How the moon affects the weather

2013-14 Tractional Tidal Forces:

Clive Best:

I aim to demonstrate in this series of posts that ever changing gravitational tides influence the flow of the polar Jet Stream thereby changing weather patterns at high latitudes. Such effects should be included in global circulation models to improve medium range weather forecasting.

Previously I described a proposal from Roberto Madrigali that tides acting on the Jet Stream affect high latitude weather (North and South).  Robert Currie and others have reported long term  coincidences of drought with Lunar Cycles (1). H. Yndestad reports lunar cycles in Arctic climates (2) and Li & Zong have reported lunar induced variations in global wind speed (3). Over 3000 years of folklore also links the moon to extreme weather on earth. Is all this just nonsense, or could atmospheric tides really be responsible for much of our weather in Europe and North America?

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7 thoughts on “How the moon affects the weather

  1. It’s amazing what the moon does for us.
    It would be great to explore with Clive’s tidal forces animation method the full range of lunar declination over an extended period, 19 years or so, showing the Earth’s rotation synched together with the lunar tidal forces. In such a video, overlays of observed weather fronts and such would really tell a story, however that would be a whole lot more work than Clive is prepared to do!

    • Bob – I keep loosing my replies to you when I write on my phone (it looses when it locks the screen. Will start writing in notepad!).

      [M]y awe of the moon grows and grows.

      Loved Clive’s animations and your regular comments on the nodes over at WA. Not sure how long it would take Clive to 19 years but I would love to see that! Not sure how far he can go back either.

      I think we should try a collaborative effort at the Talkshop with the many fine hands and minds. Percolating a few ideas for discussion on the current js thread there.

      I’m currently still looking into the winter gone and similar periods. 1976/77 is an interesting period and had a similar vortex. It is also 37 years ago so is ballpark x2 18.6 lunar cycles. Is there a good US chart archive you know of that covers the period?

      I’m going to dig down into the late 70’s (1976-80) and the record equatorial downpour of my youth in Dec 1978 which ties with an interesting winter in the UK. I’m intrigued at the varying factors that seem to have been acting in unison. Indian cyclones were quiet in 1976 (5) but were active for the following two years (10/9) not sure about figures for this year so far, which seems fairly active or last year for that matter. Stops in 2010. Any memories you have of the weather then should add another patch to the quilt I’m stitching with mittens! 😀

      [moderator – made a tiny edit which should be quite clear]

      • Craig, learning about “lunar modulation” has been a fun exercise.
        Since ascertaining and then describing the regular cyclic lunar influence on at least US weather, only once at the Talkshop and several times recently at WUWT, it is clear to me that many people have no idea what the moon does, and mentioning what it does do seems to draw either silence or some contempt. The fun part comes into play when during each lunar cycle, the same basic process occurs, and it helps to understand how the atmospheric tides can either augment or counteract variable solar influence.
        The same thing happens when I talk about what the sun’s activity does on a daily basis. It seems we’re a long way away from Piers’ solar-lunar action technique becoming widely known and understood, because it’s so different from what people are used to getting from their regular TV weather forecasts. I’m working on changing that perception.
        I try to stay out of the way at the Talkshop – Roger’s peeps have it covered and they aren’t focused on daily activity like us. In 2007 I came to the realization that the solar cycle was tied to planetary motion, to the barycenter of the solar system, and the sun’s energy was what caused “global warming”. Proving all that has been the challenge. At this time it’s all I can do to keep up with what’s on my plate right now, so all I can do is try to keep up with Roger and Co – who are way ahead of everyone, except for Piers, and electric weather.
        It was my plan to reveal the electric weather effect first and planetary theory second, but Roger & Co have planetary theory covered very well, in spite of the PRP fiasco. In fact I don’t have the skills they do. I think Piers would be someone who could give them some relevant feedback or insight if he felt so motivated. I think that all should be back channel communications, if it happens.
        It’s one thing to have an informed opinion – it’s quite another to prove something beyond a doubt, especially to skeptics who aren’t sure what to believe. So that’s why I’ve given WUWT so much of my time, to help people see how the sun and moon influence us, and to learn from others. The video I’m making of Piers’ forecasts is still underway and covers all the bases, and is an adjunct to the presentation I’m making wrt the electric weather effect. Until my Electric Weather website is up and all that goes with it, I’m booked.
        Unfortunately there just isn’t enough time for me to do more yet.
        What you are doing here is great and who knows where it will go.
        Like you I’m interested in what happened last winter, and also compared it to the record-breaking 1978/79 Michigan winter in comments I made at WUWT. I covered the polar vortex and our frigid Michigan winter in my EU2014 presentation. This winter ought to be another classic.
        The “super” moon looks close tonight, even though it’s almost all the way to it’s southernmost declination, 63 degrees away from here (18 + 45 degrees) in latitude.

  2. Very interesting. I also think it interesting that that center location west of Africa is also where hurricanes originate. (I can’t imagine I’m the first to notice this.)

    • Hi ST,

      Atlantic ones yes, it’s a confluence of things. I haven’t looked enough at formations properly though.

      Very different set up in the Pacific which seems to have a train of storms, some making hurricane status, this year.

  3. Thanks,
    The animation shows the horizontal tidal acceleration (force/unit mass) for a fixed longitude of -30. What is interesting is just how much these tractional forces at high latitudes vary over a year of tides. Of course in addition the earth is rotating so there are the 2 high tides per day, but the amplitude of these waves changes rapidly. The Jet Stream lies just under the tropopause at an altitude of 10,000 m. These changing tidal waves must have some effect in distorting the flow and triggering storms. This could then lead to long term changes in rainfall due to lunar precession.

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