The legend of 40 days of rain

rain

Legend has it if it rains on the 15th of July it will rain for 40 days continuously. Because today is St Swithin’s day.

St Swithin’s Day, if it does rain

Full forty days, it will remain

St Swithin’s Day, if it be fair

For forty days, t’will rain no more

St Swithin

St Swithin was an Anglo-Saxon bishop who died in 862. He was made a saint over 100 years later and his remains were dug up and moved to a shrine in a cathedral on July 15 971 in Winchester.

Legend has it this so outraged St Swithin he caused it to rain uninterrupted for 40 days and nights.

Apparently though this only applies to the UK & Ireland.

But here is the thing, similar legend exist in other parts of the world.

France and Germany have  St Gervais day, which is on July 19, where it is also set to rain for 40 days

In the Netherlands they have Maria Siep on July 2/ Which is according to legend and the bible (Luke 1, 39-56) when Mary visited her cousin Elisabeth,the mother of John the baptist, Mary told Elisabeth on that visit that she was expecting a child who we now know would be called Jesus.The original day was July 2, but the Catholic church changed this feast day in 1969 to May 31, because July 2 was only 1 day after another feast day, the birth of John the Baptist. However the weather gods kept on July 2nd, hence if it rains on that day, guess what? Yes it will rain for 40 days in the Netherlands.

maria siep

Well it is raining in Ireland today(finally after nearly a month of no rain), so legend has it we will see a lot of rain for the next 6 weeks, although the weather forecast says we will have no rain tomorrow.

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Black Monday- April 13 1360

King-Edward-III-black-monday

You often hear the term ‘the coldest winter,or hottest summer on record etc’ but the oldest ongoing instrumental record of temperature in the world is the Central England Temperature record, started in 1659.

Although I am not disputing the climate change, the fact is there have been climate changes  or freak weather events ever since the world has existed.

On Easter Monday, 13th April 1360, a freak hail storm broke over English troops as they were preparing for battle with the French during the Hundred Years’ War. So brutal was the storm that over 1,000 men and 6,000 horses lost their lives that night. Convinced it was a sign from God, King Edward rushed to pursue peace with the French, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

The-Combat-of-the-Thirty.jpg

In April 1360, Edward’s forces burned the Paris suburbs and began to move toward Chartres. While they were camped outside the town, a sudden storm materialized. Lightning struck, killing several people, and hailstones began pelting the soldiers, scattering the horses. One described it as “a foul day, full of myst and hayle, so that men dyed on horseback .” Two of the English leaders were killed and panic set in among the troops, who had no shelter from the storm.

Edward-on-the-battlefield-black-monday

French friar Jean de Venette credited the apocalyptic storm as the result of the English looting of the French countryside during the observant week of Lent.

On May 8, 1360, three weeks later, the Treaty of Brétigny was signed, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

The legacy was mentioned in Shakespearean work:

“It was not for nothing that my nose fell a- bleeding on Black Monday last, at six o’clock i’ the morning.” —Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, ii. 5.

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The 27 Minutes global warming event.

Fall from Lookout

To be honest the ‘global’ in the title might be a slight exaggeration but it was a freaky weather event nonetheless in fact the freakiest weather event.

Imagine bundling up to get the newspaper on an early morning at 7:30 a.m. with the temperature at a frigid -4 degrees.(−20°C).

Just two minutes later as you are letting your dog out to stretch his paws on the lawn, you notice that the frigid air you walked out the door into is not so frigid anymore. You look at your thermometer and the temperature has shot up to 45 degrees.

Spearfish holds the world record for the fastest recorded temperature change. On January 22, 1943 at about 7:30 a.m. MST, the temperature in Spearfish was −4°F(−20°C).

Which an investigator concluded was “the result of the wavering motion of a pronounced quasi-stationary front separating Continental Arctic air from Maritime Polar air”, possibly contributed to by a chinook wind. After peaking at 54 °F at 9:00 am, the temperature was back at 4 below zero by 9:27. At Rapid City, temperatures rose from 5° to 54° in twenty minutes (9:20am – 9:40am), so rapidly that buildings were experiencing winter on one side and spring around the corner.

The Chinook wind picked up speed rapidly, and two minutes later (7:32 a.m.) the temperature was +45 °F (+7 °C) above zero. The 49 °F or 27 °C rise in two minutes set a world record that still holds. By 9:00 a.m., the temperature had risen to 54 °F (12 °C). Suddenly, the Chinook died down and the temperature tumbled back to −4 °F or −20 °C. The 58 °F or 32.2 °C drop took only 27 minutes.

xChinook.jpg.pagespeed.ic.1sFYO5pwEN

The sudden change in temperatures caused glass windows to crack and windshields to instantly frost over.

Extreme winter maxima in the district are remarkably warm for its latitude and on January 19, 1921 Spearfish reached a remarkable 79 °F or 26.1 °C, not only the hottest January temperature in South Dakota on record,but almost certainly the hottest temperature recorded in or near mid-winter anywhere so far from the equator.

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