We know that the Moon plays a significant role in our lives on Earth, from lighting up the night sky to setting the times of the ocean’s tides. But a new study suggests that our favourite cratered satellite also influences something else on our planet: the chances of rainfall.
Scientists from the University of Washington looked at 15 years’ worth of data supplied by NASA and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite owned by Japan’s space agency. They found that when the Moon is high in the sky, it creates ‘bulges’ in Earth’s atmosphere that cause a slight change in precipitation levels. The higher air pressure created by each oscillation leads to an increase in temperature, and because warmer air can hold more moisture, that means less chance of rain.
“As far as I know, this is the first study to convincingly connect the tidal force of the Moon with rainfall,” said one of the researchers, Tsubasa Kohyama. “When the Moon is overhead or underfoot, the air pressure is higher… it’s like the container becomes larger at higher pressure. “However, “No one should carry an umbrella just because the Moon is rising,” he adds. The variations in rainfall levels are so slight as to be almost imperceptible to most of us. Source: The Moon’s phases really do impact rainfall on Earth, study finds