Using Wind to Predict the New Year

By , December 31, 2012

At the turning of the year, as I gather the coming year’s astronomical data and track the weather, as we do at all times, I have been thinking of an old saying among the Highland Scottish that predicts the coming year’s weather based on the wind on New Year’s Eve:

“If New Year’s Eve night and wind blows south,
It betokeneth warmth and growth;
If west, much fish in the sea;
If north much cold and storms there will be
If east, the trees will bear much fruit;
If north-east, flee it, man and brute.”

Food for thought here, I suppose. I can equate much of this to our local weather over the homestead. A south wind “betokeneth” warmth, generally, so growth’s a given. We rarely get any west wind. If we do, it comes over the ridge, and we don’t get much of it. The fish would certainly be welcome, though. North wind usually does mean cold and storms. East wind, another rare one for us, as it would come directly over the Coast Range, would also be welcome. We’d love it if our cherry trees bore much fruit. Any fruit would be great!

That last line gives one pause, however. “Flee it, man and brute.” Okay, we’re running as fast as we can—but why? I’d love to know the origin of that warning.

Lately, any of these winds would be welcome. Our wind generator’s stuck in furl yet again. That was no problem during the high winds, when our battery bank still got a full charge from the reduced power coming in. In lighter winds, though, we’re not getting much. I had hoped that a recent switch to the south and the resulting thaw would loosen the generator as it has in the past, but so far, while it has crept toward a straighter alignment, it has yet to fall back into normal operation. It’s been days since we’ve had a full charge, and the battery level is dwindling.

In fact, as I compose this on the last hour of my one remaining computer battery, there’s some question whether we’ll get this posted in time. We know there are many greetings from family, friends, and blog readers that we’ve had to ignore for the moment, unable to stay on line long enough to offer a meaningful reply. We can’t run our Christmas lights as much as we’d like, nor can we play Christmas music as often as we’d wish. Our headlamp batteries are dwindling, and most of our light comes from our oil lamps these days.

It’s so common for us to have a power defecit at this time of year for one reason or another. It’s become a part of our seasonal cycle, which I suppose is appropriate . . . if annoying. We love our connections to what we call “Big N” Nature—the land, the water, the seasons and the weather. I suppose that every year at this time, we’re reminded that that connection means taking the good with the bad. That’s a timely reminder at the turning of the year.

Happy New Year!

4 Responses to “Using Wind to Predict the New Year”

  1. Linn Hartman says:

    Happy New Year – Hope 2013 is good for you folks – Also hope that you get your wind generator working and able to get the batteries charged. I have read some articles on the Trilo boats site and surprised to read that the winds aren’t as strong and steady up there as I thought they were.

  2. neighbor says:

    The wind is from the South… Can I be hopeful for a better garden year in 2013?
    Happy New Year!

  3. Mark Zeiger says:

    Absolutely! Guaranteed! Although, with as warm as it’s been all of a sudden, it seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

    Happy New Year to you, too!

  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    Happy New Year, Linn. We’re back on line after some messing around today–surely it’ll show up on the blog soon.

    Winds are hard to predict here. They always seem to be too much until we want to sail somewhere, or charge a battery. Murphy is the evil genius of Alaska.

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