In the knobs, tradition says that the twelve days beginning on December 26 and ending on January 6 are the “ruling days”. On those days, the old people say, the weather in the coming year depends, each day corresponding to a month. Thus, December 26 rules January of the new year, and so on.
Mom usually observes this tradition by writing down what each day’s weather brings. This year, she’s in a skilled nursing facility, receiving physical therapy, and I took it upon myself to write down each day’s weather. The list looks a little something like this:
January (ruled by December 26): Cold, snow laying (the snow we had Christmas Day still hadn’t melted), cloudy and windy.
February (ruled by December 27): snow remaining; bright sun but cold as whiz!
March (ruled by December 28): sunny and cold. (The snow was melting by this day as temps rose.)
April (ruled by December 29): temperatures in the forties, snow melting, but cloudy and no sun.
May (ruled by December 30): warm (temps in the fifties); early clouds, but sunny late in the day.
June (ruled by December 31): warm, with temps in the sixties; cloudy and rain threatening.
July (ruled by January 1): warm, with temps in the sixties and, early in the day, a thunderstorm, lightning, windy, heavy rain.
August (ruled by January 2): sunny and muggy.
September (ruled by January 3): bright and sunny but chilly, with a light breeze and heavy frost.
October (ruled by January 4): dull and cloudy, but sun comes out late in the day; rain moves in late. Late in the day birds were gathering in in great flocks.
November (ruled by January 5): clouded up over a frost. Temps in upper 30s and rain off and on most of the day.
December (ruled by January 6): bright and sunny but cold.
In the course of these twelve days, there were three other interesting (and to knobites, something to keep an eye on) phenomena, the first of which is the thunderstorm that brought in the new year. The old people say that if it thunders in January we’ll have snow within ten days.
Birds gathering in great flocks, noted on January 4, whether perching in trees or on electric wires, is a sign of coming bad weather, says the tradition.
The third, on January 5, is that notation clouded up over a frost; a sign of bad weather, the old people say.
Well, for what it’s worth–meteorologists are forecasting an eighty percent chance of snow in the eastern part of Tennessee tomorrow–well within the ten days heralded by a thunderstorm, and warned of by the birds and clouds over a frost.
As for the rest of it, we’ll just have to wait and see.