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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Earth Changes


Snowstorm leaves nearly 1 million without power in the US

A quick-hitting blast of winter weather left several inches of snow blanketing parts of the Southeast, before spreading into the mid-Atlantic, where it shut down much of the nation's capital.

A dramatic weather pattern change marked the first days of 2022 across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, replacing the 80-degree warmth in some locations with an all-out snowstorm. The onslaught of the first accumulating snow of the season for many left several cities along the East Coast nearly shut down, snarled traffic, left nearly 1 million without power on Monday and has been blamed for at least one fatality, according to officials.

The storm unleashed hefty snow amounts across parts of Tennessee and North Carolina, with accumulations climbing to 9.0 inches in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and 11.0 inches in Swiss, North Carolina. Even areas as far south as Alabama were hit with a blast of wintry weather, and Moores Mill, Alabama, picked up 7.0 inches of snow.


Boy died after dog attack in remote Northern Territory, Australia

dog attack
A young boy who died after going missing from a remote central Australian desert community was mauled during an "horrific" dog attack.

The three-year-old's family reported his absence on Friday evening about 11am after searching Hermannsburg, southwest of Alice Springs, for several hours.

Northern Territory police joined the search late on New Year's Eve and an officer found the injured child about 9am on Saturday.

He was taken to the local health clinic but died before he could be treated.


6.2 magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan, tremors felt in capital city

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Taiwan on Monday evening with shaking felt in the capital Taipei, but authorities said there were no immediate reports of widespread damage or injuries.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake measured 6.2 in magnitude and hit at a depth of 28 kilometres (17 miles).

The epicentre was given in the sea 64 kilometres east of the coastal city of Hualien.

Taiwan's fire service said initial impact reports were limited to a handful of people stuck in elevators who had since been rescued.


Man dies after Chicago dog attack, officials say

A 34-year-old man was fatally mauled by dogs on the Far South Side, officials said Saturday.

Police were called to a residence in the 300 block of West 108th Place in the Roseland neighborhood about 11:30 pm. Thursday and found the still-unidentified man in a living room, with "visible dog bites" about the body, police said.

An autopsy Saturday determined the man died of multiple injuries from a dog mauling, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. His death was ruled an accident.

Three dogs - two pit bulls and one American Bully, were found inside the home and city's department of animal control and care was notified, police said.


3 tornadoes confirmed in Kentucky after severe weather in the Mid-South on Saturday

tornado kentucky
© 98.7 WHOP FM
98.7 WHOP FM in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, reports significant damage from a possible tornado on the east side of the town near East Ninth and Campbell streets. No immediate reports of significant injuries.
The first storm system of 2022 produced severe storms and flooding rains from Arkansas to the Mid-Atlantic, ahead of a major cool down that will remind residents in the eastern half of the nation that the country is in the heart of winter.

Some of the areas that were hardest hit included northern Alabama, Tennessee and southern Kentucky where wind damage and flooding were reported. At least three tornadoes have been confirmed in Kentucky as of Sunday morning.

The National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky, said a survey team has found damage consistent with an EF-2 tornado in Hopkinsville. While the survey will continue, preliminary information showed winds were near 115 mph with a part of about 125 yards.

Snowflake Cold

Storm brings lots of snow to Juneau and Southeast Alaska - up to 30 inches

The snowstorm brought varying amounts around the City and Borough of Juneau and Southeast Alaska.

Meteorologist Rick Fritsch in the Juneau Forecast Office said they received 10 point 4 inches at their location on Back Loop Road. Over 13 inches was recorded atop Cordova Street in West Juneau. The number at the airport was not that high because winds there were blowing the snow off their measuring boards. So only 4 point 2 inches were recorded at the airport as a result. Auke Bay reported 6 point 5 inches.

There were greater amounts recorded in other Southeast locations including Petersburg which measured 15 point 8 inches. Hyder in southern Southeast Alaska had 30 inches, according to the forecaster.


Chicago snowstorm sees more than 1,000 flights canceled as New Year travel mayhem worsens

A Chicago snowstorm caused more than 1,000 flight cancelations as New Year travel mayhem worsens.

The winter storm is the latest blow to the travel industry as around 900 flights were canceled across the US on Thursday due to the new Covid variant causing staff shortages.

On Saturday, over 1,000 flights were canceled in Chicago as a New Year's Day snowstorm made its way into the area.

At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, 844 flights were canceled, while at Midway Airport, an additional 273 were axed.

By late Saturday afternoon on the East Coast, more than 2,600 US flights and nearly 4,600 worldwide had been canceled, according to tracking service FlightAware.


Snow covers Saudi Arabia's Tabuk region on New Year's Day

People enjoy a moment in the snow in Tabuk
People enjoy a moment in the snow in Tabuk.
Snow blanketed parts of Saudi Arabia's north-western city of Tabuk on New Year's Day, footage shared online showed.

People have been flocking to Jebel Al Lawz since Saturday, when snow began to fall in most areas.

The extreme weather led the security forces to close the road leading to the area after thousands of residents and visitors arrived to enjoy the sight, reports said.

More snow is expected to fall on Jebel Al Lawz as well as the mountain areas of Al Dhahr and Alqan early on Sunday, with temperatures expected to drop below 0°C.

Cloud Precipitation

Thunderstorm and severe floods sweep across Shinas, Oman - 6 killed (UPDATE)

A majestic thunderstorm, unprecedented huge clouds and massive floods sweeping the state of Shinas, Sultanate of Oman.

Comment: Update: The National reported on January 1:
Flooding in Oman, triggered by heavy rainfall that began on New Year's Eve, has killed six people and left several towns completely cut off.

Oman TV reported on Saturday that a man was found dead in his vehicle after he tried to cross a wadi in Samail province.

A vehicle is trapped by floodwater after the tropical Cyclone Shaheen in Al Khaburah city in Al Batinah on October 4, 2021
A vehicle is trapped by floodwater after the tropical Cyclone Shaheen in Al Khaburah city in Al Batinah on October 4, 2021
Another victim "was drowned in a wadi in Liwa," the report said.

The towns of Liwa, Sohar, Samail, Sur and Wahibah were cut off when the country received more than 72 millimetres of rainfall.

For many in Oman, New Year plans were a washout.

"We were planning a party on the beach on New Year's Eve. We already pitched a large tent right on the sands but rains spoiled everything last night. Not much of a New Year in Muscat this time around," Khalaf Al Saeedi, 33, a resident of Seeb, told The National.

The New Year coincided with the weekend in Oman and many people had planned to spend the day outdoors.

Shamsa Al Saleh, 23, said she had to cancel an all-girls trip with her friends.

"Roads are closed towards Wahiba Sands in Sharqiyah because of the rains. We were planning to have lunch there today," she said.

Wadi flood danger

Oman Television showed vehicles floating down streets in the raging torrents of flooded wadis, as owners desperately tried to tow them out.

Salam Al Wahaibi, 27, who was in Sur in the eastern region on Friday, said the heavy rainfall caught people by surprise.

"Many of us have been caught in areas around the wadis. We were trying to camp in one of those places, thinking the rain will not be heavy. I saw at least six cars floating in the water and owners could not do anything but shout," he said.

The Batinah region, which was devastated by Cyclone Shaheen in October, escaped with no "significant" damage to homes, Oman Television said, although trade and traffic were disrupted.

"I will not be able to open my restaurant for few more days until the water that flooded the road has been cleared," Ali Al Shamsi, a restaurant owner in the town of Liwa, told The National.

Parents expressed caution, saying that they may not send their children to school on Sunday, the first day of the week.

"I will not drive my two children to school tomorrow in case the rains get worse. I will wait and see until Monday," Fareed Al Abri, 44, who lives in Muscat, told The National.

The meteorological office said moderate to heavy rains would continue until January 5 and warned the public to avoid wadis and low-lying areas.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods hit large swaths of drought-stricken Iran


A flooded town in southeastern Iran.
Floods caused by torrential rains have swept through drought-stricken Iran disrupting electricty and clean water in the worst-hit areas of the south and east.

Head of the crisis management taskforce of Hormozgan province said on Saturday that an eight-year-old girl was drowned by floodwater in Bandar Abbas. He added that about 30 villages lost power and a lot of roads are blocked, making rescue operations even harder and slower. Floods have also caused damage to agricultural lands, houses and infrastructure.

In the eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, the flood has caused enormous material damage, leading to the closure of schools, shops and offices. The province was already suffering from lack of clean water amid a drought.