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We have to wait until 2020 for the full moon to fall again on October 31st. Image: Hans Richard Henkes, DWD
Halloween names the folk customs in the evening and the night before the "Solemnity" of All Saints' Day, from October 31st to November 1st. Contrary to the opinion of many, this custom does not come directly from the USA, but was originally celebrated in the areas of the British Isles that remained Catholic. It was only through the Irish immigrants that they found their way across the Atlantic to American soil. At the end of the last century "Halloween" found its way back. Before it became known among children and young people in Germany, however, the custom stopped in France. The custom of decorating and setting up pumpkins also originated in Ireland. The pumpkins with their grimaces should scare off evil spirits and provide some light in the entrance area of the houses. The tradition of children going from house to house and asking residents to give them sweets with the slogan "Trick or Treat", however, developed in the USA.
The Protestant Christians, on the other hand, commemorate the Reformation by Martin Luther on October 31. On the day before All Saints' Day in 1517, he is said to have posted a total of 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg in Latin on indulgences and penances. Reformation services are usually supposed to commemorate the events on the evening of October 31st.
Whether the children and young people are looking for sweets, older generations go to horror parties or evangelical believers find their way to church, everyone is at least indirectly dependent on the weather. But how is it going now?
At least during the day, a strong high pressure area "Quinn" ensures friendly and dry autumn weather after hesitant fog clearing in parts of Germany. However, the fog or high fog cover is so thick in some places that it remains gray on gray all day. The temperatures are in sunshine with 13 to 21 degrees for the season on a very mild level. Only in permanent fog does it stay significantly cooler with values mostly below 10 degrees. In the night of November 1st, the fog thickens again in many places, fitting for Halloween, and creates a spooky atmosphere. Night owls in the middle and south should also wear a thick jacket on their scary trip. While the lows in the north are 8 to 12, the temperature in the southern half can drop to values between 6 and 0 degrees, especially when clearing up from time to time.
The inhabitants of Ireland, where the beginnings of "Halloween" can be found as described, come off a little worse when it comes to the weather. There today light rain must be expected during the day, which then takes on a shower-like character at night. Since there is also a moderate to strong wind whistling, the jacket must be rain and windproof there. At temperatures around 10 degrees, however, the inner skin can be removed.
In America, residents from the east to the west coast can look forward to sunny and dry weather in many places. Exceptions are the north-west of the country west of the Rocky Mountains and the regions around the great lakes. There it can also be cloudy more often and rain a little from time to time. A few snowflakes can also fall on the border with Canada. The temperatures of sometimes 0 degrees on the border with Canada at Lake Superior and 23 degrees in San Francisco show an autumn temperature level. Further south, the temperatures from Florida to the Mexican border with values between 23 and 34 degrees are still in the midsummer range. At night, however, it can get very cold, so visitors to evening events should protect their bodies with a thick jacket there too. Only south of San Francisco and on the east coast of the USA, from Washington to Miami, the temperatures remain in the mild to warm range at values between 10 and 20 degrees even at night, so that thermal protection is not absolutely necessary. But there are a lot of clouds with repeated rainfalls and thus make for an uncomfortable, dreary weather.
Whether in Germany, Ireland or the USA, I wish everyone a happy "Halloween" or a reflective day of the Reformation.
Dipl.-Met. Lars Kirchhübel
German Weather Service
Prediction and advice center
Offenbach, October 31, 2014
Copyright (c) German Weather Service
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