Frontal system leads to bad moon rising

By Sakwiba Sikota

I never knew that my high school geography lessons would ever come in handy after I decided that I would neither become an environmentalist, weatherman or cartographer. What I learnt in geography class now turns out to contain some of the keys to life. I am amazed to find that my geography teacher Mr. Yin Yang Lee was like those mystical “masters” in Kung fu movies who casually drop sign posting sage sayings like;

“Men do not beat drums before they hunt for tigers.”

Our geography teacher, who was also an amateur Kung fu “master”, always gave us his favorite life guiding bit of wisdom,

“Before you beat a dog, learn its masters name.”

Another life’s nugget of a saying that the Kung fu/geography master gave us is,

“A wise man walks with his head bowed. Humble like the dust.”

I remember Mr. Lee giving us a lesson on “Weather Frontal Systems” and even as far back as then hinting at a phenomenon to be known as “Global Warming”. He also taught us that the moon does have an effect on the weather.

On global warming he stated that the usual pattern where we saw basically four seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer to Autumn being the pattern could, due to global warming, give way to where we quite surprisingly overnight spring straight from Winter to Summer skipping Spring altogether.

Mr. Lee stated that, with this drastic and sudden change, there was an increased chance of our seeing occluded weather fronts. I am not sure if he wanted to teach us about Cumulonimbus clouds or nuclear mushroom clouds. To him the yin and yang in him were like the opposites of the random violence Mother Nature can unleash on geography and the serene, controlled and guided discipline of the art of Kung fu.

Weather fronts mark the boundary between two air masses, which often have contrasting properties. For example, one air mass may be cold and dry and the other air mass may be relatively warm and moist. These differences produce a reaction in a zone known as a front.

If the two fronts move together, you get an occluded front. It’s an odd shaped front with two cold parts and one warm part, with flashes of violent, and sometimes fatal, uncontrollable lightening and thunder along the fronts.

If they collide, you get bad weather for days on end as the fronts try to ‘push each other away’. Upon combining, they can result in mild and at times very severe storms. Heavy Thunder and Lighting may also occur.

We have of late seen two fronts pushing against each other. There is the A- Team front which is cold and dry coming from a south westerly and sometimes central direction meeting up with a relatively warm and moist front coming in from the north.

A front is simply the boundary between two bodies of air. Think of it as the front line in a battle where the warm air represents one side and its ‘enemy’, the cold air, the other side. This was an analogy from Mr. Lee who could not decide if he was our geography or Kung fu “master”,

The presence of a cold front means that cold air is advancing and pushing underneath warmer air. This is because the cold air is ‘heavier’, or more dense, than the warm air. Cold air is thus replacing warm air at the surface. In simple terms the south westerly front led by the former Secretary General was forming structures to try and replace the warm northern front structures on the ground or surface.

It is as if they were beating drums before going to hunt the tigerish warm front.

They also decided to beat Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda without knowing his master’s name. Even now when everyone knows the ABC’s of the master’s name they continue to beat him on a daily basis on their front pages.

To compound it all the Cartel did not show the wisdom of a wise man and walk with their heads bowed and Humble like the dust. Instead we saw an arrogance with a capital “a” like in “A-Team”.

The confidence and arrogance of the cold front has is probably due to the massive funding they have been receiving from the industrial business magnate who has been financing and bank rolling them. He is the one who gives them strength and makes them able and eager to fight on.

The dry King Fred in the Post Newspaper caustic editorial of Friday 28th August said the cold wintery front led by former Secretary General of the party W.M. Kabimba SC, was the “good, incorruptible and honest” front. In the same editorial M’membe said the Cobra had chosen the “evil, corrupt and dishonest” warm front from the north. With this attitude from King Fred where he is basically saying the Cobra has gone the way of the “evil, corrupt and dishonest”, we are in for more than a few days of nasty weather.

I do not know why King Fred and his cartel are surprised that the Cobra chose the northern warm front over the south westerly cold front. My ophiology studies, which is the branch of herpetology dealing with snakes, taught me that snakes prefer warmer climes and in fact may hibernate during the winter. Having chosen the warmer climes are we about to see the Cobra come out of hibernation? Maybe but I think not.

What happened at the Post Newspaper offices at Bwinjimfumu last Friday when King Fred had to discharge live bullets to disperse a crowd of very hot PF cadres suggests that the two fronts are set to continue on a collision path. In Chipata the street party had coffins declaring Zambia’s first “Ebola” death, with the sports minister Chishimba Kambwili, rather unsportingly, declaring, “Now the president has acted decisively and this is the beginning of the new PF. You will see how PF will grow. The man was a stumbling block in the growth of the party. May His Soul Rest in Peace”

There seems to be great rage and ruin in the PF with people prepared to die.

I am told the mob that went to Bwinjifumu Road with a mock coffin for Wynter Kabimba were toi-toing South African style to the lyrics of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” which in part go;

I see a bad moon arisin’
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today
Don’t go around tonight
Well, it’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
I hear hurricanes ablowin’
I know the end is comin’ soon
I fear rivers overflowin’
I hear the voice of rage and ruin
Don’t go around tonight
Well, it’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye
Well, don’t go around tonight
Well, it’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
Don’t go around tonight
Well, it’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

The lightening, hurricanes and nasty weather in the song “bad moon rising” are because of the clashing of the two fronts. The occluded front.

The localized name for an occluded front is Patriotic Front. Mr. Lee my geography teacher predicted this to me more than three decades ago. Julius Komaki and his group who paid the courtesy call on King Fred may be feeling that, “one eye should be taken for an eye”.

I can see Mr. Lee calmly telling Wynter Kabimba, “Only a monkey cannot be caught or trapped by a Cobra up in a tree.” If the cartel had my geography teacher giving them lessons they would know that with the occluded front (Patriotic Front) they have created and fed through their editorials, they should not go out tonight or any other night because there is a bad moon on the rise.

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