Equal days and nights have me thinking about what I'm planning for my next project. It tells us (at least in this part of the Earth!) that winter is not far away. It is the Autumn Equinox, and after today the nights grow longer. Daylight at the Equinox is slightly longer than the night, partly because the Earth’s atmosphere bends sunlight hidden just under the horizon.
At the poles the equinox marks the transition from 24 hours of night to 24 hours of daylight. And at the equator, the Equinox marks the moment when the Sun is directly overhead.
Since ancient times, people thought the Equinox influenced the weather. Storms hit in late summer during the first Roman invasion of England by Julius Caesar in 55BC, leaving him short of seaworthy ships and exposed to the risk of being stranded in England for the winter without provisions. In his account of the Gallic wars, he wrote: “Since the time of the Equinox was near, he did not consider that, with his ships out of repair, the voyage ought to be deferred till winter.” It is just that storms are more frequent in the autumn.
Another piece of folklore comes with Saint Matthew’s Day, September 21, a key date for forecasting the coming months: “Matthew’s Day, bright and clear, brings good wine in next year.”
And according to The Unique Bedside Book of Weather Lore: “A quiet week before the Autumn Equinox and after, the temperature will continue higher than usual into the winter.” In fact, the weather on September 20, 21, and 22 is supposed to dictate the weather for the rest of autumn. Given the great weather at the moment the prospects for the rest of the year look good.
So what are your thoughts on the Equinox? Is it a time of year that you do special things or work on future plans?