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Sat, 13 Feb 2016
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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

La Niña expected in the next months for the first time in 4 years

© mihpatte.com
Even as the El Nino weather phenomenon continues to impact global temperatures and crops, its counterpart La Nina is increasingly expected to emerge in the coming months for the first time in four years.

The return of La Nina, Spanish for "the girl" and characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures, is possible later this year, the U.S. government forecaster said Thursday. It joined other forecasters in projecting La Nina could follow on the heels of one of the strongest El Ninos on record.

Weather models indicate La Nina conditions, which tend to occur unpredictably every two to seven years, may emerge in the Northern Hemisphere fall, while El Nino - which means "the little boy" in Spanish - is expected to dissipate during the late spring or early summer, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.

The phenomenon can be less damaging than El Nino, but severe La Ninas are linked to floods, droughts and hurricanes.Even though CPC is not on official watch for La Nina, the probability is trending towards one, said Michelle L'Heureux, a CPC climate scientist and El Nino/La Nina expert.

When La Nina last appeared from August 2011 to March 2012, it hurt corn and soybean crops in Argentina and Brazil, brought the worst drought in a century to Texas and increased the number of storms that threatened U.S. coastal regions, like Hurricane Irene.

Energy and agricultural commodities have been roiled by the current and much-watched El Nino, which involves a pattern of warmer ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific every few years.

Over the last year, El Nino has parched fields in the Philippines and Indonesia, brought unseasonable rains to areas of South America, driven up global food prices, and caused flash floods in Somalia that destroyed thousands of homes.

El Nino is likely to keep affecting temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States in the upcoming months, CPC said in its forecast.
"As we get into the spring, we'd still expect to see some influence. Folks need to keep their eyes on El Nino," CPC's L'Heureux said.

Comment: El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. La Niña is sometimes referred to as the cold phase and El Niño, the warm phase. Combining these two phases, we are likely to see more extreme weather and planetary upheaval on the planet. You can read more about it here.

Also see our latest Earth Changes video summary for January for the latest in extreme weather, earth changes and fireballs.

SOTT Summary Video - January 2015: Extreme Weather, Earth Changes, and Fireballs


Mysterious boom heard in Howard City, Michigan

Several people living near Howard City reported that they felt and heard a loud boom Thursday morning.

WZZM 13 received several messages on our Facebook page from people saying they felt a rumble similar to an earthquake or sonic boom.

"The whole ground was shaking, the house was shaking," said Sue Eastman of Coral. It was just before 10 a.m. Thursday when she heard the loud boom. As she was trying to figure out what was going on, so were several others.

Christine Rizor of Howard City thought it was an earthquake. "I was sitting in a chair and all the sudden, it was like a big shake. I was like, 'Whoa!'"

Kasey Field, also in Howard City, posted about it on social media. "I had people from all over the lake area. They felt it in Morley and Evart. In Sears, they heard it up there."


Heavy snowfall cripples life in northern Pakistan

© Sohail abbasi
Heavy snow fall in Murree, Pakistan. 11.2.2016
Widespread rain with thunderstorm and snowfall in northwestern upper parts of the country continued since Wednesday evening, crippling life in hilly areas, Samaa reported Thursday.

According to Met Office, heavy snowfall was recorded in hilly areas of Malakand Division, Hazara Division, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

Popular tourist destinations of Naran, Kaghan, Shogran and Murree also received heavy snowfall, with many roads blocked including Shahrah-e-Karakuram.


Mysterious die-off of dozens of monkeys in Central America

© Paso Pacifico
A dead howler monkey found in the woods in southern Nicaragua.

Scientists are investigating the mysterious die-off of dozens of monkeys in Central America, including the possibility that they have contracted Zika or another virus that could be passed to humans.

In recent months, around 40 howler monkeys have been found dead or dying in the tropical rainforests of Nicaragua. The animals have all had relatively full stomachs and no obvious signs of trauma. Experts fear there may be many more cases that have not been reported.

"Wild animals die off all the time, but it is really unusual to see this many deaths in such a short time with no apparent reason," said Kim Williams-Guillen, a conservation Ph.D. who has been researching in Nicaragua's jungles since 1999. "I have never seen anything like it."

"These deaths are worth investigating, not just from a conservation standpoint, but from a public health standpoint. It is very important we get to the bottom of this."


USGS: Powerful 6.5 earthquake strikes Indonesia

Screenshot of Impact map.
A powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia late Friday (Feb 12), but no tsunami warning was immediately issued, US seismologists said.

The earthquake hit at 5:02 pm local time (1002 GMT Friday), the US Geological Survey said, and was centred three kilometres (two miles) east-southeast of Andekanter in the Sumba region at a depth of 30 kilometres.

The Indonesian disaster mitigation agency said there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.



Elephant rampages in Indian town, panicking residents

© Tribune news services
A wild elephant rampaged through an east Indian town Wednesday, smashing cars and homes and sending panicked people running before the animal was tranquilized to be returned to the forest.

As the frightened elephant ran amok, trampling parked cars and motorcycles, crowds of people gathered to watch from balconies and rooftops. Some followed from a distance as the elephant moved through the streets.

"The elephant was scared and was trying to go back to the jungle," said Papaiya Sarkar, a 40-year-old homemaker who watched the elephant amble down a street near her home.

Bizarro Earth

Sinkhole blocking road in North Carolina growing significantly say officials

A sinkhole that has forced the closure of a road in Chatham County for three weeks is growing, and state Department of Transportation officials said it could be another two-and-a-half months before the road is fixed.

According to DOT officials, old pipes underneath Lystra Road - which crosses Jordan Lake near Pittsboro - gave way on Jan. 18, at first creating a sinkhole that took up about half of one lane.

By Monday, the sinkhole had grown significantly, taking up much of the two-lane road.

Officials said the scope of the work is more complicated than DOT crews can handle, meaning a contractor will be hired to complete the road rebuild. The contractor will be forced to replace two old pipes under the road.

A contractor hasn't been hired yet, and a DOT spokesman said it could be late April before the road is open.

A sinkhole that shut down a road in Chatham County is growing, and state Department of Transportation crews say it could be another two months before it's fixed.

Comment: In recent years there has been an unprecedented number of new sinkholes forming around the planet, on a size and scale never seen before. For more information on this disturbing phenomenon read:

Sinkholes - The groundbreaking truth

Bizarro Earth

Bolivia's vanishing Lake Poopó has fully evaporated

Proba-V tracks Lake Poopó evaporation
Monitoring Earth's surface every day, ESA's Proba-V minisatellite has had a ringside seat as the second largest lake in Bolivia gradually dried up. Lake Poopó has now been declared fully evaporated.

The three 100-m resolution Proba-V images shown here were acquired on 27 April 2014, 20 July 2015 and 22 January 2016 respectively.

Occupying a depression in the Altiplano mountains, the saline Lake Poopó has in the past spanned an area of 3000 square kilometres - greater than France's Réunion Island.

But the lake's shallow nature, with an average depth of just 3 m, coupled with its arid highland surroundings, means that it is very sensitive to fluctuations in climate.

Its official evaporation was declared last December. This is not the first time Lake Poopó has evaporated - the last time was in 1994 - but the fear is that any refilling might take many years, if it occurs at all.

Arrow Down

Pickup truck falls into sinkhole in Kitchener, Canada

© Andrea Bellemare/CBC
The two men who were in the pickup truck are home safe after "they had to do some swimming," boss says.
The pickup truck that fell into a sinkhole on Strasburg Road in Kitchener Wednesday morning was lifted out nine hours after the incident, according to Kitchener Utilities.

Although there had been fears that fuel from the truck could leak into the city's water supply, the utility confirmed Wednesday evening that the truck's fuel lines were not punctured when it plunged into the hole. The radiator was also intact.

"So, there was no risk of contamination," said Tammer Gaber, manager of operations for the utility.

Strasburg Road between Trillium Drive and Battler Road is closed while the water main is repaired.

Blue Planet

Sinkholes: The groundbreaking truth

Before 2010, the presence of sinkholes was a relatively uncommon phenomenon. In the last 5 years there have been an unprecedented number of new sinkholes appearing around the planet on a size and scale never before seen. As of 2016, there are new ones opening up every day.

Not an isolated phenomenon, sinkholes are integrally linked to the emergence of other dramatic earth changes including increased earthquake activity, volcano eruptions, strange sounds and extreme weather events.

The emergence of so many sinkholes in such a short time is just one of many apparent portents of likely drastic changes to come. As they say - being forewarned is forearmed, and those who do not pay attention to the present become dreams of the past!

To find out more about just how many sinkholes have been appearing in recent years and how they are caused, watch the 13 minute video documentary below.