‘Faux’ Snow?

It remained above freezing, 32F, during our snow yesterday and well into the night. How did this snow accumulate on such a warm day?

It remained above freezing, in the mid 30s F,  during our snow yesterday and well into the night. How did this snow accumulate on such a warm day?

~

I remember watching it snow through the classroom window, all those years ago. 

Snowflakes filled the air, and we all hoped for an early release followed by a ‘snow day’ off.  But as hard and fast as the snow fell, it barely covered the grass outside our school; the parking lot shiny wet but clear.  It just wasn’t sticking.  Why?  Do you remember when it had to be freezing for snow to ‘stick?’

In grade school science classes we learned that ice forms at 32F or 0C.  Snow formed in the frozen clouds high above our heads and drifted down to Earth.  But if the Earth was still warm, it melted on contact.  Oh, those were the days….. of real snow and normal weather.

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January 17, 2016 snow2 005

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Yes, I’m nostalgic.  As lovely as our snow might have left the garden yesterday, the uncomfortable little secret, the truth in other words, is that our temperatures remained in the mid-30s all day yesterday and well into the night.  And yet, we watched huge, sloppy wet flakes of snow quickly cover the ground, the shrubs, tree branches and roofs.

We had nearly 2″ of snow on the deck railings before it quit in mid-afternoon.  And such a heavy snow!  It weighted down the shrubs and bamboo terribly, uprooting and bringing 30′ bamboo stalks over to touch the ground under the weight of it clinging to their upper branches.

We had early morning rain, yesterday, before it changed over to the frozen stuff, which left puddles of water on the front patio.  Those puddles never froze all day; and yet flakes of ‘slush’ floated on top much of the afternoon.

When I made my afternoon circuit around the yard, broom in hand knocking some of the weight off of the bamboo and the shrubs, my boots sank down into the muddy wet ground.  The ground was far from frozen, and yet was covered in an inch of ‘snow.’

How is this even possible? 

~

Snow remains on trees, roofs, and the garden late this afternoon. Once the temperature finally dropped overnight, it went down to the 20s for much of today.

Snow remained on trees, roofs, and the garden late this afternoon. Once the temperature finally dropped overnight, it went down to the 20s for much of today.

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Maybe you remember, as I do, a certain company’s TV ad slogan : “Better Things for Better Living…. Through Chemistry.”  It was their official slogan from 1935 until 1982, so I grew up hearing it often.  Chemical company research has improved daily life in many ways.  And it has also produced some pretty noxious products which have done great harm to our environment.  Scientific research remains a mixed bag in any area you care to name.

But it was in the early 20th Century, in our modern era, when entrepreneurial scientists first began to offer their services to ‘make rain’ in drought stricken areas of our country.

The city of San Diego hired Charles ‘Rainmaker’ Hatfield for $10,000 to fill the Lake Morena reservoir, after several years of severe drought.  Hatfield mixed and then heated certain chemicals together to ‘seed’ the clouds; with dramatic results.  He couldn’t spray them from an airplane, but he burned the chemicals on tall towers around the lake.  Hatfield was too successful.

After 17 days, 11.4 inches of rain fell, flooding the lake, bursting dams, causing mudslides.     Residents sued the city for millions of dollars worth of damage.  San Diego never paid their ‘Rainmaker’ for his efforts because of their catastrophic results.

~

Beginning as rain, our snow yesterday soon grew thick and heavy. The forecast for 'scattered flurries' mushroomed into hours of heavy, accumulating snow. More is on the way....

Beginning as rain, our snow yesterday soon grew thick and heavy. The forecast for ‘scattered flurries’ mushroomed into hours of heavy, accumulating snow. More is on the way….

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There is a long history of efforts to change the weather; a mostly silent history, as it is very controversial.  California cities have been hiring rainmakers off and on through much of this century to relieve droughts, according to a series of articles published in the LA Times.

Our government grew interested in manipulating the weather as a way to influence the battlefield as early as the 1940’s Project Cirrus.  Experiments have been ongoing, under many project names.  You didn’t read about this in your high school history class?  I can’t imagine why….

Ask a Viet Nam veteran about how our government extended the monsoon season to flood North Vietnamese roads in the 1960’s.  Known as “Operation Popeye,” this highly classified program continued from 1967-1972.

~

Just before sundown today, and I'm surprised at how much snow remains.

Just before sundown today, and I’m surprised at how much snow remains.

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The first successful experiment in creating a snowstorm came as early as November, 1946 over New York.  Dry ice was dropped from a plane into the clouds, and it snowed.

But results from these experiments continue to be unpredictable.  Sometimes they work; sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes they work too well, causing property damage and loss of life from the ensuing storms. 

But the experimentation not only continues, it is now global.  Popular Science Magazine ran a series of articles about the weaponization of the weather as early a 1958.  In 1977, the United States was one of several countries who ratified a Convention at the UN to ban weather modification as a weapon of war.  Even so, accusations between nations continue as fantastic weather events unfold each year.

But now there is a new adversary in these ‘weather wars’:  the warming of the planet.  Though there are a myriad of causes for our steep increases in temperatures lately, scientists are working with many experimental protocols to slow the trend.

Which brings us back to snow.

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January 18, 2015 snow 005

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Have you ever used a chemical ice pack?  These are kept at the ready for athletes to ice their injuries, and are sold in most every drug store.

Our chemists have learned how to mix chemicals in a way to create ice.  And, our geoengineers have come up with a chemical soup they can spray over rain clouds, which will cause ‘chemical ice nucleation.’  This is how snow can fall when it is as warm as the low 40s F. Several US patents have already been granted for these mixtures and processes.

We all know that water can absorb and store heat.  Water vapor super cooled chemically, has proven effective in sucking heat out of the atmosphere as it falls.  This is how it suddenly grows much colder while this ‘faux snow’ is falling, and how it can remain in a ‘frozen’ crystalline form even when the ground on which it has fallen remains above freezing.  This is an ‘endothermic reaction’ where the water vapor in our atmosphere absorbs heat energy, even as it chemically freezes.

In fact, this engineered snow, which may begin when temperatures are well above freezing, eventually results in  deadly cold temperatures.  Have you noticed the unusually cold temperatures, following snowstorms, over much of the planet in recent years?  These much publicized winter storms help confuse us about the extremely warm temperatures in other parts of our planet.

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Snow freezes to the limbs, and lingers for a very long time. This photo was taken nearly 30 hours after our snow stopped yesterday.

Snow freezes to the limbs, and lingers for a very long time. This photo was taken nearly 30 hours after our snow stopped yesterday.

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When you hear ‘heavy, wet snow’ predicted, be suspicious.  This geoengineered snow is much heavier than natural snow, and does tremendous damage to trees and shrubs.  For one thing, it freezes to the limbs and won’t fall off naturally, adding weight to limbs and branches for an unusually long time.

Geoengineered snow contains a number of heavy metals, used in the chemical nucleation process.  These metal particles, like Barium and Aluminum, contaminate everything they touch and get into our ground water supply.

Are all snow storms the product of geoengineering?  Probably not.  I hope not.

Once you begin to delve into this subject, you begin to watch weather forecasts with a different frame of reference, though.

~

January 18, 2015 snow 009

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If you have read this far, and you’re thinking, “That Woodland Gnome really is a nut case to write this stuff;” then please just do a little more reading.  And please notice that I’m saying, “Please.”

Pour yourself a mug of your favorite beverage, polish your reading glasses, and just follow a few of the links I’ve embedded for you.  Each of those links will lead you to a few more, and you will see the vast body of hard evidence to back up what I’ve shared with you here.

Why would you do this?  Because you want to know a little bit more about this weird weather we are all experiencing lately. Just as we do.  

And while you’re at it, take a look at the Weather Underground’s Wundermap the next time a storm is approaching your area.  Set the parameters for several hours of history, and just watch closely.  Play around with it a little bit.  You may be a little surprised at what you see.

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We enjoyed clear skies, brilliant sunshine, and very cold winds today. How wonderful to see a clear blue sky.

How wonderful to see a clear blue sky.  We enjoyed brilliant sunshine today, with frigid winds.  Looks alike a cold week ahead.

 

~

Woodland Gnome 2016

 

 

 

 

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After Arthur

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 001

It was a long night with a Category II hurricane blowing up the coast.

From a tropical depression just a day or so ago, this storm quickly bulked up into a strong hurricane.

It came ashore across some of our favorite areas on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during the dark hours of early morning.

We watched the storm’s progress until nearly midnight, and then gave up and went to bed.

 

This great Blue Heron greeted us as we entered the Colonial Parkway after the storm had passed this morning.

This Great Blue Heron greeted us as we entered the Colonial Parkway, after the storm had passed this morning.

 

It grazed my beloved Topsail Island, and was headed to our special spots on Ocracoke and Hatteras as we watched the cast of the Weather Channel struggle against the strong wind and rain describing its progress in painful detail.

This “Arthur” was touching friends and family all across the Carolinas.  We hoped its touch would be as gentle as possible.

The Jamestown ferry navigated a very choppy James River on it route across to Surry County this morning.

The Jamestown ferry navigated a very choppy James River on it route across from Surry County this morning.

We knew that Route 12, where we’ve spent many happy hours driving through the wildlife refuge and photographing the shore birds, would be wrecked by morning.

 

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 028

We love the coast of North Carolina and Virgina. 

A hurricane on this special holiday weekend is the last thing we wanted to watch; and yet we watched the unfolding, hoping it would weaken and turn away from the coast.

 

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 053

I awakened a little before three AM to the sound of wind in the garden and rain on the roof.

I had to know the progress of the storm and the updated forecast.  So as quietly as possible, I headed back to the TV, pillow in hand.

Our local meteorologists were broadcasting the story all night long.

Their reporters stood in the weather giving updates, alongside crews from The Weather Channel and other networks.

 

The path to the beach was wet this morning.

The path to the beach was wet this morning.

At three I heard of a possible tornado on the Lynnhaven Inlet at Virginia Beach. 

The warnings were extending northwards.  I watched and worked my counted cross stitch for the next hour, until it was clear the storm had begun to move out to sea.

Then to the couch for a little sleep.

 

Though the sky is mostly clear, the wind has been with us all day.

Though the sky is mostly clear, the wind has been with us all day.  The sky was full of Eagles over the Colonial Parkway this morning.

I checked in again at five, and saw that somehow Jim Cantore was still standing in Buxton.

We had assumed that his producers were planning a Coast Guard rescue by helicopter, once that part of the island completely over-washed in the waves.

That would make really good TV, and could be re-played by the Weather Channel cast for years to come.

But, alas, he had found a steel and concrete structure and was braced against it, barely able to stand, ankle deep in sea water; but still giving live commentary as the storm rolled past.

An Osprey Eagle greeting the morning, after the storm had passed.

An Osprey Eagle greeting the morning, after the storm had passed.

By a quarter to six, the forecast track clearly showed the storm turning out to sea.

We were getting our much needed rain, and I still could  hear the wind blowing through the trees.  But the tornado warnings were gone.

I decided to get some more sleep.

The Canada geese had come together in large flocks along the banks of the river to ride out the storm.

The Canada geese had come together in large flocks along the banks of the river to ride out the storm.

By the time I awoke again a little after seven, it was light outside. A gorgeous morning here with light rain and cool, moist breezes greeted us.

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 086

We decided to head out to the Parkway to see what the morning held, and what the storm had left behind.

This beautiful Eastern Box Turtle was bravng the quiet morning on Jamestown Island.

This beautiful Eastern Box Turtle was braving the quiet morning on Jamestown Island.

A few branches had blown down, but we were so very fortunate to have no  real damage.

Our power was on, there was no flooding near us, and the trees in our community stood through the night.

And this snake was sunning himself along the road on the island.

And this snake was sunning himself along the road on the island.

We saw the outermost curved band of “Arthur” in the sky as we left our driveway.

The duck blind, in the shelter of Cypress trees, withstood the winds overnight.

The duck blind, in the shelter of Cypress trees, withstood the winds overnight.

It was a thin skim of clouds against the clearing morning sky.

Crabs live in our brackish marshes.  They didn't mind the storm at all.

Crabs live in our brackish marshes. They didn’t mind the storm at all.

The wind is still with us this afternoon. 

The storm continues moving north and east, towards another landfall in New England.

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 008

I hope all touched by the storm can pick up the pieces, clean up the mess, and move on from this.

 

This golden dragonfly lives in our garden.

This golden dragonfly lives in our garden.  We are glad to see he found shelter from the wind, and was out enjoying the sunshine by the time we returned home.

It is only the first  named storm of the tropical season. 

We’ll be watching our coastal waters from now until the end of November, hoping that all of the systems which form stay well out to sea, and far away from our beautiful coasts and our loved ones.

 

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 073

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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