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Flash Drought 09/06/2017

Posted by zoidion in forecast, Photography, Weather.
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orange-fungus_17052017

Twin Cities ephemera: The clouds or rain were nearly ever-present through the month of May: perfect conditions for the emergence of strange and unusual life forms, such as the fungus on a juniper tree, shown above. 

The wettest period accounted for a full five inches of rain falling on my backyard, between the fifteenth and twentieth of the month: the time of the fungi.

One of those mornings, a bit of movement caught my eye: a goldfinch (I think) swooping and alighting on one of my rings of chickenwire in the garden. I stood mesmerized for minutes as it pecked again and again at . . .  something. When it flew off, I went to the spot: Apparently, it had been picking individual freshly-formed seeds off a dandelion.

Given all that moisture, the vegetative growth erupted even more than usual, the hops plants taking the prize, as usual. The most vital one has sent many shoots seven feet up the vertical strings, and  now racing each other across the horizontal wires above the deck: the leading ones about eight feet out.

Through it all, I kept watch on the soil thermometer, awaiting a minimum sixty-five degree reading before transplanting young pepper and tomato plants. (Tomatoes in particular are notorious for disliking “cold feet” — and I don’t blame them.) The temperature had reached that mark by the end of a sunny spell at the end of April, before dropping back to the fifties under all that rain, through many gloomy and chilly days and nights.

There was no surprise for me in reading that the month’s average temperature had broken a twenty-month string of above-average temperature.

The reign of rain ended fairly abruptly, as expected, with the New Moon of 25 May at five degrees of Gemini: at the lower meridian of the season chart. Nearly every day since been entirely sunny and significantly warmer — many quite pleasant, with three days reaching ninety degrees thrown in. (Tomorrow, according to the techno-weather folks, should be a humdinger of heat and humidity, before storms start erupting.)

AR-ing_NM-Gem2017

The New Moon — Luna engulfed in Sol’s warming and drying radiance — marked a dramatic shift in the season’s weather. One added feature — Mars at the upper meridian at the local New Moon moment — signaled: more heat.

The warming and drying were welcome, but now the lengthening list of zeros in the precipitation reports are cause for concern.

Following today’s Full Moon, Luna moves past Saturn, signaling — as a month ago — a stormy spell. But the overall pattern of dryness is likely to hold through the summer.

As observed here previously, the horizon and meridian are essentially the same — every year — for the Aries (spring) and Cancer (summer) ingresses.

To spell it out: The recent New Moon (Sol dominant) at the lower meridian of both spring and summer charts is a strong indication that increasingly dry conditions will prevail. (A region of moderate to severe drought is already established in the Dakotas — centered approximately on the Standing Rock reservation, where eight months ago thousands were gathered to protect the precious waters of life — and expanding. See the U.S. Drought Monitor.)

How silly now are the echoes of those local meteorologists who declared, in mid-May, that the region was practically “guaranteed” another wet growing season. Oh really? — I thought.

-<zoidion>-

[ Recent reading: Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha, 2010; A History of the Future, James Howard Kunstler, 2014; Majipoor Chronicles, Robert Silverberg, 1981. Recent listening: Jean-Luc Ponty, “Enigmatic Ocean”; Emmylou Harris, “Red Dirt Girl”; David Byrne, “Rei Momo”; Neil Young, “Greatest Hits.” ]

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