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Dramatically Different 23/04/2013

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The day dawned bright, with last night’s thick snow clouds receding to the east, and with every branch and twig and wire coated with the wettest, stickiest snow there can be. Not for long. For today at least, the scene outside is almost unbearably bright.

Yesterday morning, I could wait no longer to plug most of my kale “trees” into one of my raised beds. On Sunday, I set them, still in their plastic containers, outside for another dose of the real world; they got rained on and spent the night outside for the first time. They’re hardy little guys, but they become way hardier big guys: I looked up the section on kale in Steve Solomon’s Gardening When It Counts, which says kale are hardy to six degrees Fahrenheit. I dare say that applies to the other end of the growing season.

With the prospect of more snow coming as I labored with freezing hands, I considered and prepared supports for laying a tarp to keep the snow from breaking them. But I gave that up, figuring the snow would probably collapse the tarp and break them that way. So they’re out there, out of sight. I suppose I’ll know by sundown how they fared.

There are so many other garden projects underway or planned that I can hardly wait for this snow to disappear—and for no more to fall! There’s at least one more trench to dig and fill with tree branches before the rest of the veggies go in the ground. There’s a big plastic can in the garage half-full of vegetable scraps accumulated through the winter, to add to the compost pile. There’s the area to dig up and plant with herbs. There are all those big and medium-sized rounds of silver maple wood that need to be stacked up somewhere out of the way. And all those twigs—I realized that bundles of them were just being picked up by the regular trash collectors to go to the trash burner downtown next to the Twins’ Target Field and the hip North Loop residential/entertainment neighborhood (an unlovely combination to contemplate). So rather than bundle up the rest, I think I’ll let them dry a bit, then burn them and add the ash to the soil right here. Recycling: That’s the idea.

Checking the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (aka CoCoRaHS), confirms what a predictably wet—and cold—lunation week, beginning the 18th, this has been. (One can find a reporting station fairly near one’s own location.) There have been three precipitation events: 0.95 inch of moisture on the 19th, 0.17 on the 21st, and 0.47 on the 22nd—a total of 1.59 inches. The average precipitation for the month of April is 2.25 inches. Throughout the state, temperatures on the morning of the 20th set record lows: 21 here, 11 in Duluth, -14 (yes, that’s a minus) in Embarrass.

But the weather regime is due for an abrupt change. The week marked by the Full Moon (lunar eclipse) will be notable for some nasty storms—the axis of the Full Moon also includes Mars and Saturn. But, thankfully, it looks like a week of respite for us in this region.

From my study of many of these lunation charts and observing the weather patterns, I am becoming convinced that the lunations—the new, quarter and full moons—indicate more than moisture potential. The contrast between this past week’s and the coming week’s (beginning on the 25th) charts is dramatic.

The chart for the first quarter on the 18th featured the Moon in water sign Cancer, where she is most at home, and on the lower meridian, with the energetic Sun-Mars conjunction in Aries. Hence the train of storms, the cold temperatures—still no sixty-degree temperature and high level of precipitation.

1Q-April-2013-Mpls

The full moon / lunar eclipse chart features dry, warm Sagittarius on the lower meridian.

FM-April2013-Mpls

(This was also the case with the season chart for the strangely dry, warm winter of 2011-12.) Jupiter, lord of Sagittarius, is in the opposite sign and sector of the chart—at last warmer air pours in from the south.

Let’s enjoy it. I think we’ve earned it.

– Pete(r) Doughty –

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