forecasts. Oddly enough the seeds and fruit from the two areas were different, and the outcome was different with the quantity of predictors in the seeds. Here are the results of this year's annual persimmon seed weather theory for Jefferson County:

Ten seeds were harvested from (each of two different) groups provided to us -

  • Persimmon seeds from the Dittmer area (west central in the county) were dark in color while the fruit pulp was medium colored - seeds opened contained 8 "spoons" and 1 "knives", 4 unknown and two with a solid white center (again this year)
  • Persimmon seeds from the High Ridge area (northwest in the county) were medium in color while the fruit pulp was purple-orange - seeds opened contained 3 "spoons" and 4 "knives" and 2 unknown
  • Persimmon seeds from the Hillsboro area (central in the county) were medium in color while the fruit pulp was orange – seeds opened contained 6 “Spoons” and 1 “Knife” and 4 unknown.

While this comparison isn't largely different, winter weather in both of these areas tend to be different in precipitation and accumulation. According to the seeds, this year we will be watching for more wet snow with some frigid temps in the west/central parts of the county, while we will be watching for cold-cutting wind with a little less accumulation of wet snow in the northwest part of the county . . .

Key from The Old Farmer's Almanac: According to folklore, you can predict the weather with a persimmon seed. Here's how to do it: Cut open a persimmon seed. (Find persimmon fruit in your supermarket. It should be locally-grown to reflect your weather.)
Look at the shape of the kernel inside.

  • If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!
  • If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
  • If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be "cut" by icy, cutting winds.

Tip: It's best to use ripe seeds if you check them.