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©2004 by Richard Nolle
last revised UT 17:26 FEB 9, 2004
If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying these forecasts, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: all forecasts are expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).

The "January 4-10 risk window" brought storm and seismic headlines right on schedule, as specified in my forecast. "Strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation (and attendant flooding, mudslides, etc.) are the stuff of tragic headlines during this period," is how I described the January 4-10 risk window. "Also expect a heavier than usual barrage of moderate to severe earthquakes (Richter 5 and up)," I wrote, adding "and an outburst of volcanic activity is possible too."

The headlines clearly followed in the footsteps of that forecast. For one thing, Cyclone Heta hit Samoa on the 4th, damaging roads and houses, destroying crops and knocking out power and electricity. Heta was described by New Zealand's Meteorological Office as "one of the most intense cyclones in the region for some time." There were reports that one person was swept out to sea by the storm on the Samoan island of Upolu. Samoa and American Samoa were still under official emergency declarations a day after the storm hit, and all air and sea travel between them had been canceled. Heta then took aim with its 185 mph winds on the tiny island nation of Niue. Wondering where little old Niue is? It's in one of the danger zones I described as being especially vulnerable during the January 4-10 risk window: "along an arc that covers the Pacific Northwest coast from around San Francisco to Vancouver, arcing across far north Canada and coming down through western Europe, crossing the Mediterranean and cutting across Africa in a southeasterly arc through Kinshasa and Daressalam." If you follow that curve around to the Pacific Northwest, you'll find that it passes east of New Zealand and right through Samoa and Nieu.

Speaking of that danger zone "along an arc that covers the Pacific Northwest coast from around San Francisco to Vancouver," I guess you heard about the killer snowstorm in western Washington and Oregon starting on the 6th, which turned to a mixture of snow and rain in the higher elevations of northern California. "We're even talking blizzard to near-blizzard for Portland," is how The Weather Channel's senior meteorologist put it, adding "it's going to be a mess out there for a while."

I described Jupiter's retrograde station at 19 Virgo on the 3rd as "the first notable celestial marker of the month;" although I pointed out that the giant planet would remain within a single degree of this station point from December 9 until January 29. "Somewhere in that one degree December 9 - January 29 zone surrounding Jupiter's station," I wrote, "should represent something of a temporary top in the bull market in gold." Surprise, surprise: spot gold hit its highest mark in years on January 12, topping out at $428.20 per ounce as of the London AM fix. That was just slightly over the London AM fix on the 6th, at $428.00. Since then, it's been steadily downhill for the precious metal, which had slipped to under $400 per ounce by the end of the first week in February.

Gold wasn't the only thing I pointed to in connection with January's Jupiter station. "Among other things that come to mind associated with the Jupiter station in Virgo," I wrote, "there's a public health scare." And was there ever a health scare! It's called bird flu, and DNA study suggests that an earlier variant may have been responsible for the worldwide Spanish flu pandemic that killed some 40 million people in 1918-19. You weren't surprised. You knew what to expect from my forecast: "a food borne illness, e. coli, Norwalk virus, hepatitis, the flu, contaminated medical supplies, contaminated food recalls, medical mistakes . . ." Bird flu (a subtype of the influenza A virus designated H5N1) was formerly thought to infect only birds. But in 1997 it jumped the species barrier in Hong Kong, infecting 18 people and killing six of them - a mortality rate of 33 percent. In February 2003, H5N1 resurfaced in the territory, causing two infections and one fatality. The January 2004 outbreak has been far more widespread: eight people in Asia have so far been confirmed as fatalities from H5N1, and the virus has been detected (or at least suspected) in ten countries, including chicken farms in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. In hopes of eradicating the virus, public health authorities have ordered mass culls and quarantines as well as bans on poultry imports by Cambodia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

I mentioned that "a short storm and seismic up-tick is in store from the 12th through late on 14th," and right on schedule came a Richter 5 quake in Taiwan on the 13th. A little later that same day came a 5.1 temblor off Mexico's southern coast, which set tall buildings swaying in Mexico City. Halfway 'round the world that night, a violent storm called Hanne tore through Germany with gale-force winds in excess of 100 mph. Parts of Bavaria were flooded, shipping was suspended for safety reasons, and a tornado caused widespread damage in the northern town of Drochtersen. The Pride of America cruise ship, under construction in Bremerhaven on the North Sea, was slammed into a pier by the heavy weather, injuring several dock workers. Japan's Mt. Aso volcano began erupting the following day, sending up "a column of white smoke that rose about 2,600 feet into the sky." Another volcano sprang into action on the 14th, when the 17,200 foot Sangay volcano sent a miles-high column of ash across the jungles of Ecuador.

After a short interlude of relative calm, the wind and weather and seismic action kicked in again starting on the 18th, exactly per my forecast. And, again as predicted, it continued until "early on the 27th." Into the Mediterranean and through the Middle East came a raft of strong storms during the January 18-24 new moon period. At least ten people were injured as gale force winds, torrential rain and a tornado or two slashed across the island of Cyprus on the 22nd. Power and phone outages, road closures and destruction to property and crops were reported, along with roofs blown off homes, felled trees and flooding on major roads. In Egypt, more than a dozen people were killed and several dozen were injured in storm related traffic accidents around the country, as heavy rains and sandstorms reduced visibility to zero on January 22-23. Fifteen flights were turned away from the main international airport in Cairo and forced to land at Hurghada, on the Red Sea. Airports were also closed in the northern Mediterranean city of Alexandria as well as in the southern Nile river communities of Aswan, Asyut and Abu Simbel. The Suez Canal was closed for a half-day on the 23rd, due to dangerous weather conditions. From there, it only got worse. Turkey was shut down for two days as heavy snow, high winds and freezing weather left homes without power, motorists trapped in unheated vehicles and transport links cut. In the eastern town of Cat, a thirteen-year-old boy froze to death while walking home from school. Authorities shut down the key maritime route linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean via the Bosphorus due to heavy winds. Television reports said at least 4,000 motorists were trapped at different points around Istanbul alone. Out in the Mediterranean Sea, the Greek-owned cargo ship Kephi, sank in gale-force winds about 120 nautical miles west of Crete. Only two of its seventeen crew were rescued. Back in the States on the 27th, rain and snow caused traffic problems in Virginia, killing three people. The federal government shut down early that day, and most schools in the area remained closed due to bad weather.

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