Pat Shingleton: "Wind Set-Down and the Passover Moon"
“Wind setdown” occurs when strong winds blow over water, shifting the water body downward and dropping the water level on the upwind shore. Weatherwise Magazine identified an episode of “wind setdown” in 1882 when Major-General Sir Alexander B. Tullock was surveying coastal areas of the Red Sea. His experience was comparable to that of Moses in 1250 B.C. Researchers believe that “wind setdown” is comparable to a hurricane’s storm surge. Every few years, on the western end of Lake Erie, “wind setdown” events have dropped the lake by 2 meters. At Cedar Key Harbor in Florida in September 6, 2004 a 1 meter drop in water level occurred as Hurricane Frances passed. It then rose 1.5 meters above sea level in nine hours. Also of note, Passover began Tuesday evening at 7:18 PM. When the Moon rose last night at 6:48 PM, its illumination was 99.1% and its illumination tonight will be 100%, fulfilling an official full moon. One school of thought suggests "light" was needed for the Jewish people to leave Egypt, in the middle of the night, and begin their journey out of bondage. Some believe guiding them in the darkness was a full moon, referred to as the Passover Moon. In their journey, they may have endured a hot, dry, irritating wind called a sirocco. A sirocco can become a full-fledged sandstorm, penetrating cracks and withering crops. The moon phase remains a factor when Easter occurs during the Liturgical year. Approximately forty days ago was the beginning of Lent.