Lunar Spells

With no real understanding of what went on in the dark ages, I can only assume the word "spell" has lost a lot of it's previous definition. …

A spell is a like a menu. It isn't little old ladies stirring bats and frogs in a cauldron. It is what these days would be called an algorithm, a set of operations in a certain sequence.

I use the term to describe the period between lunar phases because the weather and geo-phenomena in general, seems to be better connected to the lunar week than to a calendar week. (They both slip by on the days of the week thing though, don't they?)

So since the first day of the month is not usually Sunday (or whatever the days of the week are called in your country) there is no reason to stick with the convention that is used in weather chart archives.

These are the lunar phases for this year:

Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2013 Jan 5 03:58
Jan 11 19:44 Jan 18 23:45 Jan 27 04:38 Feb 3 13:56
Feb 10 07:20 Feb 17 20:31 Feb 25 20:26 Mar 4 21:53
Mar 11 19:51 Mar 19 17:27 Mar 27 09:27 Apr 3 04:37
Apr 10 09:35 Apr 18 12:31 Apr 25 19:57 p May 2 11:14
May 10 00:29 A May 18 04:35 May 25 04:25 n May 31 18:58
Jun 8 15:56 Jun 16 17:24 Jun 23 11:32 Jun 30 04:54
Jul 8 07:14 Jul 16 03:18 Jul 22 18:15 Jul 29 17:43
Aug 6 21:51 Aug 14 10:56 Aug 21 01:45 Aug 28 09:35
Sep 5 11:36 Sep 12 17:08 Sep 19 11:13 Sep 27 03:56
Oct 5 00:35 Oct 11 23:02 Oct 18 23:38 n Oct 26 23:41
Nov 3 12:50 H Nov 10 05:57 Nov 17 15:16 Nov 25 19:28
Dec 3 00:22 Dec 9 15:12 Dec 17 09:28 Dec 25 13:48

The letters A, H, p and n indicate types of ecclipses if you are interested in astronomy:

Eclipse Types

Solar Eclipse Lunar Eclipse

T – Total t – Total (Umbral)

A – Annular p – Partial (Umbral)

H – Hybrid (Annular/Total) n – Penumbral

P – Partial

The day of the month is written after the month: Jun 16 17:24 meaning:

6th of June at nearly half past 5 in the afternoon GMT (We are on BST until October so …well anyway YMWV.)

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10 thoughts on “Lunar Spells

  1. Hurricanes do not adhere strictly to the time of the phase and nor do earthquakes. But they seem to "close the spell" or start a new one.The reason is (I am guessing -and wildly) that whatever causes the weather, it sends its's trigger through whatever it is that causes the moon to obey the three body problem.It took over a century to work out lunar tables. It took so long that technology provided the chronometer (supremely accurate clock or watch) before they could work out reliable nautical almanacks.And you can use a chronometer on a cloudy day, at any time of day or night. You can only navigate by the stars and the moon and sun if you know your height above sea level and you can see the horizon.Try that on a small ship in a big storm. But I die gress.FitzRoy worked out how to use a barometer to forecast storms. He produced a manual on it and you can read it for yourself by downloading a copy from the Project Gutenberg.It turns out that the way the barometer changes is also related to the lunar calendar, though he went to his grave trying to refute every weather lawyer that ever came his way.Sometimes the spell is so great that a "Blocked" situation allows the weather to behave in a situation that is all wrong for the time of the phase of the moon. In 2006 and 2007, nearly every spell was upset by a long lasting Greenland High.It wasn't until the early part of the 20th century that researchers realised that the Polar High was not permanent over Greenland. (It took until after World War 2 for the message to get through to the Met Office and the Canadian/US equivalents. So that is where they probably fell out with that Irvin Crick fellow.)To this day, the academic face of meteorology doesn't know where Blocking Highs come from, earthquakes always seem to cath them out and the chances of me producing convincing evidence that there is a pretty good indicator for volcanic activity on weather charts is vanishingly small.

  2. There is plenty of good reason to doubt that the moon has no effect on the weather that is probably because it doesn't. It doesn't even raise tides no matte what you think/have been told.The earth weighs more than 80 times what the moon does and is a great deal closer. Nothing is going to motivate a 20 to 30 foot wave, twice a day -one of them working on the opposite side of the earth to the moon at all times.And if it was the moon doing it directly it would be the same height each and every day, it wouldn't make any difference what the phase was.Well, would it?Whatever it's weighs it is, it doesn't change that much in a fortnight.Plenty of astronmes and matheaticians have looked at the idea that the time of the phase is likely or unlikely to make a difference to the weather.They all seem to have ignored the actual time of the phase.What are the times of the phases anyway?

  3. I tried worrying at the angles of the moon; relating them to the cyclones and anticyclones on weather charts. But I was chasing my tail.Sometimes they seemed to fit but mostly it was hard cheese. I forget how I dropped on the time being the default. But it must have been a good year with no blocking highs or lows.And all of this was before I realised that earthquakes run in sequences that are subsections of the lunar phase. Maybe they are related to the time when the moon and sun cross the gravity concentrations of the earth.But the Mascons in the moon are gargantuan compared to earth's gravity field. Maybe there is a relationship with the Lunar Maria?I don't know. There are always earthquakes and there is always weather. I don't blame anyone disbelieving anything I have to say on the subject. OTOH we have no idea what the ancients knew or thought they knew.We are so sophisticated these days we think we are gods. What have we ever done though, besides kill poor people in foreign lands, far, far away?And brought destitution and pollution to poor people a lot closer?I'd hate to think I was adding to their stress with anything I found out about the way the world works.In the meantime, if we just arranged our charts to coincide with the lunar phases, we would all get a bit of a jolt out of stuff that seems meaningless in this hi-tech age.

  4. The moon travels faster around the earth than the sun does. It is nearly an hour faster.At full oon the sun is setting at the sae time that the onn is rising. A week later the moon is catching up and they are no longer 180 degrees apart they are some 90 degrees apart. The Second (or Last) Quarter. A week later they are in the sky at the same time and you can't see the moon because the sky is incandescent.Oxygen lights up in daylight. (Or is it nitrogen. Whatever, the sky is too bright to see the moon.) This is New Moon. Once in a while the moon and sun cross in the sae path and that is a Solar Eclipse.A week later and it is the First Quarter. The quarter oons are called the ideas of the month as they are the best time to see the phase. You can see the full moon clearly but not for long when the sun is out too.When the quarters are visible you may often see the sun. You can just beging to see the crescent in the evening a few days after New Moon. What it eans of course is that new oon always takes place at noon, quarter moons take place at 6am or pm -depending on which phase. And the full moon takes place at midnight.It's always mid day or idnight somewhere on earth, but the actual period a phase covers is less than 30 hours for a full moon and less than 20 for a New. A quarter moon is past its sell by date in an hour or less.By all that I mean what appears to be a full oon isn't one for very long. Astronomically accurate readings show they only last oments whatever the type of phase. But looking at a full moon, you get the impression it is quite full for a long time.It takes about 30 hours for it to go from 99% full to full to 99% on the other side.You can't see the new oon all day on the day of its phase. And the quarter moons go from 44% visible through 50% to 51% in about an hour or so.What difference does that make to the weather?As far as I know: None.

  5. Mercy on me!

    Phases Of The Moon

     Year 
    New Moon
    First Quarter
    Full Moon
    Last Quarter

    2013
    Jan 5 03:58
    Jan 11 19:44
    Jan 18 23:45
    Jan 27 04:38

    (eyes) What're they exactly?

  6. From the Philosophy of the weather; after discussing sun-spots and their effect on earth's magnetic field, the author went on to discuss the effect the moon might have:Originally posted by The Philosophy of the Weather (1856):

    “But there is other evidence of the influence of these spots. Their connection with the irregular magnetic disturbance of the earth has been distinctly traced. Colonel Sabine, President of the British Association, in his opening address, September, 1852, after reviewing the recent discoveries in magnetism, says:; “It is not a little remarkable that this periodical magnetic variation is found to be identical in period and in epochs of maxima and minima, with the periodical variation in the frequency and magnitude of the solar spots, which M. Schwabe has established by twenty-six years of unremitting labor.From a cosmical connection of this nature, supposing it to be finally established, it would follow that the decennial period, which we measure by our magnetic instrument, is, in fact, a solar period, manifested to us, also, by the alternately increasing and decreasing frequency and magnitude of observations on the surface of the solar disc.May we not have in these phenomena the indication of a cycle, or period of secular change in the magnetism of the sun, affecting visibly his gaseous atmosphere or photosphere and sensibly modifying the magnetic influence which he exercises on the surface of our earth?”; American Journal of Science, new series, vol. xiv. p. 438.I think it may fairly be inferred, that although these spots do not occasion the “cold spells” and “hot spells,” and other transient peculiarities, they do materially affect the mean temperature of the year and exert an obvious influence when at their maxima; and there is a tendency to an increase of the heat and dryness of summer and the severity of winter, at the periods named, in our excessive climate and a well-established connection between the spots and magnetic disturbances and variations.Popular opinion has ever attributed to the moon a controlling effect upon the changes of the weather. If it be dry, a storm is expected when the moon changes; or if it be wet, dry weather. Such popular opinions are usually entitled to respect and founded in truth. But every attempt to verify this opinion, by careful observation and registration, has failed.Weather-tables and lunar phases, compared for nearly one hundred years, show four hundred and ninety-one new or full moons attended by a change of the weather and five hundred and nine without.The celebrated Olbers, after fifty years of careful observation and comparison, decided against it. So did the more celebrated Arago, at a more recent date; summing up the result of his observations by saying:“Whatever the progress of the sciences, never will observers, who are trustworthy and careful of their reputation, venture to foretell the state of the weather.”Still, the moon may influence the weather, though she may not effect changes at her syzygies or quadratures and this subject should not be too summarily dismissed. That the moon can not effect changes at the periods named seems philosophically obvious. She changes, for the whole earth, within the period of twenty-four hours; yet, how varied the state of things on different portions of its surface.The equatorial belts of trades and drought and rains, cover from fifty to sixty degrees of its surface and know nothing of lunar disturbance. The extra-tropical belt of rains and variable weather moves up in its season, uncovering 10°, or more, of latitude and admitting the trades and a six months’ drought over it, as in California, regardless of the moon.Under the zone of extra-tropical rains, even upon the eastern part of the continent of North America, “dry spells” and “wet spells” exist side by side; the focus of precipitation is now in one parallel and now in another; storms exist here and fair weather there, on the same continent at the same time; and as the moon’s rays in her northing pass round the northern hemisphere during the twenty-four hours, they, doubtless, pass from ten to thirty or more storms, of all characters and intensities, moving in opposition to her orbit; and as many larger intervening areas of fair weather, not one of which are indebted to her for their existence, or “take thought of her coming.”The storm, which originates in the tropics, pursues its curving way now N. W., then N. E. and again north, to the Arctic circle, and, perhaps, around the magnetic pole, over gulf and continent and ocean, occupying one third the time of a lunation and two changes, perhaps, in its progress, without any perceptible or conceivable influence from her. Yet every inhabitant of mother-earth, influenced by coincidences remembered and uninfluenced by exceptions forgotten, looks up within his limited horizon and devoutly expects from the agency of some phase of the moon, a change for the special benefit of his dot upon the earth’s surface.Upon how many of these countless dots is the moon at a particular phase, or relative distance from the sun, to change fair weather to foul, or foul to fair?Upon none. The storms keep on their way; the wet spells and the dry spells, the cold and the hot spells alternate in their time and though the moon turns toward them in passing, her dark face, her half face, or her full orb (the gifts of the sun, which confer no power), they do not heed her. They are originated and are continued, by a more potent agent. They are the work of an atmospheric mechanism, as ceaseless in its operation as time, as regular as the seasons, as extensive as the globe.Indeed, it seems as if it was expressly designed by the Creator that the moon should not interfere materially with this atmospheric machinery. She is the nearest orb; her influence would be controlling and continuous; would follow her monthly path from south to north and with changes too violent and intervals too long; and would interfere with the regular fundamental operation in the trade-wind region, where she is vertical.Aside from the attraction of gravitation, therefore, she seems to have been so created as to be incapable of exerting any influence. She is without an atmosphere; the rays which she reflects are polarized and without chemical or magnetic power; and, if it be true that Melloni has recently detected heat in them, by the use of a lens three feet in diameter, which could not previously be effected, its quantity is exceedingly small and incapable of influence.Doubtless, the attraction of her mass is felt upon the earth, as the tides attest; and upon the atmosphere as well as the ocean. But the atmosphere is comparatively attenuated and exceedingly so at its upper surface. Her attraction, therefore, although felt, is not influential. She seemed, to Dr. Howard, to produce in her northing and southing, a lateral tide which the barometer disclosed, but owing to the attenuated character of the atmosphere, neither the sun nor moon create an easterly and westerly tide, that is observable, except with the most delicate instruments.Sabine is believed to have detected such a tide by the barometer, at St. Helena, of one four thousandth of an inch. But even this infinitesimal influence may prove an error upon further investigation. There is a diurnal variation of the barometer but it is not the result of her attraction, for it is not later each day as are the tides, exists in the deepest mines as well as upon the surface and is demonstrably connected with the group of diurnal changes produced by the action of the sun-light and heat upon the earth’s magnetism.Can the lateral tide, if there be one, affect the weather?for in the present state of science it seems entirely certain that the moon can exert an influence in no other way.If the received idea of many, perhaps most, meteorologists, on which all wheel barometers are constructed, that a high barometer necessarily produces fair weather and a low one foul, were true, she certainly might do so. But that idea can not be sustained and there is no known certain influence exerted by the moon upon the weather, in relation to which we have any reliable practical data.Humboldt appears to have adopted the impression of Sir W. Herschell, that the moon aids in the dispersion of the clouds. (Cosmos, vol. iv. p. 502.) But the tendency to such dispersion is always rapid during the latter part of the day and evening, when there is no storm approaching and the full moon renders their dissolution visible and attracts attention to them. The Greenwich observations, also, carefully examined by Professor Loomis, fail to confirm the impression of Herschell and Humboldt and those eminent philosophers are doubtless in this mistaken.From this general and somewhat desultory view of the general facts, which bear analogically upon the question, no decisive inference can be drawn in relation to the seat of the primary influence which produces the atmospheric changes. The preponderance is in favour of the magnetic, or magneto-electric, action of the earth. We must come back to our own country and grapple with the question at home.”

    Let me rephraes the first paragraphs of the above and change the “humming and hawing” in it from the sun to the moon:From a cosmical connection of this nature, supposing it to be finally established, it would follow that the 30 and 60 year periods by which we set our climatology, is, in fact, a Lunar Cycle of 32 and 64 years, manifested to us, also, by the alternately increasing and decreasing angles of declination to the equator and to other earthbound limits of the weather and etcetera.May we not have in these phenomena the indication of a cycle, or period of secular change in the influence of the moon, affecting invisibly our gaseous atmosphere or photosphere and sensibly modifying the magnetic influence which the sun exercises on earth's portion of the solar wind?”I think it may fairly be inferred, that although these spells seem to occasion the “cold spells” and “hot spells,” and other transient peculiarities, they also materially affect the mean temperature of the year and exert an obvious influence once silly statistics are ruled out; and there is a tendency to an increase of the heat and dryness of summer and the severity of winter, at the periods named, in our excessive climate and a well-established connection between the spots and magnetic disturbances and variations.Speaking of silly statistics, if you add all the hours in the day that it is possible for the lunar phase to occur on you get:1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12+13+14+15+16+17+18+19+20+21+22+23+24And if you divide that by the number of hours in the day you get:(1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12+13+14+15+16+17+18+19+20+21+22+23+24) /24 =12.5.That means all lunar phases occur at 12.5 -that is: at 12:30.(In actual fact all new moons occur at noon, all full moons occur at midnight, all the first quarters occur at 6pm and all the second quarters occur at 6 am. But not on the same longitudes.)Anothe valid point made is that of weather compared to phases:“Weather-tables and lunar phases, compared for nearly one hundred years, show four hundred and ninety-one new or full moons attended by a change of the weather and five hundred and nine without.”How many of these phases were examined for the times of the phase and why was the effort not made to include the qurter moons.The way the moon affects the weather in a place like California which has seasonal rains is going to be much different to the way it affect places like Britain which has inclement weather all the year through.Even so it is possible to detect an earthwide change in the weather at all places simultaneously when a period of drought has brought Santa Anas to California and drought to the mid west or perhaps freezing rain to the Great Lakes.Then all of a sudden, all changes with rain in California putting out forest fires while periods of sunny weather replace storm clouds in the drought hit mid west. (I don't really think freezing rain is problem on such occasions.)I have forecast from the time of the phase of the moon that a frastic change will put an end ot such events. You can do so too. All you need is to be able to spot which phases match each other's times and which phases seem to be running in a sequence.It is when such sequences end that a change in the weather is ushered in by the moon.But even so I don't believe that it is actually the moon doing it. As I said earlier, the moon can have no effect on the earth by means of its gravity. The earth is too heavy.In fact the full moon, with the sun pulling in the opposite direction, should have the smallest tidal changes. And consequently much less effect on the weather.The the actual name of the phase is, as far as I can tell, totally unimportant. (Of course, I have never tried to match the type of phases with the weather. Just working on the times of the phases alone is a strenuous effort for someone like me, suffering from dyscalcula, to whom figures are anathema.)

  7. The NAEFS for 23 July 2013 looks like we atre in for another Mag 7 quake or something instead.This period of fine warm weather in Britain has continued straight through 3 spells that are totally not anticyclonic:Jun 16 17:24 = cyclonic.Jun 23 11:32 = anticyclonic.Jun 30 04:54 = anticyclonic. Jul 8 07:14 = cyclonic.Jul 16 03:18 = thundery.Jul 22 18:15 = misty may have tropical storms.Jul 29 17:43 = cyclonic.The times for the first and last are about the same so there should be a similar set of events -if not in exactly the same order.The fact that they have all been much the same here and I dare say much the same everywhere, means that when the full run ends -which today and tomorrow (20 and 21 July 2013) is only a blip on.Oddly the MetOffice charts give the next phase as a cyclonic spell. So it might all come crashing down on us tonight. I think the discrepancy has been volcanic in nature.But I still haven't quite got my head around that yet.

  8. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    There are plenty of good reasons to doubt that the moon has no effect on the weather, that is probably because it doesn't. It doesn't even raise tides, no matter what you think/have been told.The earth weighs more than 80 times what the moon does and is a great deal closer to the earth. Nothing is going to motivate a 20 to 30 foot wave, twice a day -one of them working on the opposite side of the earth to the moon at all times.And if it was the moon doing it directly, it would be the same height each and every day, it wouldn't make any difference what the phase was.Well, would it?Whatever it's weighs it is, it doesn't change that much in a fortnight.Plenty of astronomers and mathematicians have looked at the idea that the time of the phase is likely or unlikely to make a difference to the weather.They all seem to have ignored the actual time of the phase.What are the times of the phases anyway?

  9. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    and the chances of me producing convincing evidence that there is a pretty good indicator for volcanic activity on weather charts is vanishingly small.

    Wrong.Volcanic activity is signalled by the BoM Southern Hemisphere charts when a series of dark patches on the inner whell around Antarctica would normally produce a Blocked High in either the North Pacific or North Atlantic.When it all bounces off a continent the continent will have a venting volcano going off. Australia will produce stuff in Indonesia. But if you look at the sea floor around Australasi ot's shallos lok remakably like the outline of Africa.Not that that means anything. (But it might.)

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