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Reality Check 19/05/2018

Posted by zoidion in agriculture, forecast, Long Emergency, urban agriculture, Weather.
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That really is a three-dimensional book, out standing in its field. (Har-har.) Two-hundred-fifty-eight pages, including index, seventy-five charts and twelve photographs. It really does have my name on it, down at the bottom. (And not to worry—unduly: The scene does show a glorious sunset—or is it sunrise?—below the ominous clouds and streak of lightning.)

To give newer followers more of a sense of my perspective and intentions behind the book, here is the portion of the introduction that appears on the back cover:

Tracking and studying weather has been a perfect fit for my on-the-ground efforts. If a cool summer is indicated for this mid-latitude region, I plant more broccoli and forget about peppers. One-hundred-fifty-some blog posts have served as witnesses.
Often, I couldn’t help but include observations about the anticipated context for astro-meteorology: relying on direct observation and a few—eventually hand-calculated—charts for less detailed weather forecasts through a season, in the absence of a system of satellites and far-flung computerized analysis. In other words, greater local self-reliance.
In August 2017, I journeyed to St. Louis to witness the total solar eclipse: a most amazing and moving experience. Soon after returning, the idea came to me: to select my “best of blog” posts, add some new material to fill in some gaps, and have it printed in book form. Amazingly, a title popped into my head and has stuck.
And here it is. May it serve to help you navigate the bumpy passage of the unraveling industrial civilization.

Speaking of weather indications, the primary one for any region is the lower meridian — the bottom of the season chart — and any planets close to it. For this region, the lower-meridian zoidion is Leo, of the fire triplicity —for spring and summer. Hence the core expectation for hot and dry conditions.

Around here there have so far been several warm spells, into the mid-eighties Fahrenheit. No nineties yet. (As I mentioned a while back, I think real heat won’t reach here until the New Moon in June.)

The main factor has been dryness, accompanying the welcome sun after a fairly severe winter, and second-coldest April. When the sky cleared after a three-day snowstorm in mid-April, the sky spigot has been nearly shut off, as the storm track has shifted south. (A friend in the Detroit area reports that cold rain has been the norm there; the trees are still only halfway leafed-out. There, the season chart shows cooler Virgo on the lower meridian, Neptune at the upper meridian, and watery Cancer on the ascendant.) That snowstorm coincided with a New Moon in conjunction with Uranus, signaling unusual cold in its immediate aftermath, followed by a reversal of the weather pattern.

In my backyard, the early vegetables are “in” and the cherry and pear trees have blossomed, yet after all that snowmelt—and localized river flooding—the ground is already alarmingly dry. So I’ve been judiciously tapping the water barrels to help the transplants and incipient fruits.

The U.S. Drought Monitor site shows about half of Minnesota abnormally dry, and the southwestern drought area reaching now into southern Iowa. We’re talking Corn Belt and feedlot territory. Watch for a glut of cheaper meat, followed by shortages and steep price increases. The weather will likely take a bigger toll on soybeans than the ongoing trade wrangle with China.

This is one of the earlier tunes in the long-running show: “Bye Bye Globalization.”*


* For ongoing stories on the process, check in with the Rice Farmer.


1. Mary Louise - 20/05/2018

Hello! I am so looking forward to your new book! The cover alone makes me want to pick it up. Great job and congratulations in getting your labor of love done!

2. zoidion - 23/05/2018

Thank you! Yes, hiring a designer was a smart idea.

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