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Winds of Change 30/08/2012

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
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Twin Cities weather report: Two in a row. I’m talkin’ about days above 90 degrees F. Haven’t had that in about a month, and folks are grumblin’—not me. I know that by mid-September we could have frost here, and I’m keenly aware that, more than two months past the northern hemisphere summer solstice, the length of day and angle of sun are back to what they were about mid-April. So our growing season is definitely winding down. After very hot and dry weather during the month of solar Cancer, and a welcome rainy spell in the first part of August, conditions have turned quite dry again. I haven’t found astrological indications of such patterns.
It’s quite revealing, how green my former lawn is—in ten years of residence here, I’ve never used any herbicide or watered it, so now it’s quite a biologically diverse space. On my north side, my neighbor’s “TruGreen” lawn has lots of brown areas, despite application of vast amounts of water; plus, the Japanese beetles, after feasting on the leaves of his alpine currants (they didn’t seem to notice the three black currants I got started this year, one from a cutting) and the volunteer buttercups on my side, have now burrowed into his turf and are feasting on the roots. On my south side, my neighbor has a fresh small carpet of turf that he’s keeping watered: looks like yummy fare for next year’s JBs. On my side, the ferns have all gone brown, and the large colony of purple-and-white-flowered cousins of jewelweed under the spruce tree are starting to wilt; the thick layer of birch leaf mulch helped sustain them this long, but it seems their water supply is running out.  Another casualty has been one of the two main vines on one of the three hops plants I put in this year; I found it wilting a week ago, thinking at first I hadn’t watered it enough, but the next day I discovered that some critter—most likely a tree-rat, aka squirrel—had gnawed it most of the way through. Yesterday, I plucked the drying hops fruits off it, stuffed some inside a sock and stuffed that inside my pillow. I picked up that bit of old-time folk wisdom from a recent episode of the Kunstlercast—I did sleep better last night than I did the previous few.

Want to be more awake / better informed about the big changes? One of my favorite sources is the Energy Bulletin.

There’s a nifty wind map I’ve just discovered, via Paul Douglas’ weather blog. Here’s the link. (My browser function has slowed to a crawl, though, since I called it up.) Today’s quite clearly shows the circulation around tropical storm Isaac, still dumping a lot of rain on the lower Mississippi River valley. Another thing it shows is that where I am is along the boundary between cool Canadian air and a blast of hot air coming from the southwest. Will we get any rain out of it? Will Isaac pump any of his moisture this far?

Douglas doesn’t seem to think so, and I have to admit the circulation into Isaac doesn’t suggest it. But his blog does a good job of putting our regional crazy-quilt of conditions, as well as hurricanes, into perspective:

We’re all accustomed to crazy extremes in Minnesota. This isn’t San Diego. But 2012 has been a baffling year for huge variations over relatively small distances. State climatologist Greg Spoden notes ‘extraordinary spatial variability in rainfall across the state.’ A 1 in 500 year flood for Duluth, while severe drought grips southwestern counties. ‘Very few Minnesota locales have experienced a “Goldilocks Scenario,”’ Spoden added via e-mail. It reminds him of 2007, when over half of Minnesota’s counties were eligible for USDA drought assistance, while southeastern counties were part of a federal flood disaster declaration. Remarkable.

Isaac proved that even a Category 1 storm can be catastrophic. People fixate on wind speeds, when the SPEED of the hurricane is what’s critical. Isaac made an 18 hour loop, coming ashore TWICE, prolonging extreme rains; nearly 20” for some towns.

Can astrology account for which areas get adequate rainfall—or too much rainfall—within an area the size, say, of Minnesota? How can astrology identify which areas of seacoasts get impacted by hurricanes during a given season? Hindsight is less than golden.

One thing, though, stands out on the US astromap for tomorrow’s Blue Moon conjunct Neptune (a very watery Full Moon): both the Uranus-descending and Pluto anti-culminating lines pass through Louisiana, which is already being inundated. It could be that the next round of disruptions—foretold by the second exact Uranus-Pluto square on 19 September—will emanate primarily from there. How much will Isaac affect petroleum extraction and refining? Will the President tap the strategic reserve again, to hold down fuel prices in the runup to a hotly contested election?

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