European weather wisdom about October tends to focus on storms. Unlike tropical and sub-tropical areas, where storms are addressed in warmer months,
Northern Europe tends to be afflicted by hard winds and thunder storms in the late fall. The fear of lightening is a particular issue in much of this advice.
For instance, in Scandinavian influenced areas it was considered wise to set aside work with metal objects, whether they be cauldrons or anvils, until a lightening storm had passed by. The notion is that the lightening indicates the God of Thunder, Thor, is toiling at his forge. Distracting him with our own puny concerns could incur his wrath via lightening strike. Obviously, since a lot more of this type of work was done out of doors in earlier times, the advice is well taken. Carrying a bit of green moss on one’s person was thought to avert the possibility of being caught unawares by a sudden lightening storm.
In other seafaring cultures, particularly in Celtic fishing villages in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Northern France, the day’s storms were judged by the ability to sew for local sailors. It was said that if one awoke to heavy rain with sun, it was wise to judge the rest of the day by stepping outside and looking up. If there was a large patch of blue sky open and visible – large enough to allow plenty of light to cut and sew a pair of pants – then even the fiercest storm would subside by midday. If, on the other hand, only ribbons of blue sky were seen between gray clouds, it was no good to put out to sea as the storm would not subside and could very well get worse.
Header: The Storm by Pierre Auguste Cot c 1860