Winter is here…

FINALLY! Pictures I took today…

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No more webbot reports

I have removed the copyrighted material…I am working on a way to post it so that I do NOT get into trouble. Please allow time to tweak it. If you want the report, which I have in my possession, write to me at heidilore@gmail.com and I will send in the interem. Thanks, I apologize profusely.

HL

Ragnarök

*From every ending comes a new beginning.*

Ragnarok (“Doom of the Gods”), also called Gotterdammerung, means the end of the cosmos in Norse mythology. It will be preceded by Fimbulvetr, the winter of winters. Three such winters will follow each other with no summers in between. Conflicts and feuds will break out, even between families, and all morality will disappear. This is the beginning of the end.

The wolf Skoll will finally devour the sun, and his brother Hati will eat the moon, plunging the earth [into] darkness. The stars will vanish from the sky. The cock Fjalar will crow to the giants and the golden cock Gullinkambi will crow to the gods. A third cock will raise the dead.

The earth will shudder with earthquakes, and every bond and fetter will burst, freeing the terrible wolf Fenrir. The sea will rear up because Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, is twisting and writhing in fury as he makes his way toward the land. With every breath, Jormungand will stain the soil and the sky with his poison. The waves caused by the serpent’s emerging will set free the ship Naglfar, and with the giant Hymir as their commander, the giants will sail towards the battlefield. From the realm of the dead a second ship will set sail, and this ship carries the inhabitants of hell, with Loki as their helmsman. The fire giants, led by the giant Surt, will leave Muspell in the south to join against the gods. Surt, carrying a sword that blazes like the sun itself, will scorch the earth.

Meanwhile, Heimdall will sound his horn, calling the sons of Odin and the heroes to the battlefield. From all the corners of the world, gods, giants, dwarves, demons and elves will ride towards the huge plain of Vigrid (“battle shaker”) where the last battle will be fought. Odin will engage Fenrir in battle, and Thor will attack Jormungand. Thor will victorious, but the serpent’s poison will gradually kill the god of thunder. Surt will seek out the swordless Freyr, who will quickly succumb to the giant. The one-handed Tyr will fight the monstrous hound Garm and they will kill each other. Loki and Heimdall, age-old enemies, will meet for a final time, and neither will survive their encounter. The fight between Odin and Fenrir will rage for a long time, but finally Fenrir will seize Odin and swallow him. Odin’s son Vidar will at once leap towards the wolf and kill him with his bare hands, ripping the wolf’s jaws apart.

Then Surt will fling fire in every direction. The nine worlds will burn, and friends and foes alike will perish. The earth will sink into the sea.

After the destruction, a new and idyllic world will arise from the sea and will be filled with abundant supplies. Some of the gods will survive, others will be reborn. Wickedness and misery will no longer exist and gods and men will live happily together. The descendants of Lif and Lifthrasir will inhabit this earth.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/r/ragnarok.html

Weird weather December 15th

Record low in Denver:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/validProds.php?prod=RER&node=KBOU

Montana -29

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20081214/NEWS01/81214005

As weather.com mentioned on Friday, an arctic air mass has invaded the Northwest, the Rockies and the Plains. Temperatures are bitterly cold. We’re not just talking subfreezing temperatures or teens or even single digits.

We’re talking about temperatures that are falling into the teens and twenties below zero. This is dangerous cold to say the least.

Here is a list of record lows from Sunday:

Record Lows
City: Record Low (previously held)

Billings, MT: -18 (-13/1945)
Lewistown, MT: -29 (-24/1951)
Dillon, MT: -16 (-15/1967)
Fort Benton, MT: -23 (tied with 1948)
Sheridan, WY: -13 (tied with 1940)
Camarillo, CA: 32 (33/2007)
Casper, WY: -18 (-9/1967)
Rock Springs, WY: -10 (-3/1987)
Denver, CO: -18 (-14/1901)
Boulder, MT: -20 (tied with 1967) Great Falls, MT: -25 (tied with 1922)
Gold Butte, MT: -33 (-23/1922)
Havre, MT: -32 (-24/1975)
Martinsdale, MT: -23 (-18/1901)
Simpson, MT: -24 (tied with 1975)
Townsend, MT: -15 (-12/1967)
White Sulphur Springs, MT: -29 (-17/1922)
Yuma, CO: -10 (-9/1963)

That same bitter chill is still on the move this morning; helping to push temperatures down, down, down.

Cities that were near their record high yesterday or even broke their record high are experiencing a huge cooldown today.

Record Highs
City: Record high (previously held)
Tulsa, OK: 75 (74/1933) Mon forecast: 28
San Angelo, TX: 82 (81/1924) Mon forecast: 46
Joplin, MO: 71 (70/1975) Mon forecast: 22
Fayetteville, AR: 68 (67/1975) Mon forecast: 26
Childress, TX: 76 (75/1995) Mon forecast: 33
Wichita Falls, TX: 81 (80/1933 & 1975) Mon forecast: 38

Warm in the east, but this won’t last.

Heat costs going up this winter

WASHINGTON (AP) — Although global oil prices have plummeted, the cost of heating your home this winter will be a lot more expensive, especially for households that depend on fuel oil, the Energy Department predicted Tuesday.

Households that use fuel oil can expect to spend an average of $2,388 – or $449 more than last year – for the October-April heating season. Users of natural gas will pay less than half that, $1,010 on average, still $155 more than last year.

The department’s Energy Information Administration emphasized that the cost figures should be viewed as “a broad guide” comparing this year’s expected heating costs to last winter and said actual expenses can vary depending on region, local weather and the energy efficiency of individual homes.
Higher costs all around

But across the board, whether one uses heating oil, natural gas, propane or electricity, costs will be higher, said the agency.

Users of electricity to heat homes will see the smallest increase, about 10% on average, followed by propane, 11%; natural gas, which is used in more than half of the nation’s homes, 18%; and heating oil, used widely in the Northeast, 23%.

That’s not good news for a country where people have been reeling from a summer of record $4-a-gallon gasoline, a booming credit crisis and a struggling economy.
Increase in shutoffs

Energy experts say some people have yet to pay last winter’s heating bills or the summer’s air conditioning costs. A recent Associated Press survey found that utility shutoffs because of unpaid bills have been running 17% to 22% higher than last year in some parts of the country.

The Energy Department said it expects the price of fuel oil will average $3.90 a gallon, 60 cents more than last winter.

While the cost of crude oil has declined from a high of $147 a barrel in July to just under $88 a barrel for delivery in November, the department said “oil markets are expected to remain relatively tight because of sluggish production growth.” Barring a worse-than-expected global economic decline, prices are likely to edge back up to about $112 a barrel, the agency said.

Partly because of refinery shutdowns caused by the two recent Gulf coast hurricanes, distillate inventories – fuel oil and diesel – are expected to be lower going into the heating season than last year, said the agency. Fuel oil is used by about 7% of the nation’s households.

Natural gas supplies will be plentiful this winter, with storage in November expected to be well above the five-year average, the gas supply industry said earlier this week. And wholesale gas prices have dropped to nearly where they were a year ago after soaring this summer.
Record-high natural gas

Still, the retail cost of natural gas for heating is expected to be 18% higher this winter.

“Much of the natural gas utilities will deliver to households this year was purchased when prices were at or near these historic highs,” said Chris McGill of the American Gas Association, which represents 202 local natural gas utilities across the country. That higher price will, for the most part, be passed on.

Meanwhile, people are using much less oil this year because of high prices at the gasoline pumps and the weakening economy, the Energy Department said.

Total U.S. petroleum consumption this year is expected to average 19.8 million barrels a day, or 830,000 barrels fewer than in 2007, followed by a further 100,000-barrel-a-day decline expected in 2009, according to the EIA report.

On the other hand, the agency said, domestic oil production this year will drop below an average of 5 million barrels a day for the first time since 1946 because of declining fields and the disruptions caused in the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/07/news/economy/winter_heating.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008100709