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Wed, 27 May 2020
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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Kilauea volcano has growing lake that could lead to explosive eruption in Hawaii

Halema‘uma‘u crater
© Joshua Stevens / Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey
The sequence of satellite images above shows Halema‘uma‘u crater before the lava lake drained (left), after the caldera floor had collapsed (middle) and after water pooled on the crater floor for nine months (right).
The Halema'uma'u crater on Kilauea, located in Hawaii, has been relatively quiet over the last year after a frenzy of activity in 2018, which all began with an explosive eruption of ash 30,000 feet into the air during May. But, since at least 2019, there has been a change that scientists believe could pose a potential danger to the Big Island. Water has started to collect in the caldera to form a lake.

A caldera is a large crater left behind in a volcano after an eruption. From 2010 until 2018, a lava lake had filled the caldera rather than water. That changed in May 2018 when the eruption caused the lava lake to drain, collapsing the caldera floor and causing a hole nearly as deep as the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center. The eruption also created a 459-foot cliff (140 meters) north of the crater.

About a year later, a helicopter pilot flying over the volcano noticed a mysterious green pool of water in the Halema'uma'u crater. A second report of the same findings from a helicopter passenger prompted USGS-Hawaiian Volcano Observatory researchers to survey the green pool of water.

Cloud Lightning

Giant red sprites filmed above electric storm over Texas

sprites texas
© Stephen Hummel
Our changed atmosphere: A huge line of thunderstorms 100 miles away generated a fantastic display of red sprites, as seen from McDonald Observatory. They were easily visible with the naked eye, although not in color. Bands of airglow colored the sky red and green, although those features were not apparent to the naked eye. The large storm system generated gravity waves, which caused a ripple effect in the airglow.
An astronomer at the McDonald Observatory has discovered a planet with fantastic red and green ripples in its atmosphere. It looks a lot like Texas.

Stephen Hummel was walking across the famous University of Texas observatory grounds a couple hours after sunset on May 13th when he noticed the flash of lightning from a distant thunderstorm. "I saw a large column of sprites leaping into the sky and rushed to set up my camera," he says. Aiming southeast towards the city of Alpine, he recorded this movie:

Comment: There was a time when capturing a sprite on camera was rare. Now they occur daily and can be seen without special cameras...

Snowflake Cold

Parts of UK see record low temperatures

Katesbridge has recorded its coldest ever May temperature
© Johnston Press Resell
Katesbridge has recorded its coldest ever May temperature
Parts of the UK saw some of their lowest May temperatures on record overnight, according to the Met Office.

Katesbridge and Castlederg in Northern Ireland plunged to -6.1C and -3.9C respectively overnight thanks to a combination of clear skies and Arctic air coming in from the north.

It followed a chilly Wednesday which saw a minimum temperature of -5C in Tulloch Bridge, Scotland, and a maximum temperature of 15C in Gosport, Hampshire, and Porthmadog, north Wales.

However forecasters predict that temperatures will begin to rise over coming days to reach around 25C by the middle of next week.


Florida wildfires burn 5,000 acres, evacuations ordered as Interstate 75 closed

At least 5,000 acres have been after wildfires spread across Southwest Florida on Wednesday.
© Naples Fire-Rescue Department
At least 5,000 acres have been after wildfires spread across Southwest Florida on Wednesday.
At least four brush fires merged into one blaze and scorched thousands of acres across Southwest Florida as of Thursday, spurring evacuations and shutting down a major interstate.

The Florida Forestry Service said that one of the fires near Naples threatened about 30 homes in the Collier County area of Golden Gate Estates. As of Wednesday night, the blaze grew to around 5,000 acres after four different brush fires combined,

"We don't have any reportable containment as of yet," Greater Naples Fire Rescue District Chief Kingman Schuldt told the Naples Daily News.

One of the fires caused a toll section of Interstate 75 known as Alligator Alley to close for about 20 miles, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The roadway was shut down as of Thursday morning.

Cloud Precipitation

Severe hailstorm leaves streets of Delhi covered in icy white blanket

Severe hailstorm in Delhi, India - 14 May 2020.

Comment: The aftermath:


Video of funnel cloud near Vancouver

Funnel cloud spotted over Vancouver on May 12, 2020.
© @leonard_tang/Twitter
Funnel cloud spotted over Vancouver on May 12, 2020.
Tuesday evening's stormy skies over Metro Vancouver may have produced a funnel cloud.

Photos and a video posted onto social media show a funnel cloud hovering over the Fraser River delta near Vancouver International Airport. The distinctive weather formation was also seen from a distance in the southern horizon from downtown Vancouver.

A thunderstorm cell was reported in the area, but according to The Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton it is a tossup over whether this was a supercell, which is commonly associated with producing potent tornadoes.


Thousands of fish found dead at Humboldt Lake, Saskatchewan

Dead fish were found on the shores of Humboldt Lake after the 2020 spring thaw.
© Cindy O'Neil
Dead fish were found on the shores of Humboldt Lake after the 2020 spring thaw.
Piles of dead fish were trucked away or buried on the shores of Humboldt Lake this week, after what the area's reeve is calling a bad winter kill.

Posts on Facebook described thousands of fish being found over the weekend, as winds pushed the bodies to shore.

"In some places (they were) two deep, three deep along the shoreline," said Larry Ries, reeve of the R.M. of Humboldt.

He told 650 CKOM while a winter kill isn't unusual in the small lake south of Humboldt, the numbers this year seemed "severe."

Cloud Precipitation

MASSIVE hail pummels General Terán, Nuevo León State, Mexico

MASSIVE Hail Pummels General Terán, Nuevo León State, Mexico - May 13, 2020

Cloud Precipitation

Hailstones rain down in the dry season in the Philippines

Pellets of ice rained down in Nueva Ecija and Baguio City on Sunday amid the dry season, according to Lei Alviz's Tuesday report on 24 Oras.

In a video uploaded by Princess Kylie Dela Cruz on social media, the hailstorm in Jaen, Nueva Ecija was accompanied by strong thunderstorms.

Dela Cruz said it was hot during the day but that rain poured hard in the afternoon.


Waterspout filmed in Gautier, Mississippi

The moment a waterspout made landfall in Gautier, MS on Thursday May 14 2020 morning.

Incredible video sent to WLOX from viewer Rick Minkler.