STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...
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. Only one person takes climatology to a level like this. He's even earned a lifetime achievement award from the National Weather Service for his devotion to data and science. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve!
MAYBE A COLDER FALL?
Over the past week I have been seeing the larger, Green Darner dragonflies coming down the waterway along the cornfield near my apartment building. It's usually during the afternoon and early evening that I see them. They are catching the smaller insects. They sometimes are accompanied by the barn swallows, hawking the insects as well. I think the dragonfly migration has begun? It's a little earlier this season.
I have seen some forecasts out there on the internet talking of a colder Fall. I checked to see if our Falls are cooler with an impending El Nino and this is what I found.
I found 19 El Nino's since 1950, 8 of them or 42% saw colder Falls, 6 of them or 32% had normal temperatures and 5 of them or 26% saw a warmer season. If one eliminates the 7 years with strong El Nino's, the chance for a cooler Fall goes up to 50% and it's 25% for being normal or warmer. Using the data since 2000, the chance for a cooler Fall is even higher at 60%.
Next time I will look at the Fall precipitation.
AUGUST FOGS AND WEATHER LORE
I have recorded fog on 7 of the first 10 days of this month, 4 were heavy and 3 were light. Here are 3 weather sayings about fog and the weather.
"Observe on what day in August the first heavy fog occurs, and you may expect a hard frost on the same day in October." I observed a heavy fog, late on the evening of the 2nd.
"If the fogs in August are mostly light then the winter will be light, if the fogs are mostly heavy then the winter will be a cold and snowy one."
"Count how many fogs you have during the month of August and that is the number of snows you will have that winter. A light snow for the light fogs and a heavy snow for the heavy fogs."
THE FIREFLIES WERE GONE EARLIER THIS SEASON
Last week I wrote about how quickly the fireflies disappeared. I looked through my nature journal and found the dates that they were gone in previous years.
Aug. 28, 2020
Aug. 21, 2021
Aug. 12, 2022
Aug. 5, 2023
As you can see they are gone a week earlier with each succeeding year. What is the cause?
THE LUNAR WEATHER FOR AUGUST
Aug. 16th - warmer temps. and breezy
Aug. 19th - warmer and windy
Aug. 21st - warmer and windy
Aug. 24th - warmer and windy
Aug. 26th - warmer, rain and windy
Aug. 30th - variable temps., rain and windy
TWO FULL MOONS IN AUGUST
Our second full moon this month is on the 30th. Having 2 full moons during a month doesn't happen very often. Since 1960, we have had 3 August's with 2 full moons. In 1966, 1993 and 2012. Two of those years had a drier than normal month and the other was wetter which was 1993. There are a couple of weather sayings having to do with this phenomena.
"Two full moons in a calendar month bring on a flood."
"Any year with 13 moons that are full will make a crib full of corn and a barn full of hay."
THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER
When I was doing my midnight weather observations on the 12th, I checked out the Perseid Meteor shower for a bit. I saw 2 meteors in 6 minutes, one was bright and the other fainter. There are a couple of weather sayings about meteors that I would like to share with you.
"Many meteors presage much snow in winter."
"Many meteors in summer means much snow in winter."
EASTERN IOWA HISTORICAL WEATHER EVENTS
Aug. 17, 1988 - the hot summer continues with the thermometer soaring to 104 at Charles City, Dubuque, Mount Pleasant and Ottumwa. It was 105 at Muscatine, Fairfield, Waterloo and Lowden. Iowa Falls, Keosaqua and Sigourney had 106.
Aug. 19, 1994 - severe thunderstorms dropped very large hail from Osage through Charles City, ESE to Dubuque during the afternoon hours. Hail up to 4.5" in diameter fell at Dubuque resulting in million of dollars in damages.
Aug. 20, 2003 - A complex of severe thunderstorms produced widespread straight line winds from central into E and SE Iowa during the afternoon and evening hours. The worst winds struck the Davenport area where winds in excess of 90 mph peeled back a third of the roof of the NWS office. Their were numerous reports of power lines and trees down along with some damage to homes and other buildings.
Aug. 21, 1964 - Unseasonably cool weather was seen across most of the state with readings in the upper 30's across NE sections. The lowest temperature was 36 degrees at Cresco and Independence.
Aug. 21-22, 2002 - Thunderstorms produced torrential rains and flash flooding across Delaware and Dubuque counties during the late evening and early morning hours. The Dubuque Airport reported 8.95" and Cascade had 7.55".
Well, that is all for this edition. On the "wild" side of weather, I'm Steve Gottschalk.