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Worst Winter in 100 Years!
Plain Truth Magazine
March 1963
Volume: Vol XXVIII, No.3
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Worst Winter in 100 Years!
Gene H Hogberg

Blizzards, rampaging floods, lashing hurricanes whipping up waves the height of seven-story buildings. Something is DRASTICALLY WRONG with the weather! What does it all mean?

   SCREAMING headlines are pointing up alarming changes in the weather. "Century's Worst Cold Wave Smashes South," "Blizzards Lash Britain; Rhine River Freezes," "Temperatures Plunge to Sub-zero in Japan," "Midwest Locked in Arctic Nightmare," "Argentina Suffers Worst Drought of the Century."
   And all this from the past few weeks, in a winter that is not yet over.
   Try to picture in your mind the absolutely mixed-up, crazy-quilt pattern of floods, windstorms, rain, snow, cold. Then heat waves that have been hitting our nation and much of the southern hemisphere recently. On one day alone, February 2, just about every extreme condition possible in the weather wracked the United States. Gales and floods swept through the Northwest; record heat baked the Southwest. Arctic cold and a snow front blanketed the Northeast, and thunderstorms and a hard freeze afflicted the Southeast ALL ON THE SAME DAY.
   Two main factors characterize our present-day weather EXTREMISM and COMPLETE UNPREDICTABILITY! Drought conditions are broken overnight by torrential rains, producing rampaging floods. Temperatures plummet 50 or 60 degrees in a matter of hours, only to rise from sub-zero depths to above freezing marks, often on the following day.
   This winter has been the worst in Great Britain in nearly 300 years! Geography Professor Gordon Manley in London reports that not since 1684 and that is almost a century before the independence of the United States have the British Isles taken such a beating.
   Cecil Tibbitt, an amateur forecaster from Terrington, St. Clement, England, who accurately predicted the bitter cold wave last September, says the coming summer months will not provide any relief. He says they will be "hotter than we've ever seen. People will be dying from the heat and it will be anything from 80 to 100 degrees in the shade." Tibbitt also predicts "water rationing in Britain by June." (United Press International release, February 3, 1963. Emphasis mine throughout article)
   Hot, scorching summers, frigid, death-dealing winters!
   You may not have realized it, but never before in recent history has there been such a concentration of cold weather. "The coldness of the present winter throughout the free world," reported the New York Times on January 24, 1963, "has been UNPARALLELED, UNEXAMPLED, and UNPRECEDENTED in the memory of veteran observers."

Let's Understand Why

   It is time that we understand what these totally abnormal conditions mean. Few people will admit that the Bible has anything to do with present-day world problems. Fewer still realize that Jesus Christ said that utterly chaotic weather upsets would be ONE OF THE MAIN SIGNS pointing to. His return. His disciples knew that He was going to come again, unlike the vast majority today. They asked Him what conditions would prevail before His coming. "What shall be the sign of thy coming," they asked, "and of the end of the world?" this age, this society of man governed contrary to the laws of God (Mat. 24:3).
   Christ replied that first "many shall come in my name (not just the "obvious" few), saying I am Christ." These would come claiming to be His representatives, claiming that He is the Christ, but denying the message that He brought, the good news of the Kingdom the reign of God. Next, verse 6, He said there would come "wars and rumors of wars." What could more accurately pinpoint our cold-war era, with its constant eruption of "brushfire" wars, fought under the constant overhanging threat of all-out nuclear annihilation?
   Now notice verse 7 "and there shall be FAMINES and PESTILENCES and earth quakes in divers places." Famines and pestilences are the direct results of disasters in the weather, especially droughts, floods and FREEZING COLD. Few have thought of this latter factor before. Not until the devastating Florida and Gulf Coast freeze this December had people realized what a death-dealing blow a wide-spread freeze can deal to agriculture and to the economy of a nation.
   Wiped out almost overnight was 80% of Florida's $500 million citrus crop. Destroyed were 78 MILLION BOXES OF FRUIT! Think of that fantastic figure! Altogether 78 million boxes! Do you remember the last Florida freeze, in the winter of 1957-1958? That cold spell destroyed well under half this amount!
   Throughout other parts of the South, agriculture losses were heavy. Unharvested autumn vegetables in South Texas were declared by Agriculture Department officials as a total loss. Livestock was also hard hit. In Alabama, broiler growers alone suffered damages up to $3 million dollars. The governor of Alabama urged that his state be declared a disaster area.
   The same alarming conditions are prevailing in Europe. Winter crops in southern France, Italy and usually sunny Sardinia have been almost wiped out. Farmers in the Marmande region of France reported almost 100 per cent losses in cabbage, cauliflower and carrots.

Hitting Your Pocketbook!

   Wherever you happen to live, you have already noticed the effects of the disastrous freeze. Such items as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, tomatoes, green peppers and cucumbers are selling for nearly twice as much as a year ago in some sections of the United States. Prices on some produce have even tripled.
   Not only that, the quality of the fruits and vegetables surviving the freeze has been very poor in many instances. Said one wholesaler concerning his market, "I've never seen a worse situation, and I've been buying for 30 years. It's as though the juice was pulled right back into the tree."
   Another vital point to remember is that the effects of a bitterly cold winter such as we are now experiencing do not stop with the first sign of spring, but rather intensify. Heavy snow cover, unable to seep into the frozen soil, melts fast under the first good spring thaw. Result devastating multi-million dollar run-off floods and a lowering of the underground water table at the same time.
   Make no mistake about it. What you are now witnessing is not only one of the worst winters in history, but also a ground-laying phase of the horrible famines and disease epidemics prophesied to occur in the near future!

Just How Bad Has It Been?

   Let's take a quick review of just what has happened so far in this violent winter of 1962-1963. Not in living memory has the weather map presented such an incredible picture of nation-wide record low temperatures. Fantastic 50 below zero readings were recorded in Wisconsin and parts of the Mountain States; an almost incomprehensible 40 below at Cresco, Iowa with two other Iowa towns, Decorah and Elkader, not far behind with respective marks of 38 below and 34 below. Des Moines residents suffered through 17 straight days of subzero readings, matching a 51-year-old record.
   America's Southwest has rarely if ever seen such a winter. A marrow-freezing 39 below stunned Las Vegas, New Mexico. Maverick, Arizona recorded the lowest temperature in the history of that state, with a 37.
   In the South the chilling statistics become almost unbelievable. Somerset, Kentucky, registered a 28 below reading, while Kingston Springs, Tennessee recorded an unofficial minus 30.
   Still further south, a record low for this century was set in Atlanta, where residents of the Georgia metropolis shivered in 3 degree weather. Tupelo, Mississippi, with 2 below, couldn't escape the sub-zero blast either. Even down to the Texas Gulf area, temperatures plunged into the teens.
   Accompanying the bitter cold in several places have been record snowfalls. "One of the worst blizzards of modern times," as the UPI expressed it piling snow up to 20 feet high, and pushed along by 75-mile-an-hour-winds buried sections of northern Maine and New Hampshire in late December. The "Bangor Daily News" was forced to temporarily suspend publication the first time that had happened in its entire 125-year history.

"Heat-Wave" In Alaska

   While the bulk of the United States was a veritable icebox, Juneau, Alaska recorded a "balmy" 33 above, and Anchorage had a plus 32.
   And California for a while, at least wished it had some of New York State's snow for its barren Sierra Nevada peaks, as it suffered through the driest year of its history. An outdoor tennis tournament instead of the normal winter sport life was staged at Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Olympics. The desire for precipitation wasn't long in being fulfilled, overfull-filled, that is, as torrential rains soon shattered the drought in the northern half of the state and neighboring Nevada. The rampaging waters of the Truckee River surged through the streets of Reno. Homes had to be evacuated in the famous wine town of Napa, California, and other localities of the Bay Area.
   As the massive front moved inward to drench the whole western third of the nation, disaster signals went up from communities in Utah and southern Idaho as well.
   Yes, there is no balance whatsoever in our present weather patterns. We suffer through drought, only to be greeted with near-monsoon rains.

And World-Wide

   Europe has been suffering through weather equaling, and some areas surpassing, that experienced in North America. Let's see just a few of the outstanding news releases just as they were received here in the Ambassador College News Bureau over the wires of United Press International. "Critical fuel shortages were reported today all over Western Europe, refrigerated since Christmas by a cold wave which in some places was the worst in nearly 300 years.
   "Communist-held Eastern Europe also had its difficulties. Snow-smothered Bulgaria proclaimed a state of emergency. East Germany closed non-essential factories and drafted employees for emergency service as miners, truck drivers and power workers...
   "In Rotterdam, where heavy ice had given drinking water a salty tinge, fresh water could be obtained only on a doctor's prescription. Some gondoliers in Venice had to be rescued from ice 6 inches thick."
   Another dispatch from London, same date, reported the following:
   "Europe's bitter cold wave, one of the worst known, darkened Buckingham Palace Wednesday and cracked water pipes in the once balmy cities of Rome and Naples... Twenty dead were counted in Italy, some in unheated homes and others who tried to stay with their outdoor jobs. Sicily's palm trees stood in 18 in. of snow. Schools were closed in hundreds of Italian villages...
   "Britain had zero temperatures in the night and moved into a new record with its 34th day of freezing weather. Truck drivers lit fires under their vehicles to thaw them out. On one highway near London the spectacle was described by an automobile association patrolman as like a barbecue...
   "The sea froze along the British shore in places. At Southampton, fish were caught and frozen in the ice, their heads jutting out. Starving seabirds swooped down to peck at them."

And 75-Foot Waves!

   Still another news release, same date:
   LONDON, Jan. 24, 1963 (UPI) "A hurricane swept through the Strait of Gibraltar today at 111 miles an hour, dealing fresh damage and misery to the European continent suffering from the worst winter of the century. No fatalities were reported from the hurricane, but 75-foot waves prevented rescuers from reaching the 120 passengers and crewmen aboard the Spanish ship Ciudad de Tarifa which went aground near Gibraltar."
   And from Eastern Europe:
   LONDON, Jan. 23, 1963 (UPI) "A state of emergency has been declared in Bulgaria because of devastating snowfalls which have blocked all main roads and thoroughfares, Radio Sofia said today. The radio said committees are being formed all over Bulgaria to clear roads and highways to prevent ground transportation from coming to a complete halt."

Rivers, Canals Freeze in Europe

   The European cold spell has been so severe that the German section of the Danube River froze over for 150 miles, a phenomenon never before observed in this century. Another 150-mile stretch of the Danube from Budapest, Hungary down to the Yugoslav frontier also froze.
   Nine hundred ships and barges were stuck in Europe's largest inland harbor at Duisburg, West Germany.
   Throughout the battered continent, food and fuel supplies have diminished. The frozen rivers and canals have prevented the transport of coal and fuel oil needed to heat homes and power industry. By January 30, public housing coal reserves in France had shrunk to a seven-day supply. Special coal trains were rushed to towns in southwestern France, but several became snowbound. On one particular day, only half the normal supply of fruits and vegetables arrived in Paris, with much of it being damaged by the freezing cold.
   In The Netherlands, planes of the Royal Dutch Air Force dropped food, fuel and medical supplies to villages isolated by snow in the northern provinces.
   Throughout Communist East Europe, non-essential factories were shut down to conserve limited fuel supplies. Even in London's famed Piccadilly Circus, the bright neon signs were blacked out one night to help stave off an impending coal shortage.

Frenzied Wild Animals

   Wild animals, too, are feeling the effects of the unprecedented cold spell. Reported the United Press International on January 30: "Starved and half-frozen wolves hung about the town of Miano, Italy and have become a common sight in populated areas southeast of Rome. The animals killed more than 100 sheep in Hungary on the plains near the Theiss River. Budapest Radio said the wolves were driven by the extreme cold and snow from their native Carpathian Mountains in Poland."
   Another UPI dispatch, this one dated February 3, said: "Half-starved wolves roamed down from the hills to lurk around built-up areas in Italy, France, Hungary and Yugoslavia, and yesterday attacked wild bears in a spectacular battle over food near Accettura, Italy."
   The winter has been so severe in the Austrian highlands that officials claim that 15 per cent of the wildlife in the Austrian Alps has perished so far. The province of Carinthia alone has counted 15,000 deer frozen to death.
   Just as this is being written a new cold wave is sweeping across Britain and the Continent. Even the normally snowless Spanish capital of Madrid has been virtually paralyzed by heavy snows which have severely disrupted telephone communications. So far Europe's worst cold wave of the century has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,500 persons.

In the Orient, Too

   The cold is by no means limited to the Western Hemisphere and Europe. Blizzards, avalanches and tidal waves have wrought winter havoc in Japan. Temperatures as low as 31 below zero have been reported in that shivering country. Residents of the fishing port of Yaizu, southeast of Tokyo, were astonished to see their harbor freeze over the first time in living memory that had happened.
   The severe Siberian cold, complicated by high winds, has created dangerous fire hazards in the many "paper cities" of Japan. In Tokyo alone, reported the UPI, a record 1,000 fires have occurred. Eighty-seven persons have died so far from weather-caused factors in the Asian nation.

But, In the Southern Hemisphere

   In Australia, by contrast, ranchers in Northern Queensland have been having their hands full battling a continuous drought. "The fierce heat, on top of years of drought in the worst hit areas, is forcing graziers into a desperate battle to keep stock alive."... At Quilpie, local United Grazier's Association branch president Mr. Murray Pegler said: "Such hot conditions for November, together with an absence of feed, have never occurred previously to my knowledge" (The Brisbane Sunday Mail, November 18, 1962).
   In southernmost South America the story is the same. "Reports from Argentina were of the worst drought of the century" (UPI, January 27, 1963).
   There is no need to go further listing tragedy after tragedy. By the time you read this, more will have happened. What we need to realize is that all these worsening, chaotic conditions as bad as they are now are still only the beginning of yet future imagination-defying catastrophic upheavals in nature. After Christ gave His warning signs in Matthew 24 He added "All these are the beginning of sorrows."
   The worst is yet to come!

U.S., Britain Especially Affected

   Bible prophecy speaks not only of this time of worsening world-wide weather chaos affecting all nations, but it specifically singles out the peoples of the United States, Great Britain and other areas of the English-speaking world, plus the lands of Northwestern Europe. We are to bear the fullest brunt of these natural calamities. (To see the clear, unmistakable proof of our national identity where our people are mentioned in Bible prophecy read our free booklet, "The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy")
   God, through the pen of the prophet Ezekiel, forewarned that fully one-third of our people were to perish by catastrophic weather calamities and disease. Notice the startling words of Ezekiel: "A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with FAMINE shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall die of the sword round about thee [warfare] and I will scatter a third part into the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them (captivity and slavery)" (Ezek. 5:12).
   Ezekiel never reached the peoples of ancient Israel with this prophecy. They had gone into captivity well over 100 years before this time. This prophecy is for our peoples, the descendants of the House of Israel, today!
   Why is this complete national destruction, starting with the hammering blows of violent weather, to come upon our lands? "Because you have not lived by my laws nor followed my orders, but have followed the practices of the nations around you, therefore it is the sentence of the Lord the Eternal I am against you, I am; I will inflict punishment upon you before the eyes of the nations (complete ignominy that all of our enemies and hired "allies" will view in abhorrence) and do to you what I have never done before, a thing that I will never do again, owing to all your detestable misdeeds" (Ezek. 5:7-9, Moffat Translation).
   God, who controls the weather, and would intervene on our behalf if we as a nation turned in utter repentance to Him, is going to allow weather disasters to hit us so hard that we learn once and for all that it just doesn't pay to transgress the commandments and laws He gives us for our good.

Fulfilled Once Before

   With the weather God blesses or curses a nation (see Job 37:1-13, and Nahum 1:3-4). He told our forefathers after He had rescued them from the slavery of Egypt that if we were obedient to His laws, He would be with us in our national development and the weather would be one of our greatest blessings. Disobedience on the other hand would bring nothing but drought, misery, hunger and every frightful curse under the sky. Read this for yourself in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.
   Most Bible prophecy is dual. The horrible penalties of disobedience listed in these two chapters, and also the first chapter of Joel, not only are prophetic for the near future (compare Lev. 26:23 and Deut. 28:64 with the latter part of Ezek. 5:12 practically the same wording), but they were inflicted upon ancient Israel exactly as predicted when they rebelled against God.
   One amazing account of ancient Israel's destruction has been preserved for us by the Greek historian Dionysius, a native of Halicarnassus. Born around 54 B.C., Dionysius went to Rome about 30 B.C. He specialized in the study of the early peoples who dwelt on the shores of, and controlled the sea routes of, the Mediterranean. Among his many writings, Dionysius commented on events surrounding the time of the fall of the House of Israel.
   Our ancestors anciently controlled the sea just as they do today. For that reason Dionysius called the ancient Israelites who settled on the shores of the Mediterranean "Sea Peoples" Pelasgians in Greek.
   Note what Dionysius says about these people:
   "The Pelasgians" the ancient Greek name for the House of Israel "after conquering a large and fertile region, taking over many towns and building others, made great and rapid progress, becoming populous, rich and in every way prosperous. Nevertheless, they did not long enjoy their prosperity, but at the moment when they seemed to all the world to be in the most flourishing condition [exactly the position of post-war United States] they were visited by divine wrath, and some of them were destroyed by calamities inflicted by the hand of Heaven, others by their barbarian neighbors...
   "The first cause of the desolation of their cities seemed to be a drought which laid waste the land [Lev. 26:19, 26; Deut. 28:24; Joel 1:12], when neither any fruit remained on the trees till it was ripe, but dropped while still green [Deus. 28:40 exactly as has happened in OUR winter fruit areas in America and Europe], nor did such of the seed corn as sent up shoots and flowered stand for the usual period till the ear was ripe, nor did sufficient grass grow for the cattle [Joel 1:18]; and of the waters some were no longer fit to drink, others shrank during the summer, and others were totally dried up (Joel 1:20). And like misfortunes attended the offspring both of cattle and of women [Deut. 28:18]. For they were either abortive or died at birth, some by their death destroying also those that bore them; and if any got safely past the danger of their delivery, they were either maimed or defective or, being injured by some other accident, were not fit to be reared.
   "The rest of the people also, particularly those in the prime of life, were afflicted with many unusual diseases and uncommon deaths [Deut. 28:35, 60, 61; how descriptive of our society today]. But when they asked the oracle what god or divinity they had offended to be thus afflicted and by what means they might hope for relief, the god answered that, although they had obtained what they desired, they had neglected to pay what they had promised, and that the things of greatest value were still due from them."
   Dionysius then elaborated on how the Israelites Pelasgians in Greek had not been faithful in rendering their full financial responsibilities to their God. Our almost total neglect of this same responsibility to God is one of the major reasons for our impending doom. Notice what God says in Malachi 3:8-9: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation."
   Paying God's tithe, giving to Him the one-tenth of your income that is rightfully His, not yours, is one sure way to receive His blessing even in the terrible times ahead. (Read our free booklet, "Ending Your Financial Worries")
   To continue Dionysius' account:
   "And there began to be disorderly emigrations, such as might well be expected from a people driven forth by a frenzy and madness inflicted by the Hand of heaven [Deut. 28:28].... Many, also, under specious pretences, were being driven away by their enemies through hatred; so that there were many emigrations and the Pelasgian nation was scattered over most of earth" (Deut. 28:64, Lev. 26:33). From Book I, sections XXIII and XXIV.
   There you have the amazing, detailed account of what happened to Israel of old. The very same identical punishments are falling on our peoples around the world today.
   If the nations as a whole will not repent, you as an individual can be spared. Repent of your disobedience to God's laws! Obey Him in every way as Truth is revealed to you. Remember the financial obligations you have to your Creator! Only in this way can you expect God's protection as the mighty forces of nature are unleashed in full fury in the months and years immediately ahead of us.

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Plain Truth MagazineMarch 1963Vol XXVIII, No.3
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