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Failure to Forecast 05/06/2016

Posted by zoidion in Climate, Event, Long Emergency, Photography, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: Now that June is here, I seem to detect (or imagine) a slowing-down in the growth of the remaining grass in the back yard. When it does get about six inches tall and starts going to seed, I have to get out the weed whip and whack away. That’s a tiresome chore, when there are plenty of others waiting.

Such as getting (hopefully) protective chicken-wire around the kale and broccoli plants that are tasty treats for the woodchuck. Yes, another one has set up unwelcome residence. At last I got the entrance plugged to the space under the shed, but this one decided to just excavate a den under the woodpile.

It hadn’t shown much interest in the vegetables, but found the tops of milkweed plants quite delectable. So the yard may not have much to feed the monarch flutterbys this year. Not good. I’d gladly do my part to provide habitat for a new generation.

Now there’s a small patch of faux prairie out there, following a visit to the annual Landscape Revival event. Six plants each of meadow blazingstar and fireweed make a start — native plants, unlike so much that have found the soil and climate conducive. And out front, a shadier place near but not under the Colorado spruce (dying by degrees: a dumb choice, made by a former owner, for this climate), one each of sweet joe-pye weed and big leaf aster. May they have happy homes in company with the cup plants, daylilies, azuga, wild ginger and solomon’s seal.

The forecast for the upper Mississippi valley area for the week following the Full Moon was on the verge of dire: Expect a siege dumping two to three inches of rain.

Well, that didn’t pan out. No place around here got dumped on, and my backyard gauge registered slightly more than one inch over a five day stretch that included two no-precipitation days.

So much for the much-touted computerized weather-forecasting models, at least in this instance. Instead, east Texas got hammered — again. As much as nearly twenty inches of rain over two days, producing major flooding, a slew of emergencies and a few fatalities. Significant rain had been forecast, but the computers completely missed the potential for severe weather.

The irony is that Houston is at the forefront of the widening controversy and political gamesmanship over denial of climate disruption and the urgent need to sharply reduce pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels.

Maybe, as Robert Scribbler suggests, the computers are unable to factor accelerating climate change into specific unfolding weather events.

“A basic understanding of atmospheric physics in a warming world points toward an increasing risk of extreme rainfall events as El Nino transitions to La Nina. . . . However, current weather forecasting appears to be completely unaware of or unwilling to report on this new risk.”

As with the increase in wildfires and the length of the wildfire-risk season, this situation bodes ill for the capabilities of emergency response teams.

Let’s have a look at the applicable astro-meteorology.

The base chart, as usual, is the season chart: in this case, the Aries 2016 solar ingress. It shows a classic indication for the likelihood of heavy rain and flooding events: a Venus-Neptune conjunction in watery Pisces near the lower meridian. (This factor is most potent for the longitude of Cincinnati and Atlanta.)

In addition, the other symbol for moisture — the Moon — is near the upper meridian in the season chart. This factor is most potent for west Texas and points north and south.

Austin-Waco-Houston — the epicenter for these torrential rains — is in between.

Indications for the Full Moon week and for the start of the torrent on 26 May seem less emphatic.

True, it was a rather unusual Full Moon: in exact conjunction with Mars, a potent indication of very abnormal warming, but not for Texas. (That’s been happening across Asia and Siberia and into the Arctic: See Robert Scribbler’s post “Siberian Heatwave Wrecks Sea Ice as Greenland High Settles In.”)

The Full Moon chart for Houston showed Pluto near the lower meridian, showing potential for an extreme / destructive event.


Through the week, however, Mercury — the wind indicator — was hovering within the same degree of the zodiac: The end of its three-week retrograde period occurred on 22 May, the day after the Full Moon. In addition, Mercury was occupying a position one-third of the way from both Jupiter and Pluto: what astrologers call a “grand trine.”

This is reflective of newly strange and persistent wind patterns. As Robert Scribbler described it:

“[By 26 May] an expansive trough had extended down from Canada and over Texas. Exploiting this hole in an increasingly weakened Jet Stream cool, Arctic airs plunged south. Crossing the Great Plains into Texas, this unstable atmospheric mass came directly into confrontation with a super-heated, moist flow rising off the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean.”

At the same time, Jupiter — having ended its four-month retrograde period on 9 May — was hovering around the same degree as it opposed Neptune (and each at a right angle with Saturn).

This is / has been a most unusual configuration, appropriate for a period of accelerating disruptions on climatic, ecological, economic, political and cultural levels. In that sense alone, it is entirely appropriate that the vast and vulnerable metropolis of Houston was a target.

But there are strong links and parallels between the current sky configuration and that at the date of Houston’s incorporation, 5 June 1837. For instance, on that date going on two centuries ago, Jupiter opposed Neptune, with Saturn at the square point, just as they are now (in different zoidia). It is no exaggeration to say that Houston is now in the cosmic cross-hairs.


Maybe that hard rain — in the Bob Dylan sense: “a hard rain’s a-gonna fall” — was a message from Gaia to the oil industry to get its collective head out of its collective lower gastrointestinal tract. (Like the recent wildfire that engulfed the Alberta oil patch town of Fort McMurray.) But is that likely? Nah.


(For a view of what is really happening worldwide via stories covered in the business and alternative media, tune in frequently to the Rice Farmer.)

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