Earth Changes


Photograph of waterspout taken near Melbourne Beach, Florida

A local Melbourne resident, Adam Charette, caught a unique glimpse of a waterspout near Melbourne Beach Saturday afternoon.
© Adam Charette
Waterspout near Melbourne Beach today.
According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), waterspouts fall into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.

Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water.

They have the same characteristics as a land tornado. They are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.

Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds.

This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward.

By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity.

Red Flag

Scientists: Series of earthquakes could signal new eruptions at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano

© AP/Cathy Bussewitz
A series of earthquakes and shifting ground on the slopes of Kilauea have scientists wondering what will happen next at one of the world's most active volcanos.

A lake of lava near the summit of Kilauea on Hawaii's Big Island had risen to a record-high level after a recent explosion. But in the past few days, the pool of molten rock began sinking, and the surface of the lava lake fell nearly 500 feet.

Meanwhile, a rash of earthquakes rattled the volcano with as many as 20 to 25 quakes per hour, and scientists' tilt meters detected that the ground was deforming.

"Clearly the lava, by dropping out of sight, it has to be going somewhere," said Steven Brantley, deputy scientist in charge of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of the U.S. Geological Survey.

One possibility is that a new lava eruption could break through the surface of the mountain, Brantley said.

Right now, there are two active eruptions on Kilauea. One is the eruption spewing into the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater, which is visible in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The other is Puu Oo vent, in Kilauea's east rift zone, which sent fingers of lava toward the town of Pahoa before stopping outside a shopping center last year.

Cloud Lightning

Tornados reported nine U.S. states; severe storms, flash flooding to continue

A severe weather outbreak will continue in the Midwest on Sunday.

Current Radar
Since Saturday afternoon, there have been 28 reports of tornadoes across nine states, including Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Iowa and Louisiana.

Sunday's severe weather and flash flooding potential will extend from Minnesota, Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan to portions of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and Texas.


Current Radar

Below are the most notable storm reports so far from Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning.


Student gored by bison in Yellowstone Park

© Salvatore Wugange
Charging bison
A 16-year-old girl has been gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park while posing for a picture near the animal.

The National Park Service says the unidentified girl's injuries were serious but not life-threatening.

The agency described her as an exchange student from Taiwan who was visiting the park with her host family.

The incident occurred shortly after noon Friday in the Old Faithful area.

The Park Service says she and others were between 3 and 6 feet from the bison when she turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken. The bison took a couple steps and gored her.

The girl was airlifted to an area hospital.

The Park Service advises visitors to stay at least 25 yards away from bison in the park.


Lightning sparks new wildfires in British Columbia as massive blaze continues

© BCFS photo
Efforts are underway to battle the wildfires in B.C., which has claimed roughly 17,000 hectares, west of Prince George.

Crews are responding to five new wildfires in British Columbia's Central Interior, as a massive blaze continues to burn about 70 kilometres southwest of Prince George.

B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch says all of the new fires were sparked by Friday's lightning activity in the Cariboo region.

The largest fire is raging four hectares west of Anahim Lake, where a three-person attack crew, airtankers and a helicopter are on site with 16 additional firefighters on the way.

The branch says crews are also working on three small fires in the Big Bar area and one small fire southwest of Quesnel.

Meanwhile, the aggressive Little Bobtail Lake blaze has destroyed about 17,000 hectares since it was first discovered last Saturday.

Some 240 firefighters, 11 helicopters, eight air tankers and 23 pieces of heavy machinery have been brought in and 20 per cent of the fire has been contained.

Jill Kelsh with the Prince George Fire Centre says crews have been working around the clock since last Sunday.

Cloud Lightning

Thousands on Guam without water, power after Typhoon Dolphin strikes island, destroys homes

Typhoon Dolphin batters Guam.
Many Guam residents were left without power or water yesterday while hundreds remained in island storm shelters.

More than 3,300 Guam Waterworks Authority subscribers experienced water outages and 40 percent of Guam Power Authority customers experienced power outages that lasted through yesterday, according to GPA and GWA spokeswoman Heidi Ballendorf.

Ballendorf said more than five of the emergency generators used to power water wells experienced malfunctions, which left about 8.2 percent of the agency's 41,000 customers without water.


5 people treated for wolf bites in Israel

© Carlos Delgado/Wikimedia Commons
An illustrative photo of a gray wolf.
Five people were lightly wounded on Saturday when a wolf suspected of carrying rabies attacked three groups of hikers in separate incidents in northern Israel.

The five who were bitten by the canine were given rabies shots, as were another two people as a precautionary measure, according to Ynet.

The she-wolf first attacked a group of hikers in the Golan Heights. Although bystanders were eventually successful in chasing the wolf away with rocks, three individuals were bitten, including a father and his nine-year-old son.

The victims were transferred to the nearby Ziv Medical Center and were listed in good condition.

"The father is suffering from cuts and scratches on his hands and arms," said Majid Abu Janev, a nurse who treated the victims.

Three more people later arrived at the medical center; a man suffering from scratches and a fractured ankle he sustained while trying to escape the wolf and a woman suffering from a bite and deep scratches. The woman's husband was also given a rabies vaccine after coming into contact with her open wounds.

"We thoroughly washed, disinfected and bandaged the wounds and administered rabies vaccines," Janev said.


Swedish man's roar scares off charging bear

© Håkan Vargas S/
A Scandinavian brown bear.
Ralph Persson, a hunter in Jämtland, northern Sweden, scared off a charging bear by roaring at the animal as it attacked him, it has emerged.

While out training a new hunting dog, Persson sensed a change in the animal's bark. Seconds later a brown bear came charging at him from the woods. "I screamed as much as I could and made myself very big," Persson told Sundsvall Tidning newspaper, in an interview which has gone viral over the past week.

The bear quickly veered off back into the trees, utterly surprised by Persson's ferocity. Both Ralph and his wife Lena filmed the encounter which can be seen on the newspaper's website.

Arrow Down

Giant sinkhole appears in a field in southern Turkey


Giant sinkhole appears in Turkey
Residents of Konya Province in southern Turkey have spoken of their terror when a giant sinkhole suddenly appeared in a local field.

"We are very afraid (for) our lives. It is luck that no one fell into it," said one local farmer.

Measuring 10 metres wide and 90 metres deep, the crater is thought to have formed in the space of 24 hours.

No one was injured as a result of the ground caving in.

Ice Cube

Hailstorm with golf ball sized hail causes injuries in Germany


Residents described seeing large hailstones
At least nine people have been injured and dozens of homes damaged in a hailstorm in southern Germany.

There were reports of hailstones the size of golf balls in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Winds of up to 120 km/h (75mph) were reported on Wednesday night and residents near the Bavarian city of Augsburg spoke of seeing a tornado.

Roofs were badly damaged, blocks of flats had to be evacuated and a local school had to be closed on Thursday.