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Wed, 23 Aug 2017
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Earth Changes


Satellite captures epic scale of Greenland inferno in intricate detail

© Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company
Mesmerizing satellite images of a massive wildfire in Greenland have been captured from space.

While the wildfire could possibly be the biggest in the icy country's history, their satellite records go back only as far as the year 2000, and it's "certainly the biggest one" in that respect, said remote-sensing scientist Stef Lhermitte, speaking to New Scientist.

Wildfires in Greenland, which is mostly associated with snow, are not unusual. In fact, the region experienced similar wildfires in both August 2016 and 2015, but "2017 is exceptional in the number of active fire detections," Professor Lhermitte tweeted.

Comment: Unusual wildfires are burning in Greenland

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill 6 people and 4 cattle in Ethiopia

Lightning strikes kill six people in Ethiopia's northeastern region. The incident happened in Afar regional state, one of Ethiopia's developing regional states, with majority arid and semi-arid climate conditions, a state prone to negative weather conditions, including the recent El Nino driven drought that hits Ethiopia since 2015.

The tragedies occurred amid the Ethiopian Meteorology Agency's latest warning over the prospect of above-average rainfall with a probable thunderstorm.

Two people were killed as a result of the first lightning accident in Afar's Ewa district, while four others also lost their life attacked by another lightning accidents accident in another district, called Chefra, the Ethiopian State News Agency ENA quoted the regional Disaster Risk Management office as saying.

The two lightning strikes were accompanied by heavy rain and thunderstorm in the two districts, claiming six human lives and four cattle, it was indicated.


Boy bitten by shark: 3rd attack on Hilton Head, 5th in South Carolina in 2017

Experts at the International Shark Attack File have confirmed a 10-year-old Kentucky boy was the third person bitten by a shark on Hilton Head Island since June.

Johnny Simatacolos said he didn't know what was happening when he felt a sharp pain from the bottom of his foot while swimming on a Sea Pines Beach around 3 p.m July 29 — the last day of his island vacation. He was swimming in waist deep water, not far from shore, around beach marker 47.

"I thought something bit me or I stepped on something like a crab," the fourth grader from Prospect, Ken., said. "I was screaming, a little. It was bleeding badly."

Johnny's parents treated his abrasions, assuming he just stepped on something, and bandaged his foot, according to dad Jim Simatacolos. He said there weren't lifeguards in the area at the time.


Four extreme weather events across U.S. in early August

Damage from rare August tornado in Tulsa, Oklahoma
From coast to coast, a plethora of extreme weather has kicked off the month of August. Some of these weather events are what you might expect to occur in the heart of summer, while others are unusual.

Here are four extreme events we've seen so far, and what could be ahead.

1. Top 10 Cool Start

The Plains and Midwest have seen temperatures nowhere near the torrid levels typically expected in early August.

For some cities in those regions, the first eight days of August ranked among the 10 coolest for that period in more than 100 years of records.

Among the locations are Sioux City, Iowa (tied, second-coolest), Kansas City (third-coolest), Denver (ninth-coolest) and Cincinnati (ninth-coolest), according to data from NOAA's Regional Climate Centers.

If you are enjoying the early fall preview, we have good news: this overall cooler-than-average temperature regime is likely to continue into next week.

Temperatures compared to average Aug. 1-7, 2017.

Comment: Extreme and unusual weather continues in the United States as it did in late July.

For more coverage on the extreme weather affecting the entire planet, check out our monthly SOTT Earth Changes Summaries.


Earthquake swarm near Rijeka, Croatia

© Volcano Discovery
A series of earthquakes have hit a region around the Croatian city of Rijeka in the northern Adriatic between Tuesday and Wednesday.

There have been six earthquakes of moderate intensity in the past 24 hours, causing panic among residents and tourists, but no serious damage.

In August 2016, a strong earthquake hit Amatrice in neighboring Italy, where about 300 people lost their lives.

Just like Italy, parts of Croatia are in the shadow and risk areas, especially in the capital Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, and Dalmatia.

According to data from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), the first earthquake hit Rijeka on Tuesday evening with a magnitude of 3.7 on the Richter scale. The same area shook again couple of times during the night, while the latest earthquake was recorded on Wednesday afternoon, with a magnitude of 3.5.

"Unfortunately, we can't tell if a series of earthquakes has definitely stopped...It is possible that this series will continue for weeks," seismologist Tomislav Fiket told N1 television on Wednesday.


Hurricane Franklin, first of Atlantic season, barrels toward eastern Mexico

© Felix Marquez/AP
Fishermen move their boats, normally moored in the Gulf of Mexico, onto a coastal road to protect them ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Franklin, in the port city of Veracruz, Mexico, on Wednesday.
Franklin has strengthened into the Atlantic Basin's first hurricane of 2017 over the Bay of Campeche, but is now bearing down on eastern Mexico as the hurricane heads ashore.

The center of Franklin is now less than 70 miles north of Veracruz, Mexico, moving west at 10 to 15 mph in the Bay of Campeche.

Conditions are quickly deteriorating on the coast of eastern Mexico as bands of rain and gusty winds move ashore.

La Vigueta in the state of Veracruz has reported a wind gust of 45 mph, while hurricane hunters reported wind gusts as high as 90 mph a few hundred miles off the coast mid-Wednesday evening.

Hurricane or tropical storm-force winds are expected along the coast into Thursday morning, particularly in Veracruz state.

Franklin's intensity could fluctuate through the early morning hours as the hurricane moves ashore and battles with friction.

A hurricane warning has been issued by the government of Mexico for Franklin's second landfall in parts of eastern Mexico, from Puerto de Veracruz to Cabo Rojo.

Cloud Grey

Bizarre clouds form a 'vortex' over Finland

© liisasii / Instagram
A mesmerizing cloud which appeared as a huge round hole in the sky captivated onlookers in Helsinki, Finland.

The incredible phenomenon was spotted in Finnish skies on Wednesday morning and snapped by locals who shared pictures of the stunning formation on social media.

While social media users speculated on what could have caused the vortex-like swirling clouds, the Finnish Meteorological Institute weighed in with their scientific explanation, saying it was likely a result of ice crystals reacting with a cloud 'plate' of droplets below.

"That cloud layer, which is now there, is about six to seven miles (10-12km) high, and the temperature is over 20 degrees frost (12 Fahrenheit). One explanation could be that if ice crystals come from above cloud layers, it causes very rapid liquid water freezing in ice crystals, where clouds will rain down and evaporate at the same time," Paavo Korpela, a meteorologist with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, told Iltalehti.

Arrow Down

Climate scientists faking data for more funds

The government climate scientists and other academics currently attempting to extort money out of President Trump, are no longer making any effort to maintain any level of plausibility to their lies.

This is their graph.

© The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rainfall causes widespread flooding in Houston, Texas; 6 inches of rain overnight

© Ian McKay/LSM
Heavy rains inundated Texas on Tuesday
Heavy rains that caused flooding in some parts of the Houston area and prompted about two-dozen water rescues on Tuesday seemed to have let up, but with more rain expected authorities remain on guard and residents should stay prepared, officials said.

"Unfortunately, this is one of those Texas flood events that's part of living in Southeast Texas," said Michael Walter, a spokesman for Houston's Office of Emergency Management.

While the thunderstorms that dropped up to 5 to 6 inches of rains in some parts of Houston overnight into Tuesday have mostly moved out of the area, additional storms could pop up Tuesday afternoon, which could cause additional flooding in areas already saturated by rainfall.

"We don't want anyone to let their guard down just because it stopped raining for now," Walter said.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill 3, injure 2 in Bulgaria

Lightning during a flurry of storms killed three people and seriously injured two others in Bulgaria, TV Evropa reported on Wednesday.

One of the victims was a construction worker in the capital Sofia, and the other two were hit near Plovidiv, in the south.

Though the incident was not earlier reported, the injured, man and woman are being treated for burns.

At the start of the week thunderstorms swept across Bulgaria, which has been enduring a severe heatwave lingering over the Balkans.

Storms brought only a brief respite from the heat, as the temperature in Sofia rose to 28 degrees already a red weather alert is to remain in place at least until the end of Thursday.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria