"And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain . . ." Deuteronomy 11:13-14A little elderly woman told us a couple weeks ago that the news man said it was going to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. I wondered if she only thought she'd heard that. Didn't God make a promise never to do that again and establish the rainbow as a reminder? (Genesis 9:13)
Later, we heard other people mentioning this forty days of rain thing, and it was attributed to some saint. I didn't have time to research it, and today our ward missionary sent an e-mail with the information explaining it. He didn't know I was wanting information about it. Hum, inspiration? It is as I guessed, something like our Groundhog day. Below is the educational piece for the day.
St Swithin's legend - will it rain for 40 days?
By Paul Simons
It's with some trepidation that we watch today's weather, because this is St Swithin's Day. According to the legend, if it rains today another 40 days of wet weather will follow. But if the weather is fair, then it will stay dry for another 40 days.
St Swithin's Day, if it does rain
Full forty days, it will remain
St Swithin's Day, if it be fair
For forty days, t'will rain nae mair.
This may sound like a load of hocus-pocus, and a study by the Met Office showed that St Swithin's forecast failed every summer for 55 years. But there is a grain of truth to the old folklore because summer weather patterns tend to settle down into a pattern around the middle of July and then persist for the rest of the summer, until late August. The extraordinary thing is that it holds statistically true around 7 out of 10 years.
Perhaps a more accurate, if less poetic, St Swithin forecast would be:
"St Swithin's Day, if it does rain, then expect several weeks of fairly unsettled weather, but if it is fair, then there's a good chance of warm, dry conditions."
In fact, this is one of the most noticeable bits of predictable seasonal weather in the whole year, which explains why St Swithin's rule is widespread through western Europe. In France it is known as St Gervais's day (July 19), in Germany St Margaret's Day (July 16), the Belgians have St Godelieve (July 27), The Dutch have St Henricus on (July 15), and there is St Gallo in Italy (July 15).
The dry mane is her glory. It is not a bad wet hair day.
A lone poppy in the field. No rain on the petals.
Even a thistle can be lovely. No raindrops here.
There! Here are your three witnesses that there is no rain in England at least during this brief one hour period. Oops, I feel something dripping from the heavens. Perhaps it is only an angel crying.