Pneumonia Weather in Raleigh

January 23, 2012

I first heard the term pneumonia weather many years ago from the handyman at one of my old jobs. He is an older man, probably in his late sixties, and we would often take a break together and talk while drinking some coffee.

Having never heard anyone say that before, I asked him what he meant by Pneumonia Weather.

He said it was the ups and downs in temperatures that would lead people to leave the house wearing clothes that are not correct for the climate. So, when it is 70 one day and 40 the next, you might leave the house wearing shorts expecting it to be 70, only to be fully unprepared for the cold. This would in turn lead to an increased risk of catching a cold or possibly(?) pneumonia, although I think pneumonia probably isn’t something you would catch right away.

What is Pneumonia Weather?

After a little research, I found an article on Pneumonia front, which is a term that dates back to the sixties and was used to describe an extreme change in temperature that results in a thunderstorm or other weather occurrence. These would occur around Lake Michigan and Milwaukee and could result in damage to buildings.

Other sources indicate the in the past, people thought that warm weather in winter caused you to get sick. So, parents would insist their children always wore jackets during winter, even when it was very hot outside. It seems that the immune system can be affected by these swings, so there may be some truth to this, although wearing a coat during unusual hot times is probably not the ‘fix.’

Weather Swings in Raleigh

Regardless of the entomology of the term, the weather around Raleigh this year has been so full of ups and downs. It seems like it will be 70 one day and then close to freezing the next, and January is almost finished.

With, apparently, no end to the yo-yo weather insight, it looks like this week with be much of the same. This weekend was cold and drizzly, with off and on rain, but by the end of the week, we are supposed to be back to the sixties.

I am ready for the cold, as my favorite time of the year is when I can break out the thermals again, but it seems I will have a little longer to wait for the nice freezing spell. One issue with these changes is that bugs, like fleas, that would normally go away during the winter months are still present now. As purely anecdotal evidence, which I would like to research when I get some time, I have observed some pretty significant changes in weather around the Triangle over the 20+ years I have been living here.


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