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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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South Sudan - Over 800,000 affected by worst flooding in 60 years

Floods in Fangak, Jonglei state, South Sudan, October 2021.
© WFP South Sudan
Floods in Fangak, Jonglei state, South Sudan, October 2021.
Ongoing floods in South Sudan have affected more than 835,000 people across 8 states. Livelihoods, food production and drinking water supply have all been severely impacted. Humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide described the flooding as the worst in 60 years, and estimates over 200,000 people have been forced to leave their homes.

Flooding began with the onset of the rainy season in May this year. In July 7 people died in floods which submerged several homes in Mayendit County. Flooding worsened considerably in the following weeks and by 01 September over 380,000 people across 6 states were affected.

In a recent update, the United Nations said flooding has now affected more than 835,000 people in 33 of South Sudan's 78 counties. Jonglei, Unity and Upper Niles remain the worst impacted states, with some 80 per cent of the total cumulative number of affected people, the UN said. The situation in particularly bad in Jonglei State, where 305,000 people affected, followed by Unity (220,000 affected) and Upper Nile (141,000 affected).


Fish

'Extremely rare' deep-sea fish washes up on California beach

Ultra-rare Pacific footballfish
© Photos via Scripps Institution of Oceanography
An ultra-rare Pacific footballfish, pictured here with Ben Frable of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was reported as washing ashore Dec. 10 at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, Calif. Researchers with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego say it’s the third time in the past month a deep-sea fish has been reported near a local beach.
Another ultra-rare deep-sea fish has washed up this month on a beach in California, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego said Tuesday.

Officials say scientists were notified Dec. 10 about a deceased female Pacific footballfish found at Swami's Beach in Encinitas, in San Diego County. The creature measures nearly 13 inches long and weighs 5 pounds, Scripps spokeswoman Brittany Hook said in a news release.

It is the third time in the past month a deep-sea fish was reported near an area beach, including the second such Pacific footballfish, which was photographed on Nov. 13 at a beach in La Jolla. An unusual 4-foot lancetfish also was found dead Dec. 1 on the sand at La Jolla Shores.

Cloud Precipitation

'Storm of the season' dumps record-breaking rainfall on Southern California and snowfall in the mountains - 6 FEET of snow reported

A vehicle is wedged against a bridge pillar in the surging Los Angeles River on Tuesday.
© Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press
A vehicle is wedged against a bridge pillar in the surging Los Angeles River on Tuesday.
Streets flooded in North Hollywood's Arts District and other neighborhoods.

The normally constrained L.A. River roared to life, sucking vehicles down its surging waters and swamping the small islands that dot the middle of the urban waterway near Atwater Village. A man in Sylmar had to be rescued after he got swept up into its flow.

Trees were toppled in Whittier, while homeless people who normally occupy benches near the Civic Center stop downtown huddled in an alcove in an effort to stay dry.

The most significant storm of the season arrived in Southern California on Tuesday with a wallop — snarling traffic, delivering gusty winds and dropping a steady deluge of record-breaking rain and snow across the region.

"As far as intensity, it's one of our stronger storms," said Kristan Lund, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. "It's definitely the strongest we've seen so far, and potentially one of the stronger ones we'll see this season."


Comment: 'It's going to crank up': Tahoe area reports 2 feet of snow overnight, with another 2 to 5 feet on the way


Doberman

Man mauled to death by pack of dogs in Rosebud County, Montana

dog attack
A man from Montana who was found dead on Sunday was killed by a pack of dogs, according to his family.

Duke Little Whirlwind, 58, was found just before noon on Sunday on a dirt road near his home in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation of Lame Deer in Rosebud County.

His niece, Avalee Little Whirlwind, told KRTV that her uncle had ventured out at 11 a.m. that morning to fetch a bicycle that he had repaired. He never returned home and his body was discovered soon after by a neighbor.

Avalee told the news outlet that all signs point to her uncle falling victim to a pack of dogs.


Binoculars

Belted kingfisher from North America spotted in Preston, UK - only the fourth ever recorded

A rare belted kingfisher has been spotted in Preston
© George Shannon/Unsplash, Joshua J.
A rare belted kingfisher has been spotted in Preston
Birdwatchers have been flocking to a Lancashire nature reserved in recent weeks, hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare bird that has only been seen a handful of times in the UK in the last 100 years.

A belted kingfisher has been spotted at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston and The Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve has seen an increase in visitors keen to spot the bird for themselves.

The bird is generally only found on inland lakes in the United States and Canada.

It is believed to be only the fourth time the bird has been spotted in the United Kingdom - the last sighting was in Staffordshire in 2005, but one was seen in Ireland over the past couple of years.


The bird was initially seen by fisherman and birder George Shannon on the River Ribble near Samlesbury, before it flew onto the nature reserve where it has been spotted by several local birders.


Phoenix

With just weeks to go until 2022, the Ring of Fire is suddenly ROARING to life

Ring of Fire
Why are so many earthquake swarms suddenly happening all along the Ring of Fire? For those that don't know, the Ring of Fire is a series of fault zones that run roughly along the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. 75 percent of the Earth's active volcanoes are located within the Ring of Fire, and it accounts for more than 80 percent of all global earthquakes. So the fact that the Ring of Fire is starting to become so active should definitely trouble us all.

As I write this, we are less than three weeks away from 2022.

And as I have expressed on numerous occasions, I have such a bad feeling about 2022.

So many pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together, and that includes an alarming rise in seismic activity.

Let me start by discussing what just happened in Oregon. Starting last Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday, we witnessed a very strange swarm of earthquakes along the Blanco Fault Zone...

Cloud Precipitation

Annual rainfall and snowfall records broken in December in Greece

rain
December in Greece has already seen the breaking of two annual records for rainfall and snowfall, the National Observatory of Athens announced on Monday.

By December 12, the annual rainfall reading at Theodoriana meteorological station, in the northwestern regional unit of Arta, reached 3,425 mm, exceeding a 15-year record.

In terms of snowfall, satellite data showed that on Saturday, December 11, 19% of the country was under cover of snow, beating a 17-year record.


The average daily snow cover for the period from 2004 to 2021 in early December is about 4%, the observatory added.

Comment: One woman dies as torrential rain floods large parts of Greece


Snowflake

'It's going to crank up': Tahoe area reports 2 feet of snow overnight, with another 2 to 5 feet on the way

Palisades Tahoe, CA
© Kate Abraham
Palisades Tahoe, CA
Heavy snow is expected to fall this afternoon throughout the Tahoe region and continue until Wednesday morning. The storm will greatly impact road conditions and travel on Interstate 80.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Drivers should expect major travel delays, chain control, icy roads and whiteout conditions. Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort is reporting 95 mph wind gusts at the crest of the Sierra Nevada.

The National Weather Service reported up to two feet of snow from the storm earlier this morning. Another 2 to 5 feet of snow is on the way, with the heaviest snowfall coming tonight.


Snowflake Cold

Mega snow storm dumps nearly 3 feet of new snow in Idaho mountains over the weekend

Tamarack snow stake at 10:30 am Monday
© Tamarack
Tamarack snow stake at 10:30 am Monday
A weather phenomenon known as an 'Atmospheric River' was in place over Idaho this past weekend. A large upper-level low-pressure system off of the West Coast has been funneling subtropical moisture into Idaho from the southwest. Ample moisture moving into our mountain regions this time of year typically leads to large snowfall events as the moist air is forced up and over our mountain ranges. Tamarack Ski Resort has a fresh 9 inches of snow on the snow stake Monday morning, 30 inches for the storm total. Additional heavy snowfall is expected through Tuesday afternoon.

Active weather will continue in Idaho on Monday. Moist southwest flow will bring additional mountain snow showers and valley rain. Winds are going to be blustery today with 15-25 mph winds expected, gusts up to 35 mph. Stronger winds are expected in southeast Oregon and over the Owyhee's in southwest Idaho, winds of 25-35 mph are expected, gusts up to 50 mph.


Binoculars

Rare Ross's gull from the Arctic turns up in Dunkirk, France

Ross’s gull

Ross’s gull
For the past week, it has been the attraction of Leffrincoucke beach, near Dunkirk, in the North. Sunday, a hundred paparazzi were still out with their cameras to try to see ... a seagull. But not just any. The bird, which has found refuge on the northern coasts, is a Ross's gull, extremely rare in our regions.

As soon as the news of its presence was known, naturalists from all over France - even from Belgium and the Netherlands - tumbled into the small seaside town. And this discovery risks adding an element to the dossier of opponents of the offshore wind turbine project off Dunkirk.

"I DID NOT EXPECT SUCH A CRAZE"

"When I shared my discovery on social networks, I did not expect such enthusiasm. »Claire Mariani is a novice naturalist who has been learning birding for two years with the Ornithologist and Naturalist Group of the North (GON). During an observation session on the beach of Leffrincoucke, last Monday, she crashes on a strange little seagull that she does not know.


Comment: Recently the same species also appeared at lower latitudes than is normal for it in North America: Rare gull that normally lives above the Arctic Circle found in Hastings, Minnesota