This caught my interest because I have been watching the southern hemisphere to see if they have any signs of the meridienal  meridional flow that afflicted the northern hemisphere during our most recent winter.

First, I should say it is early in their winter. June 1 in the southern hemisphere is the equivalent of December 1 in the northern hemisphere. Second, I should state we are talking about a part of Africa north of the Tropic of Capricorn, which is like talking about land south of the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere.

Zim 6 Tropic

In other words, we are talking about snows south of Florida, similar to the snows by Mexico City or in Vietnam or Saudi Arabia,  last winter.

To be a bit more specific , we are talking about Zimbabwe.

Zim 1 4a9aee9966addd09200c99b532a42640

Now, when you first hear reports of a foot of snow in the land of elephants and giraffes and rhino, the first thing that crosses your skeptic mind is that it must be one of those internet hoaxes. And perhaps cynicism is increased because Zimbabwe is currently a warped place, home of the hundred-trillion dollar bill.


Now, compared to a hundred trillion, two hundred thousand is next to nothing. As a comparison, it is like comparing a hundred dollar bill to a tiny coin worth a fifty-thousandth of a penny. Therefore, even if you have a load of two-hundred-thousand bills, it may be what you send a child to the market with, to buy a loaf of bread.

Zim 7 child

(This is what you get, when you print money you don’t have. This is what the USA is headed for, though the Teacher’s Union thinks it has a secure pension by supporting fools who print money they don’t have.) (Their entire pension will be worth a single bill in the above little boy’s arms.)

(Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Africa, but was ruled by a white minority. Now it faces starvation, due to political correctness. Rather than a white minority it is ruled by a black despot. Thanks a lot, all you do-gooder outsiders.)

(I could launch off into a long rave at this point, but let it suffice to say that I am highly skeptical of any news from Zimbabwe.  Gosh, “news from Zimbabwe” is nearly as ridiculous as the bogus prattling from “The New York Times!”)

However I was alerted to the fact the news of snow in Zimbabwe might be real when I heard that the Zimbabwe government said it was a hoax. Sad to say, what some governments say is, isn’t, and what they say isn’t, is.

Also the web has become so all-pervasive that even in fourth-world situations people “tweet” and “Facebook.” Images began to appear on the web, just as they did from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait last January. (Even the most strict government censorship hasn’t yet stopped the posting of images of local landscapes.)

Now, in the tropics so-called “snow” is rarely the fluffy stuff we know in the north. In fact it is usually hail. However a tropical thunderstorm’s hail is common enough to attract little notice, and usually is melted away in an hour or two. What attracts notice, and is called “snow”, is more like we would call “sleet”,  and usually falls in a narrow band associated with a thunderstorm, (a quarter mile wide or so). In Zimbabwe the band was miles across, and, as was the case in Kuwait last winter, had not been seen before in the living memory of the oldest resident. It was what Alarmists like to call “unprecedented.”

Out at the edge of the band we see tweets of people snapping pictures with cell phone of slightly whitened patches of ground. Zim 2 snow4Then, as we move towards the middle of the band, the accumulation gets thick enough to scoop up handfuls. It was thick enough to remove some leaves from some trees.


Towards the middle of the band the snow-sleet-hail was a foot thick, and travel was difficult, even as it all melted to slush in the tropical heat.

Zim 4 BBtBBdp

Trees were stripped of leaves, rabbits died in the open, as did birds, and the farmers faced hardship that was real. The government, rather than helping, accused farmers of a Facebook fraud.

Zim 5 snow-in-zim

I may be reading too much into the above picture, but judging from the faces of the women, I would not like to be in the shoes of the Zimbabwe government. AK-47’s can intimidate a people only so far, and then bullying runs out of gas. (As an aside I should note that the government was alarmed enough by discontent in this area (southern Zimbabwe) to allocate several million (real American, not Zimbabwean,) dollars to string electricity to this area, but all the money went to the politically correct, and not a cent to stringing wires.)

I may be reading too much into my world view, but I think the politically correct are in the wrong shoes. It is not just in the USA that the (slightly) different Donald Trump is shaking the foundations of political correctness. Far away, in ancient Persia, the home of the modern Islamic Revolution, the government’s politically-correct secret police are reporting that over a million people are involved in an illegal activity punishable by death, called “converting-to-Christianity”.

I may be reading too much into climate science, but increasing numbers are converting to skepticism, even if it is politically incorrect. A foot of sleet in Zimbabwe doesn’t help matters, even if it is merely a meridienal meridional pattern.

I may be reading too much into human nature, but I feel you can fool some of the general public some of the time, and you can fool the politically correct all of the time, but you cannot fool all of humanity all of the time.


  1. Cheers Caleb for more an interesting morning news read. Sometimes I need ‘BBC news’ on quietly to sleep on a restless night, but as soon as I wake up, I turn the damn thing off.
    A foot of snow in the Tropics is as mad as Mugabe still being in power.
    Amazing that both the US along with the UK have started wars, backed coups and droned in most nations often for the most transparent reasons, and with little thought for the consequences for most. But Mugabe can still murder, chop off arms to prevent unfavourable voting and starve his country to death, and there’s nothing our Governments can do? really?
    The snow, natural variability or is something amiss? only time will tell, and when it does, no government, or greater powers will be able to hide or create the reality.

    Never seen a Hundred Trillion Dollar note. You wouldn’t bother unless someone was going to chop your arm off if you didn’t 🙂

    • Life expectancy has fallen in Zimbabwe from 64 around 1990 to 37 recently; (lower for women).

      One painful memory for me is recalling an argument I had with a white, South African teenager back in 1970, when I myself was an idealistic teenager, about what was then called Rhodesia. I deemed the youth a horrible racist, but everything he warned would happen has happened. Looking back, I realize he wasn’t so much anti-black as he was anti-communist.

      Mugabe is perhaps a crafty politician, but has also been a tool of outside influences. He is a perfect example of how power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But the entire world can share the blame. What amazes me is the socialists who still defend him, and find ways to blame everything but socialism.

      You cannot legislate spirituality, and the people who try wind up murderers with shocking regularity.

      It is odd the places I wind up, when researching Global Warming.

    • I have a bad time spelling “meridional” because my spell-check objects no matter what I do. (Also “albedo”.) Why isn’t it spelled like “prime meridian”? I just know it isn’t, so I give some other spelling a shot. Anyway, thanks for the correction.

      Thanks for the jet stream map too. I note quite the quirk north, off the west coast of South America. I wonder if that will alter the progress of the growing La Nina at all.

      • mmm, perhaps because meridian is a noun while meridional is an adjective?
        I doubt the upper level jet is going to affect the lower tropospheric equatorial trade winds much. Got to remember that primarily it’s the oceans that drive the weather. Since Earth is now apparently resuming the cooling(post pause), we can expect an uptick in extreme weather events(like what happened in Zimbabwe and other places in this late spring), though the ‘warmlarmists’ will try to blame it on warming, or more CO2, or some such tripe. There’s plenty of empirical evidence that supports Warmer = benign / Cooler = more extreme, weather.

      • I always thought the word “meridional” was coined by a scientist, and many scientists are too busy with serious stuff to worry about spelling. Now I see it comes from France, and Latin, springing from a word that means “noon” and “south”. (I’ve heard “the sun rose to it’s meridian.”) When words come from other lands and times the spelling can vary strangely even when words are closely related.

        So far the La Nina looks very skinny. I personally am expecting some unforeseen weather, because we have no real experience of what a “Quiet Sun” does. But I think your insinuation is quite correct: The usual suspects will blame CO2.

  2. Hi Caleb. In reference to the pictures of the snow in Zimbabwe, especially the one of the two women, nothing in those pictures gives me the impression that these people think this is tropical heat. I wonder how cold it really was and how long that “foot of white stuff” took to melt? Considering they are located as close to the equator as they are, I would guess that on average, the only “heat” in their homes would be the kitchen stove.

  3. Nothing to contribute, Caleb, just mostly lurking.

    But, your last 10-12 posts have been even more interesting than normal. And, the comments seem to be even better than ever. I think everyone here really enjoys it. Keep up the great effort. You’re making the boring melt season abnormally exciting!

    • Just lurking too, but pleased to see that the recent bad mannered contributor has decamped back to the childishly argumentative blogs that spawned him.
      Proselyting an angry cause to those who enjoy a state of contemplative near nirvana on this blog was always going to be a losing battle.
      Keep calm and carry on.

  4. We are all familiar with large hail falls in the tropics. Somehow, whatever fell there does not look that much like hail.

    A lot of what you stated about Zimbabwe can also be said about South Africa, that now has the highest rape rate in the world. Also, their poverty and crime rates in general have exploded. Nelson Mandella was a great human being, but the net result of black rule has been basically a failure. Same can no doubt be said about black run American ciitiies as well.

    Of course, saying that makes me a racist in the eyes of many, but I honestly wish that black rule would start working and prove me wrong. You could say that corruption is due to lack of experience running cities and countries. I would hope with time that will change.

    • There was a pretty good leader in Uganda who did an amazing job stopping the AIDS epidemic simply by asking his people to be celibate unless married. No one could believe it worked.

      Of course, before that Uganda had Idi Amin, who was a complete nightmare.

      Sometimes I think people have to experience complete hell, and be completely sick of it, before they give up on corruption and turn to more pure and beautiful ways.

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