Posts Tagged 'tornadoes'

An Earthquake in DC?

An earthquake in Washington, DC? That was my first incredulous thought on opening the Drudge Report yesterday and seeing the headline. Whoa, that is weird!

To make things even weirder, there was one in Colorado on the same day, a 5.3 tremblor centered in Trinidad, near the state’s southern border. Coming on top of all the tornadoes, droughts, wildfires, snowstorms, floods and now hurricanes… I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s warnings of great earthquakes and famines just before He comes back. (Matt 24:7,8)  It seems obvious that God is trying to get people’s attention with all these weather events. Of all the things people are struggling to deal with now, weather is the one most obviously out of our hands.

I think I mentioned when writing about the tornadoes that a number of people remarked how since tornadoes rarely went through cities, everyone thought that somehow the presence of a city warded them off. After Joplin and Tuscaloosa, that notion has been retired, and the reason cities are being hit now is because there are more of them. I just think the only reason more tornadoes haven’t hit cities in the past is because God didn’t allow them to.

I was still in that line of thinking today when I learned that in the recent DC Earthquake both the Washington Monument and the Washington National Cathedral were closed indefinitely because of damages suffered from the EQ. The Washington Monument was found to have a 4″ crack in the top of its pyramidion, and the National Cathedral sustained millions of dollars of damage including numerous cracks in its limestone blocks as well as the loss of several of its pinnacles.

It struck me as significant that the two structures found to have enough damage from the quake to warrant closure to visitors were major and well-known icons of our country.

The Washington Monument, begun in 1848 and finished after the Civil War in 1884, is the tallest obelisk in the world, and was built to honor our first president, George Washington. (Interesting that perhaps our last real/full term president is George W. Bush… ). According to Wikipedia, “As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States, [Washington] built a strong and financially secure nation that earned the respect of the world.”

Now that monument has a small crack in it, just as our great nation is suffering cracks in its strength, its financial security and its position of being respected by the rest of the world.

The Washington National Cathedral has been designated by Congress as our “National House of Prayer” and serves as an icon for our nation’s religious life which has been for most of our history, predominantly Christian. It too has cracks and damage to its first floor and, as mentioned, its pinnacles  — cracks and falling pinnacles that serve as an illustration of the inexorable crumbling of our allegiance to Christianity, not so much as a nation, but as a people. Fewer and fewer attend church, more and more adhere to eastern religions, or none at all, and our laws and culture are growing increasingly hostile toward our faith.

From there I thought back to the Twin Towers, symbols of America’s economic strength — turned to rubble, with a mosque planned to be built atop the remains.

The Pentagon — split open when one of the hijacked airliners flew into it. The heart of our military strength, pierced by a handful of ignorant, hate-filled men armed with box cutters. Yes, it’s repaired now, but who would have thought such a thing could ever even happen? Of all places, wouldn’t the Pentagon be most impregnable?  Apparently not.

Taken together, it all makes for an interesting picture. One I don’t think is coincidence, given the times in which we live.

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land…

But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land…

…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendents… ”       ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-19

 

The Unruly, Unrestrained Jet Stream

“Record snowfall, killer tornadoes, devastating floods: There’s no doubt about it. Since Dec. 2010, the weather in the USA has been positively wild. But why?”

So starts an article published in Science@Nasa last June called What’s to Blame for the Wild Weather?

(Shall I add extreme drought and heat leading to horrific forest fires that have both scorched the southwest and are even now burning up Oklahoma?)

Some say it’s because of La Nina,  a band of cold water that sometimes stretches across the Pacific, and affects global weather patterns. We’ve had La Nina conditions before, however, and not all these weird weather problems.

NASA climatologist Bill Patzert doesn’t think it’s La Nina either.  “La Niña was strong in December,” he says. “But back in January it pulled a disappearing act and left us with nothing – La Nada – to constrain the jet stream. Like an unruly teenager, the jet stream took advantage of the newfound freedom–and the results were disastrous.”

“By mid-January 2011, La Niña weakened rapidly and by mid-February it was adios, La Niña, allowing the jet stream to meander wildly around the US. Consequently the weather pattern became dominated by strong outbreaks of frigid polar air, producing blizzards across the West, Upper Midwest, and northeast US.”

And that wasn’t all it produced as spring came and the unruly jet stream continued to be uncontrolled. Russell Schneider, Director of the NOAA-NWS Storm Prediction Center, explains:

“First, very strong winds out of the south carrying warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico met cold jet stream winds racing in from the west. Stacking these two air masses on top of each other created the degree of instability that fuels intense thunderstorms.”

According to NASA author Dauna Coulter, “Extreme contrasts in wind speeds and directions of the upper and lower atmosphere transformed ordinary thunderstorms into long-lived rotating supercells capable of producing violent tornadoes.”

And climatologist Patzert adds, “The jet stream — on steroids — acted as an atmospheric mix master, causing tornadoes to explode across Dixie and Tornado Alleys, and even into Massachusetts.”

I love his description of an unruly jet stream, free to roam about as it chooses — with devastating results. Because what a parallel to a people who have rejected God and gone their own way.

Especially when you combine the weather problems with the economic woes, the war issues, the rising crime, the emergence of mobs of young people running amok in various cities from Chicago to DC to Orlando…  I really do think God is trying to get our attention…

Read the article and look at the pictures HERE.


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