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Sun, 20 Oct 2019
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Snowflake

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.


Attention

Italy's Mount Etna bursts into volcanic activity

etna
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.


Attention

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

print
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


Tornado2

Large waterspout filmed off Summerland Key, Florida

waterspout
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

Attention

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.


Tornado2

Cold air waterspout filmed at Lake Pueblo, Colorado

waterspout
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.


Arrow Up

East Siberian Sea 'boiling' with methane

Scientists studying the consequences of methane emissions from underwater permafrost in the Arctic Ocean announced this week that they found a 50-square-foot area of the East Siberian Sea "boiling with methane bubbles."
Frozen methane bubbles
© US Geological Survey
Frozen methane bubbles.
The research team, led by Igor Semiletov, from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) found the methane leak east of Bennett Island in the East Siberian Sea. The methane bubbles, which create a boiling appearance on the surface of the water, spanned an area over 50 feet. The bubbles were so pronounced they could be scooped up in buskets.

"This is the most powerful seep I've ever seen. It is manifested by an increase in methane concentration in the air up to 16 ppm (millionths of a share), which is 9 times more than the average planetary values. No one has ever registered this before," said Semiletov in a TPU statement.

Semiletov, a Russian researcher who has participated in 45 Arctic expeditions, set out on the Academic Mstislav Keldysh last month, accompanied by an international group of scientists representing the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden, reports Common Dreams.
Russian Research Ship
© Twitter
According to expedition member Sergei Nikiforov, a journalist, "They took samples of bottom sediments, water, and gas, scooping up the extraordinarily large methane bubbles in buckets rather than small plastic capsules and filling several pressurized canisters."

"The next day, the expedition stumbled upon another giant seep of roughly the same size, even though discovering seeps among rough ocean waves is usually harder than finding a 'needle in a haystack,'" Mr. Nikiforov said.

Snowflake Cold

Temperature drops more than 50 degrees as 'all-out blizzard' sets sights on Dakotas

Snow in South Dakota

Snow in South Dakota
A "potentially historic" fall snowstorm is set to wallop a large stretch of the country — evolving into an "all-out blizzard" as it passes over the Dakotas and sending an arctic blast into much of the northern US, forecasters predict.

Denver was downright balmy on Wednesday with a high in the lower 80s — but the temperature had already plummeted into the upper 20s by 1 a.m. as snow began to fall, according to Accuweather. From 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected to fall in the Mile High City on Thursday.


Snowflake Cold

Snow, freezing temperatures threaten northern U.S. corn, soybeans

snow crop
Plunging temperatures and heavy snow forecast for the upper U.S. Plains from Friday to Sunday are likely to damage unharvested corn and soybean crops in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa, meteorologists said on Wednesday.

The winter-like blast could dump up to 3 feet of snow in central and eastern North Dakota and send temperatures plunging into the 20s Fahrenheit in Nebraska, western Iowa, southwest Minnesota and the Dakotas, said Kyle Tapley, senior agricultural meteorologist with space technology company Maxar.

The forecast sent corn and soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade to multi-month highs this week on concerns that late-planted crops that have not yet reached maturity could be destroyed or damaged by the hard freeze.