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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.


Continued Chastening 01/02/2018

Posted by zoidion in agriculture, Weather.
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Heat, drought, wildfires, hurricane, another hurricane, still another hurricane, more wildfires, still more wildfires, deluges, mudslides, more drought.

And that’s just a bit more than six months’ worth of calamity for one rather big country, from a few months before to six months after the first total solar eclipse to cross said country in many decades.

It more than begins to look like a chastening — an instructional round of punishment from an offended Goddess.

A new Weather Underground drought-monitoring report has been issued, covering the three months November 2017 through January 2018.

It’s not pretty: “Drought conditions have returned to the southern High Plains, not to mention the Desert Southwest and parts of the Southeast, since fall.”

When one looks at the national map, it’s clear that more than half of the territory, and much more than half of the prime food-producing land, is experiencing some degree of drought. And some of it is already serious: “in Oklahoma, . . . 79 percent of the [winter wheat] crop [is] rated in poor or very poor condition.”

The referenced article mentions the new record rain-free stretch at Amarillo, Texas, located in one of the extreme-drought areas. Amarillo received no rain — zilch — for the entire three months, and for half of October. Nothing measurable since 13 October. That’s one-hundred-ten days and counting. (The previous record was seventy-five days, in 1956-57.)

It’s a useful lesson in recognizing indications of a pattern shift, using the Libra solar ingress (22 September 2017) as a base map.


The lower meridian is in Aries, a fire sign: one strong indication of regional dryness. Uranus close to the lower meridian is a reliable indication of an unusual situation, quite possibly a record-breaker. Jupiter at the upper meridian (marked by the circle with vertical line) also signals dry weather. Add Jupiter to Uranus and expect extreme conditions. (Remember that the Jupiter – Uranus configuration was in effect for most of the year, reflected in the chaotic, highly charged political atmosphere.)

The fourth-quarter lunation on 12 October had a possibly wet Cancer moon at the upper meridian (less potent weather-wise than the lower meridian), with Sol and Mercury about to rise in the east: dry indications.

Bear in mind: The season chart is the primary chart. The key movements are of Sol, Luna and planets in relation to the season chart.

The telltale signs are these: Venus (an indicator of moisture) crossing the place of Sol — moisture evaporating; Mercury crossing the place of Jupiter, showing a shift in the wind pattern toward drier conditions; and Sol reaching the upper meridian, exact on the 15th for Amarillo — the crucial pattern shift indicator.

Small comfort and no help: The city of Cape Town, South Africa, stricken with prolonged extreme drought, has already instituted water rationing. The human population is on course to exhaust its water supply by early April.

One might suppose that such increasing incidence of water-supply problems would induce great-volume water users — such as fracking operations — to change their wasteful ways. Especially when operating within and near drought areas such as Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Nah — what a silly notion — within the collective mindset of industrial civilization.

And so the chastening must continue, becoming more severe: Saturn has come home to roost in Capricorn.

The situation is rather like that in the familiar sour joke: The beatings will continue until morale-ity improves.


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