Last evening, a video of an explosion in the rebel oblast of Luhansk was being circulated on Russian news media to show how the Ukrainians are treating the civilians. The video is from a blast a year ago and was an unrelated to the civil unrest then or now.
Black Sea Grain Market Consultant Andrey Sizov reported last evening: More troubling signs - Russia is getting closer to recognizing Donbas republics (as independent nations). The higher chamber of the Russian Parliament is to hold an emergency meeting on February 22.
Glib Briia grew up within walking distance of the Black Sea Coast in Southern Ukraine. Since spending the summer of 2010 with us, he has been a friend of Wright Family ever since. In 2012 he graduated from the National Aerospace University at Kharkiv (HI~r cove) located in extreme Northeast Ukraine less than 25 miles from the Russia border. Since graduation, he has worked for the same company several years in Ukraine, then several years at Liverpool, England and two years near Dublin, Ireland. He and his wife, Inga, returned to Kharkiv three months ago and welcomed their first child, Victoria, just a few weeks ago. Glib is 30 years old, intelligent and a hard worker. He and I have always wanted to work together, but immigration policies of the USA made it impossible.
I asked him to give us his perspective on the Ukraine/Russian situation. Note that Glib and Inga have spoken Russian all their lives, but they insist with distain they are not Russians, they are Ukrainians! That is quite common with the residents of Eastern Ukraine, but, of course, many Ukrainians in the eastern areas consider themselves to be Russians. This information from Glib was in an email received at 4:58 AM Central time Saturday morning:
Yes, we are all in Kharkiv. According to the latest polls, majority of Ukrainians don't believe a massive invasion will happen. The main thing is to refrain from panic.
The last couple of days there were active preparations for war in the Eastern self-proclaimed republics. They have announced full mobilization claiming that they are preparing for the military attack from Ukraine. Russian TV news reports say Ukraine will use chlorine against those separatists to poison the water, which is clearly a provocation. Additionally, Putin announced evacuation of Russia controlled parts of Ukraine to Rostov region.
We all hope it comes to nothing in the end. The tension eased out a little bit when Kremlin announced that they are pulling off part of their troops. But now it's evident that they're not really planning to do that.
Currently, the main threat to Ukrainian export is Russians blocking part of the Black Sea, limiting access to major ports like Odessa. The Ukrainian government prepared alternative routes for the cargo ships to bypass the areas of Russian naval military exercises, but that has a major impact on the traffic, delays and uncertainty for the cargo companies.
A retired international grain trader who has experience with Russia and claims to have talked personally with Putin several times (I have no reason to not believe him) told me Saturday (last) evening Putin has no intention of invading Ukraine; that 60% of Russia military personnel are on the border with Ukraine, but they need to be “home” by April to work in the fields and factories. Besides that, no military offensive started in the spring mud has ever been successful. The retired trader said unequivocally there will be no invasion. It is diplomacy by a show of force.
The official statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory, La Niña is present
EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION issued by CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/ NWS and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society 14 February 2022
Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are below average across the east central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The tropical Pacific atmosphere is consistent with La Niña which is likely to continue into the Northern Hemisphere spring (77% chance during March May 2022) and then transition to ENSO neutral (56% chance during May July 2022).
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported on the 15th of this month:
Climate models and observations suggest the 2021–22 La Niña has peaked, and will most likely return to neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (neither La Niña nor El Niño) during the southern hemisphere autumn. As La Niña weakens it can continue to influence global weather and climate.
While eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures remain cooler than average, beneath the surface, waters in the central and eastern Pacific are now warming. These changes in the sub-surface typically foreshadow a breakdown in a La Niña event, which normally occurs in the southern autumn. Decreased cloudiness along the International Date Line, strengthened trade winds in the Western Pacific and a positive Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) reflect a mature La Niña.
Below is the chart of the Equatorial Pacific surface temperature for the past 12 months. When the water temperature is more than a half degree C below normal for 60 consecutive days, that is when La Niña episodes begin… and then end when the temperature is near normal for 60 consecutive days.
Rain Days Update
Rondonópolis, Mato Grosso, in the heart of Brazil's most productive soybean area, received 0.2 inches of rain yesterday; 0.2 inches a year ago and 0.3 inches two years ago (one inch = 24.5 mm). Yesterday's high temperature was 80°F. Day time highs the next ten days will range from 81 to 91°F (100°F = 38°C). Yesterday, in the dry areas of South America: Santa Maria high temperature 97°F with 0 inches rain. Cordoba high temperature 88°F with 0 inches rain. Salto high temperature 95°F with 0 inches rain. Total rainfall and temperatures expected in the next ten days: Santa Maria 2.02 inches, 83 to 95°F. Cordoba 0.87 inches, 72 to 86°F. Salto 3.12 inches, 74 to 87°F. The Western Corn Belt has same number of rain days in the 10 day forecast as yesterday and the Eastern Corn Belt has 2 less rain days than yesterday.
Explanation of Rain Days
Every day, every place in the world has a ten day weather forecast issued many weather services.
By a "place", we mean a Findlay, Ohio; Arcadia, Minnesota; Atlantic, Iowa; Fullerton, Nebraska; Cordoba, Argentina; Craig, Colorado, Saratov, Russia and ten million localities we have never heard of.
The ten day forecast predicts the high and low temperature for each day as well as whether or not rain is predicted for each of the ten days, likewise cloudy, partly cloudy, sunny, etc.
We look at the ten-day forecast and if we see rain is predicted for 4 of the next 10 days, we record a "4" for that location on the chart for the today. It does not matter whether it is one-hundredth of an inch or 5 inches. We realize about half the days expected to receive rain never get rain that day, but we must be consistent in what we report each day and every day because rain makes grain a few key weeks of the growing season. Of course, we scan the temperatures and the amounts of rain just to see if anything is getting way out of the norm.