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Mars, Venus tandem storm in Pacific. - 12.08.04

A strong storm arises from a tempestuous boy meets girl event over the Pacific.



A very strong storm that barreled into the West Coast at the end of the first week of December was coincident with a conjunction between Mars and Venus that occurred on the 7th of December. The conjunction happened in the longitude of Hawaii. The two planets are moving in tandem to each other across the eastern Pacific between Hawaii and the coast. On the day of the conjunction, the trans-Pacific jet stream straightened across the central Pacific from the longitude of Hawaii, into the central coast (blue arrow) as intense winds tracked in from mid-Pacific. A strong high that had been blocking for many days succumbed to the tandem tracking of the two interacting planets. The result of the meeting of Venus and Mars is a jet stream pattern in which widespread rain and high wind are providing a winter storm for the eastern Pacific.

In 2003, Mercury and Venus moved in tandem during the second week of September. At that time they were both over the western Pacific. A similarly strong trans Pacific jet stream pattern arose from that tendem motion in the week of the conjunction (pink arrow). Looking at the jet stream patterns for both events reveals the same parallel jet across the Pacific during the time of the tandem movements of the various planets. However, in 2003 the tandem tracking motions were farther to the west. Likewise, in that year, the placement of the trans Pacific jet was also farther to the west but the extent of the parallel isobars on the two sets of 500mb maps in both instances is remarkably similar in extent in longitude and latitude. The jet stream pattern is also downstream of the conjunction in both cases.

In 2003 the phenomenon of the strongly horizontal jet stream lasted only for the few days that Mercury and Venus were actually closely moving in tandem. When Venus started to pull away from Mercury (Mercury was slowing towards a station) the trans Pacific jet stream went back to a normal looping pattern minus the intense parallel isobars present during the tandem event.

In 2004, on the 9th of October, Mercury was moving in tandem with Mars, and for four days the Pacific jet moved strongly from mid ocean towards the coast. Then Mercury and Mars began a gradual separation as Mercury blew past Mars. And the storm jet began to shorten.

At the end of November and beginning of December, Mars and Venus were moving in tandem in the center of Libra. A strong trans Pacific jet streamed across the eastern Pacific between the 29th of November and the 4th of December. As Venus pulled away from Mars the jet stream in the eastern Pacific settled down into its pre-storm activity, and has remained there since.