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full moon frost  RSS feed

 
Posts: 769
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Have other folks been noticing that many of our hardest frosts this winter were on the full moon? Not just hurting more plants but even being colder temperatures. ...

And here we are in spring, and yup, those few days before and after the full moon froze things up again.

Any other observations? Theories for why it would be colder?
 
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Wow, I hadn't made that connection.  I will have to pay more attention.  I just did a bit of google work and here's something I found:

http://www.weathernotebook.org/transcripts/2000/06/16.html

Hi I'm Dave Thurlow and this is the Weather Notebook. Here's a question from Eric Evans of Camden Maine, a listener of Maine Public Radio. Eric sent his question from weathernotebook.org and it reads:

'It seems that a lot of people believe that frost is more likely when the moon is full. I've always thought frost is more likely when it's not cloudy and because of that you can SEE the full moon. But I can also imagine that the moon creates a significant "tide" in the atmosphere. Here in Maine, I have not noticed any correlation of cloudiness with phase of the moon. What do weather records tell us about this folk-wisdom?'

Well the weather records go along with your observation. There is no correlation between the phase of the moon and the weather. The coldest nights are, by nature, clear. Clear skies let heat escape to space and they also let you see the moon regardless of its phase. If the moon is full it is just a coincidence, but many of us tend to connect these two noticable conditions - cold air and a full moon - when they exist together.

The apparent cause and effect here is not real. The moon has no control whatsoever over the atmosphere. As for the tides, remember gravity is an interaction between two masses. The heavier the mass the bigger the tug between the two. Water is dense or heavy enough to be affected by the moon's gravitation. But, air is just to thin to feel any effect.

However, farmers with infinately more wison than I claim that lunar cycles affect planting cycles. And I'll argue with a scientist but not with a farmer.
 
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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I was doing a search on frost before starting a thread on the subject, and I just want to say that it's really awesome to see people investigating to see if observations are correct rather than just rushing ahead to try and find an effect.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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here in Michigan we always wait until after the full moon in June to put our tender crops out, unless the full moon is at the very end of the month..as we always get frosts during the full moon in June if it is in the early to mid part of the month, always.

some years we get frosts during a full moon all summer long here..full moons are killers on gardens in Michigan.

observed now for going on 60 years as a fact..
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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Do you record all of your frost dates on paper? As Rachael's research found it is very easy to remember something as being rather strongly correlated even when there is no correlation.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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yes I keep accurate diaries and you can almost always guarantee a frost on the full moon if there are no clouds, storms or winds to protect the atmosphere from frost..up until at least June 15, and sometime even all summer long in our area.

there have been many summers when we had frost one time each moth all summer long, and when we did they were always on a full moon after the first of June..at least..before that you can get a frost anytime here..

it was zero F here this morning and we have a foot of snow on the ground..

last year we lost all of our fruit buds to 20, 22, and 20 temps on mother's day weekend..and had NO fruit as a result
 
                          
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I'm just the other side of the bay from Camden.  Eliot Coleman, who's lived on the other end of town for a good long while now, has kept paper records and says it's true.  I don't know what kind of statistics math he's run, but I'll believe him.

I live in a coastal town.  We have tides.  Tides bring deep salt water in and out of the bay.  Salt water has a bit of thermal mass.  Tides change their timing and height throughout the monthly tide cycle.  Here, they're generally highest at the full and new moons, and at those times the highs happen at about 11:30, AM and PM.  That means the tide will be low at about 5:30, close to the coldest hour of the morning. 

For my location, it's not hard to see how moon phase could effect frost.  Most people in the world live on the coasts, rather than deep continent interior, so it's not hard to see how for most (but not all) people, there could be a correlation (positive or negative) between full moon and frost.  For people in Kansas, I doubt the correlation will be evident.  And if you average all locations, you'll average the positive and negative correlations and get no clear signal.

Dan
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i live in the central part of Michigan and it is sure true here
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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@Brenda, if you compare all of your clear moonless nights in may to all of your clear full moon nights do you see a difference? My thought is that people only really notice that the night is clear when the moon is big and only notice that the moon is big when the night is clear. For instance there is a lot of talk about people going crazy on full moons and getting in accidents and the like, but when you look at the data there is no correlation between hospital admissions and  full moons. We vividly remember the hits and forget the misses, it is one of our cognitive biases called confirmation bias.

@Huisjen, If it's strength of the tides wouldn't you expect the same effect on nights with newmoons as well?
 
gardener
Posts: 1352
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Having worked in law enforcement for quite a few years I don't really think it was the full moon having mystic power as much as available light for mischief to occurr and be observed.
 
Emerson White
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I might also think that it's more light with which to see mischief, but the problem is that we don't see an effect in the data, just in our perceptions, so our perceptions are where we should look for the effect, not nature.
 
Robert Ray
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I can only speak from personal experience and numbers of calls I handled during full moons over a period of 15 years on the street.
Here is an interesting link, and from one who is familiar with statistics of how crime is reported and stats are created  for law enforcement I take it with a grain of salt.

http://www.911jobsforum.com/archive/index.php/t-4609.html

Cats and dogs more agressive during full moons:
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Cats-and-dogs-more-agressive-During-Full-Moon-5995.shtml
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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I'm not trying to be down on you here, but if you weren't keeping a ledger of the number of calls, and then comparing that over a span of many months to a moon chart, I don't trust your recollection. And that's not trying to be confrontational or elitist, I do not trust myself to remember how many eggs I had for breakfast this morning, our brains can only hold so much information, and will happily rewrite stories to make them smaller.
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1352
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Emerson,
I have boxes full of notebooks that I carried each and every day for my entire time on the street. One has to maintain notes in this manner for testifying should the occasion arise.
My recollection can be verified and cataloged with the notebooks so no offense taken    but your knowldge  or ability to recollect of how many eggs you eat doesn't compare with field notes of a crime scene. These notes included weather conditions, lighting and other factors that one would forget since a court case is always far down the calendar from its initial occurence.
My experience and empirical data proves in my own case I answered more calls on nights that occurred with full moons.
Now my experiences might not hold true to others from the street, however my sister who is an emergency room nurse also has empirical data that shows she has dealt with more serious injuries during night of full moon occurrence.
You need to get out more on those evenings. 
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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You have data, that is good (I'll bet you have really good data, law enforcement tends to do that well). Have you compiled that data and compared it with a moon phase calendar?

You have a recollection, and that to me is a good reason to look into things, and if you have not analysed your data then it's like a book that you haven't read. I've never seen a study that showed a real correlation (except with births on a new moon, but no one will denyt the romantic effects of a full moon) but http://web.archive.org/web/20071022114155/http://iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/31/healthscience/EU-SCI-Full-Moon-Mishaps.php for instance doesn't show an effect. Maybe give this a reed http://www.skepdic.com/fullmoon.html .

Sorry for the disjointed post, wanted to reply but a bit distracted at the moment.
 
Robert Ray
gardener
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Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Emerson,
Trust me full moon lore and law enforcement calls is nothing new to one in the field.
I can only verify and susbtantiate my call logs. In my case and in my sisters medical experience we have two individual yet seperate instances that show an anomoly on number of calls and events. Yes my case of full moon call increase is verified through logged data and not a romantic notion.

How my experience relates to others might not hold true but I can assure you that my recollections and notes reflect the the number is higher on shifts of full moons. Temperature was also shown to be a factor on call numbers, hot days more calls.

As I said before I don't believe in some kind of lunar pull creating the increase in calls but personally attribute it to ambient light available to get into mischief.
Temperature I personally attribute to an increase in drinking recreational beverages. Now if those are the reason for my experiences I can not prove it but that is my belief or hypothesis.

Back to Kelda's original inquiry I know that clear nights are much colder than overcast and if it just so happened that full moons occurred on clear nights I can see how a correlation could be surmised from that data. I'll keep track and see if it holds true for me.
 
                                
Posts: 62
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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For more than 10 years my female cycles have aligned with the full moons.  I began to keep track of the sun in the sky through the year for my garden after we moved to the country and I also noticed the moon.  If we had a full moon cycle that wasn't cloudy I had a more negative, intensely painful cycle, cloudy full moon, little pain etc. 

Since then I keep closer track of the moon cycles.  I decided to start lunar gardening because I did notice a difference.  My husband set up the Google page as my home page on my computer with the moon cycle.  So every day when I go online I know exactly where the moon is.  For many years his Siamese cat has acted weird off and on (cat is 16), but I never really made any connection.  About once a month the cat has an intense need to stick his nose in every corner, low and high of the house.  He climbs shelves and knocks things down, he opens cabinets and squeezes between boxes in the storage area of the attic.  Then he has these crazed "hubba-hubba" moments.  If you have a cat you may know, he just runs wild around the house with a crazed look in his eye, making the dogs nuts (the one dog loves to chase cats!) and knocks things down, around and everywhere.

So.  We had three cats, and one died two years ago.  Since then the Siamese and the other really don't get along any more.  Every now and then it gets worse and they sit and spit and chase each other, but then it calms and they go back to ignoring each other.

Okay, so what?  After I started keeping track of the moon for the garden, and looking at it every morning on the computer I noticed something.  So I took a calendar and started marking it.  In the 10 to 7 days before a full moon the cats start fighting with each other, the Siamese starts sticking his nose in every corner, the hubba-hubba moments then come as the moon becomes full.  One or two days after the full moon it all stops dead.  Until next month.  This past full moon, the perigee that was closer than it had been in 15 or so years was the worst.  I was in the living room on the computer and went upstairs for 5 minutes or something to look for a book.  I heard hissing, scratching and crashing and came back downstairs.  In that time those cats knocked over the ironing board, with iron (off thankfully), moved the TV stand out (??) knocked the mouse and keyboard off the computer desk, knocked over a mug of pens 18-inches from the edge of the desk, knocked another mug of knitting needles across the room (was on a shelf), spilled my tea, but somehow the mug didn't break, slid a rug 5 feet or so into the dining room, and then knocked over a stand up hanging clothes racks that I had for ironing and then hanging up clothes and fabrics!!!

I don't know if the dog was involved, he followed me upstairs, but then came down with the crash.  But I have kept track for more than a year, and they get crazy right up to the full moon, and then it just stops.

So, I'm moon gardening this year.  I know people who grew up and this is what they do without question.  Oh, and my rooster crows ALL NIGHT during a full moon.  And I used to have a blind dog, yes, blind who sat in the back yard and howled at the full moon, only the full moon, and only when it was a clear night full moon. 

Tami

.......my husband's mother used to work as a nurse in a mental hospital and they had to take turns evenly the night of the full moon so no one would get stuck working more than anyone else.  She said things just got worse, and weirder during the full moons. 
 
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