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Fracking Awful 18/09/2013

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

Twin Cities ephemera: The season has definitely turned. The last pretend-summer day, the “heat-spike” day (9 September, when the temperature officially reached 94), actually served notice that summer is over. 

The first region-wide rain in more than two months arrived on the 14th, putting a small dent in the drought. With chilly winds since then out of the northwest, more cloudy hours than in previous months, and markedly shorter days, there’s no denying that winter–the defining season in these parts–is beginning to come into view. 

The first of the seasonal allusions to the “gales of November” (as in the Gordon Lightfoot song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”) are in the air, along with references to centennial observances of the “White Hurricane” that struck the Great Lakes region, killing hundreds of lakeboat sailors.

Yes, weather is often a life-and-death matter.

A fresh example of that timeless truth: the deluge that descended on Colorado’s Front Range last week. At Boulder, half a year’s rainfall came over the course of several days as a “stuck pattern” conveyed a stream of moisture across northwest Mexico from the Pacific Ocean. (See the water vapor satellite loop of 12 Sept. at this address.)  A map of rainfall totals (a benefit of the volunteer CoCoRaHS network–see link at right) is at this Denver Post address.

But much more has happened than the destruction of homes, displacement of people, washing away of roads and bridges. There is also the spreading damage from the release of toxic chemicals associated with hydrofracture gas drilling–there are thousands of such wells in the affected region, hundreds in flood plains; chemicals from the wells and above-ground tanks have for the past week been pouring into the South Platte River–a tributary of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The well-pocked high plains town of Greeley (as in Horace “Go West, young man” Greeley), which has received much of the water from the Front Range, is a major disaster area.

So this is a big-impact event, comparable to Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, though it appears that the major news media have thus far largely maintained a blackout on reporting of potential environmental effects. So far, it’s taken the efforts of some renegades–such as Texas Sharon–to bring this aspect of the situation forward.

But while attention is drawn to Colorado, and areas downstream, it is important to recognize that similar threats are present in many other areas. (See the maps of US oil and gas fields.)

Some are less obvious. One is not so far upstream from where I sit: the Alberta Clipper pipeline, operated by the increasingly infamous Enbridge Energy. Activists have been busy in opposing a proposed “upgrade” that would enable a greater volume of highly corrosive Canadian tar sands oil to pass through the pipe, crossing the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota on its way to a refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. (One story here.)

It’s beginning to dawn on more folks that this stuff–the entire fossil-fuel industry–is perilous to everyone and everything in the vicinity: that what we’ve come to depend on and take for granted is making us sick, and not just humans. Folks who live in Minneapolis are getting a reminder that ALL of their drinking, washing and lawn-sprinkling water comes out of the Mississippi River. How prepared are local agencies and the general population for a spill here?

Indications of time and place of the Colorado deluge were present in the charts for the season and for the week when the rains began. (Did any astro-weather practitioners there anticipate it?)

One principle in evaluating season charts is the “condition” of the planet that “rules” the Sun–when the Sun enters the sign Cancer at the start of Northern Hemisphere summer, that “planet” is the Moon. (Sun, obviously, is the prime symbol for temperature, Moon for moisture.)

In summer 2013, the place of Luna was 27 Scorpio 53, signaling crisis and and themes of destruction–Luna is “in fall” in Scorpio. (Consider events in Syria, for example.)


For Greeley, the seasonal place of Luna was matched by the lower meridian (opposite the circle with the vertical line) in the New Moon chart for 5 September. (The rains began on the 10th, when the Moon was again in the latter half of Scorpio, and continued into the 12th.) The potential for destruction and disruption was also indicated by several other factors in the season chart: Mars and Uranus connecting by close degree with the Ascendant, and the place of the previous lunar eclipse as well as Neptune connecting with the meridian.

To help in recognizing indications of exceptional weather events, consider the charts relevant to the flood disaster that struck nearby Fort Collins in July 1997, when, on the night of the 28th, ten inches of rain fell in less than six hours. (See also my post on the Alberta flood earlier this year. Alberta again . . . )


In the season chart, the Full Moon, the most elevated body in the nighttime sky, was “in detriment” in Capricorn. Venus (a lesser wetness indicator) appeared on the crucial lower meridian (the bottom, the “grounding” of the chart) in water sign Cancer, in opposition to Neptune, an indicator of freak conditions. That trouble was brewing was shown by Mars and Saturn–the two prime troublemakers, breakage and sorrow–in opposite and unfavorable signs, Libra and Aries; by late July, they were very close to exact opposition.

In the first quarter Moon chart, they appeared across the horizon (the Ascendant is marked by the circle with a horizontal line); the first quarter Moon itself was little more than one degree from the season horizon, plus both Sun and Moon were in close configuration with disruptive Uranus. Two more points: the meridian was aligned with the seasonal places of Venus and Neptune, the Lot of Fortune (representing the state, or not, of physical well-being) exactly with Venus (which in turn ruled the sign now occupied by the Moon).

The signs were there, for both areas, for both times. The skies inform and forewarn.

<- zoidion ->



1. Dave Roell - 24/09/2013

Hello Pete, my thanks for keeping me posted and for all your good work. I’ve spent the last two weeks in what seemed like a life and death struggle with Lightning Source which is maybe now resolved.

I was looking just now for Carolyn Egan, Weathersage.com, and was surprised to discover her website is gone. Is she alive and well and in good health, do you know? I hope you know, I hope for the best.


2. Dave Roell - 24/09/2013

Carolyn has been found! Her site is now here: http://weathersage.wordpress.com/


zoidion - 25/09/2013

Thanks, Dave. I wasn’t aware of her wordpress site. She’s also been posting on the Weathersage Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348751231802952/

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