A viewer called this morning asking about this week’s “Ember Days” and what our forecast was for the next season based on these. Well, unfortunately, I had not heard of these, but from what he said it sounded like an example of some of that crazy old weather lore where people (or groundhogs) predict the weather based on the present state of the atmosphere on a given day or on coincidences in the surrounding landscape. There are good examples and some bad examples. Some of those bad (false) adages include: when March blows its horn, your barn will be filled with hay and corn; when March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb (or vice versa); and dogs and cats eat grass before the rain. Anyway, I looked it up on the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” and there is such a weather term and apparently it’s been around for quite sometime. Basically in the four seasons of the year, there are instances where one can foresee the weather of the following three months based on what happens on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of four particular weeks. These weeks are determined based on the Roman Catholic or Anglican (Episcopal in the U.S.) church calendars. The link is below with a full explanation, but this week’s Ember Days are coming up on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday because the first Sunday of Lent was yesterday. These days will predict the weather for April, May, and June. Make of it what you will, but I’m not even entirely sure how to use this forecast to derive the coming months’ weather other than to say it does look like things will be slightly warmer than average. Well, I feel like I’ve learned something important today, but I still can’t help but also feel somewhat ashamed that I, an Episcopalian meteorologist, didn’t know about Ember Days until that viewer’s call this morning. Now I’ll probably have to give something up for Lent to make up for this!
“Ember Days“ from the “Old Farmer’s Almanac.