August 10, 2008
Elaine Meinel Supkis
This has been an extraordinary summer for frequent, heavy downpours here in New York. Not to mention, many other places in the temperate zones including Siberia and Alaska. I have been monitoring the rain an the average rainfall has been half an inch to 3 inches per hour. The raindrops have been huge! These storms have lots of hail, too. It nearly flattened my poor garden this week and it killed my bees. Time to talk about volcanoes and wet, cool summers or extremely snowy winters.
First, pictures from last week's huge storm that dumped several inches in less than an hour:
Like all the storms this summer, the worst came in the late afternoon. Fed by the sun, these afternoon blasts of rain feature a great deal of lightning, too. A number of people this summer have been killed by lightning in the Northeast. Normally, we have far fewer such deaths here. Well, the numbers of people killed is astonishing when we consider how few outdoors activities have been running this summer thanks to these storms! The race track in Saratoga had to be closed due to the rain washing out the tracks this last week.
Amtrak, the poor US train service, some of the worst on earth, got even worse thanks to the tracks being washed out. My apricot tree's fruits burst with juices from the excess rain. The tomato plants become very heavy with big fruits and then were smashed in a storm two days ago that features half an inch of rain in less than 15 minutes! I couldn't believe it! We know of the floods in the Midwest this summer but few people know that Fairbanks, Alaska, just for example, had a flood. My brother-in-law there told us this summer has been extremely dark and cloudy and wet.
This storm came from the west. We can see the waves of rain beginning to obscure the Renssalaer Plateau.
I poked the camera out of the side door to snap this picture showing the heart of the storm as it roared in on that August 2nd afternoon. It was extremely dark.
None of these storms are very long. But they are all very nasty. They washed out my road as well as many main roads not once but repeatedly.
We have had a number of rainbows! Sometimes, several a day.
And this is the sunset: yet another storm approaching. Day and night, we have had them. In an hour, another one approaches today, as I post this story as fast as I can! The question is, why these storms this summer? What is possibly triggering them?
On Friday, May 2, 2008, Chaitén Volcano in southeastern Chile erupted for the first time since about 7400 BC. Its initial eruption produced a plume of volcanic ash and steam that rose nearly 17 kilometers high. Winds carried the plume east, over the Andes Mountains and into Argentina. The plume then drifted out over the over the Atlantic Ocean. It was visible on satellite images for hundreds of kilometers over the Atlantic. The volcano shows continued activity and produced additional ash plumes.
Below is a spectacular picture showing the interaction of lightning and volcanic eruptions:
Here is the satellite photo showing the huge plume:
It could be the scene from a movie: huge plumes of ash and gas rising during a ferocious volcanic eruption, sparking off a dazzling lightning storm; lightning bolts thundering to life inside and out of the hot cloud. However, this is the reality down on the ground for the people living near the Chaiten Volcano, southern Chile, who have been evacuated since the volcano erupted on Friday. Activity continues to increase, producing these terrifying, yet mesmerizing scenes…
All my childhood, my parents raised all of us kids to spot volcanic ash and gases in the high stratosphere. It is pretty simple: you look straight up at the zenith at sunset. If it is lit up with a very faint but obvious purple/red hazy glow that is UNIFORM across the entire sky, this means the high stratosphere is lit up by the presence of particulate matter. Also, on a moonless night, the stars are obscured uniformly across the entire sky when the wind is blowing from the north so there is no lower atmospheric interference like fog or low clouds.
The other day, as I was rushing to repair the road at sunset, as several storms passed nearby and disappeared like great sailing ships, golden, pink sails towering over the mountains, I looked straight up as darkness fell. And there it was: the typical highlights in the heavens from volcanic dust! A number of astronomers and climatologists now understand the connection between volcanic activity that is very 'dirty' and weather conditions.
Not all volcanoes affect the high stratosphere or create lots of rain. Indeed, some volcanoes that were not all that famous created tremendous havoc due to the extremely dirty nature of the eruptions. For example, the French Revolution was triggered by the failure of many crops in France and indeed, all of Europe due to a very dirty and extremely dangerous volcano in Iceland. It dropped poisons in the form of heavy rain. This was eaten by the sheep and cows and passed along the food chain. It also destroyed the fruitfulness of crops. Dangerous, poisonous rust viruses hit wheat and rye crops very hard.
While looking for information, I found this very recent news story in a geology magazine:
June 6th, 1912
The morning of June 6th arrived on the Alaska peninsula to find the area which is now Katmai National Monument being shaken by numerous strong, shallow earthquakes. The most powerful volcanic eruption of the 20th Century was about to begin – but very few people knew about it. The Alaska peninsula has a low population density today but it 1912 it was even lower. Beyond the land shaken by the earthquake activity the beginnings of this event were almost unnoticed.
The volcano wasn't noticed but farmers soon noticed something was very, very wrong. Here is a British community site talking about that summer. No one understood, this was due to a volcanic eruption:
Continental winds in summer usually mean heatwaves but here is an example of a freak event... Here is a cold continental flow on 3rd August 1912.
This brought one of the coldest CET daily means on record for August.
The 3rd August 1912 recorded a daily CET mean of only 10.5C.
This was due to a very cool daily CET maximum of 15.7C on the 3rd August 1912 offset by a very cool daily CET minimum of 5.2C on the 3rd August 1912
It was very apt indeed that August 1912 was the coldest on record in the CET zone with a CET of only 12.9C.
Yes, a surprising cold day. My guess is that cold Arctic air must have stabililsed over Europe, meaning that a south-easterly would have to be very deep in order for it not to suck up cold air. August 1986 was similar- frequent northerly winds bringing cold air into the near Continent.
Most of the rest of August 1912, though, wasn't dominated by a continental flow, but rather frequent westerly and northerly winds with deep lows regularly tracking over central areas bringing very dull cold wet weather.
1912 in Durham was ridiculous for its lack of sunshine. The year didn't even make 1000 hours of sunshine (the long-term average is 1300-1400 hours), the summer had half the average sunshine, and August, with 57 hours, barely one-third of the average. Putting it into perspective, the entire of 2003 failed to produce a month with a lower sunshine total!
A couple of reports
Lampeter on the 2nd of August: Severe frost blackened all dahlias and delicate flowers
Instow: An exposed thermometer registered 4 degrees of frost
Shrewsbury on the 3rd: Frost on grass
The heavy rains we are seeing today could possibly be from the moisture in the atmosphere gathering around these fluffy pieces of volcanic ash and coming crashing down in extremely large rain drops. Since the volcano is still pumping away, I am preparing for a very, very snowy winter. When the volcano in the Philippines blew up in the early 1990's, we had epic snow here. My tent was totally buried in snow. My son would take his sled on top and slide down again. We had to dig a tunnel from the front door upwards to the snow banks that were overhead. My son's school had a record number of snow days.
This year could end up the same way. This is, on the other hand, taking off pressure from the Atlantic hurricane cycle. If there was no volcanic action this year, we would have an epic hurricane summer. Instead, I think we will have a blizzard-winter. I take no chances. I must prepare for this!
Well, this is just about the most amazing thing I've ever seen. It's a lightning bolt that's shooting down from the sky, shot in slow motion. I'm not sure exactly how fast this camera is, but it's got to be shooting at a speed faster than the Casio EX-F1 can shoot at, at least at a resolution this high. Whatever, who cares? Just watch this and prepare to be blown away.
I have been hit directly several times. Each time, it is as if reality suddenly is in super-slow motion. I have actually seen the 'weave' within a lightning bolt close up, like in my hands or going into my chest. It is very colorful: pink, yellow, blue and translucent white. Very much like the inside of a sea shell. This might be less than a blink of an eye but from my point of view, it is nearly eternity.
When we see photos or films of lightning bolts, the flash overwhelms everything and you can't see the fine filagree of the bolt's inner body. This slow-mo shot of a huge bolt is great because it confirms to me that I actually 'see' lightning bolts that are about to hit me. Note how the bolt sends out a fine net of littler strands across the landscape? Then, one of the strands becomes the 'anchor' and the flash between it and the clouds is like the filament of a lightbuld suddenly brightening. This is the 'flash'. It is SIMULTANEOUS.
I was stunned by the when I was a child and was hit. For I was convinced that the oak tree, the clouds and I first made 'contact' which was more like we were all united in this one system and I could FEEL it! Then, to my horror, the differentials between my electronic situation, the tree's root system in the wet ground coupled with the branches of the tree itself which echoed the beginning 'search' of the bolt, spread outwards, all this got concentrated in ONE LINE that terminated in me and connected me to the Heavens.
Then, when it actually was activated, it was not this brilliant flash but rather, like the Norns weaving their web of Fate. And I was pitched into the Outer Darkness. Frankly, it is a relief to me to see in action what I have experienced directly. For it is hard to grope with words to describe this business. Survivors of lightning strikes often report a religious or mental change that often releases great creativity or energetic changes in one's likes and dislikes. I have very little idea of what I was like before the strike hit. I do know that my ability to appreciate, understand and analyze music, art and dance shot upwards. Alas, I am not a great artist or dancer or musician. But it was fun, doing these things in the past.
Today, in the news, the NYT talks about a drought that seems to disturb the Zionists who have made a huge thing about how god loves them because they made the desert bloom as they plant totally inappropriate crops for that region. Now, this drought is making the scheme to grow Northern European crops. All over Israel, they are chopping down ancient olive groves and planting as if this is Germany or the Russian Steppes or California.
A SOUVENIR in the corner of Doron Ovits’s office attests to the challenges of farming in Israel.
It’s a mangled piece of metal, and Mr. Ovits says it came from a rocket that landed in a field recently, lobbed from the nearby Gaza Strip.
But Mr. Ovits may have a bigger long-term problem than rockets.
Israel is running short of water. A growing population and rising incomes have increased demand for fresh water, while a four-year drought has created what Shalom Simhon, the agriculture minister, calls “a deep water crisis.”
This long article doesn't mention the poor Palestinians who lived in harmony with the natural forces of available rain and well water for centuries. They are cut out of the water stream as much as possible and are allowed to use a fraction of the water the Jews bequeath to themselves. This reminds me of Darfur, actually. Very, very similar. Funny, the NYT and the other Zionist media outlets are outraged about Darfur when it is an exact mirror of Palestine.
18 August 1999—For more than 50 years, water has been a source of conflict between Israel and its neighbors, especially the Palestinians. Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are in the midst of an acute water crisis brought about not simply by the area’s naturally arid conditions or the current drought, but primarily by the maldistribution of water imposed by Israel, which controls Palestinian water resources.
Currently, Israel consumes more than 80 percent of Palestinian ground water and denies Palestinians their rightful utilization of the Jordan River. Israel allocates Palestinians 93 million cubic meters (mcm) per year for industrial use, and 153 mcm per year for agricultural use, leaving per capita consumption for domestic use at less than 30 cubic meters per year. Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories are consuming Palestinian water at the rate of more than 75 mcm per year. On an annual, per capita basis, Israelis consume more than four times as much water as Palestinians.
In the entire world, as global warming was drying up large tracts of land like much of Australia or Northern Mexico and the US Southeast, worries about droughts grew. But I have said in the past, all it takes is one very dirty volcanic eruption anywhere on earth and voila! Droughts are fewer and rain comes down, massively and in ways we don't like all that much.
And this reminds me of something else: volcanic eruptions that are very dirty trigger many wars and revolutions. Just like the one in 1912.
13WHAM Chief Meteorologist Glenn Johnson says it is highly unusual for waterspouts to develop this early in the year. Waterspouts do not normally occur over Lake Ontario, however, until October or November when the air temperature is cooler.
“Waterspouts take place when cool air crosses over warm water. The air temperature is near freezing about 8,000 or 9,000 feet up, which is not very high. When this cold air moves over 70-degree Lake Ontario water, the warm water will want to rise. The atmosphere becomes unstable and then we find lift,” says Johnson.
Note that this is yet more proof that the volcanic dust is cooling off the temperate belt across the planet. Just like the blizzard in the Alps last month where all those runners died. The Global Warming debate gets all messed up over volcanic eruptions jiggering the data. People who hope we can pollute with impunity are very anxious to ignore pollution's role in shaping our climate.