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Tue, 24 May 2022
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Earth Changes


Another spring storm rolls through the Sierra bringing 17 inches of snow to Palisades Tahoe, California

© Kate Abraham / Palisades Tahoe
Over the past week, the upper mountain of Palisades Tahoe received 17 inches of fresh snow. This storm brought in cold temperatures that helped preserve the existing snow and provide better coverage on the open runs at the resort.

The resort will continue operations Friday-Sunday through the end of May, plus Memorial Day. This weekend, Palisades Tahoe will be open for skiing and riding on the upper mountain only, with terrain for every ability level.

Cloud Precipitation

Minnesota storms leave tens of thousands without power

Tens of thousands of Minnesota residents lost power on Wednesday evening after storms and severe weather brought strong winds, hail and flooding.

On Thursday morning, 47,595 customers were in the dark, according to tracker PowerOutage.US.

That number is just over half of the nearly 83,000 customers who were initially left without electricity, according to Fox Weather.

The thunderstorms felled trees and downed power lines, forcing fans to seek shelter at Target Field.

The Astros-Twins game was suspended.


Cyclone Asani brings chariot-like structure to Andhra shores in India

Gold-coloured chariot washes ashore in Andhra Pradesh

Gold-coloured chariot washes ashore in Andhra Pradesh

Amid cyclone Asani, waves brought in chariot-like structure to Andhra Pradesh coast on Tuesday. Villagers who saw it floating and brought it to the shore believe that tidal waves have brought it from some South Asian country. As news about the structure in the village spread, people from neighboring villages flocked to see the structure.

Blue Planet

Giant sinkhole with a forest inside found in China

Karst sinkhole china
© Song Wen/Xinhua/Alamy Live News
This giant karst sinkhole, also called a tiankeng, has plants growing at the bottom in Luoquanyan Village of Xuan'en County, central China's Hubei Province. This is not the sinkhole discovered in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
A team of Chinese scientists has discovered a giant new sinkhole with a forest at its bottom.

The sinkhole is 630 feet (192 meters) deep, according to the Xinhua news agency, deep enough to just swallow St. Louis' Gateway Arch. A team of speleologists and spelunkers rappelled into the sinkhole on Friday (May 6), discovering that there are three cave entrances in the chasm, as well as ancient trees 131 feet (40 m) tall, stretching their branches toward the sunlight that filters through the sinkhole entrance.

"This is cool news," said George Veni, the executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in the U.S., and an international expert on caves. Veni was not involved in the exploration of the cave, but the organization that was, the Institute of Karst Geology of the China Geological Survey, is NCKRI's sister institute.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods kill two people in southern Uzbekistan

The bodies of two people were found in a river after floods passed through in the Sariosiyo district of Surkhandarya region, the country's Ministry of Emergency Situations said Wednesday.

The victims were in a car when the flood washed away the automobile, it said, adding that rescue teams were still working to liquidate the consequences of the natural disaster.

Also on Wednesday, Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev instructed the government to improve the emergency warning system in the country.


Night sky turns blood red in Chinese city

red sky

The sky turned blood red at night in a city in eastern Zhejiang province. An expert explained it was caused by a refraction of the lights from a fishing boat because of the cloudy and foggy weather.


Second sperm whale found dead in Florida Keys

A 47-foot male sperm whale died off Mud Key in the Florida Keys on Tuesday.
© Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
A 47-foot male sperm whale died off Mud Key in the Florida Keys on Tuesday.
A sperm whale was found dead in the waters just east of Key West on Tuesday, the second to die within a week in the Florida Keys, state and federal officials said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said that an adult male beached itself on Tuesday north of Mud Key, located about 15 miles northeast of Key West, the Miami Herald reported.

On May 4, a juvenile sperm whale that was separated from its mother died after reaching shore near Key Largo, according to the Key West Citizen. The young whale had an injury to its head and its swimming was "labored," Art Cooper, who oversees the Key Largo-based Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder, told the newspaper.

Cloud Precipitation

Queensland in Australia battling second flood emergency in three months - 9 inches of rain in 24 hours

South East Queensland is enduring its second major rain event in three months.

There's a moderate flood warning for the Brisbane River and emergency alerts for isolated towns as the system that struck the north first, settles in here.

Floodwaters trapped two men, but they were saved in separate rescues.

Comment: Floodlist reports:
Australia - More Floods in Queensland After Widespread Heavy Rainfall

At least one person has died and emergency services have rescued serval others from flood waters across the state of Queensland, Australia, after days of heavy rainfall from 09 April.

According to figures from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Sunshine Coast Airport recorded 133.4 mm of rain in 24 hours on 09 April. BoM Queensland said many areas received over 100 mm in 24 hours 10 to 11 May. The state's highest was 244 mm at Mourilyan on the Cassowary Coast.

24 hours rainfall totals in Queensland, Australia, 10 to 11 May 2022.
© BoM
24 hours rainfall totals in Queensland, Australia, 10 to 11 May 2022.
State Emergency Services (SES) in Queensland have been call on to carry out several rescues, mostly occupants of vehicles trapped in flood waters. Queensland Police reported one person died and 2 survived after a vehicle was swept away by flood waters in Mount Ossa, north of Mackay on 11 May 2022.

On 12 May Queensland Police reported one person was missing in floods in Imbil, south of Gympie, but was later found safe and well. Local media reported several people were rescued from vehicles caught in floods in Caboolture, north of Brisbane. One man escaped flood waters in Bundaberg by clinging to a tree overnight.

BoM issued a Major Flood Warning for Warrill Creek and Bremer River on 12 May, with possible flooding affecting areas including Rosewood, Five Mile Bridge, Walloon, Ipswich, Kalbar and Harrisville in the south east of the state.

SES said, "There is LOTS of water on the roads across the south-east corner, with more rises expected. Please, if you can avoid travelling on the roads this afternoon and tonight, stay home. Our crews are always ready to assist when needed, but we need you to take every precaution to stay safe."

Reservoir levels are high and authorities have started releasing water from several dams including the Wivenhoe Dam, west of Brisbane. BoM warned minor flooding is likely along the Brisbane River. On 12 May an Emergency Alert was issued for Cressbrook Creek by Somerset Regional Council, which said the Cressbrook Dam is 1.2 metres above the spillway. Another Emergency Alert is in place for Cooby Creek near Toowoomba, where the Toowoomba Regional Council advises the Cooby Dam is spilling.

As of 12 May, Emergency Alerts for heavy rain or flooding were in place for Mount Tarampa and Prenzlau, Lockyer Valley, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Gympie, North Burnett and Killarney.

The Bureau of Meteorology said further heavy rainfall is expected for parts of the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett and South-East Coast forecast areas. SES said, "With six-hourly rainfall totals between 100mm to 160mm possible, flash flooding could occur during the early hours of Friday 13 May 2022."

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills 20 hogs, scores more injured in Fangyuan, Taiwan

A lightning strike yesterday killed 20 hogs and injured 140 at a pig farm in Changhua County's Fangyuan Township (芳苑) after an alleged failure to ground a lightning rod.

Most of the wounded pigs were not expected to recover and were to be euthanized, farm owner Lin Chia-chih (林家至) said, adding that he estimated the loss to be between NT$5 million and NT$6 million (US$168,322 and US$201,986).

The lightning bolt struck during an early-morning thunderstorm, hitting a spot that had been struck six months before, he said.


Canadian beekeepers suffer higher than usual winterkill numbers

The Chair of the Canadian Honey Council says it was a great summer for bees last year, but it was also great for growing Varroa mites.

Jake Berg says Varroa mites are a major biosecurity threat that has led to a major decline in the bee population over the winter.

"Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario are all talking about kind of 45 per cent losses as an average. Quebec is probably the hardest hit with about 60 per cent loss on average, and Saskatchewan is sitting at about 30 per cent, I believe at the moment. Typically, we expect 20 to 25 per cent as a high number."

He notes for some producers that were hit hard it's going to take multiple years to rebuild their colonies.