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Sat, 15 May 2021
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Parts of Ireland report coldest April since Records began (in 1943), as Iceland registers lowest May temperature ever

According to Irish Meteorological Service's monthly report (issued May 5, 2021), Ireland just suffered a historically cold month of April.

Dominating high-pressure systems set up to the west or northwest of Ireland, reads the report, which brought brutal polar air masses over the country, leading to below average temperatures.

The cold was intense.

Across the country, ALL weather stations logged a mean air temperatures that was either at or below their Long-Term Average (LTA) for the month; in fact, only one station matched their LTA - see Newport in the chart below:

Cloud Precipitation

Afghan flash flood toll increases to 56

The death toll due to flash floods in Afghanistan reached 56 Thursday with 30 people still missing, officials said.

Around 1,000 houses got damaged in days of heavy rains and flash floods across the war-ravaged country.

Tamim Azimi, a disaster management ministry spokesperson, told EFE that 56 people were confirmed dead.

"Twenty-five more are injured and another 30 missing in rains and flash floods," Azimi said.

Women and children are among the victims of the floods.

Comment: Earlier report: Flash floods in Afghanistan leave 16 dead, 10 missing


Three more whales wash up dead near San Francisco — eight total in five weeks

Muir Beach saw many visitors and a gray whale carcass on April 17, 2021.
© Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times
Muir Beach saw many visitors and a gray whale carcass on April 17, 2021.
Three more gray whales have washed up dead in the San Francisco Bay, adding to the fatal beachings of five others in the region over the last month, including a 46-foot fin whale, scientists from the Marine Mammal Center and the California Academy of Sciences said Thursday.

In 2019, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it was going to investigate an unusually high number of gray whales found dead along the North American west coast. The investigation is continuing.

Although the number of dead whales may seem alarming, the numbers are actually lower than they have been the last two years, said Michael Milstein, an NOAA spokesman.


First wildfires are registered around the world's Pole of Cold in Yakutia

1 May 2021 wildfire south of Oymyakon (Yakutia)
© Pierre Markuse
1 May 2021 wildfire south of Oymyakon (Yakutia), the coldest inhabited settlement on Earth.
Could burning ground in an area as extremely cold as Oymyakon be caused by zombie fires?

The air temperature in the Oymyakon district of Yakutia is still negative at nights, with daytime just about climbing over 1C.

Snow is beginning to melt, but rivers are still locked in ice for at least a couple weeks more - which is completely normal for Oymyakon, the coldest permanently inhabited settlement on Earth.

What is abnormal is the sight of a dozen wildfires burning a short distance north and south from this famous Pole of Cold.

The first was registered as unusually early as 29 April by the settlement of Teryut, a short distance north from Oymyakon.

Sentinel-2 satellite caught sight of frozen Indigirka River, snow-covered mountains, and ominous dark-orange dots scattered along the valleys.

The second set of fires was recorded south of Oymyakon and even closer by distance (within 20km, or 12 milds) on 1 May.

Last summer was one of the worst in the history of Yakutia for the number of wildfires, with many registered above the Arctic circle.

Comment: Over 100 wildfires burning across Arctic region have generated smoke plumes visible from space

Snowflake Cold

Northern Hemisphere snow mass an historic 700 gigatons above average

Interesting how this can happen during a period of 'global warming,' isn't it? You don't suppose we're being played do you?

Northern Hemisphere snow mass is an historic 700 gigatons above average. (A gigaton is one billion tons, so that means it's an historic 700 billion tons above average.)

Image from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, date 19 April 2021.

Thanks to Oly for this link.

Cloud Precipitation

Evacuations and rescues after storm triggers floods in Western Cape, South Africa

Floods in Cape Agulhas, South Africa, May 2021.

Floods in Cape Agulhas, South Africa, May 2021.
A heavy storm in the Western Cape, South Africa, caused flooding in some parts of the province from 05 May 2021.

Areas of Overberg district have suffered some of the worst of the flooding. Around 90 mm of rain fell in Cape Agulhas in 24 hours to 06 May 2021, while 122 mm fell in Struisbaai during the same period.

Several people were evacuated from their homes in Cape Agulhas municipality of the district. One person was reported missing at Stormsvlei, where several people had to be rescued from flooded homes and vehicles. Other rescues were carried out in Riviersonderend.

Cloud Precipitation

10 killed in flash floods across Iran

At least 10 people have died and 1 is still missing after flash floods in Iran. Fatalities were reported in the central and eastern Yazd, Kerman and South Khorasan provinces.

Iranian Red Crescent (IRC) reported on 05 May 2021 that heavy rains and flooding had affected 14 provinces since the start of May. Affected provinces include Isfahan, Yazd, Semnan, South Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, East Azerbaijan, Kerman, Sistan and Baluchestan, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Mazandaran, Khuzestan and Tehran.

Over the last few days IRC has provided emergency services to 1,818 people. Red Crescent teams also recovered 37 vehicles from flooded routes and pumped water from 146 houses. Furthermore, 208 people were displaced from damaged homes and provided shelter by IRC.

Comment: South Iran hit by flash floods and heavy rain


Alberta man killed in suspected bear attack near Waiparous

Police are investigating after a 59-year-old man was found dead near Waiparous Creek, northwest of Calgary, which officials believe was the result of a bear attack.

Cochrane RCMP were notified of a missing person just before midnight Tuesday when the man's wife called police to say he had gone for a run about 6 p.m. and not returned. A search was then launched involving a helicopter and a police dog.

Just after 2 a.m. Wednesday, the man was found deceased just off Moss Trail, which has been closed while officials investigate.

Friends have identified the victim as Dr. David Lertzman, a senior instuctor at the University of Calgary.


Lost Pacific grey whale spotted in French Mediterranean

Pacific grey whale

Pacific grey whale
A grey whale that has strayed far from the Pacific has been spotted for the first time off the French Mediterranean coast. The calf, about 15 months old and 8 metres long, was spotted at the weekend in the port of Bormes-les-Mimosas on the French Riviera.

The whale calf had already been seen off Morocco in early March and more recently Italy, from Naples, Rome and Genoa.

It has strayed into the Mediterranean Sea, from which it is trying to return to its natural habitat in the North Pacific.

"A specimen had already been observed in 2010 in the Mediterranean, on two occasions, but in Israel and Spain, this is a first for our French coast," said Adrien Gannier, veterinarian and member of the National Network of Marine Mammal Strandings, who himself observed the young whale on Friday off Bormes-les-Mimosas in southern France.


Tons of dead fish wash up on banks of Lebanon's Lake Qaraoun

Lebanon dead fish
© YouTube/Ruptly (screen capture)
Up to 80 tons of dead fish have been washed up on the banks of Lake Qaraoun on the Litani River, as seen in Beqaa Valley on Friday. Rotting fish and rubbish were seen floating next to the shores. While the exact cause of the fish deaths is yet unknown, a virus and unprecedented pollution have been reported as the most likely explanations.

"We were waiting all day for a fish expert who dissected the fish on the lake and discovered that these fish suffer from some kind of internal wear and tear in their guts and bleeding. They have internal bleeding," said Nasrallah Hajj, head of Qaraoun Dam Department, the National Authority for the Litani River.

He warned local residents not to eat the fish and cautioned that if the local waters spoil, a 'great loss' will be incurred. Initial reports said some 40 tons of fish had been washed up but Hajj suggested that around '70 to 80 tons' had now accrued.