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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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Highest number of snowy owls ever recorded of 139 in 2017-18 winter across Indiana

Snowy owl

Snowy owl
The Indiana Audubon Society says the winter of 2017-18 will go down in the record books as the highest number of Snowy Owls seen in Indiana in a single winter. To date, 139 Snowy Owls have been documented in Indiana this winter. The Indiana Audubon Society has been tracking sightings via submitted reports, social media sites, and birding websites, such as eBird.com. The new record breaks the old record of 121 owls that were seen during the winter of 2013-14.

Snowy owl numbers fluctuate year to year based on their primary prey, lemmings, giant mouse-like rodents, whose population also oscillates based on food supplies and weather conditions in the Arctic. When populations spike, the owls respond with higher than normal breeding, with some nests containing ten or more eggs. The subsequent invasions later that fall result in not so much a food scarcity, but because of the abundance of food earlier that summer. Young owls tend to leave the Arctic each winter, resulting in the larger than normal invasion occurring now.


Comment: See also: Record number of 280 snowy owls counted in Wisconsin this winter


Snowflake Cold

NOAA attempts to erase record-breaking cold across northeast US by 'adjusting' raw temperature data

cold weather clothes
© AP / Charles Rex Arbogast
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has yet again been caught exaggerating 'global warming' by fiddling with the raw temperature data.

This time, that data concerns the recent record-breaking cold across the northeastern U.S. which NOAA is trying to erase from history.

If you believe NOAA's charts, there was nothing particularly unusual about this winter's cold weather which caused sharks to freeze in the ocean and iguanas to drop out of trees.

Here is NOAA's January 2018 chart for Northeast U.S. - an area which includes New England along with NY, PA, NJ, DE and MD.
January average temperature NE US
You'd never guess from it that those regions had just experienced record-breaking cold, would you?

Comment: Well the NOAA is certainly consistent:


Binoculars

Arctic snow geese set migration record of 200,000 at Middle Creek, Pennsylvania

Snow geese at Middle Creek
© Stephen Hung
Snow geese at Middle Creek
A popular stop for migrating snow geese was more popular than ever this week.

The Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area hit its highest number of snow geese ever, topping out at an estimated 200,000 birds, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported on its website.

The previous record of 170,000 birds was recorded in 2007.

Unfortunately, warmer temperatures caused a large number of geese to move north. Thursday's count was 65,000 snow geese, 4,000 Canada geese, and 5,500 tundra swans.

The 6,000-acre wildlife area in Lancaster and Lebanon counties is an annual destination for the waterfowl as they migrate north to their breeding grounds.


Camera

'Three suns' seen in St. Petersburg, Russia

Sun dogs over St. Petersburg
© Aivaras Ciurlionis
The two bright spots on either side of the sun are commonly referred to as sun dogs, mock suns or phantom suns, but the scientific name is parhelia. This natural wonder can be observed during especially cold weather, when light refracts from ice crystals floating in the air.

Residents of the northern capital of Russia and its outskirts captured a rare and mind-blowing natural phenomenon, which makes it appear as if our planet has three suns.

Sun

Sun dog solar phenomenon shines over Harbin, China

Sun dog over China
© CCTV+
The rare atmospheric 'sun dog' optical phenomenon, or parhelion, appeared in the sky above the northeast Chinese city of Harbin in Heilongjiang Province earlier this week.

The spectacle, which occurs along with the accumulation of ice crystals in the atmosphere, presents itself as a halo with the sun in the centre and two reflections on either side.

The three suns, which stunned local residents, are created when sunlight is refracted through regular hexagonal ice crystals, and only appear when atmospheric pressure is stable and there is adequate moisture in the air during a cold period of weather.


Fish

Thousands of dead fish found along 2 miles of North Carolina beach

Dead fish littered the beaches of the Outer Banks on Tuesday

Dead fish littered the beaches of the Outer Banks on Tuesday
Thousands of fish washed ashore Wednesday along an approximately two mile stretch of the four-wheel drive beach north of Corolla.

Most of the dead fish are menhaden, said Patricia Smith, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. In some places the fish are piled thick.

"It's a significant number of fish," she said.


State fisheries officers found no signs of marks or sores, she said. A crew flew over the site after morning fog cleared and did not see commercial fishing boats offshore. Menhaden have been known to rush ashore escaping from predators such as blue fish.

Question

Mystery as over 100 cockatoos are found dead in Hunter Valley, Australia

Over 100 cockatoos have been found dead in New South Wales' Hunter Valley (stock image)

Over 100 cockatoos have been found dead in New South Wales' Hunter Valley (stock image)
Over 100 cockatoos have been found dead in New South Wales' Hunter Valley.

The Environmental Protection Authority is investigating the mass death of the sulfur-crested cockatoos.

The authority was made aware of the deaths on Monday.

The birds were found in a paddock off Jerrys Plains Road, near the Lemington Road intersection.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills one, 200 injured after downpour in Ghana

lightning
One person is dead with hundreds wounded at Ngleshie Amanfrom near Kasoa in the Ga South Municipality following thunder and rainstorms that accompanied the heavy downpour on Tuesday, 20 February 2018.

A lightning that struck during the rains killed a 38-year-old man and the storm ripped the roofs of a cluster of schools as well as some houses at Ngleshie Amanfrom.

Accra FM's Evans Darko reported that the sheets wounded scores of individuals.


In other instances the roof caved-in and fell on some school children who were having lessons at the time.

Attention

Dead whale washes ashore in Karnataka, India

a dead whale washed ashore in a decomposed state on the Doddakopla beach in Surathkal

The dead whale that washed ashore in a decomposed state on the Doddakopla beach in Surathkal
In a rare phenomenon, a dead whale washed ashore in a decomposed state on the Doddakopla beach in Surathkal. "This is the first such incident in the last 15-20 years in the coastal belt of Karnataka," Yathish Baikampady, CEO, Panambur Beach Tourism Development Project, told TOI.

The approximately 40-feet whale washed ashore on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, because of high tide. Fishermen, who saw the carcass early on Wednesday, informed the authorities.

The body was so severely decomposed that experts haven't been able to determine its characteristics such as its breed, weight or age. Yathish predicted the whale may have died because of old age.

Cloud Precipitation

2 dead, 1 missing as rivers overflow in Midwest and Ontario (VIDEOS)

Rivers above flood stages in Midwest USA, as of 22 February, 2018. Purple – major flood stage; Red – moderate flood stage; Orange – minor flood stage.
© NOAA / NWS
Rivers above flood stages in Midwest USA, as of 22 February, 2018.
Purple – major flood stage; Red – moderate flood stage; Orange – minor flood stage.
Days of rain combined with snowmelt have pushed rivers and streams out of their banks in several US Midwest states and southern Ontario, Canada.

In the Midwest, NWS reported rivers above major flood stage in 19 locations, 54 above moderate flood stage and 131 above minor flood stage.

In the USA, 2 people have reportedly died as a result of the flooding. A young child is missing after a vehicle was swept away by flood water in Ontario.

Further heavy rain brought by a winter storm from Wednesday 21 February has also affected areas further south. Flash flood warnings are in effect for parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Shreveport in Louisiana recorded 95 mm of rain in 24 hours to 22 February.

Comment: See also: Rescuers use boats to evacuate victims as 'worst floods in 45 years' hit US Midwest