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Predicting an End to Cicada Waiting Game

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Right now, millions of cicadas are waiting for just the right moment to emerge from the ground, but when will that be?

Chicago Public Radio’s Shawn Allee reports one expert predicts we could see them early this week.


Biologist Gene Kritsky says he’s not a betting man, but he is staking a bit of his professional reputation.

He says 17-year cicadas won’t head for the tree-tops until our ground temperature is just right.

Kritsky says that should be Tuesday, but weather will be the wild-card.

He says our dirt still needs a little daytime heat.

Kritsky: The fact that it gets cold at night’s not a problem. If it could warm up over the weekend and then get a nice little rain sometime after it gets warm, that’ll really help.

Kritsky predicted … to the day … when cicadas emerged in his home town of Cincinnati in 2004.

But if his Chicago prediction is wrong, our cicadas won’t give him another chance to get it right until 2024.

I’m Shawn Allee.

Chicago Public Radio.

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