Are the Cicadas – or Locusts – Buzzing Early in South Dakota This Year? What it Could Mean.
Hearing the buzz of cicadas in the summer is not uncommon in South Dakota, but usually it's during the dog days of summer. Some on social media have pointed out that it's not very common to hear them in early to mid July. But that's exactly what's happening across the state.
So what could this mean? Well, if weather folklore has any say in this it means we could be in for a very early frost in 2017. It's said that when you hear cicadas on the buzz the first real frost of the fall is only six weeks away.
August 20? Seems a bit early doesn't it? That's one full month away from the first day of fall.
So are we sure we're hearing the buzz of cicadas? Are we sure they're not locusts? Don't cicadas only wake up every 17 years? While this is true for a specific species of cicadas, South Dakota is home to over a dozen species of the cicada family. Some of them like to wake up early in small batches and begin buzzing. I had to brush up on my entomology to pull that one out.
By the way, that buzzing noise is actually made by the males who like to vibrate their membranes on their abdomens in hopes of attracting a mate. I've seen that at Buck's Roadhouse, too. Mostly after 1:00 AM.
However, back to the frost, this tweet (below) over then weekend could shed some light on that early frost threat. There's even a map - so it seems legit. At this point, we'll just try to enjoy the heat, pray for rain, and wait to see what happens in the 3rd week in August.