Earth Changes

Cloud Grey

Tornadoes rip through Illinois towns causing significant damage and injuries

© Twitter/Kholby Martin
Damage in Cameron, Illinois, after a tornado slammed the town during severe thunderstorms on Thursday, July 16, 2015.
Tornadoes carved through the towns of Cameron and Delavan, Illinois, Thursday night, causing significant damage and injuries.

On Friday, the National Weather Service gave the tornadoes preliminary ratings of EF-2 on the Enhanced Fugita Scale.

The tornado that hit Delavan touched down without warning, the National Weather Service said. Tornado sirens were silenced in mere seconds after power was cut off to the town.

Fifty-one homes were damaged during the brief touchdown in Delavan, and reports indicate six of the homes were a total loss. At least two people were injured.


Study: Wildfire seasons are more destructive and lasting longer almost everywhere on Earth


Wildfires: bigger, more frequent, and happening everywhere
Wildfire seasons all over the planet are lasting longer than they have in the past and burning wider swaths of land, and Earth's changing climate is to blame, according to a new report.

Ecologist and fire scientist Matt Jolly and his colleagues say the average duration of annual wildfire seasons lengthened almost 20 percent between 1979 and 2013, and the amount of land vulnerable to burning almost doubled. The team published its results in the journal Nature Communications this week.

The phenomenon isn't just happening in areas such as the Western United States. Wildfires are burning for a longer period of time on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, the report said. Forests and grasslands in Africa are burning more, and the fire season in South American tropical forests is more than a month longer than it used to be.

Fires are also getting worse across the Eastern U.S. coastal plain, and they increased the most in the Northern Rocky Mountain region.

Comment:'s prediction: the upward trend in strength and frequency of wildfires will continue to increase. Why?

Increased methane outgassing provides lethal fuel for the fires, while the trigger or spark is the increase in atmospheric electric discharge events (including lightning)...

Things sure be heating up!

See also:

Infographic Displays Increase in Major US Wildfires Since 2001


Unusual lightning, a bizarre blanket of fog, freezing temperatures, and first-time snow: extreme weather shocks Australia


Wild and wintry weather is sweeping through Australia as incredible thunderstorms hit Sydney following a morning of thick fog
Wild and wintry weather is sweeping across Australia overnight, bringing chilly temperatures, lightning storms, frosty winds and even snow.

As temperatures plummet to its lowest in 15 years, Sydney awoke to a cityscape engulfed in thick fog on Saturday morning, which saw the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge disappeared into the thick blanket of fog.

The strong cold front from the Antarctic has continued to drift through the southern and eastern coast of Australia with temperatures dropping three to seven degrees below average for five days running - the coldest spell some states have experienced in five years.

Temperatures in Brisbane are set to dip up to five degrees below the July average and snow flakes are expected to cover Eukey near the NSW border.

By Sunday morning, temperatures in Melbourne are expected to drop five degrees, with forecasters projecting the city will be the second coldest capital in the country after Canberra. Possible snow in some of Melbourne's outer suburbs is expected with forecast to fall down to 500 metres in alpine areas.

People have been warned to batten down the hatches ahead of the worst of the storms overnight as the effects of the icy blast will be felt from Sunday and temperatures are expected to remain chilly until Friday.

Snowflake Cold

Global warming, LOL! Record cold snap brings heavy snowfall to 3 Australian states


Residents across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will rise to find a thick blanket of snow has fallen along the eastern coast after reaching sub-zero temperatures overnight
Residents across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will rise to find a thick blanket of snow has fallen along the eastern coast after reaching sub-zero temperatures overnight.

Schools in Katoomba have given students the day off while snow continues to affect train lines and major roads in New South Wales.

Drivers have been stranded after the Hume Motorway towards Sydney, the Great Western Highway between Leura and Katoomba, and the New England Highway near Glen Innes were closed amid safety concerns.

Towns in southern Queensland have seen their best snowfalls in more than a decade, with the cold snap blanketing them in white powder.

Falls of up to eight centimetres have been recorded in Stanthorpe and nearby Eukey overnight, sending residents scurrying outside in their pyjamas to take in the scene.


Towns in southern Queensland have seen their best snowfalls in more than a decade, with the cold snap blanketing them in white powder

Cloud Precipitation

Hundreds displaced and two dead after floods, landslides in Nepal; one foot of rain in 24 hours

© Post Photo
People of Sunahaphata in Thapapur VDC-9, Kailali, move to safer areas after inundation.
Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains displaced hundreds of families and caused damage to several road sections across the country on Thursday. Two deaths have been reported so far.

Srijana KC, 11, and Manju Mainali, 12, were swept away by the flooded Rapti stream at Hetauda-11 in Makwanpur on Thursday. The duo had tried to wade across the stream. Their bodies were found 1km downstream.

People in many villages in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts in the Far West and Banke and Bardiya districts in the Mid West moved to safer areas after incessant rains since Wednesday night inundated their settlements.

Flashfloods and inundation have been reported in Kailali, Banke and Bardiya since Thursday morning. In Banke, a downpour since Wednesday night flooded the Babai river which inundated Balapur, Gulariya and Nepalgunj. Fifty families have been displaced.

Cloud Precipitation

Torrential rainfall causes flooding in Alyth, Scotland

© Michelle MacLeod
Severe flooding in Alyth
Torrential downpours caused widespread devastation in Alyth this morning.

Rescue crews used inflatable boats to free people trapped in their homes and businesses in the flood-hit town centre.

Alyth Burn, which runs through the community, overflowed after debris and fallen trees blocked a series of bridges.

Locals told The Courier a large section of the town centre was under water within minutes.

Nearby homes and businesses were swamped, causing extensive damage.

The town hall has been opened as a shelter for people who have been affected by the floods.

A Perth and Kinross Council spokeswoman said that about 30 homes across Alyth had been hit, including sheltered housing at Burnside Court.


Environment mirroring socio-economic chaos? Massive wildfire threatens Athens as Greece 'burns' under Austerity

© Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters
Smoke billows over the Greek capital as a large fire burns on a mountain east of the city, forcing residents to flee their homes.

A huge blaze on the east side of Athens is spreading quickly due to high temperatures and strong winds.

Dozens of firefighters with ten vehicles are trying to tackle the fire, which sent thick smoke billowing into the Greek capital's sky.

Water-dropping helicopters were also dispatched at the scene.

The Reuters news agency said residents were forced to flee their homes, but so far nobody has been reported injured.

Bizarro Earth

'Region will be unrecognizable': FEMA planning for devastating earthquake in Pacific Northwest

© flickr/R0Ng
Portland and other areas of the Pacific Northwest would be unrecognizable if the earthquake hits as hard as predicted.
To the north of California's famous San Andreas fault is a less known, but possibly more deadly, fault line. The Cascadia subduction zone runs some 700 miles from northern California to Vancouver.

In a deeply reported article for The New Yorker, Kathryn Schulz tells the tale of how this fault lies dormant for periods of 243 years, on average, before unleashing monstrous tremors. The Pacific Northwest is 72 years overdue for the next quake, which is expected to be between 8.0 and 9.2 in magnitude.

At the upper end of that scale, Schulz notes, we would experience "the worst natural disaster in the history of North America." (The major 2011 earthquake in Japan was a 9.0, killing more than 15,000 people.)

Comment: With the way Mother Nature has been lately, it would seem that such an event as described above is quite likely to occur in the not too distant future.

Cloud Precipitation

65,000 people affected by flooding in Assam, India


155 villages have been affected due to the floods.
65,000 people in over 155 villages have been affected due to the incessant rains and floods in the state.

Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said in its flood report today that the affected villages are in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Sonitpur districts.

Sonitpur district bore the brunt of the disaster with nearly 50,000 people suffering, followed by Lakhimpur with over 13,000 people being affected, it said. Over 1,600 hectares of crop areas are under water.

Authorities have opened seven relief camps in Sonitpur, where 7,712 people are taking shelter.

The flood waters have also washed away two parts of a road and two embankments were breached in Lakhimpur, while five roads were damaged and several embankments were breached at four places in as many rivers in Sonitpur.


Unusual gathering of 50 sharks in shallow water in Sussex, UK

Dozens: Around 50 sharks can seen seen swimming in shallow waters at the nature reserve
More than 50 sharks can be seen in this remarkable footage as they swim around in just knee-deep water in Sussex.

The school of sharks - many of whom are 5ft in length - have been identified as smooth-hounds, which are normally found in coastal waters.

These creatures were caught on camera by an RSPB warden at a nature reserve near Selsey.

Warden Peter Hughes said: "It was astonishing.

"There were just these huge fish everywhere in knee-deep water.