Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Iceland: Coldest summer since 1992

© Golli
Summer in Akureyri has not been this cold since 1983.
The first thirteen weeks of summer this year have been the coldest in Reykjavik in over twenty years, reveals Icelandic meteorologist Trausti Jónsson.

The northern city of Akureyri fares even worse - one has to go back around thirty years to find a colder summer. Last year was Akureyri's warmest summer in 67 years.

Comment: Ice Age Cometh: Scientists fear 'Day After Tomorrow' climate change
In another new study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, three scientists from Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute looked at the effect of this melting. Not only did they find evidence of an effect, they concluded that existing models may have underestimated the sensitivity of the ocean's system.

Even a relatively small change in the ocean's salinity, the researchers write, "corresponds to a significant temperature decrease of up to 40%" across North America and Europe.
Surprising cold 'blob' found in the North Atlantic Ocean - astute climate scientists worried
At this point, it's time to ask what the heck is going on here. And while there may not yet be any scientific consensus on the matter, at least some scientists suspect that the cooling seen in these maps is no fluke but, rather, part of a process that has been long feared by climate researchers — the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation.


Massive category 4 typhoon Dujuan makes landfall in Taiwai; two feet of rain expected

Infrared image of Typhoon Dujuan on Sunday morning eastern time. The storm has a large, calm eye surrounded by a solid wall of powerful thunderstorms.
Typhoon Dujuan made landfall as a Category 4 storm a bit south of its predicted landfall location, in Yilan County along the island's northeast coast. The storm slammed coastal areas of northern Taiwan with winds gusting to at least 150 miles per hour, based on weather observations and storm chasers who were in the area at the time.

According to Twitter reports, the community of Su'ao Township was particularly hard hit by strong winds. Meanwhile, in Taiwan's mountains, torrential rain is falling and will continue to do so through Monday night local time.

More than two feet of rain is expected in some areas.

Because of the southward jump in the storm center as the storm made landfall — a movement that was likely related to frictional forces the storm encountered as its circulation slammed up against the mountainous terrain of north central Taiwan — Taipei was spared the worst winds from the storm, but it is still seeing strong winds and heavy rain.

Typhoon Dujuan continued its Category 4 intensity into Monday afternoon local time in Taiwan. With torrential rains and crashing waves battering the northeastern coast, thousands were evacuated from Taiwan's Green Island and Orchid Island.

Landfall is predicted at around 11 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET).

In the morning in Taipei, the typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, or 63 meters per second, though this may be a slight underestimate.


Sun halo photographed over Zimbabwe

© Aaron Ufumeli
A rare lunar eclipse occurred in the early hours of Monday morning.

Hours after the super blood moon, a "halo" appeared around the sun around mid-morning in Harare.

The halo, an optical phenomenon, is said to appear when light interacts with ice crystals in the clouds.

Halos have sparked many theories, with some speculating they were an indicator the rainy season has started.

But for others, the early morning lunar eclipse, or super red moon and the halo could be a harbinger for bad things to come.
© Aaron Ufumeli

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill three in Sri Lanka

Three persons including two women died due to lightning during the last few hours since last evening.

A 54-year old resident of Attanakadawala at Bakamuna in Polonnaruwa who accompanied his wife for a bath last night died on the spot by lightning.

Moreover two women died by lightning while they were asleep in their house of Handawalpola at Diddeniya in Kurunegala yesterday.


Magnitude 5.1 earthquake recorded off Fiji

An earthquake measuring a magnitude of 5.1 on the Richter scale was recorded at 10.21pm last night 353.68 kilometres off Nukuni Village in Ono-i-Lau Islands.

This was confirmed in a statement from the Mineral Resources Department, Seismology section in Suva this morning.

The evaluation report confirm that a moderate size earthquake with deep depth source location occured, however, it does not pose any threat to the region and they will keep monitoring the situation for any further updates.


Caribbean shaken by 4 earthquakes

Four earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 3.8 to 4.5 rattled the Caribbean on Sunday but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damages, according to the Trinidad-based Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

It said that early Sunday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.8 struck 123 kilometers north-east of Bridgetown.

The 5.00 am (local time) quake, with a depth of 70 kilometres, was also located 254 kilometres east of Castries, St Lucia and 279 kilometres east south east of Fort-de-France in Martinique.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods damage homes and schools following 7 days of rain in Honduras

© Copeco Honduras
Landslide in Ciudad del Ángel, Honduras.
Heavy rain has caused flooding in several departments of Honduras over the last few days, according to the country's civil defence agency, Copeco. Heavy rain has also affected several other countries in Central America, including Panama and Guatemala.


Damage to homes, schools and roads has been reported around the capital, Tegucigalpa, and in the surrounding department of Francisco Morazán. The wall of a supermarket collapsed as result of the heavy rain. No injuries were reported. The heavy rain has also caused several landslides, and caused damage to the storm water drainage system in La Cabaña areas of Tegucigalpa.

River levels are also high, in particular the San José, Guacerique and Sabacuante, according to Copeco.

The authorities have issued three flood warnings over the last 7 days. Yesterday Copeco issued a green (low) level weather warning for the next 48 hours for the nine departments of Copan, Ocotepeque, Lempira, Santa Barbara, Comayagua, La Paz, Francisco Morazan, Valle and Choluteca.

© Copeco
Heavy rain forces a wall to collapse near a supermarket in La Kennedy, Honduras.


Convergence: Biggest tides in the world will hit Canada on September 29th

© Unknown
A full moon. A perigee moon. The fall equinox. All joining forces to bring the highest tides on Earth to Canada's own shores.

Though each phenomenon is, in its way, related to the sky, they all reach down to Earth to alter that most predictable of natural forces.


Chilean volcano sends massive plume of ash into the sky just months after first in eruption in 40 years


Up in smoke: This is the incredible moment that Volcano Calbuco blew its top sending a huge cloud of ash into the sky
This is the incredible moment a Chilean volcano sent a huge plume of ash into the sky.

Volcano Calbuco, in the country's south, had laid dormant for more than 40 years when it suddenly erupted in April, causing thousands to flee.

Just five months later, Calbuco, considered to be among the three most dangerous of Chile's 90 active volcanoes, was captured spewing lava again.

Firefighter and amateur photographer Eduardo Minte, 28, from Osorno, Chile, took the pictures at Llanquihue Lake between the towns of Frutillar and Llanquihue earlier this month.

'This eruption was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. My jaw dropped - it was like the almighty was descending from the heavens,' he said.


Update: A sudden loss of water in Lassen County reservoir

Overnight drain on reservoir leads to speculation as to causes.
A Pacific Gas & Electric Co. official blamed four years of drought for last week's sudden loss of water in Mountain Meadows Reservoir and the accumulation of dead and rotting fish near Indian Ole Dam.

Local residents are not so sure.

The reservoir, the upper-most storage facility in PG&E's Feather River hydroelectric system, has been operating at below the minimum requirements since August, said Ron Lunder, chairman of the Mountain Meadows Conservancy, a Westwood-based nonprofit organization.
What little water remained on the morning of Sept. 13 is gone. Along with leaving large-mouth bass and other non-native fish belly up, a swift drawdown dumped silt and rotting fish into Hamilton Branch, a stream that connects Mountain Meadows reservoir with Lake Almanor.
"Something went haywire," said Aaron Seandel, chairman of a water quality committee that has been monitoring the water levels in Lake Almanor for 25 years.

PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said an outlet valve at the dam has been continuously clogged, requiring maintenance as often as twice a day to release water downstream through Hamilton Branch to Lake Almanor. Company officials consulted with "the relevant agencies" and decided not to stop further flows out of the dam, he said. "It's a very flat, very shallow reservoir. At some point it was going to go dry," he said.

Comment: Faulty equipment, decisions to not stop outflows, no attention to minimums...a confluence of causes. In an overly challenged state, due to high temperatures, drought, massive and unfathomable numbers of wild fires, every source of water becomes supremely important. The loss of even one is critical.