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Forecast Spring 2014 28/02/2014

Posted by zoidion in forecast, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: Today is the last day of winter–well, meteorological winter: The coldest quarter of the year is December through February.

But there’s no sense or sign that the cold and deep snow pack will be melting away anytime soon. 

Since last week’s heavy snow, many walkways and roadways have been in–shall we say–challenging condition. Two full days after the clouds cleared, the notorious I-35 through Minneapolis was a washboard surface of hard-packed snow and ice, with the temperature too low for the chemicals to work at melting it; traffic moved along at thirty miles an hour. A friend pointed out: It’s like travel was eighty years ago. Even major through routes remain in fair driving condition. Many municipalities have been maintaining passage by spending money earmarked for next winter: Something’s gotta give, but there’s little public talk yet about that.

The word from those who tabulate the numbers is that this winter already is number six on the list of winters in number of days/nights with below-zero minimums, with a total so far of forty-five. Chances appear good that the eventual total will exceed the forty-eight days with below-zero minimums racked up in 1935-36.

The temperature has been below the freezing mark for over ninety percent of the time since December 1, 2013. And yet, in the Twin Cities area, there has not been a single new record-low set. Strange . . .

On the other hand, the local National Weather Service office has issued a forecast indicating that new records may be set for coldest daytime high temperatures in the first week of March.

As for frost in the ground, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has been monitoring the depth of frost near Monticello (site of one of the state’s two nuclear power plants), and reports that frost has reached between seventy and seventy-five inches. Call it six feet. Whew! That could and probably will make the snowmelt period–assuming the sun does manage to penetrate the polar vortex–a flood period.

Two words summarize the prospects for spring weather through this region: cold and wet.

The meteorological terms that have become prevalent of late are apt to be repeated ad nauseum: The wavy jet stream over North America remains stuck, allowing Arctic air masses to pour south over the eastern two-thirds of the continent. (A good video about the jet stream phenomenon, featuring Jennifer Francis, is here.)

Global climate disruption in this season becomes greatly intensified and irrefutable to all but the most profoundly deranged. In general, existing trends are reinforced: Those areas that have been cold and wet remain so, only more so, and drought-stricken areas enter crisis conditions.

Aries Ingress 2014

Season chart indications: Virgo on lower meridian signals cold, blustery trend; ruling planet Mercury in opposite sign, Pisces, with Neptune, symbolizing cold and wet conditions conducive to flooding, especially through prolonged snowmelt period, punctuated by additional heavy snows/rains, with deeply frozen soils; water sign Cancer rising with ruling planet Moon in water sign Scorpio with Saturn, and Moon occulting Saturn during night following solar Aries ingress; Mars (ruling Sun sign Aries and Moon sign Scorpio) retrograde and exactly opposite place of most recent lunar eclipse.

Week by week to early May:

Fourth Quarter Moon: 24 – 30 March

Stormy, turbulent

New Moon: 30 March – 6 April

Somewhat warmer after abrupt chill expected 1 April, dry until end of week

First Quarter Moon: 7 – 14 April

Very wet, stormy–carrying over from end of previous week; mark calendars for 10 April in particular for dangerous rain/snowfall

Full Moon (Lunar Eclipse): 15 – 21 April

Gradual tapering off of clouds and precipitation, slightly warmer, becoming windier

Fourth Quarter Moon: 22 – 28 April

Lingering precipitation through 25th, then slight drying; windier conditions carrying over from previous week

New Moon (Solar Eclipse): 29 April – 6 May

Very wet and windy conditions hampering agriculture and transportation/communication

Stay aware, keep safe.

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Comments»

1. Dave of Maryland - 01/03/2014

The old farmers have noted the retrograde Mars and are predicting much warmer than average temps in April out your way. Much colder in March, though.

I wanted to play up the California rains in Monday’s newsletter but found the farmers to have completely missed the west coast forecast altogether. For the whole season. Which makes me think they’ve not got some detail right, as they should be lots better than completely wrong out there.

Pete - 02/03/2014

Dave,
It’ll be most instructive to see how it plays out. I’m inclined to expect the Mars effect to have impact through zones where Mars is strong: near the meridian or near the horizon. But that doesn’t hold for the midsection of North America. McCormack seems to agree: “The geographical meridian where Mars happens to be on the lower meridian of the solar ingress just prior to the time of perigee [Sun-Mars opposition, Earth in the middle] should be computed as the point where maximum effects may be expected to manifest, secondly, the upper meridian or where ascending or setting.”
Mars is on the lower meridian for Aries ingress 2014 through Greenland (!!) and eastern Brazil. I think we can expect big news about accelerated melting of the Greenland icecap, even more than climatologists have been talking about for some time.
The very warm and dry winter of 2012 here was marked by Mars rising in the Cap 2011 ingress: record warmth came in March 2012, around the time of Sun-Mars opposition.
I note how severe the season has been all over, and the Cap ingress 2013 chart had Moon square Saturn in fixed signs; the spring one has Moon applying to Saturn (again both fixed signs) in the same sign as the most recent solar eclipse, Moon also applying to occult Saturn–I take this to mean the world is entering a much greater degree of crisis.
(I neglected to pick up the Farmers last fall, so I’m flying solo.)


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