Earth Changes


Chicago's first snow of the season brings largest November snowfall in 120 years

© Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune
Snow falls in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood Nov. 21, 2015.
The season's first snowfall dropped as much as 17 inches across Chicago's northern suburbs, and the total of 11.2 inches at O'Hare International Airport made it the largest November snowfall in 120 years.

The steady stream of snow began Friday evening and carried into Saturday, bringing cold winds and slushy puddles to Michigan Avenue. But it also fashioned a wintry backdrop to the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, transporting Chicagoans into a life-sized holiday snow globe.

The chill didn't bother the Kendalls, who traveled from Northwest Indiana for the festivities. They stood in Pioneer Court bundled in snow gear, relishing bites of candy-cane-garnished cheesecake as heavy snowflakes plopped onto their noses.

"It rings in the beginning of Christmas season," said Jessica Kendall. "The roads are warm, the snow's melting and we had a nice, wintry drive."

The storm hit hardest in the northern suburbs.

Lake County was walloped. By about 2 p.m. Saturday, there were reports of 17 inches in Grayslake, 16.5 in Hawthorn Woods, and 15.5 inches in Mundelein, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jamie Enderlen.

McHenry County also was socked, with 13.6 inches in Bull Valley, 12.5 inches in Woodstock and 9.5 inches in Hebron by about 7 a.m. Saturday, according to the weather service.

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Devastating landslide near jade mine in Myanmar kills at least 90 people

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
This photo taken on Oct. 4, 2015, shows construction vehicles being used by workers at a jade mine in Myanmar's Kachin State.
At least 90 people have been killed in a huge landslide while searching for precious jade in a remote mining area of northern Myanmar, officials say.

"We found 79 dead bodies on November 21 (and) 11 today so the total so far is 90," said Nilar Myint, an official from the local administrative authorities in Hpakant, northern Kachin state.

Nilar Myint added that the rescue operation was ongoing.

The Global New Light of Myanmar earlier reported that at least 30 dead bodies were retrieved from the landslide site, quoting local officials and media reports.

Rescuers battled to dig through the mountains of loose rubble at the site on Sunday, with fears that the toll could rise further.

It is the latest deadly accident to affect Myanmar's secretive multi-billion-dollar jade industry in war-torn Kachin.

Snowflake Cold

Winter storm brings record breaking snowfall to Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota

Winter Storm Bella not only brought the first, not to mention locally heavy, accumulating snow of the season for some in the Great Lakes and Midwest, but also was one of the heaviest November snowstorms of record for some.

Scroll down to the "snowtables" section for a list of records set during this storm.

Parts of the Sioux City, South Dakota metro area picked up over a foot of snow in an intense snowband Friday. Snow has since ended, there, but has now spread into the Great Lakes, with some totals over 10 inches already coming in from parts of Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Winter storm warnings continue from parts of northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, northern Indiana and southern Lower Michigan, including the Quad Cities, Rockford, Milwaukee, Chicago, South Bend and the north and west Detroit suburbs. In the much of the Upper Midwest, this means a likelihood for at least 6 inches of snow in 12 hours, or 8 inches of snow in 24 hours.

Winter weather advisories are posted for other parts of Illinois, Indiana, northwest Ohio and Lower Michigan, where somewhat lower snowfall totals are expected. Despite lacking strong surface low pressure, these systems are notorious heavy snow generators in the Midwest.

Snowfall Reports - A sampling of snowfall totals since Thursday.
Snowfall Totals So Far

As of Saturday midday, numerous locations from southeastern South Dakota to southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois have reported a foot or more of snow from the storm.

Here is a sampling of official snowfall totals around the area, by state:
  • South Dakota: Tea (18 inches), Sioux Falls Regional Airport (7.2 inches)
  • Iowa: George (17 inches), Waterloo (12.7 inches), Dubuque (10.2 inches), Des Moines (6.9 inches)
  • Nebraska: Near Bloomfield (16 inches), South Sioux City (6.5 inches), Valentine (4 inches)
  • Minnesota: Worthington (8 inches)
  • Illinois: Grayslake (16 inches), Chicago O'Hare (11.1 inches), Moline (9.9 inches), Rockford (8.6 inches),
  • Wisconsin: Near Footville (17 inches), Janesville (11.5 inches), Milwaukee (6.7 inches), Madison (4.1 inches)
  • Michigan: Rives Junction (8 inches), Kalamazoo (5.3 inches), Flint (3.2 inches), Detroit Metro Airport (1 inch)
  • Indiana: Crown Point (5 inches), Lafayette (3.5 inches), near South Bend (3 inches), Tipton (2 inches)
Bella also produced the season's first flakes as far south as northwest Arkansas Saturday morning, and left a dusting of snow in Springfield, Missouri, as well.

Comment: To the horror of global warming alarmists...


Signs and Portents: Calf born with two heads and six legs in Los Conquistadores, Argentina

BIZARRE: The calf was born with two heads and six legs
Cowherd Ramon Cabrera was shocked when he delivered one calf with two heads and six legs after a five-hour birth.

Both heads were fully formed, but the calf did not live long after being born and sparked fears of a toxic chemical outbreak.

Ramon said: "I was told by the vet that the mother had probably been expecting twins that ended up staying together due to a genetic malformation."

The unusual condition of being born with two heads is called polycephaly and occurs in both animals and humans.

It comes just weeks after a the discovery of a mysterious humanoid corpse with huge fangs sparked claims of a real-life vampire.

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One of the world's most beautiful beaches lost to landslide following earthquake on Lefkada island, Greece


Photographed from above, by helicopter, most of the beach has been covered by a landslide
Voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by media like CNN and Trip Advisor numerous times, the picturesque beach of Egremni on the island of Lefkada is no more, following the deadly earthquake that struck the island on Tuesday, November 17th which killed two elderly women.

Large boulders and swaths of rubble detached off the mountain which precariously hung atop the lush sandy beach below, leaving much of the open area that welcomed thousands of tourists annually, completely wiped away.

The moment of the earthquake and the large landslides were captured on video by a fisherman whose boat was just offshore when the earth shook.


337 whales beached in biggest stranding known to science, Patagonia, Chile

© Vreni Häussermann
This dead sei whale was found in Patagonia in May.
The cause of the massive die-off, discovered in remote waters off Patagonia, Chile, is being investigated. Scientists say they are most likely sei whales, which are endangered.

Scientists made a startling discovery on an observation flight over a remote fjord in southern Chile's Patagonia: 337 dead whales. That is the biggest single whale stranding event known to science.

Because of the remoteness of the area and the roughness of the seas, scientists have not been able to examine the whales directly, but aerial and satellite photography identified 305 bodies and 32 skeletons in an area between the Gulf of Penas and Puerto Natales, toward the southern tip of the continent.

Many of the remains were in advanced states of decay so it's unclear what species they are, says lead scientist Carolina Simon Gutstein of the Universidad de Chile and Consejo de Monumentos Nacionales in Santiago. But based on their size and location, they are probably sei whales, she says.


Eerie sun halo photographed in the sky of Bali, Indonesia

© Shea D.
This amazing sun halo appeared over Bali, Indonesia on November 14 2015.
These incredible pictures were sent to Strange Sounds by Shea D., a follower of the blog.

This amazing sun halo appeared in the sky of Bali on November 14, 2015. Another sign for new extreme weather events to come?

Sometimes, rings around the moon or the sun may announce rain or a tropical storm coming soon as halos form through ice crystals which are usually present in high altitude cirrus clouds. And these clouds arrive days before an advancing cold or warm front, which bring rain. It is to keep in mind that not all cirrus clouds are associated with storm systems.

Therefore most of the rings indicate an increase in water in the upper atmosphere.

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Landslide buckles Vasquez Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, California

© Getty
A portion of Vasquez Canyon Road remained closed indefinitely Friday after a landslide prompted buckling and significant damage along a 2-mile stretch in the Canyon Country area.

"This isn't just the road; it's the mountain itself that's moving and it's pushing the road up," said Paul Funk with L.A. County Department of Public Works.

The roadway was closed Thursday between Lost Creek Road and Vasquez Way after public works officials first noticed the shift around 10:30 that morning.

The closure was said to be indefinite and would likely last for "a long time," Funk said.


Second earthquake rattles northern Oklahoma; 4.6 magnitude

Just one day after a massive earthquake rattled northern Oklahoma, several others followed.

On Thursday, a 4.7 magnitude quake was recorded near Cherokee, Oklahoma around 1:42 a.m.

Just one day later, the U.S. Geological Survey reported several earthquakes in the Medford area.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 4.6 magnitude earthquake was reported near Medford around 4:40 p.m. on Friday.

Just 13 minutes later, a 3.1 magnitude quake was recorded near Medford, followed by a 3.9 magnitude quake just two minutes after that.


6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes eastern Indonesia

© US Geological Survey
The quake was felt in Saumlaki, the closest city to the epicentre, a local geophysics station officer said
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but no tsunami warning was issued and no immediate damage or casualties were reported. The undersea quake was recorded at a depth of 67 kilometres near Indonesia's Babar islands, according to USGS.

The quake was felt in Saumlaki, the closest city to the epicentre, a local geophysics station officer said.

"We felt the quake for about 25 seconds, and it felt like a truck went past in front of the house," an officer at the geophysics station, Alva Rottie, told AFP.

The tremor prompted some residents to run outside, but the National Disaster Management Agency said the quake had no tsunami potential. Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

Source: PTI