SNOWS IN TROPICAL ZIMBABWE, AFRICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOCAL VIEW —Not A Peep—

The frogs have gone silent. Spring is on hold
As the forest reverts to wraps of white.
The whining child complains he is cold
Despite the high sunshine’s dazzling light.

How fickle is hope. A weather-vane’s swing
From warm south to cold north invalidates
The misty-eyed vows made when hope was king.
Dethroned, he slinks to the shadows and waits.

Who will believe him, next time he strides forth?
Has he no shame? No sense of remorse?
And will I ever learn, or bet on the horse
That threw me? It is par for the course
That the whining child is soon seen heading
For the hills, to go joyously sledding.

There are many reasons the workers at my Farm-childcare are fed up with winter, and this is only one of them: (Or actually over 50).

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The spring peepers were singing for only a single day last week, and then the cold came charging back to shut them up. On Monday morning the drive to work crossed a dust of snow swirling on the frozen pavement. We were hoping the dusting would be only a dusting.

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The weekend’s howling winds had flattened the basketball hoops.

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And then it just snowed and snowed, until we had more than we got all winter, and pulling into work next day looked like this:

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About the only consolation was that, in December, it would have been pitch dark at 6:15 AM.

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We had to take things out that had been put away until next winter.

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Some children got more exercise than others.

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But the sun is as high as it is on Labor Day, and the snow can’t stay long.

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A great project will never be completed, as the shell-shocked grass gets back to greening.

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We had two successive mornings with temperatures down to 13 degrees (-10.6 Celsius) and nothing looked eager to bud out, however I noticed something, looking at the trees.

AS13 IMG_2411The lichen on the trunks of the trees had changed from an ashen gray to a very light pistachio green. I thought the kids might be interested in this, and told them to gather around, and explained a little about how lichen is actually two lives living together, a fungus and an algae.

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I went on to explain how lichen can live in the frozen north, is completely untroubled by frost, and grows as soon as it gets above freezing. I explained moss also is quick to respond to the slightest warmth.

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I can find this sort of stuff very engrossing, but when I looked up, expecting to see small faces filled with wonder, I saw my class was like April snow, and had faded fast.

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Fortunately my wife didn’t see this interlude. She would have reminded me I’m suppose to keep my eyes on the children, not on the lichen.

SAUDI SNOW CAMELS

Even as the north of Europe temporarily warmed, the southern side of the cold outbreak that afflicted Europe two weeks ago was brewing a storm that moved across the mideast, giving hot tempers a cool-down, late last week. Here are some examples of Saudi humor.

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From the site: http://mz-mz.net/412413/

It looks like a second outbreak of cold is brewing for Europe. Hopefully I’ll find time to post on it.