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Not Normal 16/01/2016

Posted by zoidion in Event, Long Emergency, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: After an alarmingly mild December, January is being the way January is supposed to be. With day after December day in the 40s and nights above freezing, some people were reporting plants showing signs of waking up at least three months too soon: raspberry canes, for example, showing swelling leaf buds.

Around here, we missed out on the drama and destruction that hit the mid-Mississippi valley and southern plains just after the solstice. At the solstice moment, light snow began sifting down, and there’s been a white layer on the ground since.

A week ago, the season’s first blast of truly cold air came in, and now the second has arrived. Not fun to contend with, but a somewhat reassuring semblance of climatic normalcy. But not really.

Because I can’t get reports from elsewhere out of my mind.

Late December tornadoes in Texas. Rain amid the months-long darkness at the North Pole.  And now a January hurricane aiming toward Greenland.

True, it’s not the first time a hurricane has formed in January off the coast of Africa. But it’s the first time since 1938 — and “the second strongest storm to hit the Atlantic basin at any time during January since record-keeping began in 1771,” while another weird storm churned in the Pacific. 

Plus, the Atlantic storm — Alex — formed unusually far north of the equator: about latitude twenty five degrees. As “Robertscribbler” put it: “Alex appears to have done just about everything backwards.”

With the polar ice pack disintegrating year by year, it seems that the largest remaining northern area of ice — Greenland — is attracting the tropical heat. 

No, normal is gone.

Just have a look at this graph showing global average temperatures for December, going back to 1890. Notice the sharp rise at the now end of the graph. Not good.

dec-1890-2015-global-temp

So, how are these weather events reflected in the cosmic pattern? Well, the great storms and the mid-Mississippi floods were unleashed in the week following the Full Moon. The first wintry blast arrived in time with the New Moon on 9 January, and the second with the First Quarter Moon.

Lest you get the wrong idea, lunations by themselves are not reliable indicators of weather shifts. But the New Moon was conjunct the place of Mercury in the season chart — Mercury being the symbol for wind. That was the key. So a shift in the wind pattern was strongly indicated.

Plus, the New Moon and season-chart Mercury were in Capricorn, where cold Saturn is lord. And the indicators were all in the northern area of the season chart.

And now in the days — and nights: brrr — around the First Quarter, Mercury, in apparent retrograde motion since 5 January, is crossing the place of Mercury in the season chart.

CapIng2015_NM-Jan-2016.2

Various Mercury-symbolized phenomena and activities are apt to get scrambled during period when Mercury is retrograde and until Mercury exits the zodiacal zone of retrogradation. And that will last until 14 February. (Mercury began the period of retrogradation at one degree of break-the-rules Aquarius.)

So no wonder.

But there’s one more Mercury factor to note: In the season chart, Mercury is “out of bounds”: farther south than the Sun. Mercury’s domain is beyond what is normal, average, to be expected.

And where is Mercury’s weather-power zone this season? Well, this astromap shows the dashed-yellow Mercury-on-the-lower-meridian line running south-north through the western Atlantic Ocean, past the eastern tip of Canada’s province of Newfoundland and toward the western coast of Greenland.

CapIng2015_astromap-Merc.2

With a rogue winter hurricane — i.e., a heat discharger — on the loose, just one phrase comes to mind: “Turn to face the strange changes.”

Well said, Mr. Bowie.

-<zoidion>-

Groundhog Days 15/08/2015

Posted by zoidion in forecast, Photography, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The deerskin drum made a dull, thudding sound as I drummed in the day. And no wonder: With an orange sun rising, the thermometer showed seventy-two as I noted a heavy dew on the vegetation.

Another hot and muggy day in the offing, dawn was the time to look around at areas of wonder.

I noted, again, the lack of blossoms on the moonflower plants. Do they refrain from blooming during the dark of the Moon? I haven’t paid enough attention.

IMG_3682

I saw that some of the beans are climbing more than head-high on one of the pear trees: a bit of successful permaculture.

IMG_3688

I witnessed bumblebees stirring from sleep: Some had spent the night clinging to one of the cup plants.

IMG_3684

And I marveled at the massive leaves of the elecampane that I started from seed four months ago.

IMG_3687

Also visible: lingering evidence of depredation by the woodchuck that reappeared recently after several years’ absence from my yard. Is it a lone male? I haven’t seen any young’uns–nor do I want to. He was forced out of his preferred holes below the tower of the nearby high-voltage power line when Xcel began replacing all the towers back in April.

What a voracious lover of juicy leaves! He started on the biggest ones: broccoli and cabbage. He took off the growing ends of a couple of squash plants–maybe they weren’t juicy enough for a full meal. But he also chewed his way through half the parsley. Aarrgghhh.

He liked using the territory under the shed for one of his hangouts, where once I watched him from about six feet away, partially screened by a raspberry plant. His nose twitched aplenty, but his eyesight seemed poor. He moved mighty fast for such a low-to-the-ground critter. And he seems too clever to fall for the lure of a cage trap, especially when there’s plenty of fresh leaves available without leaving the block. In any case, he seems to have moved on . . . for now, anyway.

The Impatiens balsamina is waist-high and in full bloom, out front behind the black raspberry canes that have grown so extravagantly. They started blooming about a month ago: rather early, I thought.

It seems that a lot of veggies as well as perennials have been maturing prematurely. 

What’s up with that? Faulty recollection? Relative inexperience with gardening for food? Earth changes?

Though plenty of rain has fallen, and mostly in timely fashion, I would more likely attribute the ripening to abnormal heat. But with few exceptions, the days of this summer have been notably pleasant: cooler than average.

It’s amazing — yet not surprising, astro-meteorologically  — that the temperature has only reached 90 F thrice so far this summer. And yesterday was one. That compares with an average of about eight such days through early August.

No wonder the unofficial Twin Cities Summer Glory Index shows the summer of 2015, through 15 July, as very nearly the best ever recorded.

summer-glory-index

Sorry it hasn’t been so great out west and down south. Or in central and eastern Europe. Or in south Asia.

It’s odd, how easy it is to think of August around here as a dry month, when it’s actually the wettest: slightly wetter than June. Maybe it’s that the leaves on trees are getting to look dry and tattered, and vegetation on the ground is drying, ripening, going to seed. And human-wilting muggy days are more common.

Accordingly, NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is showing the likelihood of heavy rain across southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin over the next week, especially on the 18th.

15-22Aug15_precip

The forecast here for the week (14-21 August) following the New Moon was simple: “somewhat cooler, dry.” That was based largely on the primary indication in the New Moon chart: the cold earth sign Capricorn (where Saturn is lord) on the lower meridian. Capricorn is also apt to denote storminess, but other chart factors were not indicative. (The vertically-bisected circle within the outer ring of the chart below shows the upper meridian at the time of the New Moon, while the horizontally-bisected circle shows the zodiacal point on the eastern horizon.)

CN-Ing_NM-Aug-2015

A significant shift in wind patterns affecting this latitude is shown by Mercury at the time of the New Moon exactly on the horizon of the season chart. This signifies the likelihood of notable wind events, but not necessarily precipitation.

What can bring rainfall is the Moon’s crossing of the horizon of the season chart, in the morning of the 16th. And in fact the Weather Service is forecasting rain on the 16th.

But a “slow moving low pressure system over Minnesota” on the 18th? Stalled-out situations and heavy storms seem more likely on the 21st and 22nd (as previously forecast), as the First Quarter Moon (and of course the Sun as well) is configured with Saturn.

Whose forecast for the week will be borne out: the astro-meteorologist’s or the techno-meteorologists’?

-<zoidion>-

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