I love checking out new hacks. I'll be honest, sometimes they're pretty bad, but some of them are amazing and very clever. This hack I discovered recently involving pine cones is super simple. Plus you can find a pine cone just about anywhere in Minnesota.

With this pine cone hack, you can predict the weather! But before we get into how it works, there are other interesting ways that we can use nature to predict the weather.

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How to Use Nature to Predict the Weather

There are a lot of ways people like to use nature to predict the weather. For example, if you start to notice more spiders making their way into your home, that means they're searching for a warm place to stay, and cold weather is coming.

common huntsman spider on tile floor
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Speaking of winter, there's also folklore that says if you look at wooly caterpillars in the fall, their bands will tell you how bad winter will be. If the middle brown band is small, that means winter will be bad. If the brown band is bigger, that means it'll be a mild winter.

Naturalist
Naturalist
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The National Weather Service has debunked this one, though, and says that the bands are actually based on "how long caterpillar has been feeding, its age, and species."

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Another 'hack' from nature that is true, however, is the 'calm before the storm' phrase. It may be a breezy day at first and then all of a sudden everything is still. Too still. Even the birds got quiet. That means a storm is coming.

ThinkStock
ThinkStock
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A super easy, and seemingly reliable hack that you can use to predict the weather at home is using a pine cone.

How to Predict the Weather with a Pine Cone

I found this hack on Facebook the other day. I did a little more research and found that this truly is a thing!

All you need to do is find a pine cone and tie it up somewhere outside with a string. Ideally, you'll put it in sight of a window so you can peek at it without going outside.

What you'll notice is that sometimes pine cones are fuller-looking

Alexander Grey, Unsplash
Alexander Grey, Unsplash
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and other times they look closed up.

Ankit Manoharan, Unsplash
Ankit Manoharan, Unsplash
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If you see that the pine cone is closed up, that means rain is in the forecast. And if it's open and full, the weather will be dry. I found this trick on the National Geographic Nature Facebook group. Pretty cool!

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

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