University of Washington’s Team of Geophysicists has said that the amount of rain that falls on the Earth has a connection with the Moon. The study published in the Geophysical Research Letters, says that the lunar forces have a minor impact on the amount of rainfall that the Earth receives.
The researchers say when the moon is at its highest point in the sky; it leads to atmospheric bulges, causing changes to rainfall. The corresponding author of the study and a UW doctoral student in the atmospheric sciences, Tsubasa Kohyama said that it might be the first study that provides convincing evidence between the tidal lunar force and rainfall. He further adds that this phenomenon occurs due to the small oscillation in air pressure.
Kohyama was studying atmospheric disturbances and waves when he discovered about slight oscillations in air pressure caused due to lunar forces. He along with his fellow author, have been working on the study for past two years.
Earlier references of moon’s effect on rainfall
It is not the first time that the scientists have noticed changes in the air pressure due to Moon phases. Evidence suggest that it was first detected in 1847 and then in 1932. According to a new study, whenever the Moon is underfoot or overhead, the pressure of the air is higher. This newly discovered connection between the Moon and air pressures establishes that air pressure is directly affected by the Moon phases and can lead to lighter rainfall.
When the pressure of the air is higher, its core temperature is hotter than normal, and since air can hold more amount of moisture at a warmer temperature, such conditions lead to rainfall. Lower humidity cannot hold moisture and hence is not favorable for rainfall.
The researchers took help of the data from NASA and the Japanese Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite from 1998 to 2012 to come to this conclusion. Although the findings do indicate that lunar forces affect the rainfall slightly, the change is just 1%.