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Tue, 20 Oct 2020
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Earth Changes


Alps surprised by early snowfall, 2 Swiss towns set new records of 10 inches and nearly 2 feet

St Anton, Austria

St Anton, Austria
Parts of Switzerland, Austria and Germany were surprised by unseasonably early snowfall overnight, after a sharp drop in temperatures and heavy precipitation.

The Swiss meteorological agency said Saturday that the town of Montana, in the southern canton (state) of Valais, experienced 25 centimeters (almost 10 inches) of snowfall — a new record for this time of year.


Beautiful sun halo brightens Singapore skies

Sun halo over Singapore
© Desmond Wee
A sun halo seen from a Housing Board block near Guillemard Road at about 12.15pm yesterday. The weather phenomenon occurs when thin clouds are so high in the sky that the water in them consists of ice crystals rather than droplets. These crystals act like tiny prisms, reflecting and refracting light in a way that creates what appears to be a ring around the sun.

Yesterday's sun halo was visible from locations across eastern Singapore such as Tampines, Simei and Ubi around noon.

A less distinct halo was seen three weeks ago, near the Merlion.


Yellow-bellied Flycatcher from North America turns up on Tiree, Scotland - first time recorded in Western Palearctic

Rich olive-green above, with a complete bold eye-ring, an orange lower mandible,
© John Bowler
Rich olive-green above, with a complete bold eye-ring, an orange lower mandible, a distinct yellow suffusion on the throat and down the breast, plus the bird's overall 'cute' look, diagnosed the 'Empid' as Britain and the Western Palearctic's first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
A fast-moving depression whipped across the North Atlantic and struck the Isle of Tiree early on Sunday 13 September 2020. Conditions looked ideal for bringing a North American bird or two across 'the pond' and I even fantasized about finding an Empidonax flycatcher. However, checks of my local patch at Balephuil later that day produced nothing new other than a Lesser Whitethroat and a small influx of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

A fresh juvenile Common Rosefinch popped up briefly in our garden the following day and with the winds slackening in a ridge of high pressure, my bird-finding thoughts switched back towards drift migrants from the east. First thing on Tuesday morning, I casually opened the curtains of our lounge windows with a cup of tea in hand and was dumbfounded by what I saw! In exactly the same willow where the rosefinch had been the previous day, a boldly marked flycatcher eyed me from just a few metres away. Rich olive-green above, with a complete bold eye-ring, an orange lower mandible, a distinct yellow suffusion on the throat and down the breast, and very striking whitish wing-bars and edgings to the tertials and secondaries - it was an Empidonax flycatcher! I grabbed my camera and took a few record shots to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly flash floods in Gilan Province, Iran

Floods in Talesh County Gilan Province, Iran, September 2020.
© Iran Red Crescent
Floods in Talesh County Gilan Province, Iran, September 2020.
At least 2 people died after flash floods struck in northern Iran.

According to the Iranian Red Crescent, heavy rainfall triggered flash flooding in Talesh County in the northern province of Gilan on 20 September.

Flooding caused damage to homes, roads and bridges in 6 villages of the county. Two fatalities were reported.

Iranian Red Crescent has distributed relief items such as tents, blankets, hygiene items and food.


First ever Iberian subtropical storm recorded

Subtropical Storm Alpha
© NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)
On Sept. 18, 2020, NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Subtropical Storm Alpha in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean near Portugal’s coast.
The first ever subtropical storm has been recorded in an occurrence described by meteorologists as a "historic fact".

According to weather experts, subtropical storm Alpha, which barrelled along the Portuguese coast and through some parts of Spain last weekend, was the first event of its kind to be registered since weather records began.

This was first put forward by Spanish meteorologists and later confirmed by the Portuguese Met Office (IPMA).

In some cases along the Portuguese coast, particularly the stretches along the Algarve and up to Lisbon, entire beaches were consumed by rapid rises in sea levels, while winds of up to 100km/h were registered in some inland locations.

On 18 September, 522 occurrences were registered by civil protection authorities due to strong rain and wind which wreaked havoc in various parts of the country.

The early hours of 19 September were calmer, but the Civil Protection service still registered 33 occurrences, mostly associated to falling trees, flooding, toppling structures and tidal surges in coastal areas.

Cloud Lightning

Rare 'supercell' storm brings intense hail to Yorkshire, UK

Yorkshire hail storm
Particularly hard-hit by the hail were Guiseley, Baildon and Otley
A "supercell" storm of heavy showers, hail and thunder left parts of Yorkshire under a thick blanket of hailstones on Thursday evening.

The storms, which began at about 16:00 BST, battered much of the region with lightning continuing for several hours.

Hail was reportedly up to 2.5cm (1in) in diameter in places, making conditions difficult for drivers.

A supercell is a severe variety of thunderstorm caused by a change in wind speed and direction.

BBC Weather forecaster Billy Payne said: "We don't see supercells all too often in the UK - they are more commonly seen in the United States Great Plains where they can produce powerful tornadoes and large hail at times."

People living in Baildon, Guiseley, Otley and Menston, shared images on social media of the flash storms leaving them in several centimetres of hail.

Comment: British astrophysicists: "mini ice age is accelerating - New 'Maunder Minimum' has begun," look at changes in Beaufort Gyre


Ice Age Farmer Report: Violent, diseased super-pigs - Vector for next pandemic?

super pigs
The USDA has warned that "SuperPigs" have arrived, and with them, myriad virus (including the G4 swine flu that threatens zoonotic transmission). Media has gone to town on this story -- ensuring it reaches the collective conscious -- but why? Could these superpigs be the vector by which a new disease might be delivered, ensuring that we re-engineer our food supply and end animal agriculture? Problem, reaction, famine: Christian breaks it down.



Early snow in the northern hemisphere, late in the southern

La Rosiere in France

La Rosiere in France
The forecast late-September snowfall in the Alps is underway, with resorts posting pictures and video of snow landing down to around 1500 metres altitude.

There's also fresh snowfall in the Dolomites, Pyrenees and up in Scandinavia as well as in Canada and in the southern hemisphere in Australia and New Zealand.

The snow in the Alps is being reported right across the mountains and is expected to continue through the weekend leaving some quite significant accumulations on higher slopes.

Comment: Away from the high ground in Australia snow has been falling in areas where it's not usually seen according to the following report from news.com.au:
Melbourne, Sydney weather: 'Polar plunge' brings snow across four states, cuts power to thousands

After delivering snow to places where it's never been seen before, the polar blast has hit Sydney with a severe weather warning in place.

Thousands were left without power in Sydney's east this afternoon after being lashed with strong winds, causing 130 electrical hazards as roofs were torn from homes and powerlines were dragged down.

Winds of more than 100km/h were recorded across the city as Bondi, Bondi Beach and North Bondi were left without electricty from 1.40pm, affecting 1700 residents.

Power has since been restored in these areas.

It comes as the city was hit by the "polar surge" that rocked Australia's south east today, bringing some of the coldest September temperatures for years and delivering snow to places that have never seen it before.

A severe weather warning is place for damaging winds of up to 90 km/h for the Illawarra and Southern Highlands to Sydney and the Central Coast.

"A strong cold front is bringing gusty winds to much of NSW today. Vigorous winds are expected to continue during Saturday in the front's wake," the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.

Temperatures are also set to fall in Sydney and other parts of New South Wales as the system passes through.

Elsewhere, snow has fallen as low as just a few hundred meters above seal level as a "polar plunge" sweeps across south eastern Australia. It's so cold, people have been seen skiing 200kms north of Adelaide.

"We have snow here in western Victoria in places that never or rarely have snow," said one Victorian on Twitter.

Temperatures in Melbourne didn't get into double figures until 10.30am on Friday morning with the day set to top out a just 12C.

Parts of Victoria may experience a September day that hasn't been this chilly since the early 2000s.

The BOM has said Friday and Saturday temperatures will be so chilly it will feel more like mid-July than late-September.

A cold air mass brewed up from the Great Australian Bight on Thursday night and is now passing through Victoria and southern New South Wales.

Images have been posted online of snow falling close to Jamestown, Peterborough and Hallet in SA as well as on the lower slopes of Mt Elephant close to Lismore in Victoria, 170 km west of Melbourne. Lismore is only around 200 metres above sea level.

On Friday, the BOM labelled the weather event a "polar plunge" that could bring hail and thunder as seen as snow with maximums 5 - 10C below the average for this time of year.

Comment: Elsewhere in the southern hemisphere late substantial snow has also been predicted for South Africa this weekend reports The South African:
There's a cold front sweeping in from the west of the country, and as the temperatures plummet, some of the forecast rain is likely to bring brief snow flurries with it on Saturday. The weather is taking a turn for a miserable in both the Western Cape and Eastern Cape this weekend, and the next few days promise to be chilly.


According to the latest forecasts from Ventusky - the weather mapping service that uses up-to-the-minute data - there will be a substantial amount of settling snow in regions that are well-known for their wintery aesthetics.

It is predicted that snow will make landfall on Saturday morning. Only the two aforementioned provinces will be hit by the icy change in weather, but given that the affected locations are high above sea level, a little blizzard or two isn't exactly out of the ordinary for them. This may be relatively late in the year for a snow forecast, but it's nothing a few extra blankets and a decent heater can't help with!

Arrow Down

Floods and landslides kill 17 in past 3 days in Nepal

The landslide occurred around 50 metres
© Hobindra Bogati
The landslide occurred around 50 metres above the two-storey stone and mud house in Syangja.
Seventeen people have died from floods and landslides triggered by incessant rains in the last three days in Nepal.

According to the National Emergency Operation Center of the Home Ministry, 17 people died in the period of three days from Tuesday to Thursday due to natural disasters.

Similarly, 15 others have gone missing during the same period, according to the records maintained by the Center.

A total of 14 people died on Thursday alone. Over 90 percent of damages were caused by the landslides, said Murari Wasti, the chief of the Center.

Comment: Sadly, to be added to this total - 307 killed, 100 missing due to floods and landslides in past 3 months across Nepal

Cloud Precipitation

Rise in incidence of cyclones over the north Indian Ocean (and floods)

Based on the statistics during 1891-2017, on an average 5 cyclones develop over North Indian Ocean in a year with 4 developing over Bay of Bengal and 1 over Arabian Sea.

However, in the recent past increase in frequency had been observed in formation of cyclones in the North Indian Ocean.

Also studies show an increase in frequency of severe cyclones over Arabian Sea in recent years.

The details of Cyclones formed over North Indian Ocean during 2017 to 2019 follow: