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Poor Will's Almanack: December 31, 2019 – January 6, 2020

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Although the  character of an entire season is difficult to predict, particular periods of the winter are subject to lunar forces that affect tides as well as the severity of storms.

The first major storm period of the New Year (after the New Year’s Eve weather)  can be expected to occur between January 9 and 14, when the continent is subject to full moon as well as to perigee, the moon’s position closest to Earth.

The next storm period arrives at the end of the January thaw with the new moon coinciding with the second-last front of the month, around January 24 or 25.

Although the Groundhog Day Thaw (around February 2) is expected to provide some relief for early February, the cold is likely to return by February 4, and then on February 9 and 10, full moon and perigee will almost certainly bring severe Supermoon conditions. A significant thaw will occur in the middle of the month, but Snowdrop Winter will stifle the spring’s progress around new moon, February 24.

Then on March 9 and 10, another Supermoon situation occurs with full moon and lunar perigee taking place so close to one another. New moon on March 24 will also create troublesome conditions for farmers and gardeners.

And then a Supermoon on April 7 will bring frost deep into the South, threatening fruit trees and early seedlings.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Deep Winter. In the meantime, pay attention to full moon and new moon times this winter and spring.  They will bring high weather tides throughout the country.

For more information, order The Weather Book of Poor Will’s Almanack.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.