For ages man has attempted to make sense of the changing aspects of the Sun, Moon and their possible influence on our ever-changing weather. Can a lack of sunspots ultimately lead to a trend toward colder temperatures? Can the changing phases of the Moon and its distance from Earth lead to stormy periods? Or do the movements of the planets have any control over our climate and weather? Can we really put any credence in
the forecasts that are issued annually by such publications as the Old Farmer’s Almanac or by other so-called long-range weather experts? The answers may surprise you!
Joe Rao was a television meteorologist in the Hudson Valley, appearing weeknights on News 12 Westchester. He has also been an assiduous amateur astronomer for over 45 years, with a particular interest in comets, meteor showers and eclipses. He is a contributing editor for Sky & Telescope and writes a monthly astronomy column for Natural History magazine as well as supplying astronomical data to the Farmers' Almanac. Since 1986 he has served as an Associate and Guest Lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. In 2009, the Northeast Region of the Astronomical League bestowed upon him the prestigious Walter Scott Houston Award for more than four decades of promoting astronomy to the general public.