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Thu, 20 Jan 2022
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Cloud Lightning

New Lightning Sensors Warn of Hurricane's Power From Far Away

A NASA-supported study has introduced a new way to detect lightning outbreaks inside a hurricane from thousands of miles away, giving forecasters new insight into just how powerful an oncoming storm will be.

As a result, researchers can now investigate with greater accuracy how the rate of lightning strikes produced within a hurricane's eyewall is tied to the changing strength of that hurricane. A hurricane's eyewall is the inner heat-driven region of the storm that surrounds the "eye" where the most intense rainfall and most powerful winds occur. By monitoring the intensity of lightning near a hurricane's eye, scientists will be able to improve their forecasts of when a storm will unleash its harshest conditions.

©NASA
On Sept. 22, 2005, Hurricane Rita threatened the U.S. Gulf Coast. NASA's TRMM satellite helped create this three-dimensional view of the storm; storm clouds shown here in white.

Black Cat

Cat faeces 'may be killing whales'

Pet owners who flush cat faeces down the lavatory may be responsible for the deaths of whales, dolphins and porpoises around Britain's coast, according to academics and public health experts.

Bell

Update! 8.4 Quake triggers tsunami in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A massive earthquake shook Indonesia on Wednesday, killing seven people, injuring 100 and triggering a small tsunami that hit one city on the island of Sumatra, authorities said. Tsunami warnings were issued for much of the Indian Ocean region.

The 8.4-magnitude quake off Sumatra badly damaged buildings along the coast and could be felt in at least four countries, with tall buildings swaying as far as 1,200 miles away.

No Entry

'Killer bees' descend on New Orleans

MERAUX, La. - Africanized honeybees, a fierce hybrid strain sometimes referred to as "killer bees," appear to have established themselves in the New Orleans area, the state agriculture commissioner said.

A swarm of the bees was captured about five miles from where demolition workers found a colony of Africanized bees in January, commissioner Bob Odom said Tuesday.

Bell

Powerful 7.9 quake hits Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A powerful earthquake hit Indonesia on Wednesday, causing buildings to sway strongly in the capital, and authorities issued a tsunami warning for much of the Indian Ocean region.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.9 and hit at about 6:10 p.m. (7:10 a.m. EDT). It was centered 9.7 miles underground in the southern Sumatra area, the USGS said.

©USGS

Magic Wand

Spiders Spin Giant Web in Texas

WILLS POINT, Texas - A variety of spider species built on one another's work to create a sprawling web that blanketed hundreds of yards of trees and shrubs at a North Texas park, according to entomologists who studied the unusual formation.

Bulb

This year could be warmest on record in eastern Arctic

This year could be the warmest on record since climate monitoring in the Arctic Ocean began, a meteorological official said Tuesday.

"This year, the water is unusually warm in the Arctic Ocean and the summer ice has significantly declined, and is further to the north than usual with only one-year ice present. The ice, due to the influence of warm air and water, has been greatly reduced," Sergei Balyasnikov, the press secretary of the Russian hydrometeorological service's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said.

Magic Wand

Gifted research parrot Alex found dead

A gifted parrot that could count to six, identify colors and even express frustration with repetitive scientific trials has died after 30 years of helping researchers better understand the avian brain.

©Alex Foundation

Cloud Lightning

Farmers in Virginia and Maryland Growing Desperate For Rain

St. Mary's County farmer Tommy Bowles has been pumping water to his pumpkin patch and corn maze to prepare for pre-Halloween crowds. But he can't afford to irrigate all his crops, and the corn, soybeans and wheat are suffering in the heat and bone-dry soil.

"This is about the worst drought I've seen since I've been in farming -- and I've been farming for 33 years," Bowles, 52, said. "We just haven't really had any rain at all."

Cloud Lightning

15 dead in Nepal floods, landslides

Landslides and floods triggered by torrential rains in Nepal have killed at least 15 people in the last three days, officials said Sunday.

"Five bodies were recovered Sunday morning after they were swept away by a flooding river in Rautahat late Saturday," local official Durga Prasad Bhandari told AFP from Rautahat district, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Kathmandu.