Earth Changes


Dramatic dust storm blows through Eastern Washington

Eastern Washington dust storm
© Bob Jenness
A massive, dramatic dust storm more often associated with the Southwest blew through Eastern Washington and north Idaho on Tuesday evening in advance of thunderstorms, lightning and rain.

Washington state troopers said the dust storm or "haboob" reduced visibility to zero in parts of Whitman and Adams counties, leading to numerous traffic accidents, especially in the Ritzville area southwest of Spokane.

Crashes in the wake of the dust cloud temporarily closed eastbound Interstate 90 west of Ritzville, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Avista Utilities said nearly 10,000 customers temporarily lost power in the Spokane and Palouse areas and in the Grangeville, Idaho, area.

Double earthquake in Ecuador: Two dead, several trapped

ecuador quake
© Agence France-Presse/Rodrigo Buendia
View of a dust cloud on August 12, 2014 in Quito, after a 5.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the Ecuadoran capital and the surrounding area causing buildings and homes to shake violently
A 5.1 earthquake has struck around 22.5 km northeast of Ecuador's capital, Quito, followed by a 4.3 magnitude aftershock. At least two people have been killed as the tremors caused several landslides and trapped at least three people in a collapsed mine.

At least eight people were injured, a government office said via Twitter, Reuters reports. The country's Risk Management office said firemen were working to rescue those who had been trapped in Catequilla mine.

The epicenters of both earthquakes were recorded at a depth of around 5 kilometers, according to preliminary data from the Geophysical Institute of Ecuador.

Following the quakes, the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito suspended operations as a precaution and urged passengers to leave the terminals. Operations were resumed an hour later, after airport officials ensured the infrastructure wasn't damaged.
Cloud Precipitation

Near record rain wreaks havoc in Detroit

Detroit flooding
© Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press
As the skies around metro Detroit started to darken yet again today and thunder started rumbling, signaling another possible onslaught of rain, metro Detroiters are still struggling to cope with the aftermath of historic rains that flooded thousands of basements and left hundreds of cars stranded across area freeways on Monday.

Commuters are being urged to stay off the roads, with standing water in spots on virtually every area interstate. Michigan State Police divers searched for submerged vehicles this morning on I-696 near Dequindre and other flooded viaducts. On Stephenson Highway near I-696, heavy rains washed a wall of mud onto a southbound I-75 exit ramp, swamping a dump truck and a car.

"We've got a lot going on. It's not just the water on the roads. We can't clean up the roads, we've got to get the cars off the roads," said Michigan Department of Transportation spokeswoman Diane Cross said.

Brick Wall

Extreme weather becoming more common due to blocking patterns

Meandering jet stream
© Skeptical Science
The slowing of the west to east flow of the jet stream produces large meandering lobes that can stall, resulting in long periods of unchanging weather.
Extreme weather like the drought currently scorching the western US and the devastating floods in Pakistan in 2010 is becoming much more common, according to new scientific research.

The work shows so-called "blocking patterns", where hot or wet weather remains stuck over a region for weeks causing heatwaves or floods, have more than doubled in summers over the last decade. The new study may also demonstrate a link between the UK's recent flood-drenched winter and climate change.

Climate scientists in Germany noticed that since 2000 there have been an "exceptional number of summer weather extremes, some causing massive damage to society". So they examined the huge meanders in the high-level jet stream winds that dominate the weather at mid-latitudes, by analysing 35 years of wind data amassed from satellites, ships, weather stations and meteorological balloons. They found that blocking patterns, which occur when these meanders slow down, have happened far more frequently.

Comment: The weather is certainly turning toward extremes. For a better explanation than global warming for the blocking patterns described in this article and the change in the jet stream read Pierre Lescaudron's book 'Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection:The Secret History of the World.'


Florida red-tide bloom biggest since 2006

red tide Florida
The largest red-tide bloom seen in Florida in nearly a decade has killed thousands of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and might pose a greater health threat if it washes ashore as expected in the next two weeks, researchers said.

The patchy bloom stretches from the curve of the panhandle to the central Tampa Bay region. It measures approximately 80 miles long by 50 miles wide.

Red tide occurs when naturally occurring algae bloom out of control, producing toxins deadly to fish and other marine life. The odorless chemicals can trigger respiratory distress in people, such as coughing and wheezing.

Dust storm cuts off water and electricity in Kazakhstan's Aktau

Dust storm Kazakhstan

Dust storm in Aktau, Kazakhstan.
A severe dust storm has left Aktau citing in western Kazakhstan without water and electricity, Tengrinews reports citing Aktau Business. The disaster hit the city in Mangistau Oblast on Sunday, August 10.

The city is located on the shore of the Caspian Sea, in the middle of a desert with a harsh hot climate and no immediately available fresh water. Mangistau atomic energy complex MAEC-Kazatomprom is the only source of electricity, heat and water for the city of Aktau and the surrounding towns and villages. The water is produced by desalination and distillation of salty water from the Caspian Sea.

The dust storm caused a failure at the central power line leaving around 200 thousand citizens cut off from electricity. After that water supply stopped too - both drinking and technical water
Cloud Lightning

Nine killed in record rains in Southwest China

Southwest China rains
© Getty Images
Rescuers evacuate residents from floods in Guiyang in China's Guizhou province last month.
At least nine people were killed and 11 others went missing after heavy rains lashed southwest China for the last two days.

Nine deaths were reported in Xishui County of Guizhou Province, which was battered by torrential rain on Sunday and yesterday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. So far 3,120 people had been evacuated for safety reasons.

Twenty-five homes were washed away and 42 others were seriously damaged.

Economic losses in Xishui County were estimated at 190 million yuan ( USD 30.88 million).

Nine people in Xishui were reported missing in floods and rescue work continued till late last night.

Extreme weather in Russia - July 2014 (VIDEO)

Extreme weather phenomena battered many parts of Russia in July. From waterspouts in the Black and Azov Seas, to super-sized hail on beaches, super-cells in Siberia, and deluges throughout the country, Russia is not used to such weather. Check it out...

Cloud Precipitation

Potent storm to deliver rain, flash flooding to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City

After a warm and dry weekend across the mid-Atlantic states, a potent early week storm will generate drenching showers and thunderstorms, bringing a threat for flash flooding to many locations.

The same storm system has already wreaked havoc in the Southeast, causing one fatality in South Carolina due to flash flooding.

Potent low pressure will strengthen over the Ohio Valley on Monday, tapping into abundant moisture from the south, which will provide fuel for the drenching storms.

Heavy thunderstorms will first develop across much of the state of Ohio during the day on Monday, bringing torrential downpours to Columbus, Cleveland, Zanesville, and Youngstown.

By the time the evening commute rolls around on Monday, the heavy rain threat will transition into western Pennsylvania.

Many locations will pick up between two and four inches of rainfall with locally higher amounts possible. Rainfall to this magnitude will lead to flooding of streams and creeks.
Cloud Precipitation

Rogue waves blamed for shipping disasters

© Getty Images
An oil tanker heads into a monster wave.
When the cruise ship Louis Majesty left Barcelona in eastern Spain for Genoa in northern Italy, it was for the leisurely final leg of a hopscotching tour around the Mediterranean. But the Mediterranean had other ideas.

Storm clouds were gathering as the boat ventured eastwards out of the port at around 1pm on March 3, 2010. The sea swell steadily increased during the first hours of the voyage, enough to test those with less-experienced sea legs, but still nothing out of the ordinary.

At 4.20 pm, the ship ran without warning into a wall of water 8 metres or more in height. As far as events can be reconstructed, the boat's pitch as it descended the wave's lee tilted it into a second, and possibly a third, monster wave immediately behind.

Water smashed through the windows of a lounge on deck 5, almost 17 metres above the ship's water line. Two passengers were killed instantly and 14 more injured.

Then, as suddenly as the waves had appeared, they were gone. The boat turned and limped back to Barcelona.

A few decades ago, rogue waves of the sort that hit the Louis Majesty were the stuff of salty sea dogs' legends. No more. Real-world observations, backed up by improved theory and lab experiments, leave no doubt any more that monster waves happen - and not infrequently. The question has become: can we predict when and where they will occur?