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Mon, 14 Oct 2019
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Earth Changes


Super-typhoon Hagibis: Japan braced for its most powerful storm in 60 years

Huge waves are pounding sea walls as the storm approaches
Huge waves are pounding sea walls as the storm approaches

Japan is bracing itself for what could be its heaviest rain and winds for 60 years as Typhoon Hagibis edges closer.

Winds reaching 180km/h (111mph) could cause floods and landslides, the Japan Meteorological Agency has warned.

Tens of thousands of homes are already without power and one person died when a car overturned in high winds.

Shops, factories and train networks have been shut down while the Rugby World Cup and the Formula One Grand Prix are facing disruption.

Hagibis is due to make landfall near Tokyo later on Saturday.

Authorities have issued evacuation advisories in areas at particular risk, while supermarkets are running low as people stock up before the typhoon hits.

Even while the storm was still out to sea, tornado-like winds battered Chiba, east of Tokyo, damaging homes and toppling a car, killing its occupant.


Manitoba, Canada is getting pummeled by an early winter snowstorm

Manitoba early snow
© Lawrence_Bear/Twitter
Despite it being early October, many parts of Canada are seeing a flurry of winter conditions — the worst of which are in Manitoba.

Calgary has already seen its fair share of snowfall and Vancouver managed to break several weather records for its cold temperatures this week, one of which was 103-years-old.

Now, much of Manitoba, including Winnipeg, is seeing blizzard-like snowfalls. Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning as parts of southern Manitoba are pummeled with snow.

The weather agency says that parts of Manitoba have already received between 20 to 40 cm of snow, with an additional 20 cm expected over the next 12 hours.

The snowfall is also accompanied by very strong winds, with gusts between 80 to 100 km/h.

"Travelling will remain difficult if not near impossible into Saturday as the heavy accumulating snow, strong winds, and temperatures near zero result in treacherous conditions," says Environment Canada's website.

"The combination of heavy, wet snow and strong winds will likely result in more downed trees and power lines."

Ice Cube

Record-setting blizzard set to blast American midwest

© Gizmodo Australia
The American midwest is skipping autumn and heading right to winter to end the week.

A potentially record-setting blizzard is bearing down on the region and could dump snow from Colorado to Minnesota. The Dakotas sit near the epicentre of the storm and could see up to three feet of October snow (yes, you read that right).

Add in gusty winds and you have a recipe for life-threatening conditions. For a region that's already dealt with one freak early season snowstorm, the latest blast of winter is hardly welcome.

Snow has already fallen across parts of the Rockies and Front Range as of Thursday late morning. Multiple accidents and pileups have been reported in the Denver metro area. Highways have been shut down as police struggle to respond amid worsening conditions.

After topping out at 27 degrees Celsius on Thursday, Denver will struggle to reach freezing on Friday. As of mid-afternoon local time, temperatures hovered at just -5 degrees Celsius with a wind chill of -10 degrees Celsius.

The chaos in Colorado is just a preview of what's to come, though. As the storm pushes eastward, frigid air will continue to drop out of Canada and sweep across the Midwest. Along with rapidly dropping temperatures, the storm will usher in winds upwards of 100km/h and heavy snow.


Over a foot of new snow blankets parts of Alaska

Jim Meehan with state DOT/PF plows
© Bill Roth/ADN
Jim Meehan with state DOT/PF plows the parking lot between Hatcher Pass Lodge and Independence Mine on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. This area has received more than twenty inches of snow in the past week.
A weather system bringing snow to the Susitna Valley created "very difficult driving conditions" north of Talkeetna overnight into Thursday, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation.

A weather spotter at Chulitna reported snow tapering off as of Thursday morning but about 16 inches on the ground, according to the National Weather Service. Another spotter at Hatcher Pass Lodge said that much new snow had fallen near Independence Mine but it was still coming down heavily as of midmorning.

The National Weather Service canceled a winter weather advisory for the Susitna Valley — including the communities of Talkeetna, Willow and Cantwell — that called for 2 to 4 inches more snow and total storm accumulation of 6 to 16 inches with the highest amounts from Chulitna to Broad Pass at Mile 201 of the Parks Highway.


Italy's Mount Etna bursts into volcanic activity

Mount Etna's volcanic activity has increased, sending plumes of ash and smoke into the sky, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said on Friday.

An eruption was registered at some 04:30 GMT by special cameras. The eruption included small eruptions and releases of ash. The grey smoke is currently visible over the mountain.

Experts from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology assess the situation as stable. However, the incident resulted in a partial closure of airspace over the city of Catania.


Bear sightings, attacks spike due to food shortages in Niigata Prefecture, Japan

A food shortage ahead of hibernation season is likely fueling a surge in bear sightings and even serious attacks on people in populated areas in this prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.

According to Niigata Prefecture's environmental planning division, there have been 646 sightings of live bears or traces of the animals reported from April 1 to the end of September -- about 100 more than in the same period in 2018. Furthermore, there have been at least five bear attacks since the start of September, and authorities are urging residents to be on the alert for the animals.

In one incident on Sept. 25, a jogger in his 40s was attacked on a prefectural road in the city of Minamiuonuma. The bear left the man with serious claw wounds requiring two weeks in hospital. On Oct. 2, a man in his 20s was mauled as he was getting into his car outside a house. He was bitten by the animal multiple times, including on his right wrist.

Comment: Bear attacks increasing worldwide


Large waterspout filmed off Summerland Key, Florida

A large waterspout was reported off the coast of Florida's Summerland Key on October 9, against the backdrop of a sunset.

In this footage, the waterspout can be seen arching from the surface of the Atlantic Ocean to heavy clouds above. The video was taken in Summerland Key, an island about 20 miles east of Key West.

The waterspout was likely a "fair weather waterspout," which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes as those that do not form during thunderstorms. These waterspouts develop on the surface of the water and work upward. Typically, fair weather waterspouts dissipate rapidly when they make landfall, and rarely penetrate far inland.

The National Weather Service called the October 9 waterspout "truly incredible."

Credit: Cannon Mobile Marine via Storyful


Dead whale shark stranded at Banten beach in Indonesia

An official measures the length of the body of a dead whale shark which stranded at Taluak Batuang beach in West Sumatra, Indonesia, Oct. 8, 2019.
© Andri Mardiansyah
An official measures the length of the body of a dead whale shark which stranded at Taluak Batuang beach in West Sumatra, Indonesia, Oct. 8, 2019.
For two consecutive days, Banten found two dead cetaceans after being stranded on the region's beach. Monday, October 7th saw a whale shark also died at the Lebak Keusik Beach while the following day saw a bottlenose dolphin died after being stranded at Carita Beach.

According to the region's Head of the Utilization and Preservation of Coastal Resource Management Subsection, Zaid Abdur Rahman, the 7.5-meter whale shark was already dead when his team arrived.

A group effort by the government, police, agencies, and locals managed to move the whale's carcass to another location where it was eventually buried after samples were taken for further studies.


Cold air waterspout filmed at Lake Pueblo, Colorado

What a sight over Lake Pueblo today as a very well defined funnel and waterspout formed as much colder air moved over the still warm water in the lake.

There was enough spin to create the funnel as captured on camera by viewer Matt Debski. The forces of nature are incredible!

Snowflake Cold

Vancouver, Canada saw coldest day in 122 years

Vancouver fall day
© Shutterstock
The Metro Vancouver weather forecast calls for another chilly night after temperatures broke a weather record that is over 100 years old.

Today's record was set after the city saw an unusually cold yesterday on Wednesday, Oct. 9. In fact, Vancouver hadn't seen an Oct. 9 this cold since 1935 - a whopping 84 years ago. Back then, temperatures dipped to 1.1°C. Prior to that, temperatures dipped to zero degrees in 1916.

Now, Vancouver saw temperatures dip to a freezing -0.7°C on Oct. 10, and temperatures are expected to fall to 1°C or even lower tonight.

Vancouver Is Awesome spoke to Armel Castellan, Meteorologist, Environment Canada, who explained why the temperatures dipped so low, as well as what we can expect in the days to come.

"Vancouver's previous record for Oct. 10 was set in 1916 when temperatures dipped to -0.6°C," reports Castellan. "So we beat it by -0.1 degrees."

While that may not seem like much, Castellan notes that it is very unusual for temperatures to dip into the minuses in the first two weeks of October. He says that this has only happened 19 times in over 100 years. Further, there hasn't been an Oct. 10 this cold on record since the records began in 1897.

Comment: Meanwhile a "potentially historic" fall snowstorm is set to hit a large stretch of the US.