Feeling a bit too warm to pick apples or take a foliage viewing hike the last couple days? Some may call what you’re experiencing an Indian Summer.
What is an Indian Summer?
Does it have anything to do with Indians? Are we experiencing one now?
Well, that depends on how you define Indian Summer. There may not be a true definition – Indian Summer can be defined as simply as “a period of warm or mild weather in late autumn or early winter.” Other, more specific definitions say an Indian Summer is a period of warm weather that comes in autumn after the leaves have changed color and after the first frost.
But how did this atmospheric phenomenon become associated with Indians?
The name Indian Summer has a multitude of possible origins. An article written by a weather historian from the National Weather Service in Michigan sites several explanations for why the warm weather period is named after America’s indigenous peoples. One idea is that the Native Americans chose this time of year as their hunting season since the warm weather encouraged the animals to be out and about. Another idea suggests that the predominant warm southwest winds that accompanied the period were seen by the Native Americans as a blessing from a god in the southwestern deserts.
Learn more about the Indian Summer by reading this article!
Whatever you want to call it, or however you want to define it – we’re experiencing an awfully warm autumn this year! If anything, I like to look at it as extending the amount of time we can spend outside without sporting heavy down jackets and pink noses!