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Heavy Weather 14/07/2017

Posted by zoidion in forecast, homesteading, Photography, urban agriculture, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The solstice has come and gone, the poignancy of the start of the long slide into darkness replaced by a sometimes febrile rush to embrace the fruits of the season. Along with the poignancy, and alongside the lushness of midsummer, comes a sobering recognition of areas of failure in the garden, and the necessity of waiting ten months for the next opportunity to do better.

For improved yields, two main points stick with me: I would do much better to use fresh seed (and discard older seed), and I can better safeguard the viability of the garden’s produce by saving seed from what has (obviously) successfully adapted to weather and soil conditions on the most local level of all: my yard.

As for fruits: First came the red currants. Not enough to make jelly, but enough to press and cook (just a bit) for a very rich juice. Then came the cherries: a prodigious yield from one medium-sized tree, five years out from planting, requiring much labor in the picking and pitting. (Neighborhood fireworks on the Fourth of July punctuated a delicious cherry cobbler.) Almost simultaneously, the year’s first crop of red raspberries and only crop of black raspberries began ripening. And now: black currants.

One might gather from such a report that weather has been favorable. Indeed so.

Though there have been scattered incidents of severe weather events in the region, this has been an easy summer so far. Obnoxious heat and humidity have largely remained to the south, and there have been some days — including yesterday — that were cool and cloudy, more typical of September. (Some northern Minnesota low temperatures dropped into the thirties.)

But that pattern is due to change.

The period that most concerns me about local weather is about three weeks away. I know from five years of observation with astrological weather charts that heavy weather is most likely when a lunation — New, Full or quarter Moon — aligns with either the vertical or horizontal axis of the season chart.

It’s fairly to easy to see it coming. With Sol in the late-night quadrant of the Cancer solar ingress (Northern Hemisphere summer solstice) chart, Sol is moving (counter-clockwise) in zodiacal passage toward the western horizon of the chart, where the zoidion Leo is in command.

When Sol enters Leo (where Sol is lord) on 22 July, in hot pursuit of Mars — they conjoin on the 26th — more persistent and withering heat can be expected. As they come to the descendant of the season chart around the fourth of August, challenging conditions of dryness are likely to become more prevalent through the mid-continent. (Keep a watch on the U.S. Drought Monitor, mentioned in the previous post.)

CN-ing_FM-Aug-2017

The Full Moon (partial lunar eclipse, not visible from North America) of the seventh of August — stretching across the horizon of the season chart — presents a troubled picture for this area. Capping an extended period of heat buildup, a great degree of atmospheric turbulence is indicated as a cooler air mass advances from the north. What symbolically adds to the forcefulness of the storm potential is Venus: That symbol of moisture has now arrived at eight degrees of water-zoidion Cancer. That is the very midpoint — a power point — between horizon and meridian.

The missing ingredient — a northbound air mass brimming with Gulf of Mexico moisture — seems set to unleash a major rain event.

After multiple such events scattered around the state in recent years, one wonders about the readiness of this metropolitan area, with its vast areas of pavement and water-shedding buildings.

(Fun facts: The all-time record hottest recorded temperatures in this region date from 1936, when the season chart featured fire-zoidion Leo on the ascendant, and Scorpio — where Mars is lord — on the lower meridian: where weather comes down to Earth. The hottest-ever local temperature — one-hundred-ten degrees F — occurred on 14 July 1936, with Sol and Mars less than ten degrees apart in Cancer, plus Mercury and Venus there.)

-<zoidion>-

Recent reading: The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben, 2015; The Harrows of Spring, James Howard Kunstler, 2016
Recent listening: “Koyaanisqatsi,” Philip Glass; “Casual Gods,” Jerry Harrison; “Heavy Weather,” Weather Report; “The American Shadow,” Carolyn Baker on Radio Ecoshock
Recent investigation: The background to the “Qatsi” series of three films; link — “A Visit with Godfrey Reggio,” WNYC radio 2014

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The Last Time 17/02/2017

Posted by zoidion in History, Photography, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: Only in the shady places do any remnants of December’s snows persist, as the air temperature reached sixty degrees.

As I walked about my errand-route, wearing a cap for shade rather than a hat for warmth, I found myself breaking into a sweat: I was wearing one too many layers under my light jacket. 

The physical sensation is accompanied by a peculiar mental one, since the solar arc remains rather low, and daylight is still fairly short. Hard to believe is that this day is only two months since the winter solstice.

In the back yard, several whorls of mullein look as if they are about to don their furry green coats and begin photosynthesis for their second (seed-producing) season. Birds are more active and noisy, chattering and fussing as they perch, hidden, within cedar hedges.

New high-temperature records for the date have been set across southern Minnesota, and the techno-weather forecasters say that more will follow over the next several days.

How rare is this? Well, this is only the fifth time that temperatures have reached sixty degrees here in February, going back to 1873.

The last time there was an extended warm spell here in February, the year was 1981, when six consecutive days registered temperatures of fifty or higher. That period began in the week that included the Full Moon, and as Sol crossed the horizon of the season chart: the axis that relates to latitude.

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Notice that in the outer ring (the first quarter Moon chart) Sol is with the upper meridian symbol (the circle with vertical line). That is a signal for a significant shift in temperature, especially as Luna approached opposition: Indeed, the first record-setting day that year was 16 February, as Luna moved into warm/dry Leo, the zoidion opposite Sol in Aquarius.

Also, Mars — a reliable indicator of warmer and drier conditions — had also recently crossed the horizon.

Not only was the upper meridian for the lunation in the place of the ascendant (shown as the circle with horizontal line) in the season chart, but there was another reversal: the horizon for the lunation opposite the upper meridian for the season. Hence a reversal of seasonal expectations.

And now? The Full Moon chart (the outer ring below) has a similar reversal in relation to the season chart: its upper meridian opposite the season’s ascendant, and the ascendant conjunct the season’s upper meridian.

caping2016_fmfeb2017

This time the warmth has arrived as Luna arrives at the ascendant of the season chart, and as Mars crosses the midpoint between lower meridian and horizon.

Watch for even greater temperature anomalies as Mars closes the distance from Uranus, and opposes Jupiter, in the days around the solar eclipse on 26 February. And watch for greater outbursts in the heating-up political realm as well. (Brazil is a particular hotspot in this period.)

-<zoidion>-

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