Tuesday, April 6, 2010

way up in the atmosphere

Spring is always a weird time of year for me. This spring isn't too bad so far, but I know the end of the semester is going to be really tough. Two tests this week, two next week, and an 8 page paper and take-home final exam to finish by the time May starts. Then I have three more final exams, each spaced a day apart.
I'm just incredibly grateful for the reward at the end: our Protogrove is holding Beltane a bit late this year, and we're scheduled to celebrate after all my tests are over and done. And we're planning on going to a park for the ritual too! I can't wait, Beltane is one of my favorite holidays ^^ Hail Freyja!

In other news, my atmosphere class is finally getting to the interesting stuff--storms. We had our first spring rain a few days ago, complete with the rumble of thunder. I can feel the weather turn, and it's not hard to see how the wind changes, clouds move in, and you can feel the moisture in the air. Having the scientific "why" behind all these weather changes is nice. I like the more complete understanding, however basic the class may be.
Turns out that warm fronts and cold fronts both bring rain, but they do so differently: a cold front is a mass of colder, drier air moving in with a snub-nosed shape to replace warm, wet air. When they get together, sudden storms and heavy rain can appear. On the other hand, a warm front is warm, wet air in a long sloping wedge coming in to replace cooler air. This creates lower clouds which can take all day to form, and brings the long, soaking rains.
Then my mind turns to the Gods, and how both Thor and Freyr are said to be patrons of good weather, despite Thor's reputation as a storm-god. So of course I've been associating Thor with cold fronts and Freyr with warm fronts! Call me odd, but it makes sense.

I like to think that Freyr has a hand in weather that people like: warm, sunny days, gentle rains that help crops grow, and quiet, starry nights. Thor is said to be a friend to all the common folk, including farmers, so I can see how He can be seen to bring good weather as well. Given His hammer and temper, though, I'd think that His hand isn't quite so gentle when it comes to shaping winds and clouds ;) Though the cool, clear skies after a storm are certainly welcome in the heat of summer.

Just don't ask me about occluded fronts. I still haven't quite gotten those figured out yet.


So as I finish this post, I find that the dark clouds which appeared earlier this morning have dumped rain on us during the course of class. Now, cool air shows puddles and the lightest drizzle falls--spring is getting the jump-start it needs now. Rain to fuel the plants, to bring the awakening of Nerthus and all the world's greening.

Can't wait for summer.

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