There are many old wives’ tales and examples of ancient folklore that people still believe in without any scientific proof. However, the theory that the phases of the moon actually impact the amount of rain that falls has now been proven to be factual. It is important to note that moon phases cannot be reliably used to predict major weather events such as tsunamis, but lunar changes can help explain minor variations in rainfall levels.
Scientists have been looking into this possibility since the 1960s. As a result, there has been enough evidence found to make a link between slight rainfall increases after the occurrence of the new and full moon phases.
More recently, a research team from the University of Washington has carefully combed through 15 years’ worth of data compiled by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and NASA, and their findings are very intriguing for weather enthusiasts. In brief, we now know that the odds of rainfall increase shortly after the new or full moon have passed and we enter the next lunar phase.
Interestingly, the difference between these lunar phase changes and the rest of the month is so minimal that most people probably would not even notice it. All of the data that has been collected indicates that the rainfall increases by a mere 1 percent due to the influence that the moon has on the Earth’s atmosphere.
With such a minor variation, it is difficult to understand how or why humans going all the way back to the ancient Zunis made a connection between the moon and rain. It is easy to assume that early farmers making the first attempts at agriculture were more closely linked to exact amounts of rainfall due to a lack of alternative watering techniques, but it still seems hard to believe that people noticed a 1 percent difference.
Regardless of the origins of what was long believed to be a myth, the reality is that this scientifically verified information may improve modern meteorological systems and make it easier to accurately predict rainfall amounts. However, the phases of the moon do not appear to exert enough influence over the Earth’s rainfall for it to make a viable difference in the context of droughts and other natural disasters.
In fact, having the moon fully overhead increases the amount of weight placed upon the Earth’s atmosphere. In turn, this increases the air temperature, which makes the divide between each air parcel’s moisture level and capacity become further apart. The end result of this process is actually a slight dip in rainfall.
Overall, the main takeaway from this newly published research is that the moon’s phases have an impact on the Earth. However, the 1 percent increase in rain that happens twice per cycle is most likely counterbalanced by the slight dip that occurs at other times. Ultimately, being aware of these scientific facts may help you better plan for outside events, but the slight variation is so minor that it is not necessary to keep rain gear with you simply because the new or full moon has just passed and the waning or waxing phase has begun.