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The Telegram

CINDY DAY: Howling up a storm

Dennis Curran took this beautiful picture of the waxing crescent moon over Cherry Hill, Lunenburg County N.S. just after sunset on December 28.  Venus shines like a diamond in the sky at the top left-hand side of the photo.
Dennis Curran took this beautiful picture of the waxing crescent moon over Cherry Hill, Lunenburg County N.S. just after sunset on December 28. Venus shines like a diamond in the sky at the top left-hand side of the photo. - Contributed

We are one day away from the full moon. I could have waited until Friday to tell you about this month’s full moon that will rise as the sun sets tomorrow evening, but cloud cover will keep most of us from seeing it. I thought you could have a look this evening – it will be 98-per-cent full.

I love the name, too: the Full Wolf Moon. Many years ago, we used to hear wolves howling across the frozen acreage on the farm in Bainsville, Ont. Grandma used to say that if the wolves were howling, there was a storm coming. The howls were haunting and echoed in the night.

An average howl from a single wolf lasts three to seven seconds and longer during the breeding season in February. So wolves are particularly loud and vocal in the first months of the year, which is probably why people associate the month of January with howling wolves.

It turns out another sky-related occurrence might cause a similar ruckus. Big storms bring with them a change in air pressure, so some experts believe this weather adjustment hurts sensitive canine ears, causing them to howl in pain. So perhaps Grandma was on to something…

If you’re sensitive to air pressure change, you could be excused if you decide to howl at the moon tonight. There’s another developing storm system on the way. More on that later…

While you’re out there admiring the moon, check out Venus. Venus is the brightest planet and you’ll find it glowing in the western sky after sunset. It’s the only bright planet to light up our cold January evenings.

If you’re an early riser, you might want to check out Mars; Mars is the only bright planet to adorn the predawn sky throughout January. This month, Mars rises about three hours before the sun.

There’s a lot to see and only a narrow window of opportunity – there’s more messy weather on the way for the weekend.



Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network


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