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Whole Lotta 09/02/2013

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The sky is cloudy, the air relatively mild—just under freezing—and calm as the area awaits an expected mess of freezing rain and heavy snow. Where the dividing line forms will determine how much mess any particular spot gets.

I think most people would vote for snow. I certainly would.

But that’s a far cry from what has socked eastern New England in the past couple of days.

That was one impressive storm, and that’s easy to say when I sit half a continent away, with my computer running, the lights lighting, and the furnace efficiently burning and blowing fossil fuel heat through the house. A fair number of folks on the Massachusetts coast lack all these luxuries at the moment.

Unofficially, snow amounts exceeding thirty inches have been recorded at several locations near Boston, and one just west of Portland, Maine. Some places, at times,  received snowfall at the rate of three to six inches per hour. Some experienced the rare phenomenon of thundersnow.

And that’s not even mentioning the wind factor, which was considerable.

I’m so glad that I correctly determined that the Full Moon weekend, two weeks ago, would be a dry one for me to visit the Boston area.

So what are the indications for a whole lottta wind and wetness there at this time?

The season chart, as always, forms the basis of any understanding, and the base of it: the lower meridian, the indicator of the conditions that “precipitate” at that location and the vicinity. The lower meridian for the winter solstice chart has the sign Aries there: a fire sign, therefore dry. (It was certainly dry when I was there, and from what I’ve read the winter had been nearly snow-free.)

But there are a couple other major factors in play: Uranus very near the lower meridian (indicating a highly unusual event, perhaps a record-breaker, probably considerably disruptive), and the Moon, also in Aries (denoting that at some point, moisture would arrive in force).

Mercury on the Ascendant of the season chart promised a windy and changeable winter, and at least one major wind event.

The lunation chart shows the moisture potential: what week the most moisture would arrive. The fourth quarter chart—cast for 3 February, five days before the storm hit—shows the area’s readiness in several ways. First, the water sign Cancer is on the lower meridian—in the chart graphic, the upper meridian is shown by the black circle with the vertical line through it, within the middle ring. Second, the “lord” of Cancer, the Moon, is also in a water sign, Scorpio, and conjunct the chilling planet Saturn. Also, Uranus in the fourth quarter moon chart is conjunct the Ascendant (shown by the circle with the horizontal line through it, in the middle ring); this says that the unusual event would be due during the week between the last quarter and the New Moon on 10 February.

The potential for freakish heavy “downfalls” (as George J. McCormack, author of A Text-Book of Long-Range Weather Forecasting, liked to say about precipitation events) is represented in the lunation chart by the close conjunction of Mars and Neptune, with Mercury close behind to add the wind factor. The Mercury-ingress-into-Pisces chart (the outer ring) makes this unusual combination graphically dramatic.

The clincher is the Moon in the Mercury ingress chart: Moon is on the Ascendant of the season chart. In effect, the Moon is saying: Okay, let’s get it done. Let’s dump a whole lotta moisture HERE!

CapIng-4QFeb-MercPis2013

[Addition 10 February: The Farmers’ Almanac forecast for Zone 1 Northeast includes this: “8th-11th. Unsettled; light snow and flurries. 12th-15th. A major Northeast snowstorm develops; some accumulations could exceed one foot; strong winds cause blowing of snow.” I wonder why it’s a few days late in timing the major storm? As for my area, I tend to look at both “Zone 2 Great Lakes & Midwest” and “Zone 4 North Central.” But neither one clued me in to the very wet mess that arrived today: For Zone 2, it’s got “8th – 11th. Flurries: for the Great Lakes; changeable skies elsewhere.” For Zone 4: “8th – 11th. Fair, then flurries over the Plains east.”]

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Comments»

1. bwfannin - 10/02/2013

Look at the Sidereal Capsolar Ingress for the CONUS 14 Jan 2013 @ 22:17:10 UT

zoidion - 10/02/2013

Could you elaborate?

2. Bert Fannin - 10/02/2013

I see that you have included the graphic. How does one do that in a post?


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