Can a change in the moon, change the weather?
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.