Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Illinois man named Rod struck by lightning for the second time in his life


Illinois man Rod Wolfe, 58, has survived being struck by lightning for the second time in his life
An Illinois man named Rod has survived being struck by lightning for the second time in his life.

Rod Wolfe, 58, was moved from his garden to the driveway at his Chebanse home when lightning struck a tree four feet away and the current traveled to his boots.

Wolfe's wife Sue was working out back when she said she heard the 'most god-awful bang'.

'I didn't know where I was,' she told NBC 5. 'I thought July Fourth? What happened?'

That's when Sue found Wolfe, who had been fixing a downspout in their front yard in preparation for a garden benefit walk, 'on all fours'.

'He couldn't move, he couldn't walk,' she said. 'He didn't know where he was, he had a headache.'

Cloud Lightning

33 cattle killed after lightning storm hits Perry County, Mississippi

© Linda Jordan
Thirty three animals were found dead because of a lightning storm that hit on Saturday night in Richton.
A total of 33 animals were found dead because of a lightning storm that hit on Saturday night in Richton.

"I never thought lightning could do something like this," said Ray Jordan, owner of the herd.

Jordan said he wanted to do a routine check of the herd after the lightning storm went through the area. On Sunday morning, he said he found the herd in a place where they usually go when it rains - an area in the pasture with two trees. Among the animals killed were 23 cows, nine yearlings and one bull.

He said he and his wife, Linda Jordan, expect to lose around $60,000 after losing the animals.

"A few of the cows were expecting, and we found one with a calf hanging out of the sack," Ray Jordan said.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rains, flooding ruin thousands of crops along Mississippi

Several weeks of heavy rains across the Heartland has resulted in damaged farm lands near the Mississippi river in Southern Illinois and Missouri.

Kenny Bunselmeyer, a farmer with more than 35-years-experience said it's not the worst flood he's ever encountered, but the 2015 is going to have a serious effect on area farmers.

"Down here farmers are pretty resilient... You know we've dealt with the flood waters before... We're not immune to it by no means but we've dealt with it before and you know people survive it," Bunselmeyer said. "It's no fun but they'll get through it.""We've dealt with water down here before but it just seems like we have more extremes here in the last 10 years than we used to have or 15."

Bunselmeyer owns and farms some 3,600 acres in several Southern Illinois towns including Jacob and Carbondale. He said the floods have damaged 200 acres of his corn and soybean crops or an estimate $120,000 loss.

Comment: The flooding has also cause the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close four locks on the Mississippi River bringing commercial barge traffic to a halt.


Phoenix, Arizona slammed with high winds, dust storms

© Cheryl Evans/The Republic
A dust storm rolls across the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community on Saturday, June 27, 2015.
Metro Phoenix residents were slammed by wind and dust over the weekend as the first pair of monsoon-season storms rolled through.

The National Weather Service says the Valley will return to regular programming during the workweek. Expect highs to hover around 110 degrees during the day, while lows will be in the mid-80s at night. Wednesday looks like the best chance of more thunderstorms, with the Weather Service putting the likelihood at 20 percent.

Strong winds knocked out power to thousands of customers across the Valley on Saturday. Some endured triple-digit heat with no air-conditioning, while outside trees were felled or stripped of foliage.

By midday Sunday, as the cleanup got underway and power was restored, the state braced for another powerful storm by dinnertime.

That storm clouded highways throughout central and southern Arizona, caused heavy downpours and flood watches in Rim Country, and led to reports of 70 mph gusts in Gila Bend. No serious damage was immediately reported there.

Likewise, the worst was spared in the Yavapai County community of Mayer, where a 25-acre fire broke out on the second anniversary of the deadly Yarnell Hill Fire. As crews battled the flames on the ground and from the air, a strong thunderstorm cell appeared nearby, the Weather Service reported.

Weekend Dust Storms

Similar conditions two years ago turned a brush fire into a raging, fast-moving, wind-whipped blaze that overcame Prescott's Granite Mountain Hotshots and killed 19 of the crew's firefighters two days after the lightning strike.


126 wildfires burn in Alberta: one of the worst wildfire seasons in the past 5 years

© Reuters
Smoke rises from a wildfire north of Cold Lake, Alberta in May 2015.
Alberta is the middle of one of the worst wildfire seasons in the past five years, say Alberta wildfire officials.

As of Sunday, 126 wildfires were burning in Alberta, with 27 of them considered out of control. In the past 24 hours, 23 new fires have emerged but Geoffrey Driscoll, a wildfire spokesperson with Alberta's ministry of agriculture and forestry, says that's just the tip of the iceberg,

"Before that, it was 45 (new fires) the day before, 55 the day before, and 73 the day before that - yesterday was a slow day," said Driscoll, citing extremely dry conditions in northern Alberta combined with high winds and flash thunderstorms as the prime contributors in this latest onslaught of wildfires.

"It's summer in Alberta, so what we're getting, as well, is these thunderstorms coming through with not very much rain. We would get somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 lightning strikes a night, and we were getting a lot of wildfires coming from those."

Of the 23 new fires in the past 24 hours, 12 of them were ignited due to lightning strikes. So far this season, there have been 1,145 wildfires recorded in Alberta, spanning over 101,500 hectares of land, compared to the five-year average of 724 fires to date.


1,000 people flee their homes, 12 homes destroyed in Wenatchee wildfire, Washington

© KING 5 News
Sleepy Hollow fire
At least a thousand people have fled their homes as a fast-growing wildfire burns out of control in central Washington.

All of north Wenatchee from Maple Street north to the river was evacuated Sunday night. The Chelan County Sheriff's Office says 12 homes have been destroyed.

Hundreds of firefighters from across Washington are on the scene and more are headed there.

Sunday's temperatures of at least 108 degrees, tinder dry brush and strong winds helped fuel the fire. Monday morning brought a brief rainshower which helped firefighters.

The fire was at least 2.6 square miles at last report. An update on the size is expected at 9 a.m.


Indonesian authorities raise alert level as Mount Raung erupts

© Press TV
Mount Raung in Indonesia’s East Java province.
Indonesian authorities on Monday (Jun 29) raised the alert level after Mount Raung in East Java erupted, causing ash to land in surrounding villages.

The eruption at Mount Raung on Sunday evening was heard 20 kilometres away, and ash fall was seen in villages about 10 kilometres away from the summit. Aircraft pilots also reported seeing large amounts of ash at a height of 3,500 metres.

Authorities cordoned off a two-kilometre radius around the volcano, and raised the alert level to "Siaga", the second highest level.

The Head of Prevention and Disaster Preparedness at the local Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency added the eruption could be seen from a lookout post in Banyuwangi, East Java.

Volcanologists have recorded an increase in volcanic activity and tremors on the 3,332-metre high Mount Raung since Jun 24.

Apart from Mount Raung, other volcanoes for which Indonesian authorities have raised the second highest alert level are Mount Karangetang, as well as Mount Soputan and Mount Lokon in Sulawesi.


Death toll rises to 1,233 in southern Pakistan heat wave

© Reuters
A relative waits while volunteers search for a body at the Edhi Foundation morgue in Karachi, Pakistan.
A devastating weeklong heat wave in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi killed 1,233 people, an official said.

Nazar Mohammad Bozdar, operations director at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, said about 65,000 heatstroke patients were treated by doctors at all of Karachi's hospitals since June 20 when the heat wave struck Sindh province, where Karachi is the provincial capital.

Officials say temperatures during this heat wave are the hottest the country has seen in 15 years.

He told The Associated Press that 1,923 patients with heat-related ailments were still being treated.

"The government quickly responded by making arrangements for the treatment of heatstroke patients and the situation has improved now," he said.

Pakistan's deadliest heat wave on record coincided with the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, when Pakistan's Muslim majority observed a dawn-to-dusk fast.

The temperatures in Karachi came down to 93 degrees Fahrenheit after reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit a week ago amid chronic power outages, which forced many residents to spend nights outdoors.

The heat wave shocked many Pakistanis just weeks after soaring temperatures caused nearly 2,200 deaths in neighboring India.

On Saturday, TV footage showed a charity burying several unidentified bodies of people who died earlier this week because of the heatstroke. Pakistani television stations reported that several unidentified bodies were buried by the Edhi Foundation charity because local morgues were overflowing.

Comment: Pakistan heat wave kills hundreds: Victims 'dying on the streets'


At least 16 tornadoes with 3 inch diameter hail stones strike the Red River Valley, North Dakota


Tornadoes hit the Red River Valley
At least 16 tornadoes hit the Red River Valley Saturday, along with huge hail stones measured up to three inches in diameter. No injuries or structural damage from the tornado touchdowns have been reported.

The National Weather Service office in Grand Forks assessed some of the damage one day later. Two damage surveys so far have turned up tornado paths in northeastern North Dakota. Survey crews estimate a tornado touched down six miles northeast of Hatton, taking out shelter belts with estimated 120 mph peak winds. That tornado is rated an EF-2. A second survey revealed an EF-1 tornado touched down six miles northeast of Hope, ND, which also damaged trees and power lines. Estimated winds in the Hope tornado are 100 to 110 mph.



Mysterious light seen in the sky in Deane, UK

© Martin Fawkes
A colourful light in the sky over Haslam Park in Deane was snapped by resident Martin Fawkes.
A glaring light in the sky caught the attention of a resident who thought it was part of the Northern Lights.

The bright colored light appeared in the sky on Wednesday and caught Martin Fawkes by surprise as he was putting his daughter to bed at their home in Deane.

After taking a picture of the strange red orange and blue light, which was hovering over Haslam Park, the dad of one sent the pictures to The Met Office.

Staff there confirmed that it wasn't part of the Northern Lights but that he had in fact just witnessed a very rare occurrence.

Comment: These displays of strange plasma lights and clouds in the sky are becoming more and more common: