October 7, 2010

Old Wives' Tale About Moon Proves True

Kristen Minogue, Science Now

Old wives' tales? Folklore prediction that rain follows full and new moons may have some truth.

Credit: Thinkstock

Old wives' tales? Folklore prediction that rain follows full and new moons may have some truth.

Credit: Thinkstock

The Zuni Indians thought a red moon brought water. Seventeenth-century English farmers believed in a "dripping moon," which supplied rain depending on whether its crescent was tilted up or down. Now scientists have found evidence for another adage: Rain follows the full and new phases of the moon.

Most studies on the weather and moon phases appeared in the 1960s and seemed to lend credence to lunar folklore. Researchers detected more peaks in rainfall in the days after the full and new moons, for example. Recently, three...

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TAGGED: Rainfall, Moon, National Climatic Data Center, Arizona State University, Geophysical Research Letters