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Extinguisher

Wildfires: Forest fires sweep over 13,500 hectares in Siberia

Forest fires in Siberia
© ITAR-TASS/Viktor Chavain
Seventy nine forest fires were raging on more than 13,500 hectares in five Siberian regions. The Irkutsk region and the Krasnoyarsk territory were hit most severely with 8,400 and 4,900 hectares burning, the press service of the Siberian Federal District's Forestry Department reported on Thursday.

Forty nine fires on more than 6,000 hectares were extinguished on Wednesday in Buryatia, the Altai, Trans-Baikal and Krasnoyarsk territories and the Irkutsk, Novosibirsk and Tomsk regions, where 1,860 firefighters, including smoke jumpers, and 30 aircraft fought the blaze.

The fires were caused mainly by carelessness of people and thunderstorms.

There have been 6,390 forest fires on 1,156,000 hectares in Siberia since the beginning of the warm season
Cloud Precipitation

Deadly storm, tornadoes batter Eastern U.S. states

© Daily Gazette
Debris is visible at Goff Road in Smithfield, N.Y., following severe storm on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Officials in central New York say four people are dead and four homes have been destroyed in building collapses amid severe thunderstorms.
Residents of this rural central New York town on Wednesday picked through debris from homes battered by a deadly tornado, and utility crews worked to restore power in several Eastern states hit by severe storms.

In all, five people died Tuesday as strong thunderstorms blew down buildings, trees and utility lines and left hundreds of thousands without power into Wednesday.

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley said Kimberly Hilliard, 35; her 4-month-old daughter, Paris Newman; Virginia Warner, 70; and Arnie Allen, 53, were killed in the rural town of Smithfield, between Utica and Syracuse.

He said four homes were destroyed and numerous others were damaged, with Allen's two-story home blown hundreds of feet before it landed on an unoccupied house.

In Manchester, Maryland, a tree fell at the River Valley Ranch summer camp, killing one child and injuring six others headed to a shelter.
Cloud Lightning

Severe storms leave five dead in New York and Maryland

New York tornado

A woman walks through debris of a destroyed house after Tuesday night's storm, on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Smithfield, N.Y.
Thousands of people in east coast states woke up to power cuts and a major clean-up operation on Wednesday after severe storms and high winds killed five people.

One of the hardest hit spots was the Syracuse-area community of Smithfield, New York, where four of the deaths were reported and at least four homes destroyed on Tuesday, Madison County undersheriff John Ball said in a statement.

In Maryland, one boy was killed and eight others, aged 15 and under, were injured when they tried to shelter from tree branches and other debris being whipped around by the wind.

The storms uprooted trees and tore down power lines across several counties in central New York, as the extreme weather raged from the Ohio Valley and parts of New England through the mid-Atlantic region, police and weather officials said.
Fish

Stunning videos: Huge school of anchovies swarms off La Jolla, California - attracting hundreds of thousands of seabirds


Unexplained, but not an oil spill: A huge school of anchovies gathered off the coast of La Jolla, in California's south, on Tuesday
The California coastline was gripped by an epic oil spill on Tuesday.

Or so it appeared.

In truth the ominous dark band that formed off the coast of La Jolla, in the state's south, was a massive school of Northern anchovies.

However the anchovy aggregation has baffled scientists, who say they have not seen anything like it in the area for over 30 years, according to The LA Times.

Attention

50-foot fin whale carcass found on Nova Scotia shore, Canada

© Gary Brinton
Photographer Gary Brinton captured this image of a deceased fin whale near shore in Port Hastings.

It's a 'welcome to Cape Breton' most tourists would probably like to do without.

As they pass over the swing bridge that bears those words, visitors to Cape Breton are being treated to a decidedly inhospitable greeting - the stench of a decomposing 50-foot female fin whale.

The whale has come to rest on the shoreline below the busy Port Hastings visitor information centre.

Dwayne MacDonald, who represents the Port Hastings area on Inverness County council, noted he has spoken with someone who works at the tourist bureau and visitors are commenting on the smell, which gets worse by the day.

"Nobody wants to be responsible for moving it," MacDonald said. "It doesn't matter what government organization you work for, any level of government, nobody wants to take responsibility for anything.
Cloud Precipitation

Southwest China mudslides kill 6, 25 missing

China mudslide
© ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
Rescuers search for buried people at the site of a mudslide at Longtoushan Town on July 7, 2014 in Ludian County, Yunnan Province of China. At least four people were killed and seven others remained missing after rainstorm-triggered mudslides hit Ludian County on Sunday.
Six people have died and 25 remain missing after rain-triggered mudslides hit two counties in southwest China's Yunnan Province early on Wednesday.

In Shawa Village, Fugong County, a mudslide destroyed a silicon mining site at around 3 a.m., leaving 17 people missing and another injured, said Li Hongwen, the county's Communist Party chief who is overseeing rescue work.

In a difficult operation, more than 140 rescuers are searching the site about 500 meters from the Nujiang River.

Some of the missing people may have been swept into the river, while others may be buried under the thick mud and rock debris, Li said.
Igloo

Get ready! Unseasonable cold blast looming; pattern similar to last winter

An unseasonably cold airmass looks to wash over the northern United States, in a pattern eerily similar to the one seen this past winter.
cool summer
© CPC
The Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 day temperature outlook shows significantly above normal temperatures across the West US, most severe over Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and California. In response to this warmth, we see a deep airmass of unseasonably cool temperatures pushing south across the Midwest, with states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri all affected on the highest level. Warmer than normal weather looks to retreat to the Gulf Coast and coastal regions along the Eastern Seaboard, but the main story here is indeed the colder than normal weather.
cool summer
Shown above is a long range forecast of temperatures on the morning of July 15th, in the middle of this unusually cold spell. We see temperatures on this morning plummeting to as low as the mid-40s in the Midwest, where the heavy blankets might need to make a surprise appearance. Temperatures in the far northern Plains into the upper Midwest might even flirt with the low-40s, possibly even into the upper-30s if there will be clear skies. Those finer details will need to be ironed out in days to come, but the general idea is that things are looking pretty cold for a wide swath of the country in the next week or two.
cool summer
© PSU
Oddly enough, the atmospheric pattern behind this expected cold blast is quite similar to the pattern we observed this past winter. On the top-left image, we see the mid-level atmospheric flow valid on July 14th. Here, we can see a strong vortex dropping anomalously south from Canada, nearly pushing into the United States. If you recall, we had the polar vortex take a very similar path down south more than once last winter, which is how the weather got so cold so often. So what's provoking this to happen again, only this time in mid-July? The same thing that made it happen six months ago. We see a very strong ridge pushing north across the northeast Pacific and into the Gulf of Alaska, which is how the West US should end up with those much warmer than normal temperatures. And, bringing things back full-circle, that ridge is likely being caused/enhanced by the body of above-normal water temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska that we targeted as the mechanism responsible for the brutality of last year's winter. The latest water temperature anomaly image is shown below, which identifies the body of much warmer than normal water in the northeast Pacific.
Snowflake Cold

According to U.S. Government data the U.S. is in decade-long cooling period

NYC cnetral park snow
© Reuters / Carlo Allegri
A person walks with dogs in the snow past Cedar Hill in Central Park in New York.
New government data suggests that the average temperature in the United States has cooled by approximately 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit during the last decade.

The statistics come courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which for nearly a decade has been collecting weather data from 114 different stations administered by the US Climate Reference Network, or USCRN, across the country. Combined, the weather stations are among the most state-of-the-art and advanced in the nation.

Last month, Watts Up With That? blogger Anthony Watts wrote that an analysis of the last few years' worth of data implies the US has cooled slightly, not warmed.

"Not only is there a pause in the posited temperature rise from man-made global warming, but a clearly evident slight cooling trend in the US Average Temperature over nearly the last decade," Watts wrote after examining the data.

"We've had a couple of heat waves and we've had some cool spells too. In other words, weather," he wrote.
Rainbow

The Southern lights put on a impressive display in the night sky

The Southern Lights
© Francois Fourie
The Southern Lights put on a display in the night sky
Amazing colours in the Southern Lights seen from Primrose Sands, near Hobart.
Over the past few months night sky watchers in the southern parts of Australia have been presented with lots of beautiful displays of the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights.

So what causes the impressive display of lights in the night sky?

As with any scientific question, the easy questions often don't have easy answers. First we need to know a little bit about the sun and its behaviour.

The sun is not a constant bright object in the sky. It's true that its brightness doesn't change much in the visible range (a fraction of a percent over its cycle) but it is much more variable in the ultraviolet (UV) and x-ray range.

In fact x-rays from the sun go from virtually none to frequent events, and back to none, over a cycle known as the solar cycle.

This cycle lasts on average a little more than 11 years but can be a year and a bit longer or shorter from one cycle to the next.

Comment: If you want to know more about solar cycles, plasma phenomenon and how it impacts humanity, check it out
Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World - Book 3

Bizarro Earth

Earth's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster now

Earth's Magnetic Field
© ESA/DTU
Changes measured by the Swarm satellite over the past 6 months shows that Earth's magnetic field is changing. Shades of red show areas where it is strengthening, and shades of blue show areas that are weakening.
Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm.

The biggest weak spots in the magnetic field - which extends 370,000 miles (600,000 kilometers) above the planet's surface - have sprung up over the Western Hemisphere, while the field has strengthened over areas like the southern Indian Ocean, according to the magnetometers onboard the Swarm satellites - three separate satellites floating in tandem.

The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth's magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA's Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia.

"Such a flip is not instantaneous, but would take many hundred if not a few thousand years," Floberghagen told Live Science. "They have happened many times in the past."
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