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Best Crop Yet 28/11/2012

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
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It was the best of times on the southern plains, but little did those on the scene have any inkling that it was shortly to turn into the worst of times.

The spring of 1929 saw the harvest of the “best crop yet” of winter wheat. The harvest was too good, too much, leading quickly to a collapse of prices, which only goaded farmers into plowing and planting yet more—setting the stage for the environmental collapse known as the Dust Bowl that reigned through the extreme drought years of the 1930s.

The astro-meteorological chart quite accurately depicts how precarious the situation was. The Sun at zero degrees of Aries within hours had moved to complete an exact square (ninety degrees) to Saturn, in four days to do the same to Mars, within a week to conjoining Uranus. This combination of factors represents a stunning reversal and disaster to come.

The moment’s plenteous production and prosperity is shown by the conjunction of Venus (in domicile in Taurus) and Jupiter. But the imminent change, the tipping of the scale toward drought and poverty, is dramatically symbolized by the Moon, in the dry sign of Leo, ninety degrees (and one minute of arc) away from Venus; how quickly and precipitously the good times slipped away is shown by the close connection between Moon and Uranus.

Another clue to the turning: Venus’ turning retrograde ten days later. By the date of the solar eclipse, May 9, minutes after midnight, Venus had moved to the horizon of the base chart. Disaster was now beginning to appear.

The timing of the eclipse itself seems another signal that the end of an era was at hand. Plus, in astro- meteorological interpretation, the eclipse (with Jupiter) at the lower meridian means too much of a good thing: too much “nice” weather.

For a broad historical view of plains droughts in the 20th century, see this NOAA page; for a year-by-year graphical view of drought “footprints” in the United States, see this New York Times page.

[Note: The locality for the chart is the epicenter of the subsequent Dust Bowl region, in the Oklahoma panhandle.]

Mild / Dry – Chilly / Wet 27/11/2012

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
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Twin Cities weather report: The ground is only covered with thin patches of snow remaining from the squall that came through five days ago, and the worrisome drought appears set to continue through the winter. (As Paul Douglas summarizes: “96 percent of Minnesota is in moderate drought or worse, up from 36 percent in late August. Droughts are resilient things—hard to break out of, especially in winter, when frozen ground prevents moisture from sinking into topsoil.”) The very nearly Full Moon is shining brightly tonight, approaching Jupiter. Just before sundown, with my thermometer already in shadow, the temperature registered 32F; this morning, however, saw a fairly dramatic rise in temperature: 22 at 8 a.m. to 30 at 10 a.m., as clouds rolled in for most of the daylight hours.

No precipitation came—none expected, not with fire sign Aries on the lower meridian for the local first quarter Moon chart. We’re still under the Libra ingress chart, which promised an overall dry season.

The local Full Moon chart (for the week beginning tomorrow morning) also shows Aries on the lower meridian, though with Uranus this time offset thirteen degrees to the east—Uranus is potent (see previous post) for the longitude thirteen degrees west of here: right through Denver. It will be interesting to note what sorts of atmospheric turbulence and weather swings manifest in that zone. For here, generally dry and unseasonably mild conditions can be expected.

The Northeast, already beset by Superstorm Sandy and subsequent storms, appears due for yet another round of wet weather, as indicated by the Venus-on-the-meridian line running through that zone, just east of New York. But it’s not just Venus, because she—associated with wet conditions, accentuated by now being in water sign Scorpio—is now conjunct Saturn—indicator of persistent cloudy, chilly, gloomy conditions with bleak easterly winds. The territory from roughly Washington to Boston and to the north is due for cold rains near the coast, and troublesome snows inland.

In addition, the close connection between Venus-Saturn and Mars brings more force to the rainy and snowy conditions, making travel more difficult and dangerous in that region. With the travel signs of Sagittarius and Gemini involved in this Full Moon / lunar eclipse, well, both commuting and long-distance travel are likely to be notably hampered through this period.

(Having finished the body of this post, I scroll down Douglas’ long page and note the HAMweather summary. It seems to bear out the gist of the astro indications: the six-to-ten-day temperatures are showing the center of abnormal warmth over Colorado, including Denver, and the chilly zone over northeastern New York and New England.)

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