The Pole continues to make for interesting theater, though the drama has died down from what it was a week ago, when temperatures were soaring to 35 degrees above normal and the ice at the north edge of Barents Sea was retreating. Fueling this weather was a strong south wind from the Atlantic that at times pushed right past the Pole towards the Pacific, thus confusing everybody, because a south wind became a north wind without changing direction. This flow achieved its peak around November 14:
By November 16 the flow was pushing an Atlantic low and its secondary up through Fram Strait, whereupon, due to the strict laws of this website, they are automatically dubbed “Ralph”. The southerly flow, while remaining southerly, had swung east, and was now coming less off the Atlantic and more off shore from Europe, but it nearly was able to push above-freezing temperatures to the Pole.
So strong was this flow that the sea-ice, which usually is expanding south as a thin sheet of ice, was pushed north by strong wind until it was briefly well north of Franz Josef Land, and unable to refreeze because temperatures were above freezing in that area. This produced a brief and unusual dip in the ice “extent”graph, which usually is rocketing upwards at this time of year. However the ice swiftly grew back down to Franz Josef Lands’s north coast as conditions began to change, and the graph resumed its upward climb.
The surge from the south had raised eyebrows by raising temperatures to unprecedented levels (in a history that goes back 58 years).
However my eyebrows were raised by the steep decline that followed.
This interested me because, whereas other places can get colder air from lands further north, there is no place north of the North Pole. Therefore it must get cold air imported from colder tundra to the south, but I didn’t see any strong flow from such tundras. This meant the cold must instead be home grown. Or, to put it more scientifically, the heat was lost locally, radiated upwards into the unending winter night.
Still, it seemed odd to me that the warm southerly flow should just turn off like a spigot. My curiosity sought reasons, for the cessation was obvious as early as November 17, because the first and second lows, following a storm track straight north to the Pole, (incarnations of “Ralph”), weakened with surprising speed. It was as if they were cut off from their warm inflow of mild, moist air, while the third storm in the sequence came to a dead halt and refused to head north, and just sat off the coast of Norway and twiddled its thumbs, remaining fairly strong.
I wondered if the stalled low off Norway might be consuming all the available energy, but this didn’t satisfy me, for the isobars in the above map still indicate a strong flow from the south. Why wasn’t the warmth heading out over arctic waters? The temperature anomaly map still showed the above-normal temperatures moving north in central Europe, but then being bent east at the top. What was stopping the import of heat north to the Pole?
I’d likely still be mystified, but dawn broke on Marblehead when I visited Joseph D’Aleo’s blog over at the Weatherbell Site, and during the course of one of his elegant descriptions of complex situations he turned on the light-bulb in my noggin.
Just as a meandering stream straightens its course from time to time, cutting across the neck of a loop and leaving an oxbow lake behind
So too can a loopy jet stream decide to straighten up its act, and the “surge” was part of a loopy jet:
When a jet straightens up it act, the cut off part of the stream is not called an “oxbow”, but rather a “cut off”, (which shows that meteorologists are occasionally more sensible than geologists). By November 23 the upper air maps showed the “cut off low” was sitting down over Spain. Over Spain a large part of the surge was no longer heading north, but caught up and going around and around and around, like a taxpayer caught up in a bureaucracy.
You will notice that at the top of the above map the jet is basically zooming west to east. The surge from the south has vanished, making a mess of all my forecasts that calculated the surge would move east this far one day, and this far further east the next. The surge simply disappeared, or at the very least fell over and surged west to east. It was confusing. (Actually the same thing happens when I straighten up my own act. It confuses people who depend on me to be loopy.) In any case, this morning’s surface map had a reflection of the cut-off-low stalled over Spain, but what about the North Atlantic low? It will plow west-to-east across Scandinavia in the jet, nothing like the lows that headed straight north, last week.
The tipped over surge can be seen giving some relief to central Asia in the temperature maps.
In the anomaly map the west-to-east surge looks like an arrow, making a layer cake out of the map (to mix my metaphors). The old cold is to the south, still capable of generating a few headlines, but likely to be slowly moderated out of existence. The new cold is along the top, and likely needs to be watched, for it seems likely to be a lasting feature. The “surge” itself seems likely to linger but weaken, but will remain interesting to watch. At the very least it will give some Asians a break, after they have been through an autumn colder than some winters.
But this is all off the point, which was (in case you can’t remember), that the mild air is not surging up to the Pole any more, and that the vast pool of mild air that was transported up there is slowly cooling, day by day.
I should note that Joseph D’Aleo mentioned that when a jet really gets roaring west to east it can act downright human. (After humans have straightened out their act, what tends to happen next? Answer: Their resolve buckles.) In like manner, we should be on our toes, watching for where the jet will next buckle, and get all loopy, (like a human falling off the wagon after keeping a New Year’s resolution as long as they can bear it). However, for the time being, up at the Pole, “Ralph” has little hope of reinforcements from the Atlantic.
Not that “Ralph” has vanished completely. Largely he has retreated to the Canadian Archipelago, as high pressure dominates the Arctic. At the end of my last post there actually was a small ghost of Ralph by the Pole, and hint of Ralph’s “signature” in the temperature map, hooking mildness towards the Pole, despite the power of the expanding high pressure. (See the tiny low by the Pole?)
The next day Ralph’s ghost was just a dent in the high pressure’s isobars. Freezing temperatures had snuck down to the northeast coast of Svalabard.
The next dawn Ralph, like all good ghosts, was vanishing, because that is what ghosts do at dawn. (If you you squint you can still see a microscopic low under the Pole.) The only real import of air towards the Pole was from central Siberia.
The following dawn saw an odd dimple in the high pressure’s isobars, on the Canadian side. It looked like (if you use your imagination) a face, that the ghost of Ralph had punched. Freezing temperatures were engulfing Svalbard. By evening the ghost of Ralph reappeared, (as good ghosts do at dark), just north of the Canadian Archipelago.
Today saw the freezing isotherm slump well south of Svalbard, and Ralph retreat and regroup north of Canada. Models are suggesting Ralph will soon start attacking the Pole from the Canadian side, though with colder air than before. The North Atlantic flow is totally from the north, and Scandinavia looks likely to get a dose of north winds.
The north winds are allowing the sea-ice to build south again where the “surge” had forced it to retreat, in the north part of Barents Sea, and sea-ice is again touching the north coast of Franz Josef Land. There was also a slight reduction on the Pacific side, due to strong south winds and a brief mild inflow a week ago, but that has been more than made up for by regrowth, which has now engulfed Wrangle Island.
A major difference from last year is that Hudson Bay was half skimmed-over last year, and the refreeze hasn’t even started this year. I think this will soon change. The Bay’s waters are shallow, and it tends to freeze over with remarkable speed, which contributes to the speed of the growth of the “extent” graph. I’ll bet a nickle the Bay is entirely frozen by Christmas.
Even though the flow from central Siberia has been weak, it appears to have nudged the thicker ice just off shore, in the Laptev Sea. Watch for the formation of polynyas along the shore there, for that is indicative of the export of ice into the Central Arctic Basin.
Baffin Bay is swiftly icing over, but remains behind last year’s rate of growth..
The Kara Sea’s sea-ice shrank back before the “surge”, but that sea has since swiftly grown sea-ice on its eastern side.
The reversing winds have seen multi-year ice start down through Fram Strait, along the east coast of Greenland, but the ice down towards the coast opposite Iceland in Denmark Strait is largely home grown.
I’m not sure how it is possible, but some models see a colder version of Ralph moving up from Canada to regain complete control of the Pole in a week to ten days. Stay tuned.
I grew up in many ways spoiled rotten, but had the silver spoon ripped from my mouth and learned about a harder side of life, which did me good, because it increased my ability to be thankful. Perhaps it is a bit sad that we mortals seem to need to see the dark side in order to appreciate the bright side, but that is how it is. Even from our very beginnings we had to fall on our butts a number of times before we learned to walk, and likely squalled in our frustration and pain many times before we felt the glee of standing and steering our flesh where we wanted it to go.
In John 16, midst words of consolation and comfort, Jesus spelled it out plainly, ” In this world you will have trouble.” You can’t get plainer than that.
One thing that astounds me, when I look backwards towards people who were middle aged when I was young, is the hell those people went through before I was born, and the amazing hope they retained despite their misery. It is in glaring contrast to many modern youth, who have had everything handed to them on a silver platter, and yet seem without hope.
The farmers in 1928 were unprepared for the economic ruin of the coming stock market crash and Great Depression, and then were swiftly hit by the amazing Climate Change (much worse than anything we are now experiencing) that led to the ruin of the Dust Bowl.
Back in 1984, during my wandering days, I befriended an old Kansas farmer whose family had held on to their farm despite the drought, and the tales he could tell of “dirt storms” and 115°F heat were amazing. The sheer dogged tenacity his father had to display, even while dying of TB, to hold onto his farm, even as neighbors lost theirs, was inspiring.
It was not a happy thing to see neighbors became homeless, and to not be able to help. 15% of the population of Oklahoma went from being middle-class home-owners to being “Okies” fleeing to California, where many were reduced to the status of migrant farm-workers living in shacks without running water. Hearing these tales (and rereading “Grapes Of Wrath”) was enough to wake me to the fact my own troubles, (which involved sleeping in my car and being penniless), were small potatoes, for I was still young and free, and not a father with kids.
The Dust Bowl was a huge disaster to what was deemed “The American Way”, and gave everyone a good reason to be bitter, but somehow they held on to hope. Even the farmers who lost everything could hum a song of departure.
During those dark days one out of four workers lacked a job, on any given day. Having a good job, for example as a steel-worker, might mean you not only supported your own family, but your brother’s and brother-in-law’s. (I worked with such an old steel-worker for a while, as I drifted.) Those who were not so lucky, and had no one to turn to, often drifted, but they held onto hope.
Compare that trauma, faced by the people who lived eighty years ago, with the present trauma faced by young students at college, who recently woke up to find they were on the losing side of an election.
“Camosy elaborated on the problem in an interview, ‘People who are college educated, especially on hot button issues like life or choice or sex or marriage, are unable to even imagine how someone might have a different opinion,’ he told The Daily Beast. ‘ They’ve never been exposed to a different opinion except as a caricature.'”
So what? Big deal, right? In every election, someone loses. But for students, apparently it was a big deal.
“At campuses across the country, students begged professors to cancel classes and postpone exams, citing fear, exhaustion, and emotional trauma. Such accommodations were frequently granted: Academics at Columbia University, Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and other institutions told students to take some time to come to terms with what had happened, as if the election of Donald Trump was akin to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.”
To me it seemed that the young were actually being taught by a better teacher than their professors. The teacher? It was a thing called Reality. And what was Reality teaching? It was teaching that “shutting down” discussion does not “end” discussion. Just because professors say it is politically incorrect to even dare broach a subject on campus does not mean people off-campus don’t dare talk. And get fed up. And rise up as a majority and elect an individual who is politically incorrect. That is Reality.
Let me put it in a politically incorrect manner, and simply say the professors were the ones who were incorrect. Their judgement wasn’t merely stilted, but wrong. They got an “F”. All they said was “correct”, politically or otherwise, should be regarded with deep suspicion. All papers they corrected need to be regraded, for what they said was correct was wrong, and what they said was incorrect rose up and overruled them.
It is little wonder the schools are mollycoddling the students. The schools are scared. They are seeking to soothe the enraged response of those they misguided, before it happens. They are well aware the salary they have earned may be measured in white-hot rage. After all, the students have had to accept a debt as large as a mortgage for a house, even to attend their classes, and now the young are going to slowly awake to the fact the teachers didn’t know diddlysquat, and all the money youth spent was spent on impostors. Little wonder teachers are stressing that students need to stay calm, and join therapy groups, and pat puppies. If the students don’t stay calm, and rise in rage, the teachers might well see what Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” brought to the colleges of China, where nearly every professor experienced a dramatic shortening of tenure.
Of course, being leftists, they are well aware college professors in China wound up as serfs, knee deep in mud, planting rice until they collapsed of exhaustion. They know that, under Pol Pot, anyone in Cambodia with a writer’s callus on their middle finger was promptly executed. However they always assumed that it was other educated people, and not they themselves, that the left considered “the problem”, and deemed worth “purging”. Therefore they accepted the idea you could ostracize other thinkers as being “politically incorrect”, and never think past that present tense, and never see that a day might dawn when students might rise in wrath, and take aim at not “others”, but at you.
I can think of few things less like the spirit of the holiday of Thanksgiving than students being so non-thankful that they kill their teachers. However, in a way, that is what the left teaches. They scorn time-tested values as being “old fashioned”. Is that not mocking elders and the lessons of the past? Did they not understand they themselves are not young, and are “of the past”, and a day may come when they themselves might face the very scorn they now call “politically correct”?
Fortunately the majority of Americans are not “politically correct”. The last election proved this. Therefore what happened in China and Cambodia likely will not happen here. We will respect our elders, in our own way, even if we refuse to fund the professors who say that respecting elders is old-fashioned. (It is interesting to note that “respecting oldsters” is suddenly acceptable, when such professors turn to the subjects of their own tenure and pensions.)
The only thing that could over-rule America’s good fortune would be an attempt to over-rule the will of the people and the results of the election. Professors would need to simply state, “The public does not know what is good for it”, and institute a dictatorship. This is unlikely to happen, as the students they have trained would likely be too inept to make a good army. I think (and pray) that America is more likely to accept the election results, and to muddle through.
Furthermore, some interesting music will be made by people coming to terms with the current crisis. I am especially interested in the songs the young will make, as they wrestle with the mess their professors stirred up. I bet that, despite the seemingly hopeless quicksand professors have placed our young in, you will hear hope in their songs, just as the voice of hope sung from the seemingly hopeless Dust Bowl and Great Depression.
I am always amazed by such music, whether it occurred 80 years ago or it occurs today. It is like the “Whos of Whoville” singing even though the Grinch stole Christmas. It is a thing utterly inspiring, and beyond the ken of both money-grubbing Capitalists and murderous Communists. It is the power of the peon, and it is the reason the Founding Fathers of this nation gave the peon the same single vote it gave to billionaires and professors.
Politics tends to be a noisome landscape as devoid of new, refreshing music as a bank, and therefore there is something beyond money and political correctness in the wellsprings of music. It will be there even if the left overrules democracy and such music becomes the swansong of a dying nation. It will migrate to some other land if it has to, for it is a hope greater than we are. And I thought I heard this music, like a distant choir in a gale, within the political incorrectness of the last election’s results.
I am so thankful, this Thanksgiving, for that music.
Despite all difficulties, the people still sing.
(Note: Above quotes [in red] were from an article in The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/16/elite-campuses-offer-students-coloring-books-puppies-to-get-over-trump.html )
We are in a bit of a lull at the Pole, which is rough on us ice-watchers, spoiled as we are by an autumn of headlines. However even the pounding surf knows a lull between when the wave comes rushing up the beach, and when it starts sucking back. Even the passage of a hurricane knows the calm of the eye. Even the rushes of ocean tides know the serene slack of ebb tide. Even Climate Scientists know the sudden silence of changing presidents. And therefore, to complete this cycle, I reiterate: We are in a bit of a lull at the Pole.
Not that temperatures are even close to normal, but they are steeply falling in that “normal”direction.
Temperatures could well continue to crash all the way down to the green line, but the media has trouble writing headlines for the current event. The media are in an awkward position, for they were publicly exposed as having their pants down for Hillary the past election, and even Democrats are furious about the media’s ludicrous bias, for it resulted in grotesque inaccuracies. Most people do not purchase papers or click on newscasts to see what isn’t true. Therefore the media is in no position to attract more ridicule, but their Global Warming bias is (and long has been) one of the greatest magnets for the scorn they so richly deserve, and the above graph, even if honestly reported, offers nearly infinite opportunities for sarcasm.
An honest headline describing the above situation would be “Plunging Temperatures At Pole Are Still Well Above Normal”. However the media has so sensationalized and politicized the boring subject of temperatures that a mere graph is seen in the manner of a horse-race, and therefore the above headline sounds a little like “Dead Horse Still Leads Race”.
Likely our changed political climate will see the media split between the shrill, (still screaming about Global Warming), and the wise, (who will lay low and put Global Warming news in the back pages, or perhaps not even show up at Climate Scientist’s alarming press-conferences at all).
This in turn will traumatize the Global-Warming Climate Scientists, who have been basically mollycoddled by the press since 1986, (thirty bleeping years!), as they blared sensationalistic tripe, even while the more humdrum Climate Scientists, (who deal with dull data, and facts, and a seemingly boring thing called Truth), have found themselves in the mystifying position of being lambasted for merely clearing their throats, and beginning a sentence with, “Ahem, I beg your pardon, but the facts actually show that…” Some even approached the status of being martyrs, (which must have amazed a fun-loving, beer-enjoying, and utterly honest fellow like Bill Gray).
Now a single election has turned the tables. Not that Truth has changed. Truth is Truth, and doesn’t care who wins elections. However the “disbursement of funds” has changed, and there are some who care more for money than Truth. Such people now find themselves sitting far out on a limb they clambered out onto, to get funds from a past leader, which the newly elected leader seems likely to saw from the tree. You can expect such fellows to scream like the dickens. I don’t blame them. If I were out on a limb, and someone else was sawing the branch I squatted upon, I’d scream too. I’d scream even louder as the limb cracked and I headed down towards a bruising. In the end there will be an eventual “Ouch!” And Truth will remain utterly unmoved. Truth doesn’t care how funds are disbursed.
I will be moved by downfalls, but only slightly in the direction of pity. You see, when it comes to “cruising for a bruising”, I’ve been way further out on limbs than Climate Scientists, and done far more screaming and falling, and have healed from bruises in places Climate Scientists don’t even dream about. Why? Because I am the sort of fool who fights city hall, while a majority of Climate Scientists were the coddled pets of city hall. They received amazing amounts of money while I only received abuse. They flew off to first class hotels in Bali to chat over high-priced cocktails before lavish lunches, as I worked honest jobs for an honest beer. And I was mocked, and called a “denier”. Therefore I hope I will be excused for only pitying them slightly, as the dead limb they climbed out on is sawed off. (My secret snickering and sniggering is, of course, utterly nonspiritual, and I attempt to quell it.) (Though I confess sometimes the harder I try not to laugh, the greater the urge grows.)
The greatest irony is that the above graph is exactly the sort which a Global Warming Alarmist might have dreamed of, but never could formerly hope for. If it had happened a few years ago its propaganda value would have been enormous. (Truth might be otherwise, but propaganda is propaganda.) Now it seems likely Alarmists won the lottery aboard the sinking Titanic.
Personally I think the above graph indicates our reckless planet is squandering heat we need, (it being winter, and I being in favor of low heating bills,) and is furthermore squandering our needed warmth to neither political party, but to an inhumane outer space.
What does outer space have that I haven’t got? Why does Earth spend heat there, and not here? Now I know how a sailor’s wife feels, when her husband goes on a bender in a foreign port. Unfortunately, I lack the power of a sailor’s wife, and our planet will not listen when I scold it (for I do not think I control the weather and the sea level, unlike a certain president I will soon be glad to call “former”.)
The stream of heat to the Pole has often produced a sort of swirl on its way to outer space and to warming the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri. It is as if the loss of heat produces a whirl like the drain of a bathtub. My sense of humor dubbed this persistent area of swirling low pressure “Ralph” nearly half a year ago, but, in my humble opinion, Ralph has been neglected by the media. Only when Ralph, not once, but twice, achieved the status of 960 mb gales last August did the press bother to note him, and even then, despite his efforts and his status of achieving top-ten status, (in the ranking of summer polar gales in recent history), the unappreciative press swiftly gave Ralph a cold shoulder. Why? Because Ralph didn’t reduce enough sea-ice. What a piffling objection to give to a abstract entity who, were he mortal, might have the status of a superstar athlete! It is a good thing Ralph is an inanimate entity, for, were he animate, he would be royally pissed off, and his heart might grow cold.
Obviously I am displaying a certain bias here, but I figure that, after putting up with thirty years of ludicrous bias on the part of Global Warming Scientists, and enduring their sense of entitlement, I am entitled to an entitlement all my own. And this is especially true because I am not, nor have I ever pretended to be, a true scientist. Rather I am a reporter, a fellow who pries and asks questions and then states observations. In other words I am a witness, at a trial, speaking truth as I saw it, and able to be perfectly frank and able to confess my bias.
I have to admit that I have grown sort of fond of Ralph. I keep writing him off, yet he keeps reappearing. You can’t help but admire that sort of persistence, even though I suppose it is ridiculous to admire an inanimate object. However I do admire clouds and sunsets, and get scolded for it, because I should be attending to animate things and duties, (such as feeding my nagging goats.)
However now it looks like Ralph has run out of luck. He needs a feed of warm air, either as steady streams or as blobs, and the maps show the Arctic Oscillation turning negative, which means a low pressure like Ralph has a hard time existing at the Pole. Ralph’s last reincarnation has been weakening and fading at the Pole, and he has slumped towards the Canadian Archipelago as a mere “weakness”, as high pressure builds at the Pole.
As recently as November 18 Ralph still owned the Pole, but the cold winds in his lee had reversed the flow from south-to-north to north-to-south in Fram Strait, and those cold winds had swept down to Iceland and then hooked east to Britain, and secondary prodigy of Ralph along that cold front were cutting off their father’s flow of Atlantic moisture, eventually becoming three storms: Off Norway; and in the North Sea; and off the northwest coast of Spain (only the most northern appears in the below maps.)
Cut off from funding, the un-thanked and unheralded martyr Ralph shrunk towards the Canadian Archipelago by November 21.
Although I confess my bias and fondness for Ralph, I am also a realist, and awaited his demise as the high pressure built over the Pole.
You will note, in the above map, that even as the high pressure builds there is this peculiar circle of weak low pressure right next to the Pole. That’s what I admire about Ralph. Even when defeated, he makes his reality known. (Sort of like Climate Skeptics, the past thirty years.)
Even though it looks like the high pressure will increase, I can’t help but be on guard for a reappearance of Ralph. The negative Arctic Oscillation may just be an ebb tide, and the next wave of warmth may soon hurtle north, creating the next incarnation of Ralph.
Therefore I seek Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps at the Weatherbell site (week free trial available) to get all futuristic, and to see, as the models see,into the future.
In the short term, it sure does look like the high pressure at the Pole will strengthen. Below shows “now” to the left, and “72 hours from now” to the right.
The thing about the negative AO is that high pressure at the Pole prevents the inflow of warm air, as lows rotate around the periphery. Therefore the mild air up there, un-reinforced, can only do what air does at night; IE: Get cooler and cooler, awaiting dawn. But dawn is months away, at the Pole. You can see the freezing isotherm retreating slowly back to Svalbard in the above temperature maps, but without any Ralph-feeding south winds, I start to look for some serious cold to develop. (Temperatures have to sink down to close to -30°C before the relatively mild waters of the Arctic Sea, at -1°C, can penetrate the ice above and slow (and even prevent) further falling of temperatures.)
As I looked into the crystal ball, the European model showed that indeed temperatures crash at the Pole, and in a week have crashed to -30°C:
I expected that cold air would be heavy, and pressing down, and create high pressure. So I confidently clicked over to the Maue map for the same time, showing pressures. Yowza! Did I ever get a shock! Rather than high pressure, Ralph was back! But his heart was cold!
I have not the slightest idea how extremely cold air can be a low pressure system. Therefore, rather than science, I’ll resort to handy old blame.
This is all your fault! I’ve been talking about Ralph for months, but you fellow wouldn’t budge from your preconceived ideas. Now you’ve gone and hurt poor old Ralph’s feelings. He is feeling spurned, hurt, neglected, and his heart has hardened and gone cold. Even the GFS model is showing that, for the first time in a long, long time, below-normal cold temperatures are appearing to the Canadian side of the Pole, a week from now.
Now let me display my Ralph bias: When I see that cold north of Canada, and compare it to the warmth north of the Kara Sea, I get to wondering what Ralph might make of the difference in temperature. Could a clash occur? I imagine Ralph might reincarnate in a manner the models do not yet see.
However that is my bias and my sheer humbug, based on the humbug created by virtual reality, created by models. It is the virtual reality of my unscientific imagination built upon the virtual reality of computers. Real reality is quite different, and we never know what it will be, until we get there.
If you are the sort of person described as “New Age”, and pretend to understand Buddha, you act all Zen and call that Real reality, “The Now”. But I’m just a bumpkin, so I’ll just call it, “Ralph.”
“Whammy” is a word invented by the amazingly inventive American cartoonist Al Capp, for what most would call a “spell” or “hex” which one person puts on another, to do another harm. (Apparently Capp got the idea from news about a boxing trainer, who was well known in boxing circles in New York City last century, who attempted to help his boxers by using his “evil eye” on opponents). In Al Capp cartoons the original character who utilized the power of a “whammy” was “Evil-Eye Fleagle”, (who had oil-drenched hair and spoke with a thick Brooklyn accent).
The only defense against the bad-guy Fleagle that the atrociously naive good-guy hero, (Lil’ Abner), had was: His all-powerful mother, the amazingly self-reliant Mama Yokum.
Usually practical, when necessary Mama Yokum could reach into her vast repertoire of knowledge and pull out some occult skills of her own, and it turned out she didn’t only understand the power of a “whammy”, but could muster a “triple whammy”, that purportedly could melt a battleship. Therefore, when her amazingly innocent son, (and her completely ineffectual and hapless husband), managed to become entangled with the likes of Evil-Eye Fleagle, (which the two bumpkins did with dependable regularity), [for how else are we to sell comics?], Mama Yokum saved the day.
Amazing things have been occurring at the Pole, and while we have yet to see anything quite as amazing Mama Yokum’s triple whammy, I think we are witnessing, in the world of arctic sea-ice, a double whammy, though I am not quite sure whether it a bad thing brewed up by Fleagle, or a good thing Mama has cooked up.
I suppose it depends on what temperature you prefer. Some like it hot, and some like it cold. I prefer a milder climate, for my study of history convinces me that the Global Warming that occurred in the Medieval Warm Period benefited humanity in most places, especially Europe and the Mideast. On the other hand, the Little Ice Age brought famine and plauges.
Here is the old graph, created by Hurbert Lamb back around 1980, which shows it was as warm or warmer, back then, as it is now.
Lamb’s graph has been largely “disappeared” in favor of a graph showing a “hockey stick” increase over the recent past, created by Michael Mann, despite the fact major flaws have been pointed out in Mann’s work, and his graph is discredited. (I suppose I should reproduce Mann’s graph, but I figure that, if he feels he can “erase the Medieval Warm Period”, (and Lamb’s hard work), I can get a sort of petty revenge by erasing his dumb graph right back at him). In any case, the Medieval Warm Period is gradually reappearing in graphs, and I suspect that, if I live long enough, I’ll see things “come full cycle.” (It has been an odd thirty years to live through, and has sadly lessened my respect for scientists, though not for True Science.)
The warm-period before the Medieval Warm Period was called the Roman Climate Optimum, and apparently it was not merely milder in the north, but wetter in the Mideast, necessitating the building of Roman bridges over rivers that are now largely dry.
In my younger day I liked to peruse the Bible and think I was scientific every time I found something that I didn’t deem “factual”. One thing that struck me was descriptions of lands I knew were parched as being lush and green. Now I’m older and slightly wiser and not so quick to scoff. In the Mideast, at least, warmer apparently was wetter. In fact, if one goes back to the very start of the Holocene, apparently the entire Sahara was wet, and held lakes and green pastures. The drought that ended those days may well have led to mass migrations to the Nile, and may have resulted in the surplus manpower that built the first pyramids. Echoes of that drought, or another, may come to us in the Biblical tale of the “seven fat years and the seven lean years”, and of the original exodus of Joseph’s brothers to Egypt.
One interesting thing noted by scientists poking around in the sediments on the bottoms of ancient dry lakes in the Sahara is that the end of the green times in the Sahara apparently was not gradual, but rather was swift. This is good news, if you are a flat-broke scientist and need some future-fright to help you “scare up funds” for further research. However I tend to see the ancient drought as a result of cooling, and to dream of how nice it might be if we hit a climate “tipping-point” heading the other way, due to warming. Think what a change it would be if the Sahara suddenly became a vast pasture! The desert might bloom!
I will confess this does put me at odds with those folk who use Global Warming as an excuse to gnaw their nails down to their nubs, and to bewail that getting a Real Job is futile, and to conclude they might as well sit about industriously bemoaning the evils of industry. My opinions shock them, for I think warming would be a nice thing. Besides pastures in the Sahara we might raise 100,000 sheep and goats in Greenland again, as the Vikings did, and grow crops up in their deserted farms, where there is now only permafrost.
Therefore you might think I’d be pleased by the current warmth at the Pole, which is like nothing we have seen in recent times:
I do entertain a slim hope this may indicate a true Climate Optimum is upon us, but I am not lowering my guard, because I have a worry this may be the first part of a double whammy.
The warmth at the Pole may be part one of the whammy, because there are few places that lose our planet’s heat more efficiently than the North Pole at winter. There is no sunshine to add any heat, and the constant night devours any available heat upwards, to the void of outer space. All the lost heat must be either stolen from the Arctic Sea, or from the land’s surface, or imported by south winds. Not much is lost from the land once the surface is frozen, but the seas have been slow to freeze so they are losing more heat than usual, and also far more air has surged up from the south this year, (fueling a persistent low I dubbed “Ralph”). In essence, record mildness at the Pole is indicative of record amounts of heat being lost. My worry is: Losing record amounts of heat is not suggestive of warming, but quite the opposite.
The second part of the double whammy is occurring further south, where there is sunshine, and that sunshine could supply some sort of warming, despite the fact the winter days are short. The primary preventor of warming, in those lower latitudes, is snow cover, for nothing bounces sunshine away from the earth quite as well as a fresh cover of snow, and this year, despite the fact it may be milder at the Pole, it has been colder to the south, and the snow-cover appeared earlier and spread further south, especially in Eurasia.
(Blast. Only October 6 shows below. It was suppose to be an animation. I’ll follow it with a map from November 20. If you want to see the animation you’ll have to punch-in the dates you want, and the “Northern Hemisphere” tab, at this site: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/snow-and-ice/snow-cover/nh/20161120 )
It is hard to envision, if you are enjoying the late start to winter in many parts of North America, how brutal it has been in Eurasia. I suggest that the curious visit this site: https://iceagenow.info/ and check out their reports from Russia, China, Mongolia, and now even Iran. (This is a good site to visit to hear the news the mainstream media shuns, as such news-of-snow-and-cold doesn’t support the theme of “Global Warming”.) I will merely mention that the cold makes more cold, for snow makes long nights colder, due to radiational cooling, and makes short days colder as well, due to the albedo of fresh fallen snow, and that this expanding cold expands the rain-snow line south, until, this year, places that usually only see snow in the dead of winter are seeing record amounts when winter hasn’t even started. Down in Kazakhstan there even have been reports of collapsing roofs.
The cruel weather on the far side of the planet might not seem to concern me much, but over at the Weatherbell Site Joe Bastardi mentioned an old “bathtub slosh” idea used by pre-computer-model meteorologists, wherein the weather on one side of the planet “teleconnects” to the other, a few weeks later. IE: Siberian cold could visit North America.
I don’t want such worry, for, as I explained, I’m all for Global Warming. When I was younger I liked snow, but now, when the forecast is rain, and snow starts mixing in (as happened here in Southern New Hampshire this morning) I frown like an old fuddy-duddy and am not the slightest bit thrilled, and my single thought is, “Stop!”
If the snowcover expands on this side of the planet the second part of the double whammy will be complete. We will be losing heat at the Pole, as mildness is exported up there. And we will be losing heat at lower latitudes, due to snow cover.
Forgive me if I sound a bit grumpy, but that doesn’t seem one bit like Global Warming to me. And winter hasn’t even officially started yet!
MONDAY —SNOW IGNORED STOP SIGN
This dusting likely won’t last, despite the low sun, for the ground beneath hasn’t frozen yet, and the snow will be heated from beneath and even if it doesn’t melt it will rapidly sublimate. But even a daybreak of snow cover makes an immediate difference in temperatures, which are down to 26°F (-3°C), roughly five degrees colder than they’d be if the ground was bare.
If you go to the (free) public Weatherbell site and scroll down to Joe Bastardi’s (free) daily update here: http://www.weatherbell.com/ you will get (this Monday morning) a wonderfully succinct description of how “above normal” air at the arctic circle breeds increased snow-cover down over the USA. (Warning: He and Joseph D’Aleo are addictive, and unless you control yourself you may find yourself spending the price of a cheap cup of coffee every day for their non-public updates.) (Warning: They have a week-free-trial to get you addicted.)
At this point I’ll quickly go over the recent polar maps, which seem to show the amazing surge of warmth from the Atlantic to the Pole is, at least temporarily, coming to a halt.
When we last looked (November 18) Ralph was fading up over the Pole, and behind Ralph a major surge of cold was at long last going the “right way” down through Fram Strait as high pressure at long last built over Greenland. This cold air continued south over Iceland and then took a sharp left to drive a cold front across the Atlantic. Just as people in Scotland were looking nervously east at the advancing Siberian air, a sneak attack came from the west, and they got Icelandic cold and snow. Meanwhile the mild southerly surge was shifting west to give central Europe a break from the cold.
The following maps show Ralph slowly fades at the Pole, but never vanishes completely, nor does Ralph’s “signature”, which is a hook of milder air towards the Pole from the Atlantic side. However the air is cooling faster than mild air can be imported. (Also the air may be robbed of some of its moisture by passing over European mountains, and therefore less latent heat is released by condensation and freezing over the Pole.) The freezing isotherm stops advancing and in some places retreats. Also a Pacific influx of mild air creates a mirror-signature on that side for a while, which then fades. On a whole things grow more quiet at the Pole, which ought allow cooling to predominate now.
The cold front Ralph swung across the Atlantic begat a whole slew of Secondaries, (I lost count after “Ralph the Fifth”) which have stopped heading up to the Pole, and instead have become a stalled mess of North Atlantic lows which involve such a hopeless tangle of fronts I’m glad I live on this side of the Pond, where fronts are less messy and forecasting is simpler. Looking at the map below I find it unsurprising that so many English forecasters look like they are having bad-hair-days.
One can see the southerly flow is still surging up over central Europe, but it is hard to figure out how wide it is, with Siberian air encroaching from the east and Icelandic air mingled in from the west. At this point I seek out Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps over at the Weatherbell site. The temperature anomaly map for Europe shows it remains a decently wide surge.
It is important to remember, when looking at anomaly maps, that cherry red to the north doesn’t mean you ask Scandinavian and Siberian babes to don bikinis. It is still below freezing up there, if you check out a Maue Map that shows the actual temperatures.
Also, when you look east into Asia, you see the unreal cold may be shunted a bit south, but still shudders in the wings.
Indeed the above map seems a good picture of the Double Whammy: Warmth being lost to the north, as snow-cover to the south deflects further warmth. The mild surge may be a well-earned respite for the over-taxed peoples of Eurasia, but I fear the cold is merely reloading, before its next shots.
The fact that the American people rose up in revulsion against a couple who the future will see as the Bonnie and Clyde of the 21st century was only the end of the beginning.
The simple fact of the matter is that there are those who think they know more than the majority of the Republic. The the defeat of the Clintons seems, to them, a mere blip in the progress of their progressiveness. They now circle their wagons to reassure themselves with kisses and hugs.
And then they get down to business. And what is their business? Deciding our future for us, as we are obviously too stupid to govern the course of our own destinies.
Compared to these big-shots I’m just small potatoes, just “Jojo with his yoyo”. But I am being cryptic. Who exactly was “Jojo with his yoyo”, you ask?
In order to understand me you must study American prophets and poets, (of whom there are, recently, remarkably few), and then you must focus in on one of the few Greats, named Dr. Seuss. (His poetry beats the crap out of the drivel produced by most dweebs at modern universities.)
More than half a century ago the prophet Seuss prophesied that the “elephant” would hear the “smallest”. (IE; big business Republicans would hear their little workers) and attempt to save them.
However a Globalist “kangaroo court” would oppose the “elephant”.
And this kangaroo court would go so far as to send the ape-like Wickersham family (IE the Clintons) to destroy the little workers.
At this point it became very necessary for the little workers to make a great noise, so the Globalists might hear them, but the Globalists remained strangely deaf, despite the fact all the little workers were doing their best, except for one, who was Jojo with his yoyo. (Me.)
According to Dr Suess, it was only when Jojo added his little “yop” to the din made by others, that the Globalists heard the voice of the little workers.
I would like to believe my little “yop” has such power, the power of a pebble to start an avalanche, but my life-experience does not make me believe I have such power. For the most part, the Wickersham brothers have steamrolled me. However, in honor of Dr. Seuss, I will donate my small “yop” to the Globalists.
My “yop” to Globalists is this:
You guys seem to think anything like patriotism is evil, and internationalism is where it is at. We are suppose to be blind to skin color and religion and all differences. I say blindness is a failure to discriminate. Prejudice is wrong, but discrimination is not a dirty word. We need to discriminate. We need to discriminate between right and wrong, between good and evil, and between those whom we are obliged to help and those we are not.
You guys think anything less than internationalism is fascism, but charity begins at home. A home is the smallest nation, the atom of which larger molecules are formed, but because it is a nation you despise it, see it as racist, and want to replace it with some classroom and some Big Brother. But you can’t replace a mother’s love and a father’s love. No facsimile will suffice.
If we don’t take care of our own, how can we begin to take care of our neighbors? If a man can’t be faithful to his wife, or a woman can’t be faithful to the unborn in her womb, of what use is high-minded talk of faithfulness to an international brotherhood? We need to begin with the small, but you sneer at the small. Just look at how you mock “family values” as being some sort of “thing of the past”. You convey more honor on a broken home than a healthy home, and more dignity upon people who shun the opposite sex, than upon those who marry the greatest opposite there is.
Is it any wonder that your brand of internationalism brings ruin wherever it goes? What has the globalism of the United Nations touched that it hasn’t promptly turned to shit? Do you not see the genocides your Midas touch has imparted?
Therefore my “yop” is this:
In the name of God stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Stop this delusion you are deluded by.
When I last posted (November 11) the last incarnation of “Ralph” had swung from northeast of Greenland over to the Kara Sea and then plunged down into Russia. In Ralph’s wake I expected high pressure to build over the Pole, but instead a weak wrong-way-flow persisted in Fram Stait, bringing Atlantic air north, and we could see the weak beginnings of a cross-polar-flow from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
This development continued until the cross-polar-flow grew quite strong.
This is a pretty odd map, as Greenland’s icecap usually grows high pressure that feeds a howling north wind that pushes ice south in Fram Strait, but now low pressure dominates the area and south winds persist in Fram Strait, both bringing mild air north and preventing the sea-ice from being flushed south (as it usually is.)
The temperature map show’s Ralph’s “signature” as mild air streaming north, on the Siberian side of the Pole, with the freezing isotherm pushed north of Svalbard, and the -5°C isotherm pushed close to the Pole. It was 25 degrees warmer over the Arctic Sea than to the south, over Siberia, where temperatures were below -30°C. Just northwest of Greenland temperature were down near -25°C. I expected a reincarnation of Ralph to arise as the mild air clashed with the cold. With pressures so high on the Siberian side I looked to the Canadian side, but the storm that brewed up looked to be an Atlantic storm north of Iceland.
Rather than taking the more usual west-to-east North Atlantic route (with a few loop-de-loops) over to Barents Sea and Kara Sea, this storm obstinately headed north into Fram Strait. It was determined to be Ralph, and not a North Atlantic storm.
Not only is this storm headed up to the Pole, but a secondary forming between Iceland and Norway may follow in its footsteps, heading a little west of due north and also passing through Fram Strait the wrong way.
This surge of mildness, even if not actually thawing the sea-ice, is slowing the ice’s growth and resulting in a totally amazing up-spike in the DMI temperatures-north-of-80°-latitude graph:
There have been impressive autumnal spikes other years (for example 1994 and 2000) but they were short lived and earlier. The mild temperatures this year have been “unprecedentedly” persistent.
That may be about to change, as the Arctic Oscillation is forecast to roller-coaster downwards into negative territory.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see about this. Models can be wrong. However I’ve been expecting a pattern flip for some time. The persistence of this pattern has led to some extremes. Alarmists may be glad to see less sea-ice, but they also predicted the icecap of Greenland would shrink, but the same surges that bring mildness up through Fram Strait have led to amazing snows over Greenland, and, rather than shrinking, the icecap is growing at a rate that puts its yearly increase far ahead of schedule.
Also, though the surge makes it warm over the Pole, a sort of backwash beneath makes it amazingly cold over Asia, as much as twenty degrees Celsius below normal, in the anomaly map:
Some of this cold spills east out over to the Pacific, but it also backs west over Europe, which also shows a lot of cold anomalies.
I like the above map because it shows both the mild surge rushing northeast over Great Britain and Scandinavia, and the cold backwash heading south west over the rest of Europe. Also it shows the backwash even managed to cross the mild Mediterranean and get to Morocco and Algeria.
I always like to work the subject of Africa into my posts about Arctic Sea-Ice, but usually I have to wait until January. The picture below is from the mountains of Alegeria on November 8.
I often have the sense that, when things get this far out of kilter, they do mot merely swing back to normal, but rather swing to another extreme. Therefore I am as curious as ten cats about what the “pattern flip” will look like, if and when it ever gets around to happening.
Also I distrust my own experience when looking at certain maps. Sometimes a map doesn’t show the speed at which change is occurring. An analogy might be looking at the headlight of a train. Even if the headlight looks the same in two different situations, it makes a difference if the train is standing still, or coming right at you at a high rate of speed.
I am intrigued at the speed at which the water chilled in the north Pacific. In one way it looks like a ho-hum map of a warm PDO:
However the change happened so swiftly I wonder if the momentum might carry it right past a warm PDO into a cold one.
In any case, there’s a lot to watch and wonder about. Stay tuned.
EVENING UPDATES —Peak Of The Surge?—
I just had to include these two maps, as they tickle my imagination with wonder.
The newest Ralph’s secondary, just off the coast of Norway, is going (according to models) to take a sharp left. You often see this when gales loop-de-loop up there, however the models see this secondary failing to complete the loop, and instead trailing Ralph up to the Pole and dissipating up there. However the developing low just west of Iceland, which I suppose we could call the tertiary of Ralph, will head to Norway, turn sharply left, but not continue north, and instead just loop-de-loop. In fact (if you can trust models that far ahead), it will loop-de-loop-de-loop-de-loop, between Norway and the Kara Sea, for a solid week, which I suppose is a new pattern.
If you look at the above temperature map you can see the surge of mildness on the Eurasian side of the Pole. The freezing isotherm is well north of Svalbard, and not all that far from the Pole. (In and of itself this is not so terribly rare; I’ve seen warm surges up to the Pole in the dead of winter; last Christmas was the most recent example. )
This pattern is messing with my head, because all my pet theories are being trashed. For example, having “Ralph” at the Pole is indicative of a positive AO, which is suppose to have a more zonal jet around the Pole, not the loopy jet we’ve seen. A loopy jet is more indicative of a negative AO, as is the backwash bringing Siberian cold to Europe.
Looking at the above favorite-graphic-of-mine (lifted years ago from Joseph D’Aleo’s blog at the Weatherbell site) it seems Ralph is a hybrid and fits neither scheme. In some ways Ralph is like a Negative AO displaced to the east. Rather than the jet looping north to the west of Greenland we see the surge rush north to the east, and rather than the jet looping south again west of Scandinavia it comes south into Siberia. But the backwash is there, even if it doesn’t extend to England. Even though Ralph has made the AO officially positive, anyone in Central Europe would laugh and roll their eyes at the above graphic for a warm AO, which shows an arrow labeled “Mild” jabbing through Europe. The “Ice Age Now” site is full of stories of the amazing early winter clobbering Russia and Kazakhstan; ski areas in the Alps are opening three weeks early; and even way down in Sana’a, where the normal high temp is 25°C (77°F), instead the actual high temp recorded was 2°C (36°F). (You don’t know where Sana’a is? It is the capital of Yemen, in southwest Arabia, by the mouth of the Red Sea. Gosh, I thought everyone knew that!) Folk in Sana’a posted amazed pictures of snow in the hills around the capital (a bit blurry, I fear):
In order for the hybrid jet to revert to the above graphic of a “normal” negative AO, the current surge up past Svalbard into the Arctic Sea is going to sag all the way south until it heads due east through the Mediterranean. This crosses my eyes. For this to happen the surge will have to crash headlong into the current backwash even as a new backwash grows above it. (Don’t ask me to reconcile this discord. I’m just going to sit back, watch, and eat popcorn.) (And buy extra firewood.)
For the record, I should record that the current sea-ice extent is rising rapidly but still below normal.
Here is the NRL Concentration map. A lot of the gain has been in the East Siberian Sea, which is barely skimmed over. Also note ice isn’t all the way down the east coast of Greenland.
And here is the thickness map:
If the pattern flips and the AO goes negative, Kara Sea should skim over in a hurry. Hudson Bay often flash freezes, but we’ll have to wait and see how far west the jet is, if and when the pattern flips.
Don’t be surprised by surprises, but be surprised if you’re not surprised.
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE
Both Ralph and Ralph’s secondary are heading up to the Pole with the surge of mild air, as Ralph’s tertiary stalls in their wake down by Britain. In the wake of this trio of storms a counter-surge of cold air is being swung south and east in the Atlantic, as the surge shifts east and warms Western Europe.
The temperature maps show the freezing isotherm never quite made it to the Pole, but the curl of Ralph’s signature is clearly seen even as Ralph weakens and fades, in terms of isobars. I have never seen such mildness up at the Pole this late in the autumn.
What I keep thinking is that the current pattern is a the worst possible investment of the planet’s heat. There is no sunshine at the Pole and all heat is being squandered to outer space. The stratosphere is at its lowest at the Pole, and even as we watch we can expect the mild temperatures to now crash a quick twenty degrees (and still be above normal) as all the surface heat rises to become occluded fronts and is largely lost. Heat that isn’t lost immediately to outer space will form clouds and snow, which releases latent heat during phase changes, both as the vapor condenses to water and as the water freezes to snow, and this heat is then also lost. (Any falling snow is a buffer against future heat, for, in the late spring, when the snow starts to melt in the midday sun, heat is sucked up in the process, becoming latent heat.)
We have no control over weather, but if we did a zonal flow would be a better way to budget the planetary heat, for the heat would stay further south and the Pole would become much colder. A bitterly cold Pole may look like the planet is colder in the short term, but cold air can’t lose heat it doesn’t have. In a zonal pattern some heat is lost through the sea-ice from the Arctic Sea, but the current pattern is losing a lot more heat from lower latitudes, sucking north heat from the Atlantic and, to a lesser degree, from the Pacific.
Nor does the current mild Pole make it milder to the south. Between now and mid-February subarctic regions are able to create their own cold, (or, more correctly, to lose their own heat), and the arctic is not necessary, as a “source region”. In fact the East Siberian tundra is usually colder than the Arctic Sea, whether the pattern is zonal or loopy (meridional).
What really makes it colder to the south is the spread of the snow-cover. During the next 70 days, when the sun is at its lowest and weakest, and days are at their shortest, the sun needs help to warm the air, and a dark surface helps absorb the wan light, but fresh snow-cover reflects the light. As soon as an area has snow daytime highs drop noticeably, and nighttime lows plunge, especially when the sky is cloudless and radiational cooling can occur.
Even with the current Pole quite mild we have seen record cold in Eurasia. Hopefully I’ll be able to update later about how the same may evolve in North America.
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE
The spread of the snow-cover does not require below-average temperatures, in areas where the average is below freezing. Then, once the snow is laid down, above-average temperatures can become below-average simply by sliding south. For example, air may be well above-normal at -10°C (+14°F) when it up on the north coast of Canada, but if that same air slides south over snow-cover, gaining no heat (and perhaps losing some in the long nights and short, dim days), then you have -10°C (+14°F) pouring into the USA, where it is below normal. In terms of temperature anomaly maps, air that showed as cherry red becomes deep blue, even though it has remained the same temperature. All it needs do is slide south, which it indeed does, when the flow is loopy (meridional). Lastly, the snow-cover tends to form on the north side of the existing storm track, and, by intensifying the cold to the north, it tends to nudge the storm track south, so that the next storm lays down the next stripe of snow further south. (Not that warm air can’t move north over snow, but this requires a changed storm track.)
In conclusion, an expanded and above-average snow-cover increases the cold to the south, and decreases the absorption of heat to the south. It is the second wham of a double whammy. First, the cherry red anomaly at the Pole shows heat lost in the midday starshine of the northern night, and the blue anomaly to the south shows heat lost where there is sunshine. None of this is a sign the northern hemisphere is being particularly frugal with its supply of heat. Nor is it auspicious for those seeking a sign of a mild winter.
Our maps show Ralph once again fading at the Pole, as Ralph’s tertiary becomes a more typical North Atlantic low stalled off the coast of Norway. The “surge” has moved inland in Europe, and is crashing against the cold and intense high pressure of the Siberian “backwash”. An interesting new importer of mild air is developing through Bering Strait, on the Pacific side.
A quick glance at Dr. Ryan Maue’s excellent maps over at the Weatherbell site (week free trial offered there) shows the surge does not become a spear that thrusts the breadth of Eurasia, as happened other years, but rather gets squeezed.
The current GFS pressure-and-wind map shows a rush of colder air sweeping behind the various Ralphs, down from Iceland and then east towards Britain, bringing them a cold front and ending their time in the mild surge.
In three days the pressure anomaly map shows the high pressure remains stalled over Western Russia, as the tertiary of Ralph stalls, loop-de-loops northeast of Iceland, and develops a secondary of its own (Ralph the 4th) in the North Sea, and a tertiary (Ralph the 5th) off the northwest tip of Spain.
In five days the temperature anomaly map shows the “surge” now sandwiched between cold to the west and cold to the east. It will be interesting to see where snow-cover retreats and where it advances.
Over in North America yet another mild blob of air is being surged north to mellow the north, but our bank account looks like it is getting low. The first map shows it is currently above normal in the center of the USA, and the second map shows that in two days it will be well below, as the loopy pattern brings Canadian air south.
In the second map I’m still tucked in that small pocket of above-normal, in the very northeast of the USA, but the writing is on the wall: Winter is relentlessly advancing.
I have never been very good at losing, and it is embarrassing to look back and see how I behaved when life did not follow the script I had written for it to follow. For example, when the Boston teams lost, when I was a boy, (and that was quite often, in the early 1960’s, when Boston had abysmal baseball, football and hockey teams), I would stamp around my boyhood bedroom in a royal rage, with such a hollow in the pit of my stomach I nearly was sick. Then, years later, when I’d be fired for telling a boss he didn’t know how to run his business, I tended to retire frowning to a motel unit and sulk until the floor was knee-deep in beer cans. I simply was not a good loser. Or, perhaps, I was very good at loosing, but not the slightest bit able to be reconciled to the situation.
You would think I’d get better at losing, after so much practice, but I seemed to be a slow learner. I had that will-power and dogged determination that refuses to quit, and this tendency, which might be helpful in some situations, often had me charging off to make the exact same mistake all over again. Even when I got sick of being a loser, it was something I couldn’t run away from. You can’t escape yourself, by moving to a new town and starting over. Yourself comes with you.
Now that I’m older I am very familiar with all the things losers say and do, in order to deny the fact they are losers, because I happen to be a writer, and this means I have entire notebooks full of my past justifications for bozo behavior. Some are so old the pages are yellowing, while others are more recent, but all are a morning mirror; IE: They show me when I am not at my best.
Scattered here and there midst all the losses are a few wins, and I can’t say winning made me behave any better. Rather I became horribly arrogant and over-confident. The best word would be “cocky”, because, if you have ever had to deal with a rooster in a farmyard you know such birds have no brains, and will attack things far bigger than they are, (such as a tractor), even though they are bound to lose, and be a winner no more.
Perhaps the most foolish thing to attack would be God, yet, looking back, I think I did that. I had the idea that God did not create man; rather man created God. God was a fairy tale man had invented, like Santa Claus, to make himself feel better. Belief was a self-verifying system wherein one filtered out that which countered belief, and embraced all that supported belief. Therefore, since all was basically man-made and created in the mind, all I needed to do was adjust my attitude this way or that, and that would change life itself.
This idea only works when you stay in your study and scribble into notebooks. Once you step outside it dawns on you that you don’t write the laws. The laws are a reality created by someone else.
For example, take the law of gravity. Did I write that one?
Actually I liked the idea of levitating and walking on water, so I was always trying to figure out a way around the law of gravity. I even had dreams where I’d be floating about, but once awake I couldn’t find the loophole in the law. I had heard the loophole had something to do with “faith”, so, (when no one was looking), I’d whisper to myself “I do believe! I do believe! I dobelieve!” and step off a dock. Fail. But one never knows whether one can walk on water until one conducts a scientific experiment. And then I actually did an experiment of sorts where my faith was absolute. It involved walking up a staircase in the pitch dark. I had absolute faith a further step was there, and my absolute faith ought have allowed me to step up onto air, but instead I fell flat on my face. Obviously faith alone was not enough.
And that is where my experiments with levitation stand, at this point. I still conduct a few trials (when no one is looking), because I am a very stubborn person. Currently I am trying to fine-tune the “faith” business. Obviously faith alone isn’t enough, but perhaps it works if you have faith in a certain “Thing”. However I do recognize that the law of gravity is a real law, and I didn’t write it.
I also discovered there are other laws I didn’t write, concerning actions and reactions, and various laws engineers learn about. As a boy I learned short nails are not wise to use when building tree houses, and that the roof of an igloo will not remain a roof if you add too many windows. As a teenager I learned other physical laws which involved skidding, trees, crumpled fenders, and also that, at a certain point, the laws trespass beyond the realms of strictly physical science, and enter the strange landscape of social science. For example I learned crashes increase insurance rates, and also that after four crashes your stepfather may be reluctant to loan you his car.
Laws get interesting once they move into what we tend to think of as “social” areas. Such action-and-reaction is called “Karma” in the East, but in Western Religions it is summed up by the simple statement “you reap what you sow.”
I learned about this fairly early, because my mother was a child of the Great Depression, and knew how to pinch a penny. When my friends got a dollar-per-week allowance, I got a nickle, which was the price of a candy bar back then. The cheapest Revell model airplane was 29 cents, which meant I either had to wait six weeks, (and borrow my brother’s glue), or else do some hustling. Starting around age nine I’d go door to door around the neighborhood, asking, “Got any odd jobs you want done?”, accepting whatever they paid me. A snowstorm was a blessing for me, for not only might school (which I hated) be cancelled, but I might make a whole dollar or even two, shoveling walks. By age 12 I had nearly three hundred dollars saved up in the bank.
However by this time (1965) I was starting to learn about other odd social laws, one of which was this strange thing called “inflation.” A candy bar abruptly doubled in price, and then tripled to fifteen cents, but oddly the money in my bank account didn’t double or triple. (The interest in savings accounts went up a bit, to something like 5.75%, but that didn’t keep up with inflation.) I can remember frowning about this, as a young capitalist, and thinking something didn’t smell right.
Having parents who had suffered through the Great Depression tended to mean a little of their experience got hammered into my head, yet at the same time they could be very permissive, as they didn’t want me to experience the meanness that too often went hand in hand with frugality. (It doesn’t have to, and as a rule the poor are more generous with small incomes than the rich are with large ones, but still, meanness can occur.)
The thing about permissiveness is that it can give the recipient the idea that one can reap what they haven’t sown. I tend to feel this idea is a weed that mentally spreads, until one starts to expect what they haven’t sown, and to feel they are entitled to what they haven’t sown. However back when I was a boy the United States was a rich and booming nation, and no one seemed to foresee the welfare-dependency or the inflation that would be caused by government magnanimity . President Johnson launched “The Great Society” in 1964, and American generosity went wild. In fact 1968 marked the highest the poor were ever paid, in term of inflation-adjusted dollars, and from that point on inflation was greater than raises, and the poor gradually became poorer.
Speaking for myself, I noticed a change in my own attitude during my teenaged years in the late 1960’s, partly brought on by the fact my mother remarried and the family suddenly was richer, and partly brought on by the maturation of a generation nurtured by permissiveness. It was a huge generation; a major segment of the population; a majority, all reaching their majority; a political block with the power to lower the voting and drinking ages; all feeling heaven was just over the hill, and getting there was a free ride. In fact to be happy involved no spiritual endeavor at all; one needed only pop a pill; God was apparently our footman, at our beck and call. It was an euphoria.
The problem with such ideas is that one must be reaping what another has sown. Either God actually is showering His compassion and benevolence upon you, and you are reaping God’s mercy, or you are mooching off your parents, (either living in their basement or incarcerated at a college), or you rob banks (in a variety of different ways.)
In order to accept the concept it is possible to reap-without-sowing one must do one of two things. Either one must delude themselves, or one must accept the idea life isn’t fair, and others do the work as you collect their rewards. I wasn’t able to delude myself (although I made some decent attempts), and something in my guts revolted at the idea of ripping others off. (Not that I wasn’t involved in some grand theft, as a teenager.)
The simple fact of the matter is that there are some Laws you can’t truly escape, and reaping-what-you-sow is one of them. You can sit in your study all you want, writing how unfair it is that a highbrow like yourself should do some demeaning job such as plant seeds, but, if don’t do your share, you don’t deserve the harvest, and if you somehow manage to get what you don’t deserve, it means you are robbing someone else, who did do the work.
I think I was lucky that my family went through a spell of poverty, before my mother remarried, because I had a taste of what it means to have to turn out the lights and turn down the heat, because you can’t afford it. It hammered some common sense into my thick skull that stuck with me, even as I attempted to become the next John Lennon, and be paid for sitting around strumming a guitar, thinking deeply, and basically having fun. Common sense turned out to be a handy thing to have, for it turned out I wasn’t the next John Lennon, and nobody was going to pay me for sitting around composing lyrics, singing, thinking deeply, and basically having fun.
Some old-fashioned Puritan ghost of an ancestor evoked the “Puritan Work Ethic” in me, even though my fellow artists all laughed at that idea, and said the “Puritan Work Ethic” was a silly, antiquated concept. Their logic was brilliant, and I always felt a bit of a fool, but I’d just basically state that, in the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant, I felt the artists were the Grasshoppers, and deserved to starve.
I learned that in the course of history few artists have been as successful as John Lennon, and many artists, if not actually starving, were rather lean.
This occurred because, shortly after my 17th birthday, I was plucked from the joyous, euphoric drug-culture I was involved with, and sent to a rigorous, “Outward Bound” like school in a remote corner of northeast Scotland where drugs were very hard to find. Besides running me around like a marine, and forcing me to play the insane sport called “rugby”, this school, (called Dunrobin), put me through a boot-camp of rigorous mental calisthenics. Someone read the smart-Alex essays I was writing with my John Lennon attitude, and decided my scribbles showed I had some sort of promise, and my work-load should be tripled. I was given six months to to study the English Literature necessary to pass a college level exam, (the “A level”), even though most students studied at least two years. Furthermore, no alternative was offered. I then was plunged into more English Literature than most American colleges teach in four years, and, despite all my griping that I was being bullied, it was a kindly bullying. (How I have wished, in the fifty years since, that some bully would come up to me and make me read Shakespeare and Chaucer and Milton and fifty other authors. Nope. Hasn’t happened.)
At the time I felt deprived. I was getting letters from friends back in the States who bragged how many parties they went to, and how often they got laid. That was college, for them. But when I got back to the United States I discovered they were basically wasted. Not that I seemed to be much better. I might have an “A level” in English, and another “A level” in Economics, but that wasn’t worth a hill of beans in the United States, in 1971.
I had learned, in the process of studying great literature, that great artists very seldom made the big bucks John Lennon made. There was a price to be paid, and even the likes of John Lennon paid it. Of course, in 1971, I did not know what future awaited him, but I knew what Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and Ginger Baker had earned, and tightened my belt, for I knew the price of joy is steep, and “it don’t come easy”.
I spent the next ten years among other artists, and basically lived as a grasshopper among other grasshoppers, in a society of ants. However I was a grasshopper oddly afflicted by the “Puritan Work Ethic” other artists gaily laughed at. I quit drugs and promiscuous sex and was a square. Not that my friends claimed to be well-rounded. Rather they claimed to be odd balls. But they were not square, and I was.
I think they only put up with me because I smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish and also, although I worked much more than they felt artists should, I did get fired on a regular basis, and they found that borderline-acceptable. (Perhaps they only put up with me because having me around proved they were not bigoted. Perhaps I was the “token square”.)
They were true Americans, for they loved freedom. They were free thinkers and irreverent and conducted an experiment that involved as many dying as a small war does. There will likely never be a monument raised in any town square for those irreverent fellows, but they did die for freedom.
I feel I was privileged to be among them, between 1971 and 1981, even though I disagreed with a lot they argued. They had an attitude best described as, “if it feels good, do it”, and were not hypocrites, (who only do what “feels good” on the sly). They sinned with braggadocio, publicly. I warned them, like a preachy wet blanket at a party, that there would be consequences, but they laughed at me and said the joy outweighed the consequences. And for all I know, they could be right, for nearly all have gone away to a place where I can’t interview them.
Between 1971 and 1981 I already could see the consequences, but they were largely psychological rather than physical, and therefore hard to nail down and call “proof”. Most obvious was the way drugs gradually damaged brains. I was confronted by friends, who had once been brilliant, being slowly reduced to trembling and neurotic shreds of what they once were. Some shrank into institutions, some committed suicide, and some just became of the “unwelcome”. I also argued that sexual promiscuity had unhealthy side-effects, though arguing that point tended to get me mocked as a prude. And then, in 1981, AIDS appeared.
As far as I’m concerned, the official numbers, concerning how many died of AIDS in the early 1980’s, are absurd. Far more died than was reported. There was no cure, and many fated to die chose to just quietly die of pneumonia, avoiding the stigma involved. As an outsider looking in all I knew was that old friends stopped writing letters, or were not around, and no one knew where they went. There didn’t seem to me much fanfare or many fond farewells. The primary uproar was in gay newspapers, where various conspiracy theories were ventured, and then the few newspapers I looked at stopped being published. When I tried to hunt people down in gay neighborhoods it seemed entire neighborhoods had became ghost towns.
With the appearance of AIDS a flaming honesty was wiped out. A group of freedom-loving Americans, who may have been unwise in the manner they sought freedom, was erased. A voice went silent. The strangest thing was that it was replaced by a political correctness that forbid saying “you reap what you sow” in the same sentence as “AIDS”.
1981 was also when the supply of cocaine boomed and the price crashed, and it started being refined into “crack”. Though I had been drug-free for a decade I was tempted, because I had read that Robert Louis Stephenson wrote “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” in 24 hours, while taking cocaine for a fever, and I had the need to write a best seller in 24 hours, for I was broke (as usual). Fortunately I did not like the drug at all; rather than broadening my mind it made my thinking feel narrow and pinched. (Nor did I write a best seller in 24 hours.) There was no huge harvest, and in fact all I did was sit down and reread “Treasure Island” for the first time since my boyhood. It contains this quote:
In any case, I was not attracted to cocaine, and the way my friends relished it seemed idiotic. I agreed with the quote, “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money,” and found myself veering off onto my own path.
I had to think of some way of justifying the deaths of so many of my friends, due to the sex and drugs so many claimed would lead to freedom, back in the late 1960’s, and I finally decided they were like Danial Boone, pioneering a Cumberland Gap, but on the other side of the Gap they walked into a bear, or perhaps a blender. They died, but died advancing the cause of Freedom, and in their death was a lesson for all who followed.
I figured this was a truly liberal idea: The idea that people learn from mistakes and therefore mistakes could be seen in a positive light. Even when mistakes resulted in death, the death could be a lesson that saved others. Death was a bitter harvest, but we should talk in terms of reaping-what-you-sow. However political correctness seemed to forbid it. If you talked about AIDS as being a “consequence” you were a “homophobic sexist” and if you talked about the consequences of crack cocaine you were a “racist”.
I still thought of myself as a liberal democrat, but I think 1981 marks the start of a divorce. Many describe the schism as, “Not leaving the democrat party, but being left by the democrat party.” All I was aware of was that many of my friends had died and I felt very alone. I stopped calling myself an artist and just deemed myself a drifter, though I still wrote and still did a lot of contemplating.
A lot of my contemplating revolved around the idea that there were some laws that had no loopholes. I hadn’t created them, and I might not particularly like them, but there was no way around them. They were how the world was made. I could fight the Law all I wanted, but it always won.
In other words, I benefited from being a loser, because I learned from my mistakes. However it wasn’t charity that helped me. I wasn’t uplifted by welfare. No church helped me. Rather I ran up against the Law.
It was at this time I fled California and basically vanished into the Four-corners area of the American southwest. Therefore I eluded the third great madness of 1981, which was Silicon Valley’s creation of a digital law and a digital yoga. The few friends I had left who weren’t deranged by drugs or destroyed by sex now became demented by a new way of talking called “code”.
“Code” was important because if you sowed seeds there, the harvest in terms of dollars was huge. However in my opinion “Code” was silly, because Truth isn’t digital.
Don’t get me wrong. Once I discovered a word processor involved a thing called “spell check” I thought it was a superb invention, and I swiftly deserted my weathered typewriter and my bottle of “white out”. Also I adored (and adore) the free speech that occurs upon “web”, for it is non-digital. But I didn’t see this until I was given a used computer in 1999.
In 1984 it would be years before I owned my first computer. When I ditched California, I deemed all the focus on speaking “Code” a sort of avoidance and denial. Didn’t anyone see there was a cocaine crisis to deal with? Didn’t anyone see there was an AIDS crisis to deal with? Didn’t anyone see the entire sex-and-drugs philosophy needed reevaluation, and an overhaul? The answer seemed to be apparently, “not”, in California, and so I was the rat deserting that ship.
I applied to an interesting Law school, where people are a bit scornful of political law. The American Southwest holds a unique blend of conquered peoples, and if there is a salient characteristic of such people it is not any great respect for the law imposed upon them, by their conquerors.
You should notice that, in the above paragraph, sometimes I capitalize the word Law, and sometimes I don’t. This is because there is the Law, and then there is the law.
In the Four Corners area the “original” people were various Pueblo tribes such as the Zuni, Hopi, and Acoma, who apparently are leftovers from the Anasazi Civilization, but who befuddle anthropologists by speaking languages so very different it makes the Anasazi look more diverse than the European Union, in a far smaller area. The laws differed from Pueblo to Pueblo, and then around the year 1300 a wave of Athabaskan-speaking people who became the Apache and Navajo appeared. (But do not call them immigrants; they will tell you they arose from the earth between the Four Sacred Mountains). (I would reply that the Yankee arose from Sacred Plymouth Rock.) Then in 1540 the Spaniards appeared. At some point a wave of Spanish Inquisition (1580?) brought increased cruelty, and successive waves finally resulted in the Spanish being driven out in 1680, but they returned in 1692, and ruled until Mexico became independent in 1821. Then a war with the United States made the area part of the United States in 1848, and then no one was certain if they were Union or Confederate during the American Civil War. The Navajo were driven from their land in 1864 and allowed to return in 1868. Geronimo surrendered in 1886 but other Apache fought on as renegades into the 20th century. Pancho Vilas raided the USA in 1916, and the final Calvary-Indian skirmish was the “battle” of Bear Valley in 1918.
Just to give you an idea how this chaos influenced laws, (with a small “L”), slavery was abolished in 1821, re-instituted in 1848, and abolished again in 1864. Who exactly owned the land was also in flux, and I made a friend whose grandfather still held the deed to all of northeast New Mexico, signed by a Spanish king. A fascinating Hopi-Navajo land dispute was going go as I entered the area, and I even got mixed up in a confusing quarrel between Navajo clans, involving an election between “McDonald” and “Zah” for Chairman of the Navajo Tribe. And that was only the start.
To be honest, attempting to figure out the politics of the area was a heck of a lot more fun than learning computer “Code”, but I often tended to throw up my hands and dismiss a lot of the whining as sheer bull. I refused to be politically correct, and found out this was actually appreciated by the local folk.
When I first arrived in the area I was nervous because I hadn’t been able to register my car. It had Maine plates, and for years I had re-registered it long-distance by mail, but a change in Maine law made it impossible, and the last sticker was for 1983 even though the year was 1984. Then I looked around. The Navajo had no use for white man’s laws, and a fair number of vehicles had no plates whatsoever. The police had more serious infractions to attend to than stupid plates. I was able to avoid the bother of plates until I had the time (and money) to attend to such things, which turned out to be 1988.
Driving around the Navajo Reservation with Maine plates often landed me in humorous situations where I was mistaken as a person new to the area and wet behind the ears. I’d see a fellow look at my plates, and then straighten up and make his face adopt a sort of stoic expression I suppose was supposed to be “Indian”, but before he could deliver his pitch (in a low, expressionless voice I suppose was supposed to be “Indian”), I’d crossly state, “Look at the date on those plates.” The fellow would look again, see the date was 1983, and dawn would break over his face, as he realized I’d been around a while. Usually he’d flash a wonderful smile.
The Navajo word for a white man was “Belighana”, (people who we fought) but the word for a young hippy was “Wannabeha”, (want-to-be-a Indian.) They had mixed feelings about such arrivals, who hung on their every word as if they were prophets, for even if these hippies were initially generous, they soon were broke, and also they tended to do good deeds such as close down the uranium mines, where a Navajo could make $28.00/hour, and leave the Navajo with unemployment.
I failed to qualify as a Wannabeha right off the bat, because I was too broke to even be initially generous, and was very short-tempered due to a failed romance. One of my first conversations with a Navajo involved a fellow hitting me with the line, “You stole our land”, and my immediate (and completely politically-incorrect) response was, “Land? Land? What &#@%^ land are you %#$@& talking about? I haven’t got any $%*@# land!!! I’m &#@^^$ sleeping in my &@%$# car!!!” Oddly, though this may be politically incorrect, it apparently is the correct thing to say to a Navajo, of you want to skip all the BS and speak man to man.
I suppose some Anthropologist might be noting that down, and therefore I should hasten to add Navajo ridicule Anthropologists, and how they note things down. I heard some funny tales of the “traditions” they had made up on the spot, and seen Anthropologists note down.
I could write a book, but tonight I should simply state that, while others were learning computer code, I was a drifter in a harsh landscape learning the difference between the politically correct idea of “diversity” and the reality. Without really intending to, I learned the difference between law and Law. My professors were the poor.
What is the difference? It is difficult to be succinct about such a subtlety, but basically it revolves around money. The law, with a small “L”, seems to be all about money these days, but the Law, with a capital “L”, could care less.
In terms of “reaping what you sow”, money is neither the seed that you plant nor the crop that you harvest. Money is a byproduct, the manure you spread in the fields.
Money is not evil, but love-of-money is foolishness, and is like love-of-manure. Money is not called “filthy lucre” without reason. Even as I got my “A-level” in Economics nearly fifty years ago I understood Economics was called “The Dismal Science”, and it was called that because Economics left out that which is most golden about humanity. Economics (in most cases) failed to register that a miser is not merely a man who would rather hug a heap of cold coins than a warm woman; he is a man who would rather hug manure.
Allow me to skip a whole staircase of logic at this point, and to leap to the conclusion that some misers can think they are superior. Because they have cash they think they have intelligence. Because they learned “Code”, and made megabucks during a boom, they think they are at the forefront, and others have been “left behind”.
Because they’re a miser They think they are wiser.
They call themselves “The Elite”, and feel it is their duty to reeducate the unwashed masses, and turn masses into misers as well. Some even think those who resist should be removed.
I am not persuaded. I am persuaded by something else. I thought I was a minority, but the last election makes me think maybe I’m not.
One thing the desert landscape of the Southwest had seen was a lot of booms and busts. I’ve already mentioned the political changes, but there were Silver Cities that rose and then became ghost towns, and then vanished as local people came by to reuse the lumber. Route 66 was lined with small businesses, and then became a ghost highway when Interstate 40 opened. There was an Indian Jewelry boom, that went bust when facsimile were produced more cheaply in Singapore, and a Navajo Blanket boom that went bust when facsimile were produced more cheaply in Mexico. The transcontinental railway was fueled by Gallup coal mines that went bust when trains switched to diesel. Nuclear power was fueled by uranium mines in Grants until that too busted. Fortunes were made and fortunes were lost, and life went on. No one was made “elite” by any boom, and no one was made “inferior” by any bust.
A boom is a very nice experience, and success is pleasant, and to win is a joy, but one should not become too cocky and behave like a rooster. One should not create a virtual reality, wherein laws ignore Law. One most especially should not allow money to rule, and think bribery and corruption is the way of the world, for even if you make that the law, it is against the Law. And if you ignore the Law you are cruising for a bruising.
The American Republic is based on the premise all men are created equal and no one is “elite”. A faith in the common sense of the ordinary man is involved. Watching the hysterical reactions of some, to the results of the recent election, I suspect some want to veto the common sense of the ordinary man. I’m nervous the so-called “elite” will seek to find some way to cling to a personal boom which they see going bust. Where our forefathers had a trust they own a distrust. However, if such people actually succeed in derailing democracy, they will turn an ordinary transfer of power, (a sort of “bust” for some), into a prolonged, tortuous downfall to those clinging to power, and an unmitigated disaster for the Republic.
If you ignore the Law you are cruising for a bruising.
However rather than concluding with that, I’d like to add a sort of hope. And it is this: Even though I have in many ways been a rebel and outlaw much of my life, and have deserved to be a loser, I’ve seen a strange theme of compassion throughout my losses. To be honest, in retrospect many losses seem to have actually been blessings.
Think back to the start of this post, when I described being shipped off to northern Scotland to be run ragged and forced to study Shakespeare, as my friends wrote me about how they got laid and partied every night. Do you think I felt blessed? No. However when I returned to the states and saw my friends were wasted, and had seemingly been made more stupid by attending college than they were before they went, I had second thoughts about who was luckier.
I was also luckier because I didn’t die even as many of my friends did, during all the experiments involving seeking “freedom” through sex and drugs. But why was I so lucky? It most certainly wasn’t because I was smarter and didn’t do some stupid and shameful things. Rather it is because the Law includes an element that can only be called compassion.
Stand by the Truth, and the Truth will stand by you.
The animation shows how the cold air draining off the Pole into Siberia didn’t only move west to Europe, but also spilled east into the North Pacific, dramatically cooling the waters over the past month.
You can see the modest La Nina extending off the west coast of South America, and also the “Warm Blob” shrinking and being pressed up against the coast of Alaska. However the cold water hasn’t been named, so I’ll call it the La Nina of the North, or “El Norte Nina”.
It will be interesting to see how long El Norte Nina lasts. I imagine it is a wrench in the works of long term winter forecasts, likely based upon the “Warm Blob”. If it persists it will likely represent an end to the “warm spike” in the PDO, and a return to a cold PDO, just as I forecast. I forecast it two years ago, and it didn’t happen, and I forecast it last year, and it didn’t happen, but now, at long last, the blind squirrel finds the nut.
(Actually there was a warm spike in the cold PDO of the 1950’s, and I was imagining the current warm spike would behave the same way, and last the same length of time. Fail. The current situation is unique, and the warm spike was far more powerful and lasted longer.)
The El Norte Nina fits nicely into my idea that we can’t have all the mild air rushing north to fuel the low pressure “Ralph” at the Pole, without having an exit route for all that air, bringing cold down to sub-polar regions. This year Eurasia has experienced a bitterly cold autumn, “unprecedented” in some places. I’ve been waiting for this autumnal pattern to flip into a winter pattern, but so far it is hanging tough. The map below shows the cold over Eurasia, with the cold pouring east into the Pacific over Japan. Of interest is the slot of warmth in the upper left. It is due to the latest incarnation of Ralph, which formed off the northeast tip of Greenland and crossed the Pole on the Atlantic side, finally crashing down into Eastern Russia. It’s odd when the “mild” air comes from the Pole, but that is how topsy-turvy the pattern is.
Looking ahead to next Tuesday, Mongolia gets a respite, but the cold gets incredible over central Russia, with temperatures forecast to be 35 degrees below normal. It looks like cold air is continuing to spill east over Japan, which likely would continue to fuel El Norte Nina.
To me this suggests another surge of mildness should be heading up to the Pole. So we first look at the current GFS anomaly map (produced by Dr. Ryan Maue over at the Weatherbell site [week free trial offered]).
Things indeed are mild up there, but not as mild as they are forecast to be next Tuesday.
Indeed, just as temperatures are 35 degrees below normal down in Siberia and Kazakhstan, they are 35 above at the Pole. In a few cases they may even be a bit above freezing, and I expect that will generate the usual hoop-la from the usual suspects. The DMI temperature-north-of-80°-latitude map will likely show yet another up-spike, perhaps even higher than the last one.
There will be further hoop-la about such a spike, and I feel there should be, but not because I feel the planet is warming. I feel it demonstrates our planet is spending heat like a drunken sailor, and will face one heck of a hangover in the morning, (the “morning” being midwinter.)
The next surge of warmth will come from the Atlantic and in some ways will be a repeat of where we left off last time I posted. Back then (November 7) an Atlantic-to-Pacific cross-polar-flow was bringing a spike of milder temperatures north of Greenland. (Ralph’s “signature”)
Besides creating a wrong-way-flow in Fram Strait, the rising mild air fueled yet another incarnation of Ralph himself.
Rather than heading up to the Pole, Ralph headed over to the Kara Sea, and I was thinking maybe the pattern was changing a little, and Ralph was merely a North Atlantic storm that happened to be displaced way, way, way to the North. I watched for high pressure to build at the Pole.
The high pressure did build, but the flow in Fram Strait remained a wrong-way flow, and that can lead to the reappearance of Ralph’s “signature.” And indeed today’s map shows a weak signature north of Greenland, and a weak Atlantic-to-Pacific cross-polar-flow starting, right where I was thinking high pressure might build. And….what is that dent of low pressure over the Pole? No! Not the ghost of Ralph, haunting me!
This really is a remarkable pattern, and a lot of fun to watch. I was expecting a pattern flip, and I guess El Norte Nina fits the bill. Not that I was expecting it to happen so quickly, (though I did say it would happen quickly, back in 2014), but I’ll call it a correct forecast, because I’m not able to say I’m right all that often, and even a blind squirrel wants a pat on the back every once in a while.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 98 years ago, the guns stopped shooting and silence descended over Flanders Field. People really did believe men had fought the war to end all wars, and mankind would never be so foolish ever again. Alas, Hitlers arise, and some men must leave warm homes to defend us. May God bless them, and may God save us from ourselves.
With the election upon us there is good cause to be cautious, and nervous, and paranoid, about the possible consequences of this political cycle.
The Right is usually accused of being more prone to the behavior of a dictator, but this time around I have been dismayed by the Left’s behavior. Most dismaying was the disruption of Trump’s rallies by instigators of violence, apparently with the knowledge of both Hillary Clinton and the President.
Once violence is involved we are departing from civil procedure, and entering the barbaric landscape of despots. I have studied too much history to be naive about the inhumanity enacted in the name of “order”. The most appalling deed was, of course, the Crucifixion of Christ, but hundreds of millions of more ordinary mortals have been innocents slaughtered, and for what? For being honest. In Argentina the gruesome noun “the Disappeared” described college students taken in for questioning by the dictatorship, and never seen again. For the Left to be in any way, shape or form involved in such violence is completely opposed to its stated objectives, one of which was, (according to school systems), “to reduce bullying”.
I have been subjected to a lot of bullying in my life, and have developed a number of responses. As an adult I simply speak the Truth to the bully, which usually doesn’t go over too well. I got fired from a lot of jobs. However as a result I have lived a life full of variety and interest, involving the flexibility of working over a hundred different jobs, in all sorts of interesting landscapes with all sorts of interesting people, while the bosses that fired me clung to offices that were little more than self-created dungeons. I have seen a mansion can be a hell, as a hobo knows heaven.
I have seen a mansion be a man’s hell Even as a homeless hobo tasted heaven. (Those who worship money know all too well Their bread is puffing due to evil levain.)
Blessed are the poor, who do not go in The skyless places power places men; Like one who’s never tasted heroin They’re not dragged back to sin, to sin again.
But cursed is the man who blames the poor And chains them onto oars of slavery, Lusting that their lack will bring him more And there’s no wisdom in men being free.
When power’s based on thieves who have no thanks They build a ship of state with rotton planks.
I was lucky, in a sense, to grow up among overly wealthy people, and to see first hand that money cannot buy happiness. It enabled me to skip a lot of the bother of becoming rich, and seeing the hell of wealth by earning it. Instead I could just enjoy a lesser life, which turns out to be richer, if you measure in ways other than money. However I have seen enough to know I am one of the people who the worst of the bully’s hate. I know that, if situations soured, I could become one of the “Disappeared.”
This dynamic became obvious over a decade ago, when I first became involved in the Global Warming debate. At first the word “Denier” didn’t appear, and the debate was hot, but conducted in a way that involved relatively reasonable people utilizing civil procedure to discuss the various facets of a complex issue. As time passed the “Alarmists” started to lose more and more arguments, and began resorting to bullying. That was when, rather than a “Skeptic”, I started to be called a “Denier”. More recently the degradation of my honesty has involved more serious threats, including the suggestion I should lose my right to speak publicly, and even to vote, (only the nuts say I should be shot).
This bullying does make me wonder if I was wise to speak the truth. It adds to my nervousness, regarding the current election cycle. And it also activates a second way I have of dealing with bullies, that I learned when I was much smaller than the bullies were, and (usually) too smart to speak back to them.
What I did was to basically zone out. Teachers were concerned, and called it “withdrawal” and “escapism”, but it was, in a way, to go to church. Not that my family went to church or was religious, but I would flee the hardship of bullying life, and play hooky from Math Class by looking at the clouds out the window. In a hard-to-define manner there is more Truth in a single cloud than in a thousand hours of Algebra. (There is more Truth in a teenaged mother suckling her infant than in a thousand hours of nursing school. And so on and so forth.)
I could go on for a long, long time about how Truth is Beauty, and Truth is Power, and Truth is Wisdom, and Truth is Love, but the short version is this: Sometimes escapism is good for you. Sometimes you just need to stop on your way home from work, and watch a sunset.
A smattering of white clouds to the west Abruptly became a symphony of sunset; Turned gold and then blossomed roses: The best Scarlets and crimsons, against a coverlet Of blue sky…reminding me…reminding me…reminding me of some lost flavor Sniffed in the ardor of youth’s hope of finding A new distance to dream at…new favor To yearn for…a Savior to please: A lost Outlook life is robbing me…robbing me… Robbing me of, until I think of cost Before hopes, and nothing sets joy’s sobbing free Unless a sunset sky taps my slumped shoulder With nursery dreams amidst thoughts far older.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that powerful people in high and mighty places are not in control of the sunset, and any number of other things that are full of beauty. The fact of the matter is, they are likely so busy with budgets they completely miss the sunset. But that is no reason for us to miss it, as well.
It was with amazing audacity that, at some point, certain people in power decided they controlled the weather. The entire Global Warming political-plan is a display of unparalleled arrogance.
It was based on the idea that, concerning a river, we can to a degree control the flow with dams, and can control how much pollution is in the water. However we do not really control the flow of rivers, because we do not control the rain. However, because we are able to be less filthy, and clean the waters of our rivers, and manage our dams in wiser ways that better regulates the water’s flow, and can build fish-ladders that allow shad and herring and salmon to swim up to places they swam before, we feel we are the boss of rivers. Not. Floods occur. Our best engineering is bested. The Mississippi will, sooner or later, change its course and reach the sea a hundred miles west of New Orleans, and New Orleans will become a backwater. And that only involves the subject of rivers.
The idea we not only control rivers, but also control the weather, is a bridge too far. It is a puffing of human importance past a popping point. When our president claimed his administration would stop the seas from rising, he denied the truth King Canute spoke when he (supposedly) said, “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.” (This was after his courtiers praised his power, and he decided to show them how powerful he was by forbidding the tide to rise.)
The simple fact of the matter is we do not have control over the seas, (unless it is through the power of confessed-powerlessness, called “prayer”.) The slight rise of the sea, mere milometers each year, has neither sped up nor slowed down under the current administration. In like manner, we have no control over the climate, (unless we control the sun, which increasingly seems the controller of climate).
To me it seems that to blame the weather on some small citizen, who is basically minding his own business, is the behavior of a silly bully. It seems an even worse bullying to bluster at me, when I point out the bullying behavior of Alarmists is ludicrous. At times Alarmists could almost spoil my mood, but that would indicate they had the power to spoil my mood. As a small child I learned they couldn’t even do that. All I needed to do was ignore them, and attend to That which actually does create the sunsets. In other words, to “zone out”.
Just for an example, some are all bent out of shape by the slow growth of Arctic Sea-Ice this autumn. (They fret the slow growth is because of Global Warming, even though it is counter-balanced by above-normal snowfall in Siberia and Canada.)
Now, to zone-out in an appropriate manner, regarding the slow growth of sea-ice, you should go to the south of the world’s largest estuary, called the “Gulf of Ob.”
This year, as the sea ice started to form in the Gulf of Ob, it formed “pancake ice”, but, due to a series of unusual conditions, the ice got rolled on the sand on the beaches, and formed rarely-seen spheres of ice. This would not have been noticed, were it not for a small community of 2000 people near the beach, called “Nyda”. They put pictures on twitter, which got noticed by: http://siberiantimes.com/home/
This got noticed by the BBC, and then Iceagenow.info.
Now, rather than alarm, people seemed to think this unusual event was rather wonderful. Where the balls, ranging from tennis-ball-size to beach-ball-size, packed up against the shore, a dear old Dad did manage to look almost serious.
However the family dog didn’t seem particularly concerned, (and we all have heard how animals are more aware of impending disasters than humans are).
And the kid thought it was cool
But it was the young mother who made the event beautiful.
In the end, I see the slow growth of sea-ice as a beautiful thing. It is but another example of how Truth has more types of loveliness than we can possibly ever see, even if our eyes are open to seeking such beauty.