jump to navigation

Cold Windy Aquarius 19/01/2013

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
Tags: , , , ,

Twin Cities ephemera: The power of the polar winds coming across vast stretches of treeless territory is impressive.

The day began mild (relatively): about 30 degrees F at eight a.m., with a mostly cloudy sky and light breeze. The temperature surged close to 40 by noon, with the sun occasionally peeking through ragged clouds, trying to fool people into thinking it was early spring weather. We seized the chance to transport our cockatiels and their cage to friends’ house. The neighbor next door had given the okay to go ahead with the plan to have a new living room window installed.

The wind from the northwest arrived with forceful suddenness about two p.m., with the thermometer reading about 35. Whirlwinds of leaves and trash were visible as I ventured out on some errands; pedestrians were leaning into the wind, proceeding on staggering steps. By four p.m., with gaps in the clouds alternating with brief flurries of snow, the temperature was down to 22; by six, the sky was clear, the wind was accustomed to shaking entire trees, and the temperature was down to 15.

The techno-weather folks say we’re in for 36 to 60 hours of below-zero weather—actual temperature: wind chill extra—and that this will be our coldest spell in four years.

We’ve had so many easy winters, temperature-wise, that it seems rude to be confronted with “normal” weather. I suppose we’ll find out whether or not we’re ready for the real thing.

But the overall dry pattern has resumed, after the welcome early-December snows.


The sign Aquarius has today amply demonstrated its cold and windy nature, and capacity for abrupt reversals. Mercury entered Aquarius at 1:26 a.m., followed by the Sun at 3:52 p.m.

A sharp change was symbolized by yesterday’s first quarter Moon chart, showing the Moon in the last degree of the warm sign Aries and the Sun and Mercury in the last degree of cold sign Capricorn. The air sign Libra at the crucial lower meridian of that chart forecast a rapid, windy shift in the weather, and cold Saturn relatively near the lower meridian indicated a change in a colder direction. The Moon (the crescent symbol) near the upper meridian showed that mild conditions were very near their end.



The Mercury-into-Aquarius chart, representing the new regime of wind—brief, until Mercury enters Pisces on February 5—is emphatically cold, even with Mars in Aquarius near the lower meridian. Aquarius is the coldest of the signs, and Mars is incapable of warming it up (but it can add force). The lower meridian represents the north—the upper meridian, of course, the south, the Ascendant the east—and Mercury there represents the cold wind coming from the north. (In the graphic below, Mercury is the yellow circle above a cross, with antennae; Mars is the red circle with arrow attached; both are near the bottom of the chart, Mercury to the left, Mars to the right of the vertical meridian.)



Cold and windy—that’s exactly what these charts foretell for these next two weeks. This next week, up to the Full Moon late on the 26th, appears “too cold to snow”: The atmosphere has little moisture-holding capacity. But the following week—represented by the Full Moon chart (not shown), with Capricorn on the lower meridian and Venus in Capricorn eleven degrees away—shows the potential for some significant snow. Not a major storm for this locale, however, but we’ll gratefully take whatever moisture we can get.


Long John Days 14/01/2013

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Twin Cities ephemera: The coldest week of year is upon us here in the center of the North American continent. Whoopee. At least that’s how the averages work out. And this is playing out as a fairly average winter.

We had our thaw, and a bit of rain. Six consecutive days—the 7th through the 12th—had a maximum temperature above the freezing mark. On the afternoon of the 10th, the first of a number of periods of drizzle began as the temperature crept up to 40 on the 11th. About a quarter of an inch of rain fell on the few inches of crusty snow.

Between the previous sunny days and the days of thaw and rain, nearly all snow on the south side of the garage roof melted and drained into the rain barrel that I’ve kept at the ready—no point in letting it turn into a sheet of ice on the concrete parking spot. By the time I left home for a dinner engagement on the 11th, the barrel was full, and I made a mental note to empty it into the garden when I returned. Good thing I did, since it was about one-third full again and there was already more than a skin of ice on the surface on the morning of the 12th, as I wrestled the barrel to one of my new raised beds.

And though wind chills were nasty over the weekend, the actual temperature didn’t dip below zero. (The Farmers Almanac forecast “turning sharply colder: temperatures for the Dakotas drop as low as 30 below” for the January 8th-11th period.)

The refreeze, however, means that a lot of sidewalks and patches of most streets are now treacherously slick with ice. That wouldn’t be the case if more people considered the safety of their neighbors and attended to their sidewalks with a bit of potassium chloride. I expect that behavior of neglect will shift as we all proceed down the slope from Hubbert’s Peak (see Resilience.org  and The Hubbert Tribute), and fewer and fewer people can continue the drive-everywhere lifestyle.


During the period of shortest days, I make an effort to regularly record two backyard weather observations each day—around eight a.m., before the Sun clears the trees in the yards of the houses on the next street to the east, and around four p.m., when the Sun sets behind the house to the south. So these are daytime-in-the-shade readings.

On the 7th, the morning reading was 27 degrees, the afternoon 34; by the morning of the 8th, the temperature had dipped to 24, but rose again to 34; down to 30 and up to only 32 on the 9th; down again to 30 and up higher to 38 on the 10th; 36 and 39 on the 11th; 20 and 15 on the 12th. (Officially, the temperature was still above freezing just after midnight on the 12th.)

Have a look at the bi-wheel chart below, with the winter solstice 2012 / Capricorn ingress / “temperature chart” on the inside, with the Sun, Moon and planetary positions for eight a.m. on the 7th on the outside.


(I regret that I can’t eliminate the asteroid placements in the application I’m using for this graphic.)

Notice several points: Venus (mentioned in the previous post) is exactly two degrees away from reaching the position of the Sun in the earlier chart; the Moon in the January 7 chart is approaching the Ascendant of the December 21 chart; and, in the January 7 chart,  Mars (rising temperature) is very close to an exact square (90-degree) angle to Saturn (cold temperature). The Mars-Saturn angle was exact at 1:33 p.m. Central time.

The drizzle began falling as the old Moon, at perigee (monthly closest distance from Earth) and zodiacally at eight degrees of Capricorn, was setting—the Moon is lord of the opposite sign of Cancer. Venus was slightly more than two degrees past the solstice Sun position. And Mars was two degrees past the square to Saturn.

12212012_01102013 New Moon in the cold sign of Capricorn was at 1:44 p.m. Central time on the 11th, as the temperature continued creeping up another degree or two. Over the next twelve hours, as the “heat” peaked and subsided, the Moon passed the solstice position of Mars.


 In natal astrology, Mars is considered strong (“exalted”) in the sign of Capricorn: the heat and impulse inherent in the martial “body” of humanity is typically tempered by the cautious and considered character of Capricorn. In weather astrology also, Mars’ heat is reduced in the cold sign of Capricorn.

Note that in the solstice chart Mars is in the twenty-seventh degree of Capricorn, while the Ascendant is in the twenty-seventh degree of Scorpio. Not only is that arc a nice, neat sixty degrees—indicating that Mars’ heat can be activated for this location in this season—but Mars is also lord of Capricorn: another indication of potency.

The Moon’s nature is cool, so the lunar transit of the Mars position brought the thaw to an end.

As the Sun transits the same Mars position on the 16th, we can expect a bump in the temperature. (The techno-weather folks agree.)

Then it’s time to don the long johns again.

Into the Ruins

The best in deindustrial, post-industrial, and post-peak science fiction


photos and words

Demystifying the Aquarian Age

© Copyright Terry MacKinnell All Rights Reserved

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Family Yields

one family's approach to permaculture


The weather junkie's fix.


Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency


Home of Long Range Weather Forecasting

Small Batch Garden

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Autonomy Acres

Tales From the Anthropocene * Urban Homesteading * Permaculture * DIY Living * Citizen Science


Experimental Homestead

Paul Douglas Weather Column

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

22 Billion Energy Slaves

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Strong Towns Media - Strong Towns

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

The view from Brittany

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

The Archdruid Report

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

%d bloggers like this: