On 1 December I posted the Old Farmer's Almanac information and other fun tidbits for this month. If you read it, you may recall that I described the Ember Days that come up four times a year, predicated on specific Roman Catholic holy days. Today is the first Ember Day in December, and by folklore, determines the overall weather in January.
Here is a reminder of the Ember Days and how they work:
Ember Days: The four periods formerly observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for prayer, fasting, and the ordination of clergy are called Ember Days. Specifically, these are the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays the follow in succession following (1) the First Sunday in Lent; (2) Whitsunday - Pentecost; (3) the Feast of the Holy Cross, September 14; and (4) the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13. The word ember is perhaps a corruption of the Latin quatuor tempora, "four times."
Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for the nest three months; that is, September's Ember Days, Wednesday forecast is for October, Friday for November, and Saturday for December.
So, for January 2012, here is the weather we had today:
It was warmer in the morning and clear to the east and slightly cloudy to the west at dawn. The mean temperature was 38°F/3.33°C (or 276.33°K if you really want to get technical; but Kelvin is best for astronomy as it is the only system of temperature to reach high enough to give stars a temperature) in the morning, then leveled off at 62°F/16.66°C (in Kelvin this would be 289.66). The day was mostly sunny, then a little more overcast toward the sunset (maybe 30% cloud cover). So January is looking rather good. Take heed, all you crazy golfers! This is not bad golfing weather for the first month of the new year and what is usually one of the colder winter months!
The next Ember Day is Friday, 16 December and then the final one is Saturday, 17 December. Friday's weather determines what we will experience in February and Saturday determines the general weather in March. After we cycle through this month's Ember Days, we will then look at January's weather to see how close today's Ember Day was to truth. I love doing things like this.
Weather is fun!