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Moon watching experiment in Doc Weather - 10.22.04

With Doc Weather's help you can do this simple observation experiment and see how the Moon moves weather systems across the US continent every month.



The first chart shows the link between the positions of the Moon from July 29 to August 6 of this year, and the migration of a stationary high-pressure area over the southwest during that same time period. On July 29 the position of the sidereal position of the Moon was just east of Hawaii. This position can be projected down onto the earth using techniques found in many articles by Doc Weather in the members section of this site.

When the Moon came near to Hawaii there was a semi-permanent high that had been stationed off of San Diego for about a week. As the Moon approached the position of the stationary high it shifted eastward. On the next day, the 30th of July, the Moon had moved 13° closer to the coast and the high was now over the San Joachin valley in Southern California. On the 31st of July the Moon had caught up with the position of the high-pressure area over the Four Corners area in the desert Southwest. On the 1st of August the Moon had passed the position of the high but the high continued eastward into southwest Colorado as if following the wake of the passing Moon. On the 2nd of August the Moon was over the central Gulf of Mexico and the high was still following along as it was now positioned over northern Texas. On the 3rd of August the Moon was over Florida but the high was still trailing eastward until it was stationed over Oklahoma. This position was the farthest east for the high and it was the last position over the continental United States for the Moon.

On the 4th of August the Moon was out over the western Atlantic and the high had moved back over northern Texas. On the next two days the Moon crossed into the central Atlantic and the high moved back to eventually settle over the Four Corners area.
This kind of tracking pattern can be observed many times in a given year. It greatly influences the weather patterns on the continent since the stationary high-pressure areas that guide the storm systems often come under the influence of this type of planetary influence.



This kind of lunar influence is not only linked to low latitude high- pressure areas. A look at the chart for the same time period reveals that a low-pressure area near the Great Lakes was mirroring the movement of the transiting high. On the 28th there was a low over the Minnesota border with Canada. As the Moon approached the West Coast on the 29th the low moved to the east and was producing rain in Minneapolis. On the 30th the low had tracked eastward and was now over the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, with the rain bands over Chicago. On the 31st the low was now over Hudson Bay and the rain band had moved over the Ohio Valley. The low itself settled into this position just to the south of Hudson Bay. That area is so prone to low pressure, that it is known to climatologists as the Hudson Bay low. It is a standard position for low-pressure that typically sends rain fronts down and out from its position in Canada.
On August 1st the frontal band had moved eastward bringing rain to New England. On August 2nd, the front approached the coast and slid southward towards the transiting Moon passing by over the equator. On August 3rd the Moon drew up parallel to the longitude of the front just over the East Coast of the United States. As the Moon passed off of the East Coast and out into the western Atlantic the front pulled back up to the north and began to move into the Maritime Provinces. Once again there was a remarkable coincident tracking of the motion of the Moon by an air mass.

If you would like to do an experiment in Moon observation in the coming months Doc Weather has provided the following chart of significant lunar tracking dates this winter. The spread in the dates in the chart represent the beginning position of the Moon as it passes Hawaii in the eastern Pacific and the date when it passes the Dominican Republic in the western Atlantic.

Hawaii--- Dominican Republic

December 12th-- December 18th
January 8th-- January 14th
February 4th-- February 10th
March 4th-- March 10th
March 31st-- April 6th
April 27th-- May 3rd
May 25th-- May 31st