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When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. After a long COVID break, Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right here on Take it away Steve!

July Tornadoes And Lunar Phases

Over the 40 year period (1980-2019), the state of Iowa has averaged 6 tornadoes during the month of July. The month can be quite active like it was on July 19, 2018 when there were 21 tornadoes reported on that day alone. Or it can be quiet like last year when no tornadoes were reported the entire month.

I have always had an interest in tornadoes and their relation to lunar phases. My research has shown that since 2000 tornadoes tend to occur more often during the week of the First Quarter moon. That was closely followed by both the Full and New moons. The least likely time is the Last Quarter Moon.

For the First Quarter moon it was either 1 day after or 3 days after the time of it's arrival.

For the Full moon it was 3 days after it's arrival.

For the New moon it was either 4 days or 5 days after it's arrival.

For the Last Quarter moon it was either 2 or 5 days beyond it's arrival.

The most likely days of the month for a tornado to occur are July 9th, especially during the First Quarter moon,

( incidentally there was very large hail on the 9th this year); the 16th especially during the week of the New moon; the 19th particularly during the week of the Full moon and the 26th especially around a New moon.

The next set of dates to watch for are: the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 11th, 17th, 23rd and the 24th.

The Cicadas Are Singing

I heard my first Dog Day cicada singing, if that's what you would call it, on the 6th of this month. The weather folklore states that you will have your first frost either 12 weeks, 90 days or 3 months later. That would work out to September 28th, October 4th or October 6th accordingly. I blogged about this last year if you remember?

Last year they first sang on July 9th and we saw our first frost October 4th, exactly between 12 weeks and 90 days. Not too shabby for a bug? We will see how accurate they are this year.

The strange thing is that I have only heard them once so far season despite the hot weather we've had. There are quite a few of their empty shells around. Maybe the birds are snapping them up as fast as they hatch out? I have seen birds chasing after them a few times. This is the most quiet that I have seen them in many years.

Record Cold Maximum Temperatures Over The Weekend

It has been a strange summer weatherwise. My weather station recorded 3 maximum temperatures that reached the mid 90s in June, 95 on the 10th, 97 on the 11th and 96 on the 17th. Here we are well into July, the hottest month of the summer and we are seeing record cold. My maximum reading of 70 on the 10th was a new record as was the maximum reading of 71 on the 11th. I have a strange feeling that this crazy weather is going to carry on in to the winter.

Some Early Thoughts On The Winter

I thought I would do a little early research and see what our upcoming winter might be like. I looked at warm springs like we saw this year since 1990 that occurred during a La Nina event. I found that 3 of our following winters were colder, 2 were warmer and 1 was normal. When you add in the factor of having a warm June ( this was my 3rd warmest in my 62 years of record), there is a 67% chance of having a normal to colder than normal winter.

The spiders are trying to come indoors already which is a sign of a cold winter. I see that the Horse weed is growing rapidly and is as tall as the corn already. It will be interesting to see if it gets as tall as it did last year which resulted in above normal snowfall.

Long Range Forecast For The StormFest - August 21st

I thought I would put my weather forecast out there for Terry's StormFest. It is based on historical trends, lunar phases and the current La Nina. The day will see variable clouds, temperatures in the low 80's with a southerly wind and a 38% chance of rain.

There you have it for this edition. On the wild side of weather I'm Steve Gottshalk


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