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Moon cycles, a summary


The moon has many cycles, with smaller cycles contained within larger ones. They range from 3 hour pulses which correspond to how often a shower may occur on any one day, to 100,000 years. There are about a dozen significant cycles for weather, but the three main ones have been the chief concern of our longrange almanac weather forecasts, and the rest are more relevant to seasons and climate. 

The three principal cycles are the new moon to new moon which we all can see, which is called phase, and at time of writing, 6 February 2012 we are in 1stQ phase. The phase is about the timing of the airtide and tells you what time of day, rain or any other extreme event like snow, tornado, hailstorm, freak downpour or destructive gale, if about, more often than not will be more likely to occur. For instance, the 1stQ phase is when the moon is absent from the sky between midnight and the following noon, and this tells you weather events are more likely overnight and before lunch, wherever you happen to be in the world, remembering that the whole world rotates beneath the same moon every 24-hours.

The second cycle is the declination which is the moon's crossing between the hemispheres every 27.3-days, due to the 23.4deg tilt of the earth. Declination tells you the direction of winds and therefore temperature ranges that may be generated, depending on what latitude you live at. It tells us what time of the 27.3-day month more than usual rain and/or wind are most likely to occur. On 3 February the moon was furthest north at about 22deg N latitude, but today, the 6th, has come down to 16deg N, so NZ has got warmer air coming but the UK and Ireland will be receiving a cooler snap. The northern half of Australia is more affected by northen declination, which brings higher maximum temperatures, which means more evaporation and in turn leads to more rain. This does not help the N QLD flood situation. The southern half of Australia is more affected by southerlies coming to the Bight, and is less affected by northern declination.

The third is the perigee cycle in which the moon comes closer to earth on a 27 day beat. The last perigee was on 18 January. Perigee exaggerates the effects of the season wherever you are, so if you are experiencing summer then hotter temperatures may arrive, which crerates evaporation which produces rain, and if you are in winter then you can expect colder conditions which may result in snow. Perigees (allow a day or so either side) also bring the next largest earthquakes, and on 19 January a 5.8mag struck the bottom of the South Island of NZ. On 17 January a 4.1mag hit Christchurch. The 1931 Napier earthquake struck on the day of perigee, the 4 September Christchurch earthquake struck 3 days before perigee and 22 February was 2 days after perigee. On 18 January 2012, gale force monsoon flows and cyclones developed across Australia and in the N China Sea.

Because all these lunar factors are predictable, just using basic knowledge of astronomy we can put it all together and come up with predictions for trends in weather. The combinations of the cycles are obviously also predictable and combinations also recycle in the same way that tides do. The combinations are governed locally by the same tide cycles as the tides at the beach.

Here at these are some of the methods we employ, and we would like to think that the method for predicting weather may be shared and discussed, especially in classrooms. It is a whole different way of thinking about weather, because we have been incorrectly taught by knuckleheads that weather is a random process. Of course it is not, any more than tides are. The moon method is useful because then we can make decisions about farming, skiing, fishing, gardening, in fact anything we plan to be doing outside some time in the future, and we don't have to waste money waiting for particular unwanted weather to arrive or stop. It is no more ooky spooky nonsense or witchcraft than is the looking at tide tables. The method is commonsense and logical and everyone can do it themselves. You do not have to have a special university degree; you only have to have an interest and the willingness to learn something new.

Our 230-page book Predicting Weather by The Moon has been out of print since 2002, except in pirated copies, but is free to download here and has reached an estimated circulation figure of approximately 100,000 worldwide both from the legitimate publishing of the hard copy and from internet distribution figures, and excluding the bootlegging on Amazon and other online sellers. Find the book free to download here at:

Click here to view free PDF for all  Moon Cycles from 2012 to 2014



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