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Wellington set for cloudiest November ever, Seoul breaks rainfall record - 'Cosmic ray flux' explained

cosmic rays


Cloud cover is increasing across the planet as the Sun's magnetic field continues to weaken, decreasing the outward pressure of the solar wind and allowing more cosmic rays to penetrate Earth's atmosphere.


This year's record start to the Northern Hemisphere snow season is due to two factors: 1) falling temperatures across the mid-latitudes, and 2) an increase in cloud cover.

Both of these factors are linked to low solar activity, and while each impacts the other, factor 1 is mainly due to a weakening of the jet stream, with factor 2 predominantly the result of an influx of cloud nucleating cosmic rays.

Very briefly, Galactic Cosmic Rays are a mixture of high-energy photons and sub-atomic particles accelerated toward Earth by supernova explosions and other violent events in the cosmos. Solar Cosmic Rays are the same, though their source is the sun. Both Galactic and Solar Cosmic rays hitting Earth's atmosphere create aerosols which in turn seed clouds (Svensmark et al) — making them an key component in our weather and climate. Recent balloon flights by spaceweather.com and Earth to Sky Calculus reveal that cosmic rays are intensifying:

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Wolf

Hyenas drag man from bed and maul him to death in Zimbabwe

hyena
An elderly man has been killed by a pack of hyenas in Zimbabwe, after they pulled him from his bed while he was sleeping.

The man, who has been identified by the authorities as 87-year-old Tendai Maseka, was dragged about 1,000 feet from his mud and wood hut.

The incident occurred on Monday night in the rural region of Chirumanzu. in central Zimbabwe.

By the time Maseka's body was discovered by villagers, its lower half was missing.

Park rangers are currently hunting for the animals in a bid to "eliminate" them, according to Tinashe Farawo, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority.

Snowflake Cold

Winter is coming: The top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire looked like a frozen wasteland

froze
© Patrick Hummel
Holy cow! It's a bit cold on top of Mount Washington State Park.

Check out these pictures below of sheer frozenness. It looks like everything has been dusted in powdered sugar but if only it were that sweet.

Temperatures at the summit on Wednesday, according to the New Hampshire State Parks Facebook page, were at 2 degrees but with the windchill, it was really like -30 degrees.

According to the New Hampshire State Parks, this winter wonderland was 3 inches of snowfall and wind gusts of 50-70 miles an hour.

Park Manager Patrick Hummel braved these incredible conditions to bring us these photos.

Snowflake

Flights grounded, highways closed as snowstorms hit northeast China

A man rides an electric vehicle in snow on Zhongshan Road in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Nov. 19, 2020.

A man rides an electric vehicle in snow on Zhongshan Road in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Nov. 19, 2020.
Snowstorms in China's northernmost province of Heilongjiang have grounded more than 100 flights and forced expressways and schools to be closed, local authorities said Thursday.

The province's meteorological center has issued a red alert for heavy snow, the highest in China's weather warning system, and upgraded the emergency response to the second-highest level.

Snowfall of up to 25.8 mm was recorded in cities including Harbin and Mudanjiang, bringing a blanket of snow 17 cm deep in some places, according to the center.

Educational authorities in Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, said primary and middle schools and kindergartens in the city would be closed on Thursday due to heavy snowfall.


Cloud Precipitation

Floods in Tabasco, Mexico affect 50% of the state's banana plantations

green nanas
The serious floods in Tabasco have caused important losses to the agricultural sector, mainly impacting banana production.

"Producers estimate that 50% of their plantations were affected, so we are developing a plan to establish measures to strengthen the banana strains once the flood subsides," stated Victor Villalobos, the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader).

Villalobos also stressed that it will be necessary to grant credits to producers in the region and provide technical assistance to avoid pests and diseases derived from floods.

Boat

Storm Iota death toll rises to 40 in Central America as Honduran leader pleads for help

Vehicles are submerged at a plot flooded by the
© Jorge Cabrera
Vehicles are submerged at a plot flooded by the Chamelecon River due to heavy rain caused by Storm Iota, in La Lima, Honduras November 19, 2020.
Authorities in Central America recovered more bodies on Thursday from landslides triggered by hurricane Iota, which battered the impoverished region this week, the second deadly storm to roar through this month.

The number of reported deaths rose to more than 40 across Central America and Colombia, and the toll is expected to rise as rescue workers reach isolated communities. Most of the deaths occurred in Nicaragua and Honduras.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez issued an urgent plea for international help.

"We are in a situation of great calamity and we need the world to help us rebuild our country," he told a news conference.

The strongest storm on record to hit Nicaragua, Iota struck the coast late on Monday as a Category 4 hurricane. It inundated low-lying areas still reeling from the impact two weeks ago of Eta, another major hurricane that killed dozens of people in the region.


Boat

UN says over 1 million people affected by floods in South Sudan

floods
The UN humanitarian agency said an estimated 1.03 million people have been affected by flooding across South Sudan since July.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Jonglei region has been the worst affected with 404,000 people, followed by the Greater Pibor Administrative Area which has more than 125,000 people and Lakes area with 147,000 people.

At least 1,034,000 people have been affected by flooding, according to OCHA's latest humanitarian report released on Wednesday evening.


Doberman

Man killed by pack of wild dogs in Jackson County, Florida

A Florida man was attacked and killed by a pack of stray dogs that still remain on the loose, say police
© Getty
A Florida man was attacked and killed by a pack of stray dogs that still remain on the loose, say police
A man was found dead Wednesday along the side of the road in rural Jackson County, the victim of an apparent dog attack.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said it received a report at 7:48 a.m. Wednesday of a man lying next to Kirkland Road, around the Bascom area not far from the Alabama line.

Deputies and troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol responded to the area and confirmed the man was deceased, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

He was identified as Donald Ray Allen, 65, of Bascom.


Arrow Up

Russia's Klyuchevskoy volcano erupts sending ash nearly 10,000 feet into the air

Russia volcano eruption
© YouTube/Volcano Time-Lapse (screen capture)
The effusive-explosive eruption of the volcano continues at moderately high levels.

A larger and stronger explosion than the average and usual size of explosions at the volcano occurred yesterday. This event is characterized as vulcanian-type explosion.

Large amount of ash with area of 65x70 km rose 9,842 ft (3,000 m) above the summit crater and extended about 50 km to the south-southeast of the volcano.

The lava flow on the southeast flank along the Apakhonchich chute remains active, currently about 2,000 m long.


Cloud Precipitation

South Korea's capital Seoul records heaviest daily rainfall for November

People wearing face masks try to manage their umbrellas in the rain in Seoul
© AP
People wearing face masks try to manage their umbrellas in the rain in Seoul, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
Seoul and central South Korean regions were soaked with unseasonable heavy rain Thursday, with the capital receiving the heaviest daily precipitation on record for November, the local weather agency said.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), 68.2 millimeters of rain fell in Seoul as of 8 a.m., surpassing November's previous daily record of 67.4 mm set on Nov. 7, 1916. It is the heaviest daily precipitation recorded in the capital during the month of November since modern weather observation began here in 1907.

Precipitation is forecast to further increase for the rest of the day, as Seoul and central regions, including parts of Gangwon and South Chungcheong provinces, are being hit by strong rain of about 20 mm per hour, accompanied by thunder and lightning, the KMA said.

For the rest of the nation, the rainfall amounted to around 5 mm, it added.