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Tue, 25 Jan 2022
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Western US states hit by record freeze and record-breaking snowfall

Severe weather brings record low temperatures in Seattle and huge snowfalls in California and Nevada

Severe weather sweeping parts of the US continues to bring record-breaking cold temperatures to the Pacific north-west and heavy snow to mountains in northern California and Nevada.

Emergency warming shelters were opened throughout Oregon and western Washington as temperatures plunged into the teens (below zero in centigrade) and forecasters said an Arctic blast would last for several days.

Sunday's snow showers blew into the Pacific north-west from the Gulf of Alaska, dumping up to six in (15 cm) across the Seattle area.

The National Weather Service said Seattle's low on Sunday was -6.7C (20F), breaking a mark set in 1948. Bellingham was -12.8C, which was three degrees colder than the previous record set in 1971.


Death toll from Brazil flooding rises to 20 in Bahia's 'worst disaster' ever

Heavy currents of the swollen Cachoeira River
© Reuters
Heavy currents of the swollen Cachoeira River have complicated rescue efforts in Bahia.
The death toll from floods hammering northeast Brazil rose to 20 on Monday, as the governor of Bahia state declared it the worst disaster in the state's history and rescuers braced for more rain in the coming days.

Much of Bahia, home to about 15 million people, has suffered from intermittent flooding for weeks, after a long drought gave way to record rains. Flooding in some areas intensified late on Christmas Eve and early on Christmas Day after a pair of dams gave way, sending residents scrambling for higher ground.

Rescue workers patrolled in small dinghies around the city of Itabuna, in southern Bahia, plucking residents from their homes, including some who escaped through second-floor windows.


Bird flu outbreak in Israel kills 5,000 cranes and sparks slaughter of half a million chickens

Thousands of migratory cranes have died from bird flu in northern Israel, posing a crisis for the poultry industry.
© Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
Thousands of migratory cranes have died from bird flu in northern Israel, posing a crisis for the poultry industry.
A bird flu outbreak in northern Israel has killed at least 5,200 migratory cranes and forced farmers to slaughter hundreds of thousands of chickens as authorities try to contain what they say is the deadliest wildlife disaster in the nation's history.

Uri Naveh, a senior scientist at the Israel Parks and Nature Authority, said the situation was not yet under control. "Many of the birds are dead in the middle of the water body so it's difficult for them to be taken out," he said on Monday.

Environmental protection minister Tamar Zandberg called the crisis "the most serious damage to wildlife in the history of the country". "The extent of the damage is still unclear," she tweeted.

Yaron Michaeli, a spokesperson for the Hula Lake park, where the crane population is mainly based, said workers were removing the carcasses as quickly as possible, fearing they could infect other wildlife.

Snowflake Cold

Cold wave hits South Korea with heavy snow

Workers clear snow on runway at Jeju
© Yonhap via The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Workers clear snow on runway at Jeju International Airport on Sunday.
Over the Christmas weekend, extreme cold with heavy snowfall hit large parts of Korea, with temperatures dropping to as low as minus 25.4 degrees Celsius in some regions and heavy snow leading to flight cancellations.

With the mercury beginning to fall from Saturday afternoon, the capital city's Sunday morning low reached minus 16 C, the coldest temperature in December in nearly 41 years. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Seoul in December was minus 16.2 C on Dec. 29, 1980.

The cold continued throughout the afternoon, with temperatures remaining under minus 7 C in the afternoon.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, cold wave alerts were issued in most regions in Korea over the weekend.

Cloud Lightning

Moment an umbrella is vaporised into a ball of flames after it is struck by lightning - security guard holding it miraculously survives in Indonesia

This is the incredible moment an umbrella being held by a security guard bursts into a ball of flames and sparks after it was struck by lightning.

The umbrella was zapped by a bolt which caused the man holding it to collapse.

Footage of the incident was filmed at a depot in the village of Sukapura in Cilincing, North Jakarta.

In the footage, the security guard walks across an open courtyard with an umbrella when lightning strikes.


6.1-magnitude earthquake hits 140 km east of Levuka, Fiji - USGS

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 jolted 140 km east of Levuka, Fiji at 15:42:56 GMT on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 626.51 km, was initially determined to be at 18.0804 degrees south latitude and 179.3607 degrees west longitude.


Heavy snow falls across wide areas facing Sea of Japan - up to 32 inches in 24 hours

Pedestrians trudge through deep snow
© Shuichi Doi
Pedestrians trudge through deep snow accumulating in central Aomori on Dec. 25.
Heavy snow was forecast over northern and western parts of the country facing the Sea of Japan on Dec. 26 and warnings were issued urging residents to be vigilant against snow storms, surging waves and the deep chill.

The bad weather is expected to continue until Dec. 28, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, citing a winter pressure pattern with a severe cold air mass spreading above the archipelago.

The agency also warned that low-lying areas on the Pacific side of Japan could experience heavy snow.

Over the 24-hour period through 2 p.m. on Dec. 26, Myoko in Niigata Prefecture recorded the largest single-day snowfall of 82 centimeters, followed by 72 cm in Daisen, Tottori Prefecture, and 69 cm in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture.


Arizona Snowbowl sees 22 inches of snow in 2 days

Arizona SnowbowL
Arizona Snowbowl saw lots of snowfall on Christmas 2021.

By afternoon on Christmas Day, nearly a foot of snow fell within the last 24 hours. In the last 48 hours, nearly two feet of snow fell.

More than half of the resort's trails have opened for the season, and the remaining lifts that haven't opened, are expected to be reopened on Dec. 25.

"We now have 63% of our trails open and 100% of our lifts are expected to open today," said officials with the resort.

Arrow Down

Colorado backcountry skier is killed after being buried by Christmas Eve avalanche

The area where the victim's body was later recovered by rescue crews from Jackson County and the Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol

The area where the victim's body was later recovered by rescue crews from Jackson County and the Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol
A Colorado backcountry skier died after he was buried alive in an avalanche on Christmas Eve.

On Friday an unidentified backcountry skier got caught in a 250-feet wide avalanche in Colorado on the northeast-facing slope on the South Diamond Peak near Cameron Pass around 2 pm, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said.

The victim's partner was able to find him with a transceiver and probe pole and dig him out of the snow, but by then it was already too late.

The victim's body was later recovered by rescue crews from Jackson County and the Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol.


Surfer killed in shark attack at California beach, officials say

Great white shark
A male surfer was killed in a shark attack in Morro Bay, California, on Christmas Eve, the Morro Bay Harbor Department confirmed to CNN.

"Harbor, Police and Fire Departments responded to a report of a male victim unresponsive on the beach after he was pulled from the water suffering from an apparent shark attack," the Harbor Department said in a statement.

Officials located the male surfer at 10:48 a.m. PT off Morro Bay State Park beach, according to Harbor Director Eric Endersby. Morro Bay is 15 miles west of San Luis Obispo.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.