We are having a wonderful warm spell just now, which is unusual for this part of the world. I’ve been calling it an Indian Summer, but what is an Indian summer? I pondered the thought over my breakfast, and does the term Indian denote American or Asian Indians?
The past few mornings have been rather nippy, and misty but the sun soon burnt it off and it got out. It was so warm today I have been grinding glass in the garden all day. According to The Old Farmers Almanac the criteria for an Indian Summer are as follows:
- An Indian summer day is warm and hazy, there is no wind, the barometer is high, and the nights are clear and chilly.
- A moving, cool, shallow polar air mass is converting into a deep, warm, stagnant anticyclone (high pressure) system, which has the effect of causing the haze and large swing in temperature between day and night.
- Warm days must follow a spell of cold weather or a good hard frost.
- These conditions must occur between St. Martin’s Day (November 11th) and November 20th.
So it’s not really an Indian Summer , but where does the saying come from?
OFA says the Algonquian Native Americans believed that an Indian Summer was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their south western god, Cautantowwit. Or the very early settlers in New England would welcome the arrival of cold wintry weather in late October when they could leave their stockades unarmed. But then it would suddenly turn warm again, and the Native Americans would decide to have one more attack so the settlers called it “Indian summer.”