Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Moscow temperatures plummet bringing city to a halt with unusual spring blizzard

moscow snow
© RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov
In a freak turn of events, temperatures have plummeted in the Russian capital from 17 degrees to minus 4 over the last week. Over 10 centimeters of snow fell in Moscow overnight, bringing the city to a grinding halt on April 1.

Unfortunately the snow flurries that swept across Moscow on Monday night were not an April Fool's prank. Upon leaving their houses this morning, Muscovites found themselves confronted with snowdrifts and minus temperatures they normally associate with winter.

Kamchatka Peninsula: Karymsky volcano spews 2 km ash column

© ITAR-TASS/Igor Vainshtein
The Karymsky volcano has been highly active since the beginning of March

The Karymsky volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula has spewed a two-kilometer ash column. The eruption poses no hazard to the local population, the Kamchatka Volcano Eruption Response Team (KVERT) told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

The ash plume has spread to a distance of 50 kilometres southeast. There are no populated localities on its way, experts said.

The orange aviation color code has been assigned to the volcano. It warns of the hazard to aircraft posed by volcanic ash particles.

The Karymsky volcano has been highly active since the beginning of March. It has been spewing ash columns to a height of up to two thousand meters above sea level.
Bizarro Earth

Tsunami warning issued for Latin America

Tsunami Alert
© Sky News, Australia
A tsunami warning has been issued after a magnitude-8 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile.

The huge tremor has put all of Latin America's Pacific Coast on tsunami alert, the US Geological Survey confirmed.

The quake hit 53 miles (86km) northwest of the mining town of Iquique on Tuesday night.

It occurred just 6.2 miles (10 km) below the seabed - making it feel even more powerful.

It is unknown whether a tsunami has been sparked, but officials believe it is likely.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 8.2 - 95km NW of Iquique, Chile

Chile Quake_010414
Event Time
2014-04-01 23:46:45 UTC
2014-04-01 18:46:45 UTC-05:00 at epicenter

19.630°S 70.863°W depth=10.0km (6.2mi)

Nearby Cities
99km (62mi) NW of Iquique, Chile
140km (87mi) SSW of Arica, Chile
191km (119mi) SSW of Tacna, Peru
225km (140mi) SSE of Ilo, Peru
449km (279mi) SW of La Paz, Bolivia

Technical Details
Ice Cube

Chicago: Coldest four months on record - ever

© Weatherchannel
Weather Channel producer Shawn Reynolds tweeted this incredible photo taken by pilot Hank Cain of a tundra-like Chicago, from above on January 23rd, 2014.
An over a century-old record falls.

The average temperature for December 2013 to March 2014 period in Chicago was only 22.0°F, 10 degrees below freezing, beating the old record set in the winter of 1903-04. It even beat the harsh winters of 1977/78 which were some of the worst ever.

While stories rage in the media about how global warming is a threat to mankind and nobody will be left untouched by it, the National Weather Service in Chicago issued this statement today.

No, it isn't an April fools joke.
Cloud Lightning

Severe thunderstorms from Dallas to St. Louis - hail, high winds, flash flooding, possible tornadoes

Severe thunderstorms on Wednesday will threaten 18 million people from northern Texas to eastern Kansas, much of Missouri and southern Illinois. The threat on Wednesday includes the potential for a couple of strong tornadoes.

The severe weather on Wednesday is part of a multiple-day severe weather event that will continue through the end of the week and will reach parts of the Midwest, East and South.

Cities in the area of concern for dangerous and disruptive weather conditions Wednesday and Wednesday night include Dallas; Wichita, Kan.; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; Little Rock and Fort Smith, Ark.; Kansas City, Springfield, Joplin and St. Louis, Mo.; Shreveport, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; Paducah, Ky.; Evansville, Ind.; and Mt. Vernon, Ill.
Arrow Up

Peru: Volcano rumbles to life; dozens evacuated

A volcano in Peru that has not blown its top in four decades spewed more ash skyward on Tuesday, after authorities evacuated villagers to avoid Ubinas's wrath.

According to AFP, the volcano in southwestern Peru blasted back to life causing about 60 villagers from Querapi, near its base, to be relocated Saturday, Ubinas town mayor Pascual Coaquira said.

"We are readying a shelter for refugees from the blasts," he added Tuesday, noting that the whole Moquegua region was on alert.

"The volcano has been emitting a lot of ash all day, the people in the town (of Ubinas) are having some problems breathing, the mayor added. They have been given masks, he said.
Bizarro Earth

Friday's 5.1 quake in Los Angeles renews seismologists' fears of catastrophic quake on dangerous Puente Hills fault

© Reuters / Gene Blevins
Broken bottles are seen on the floor after falling off the shelves at a CVS pharmacy, following a magnitude 5.1 earthquake in Fullerton, California March 29, 2014. (
The magnitude-5.1 earthquake that rattled Southern California on Friday was a 10-second reminder of a fault that seismologists believe can produce a catastrophic disaster.

The Puente Hills thrust fault is so dangerous because of its location, running from the suburbs of northern Orange County, though the San Gabriel Valley and under the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles before ending in Hollywood.

Experts say a major 7.5-magnitude earthquake on the fault could do more damage to the heart of Los Angeles than the dreaded Big One on the San Andreas fault, which is located on the outskirts of metropolitan Southern California.

The size of Friday's quake was considered moderate, but it packed a punch. Residents within 10 miles of the epicenter in La Habra reported toppled furniture, broken glass and fallen picture frames. Several water mains broke, and a rockslide in Carbon Canyon caused a car to overturn, leaving those inside with minor injuries.

Officials said more than a dozen homes were red-tagged because of possible structural damage.

Thousands of dead fish surfacing in Quad City Area, Illinois

© Sara Anderson
Fish Kill at Hennepin Canal
A walk along the peaceful bike path off the Hennepin Canal in Milan, Illinois looks like something out of a horror film.

Thousands of dead fish have washed up on shore as of Sunday, March 30, 2014.

Believe it or not, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Jeff Harrison says it's normal.

"This happens after every winter. When we have so many days with cold temperatures, the snow covers the ice on these ponds and rivers. Sunlight then can't penetrate into the water. That means oxygen is lacking for fish in the water," Harrison said.

Killer elephant halts rampage to save baby girl trapped by rubble, India

© Getty Images
A killer tusker elephant - a wild elephant with tusks - was on a rampage through a West Bengal village on Monday when it stopped to carefully unearth a crying baby girl beneath the rubble of the house it had begun to demolish.

The 10-month-old's father, Dipak Mahato, told the Times of India that he and his wife were having dinner at about 8pm when they heard a "cracking sound" and a huge crash from the bedroom.

"We ran over and were shocked to see the wall in pieces and a tusker standing over our baby," Mr Mahato said.

"She was crying and there were huge chunks of the wall lying all around and on the cot. The tusker started moving away but when our child started crying again, it returned and used its trunk to remove the debris."