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Mon, 25 Jan 2021
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Aerial view of rare snow on Taklimakan Desert, China

Taklimakan Desert

Snow covers Taklimakan Desert
View from up high: Sit back and enjoy the winter scape splendor of the in NW China.

Comment: From Wikipedia:

Because it lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, Taklamakan is a cold desert climate. Given its relative proximity with the cold to frigid air masses in Siberia, extreme temperatures are recorded in wintertime, sometimes well below −20 °C (−4 °F), while in summer they can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F). During the 2008 Chinese winter storms episode, the Taklamakan was reported to be covered, for the first time in its recorded history, entirely with a thin layer of snow reaching 4 centimetres (1.6 in), with a temperature of −26.1 °C (−15 °F) in some observatories.

Snowflake Cold

Mongolia facing 'one of the most extreme winters on record'

Mongolia is facing one of the most extreme winters on record, with temperatures forecast to plummet to lows of -50C for days on end. This has triggered the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to release emergency funds to quickly assist some 2,000 vulnerable herder families.

The extreme winter - known as dzud - threatens the health and livelihoods of thousands of Mongolian herders living in the country's remote central and southern provinces.

Hence, as a pre-emptive tactic, the Mongolian Red Cross Society has delivered cash assistance and livestock nutrition kits in target areas to assist them in meeting their immediate needs and save their livestock, which is the main source of livelihoods for the people of Mongolia.


Dead whale, one of Mediterranean' s largest, found off Italy

The carcass of a huge dead whale is towed by Italy's coast guard to the port of Naples

The carcass of a huge dead whale is towed by Italy's coast guard to the port of Naples
The carcass of a huge whale has been recovered from the waters off southern Italy, the coastguard said Wednesday, calling it "probably one of the largest" ever found in the Mediterranean.

The dead mammal was spotted in the sea on Sunday near the popular tourist destination of Sorrento by coastguard divers who were first alerted to the presence of a smaller whale, which has since disappeared into the sea.

The coastguard said it recovered the carcass overnight Tuesday and then towed the whale from Sorrento by sea to the port of Naples, where it will be analysed by marine biologists and other experts looking for a cause of death.

Comment: Dead whales have also been reported during the last few days on the shores of the UK, Bali in Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.


Child dies from pit bull terrier attack in Brunson, South Carolina

A Hampton County child is dead after being attacked by a pitbull in Hampton County Wednesday afternoon, according to the Hampton County Sheriff's Office.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Hampton County deputies said they were called to a home on Mullins Ford Road in Brunson regarding a juvenile being attacked by a dog.

When deputies arrived, they said they found the child deceased.

Hampton County Animal Control also responded to the scene, deputies said. The dog was found a short time later, taken by Hampton County Animal Control and was euthanized.

Deputies said the case has been turned over to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Snowflake Cold

Rare summer snow hits New Zealand + global cooling set to intensify

new zealand summer snow

An unusually unsettled summer is being experienced in Middle Earth, particularly on New Zealand's South Island where substantial snow has blanketed the mountains over recent days and weeks.

There's a fresh accumulation of pow-pow on the peaks around Queenstown this week, after conditions in the Lakes area allowed for flakes to settle.

Frigid polar air left Antarctica on Sunday, and it has lingered over Australasia ever-since. As reported by odt.co.nz, Weatherwatch says temperatures will continue to be down across New Zealand as a storm near Stewart Island slowly tracks eastwards, dredging up the cold. The forecaster elaborated, adding that temps would hold below average for the remainder of the week, with single-digit highs likely through parts of Otago and Southland.

The Remarkables ski area received 10cm (4 inches) of rare summer snow overnight Tuesday (shown below), with another 15cm (6 inches) in the immediate forecast.

Comment: See also:

Ice Cube

Animals in Kazakhstan freeze to death after temperatures reached 51 below zero

Animals froze in Kazakhstan after the temperatures fell very drastically as they froze very quickly without the icy atmosphere leaving a way for escape.

Comment: Three years ago: Animals are frozen solid as temperatures drop to -56 Celsius in Kazakhstan

Ice Cube

Animals are frozen solid as temperatures drop to -56 Celsius in Kazakhstan

Animals including this dog have been frozen solid after temperatures dropped to minus 56C in Kazakhstan

Animals including this dog have been frozen solid after temperatures dropped to minus 56C in Kazakhstan
Animals have been frozen solid after temperatures dropped to minus 56C in Kazakhstan.

Videos show both a hare and a dog frozen to death amid bitter conditions sweeping across the vast Central Asian nation.

The hare was trapped while climbing through a fence before dying in the arctic conditions and its body had to be pulled free by locals.

The dog appears to have become stuck while walking through a snow-covered field.

Comment: See also: Kazakhstan hit by Arctic chill, temperatures down to -40 degrees Celsius with 3 people freezing to death


Rare snow devil sweeps through lines of skiers in Vermont

snow devil
Video of a rare snow devil at Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont, was posted to Twitter on January 18.

Benjamin Trachtenberg recorded a video that shows lines of skiers standing still as the snow devil sweeps through the group. Trachtenberg told Storyful that the snow devil lasted for close to 30 seconds and did not injure the large group.

Certified broadcast meteorologist Tyler Jankoski said on his Twitter post that the weather event can be called a snow devil or a "snownado". According to the World Meteorological Organization, snow devil is "a very rare phenomenon."

Credit: Benjamin Trachtenberg via Storyful


Strong magnitude 7.0 earthquake shakes southern Philippines

A powerful earthquake shook parts of the southern Philippines on Thursday night, but authorities said it was too deep to cause major damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake measured magnitude 7.0 and was located 95.8 kilometers (60 miles) below the sea and about 210 kilometers (130 miles) southeast of Pondaguitan in Davao Occidental province, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

In Davao city, President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown, some residents ran out of their houses as the ground shook and power cables and business signs swayed, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. Duterte was in the presidential palace complex in Manila.

Comment: Also very pertinent:

Cloud Precipitation

Tropical Storm Eloise leaves homes destroyed, hundreds displaced in Madagascar

Floods in Antalaha , Madagascar, After Storm
© Madagascar Red Cross
Floods in Antalaha , Madagascar, After Storm Eloise, 19 January 2021.
Tropical Cyclone Eloise formed over the Indian Ocean on 17 January and moved towards Madagascar, making landfall close to the coastal town of Antalaha in Antsiranana Province, on 19 January, with maximum sustained wind up to 95 kmh.

As of 20 January, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that more than 1,000 people have been directly affected in Madagascar and more than 50 houses were destroyed, as Tropical Storm Eloise passed through Antalaha, Maroantsetra, Vavatenina and Toamasina districts. Quoting local sources, OCHA said 1 person was killed in the storm.

The storm flooded 134 houses and destroyed 56, while nearly 100 schools were impacted, including 87 that were damaged and 11 destroyed, OCHA added.