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Fri, 23 Oct 2020
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Earth Changes


6.0-magnitude earthquake hits off Fiji

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 jolted 232 km E of Levuka, Fiji at 10:11:46 GMT on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 628.52 km, was initially determined to be at 18.0249 degrees south latitude and 178.4906 degrees west longitude.

Cloud Precipitation

Storm Alex: More dead and missing in France as impact grows

Alpes-Maritimes Storm Alex

Aerial photos from the villages in Alpes-Maritimes show mudslides and devastation after Storm Alex hit.
At least 20 people are missing, at least three have died, and villages in southeast France are still without water or electricity, as the €1billion-plus devastation wreaked by Storm Alex continues to emerge.

In Alpes-Maritimes, the villages of Saint-Martin-Vésubie, Roquebillière, Breil-sur-Roya, and Tende are among some of the worst-affected, after almost a year's worth of rain fell in 10 hours overnight from Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 October, causing mudslides and devastating flooding.

At least 20 people are still missing, firefighters in Alpes-Maritimes told news service FranceInfo, as of Monday October 5. This includes eight people "confirmed missing" and "a dozen suspected".

Comment: See the previous report: Two dead, several missing in southeastern France as Storm Alex pummels western Europe with torrential rain


Michigan's Upper Peninsula sees early snowfall

Michigan's Upper Peninsula got its first measurable snowfall in the last few days and it is a breathtaking sight.

We'll circle back and ask you just how beautiful you think it is a few months from now, after you've shoveled, slipped on the ice, and navigated snow-covered roads. But for now, it's lovely.

YouTube user Deependra Nath posted the video below of what appears to be wet, heavy snow weighing down branches in the U.P. The video was taken on October 1.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 3, seriously injures 7 in Tripura, India

At least three people were killed in lightning strikes during a thunderstorm in Gomati district of Tripura on Monday, officials said.

The incident was reported from the Maharani area of the district, the officials added.

After from the three deceased, seven others were seriously injured in the lightning strike.


Waterspout filmed off Vladivostok, Russia

Waterspout in Russia, Vladivostok on Oct 4, 2020.

Snowflake Cold

Early snowfall at low elevations in Spain - up to 10 inches thick

3 Oct 2020 - The effects of storm Álex are felt at low elevations with snow thicknesses up to 25 cm.

The mercury dropped to 5C below zero in Cerler, the coldest temperature in Spain on Saturday, followed by Torla with minus 2.1C, and Panticosa with minus 1.8C, according the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).

Along with this strong cooling, the Huesca Pyrenees has registered snowfalls ranging from 8cm in the Casa de Piedra Refuge at 1,600 meters to 30 cm (1 ft) in the Refuge from Bachimaña at 2,200 meters.

Snowflake Cold

Winter arrives early in southern Siberia

Siberia cold

Northern Siberia has been tracking anomalously warm of late, while the south has been unusually cold — a setup serving as yet another example of the meridional (wavy) jet stream flow brought about by the historically low solar activity we're currently receiving.

On Sept 15, 2020 NOAA and NASA announced that the new Solar Cycle 25 has begun. Since then, the sun has been blank almost 90% of the time, writes Dr. Tony Phillips of spaceweather.com. Our star has been devoid of sunspots for 199 day in 2020, or 71% of the time. This sustained lack of spots shows that Solar Minimum of SC24 is not over; that SC25 is still too weak to break its icy grip.

Comment: See also:

Snowflake Cold

Ice and fire in Argentina - 2 feet of late snowfall in Patagonia after storm

Two feet of snow and far below freezing in some areas, temperatures up to 43°C in others.

Meteorología de la República Argentina

PATAGONIA - Snowflakes 50 to 60 cm (2 ft) of snow in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. With temperatures below zero, it differs from the North Argentina, registering thermal contrasts of + 40°C.


Short-tailed shearwaters fail to arrive at breeding ground for second year running in Victoria, Australia

The short-tailed shearwater is a prodigious but extremely punctual traveller — but that's not been the case for the past few years.
© Eric Woehler
The short-tailed shearwater is a prodigious but extremely punctual traveller — but that's not been the case for the past few years.
Bird experts are concerned after a migratory shorebird colony failed to arrive in south-east Australia in time for start of the breeding season for the second straight year.

The short-tailed shearwater, or mutton bird, is one of Australia's most common and hardy birds.

Each year the birds clock up more than 32,000 kilometres, following the warm weather between the northern and southern hemispheres as they chase an "eternal summer".

Known for their endurance and accuracy, the birds usually arrive along Victoria's south-east coast to breed within 48 hours of September 22.

But last year only half of the 40,000-strong colony at Port Fairy's Griffiths Island turned up.

This year the island's bird count remains at zero more than a week after they were expected to arrive.


Four million acres burned in California wildfires

A firefighter battles the Glass Fire burning in a Calistoga, Calif., vineyard Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
© AP/Noah Berger
A firefighter battles the Glass Fire burning in a Calistoga, Calif., vineyard Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
California is poised to hit a fearsome milestone: 4 million acres burned this year by wildfires that have killed 30 people and incinerated hundreds of homes in what is already the worst fire season on record.

Flames have scorched an area larger than Connecticut and fire crews at a blaze in the northern wine country were on high alert as forecasters warned of red flag conditions of extreme fire danger into Saturday morning.

Winds up to 30 mph (48 kph) were forecast to push through the hills in Napa and Sonoma counties as the Glass Fire, exploded in size earlier in the week, continued to threaten more than 28,000 homes and other buildings.

"It's a time of nervousness," said Paul Gullixon, a spokesman for Sonoma County.