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Tue, 19 Nov 2019
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Earth Changes


Early snow threatens corn, soybean harvest in Ottawa district

Sylvain Quenneville farms in Casselman, Ont.,
© Denis Babin/Radio-Canada
Sylvain Quenneville farms in Casselman, Ont.,
Farmers facing formidable challenge with snow blanketing Ottawa-area fields

During a typical autumn, Sylvain Quenneville would be wrapping up his corn harvest at his farm in Casselman, Ont., east of Ottawa, by now.

But this hasn't been a typical autumn.

The area got about 12 centimetres of snow last week, and Quenneville's equipment isn't built to handle it.

"The thresher can't beat snow," he said in French on Sunday. "We have to wait for the snow to melt ... [or it] will just go through the thresher."

Comment: Related: 'Harvest from hell': 2.7 million acres of canola left buried under snow in the Canadian prairies


Heavy snow in Alps causes avalanches and travel disruptions

Schools and roads were closed on Monday in parts of Austria as heavy snow and rain cause disruption across the Alpine region. Two women were rescued by firefighters after their houses were destroyed in a mudslide.

Schools and roads were closed on Monday in parts of Austria as heavy snow and rain cause disruption.

Two women had to be rescued by firefighters after their houses were destroyed in a mudslide in a town near Salzburg, Austrian news agency APA reported.

One of them was rescued almost immediately, another only after several hours. Both were hospitalized.

Over thirty people were evacuated from their homes in the region of Styria amid concerns over landslides, while the residents of 15 buildings in Carinthia were evacuated as the nearby Gurk river threatened to burst its banks.


Cooling atmosphere: Moon halo captured over Austin, Texas

Moon halo over Austin, TX
© Nick Rober
On Saturday evening, KXAN viewer Nick Rober captured this image. If you look closely, there is a very faint ring around the moon.

What is it?

The ring is referred to as a '22-degree halo' and appears as a light circle around the sun or moon. Why the name? The circle has a radius of ~22°.

What causes it?

Thin, high clouds called 'cirrus clouds' are made up of millions of tiny ice crystals thousands of feet in the atmosphere. Light reflecting off the moon or shining from the sun is refracted, which then creates a visible ring surrounding the sun/moon.

In-Depth: Refraction of light is defined as the bending or splitting of light through a medium. In this case, the light is being bent by the ice crystals in the air that make up the cloud.


Dozens of villages remain cutoff by several feet of snow in Kashmir

Dozens of far-flung and remote villages near the Line of Control (LoC), including border towns of Keran and Karnah, remained cut off from the rest of Kashmir valley for the third successive day on Sunday due to slippery road conditions and accumulation of snow.

Meanwhile, the Kupwara-Machil and Gurez-Bandipora roads in north Kashmir remained closed since November 6 owing to the same reason.

"The Kupwara-Keran and Kupwara-Karnah roads remained closed for the third day on Sunday due to accumulation of about one foot snow," an official of Police Control Room (PCR), Kupwara, said over the phone.

He said the upper reaches in the district received fresh snowfall while rain lashed plains, including Kupwara town during the past 24 hours. "Traffic will resume only after improvement in the weather and clearance of snow on these roads," he said, adding that the snow clearance operation will take a couple of days.

Arrow Down

Avalanche kills at least 6 in Ladakh, India


Representational Image
At least four army personnel and two civilians have been killed after being buried under the snow following an avalanche at the Siachen Glacier on Monday.

The initial reports said that at least eight army jawans were buried under the snow as the avalanche hit the army post at Siachen glacier in Ladakh. The avalanche hit the Army position in the northern glacier at around 3:30 pm on Monday. The Army troops immediately launched the rescue and recovery operations.

All eight personnel were pulled out of the avalanche debris. "Seven individuals who were critically injured, accompanied by medical teams, providing critical care were evacuated by helicopters to the nearest Military Hospital, where all lifesaving resuscitative measures were instituted," an official statement by the army said.


Late snow closes roads in November in Southland, New Zealand

© Mark Price
Snow falling at Okaka Lodge high on the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track makes for scenic viewing ... except it's meant to be spring.

And, it appears the unpredictable weather is set to stay around for a little longer yet.

It had been snowing high up on the track in Tuatapere on Monday and the Milford Rd in Fiordland was closed from 5pm on Sunday due to forecasted snow but had reopened at 11.20am on Monday.

Ice Cube

Western Hudson Bay freeze-up earlier than average for 1980s for 3rd year in a row

Polar bear family on the ice off Churchill Manitoba (taken from a helicopter), courtesy Explore.org

Polar bear family on the ice off Churchill Manitoba (taken from a helicopter), courtesy Explore.org
After five good sea ice seasons in a row for WH polar bears, this repeat of an early freeze-up means a sixth good ice season is now possible for 2019-2020.

This is the third year in a row that freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay (WH) ice has come earlier than the average of 16 November documented in the 1980s.

Reports by folks on the ground near Churchill confirm polar bears are starting to move onto the sea ice that's developing along the shore after almost 5 months on land.

Thanks to Laurel for this link.

Snowflake Cold

Military Emergencies Unit called out as heavy snowfall isolates villages in northern Spain

Villages isolated in the province of León as power cuts affect residents in rural areas

The cold front which swept across the Iberian Peninsula over the weekend brought severe disruption to road traffic in the north of Spain, leaving villages on higher ground isolated as snow drifted to depths of well over a metre in rural areas.

So serious were the conditions that 110 members of the Military Emergencies Unit were dispatched to Villablino and other towns and villages in the Laciana valley in the north-west of the province of León to help clear roads and streets, making use of snow ploughs and various other items of heavy-duty machinery. They began the operation with a total of 43 vehicles on Saturday morning after heavy snowfalls during Thursday and Friday, when red alert warnings were issued by the State meteorological agency Aemet, and also delivered generators to ensure that electricity was available for residents unable to leave their homes.


Record November snowfall in Switzerland affects ski stations and roads - almost 28 inches recorded

As a result of the heavy snow, road and rail transport are experiencing their first major winter disruptions
© Keystone/Jean-christophe Bott
As a result of the heavy snow, road and rail transport are experiencing their first major winter disruptions
Heavy snow over the weekend was recorded in the southern and eastern parts of the country. The record for November has been broken and ski stations at Saas Fee and Saas Grund are cut off.

According to the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, the southern ridges of the Alps have received "a great deal of snowfall" over the last three days with as much as 30cm recorded in some parts of the country. A record monthly snowfall of 71cm for November was registered in Santa Maria in canton Graubünden in eastern Switzerland. The previous record for November snow was 69cm, set also in Santa Maria, in 1959.


Record warm and record snow in the same day for Anchorage, Alaska

On Saturday, Anchorage saw a record high daily temperature of 45° Fahrenheit and a record high snowfall amount of 8.4 inches.

The normal high temperature for Nov. 16 is 27°F degrees so Saturday's high of 45°F was 18 degrees above normal. Once again, the observed overnight low temperature (31°F) was above the normal high for the day. Overnight lows have been equal to or warmer than normal highs for each day this month.

While Anchorage is still behind for seasonal snow totals, Saturday's storm made a big dent in the deficit. Friday, Nov. 15, Anchorage was 13.7 inches below the normal for seasonal snow totals. After the Saturday storm, Anchorage is 5.8 inches below normal.