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Sat, 28 Jan 2023
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Earth Changes


Northern Hemisphere snow cover is 2nd highest in 17 years

Northern hemisphere snow cover.
© National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Northern hemisphere snow cover.
Snow cover is present from Minnesota all the way to Siberia.

The Northern Hemisphere is off to a good start for snow cover this season.

A check of Northern Hemisphere snow cover shows we're at the second-highest snow cover level in the past 17 years, since 2005.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover seasonal data
Northern Hemisphere snow cover seasonal data
You can see on the map below how there's snow cover from Minnesota, all the way north to the Arctic Circle across North America.

Cloud Lightning

Nearly 100,000 lightning strikes in New Zealand over the last week - one bolt ignites vehicle

Over the last week, New Zealand saw 91,349 lightning strikes, MetService said today.

That's an average of one lightning strike every seven seconds between last Wednesday and yesterday.

"Every region got a few sparks... except for the Canterbury High Country," the forecaster tweeted.

They added that 27,413 (30%) of those strikes were recorded over land.


Italy - Floods and storm surge prompt rescues and evacuations

Flood rescue in Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany
© Vigili del Fuoco, Siena
Flood rescue in Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany, Italy, 22 November 2022.
A wave of severe weather swept across Italy from 22 November 2022, including strong winds, high waves, storm surge and heavy rain. Emergency services carried out 2,500 interventions in 8 regions.

Italy's fire service Vigili del Fuoco reported a total of 2,500 interventions due to severe weather in 24 hours to 23 November 2022, including 715 in Lazio Region; 480 in Campania; 470 in Sardinia; 200 in Sicily; 300 in Veneto; 210 in Emilia Romagna and 180 in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Local media said the severe weather was brought by Storm Denise, which also affected the French island of Corsica. Many of the interventions were in response to damage caused by strong winds, including roofs ripped off buildings, and downed trees, branches and power lines. Vigili del Fuoco reported winds of more than 100 km/h in Trieste in Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. Stormy weather and roughs seas also affected areas in Sicily where ferry services were disrupted from the port at Milazzo.

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Portugal - 2 dead after heavy rains trigger landslide in Esposende

Authorities in the municipality of Esposende in Braga District of northern Portugal report that 2 people have died after a landslide following heavy rainfall.

Civil Protection in Portugal said a landslide and large rocks destroyed part of a single-family home in Palmeira de Faro in Esposende early on 23 November 2022. Two people died and 4 people were rescued unharmed.

A team of over 40 personnel from various emergency services worked for 16 hours to find the bodies of the deceased. Five engineers from the University of Minho were also at the scene.

The landslide also damaged neighbouring homes and residents of 3 houses were evacuated for safety concerns.


Toddler mauled to death in another pit bull attack in South Africa - 3rd such fatality in 10 days

A 15-month-old boy has been mauled to death in a pit bull attack in Gonubie Farm, East London on Wednesday, November 23.

Police say the toddler was playing in a neighbour's yard when the dog attacked him.

"According to police reports, the boy was playing with the neighbor's dog on the farm when the pit bull spotted a passer-by walking his dog. After failing to leave the yard, the pit bull is alleged to have returned to the child and bit him in the upper body," said Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana.

He added that after the incident, the paramedics were called to transport the child to a nearby hospital, where he was reported to have succumbed to injuries sustained.

Comment: Details of the other attacks:

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Panama - Deadly landslide in Colón, floods damage homes in Los Santos and Herrera

Civil Protection authorities in Panama report that two people have died after heavy rain triggered a landslide in Colón Province. Meanwhile flooding continues to affect communities in Los Santos and Herrera Provinces where dozens of homes have been damaged.

Heavy rain since the start of November has caused flooding and landslides in several provinces of the country. The rain is expected to continue until at least the end of the month.

The National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) said search and rescue personnel recovered two lifeless bodies of a father and son who were trapped in a house buried by a landslide in Cativá, Colón District, Colón Province on 21 November 2022.


50 injured after shallow 6.1 magnitude earthquake hits Turkey

A magnitude-6.1 earthquake struck northwest Turkey during Wednesday's early hours, injuring at least 50 people.

The shallow tremor struck about 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of Istanbul, the country's largest city, where it was strongly felt.

National authorities said the quake was at a magnitude of 5.9 -- lower than the 6.1 given by the US Geological Survey -- and its epicentre was in Duzce province's Golyaka district, though it also shook other nearby cities.

"We were woken up with a big noise and tremor," Duzce resident Fatma Colak told AFP.


Southern California feels effect of shallow 6.2-magnitude earthquake that struck off Mexican coast

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck near the coast of Mexico's Baja California on Tuesday morning, with impacts felt over 150 miles away in Southern California.

The United States Geological Survey says the quake occurred in the Pacific Ocean, about 125 miles south of the U.S. border.

A tsunami is not expected, according to the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center.

USGS reports indicate the earthquake could be felt as far as 200 miles away near Palm Desert, California. A USA TODAY journalist observed a small amount of shaking at an apartment building near Del Mar, California.

The USGS considers a 6.0 earthquake to be moderate and likely to cause property damage. In contrast, a 7.0 earthquake is considered strong, likely to be deadly and expected to cause billions in damage.

Comment: In addition the United States Geological Survey has the depth of the quake as 10 kms.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods cause 6 deaths in Montenegro, Albania, Serbia

Fooded streets, parks and homes in the town of Tutin.
© Tutin Municipality Official Facebook Page
Fooded streets, parks and homes in the town of Tutin.
Heavy rain during the weekend was blamed for a number of deaths in Western Balkan countries, while in some towns transportation was affected and some schools were suspended in Serbia and Albania.

In Montenegro, heavy rains caused flooding in northern and central parts and some local roads were cut off in the towns of Berane, Danilovgrad and Tuzi. On Sunday, police reported that three people drowned after their car was caught in the river near the capital, Podgorica.

Rivers overflowed in the southwest of Serbia in the Raska region. The towns of Novi Pazar, Tutin and Prijepolje were heavily flooded and a two-year-old boy drowned near Tutin in the river Vidrenjak, swollen by several hours of rain.

Primary and secondary schools in the Novi Pazar area were closed by the authorities, as large amounts of water were expected from the surrounding mountains during the night.


Wiarton area in Ontario saw over 120 cms (4 FEET) of snow during multi-day squall event

Wiarton saw over 120 centimetres of snow during a multi-day squall event from Nov. 17-20, 2022.
© Stu Paterson
Wiarton saw over 120 centimetres of snow during a multi-day squall event from Nov. 17-20, 2022.
The multi-day snow event that blanketed most of Bruce and Grey counties left more than 120 centimetres of accumulation in the Wiarton area.

Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson says the lake effect snow event brought squall activity to most of the region, but the Bruce Peninsula was most likely the hardest hit.

The snow started falling last Thursday evening and intensified at different times over the next few days, before the heaviest stuff tapered off by Sunday evening.

Coulson says the monitoring station at the Wiarton Keppel International Airport recorded somewhere between 120-125 centimetres had fallen during the multi-day weather event.