ASK TOM WHY: Is there a strong correlation between a full moon and cold fronts in the Chicago area?

Dear Tom,

 

I have noticed a strong correlation between a full moon and cold fronts in the Chicago area. Your thoughts?

 

Steve Ceskowski, Beach Park, Ill.

 

Dear Steve,

 

The phases of the moon have no effect on the movement of air masses or fronts. (A “cold front” is the leading edge of an advancing mass of cold air.) There is absolutely no correlation between the occurrence of a full moon (or any other lunar phase) and the arrival of a cold front or its passage across the Chicago area.

 

We posed your question to Triton College astronomer Dan Joyce. His comment: “Just about the same correlation as full moons and pink elephants! It’s possible someone may notice those full moons just because the sky clears so often after a frontal passage. Of course, if the sky clears during a new moon it would not be noticed, right? Tricks of the mind.”

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