IS THE WEATHER TO ANY DEGREE PREDICTABLE??
YES ................ and without any
complex tools or paraphernalia!
I make no claims to be able to fully
predict the weather but I do claim that anyone can be empowered
to learn to see for themselves regular underlying patterns
behind the weather and predict them well in advance.
The following article aims to be a
report on weather correlations to movements of the Sun and Moon.
It does not offer any explanations or hypothesis for these
We are all familiar with how the sun
effects the seasons and we an make fair predictions as regards
to mean temperatures over the course of the year. Making
our observations more conscious we can note the altitude of
the sun and compare it to temperatures. When the sun is high
at midday it is summer and warmer temperatures prevail. When
it is low, winter is upon us. This is an easy step and I am
using the sun as an "instrument" of nature to clarify my thinking.
So instead of using an instrument like a thermometer, or barometer,
or clock, I am using the altitude of the sun as a gauge.
So we watch the sun daily climb (ascend)
in altitude from winter to summer(ascending sun) and then
go down again, after the summer solstice, to winter (descending
sun). As summer comes and the sun gets higher in the sky
there is a correlation to the sun moving
into the hemisphere that you live in. When the sun is
at its highest in the sky it is over the Tropic
of Capricorn if you live in the southern hemisphere or Tropic of Cancer if you live in the northern hemisphere. The converse is true when the sun is at its lowest. It will be in the northern hemisphere over Cancer for the southerners or in Capricorn in the southern hemisphere for the northerners.
To summarise the
Sun high - summer - warm weather - sun in your hemisphere
Sun low - winter - cold weather - sun in opposite hemisphere
Take your next "nature instrument"
............ the Moon. Watch how it changes altitude. Note how
it ascends (climbs higher) and descends (gets lower) in 1
month whereas the sun takes 12 months to complete this cycle.
The Moon goes through the same cycle as the sun but twelve
Now for this rhythms connection to
A few days after the Moon starts ascending (climbing higher for a fortnight)
relatively warmer weather generally prevails. With our thinking
we can also realise that the northward movement of the Moon
(whenever it is ascending) is associated with warmer air masses
to the south of you moving northward.
In the next fortnight when the Moon is descending
cooler temperatures can prevail. The Moon is then moving
southwards and weather to the north of you (not always cooler)
comes in. The days on or after the change from ascension to descension, or
vice versa, are generally turbulent.
Moon climbing - warmer southerly systems come up
Moon descending - cooler northern weather comes down
Moon changing direction brings turbulence
There is this fortnightly component
to the weather patterns. It is very simple and will be borne
out by your observations and record keeping. I stress component
because other weather patterns can dominate and override
this one. Nonetheless this is a fundamental rhythm with the
A calendar illustrating and informing
you of times of various sky rhythms is a great help too.
It can be a tool to help you become more conscious of what
you are observing in the heavens. I write this article as a
compiler of such a calendar.
Next step, while we are on ascending
and descending rhythms of the Moon.
Observe that the day after peak descension of the
Moon (when it is at its lowest altitude for the month whilst
crossing the sky) the day is windy
or at least breezy. The same is true for just after
peak ascension. To make your observations more interesting
and fun note that, at peak descension the Moon rises in the
south east (not due east) and sets in the south west ........
just like the sun in winter! At peak ascension it rises in
the north east and sets in the north west. It is quite fascinating
just how much the Moon's rising and setting position changes
from day to day!
When the Moon (or sun) is rising in
the east and setting in the west, then that is the day it
is crossing the equator. Watch how often we have electrical
activity (lightning) and winds around these times. For those
interested, when the Moon crosses going southwards it is in
the constellation of Virgo and when crossing into the northern
hemisphere it is in Pisces.
Using the same instrument (the Moon)
but a different lunar rhythm, we can also observe how the
Moon changes size in a separate month long rhythm (there are
4 lunar rhythms of approximately 1 month duration) . You
can make a measuring stick (as some cultures do). Hold a
stick at arms length against the backdrop of the Moon and notch
the Moons visual diameter on the stick. Make fresh notches at
each observation. The Moon's apparent diameter changes as
it gets nearer or farther from the Earth in its elliptical
orbit. The Moon's closest approach to the Earth is called
perigee and it farthest distance away apogee.
Within this cycle, lunar perigee is
when there is the greatest chance for rain to fall. This
also when you getter higher tides. In some months the perigee
distances are closer than others and it helps to know them
when considering the planting of crops for example.
Next note how often weather changes
and rain occurs after the Full Moon.
Combining this phenomenum with the perigee effect
i.e. when the 2 rhythms are running together, you can have
much wetter (and wilder) conditions. You can have too much
of a good thing though. The 4 lunar rhythms which are approximately
1 month in duration (but none the same) come into phase with
each other, and move out again, but in different combinations.
When 2 rhythms come into phase with each other expect some dynamic
weather, when 3 do, within 2-3 days of each other, expect
some wild weather worldwide.
Now we have changing lunar rhythms
occurring all the time, one combination may bring rain here but
not there. How can we be more specific as to location?
If, for example, a full Moon is at
peak ascension in January that combination will recur again in
19 years time. So if you can gather weather records for your
district over as long a span as you can get you can greatly
increases your chances of weather forecasting successes.
Monthly averages do not help so much; you need more specific daily figures
for your location. What happened 19 years ago in the same
season when there was a full Moon at peak ascension; 38 years
ago (2 cycles); 57 years ago? What happened in previous cycles
of the new Moon at apogee?
These weather records are also necessary
to find correlations to the next cycle. Earlier in the article
I mentioned the sun ranging northwards and then southwards
between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Well the Moon
does roughly the same except that some years she ranges within
the tropics and some years beyond. Over a period of 18.6 years
(different to the 19 year rhythm) the Moon will move from an
expanded range of 5 degrees beyond the two Tropics and then
retreat to confine herself 5 degrees within the Tropics; and
then expand back again. When the lunar declinations (movements
north and south of the equator) have a more limited range weather
fluctuations tend to be more extreme. One can swing from floods
to droughts in very short time periods. Drought cycles are more
associated with declination maximums (ranging beyond both
tropics e.g. from 28 degrees north to 28 degrees south).
What else can this "Moon-nature-instrument"
help us with in weather forecasting?
Used on a daily basis we can note when
the Moon rises and when it. Observe when there is rain about,
how often rain commences when the Moon rises or sets. Note
also how there is a greater tendency for cloud formation when
the Moon is well below the horizon and a cloud clearing when
it is high above us. This needs to be taken in context of
the season and the time of the day.
We can come to appreciate just how
much correlation there is to the fluid dynamics of the Earth
and the Moons movements and changing luminosity.
The Moon is not the be-all and end-all to weather.
However understanding some of the phenomena around it is
a great step towards developing our forecasting skills. Moreover
it is fun, empowering and helps towards developing a subtle
side to ourselves.
Of course knowledge of the weather
can be a great boon to farmers for the planting of crops but
there is more to the likes of perigees, full Moons and peak descensions.
It would seem from H.Spiess' research that not only are these
times the highest chance of receiving rainfall; but seeds
planted at these times, are more likely to grow into higher
yielding plants (refer to www.astro-calendar.com/shtml/Research/research.shtml).
Are not the weather, oceans and plants
dancing to the same tune!?
A study of the underlying rhythms behind
weather patterns can be very rewarding. This article was an introduction and there are other key rhythms like sunspot cycles that have a strong bearing on our weather. However we still
need to remind ourselves that the weather still has a few
tricks up her sleeve and will never become totally predictable!
Brian Keats, along with Stefan Mager, is the author of the Antipodean
Astro Calendar, the Northern Star Calendar and the Biodynamic Growing Guide. The calendars are
guides for Naked Eye Astronomy, Weather Forecasting
& Biodynamic Planting.
He has taught, lectured and conducted lectures, seminars
and workshops across Australia, USA, Canada and Japan. Brian was one
of the founding members of the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening
Association of Australia.
Diagrams are excerpts from the Antipodean Astro calendar which is
Brian Keats 43 Azalea Street, Mullumbimby 2482, Australia.