Monday, November 28, 2011
Twelve Days in a Year: Weather Prediction
You may have heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas . But golden rings, calling birds and the upper class cavorting in splendor have little to do with weather prediction.
The Twelve Days of Christmas are not the shopping days prior to the Day of gift giving. I am referring to the 12 days from Christmas Day (12:00am) until Little Christmas (12:00am)- December 25 until January 6 . The ancients of folklore used these days to determine planting , hunting and fishing times for the coming year.
For purists who want to leave religion and celebrations out of things , and probably more to right , start those twelve days at a natural beginning to the new year - The Winter Solstice , December 22. It is the shortest day ( mostly night ) . From that point on , the seconds and minutes of sunlight begin to increase. There are only a few minutes difference between Dec.22 and 25.
More than likely, the really,really ancient used that point in time . As is often the case , religion co-opted ancient ceremonies and habits to their own use.
Whichever you choose...for whatever reason.., have your brand new calender ready to record some observations. Each of the twelve days corresponds to one month of the year. 1st day=January; 2nd day =February etc. Simply write what you see happening at the head of each month page during each of the predictor days.
What you can do is compare to what is normal. Feel free to consult the weather person or website for your area if you don't have records for the past. Tut , tut ! Doesn't everyone have these? ;)
Record the weather every day: temperatures , precipitation and any outstanding conditions. If you are ambitious, divide each day into four parts to determine when during the month , temperature/precipitation changes will occur: 12:00am-6:00am; 6:00am-12:00pm; 12:00pm-6:00pm; 6:00pm-11:59pm.
The weather department will tell you what you missed while you were sleeping.
A little comparison of these more detailed observations might prove interesting in relationship to the full moon - another ancient time monitor for living schedules.
Have some fun with it. Get your family/friends involved . Remember that this will be very specific to your area. Weather persons and almanacs talk of broader regions . They can't get as close up and personal as the Twelve Days where you live.
Next year , after you have tested the accuracy of this prediction method , come back to this post and leave us a comment .