Saturday, June 30, 2012

(Updated 2X) Have you forgotten about Debby already? Fires, Derechos and heat make Debby seem like old news

Update #2: In an ironic twist to the fulfillment of what I said below regarding media's use of ever-topping superlatives to try and explain the outsized events occurring almost daily now, the derechos that occurred yesterday and reported on this morning, are by this afternoon called SUPER-derecho. From Accuweather: "Deadly Super Derecho Strikes Midwest, Mid-Atlantic"

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UPDATE #1 from the Weather Channel summarizing last night's storms:

We are awakening to reports of some severe weather here in the eastern US overnight.
"As storm reports continue to come in from the severe storms, meteorologists say the storm reports from this event are the 2nd highest reported in a single day in 2012. Millions are without power and travel has been impacted. AMTRAK service has been suspended from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia and Washington D.C to Baltimore due to downed trees and signal power. At least two have died from storm related injuries as of early Saturday morning."
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Original post:

Meteorologist Heather Brinkmann wrote, "Check out this radar composite of the derecho that went thru the Ohio Valley today"
NOAA defines derecho as "a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath."

This is what a derecho looks like in real life:

source

Source NOAA
Definitely a scary looking storm.

Although derechos are not unheard of, they are not an everyday occurrence, either. See this frequency map from NOAA. Yesterday's derecho occurred in exactly the place they most likely occur, "along the "Corn Belt" from the upper Mississippi Valley southeast into the Ohio Valley, and the other from the southern Plains northeast into the mid Mississippi Valley."

Source NOAA
Yesterday's storms were damaging, especially to the people in Washington DC. This morning millions are without power, and in some cases, it will take multiple days to get them hooked up again. This is bad news, because the extreme heat is supposed to continue. Today's temps are predicted to be triple digit again. A dangerous situation for sure.

The weather has continually been outsized. I often talk about the language newscasters and meterologists use to describe what they are seeing. Increasingly since 2009 they use superlatives such as "greatest," "biggest", "most damaging". But even those top superlatives don't describe what is happening any more. The events keep topping themselves. They now say "Apocalyptic," "epic", "biblical," and "record breaking" or "historic."

The power of words diminishes the more you use one, and the term 'record-breaking', after a while doesn't mean much if records are being broken every day. And they are. Even the Guardian UK asked what is going on:

America in grip of fire and floods
"Natural disasters are wreaking havoc across the US, with the entire state of Florida on emergency flood watch - while, in Colorado, half of the country's entire firefighting force is battling massive blazes that have displaced thousands."

Floods? What floods? Tropical Storm Debby. Oh yes, that's right. Forgotten in the face of the Colorado wildfires, and then immediately after that, the extreme heat and then the derechos. Four disasters in one week, and the brain tries to maintain a sense of perspective, but it can't. Something has to give. Debby's devastating flooding is now relegated to the dustbin of old news, even though it happened just 5 days ago.

I wonder how quickly the plagues of Egypt happened, how long in between them they occurred. Maybe the first few started slowly but by the time the 7th, 8th, 9th plagues came they were overlapping.

Though these are not eschatalogical (end times) judgments per se, like the biblical plagues were, they seem pretty bad as it is. In reading newspaper articles about them, people often refer to the bible. Here is a quote from the Guardian article:

"Local Amanda Rice said: "It was just this God-awful orange glow. It was surreal. It honestly looked like hell was opening up."

This is from the Colorado Springs Gazette:

WALDO CANYON FIRE: Hell in the rearview mirror
"And there I sat in traffic. It’s a memory I’ll never forget. I teared up as I scanned the surrounding cars. Everywhere were children, scared and crying, their parents looking deathly afraid and, in my rearview mirror, a view of the gates of hell."

I want you to think about the heat wave. Here in North GA we had actual temps of 111 yesterday, though the predictions were for 105. Today the predictions are for 109 but I wonder how high the actual temps will be. They are saying that heat indexes (real feel) will be over 114. Yet it will get worse.

During the tribulation, one of the bowl judgments will be to heat up the earth so that people are literally scorched. "The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory." (Revelation 16:8-9).

Bu that time they know and understand that it is God making the crazy weather, not "mother Nature" or "global warning", because the verse says they curse Him. I wonder if it will be that He makes it so hot that asphalt and wood spontaneously combust...or if solar flares actually singe the earth itself...I don't know. But you can imagine the havoc in DC this morning with no electricity yet all this heat. People are going to die today if they can't get cool, it is just a fact. The elderly and the infants and sick will succumb in hot apartments where no air stirs and they can't seem to catch a breath. And yet the bible shows us how much worse it will get.

One thing is better. All this crazy weather activity seems to be making people whose hearts are not closed to Him think of Him. Twitter is the current iteration of vox populi, a Latin term literally meaning 'voice of the people.' Broadcasters use it, a man on the street kind of thing. What are the people saying? Well, this morning I woke up to find on the trending list, "Zechariah 14:9." I can't tell you how rare it is for biblical things to be trending. That means enough people have to be talking about a certain thing over all the world's twitter users, to make the subject one of the top ten of all the things that vox populi could be talking about. Almost always the trends list  is stuffed with celebrity news, sports, and meaningless jokes.

Zechariah 14:9 says:

"And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one."

The saints know Jesus is coming soon. We are excited to see what He is doing in the world. Not that people are in pain, obviously, but that His name is on the lips of many, His glory and power are noticed, and that His word is repeated online between and among believers and non-believers alike. This 'crazy weather' isn't crazy. It is a controlled series of events from the Creator of weather, the Creator of the earth and all that is in it. He is telling us something. How many warnings will there be? Not many more, I fear. He has been patient with us, kind and generous. That period of warning will end and after the rapture, the judgments will begin.

I pray you are among the blessed who have already made Jesus your Lord and King. Repentance is the key. Repenting of your sins and appealing to the One Sacrifice who has the ability to forgive them is the way to heaven. The only way. For as the verse in Zechariah says, the LORD will be King over all the earth. Will you face Him as friend, or enemy? Repentence is the key.

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