Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Snowstorm brings record snowfall to parts of Texas Panhandle

© Lindsey Tomaschik
Central park looked like a winter wonderland on Thursday morning.
Last week the National Weather Service in Amarillo had mentioned the possibility of a winter storm impacting our region on Wednesday and into Thursday of this week.

Many residents didn't buy into the potential snow storm. That might have been because of the 70 degree weather we had just this past weekend or the fact that so far all the snows have been "duds" this year.

As the storm system got closer and closer the forecast model projections went up and up in their total accumulation expected. It got the point that it was not a matter of if we would see snow, but how much. A lot of that depended on where the convective bands of snow set up. One was on top of Pampa early in the system and that is why we got a higher total than projected.

A co-op observer recorded 4.4 inches of snow one mile northwest of Pampa. Another co-op observer recorded eight inches four miles west southwest of Lake McClellan. A public report came into NWS of nine inches for Pampa city limits.


Brazil's suffers worst drought in history

river in drought
Ongoing evidence of Brazilian drought...Sao Paulo sleepwalking into water crisis.
The taps have run dry and the lights have gone out across swathes of Brazil this week as the worst drought in history spreads from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and beyond.

More than four million people have been affected by rationing and rolling power cuts as this tropical nation discovers it can no longer rely on once abundant water supplies in a period of rising temperatures and diminishing rainfall.

The political and economic fallout for the world's seventh biggest economy is increasingly apparent. Protesters in dry neighbourhoods have taken to the streets, coffee crops have been hit, businesses have been forced to close and peddle-boat operators have had to cease operations because lakes have dried up.

In São Paulo - the most populous city in South America and the worst hit by the drought - a year of shortages has cut water use in the city by a quarter since last January, but Jerson Kelman, the head of the main water company Sabesp, urged consumers to do more in helping the utility to "prepare for the worst".

"There is a significant part of the population that is not yet aware of the seriousness of the situation and refuses to change habits," he wrote in an op-ed published on Thursday. "They must be convinced to change their behaviour." If the dry spell continues, he warned full-scale rationing would be introduced - something the city government denied would be necessary during last year's elections.

Comment: Weather bands are moving towards the poles in both hemispheres. The cycle of extreme droughts and heavy deluges is part and parcel to the precursor of mini ice ages. Solar minimums and moving Hadley Cell patterns shift the tropical precipitation to distant latitudes, leaving drought conditions in their wake and forcing moisture into the upper atmosphere where it freezes and rebounds as extreme snowfall. Droughts of this nature are cyclical. For more info on this topic: SOTT Exclusive: A 'Blue Hole,' a cosmic connection and the demise of the Maya


Amazing images reveal a glowing blue sea in Hong Kong

This Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo made with a long exposure shows the glow from a Noctiluca scintillans algal bloom along the seashore in Hong Kong.
Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off Hong Kong's seashore are magnificent, but disturbing and potentially toxic, marine biologists say.

The glow is an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by something called Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed Sea Sparkle.

It looks like algae and can act like algae, but is in fact a single-celled organism that technically can function as both animal and plant.

Cloud Precipitation

Southeast Queensland soaked by monsoon-like rains

Southeast Queensland was drenched yesterday as "monsoon-like" conditions swept the region, closing roads, diverting flights and causing flash flooding.

Roads were inundated in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, causing sinkholes to open up that swallowed cars.

Emergency services scrambled to rescue children and adults from rising floodwaters as the SES received almost 400 calls for help, including pleas to sandbag homes and patch leaking roofs already damaged by previous hail storms.

© Diimex
Flash flooding on Queensland’s Gold Coast turned roads into rivers.

Baby loses part of face after attack by family ferrets in Darby, Pennsylvania

© Wikimedia Commons.
A one-month-old Pennsylvania baby is hospitalized after she was attacked by three family pet ferrets and sustained severe facial injuries.

According to WPVI, sources have said that the incident took place on Thursday in the child's Darby Borough home.

The mother of the infant allegedly placed the child in her car seat downstairs and then went to the upstairs of the home. During that time, the three pet ferrets got out of their cage, attacked the baby girl and chewed her face.

The parents' heard the child's cries and found the ferrets attacking her.
The baby was transported to a Children's hospital. She lost 25 percent of her face in the attack.

Magic Wand

Beach washed away by freak high tide is returned next day in Porthleven, UK

Bare beach: The scene at Porthleven beach after the high tide washed away virtually all the sand
Residents in the Cornish village of Porthlevel woke one morning last week to find all the sand on their beach had disappeared, but are now celebrating after it came back

Residents in a seaside town where the entire beach was washed away by a freak high tide are celebrating - after it came BACK.

Locals in Porthleven in Cornwall were left scratching their heads after a severe high tide removed ALL the sand on their beach, and replaced with jagged rocks covered in seaweed and algae.

Photos from the scene showed promenade steps that used run down into the lush sand leading to a sharp drop onto rocks.

But locals were celebrating today after the sand was brought back - leaving them with a golden coast again.

'Three suns' appear over Mongolia in rare anthelion phenomenon

Three suns appear in the horizon over Mongolia, in an a rare optical illusion known as anthelion. The middle sun is the actual star which appears daily in the sky, while the other two are smaller reflections. The phenomenon occurs in extremely cold temperatures when the sun's light reflects off snow crystals in the air
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.8 - 84km NNE of Port-Vila, Vanuatu

Port-Vila Quake_230115
Event Time
  1. 2015-01-23 03:47:27 (UTC)
  2. Times in other timezones
Nearby Cities
  1. 84km (52mi) NNE of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
  2. 218km (135mi) SE of Luganville, Vanuatu
  3. 453km (281mi) NNE of We, New Caledonia
  4. 610km (379mi) NNE of Dumbea, New Caledonia
  5. 84km (52mi) NNE of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
Scientific Data

Dead gray whale discovered at Seattle ferry terminal

© Ted S Warren
A dead whale floats under a dock at the Colman Dock Washington State Ferry Terminal in Seattle, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015
A 30-foot gray whale has turned up dead under the Washington state ferry terminal in downtown Seattle, where its stench is wafting into the noses of thousands of daily commuters.

A Washington State Ferries spokeswoman, Susan Harris-Huether, says the whale was found just before 11 p.m. Wednesday. She says people are reporting that the smell is "not good."

Harris says it's under a dock, but ferry service Thursday wasn't affected.

A spokesman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that officials believe the whale may have been there for about a week. Michael Milstein says it's not known yet why the animal died, how it got there or other details.

He says NOAA will work with ferry officials and others to move the animal so a necropsy can be conducted.

Source: Associated Press
Arrow Down

Miracle escape for couple as watery sinkhole swallows their car in Tampa, Florida

The car was removed from the water around 4am on Monday
A car plunged into a massive, watery sinkhole late Sunday evening - forcing the couple inside the vehicle to flee as it continued to be engulfed.

Ashley Guzman was with her boyfriend Christopher Atkinson when the incident took place at the intersection of North 20th Street and East Yukon Street in Tampa, Florida, she told WTVT.

'Right when I got out the car it just - like the floor just started cracking towards me,' she told the affiliate station. 'That's when I started panicking more and I started yelling at him so he could get out.'