Summer weather predictions?

Ember Days: Use this ‘old time’ weather prediction method for a look into what kind of summer we can expect. May 18 will give a look at the weather for June, May 20 foretells July and May 21 foretells August.

We all hear a lot about long range weather projections and since it makes a difference in how things go in the agricultural economy, those long range forecasts carry a lot of weight in people’s minds. There may not be much we can do about the weather but it’s always interesting to talk about.

There are several methods or signs that the “old timers” use to use for a look into what we can expect in our upcoming forecast. A more well known one is that 90 days after fog we should have moisture. Sudenga Industries’ is located in the northwest corner of Iowa and to say we had a foggy start to the year might be an understatement. And so far, this spring has been pretty wet as well. Coincidence? Maybe. Either way it’s kind of fun to watch.

Another, maybe not quite as well known method for predicting the weather is to watch the weather on the Ember Days for a look into what the next three months brings. Ember Days are the four periods observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for prayer, fasting, and the ordination of clergy. Specifically, these are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday that follow in succession after: the first Sunday of Lent;  Pentecost; the Feast of the Holy Cross; and the Feast of St. Lucia.

So for a look into what kind of summer we can expect, check the weather on May 18, 20 and 21. According to the folklore predictions May 18 with predict June, May 20 will predict July and May 21 will predict August.

There might not be any scientific backing to this method but as with any folklore there is a little common sense behind it all. Each set of Ember Days corresponds with the changing seasons, which also means a change in weather. As we all know weather trends usually last several months so maybe there is a little truth to this method.

If nothing else, take note of the weather this week and maybe it will give you the upper hand at your next coffee break. Besides, you can’t be worse than the local weatherman can you? 

2016 Ember Days

  • Feb. 17, 19 and 20 predict spring
  • May 18, 20 and 21 predict summer
  • Sept. 21, 23 and 24 predict fall
  • Dec. 14, 16 and 17 predict winter