During the final elimination round, the sky is turning dark and a blizzard is coming.
Billy has competed in the championship coon hunt with Little Ann and Old Dan. The sky is dark gray, and there are fast-moving clouds. Billy's father looks at the sky and says they are in for bad weather. Billy does not want to quit, even with the bad weather.
We heard a rattling in the leaves and underbrush. It was beginning to sleet. The air turned cold and chilly. (ch 17, p. 170)
Billy’s grandfather falls and hurts his ankle, but Little Ann and Big Dan are able to chase three raccoons that come out of a tree his father cuts down. They win the championship despite the terrible weather.
The blizzard demonstrates the commitment and energy of both Billy and his dogs. They are so well trained and such good dogs that they are able to win the raccoon contest even in the bad weather.