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Hurricane Charley - 08.16.04


The movements of the moon surrounding the birth and surge times of Hurricane Charley were classic examples of how planetary motion influences the weather.

Hurricane Charley, born off of the Antilles at12°N and 65° W on the morning of August 8th to 14th started as a moderate low-pressure area near to the equator. On that day there was a coincident motion of the lunar node to a strong low-pressure harmonic to the eastern pair of eclipses that were placed over western Africa. The two jet curves from these points were projected to the west with both the 45°jet curve from the lunar point at 19° Aries and the 72° jet curve from the solar point at 4° Aries being active in the storm's biography. This was a good example of a planetary flux patterned storm except for its strong veering to the northeast when it surged between Cuba and Florida on the 13th .


Fig.1


Fig.1

On the 8th of August the lunar node moved in arc between the two eastern eclipse points. It moved at this time to a strong low- pressure aspect to each point. This put low- pressure values over the western Atlantic especially in the areas near to Florida. Coincidentally, on that day, the Moon passed the eclipse point for the lunar eclipse at 19° Aries. The day before the Moon crossed the solar point at 4° Aries. A coincidence of such closely spaced motion in arc events for the Moon, is often the seed for strong vortex formation on the jet curves. This coincidence of powerful lunar motions on both points set the seed for the hurricane to be just in the place where the 72° aspect line from the lunar point crosses the 45° jet curve from the solar point at a low latitude. [Fig.1] This was the situation for the seed. In the planetary flux model, such coincident motions on the same set of points will most often accompany memorable storms.

In general hurricanes must form a parabolic curve in their tracking motions in order to emerge from the tropics into the Prevailing Westerlies. To do this they most often track any other eclipse line in their vicinity that is under strong planetary influence. In the case of Charley the seed point in the southeastern Caribbean Sea put the storm in position for a north/south track out of the Caribbean into the western Atlantic. This is a typical pattern for hurricanes that occur later in the season. The chart shows that a good tracking parameter would have been to call the only other active line at that time, the 72° jet curve from the lunar point at 19° Aries as Charley's path to the north. From the chart it can be seen that this line moves into the Gulf of Mexico. Doc Weather probably would have called that track as the most likely as did many forecasters. Instead, the storm touched into the 72° jet curve, surged dramatically, and then veered to the northeast just after it passed across Cuba and slammed into Florida on the west coast of the peninsula and ripped north east up the peninsula, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

In hindsight, consistent high pressure in the western Gulf of Mexico from a Mercury station aspect on the western pair of eclipse points likely helped steer the storm away from entering into the Gulf of Mexico. As it was, Charley veered into the history books as an extremely deadly and expensive storm for Florida.