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Will the weather put you in a Valentine’s Day mood?

Science shows it’s a possibility

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The history of Valentine’s Day goes back to the Middle Ages, and while we don’t have actual weather records from back then, historical papers show this was the time when birds were mating and the environment was very spring-like. So it was warm-ish.

In fact, not to touch on the entire history of the day of love, but some believe it was celebrated in the middle of February to celebrate the anniversary of the death or burial of St. Valentine. There are other times in history that say it was the celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman God of agriculture Faunus.

Visitors wearing a face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 admire statues in the Rome Capitoline Museums, including the second century A.D. Roman marble statue "Cupid and Psyche", at right, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. In Italy, museums were allowed to reopen this week for the first time since early March, but few were able to receive visitors immediately as management continued working to implement social distancing and hygiene measures, as well as reservation systems to stagger visits to museums in the onetime epicenter of the European pandemic. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Visitors wearing a face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 admire statues in the Rome Capitoline Museums, including the second century A.D. Roman marble statue "Cupid and Psyche", at right, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. In Italy, museums were allowed to reopen this week for the first time since early March, but few were able to receive visitors immediately as management continued working to implement social distancing and hygiene measures, as well as reservation systems to stagger visits to museums in the onetime epicenter of the European pandemic. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Regardless of why it’s celebrated, the weather had something to do with it. Now in modern times, it can still impact how someone may or may not feel about Valentine’s Day.

Given these historical periods and the warmer weather, most people were happier during this time because it was warmer.

Does the arrival of warmer weather, like in spring and summer, make us happier?

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Psychology studies suggest yes. Although weather impacts are small, they still can make a difference.

The American Meteorological Society Journal published a paper by Yoshiro Tsutsui entitled Weather, Climate, and Society and Individual Happiness. The findings of the paper, as seen in Table 1, show temperature had the highest correlation with happiness, followed by sunshine. The study was conducted over a year and a half period with over 32,000 observations. To see details of the full publication, click here.

How much sunshine or how warm individuals may prefer depends on where they reside. So yes, this information can change. Impacts to individuals can vary since everyone is different. Too warm outside can lead to more irritability, too cold can make someone feel sad too. It’s almost like a Goldilocks situation, right?

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Table 1. Descriptive statistics. (Note: The number of observations is 32 125.)

Taken from: American Meteorological Society Journal: Weather, Climate, and Society. Volume 5, Issue 1. Weather and Individual Happiness. Published June 2013. Author Yoshiro Tsutsui.
Table 1. Descriptive statistics. (Note: The number of observations is 32 125.) Taken from: American Meteorological Society Journal: Weather, Climate, and Society. Volume 5, Issue 1. Weather and Individual Happiness. Published June 2013. Author Yoshiro Tsutsui. (© American Meteorological Society. Used with permission.)

Warmer weather has shown to have indirect positive impacts on mental health too. For instance, people are more likely to go outside for a walk or exercise if the weather is comfortable and sunny. Exercise leads to more endorphins and like Elle Woods said in “Legally Blonde,” “Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.“ Not that Miss Woods’ character was a doctor, but the quote fits.

According to an article written in Psychology Today, Facebook researchers found that more “new relationships” happened in February, right after Valentine’s Day. As the months got hotter, the relationship statuses changed. In fact, as it got hotter more relationships broke apart. Funny how we associated spring with love and winter not so much.

It doesn't have to be the latest high tech gear, but anything that gets you moving stimulates endorphins and elevates your mood.
It doesn't have to be the latest high tech gear, but anything that gets you moving stimulates endorphins and elevates your mood. (iStock)

Yet, February is still in winter. According to The Kim Foundation, since winter days are shorter and have less sunshine, the human bodies produce less serotonin which is the happiness molecule inside us. In fact, their studies showed more melatonin is produced during this time which is associated with sleep and depression.

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A person wearing a face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walks during a winter storm near the Robert Indiana sculpture "LOVE" at John F. Kennedy Plaza, commonly known as Love Park, in Philadelphia, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A person wearing a face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walks during a winter storm near the Robert Indiana sculpture "LOVE" at John F. Kennedy Plaza, commonly known as Love Park, in Philadelphia, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

So, will someone love Valentine’s Day based solely on the weather that day? It’s quite possible when people are grouped as a whole, but it depends on the individual, and where they live can have a big impact, too. It’s a very complex question that is studied quite a bit.

To see how you’ll feel on this loved-filled holiday, check out the Valentine’s Day forecast for Central Florida by clicking here.


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