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Big Blow 09/03/2017

Posted by zoidion in Climate, Event, forecast, Long Emergency, Photography.
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Twin Cities ephemera: That was quite a storm we had, followed by a dramatic drop in temperature. Here in the metro: thunder and lightning and a bit of rain around sundown, mid-thirties temperatures and a dusting of snow in the morning. But here near the center of the continent, that’s not particularly unusual.

What was unusual was tornadoes, two of them, nearly two weeks earlier than ever before in recorded history in these parts.

That counts as an incident of global weirding.

The two days of high winds and now deepening chill have convinced the perennials to keep at least their shoulders below ground level: I can stand up from my desk and see outside to where small leaves of Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) remain visible, even on the west side of the house, exposed to the colder winds.

I’ve never seen the like before — not before the Ides of March.

That was quite a storm that blasted most of the center of the continent, from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. In terms of effects upon human activity, the worst of it apparently fell on the beleaguered region of Detroit, where many thousands of residents and businesses remain without electric power. There, a bright sun shone as ferocious winds toppled thousands of trees onto homes, commercial buildings, power lines and cars.

According to the Weather Underground web site, about one million customers — and thus well over one million affected people — lost power in Michigan alone on the eighth of March, with more than eight hundred thousand of those remaining without electricity the next morning. In all likelihood, weeks will pass before power can be restored to all most.

And there’s the often-crippling monetary cost for tree removal and repairs: Just have a look at the photo showing the huge pine tree that came to precarious rest on the house in the neighboring yard. And multiply that image by thousands.

The setup for the disaster was the record warm weather in February, and soil saturated by recent rains.

Alas, the prior astro-meteorological indications for severe weather are fairly clear.

The starting point, as usual, is the season chart, calculated for the Capricorn solar ingress (winter solstice). Add to that the calculation for the lunation — in this case, the first-quarter Moon — on 5 March.


Notice particularly, in the inner ring (the ingress chart), the circle with vertical line near the top: That’s the upper meridian: one end of an axis of special potency in weather forecasting. The lower meridian is of more interest here: eighteen degrees (rounded off) of Pisces. That shows a longitude where unusual weather events are apt to occur — when triggered by ongoing movements of Sol, Luna and planets.

Now take note of several bits of the outer ring (the lunation chart). Especially, note Sol and Mercury very nearly opposite the upper meridian point. That was a clear indication of a likely incident involving warmer weather (Sol) and wind (Mercury). George J. McCormack summarized the Sol-Mercury conjunction: “High wind velocity.”

(One of the most deadly Minnesota storms—involving a sudden and severe temperature drop, high winds and heavy snow — was the Armistice Day storm of 1940, when Sol and Mercury were conjunct. The astronomical occasion was a rare one: Mercury, in apparent retrograde motion, transited across the solar disc.)

The actual superior conjunction of Sol and Mercury occurred in the evening of 6 March at seventeen degrees Pisces, when storm planet Saturn was crossing the lower meridian at Detroit. The windstorm did its worst as Sol was crossing the lower meridian of the season chart, with Mercury now almost two degrees ahead.

Further indication of windy weather during the week: Luna in Gemini (where Mercury is lord) at the lower meridian of the lunation chart. (See Luna opposite the circle-with-vertical-line in the outer ring, and opposite Saturn in the season chart as well.) Plus: Sol, Mercury and Neptune appear near the horizon — the circle with horizontal line — of the lunation chart, and near the lower meridian of the season chart.

That is a classic case of astro-meteorology in action.

Alas for Michigan and Detroit. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.


George J. McCormack, A Text-Book of Long-Range Weather Forecasting, 1947
“Hellacious Great Lakes Windstorm Fells Trees, Knocks Out Power to More than 1 Million,” Weather Underground, March 9, 2017

(Hat tip to TF.)


Weather Weirding 05/11/2014

Posted by zoidion in forecast, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The almost-full Moon lit up a dramatic long-pointed pattern of clouds last night: clouds racing from the north. Today the pale Sun has occasionally shone through the clouds that seem unable to shed more than a dribble of moisture.

Unsurprisingly–to this astrometeorologist–the pattern for the past month has been remarkably dry: Only 0.07 inch of precipitation has fallen on this forest garden-in-the-making. 

Mostly the weather has been lovely: Many have remarked on the unusual beauty of the autumn leaves this year: a result, probably, of the unusual wetness of the spring and early summer. But now the leaves are all on the ground, their colors fading fast.

But the dryness has left me unable to put my newly-tapped plastic water barrel to the test: The water level barely reached the top of the spigot pipe. So before upending it yesterday and setting it aside for the winter, I simply poured out the water into a pail and gave root-moistening shots to the hazelnut seedlings and currant bushes.

I put plastic collars around the year-old pear trees, to protect them from winter’s wandering hungry critters. And I put a circle of chicken-wire around the bare trunk of the cherry tree. I’ll prune the latter next month, or later, once it’s fully dormant.

But I’ve had the satisfaction in the past week of one last harvest of garden-grown lettuce and sorrel, to go with batches of homemade hummus. Yum!

I’m starting to settle in and pore over a tall stack of four-decade-old issues of Mother Earth News. Thanks, J!

Have you ever wondered how wildly different concurrent weather stories could be indicated astrologically? It’s often fairly simple.

A recurring theme in this project has been the potency in forecasting of planets near the meridian (the vertical axis)–especially the lower meridian.

And that’s the theme once again in relation to two planets with very different forecasting characteristics. Mars is associated with rising temperatures, and Uranus typically with sharply colder temperatures, often accompanied by highly unusual events.

This story from Weather Underground provides details of simultaneous record warmth in western Europe, and record early chills and snowfalls in the eastern U.S. The frequency of stories like this is a big reason why I refer to climate change as “global weirding.”

The astromap (below) for the relevant lunation week (beginning with the First Quarter Moon on 30 October) shows–as might be expected–Mars as the dominant astrological influence upon Europe, and Uranus upon the eastern U.S and Canada.

(Mars line is dashed vertical line on far right. Uranus line is solid red vertical line on left.

(Mars line is dashed vertical line on far right. Uranus line is solid red vertical line on left, running through Maine.)

By the way, I anticipate an intrusion by a significantly wetter and colder weather system in the coming week, as the Full Moon combines with the conjunction of Venus and Saturn: Watch for alerts and reports of a more widespread wintry blast, but concentrating its force (and suffering) upon Alaska and European Russia, Poland, the Balkans and adjacent areas.


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