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Sat, 24 Jul 2021
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Fire

Wildfire smoke now covers much of the United States

The AirNow fire and smoke map shows a film of gray wildfire smoke across most of the US on July 20, 2021.
© AirNow
The AirNow fire and smoke map shows a film of gray wildfire smoke across most of the US on July 20, 2021.
The lower 48 is largely blanketed by hazy, smoke-filled skies as wildfires rage on.

I've been noticing strange sunsets lately in New Mexico where the sun looks like a molten ball of red as it sinks into the west. It's one symptom of wildfire smoke in the sky and a sign of another brutal wildfire season in the US.

The National Weather Service office in Aberdeen, South Dakota, tweeted on Tuesday: "You've probably noticed the persistent hazy skies as of late. Turns out we're not the only ones seeing this -- smoke from wildfires is covering much of the lower 48."

Besides apocalyptic-looking sunsets and orange skies, wildfire smoke can impact air quality far from where a fire is actually located. The wildfires, many of which are burning in the western US, have been fed by severe drought conditions and heat waves. These events have been exacerbated by the climate crisis and the extreme weather it brings with it.

The National Weather Service shared a fire and smoke map from the AirNow air quality monitoring site. What's notable are the wide swaths of gray indicating smoke coverage over the US and Canada, as well as the many marked wildfire locations, denoted by the orange fire icons.


Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rainfall causes severe flooding in Odessa, Ukraine

floods
According to the Hydrometeorological Center, 31 mm of precipitation fell in the city per hour.

A number of city streets were flooded. As noted, the Genoese, French Boulevard and Deribasovskaya, the central alley of Arcadia, turned into flooded rivers.

There is no light in a number of districts of the city. Dozens of trees fell.


Black Cat

Leopard kills 2nd village woman in 3 days in Uttarakhand, India

Stock image of leopard
© Getty
Another woman was killed by a leopard in Durogi village of Tehri district in Uttarakhand on Tuesday in the second such incident in the area in less than a week, officials said.

Gundri Devi (50) was attacked by the leopard while working in a field, forest ranger Devendra Singh Pundir said.

The woman''s body bearing deep wounds on the neck was found a few hours later in a gorge, he said.

This is the second leopard attack casualty in the village in just three days.

The big cat had lifted a woman from her courtyard last Saturday and left her half-eaten body in the fields.

Attention

Man killed in bear attack in Madhya Pradesh, India

bear print
A 55-year-old man was mauled to death by a wild bear in the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The incident took place on Tuesday evening in the forest near Bagoha village, said the reserve's field director Uttam Kumar Sharma.

The deceased, resident of the same village, had ventured into the forest in search of his buffalo.

While his family suspected that a tiger could have killed him, Sharma said a bear was found to be roaming in the area when the incident took place and inspection of the spot also indicated attack by a bear.

Cloud Lightning

4 hikers injured during lightning strike in Grand Canyon

LIGHTNING
At least four hikers were injured after being struck by lightning while hiking in the Grand Canyon on Tuesday.

Around 2:50 p.m., the Grand Canyon Communications Center received a call that multiple people were struck by lightning at the Bright Angel Trailhead during a monsoonal thunderstorm, according to a press release.

Upon arrival, officials found a 30-year-old male and a 28-year-old female unresponsive. The woman received life-saving measures before regaining a pulse. The male regained consciousness without assistance, officials said.

Both victims were taken to the Flagstaff Medical Center as storm activity prevented air transport, officials said.

Tornado2

Large waterspout spotted in Tampa Bay, Florida

waterspout
As a line of storms swept across Tampa Bay this morning, commuters spotted a large waterspout swirling over the water near the Howard Frankland Bridge.

It was just before 9 a.m. when the waterspout formed. Video from driver Chris Watson showed the funnel just south of Interstate 275 on the Tampa side of the span.

"That thing is huge! Hope I get across this bridge," Watson can be heard chuckling in video shared with FOX 13.

No damage was reported after the funnel was sighted, and no warnings were issued.


Fire

'Climate change is happening': As wildfires destroy hectares of Siberian forest, local politician points finger at global warming

wildfire Russia's Yakutia region
The wildfires in Russia's Yakutia region are caused by climate change, which has led to abnormally hot weather and 'dry thunderstorms.' That's according to Aysen Nikolayev, the head of the vast republic located in eastern Siberia.

Speaking to the local TV Channel Yakutia-24, Nikolayev noted that the region's average temperature in June was 20C - far higher than it should be. His statement comes as many Russian politicians, including President Vladimir Putin, have upped their rhetoric on fighting global warming in recent months.

"Global climate change is happening," the head explained. "This year is the driest and hottest summer that Yakutia has had in the history of meteorological observations since the end of the 19th century. This is the data of the meteorological service, which can't be refuted."

Comment: See also:


Snowflake Cold

Historic crop loss expected as new frosts hit Brazilian corn areas

Frost hits Brazil corn crops
The week has begun with the already-shattered corn market in Brazil enduring another blow as a new cold wave swept the centre-south of Brazil bringing frosts to corn-producing states and raising fresh concerns about export volumes and contract breaches.

On Monday, frosts hit parts of the states of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul, with late planted corn areas likely affected.

The cold wave is expected to reach its peak on Tuesday, with forecasts showing potential fresh frosts in the states of Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, São Paulo and Minas Gerais.

"It is going to be a historic crop loss," Daniele Siqueira from local consultancy Agrural told Agricensus.

The second Brazilian corn crop safrinha has been severely affected by dry and warm weather during key development stages, and crop conditions worsened further in some regions that were hit by frosts for three days in the end of June.

As a result, Agrural has lowered its estimates of Brazil's safrinha output to 59.1 million mt in early-July, 22 million mt below the initial crop potential and the new frosts could mean these estimates are dampened even further.

As the Brazilian crop outlook continues to deteriorate, analysts believe exports might take the bulk of the hit.

Comment: A good way to invest your money: Store large amounts of food, like now


Seismograph

Shallow 6.9 magnitude earthquake hits offshore near Panama

Panama earthquake
© EMSC
A strong earthquake struck off the southern coast of Panama on Wednesday near the border with Costa Rica, although there were no immediate reports of damage and authorities said a tsunami was not expected.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the earthquake had a 6.9 magnitude and hit at a depth of 2 km (1.2 miles) about 321 km (200 miles) southeast of Costa Rica's capital, San Jose. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at a 6.8 magnitude.

Quakes of that magnitude can cause severe damage.

"Regarding the earthquake we felt in almost the entire country, we report that we have no damage to public infrastructure or personal injuries," said Alexander Solis, head of Costa Rica's National Emergency Commission.

A Reuters witness said the quake was felt in San Jose.

Cloud Precipitation

Evacuations, 1 dead after heavy rain triggers flash floods in Romania

Floods in Alba County, Romania, July 2021.
© IGSU
Floods in Alba County, Romania, July 2021.
One person has died and dozens evacuated or rescued by emergency services after heavy rain and storms caused flooding and wind damage across parts of Romania over the last few days.

Romania's General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU) reported that the body of a man was found in a riverbed in Hândrești, Iași County on 19 July 2021. IGSU said the man was probably taken by surprise by the increased flow of water while trying to cross the river.