Can a change in the moon, change the weather?

Tri-County Vanguard - - News - Cindy Day

I’m sure by now you re­al­ize that Grandma had lots to say about al­most every­thing. Some of her ob­ser­va­tions and anec­dotes were way out there, but fas­ci­nat­ing none-the-less.

When Grandma could see the moon, she had some­thing to say about it too. Most of the time, it per­tained to the weather. The full moon, the sick moon, the new moon, the moon on its back and the tipped­moon…they all meant some­thing dif­fer­ent to Grandma.

I re­cently re­ceived an email from Jean John­ston. She wanted to know if there was any sig­nif­i­cance to the “moon on its back”? Her Nanny al­ways said it was full of snow or rain.

So did Grandma and she called it a “dry moon”. Ac­cord­ing to our an­ces­tors: if the cres­cent Moon holds its points up­ward, it’s hold­ing the rain or snow and is there­fore a sign of a dry spell.

Con­versely, they thought that if the new Moon stood on its points, pre­cip­i­ta­tion would spill out.

As much as I love the im­agery, there is no sig­nif­i­cant sci­en­tific cor­re­la­tion be­tween the phases of the moon or its po­si­tion in the sky and our weather.

I say sig­nif­i­cant be­cause the full moon has a small im­pact on po­lar tem­per­a­tures.

Satel­lite mea­sure­ments of the tem­per­a­ture of the at­mos­phere show that the poles are 0.55 degrees Cel­sius warmer dur­ing a full moon than dur­ing a new moon. Mea­sure­ments show no ef­fect on tem­per­a­tures in the trop­ics, but the tem­per­a­ture around the globe is on av­er­age 0.02 degrees Cel­sius higher dur­ing the full moon. These small tem­per­a­ture changes have a slight but im­mea­sur­able ef­fect on the weather.

“The moon and the weather can change to­gether, but a change in the moon, can’t change the weather”

By the way, the por­tion of the moon that is re­flect­ing the sun­light is a re­sult of the Moon’s or­bit around the Earth, and the Earth’s or­bit around the Sun. Dur­ing win­ter, the Moon sets north of west and fol­lows a path al­most straight down to the hori­zon. An up­side-down cres­cent moon in the North­ern Hemi­sphere oc­curs mostly in the win­ter and early spring.

AND ON AN­OTHER TOPIC… Why wind puts a chill in the air

We all know how much colder it feels in the win­ter when the wind is up.

Wind chill is a value that’s cal­cu­lated based on air tem­per­a­ture and the wind’s speed, to get a bet­ter idea of how cold is re­ally feels. By def­i­ni­tion, wind chill is the low­er­ing of body tem­per­a­ture due to the pass­ing flow of lower-tem­per­a­ture air.

On a calm day, our bod­ies in­su­late us from the out­side tem­per­a­ture by warm­ing up a thin layer of air close to our skin. When the wind blows, it takes this pro­tec­tive layer away. It takes en­ergy for our bod­ies to warm up a new layer and, if each layer keeps get­ting blown away, our skin tem­per­a­ture will drop – mak­ing us feel colder.

Wind also makes you feel colder by evap­o­rat­ing any mois­ture on your skin – a process that draws more heat away from your body. This process is known as the cool­ing ef­fect of evap­o­ra­tion. You can put that process to the test: take a cot­ton ball and wet it with al­co­hol. Rub it on your skin and no­tice how cold the af­fected area feels.

In a nut­shell, wind chill is a value that in­di­cates the per­ceived tem­per­a­ture of ex­posed skin. With this in mind, you can see how wind chill does not have this same ef­fect on inan­i­mate ob­jects. Ob­jects like me­tal or plas­tic, can­not be cooled be­yond the tem­per­a­ture of the air, re­gard­less of wind chill.

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