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Tue, 22 Jun 2021
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Cloud Grey

Major outbreak of noctilucent clouds over Europe

Noctilucent cloud on June 20, 2021 @ Valencia, Spain
© Francisco Gil
Noctilucent cloud on June 20, 2021 @ Valencia, Spain
A week ago, noctilucent clouds (NLCs) were stuck inside the Arctic Circle. Suddenly, they have broken free. Over the weekend, people saw the clouds through the city lights of Paris, Madrid, Berlin and other European capitals. On June 20th, Francisco Gil photographed NLCs as far south as Valencia, Spain.

"It is pretty strange to observe noctilucent clouds from these latitudes," says Gil.

Indeed it is. Valencia is at +39N, a latitude where NLCs are almost never seen. For most of their history (NLCs were discovered in the 19th century), the clouds have been found mainly near the Arctic Circle. Now they are spreading. The record low latitude, to date, was set in June 2019 when the clouds appeared near Los Angeles (+34 N). Gil's sighting shows that they are in the 30s again.

This just in: Cameras at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain recorded the clouds at an even lower altitude (+37.5N):

Comment: Another unusual sighting occurred in our changing atmosphere earlier this year: Novel atmosphere phenomenon 'STEVE' makes ANOTHER appearance over Finland

See also:


Intense storm causes significant damage in Beauraing, Belgium

Belgium storm damage
© YouTube/CGTN (screen capture)
A storm, likened to a tornado by the mayor, badly damaged at least 70 properties and injured 17 people in the Belgian town of Beauraing.

In the aftermath, the mayor, Marc Lejeune, said: "Even inside the buildings the wind has blown in and shattered windows and torn off doors. So on a material level it [the damage] is quite huge."

Drone footage - as can be seen in the video above - shows several homes had their roofs ripped off, while local media reported a school and a sports hall were also destroyed.

One restaurant worker said that as the storm struck on Saturday evening: "Everybody was screaming and running in all directions, some people got hurt... it was just one wind blow."

Restaurant owner Eddy Huysmans said: "Ten seconds were enough to blow away everything. It's catastrophic, after all we've just gone through. It's going to be hard."

Cloud Precipitation

Severe hailstorms and flash floods hit Saudi Arabia and Yemen


Incredible! Scary large hail attacks Saudi Arabia, Abha!⚡️⚡️ The desert turns to rivers.


Odd waterspout videoed on horizon of the Black Sea near Odessa, Ukraine

On Saturday June 18 a peculiar waterspout was recorded on camera at the horizon of the Black Sea near Odessa, Ukraine.


'Large and extremely dangerous' tornado hits Chicago suburbs

Naperville tornado damage
© Rich Hein/Sun-Times
A completely demolished home on Princeton Circle in Naperville’s Ranchview neighborhood Monday, June 21, 2021.
A tornado hit a suburban area of Chicago at the weekend, damaging hundreds of homes, toppling trees, causing power outages and injuring six people.

The National Weather Service told residents of Chicago to stay indoors as a "large and extremely dangerous tornado" touched down in Woodbridge, a suburb west of the city, late on Sunday.

By 5am on Monday, officials in Naperville — a city 25 miles west of Chicago — received more than 120 incidents of damage to property, and 450 reports of power outages.

Six people were also injured in Naperville, including an individual in a critical condition. Sixteen homes were deemed uninhabitable in the aftermath.


6.0-magnitude earthquake hits Kermadec Islands, New Zealand - 2nd strong quake within 24 hours

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 jolted Kermadec Islands, New Zealand, at 11:14:12 GMT on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 27.01 km, was initially determined to be at 30.3301 degrees south latitude and 177.4501 degrees west longitude.

Comment: The earlier event: Strong shallow magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes New Zealand's Kermadec Islands


Bear attacks sleeping 16-year-old girl at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A black bear in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park attacked and injured a 16-year-old girl while she was sleeping in a hammock early Friday morning, according to a news release.

The family got the bear to leave their campsite in the Cosby section of the park immediately after the attack and park rangers provided medical care to the girl just after midnight Friday. She was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by Tennessee Army National Guard at about 9 a.m.

The girl was conscious throughout the attack and is now in stable condition, the release said. She received multiple injuries, including head lacerations.

There were two bears near the campsite after the attack. The family identified one bear as being the one that attacked the girl. Rangers shot and killed it.

Forensic testing showed the bear had human blood on it.

The campsite located about 6 miles from the Maddron Bald Trailhead is closed until further notice.


Bear kills man in Slovakia forest in what could be first fatal attack

A brown bear has killed a man in Slovakia. The number of bears in Slovak mountains has risen to estimated 2,760 last year from below 900 two decades ago.
© Greg Norgaard
A brown bear has killed a man in Slovakia. The number of bears in Slovak mountains has risen to estimated 2,760 last year from below 900 two decades ago.
A 57-year-old man has been killed by a brown bear in central Slovakia, in what the state forestry company said could be the first confirmed deadly attack by a wild bear, whose population has tripled in 20 years.

"An autopsy confirmed today that the man from Liptovska Luzna died from injuries caused by this predator," the forestry company, Lesy Slovenske Republiky, said on Facebook.

Bears are common in Slovak mountains, and their numbers have swollen to an estimated 2,760 last year from fewer than 900 two decades ago, said the forestry company, which has argued for legal hunting of bears to manage their population.


Deadly tornado strikes Auckland, New Zealand

One person has died after a tornado hit the New Zealand city of Auckland
© Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images
One person has died after a tornado hit the New Zealand city of Auckland.
A tornado has ripped through the city of Auckland, New Zealand leaving one person dead with damaging winds uprooting trees, exploding power lines and battering houses.

The tornado hit before 8.30am on Saturday morning and fire and emergency crews have been called out to more than 100 locations affected by property damage.

The force of the wind was so strong shipping containers toppled at the Port of Auckland, killing one person and injuring a further two who have been rushed to hospital, Stuff reports.

'The tornado caused significant damage to the site and dislodged multiple containers,' a Port of Auckland spokesperson said.

'We are shocked by this freak event and our thoughts are with the people affected.'

Cloud Lightning

Supercell storm hits northern France with 44,000 lightning strikes recorded

Rethel lightning storms
© YouTube/CTV News (screen capture)
A supercell storm hit parts of France on June 19, with some 44,000 lightning strikes recorded, the most in a single day this year.