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Fri, 26 Feb 2021
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

The extreme weather in the US is so severe even weather satellites are bewildered

satellite weather
© College of DuPage/Insider
Purple (right) showing frigid ground instead of cloud (left).
The severe winter storm raging through the southern US brought such extreme cold that it confused weather satellites monitoring the situation.

On Tuesday, the cold air advancing south from the Arctic chilled the ground so much that one monitoring satellite mistook the ground for tops of clouds, which are usually much colder than surface temperatures. The phenomenon was first pointed out by Washington Post meteorologist Matthew Cappucci.

A similar effect was seen over Canada on February 10, where it was highlighted by the local news channel WROC TV in Rochester, New York.

The satellite in question is called GOES-East. It uses infrared sensors to measure temperatures at the top of clouds to plot them. Typically, the clouds are colder than the ground surface. The satellite's algorithms use this assumption to outline cloud cover from space, even at night.

Capucci tweeted a video illustrating the effect:

Comment: See also: Record cold in eleven U.S. states - coldest February 16 in history of meteorological observations


Merapi volcano erupts in Indonesia, spews red-hot lava

Lava flows down from the crater of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Lava flows down from the crater of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Indonesia's Mount Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes, erupted on Friday, belching out fiery red lava.

The volcano, close to Indonesia's cultural capital Yogyakarta on Java island, had already spewed lava almost two dozen times over the two last days and caused hundreds of minor volcanic quakes, according to a report by Indonesia's geological agency.

"This morning, lava avalanches were observed seven times," the agency said, with the lava travelling up to 700 metres to the southwest.


Guatemala: There's nowhere to hide - hundreds of thousands live in the shadow of 3 erupting volcanoes

Guatemala says that three of its most active volcanoes are erupting at the same time.

Guatemala says that three of its most active volcanoes are erupting at the same time.
Whole communities live in the shadows of these volcanoes - with more than 180,000 people around Volcan de Fuego.

A huge rumble and a belch of steam and rocks erupts from the crater of the volcano that towers above us.

It's truly terrifying feeling such power, so near.

I looked about me, wondering where I would I hide if the volcano's eruptions suddenly intensified. And then I realised - and it's obvious really - there is nowhere to run and hide.

Up here, perched high on the side of Guatemala's Pacaya volcano, at the closest monitoring point to the peak of the volcano, one feels very insignificant.

To my right, away from the belching crater, a vast lava field plummets towards the valley floor and, in the distance, the towns and villages directly in its path.

Arrow Down

Snowmobiler who died in Colorado is the 28th killed in avalanches across the US this season

Body of a snowmobiler missing near Rand, Colorado has been found.

Body of a snowmobiler missing near Rand, Colorado has been found.
The body of a snowmobiler missing near Rand, Colorado has been found, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The grim discovery marked the 28th avalanche death this season.

According to officials, two snowmobilers were caught by a large avalanche near Ruby Mountain on Tuesday. The accident occurred on a slope at around 11,400 feet and the avalanche was about three quarters of a mile wide and 400 feet high.

One rider was buried under two feet of snow and died while the other person was not injured, according to CAIC.

The riders were with four other snowmobilers at the time, but the man who died was standing on a steep slope away from his snowmobile when the avalanche occurred. He was swept downhill and his body was found Wednesday afternoon, CAIC reported.


52 short-finned pilot whales die after stranding on beach in Java, Indonesia

dead whales
At least 52 among dozens of short-finned pilot whales stranded on a beach in Indonesia's East Java province died on Friday morning, local media reported.

"We are suspecting that a whale in the school was injured or sick, so the rest were following and guarding it. They ended up stranded until 52 were found dead this morning," Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry spokesperson Wahyu Muryadi was quoted as saying on Friday by the local news portal Tempo.co.

Snowflake Cold

Record cold in eleven U.S. states - coldest February 16 in history of meteorological observations

Russian website acknowledges the cold. "Record frosts in 11 US states," reads the title. "Coldest February 16 in the history of meteorological observations."

Yesterday we wrote about abnormal cold in Louisiana and Texas. But that ended up being just the beginning of the intensification of severe cold.

Coldest February 16 in the history of meteorological observations

Earlier this week, record low temperatures were recorded in more than 20 US cities. It was the coldest February 16 in the history of meteorological observations, according to the country's National Meteorological Service.

Arrow Down

Deadly landslides and floods triggered by heavy rainfall in El Oro, Ecuador

At least 1 person has died and several were injured after heavy rain triggered landslides and flooding in El Oro Province, southern Ecuador.

The country's National Service for Risk and Emergency Management (SNGRE) reported that heavy rain in Piñas canton in El Oro Province on 16 February triggered flooding and landslides that caused at least 2 houses to collapse. One person was reported killed in the disaster and 3 others were injured. Stretches of road in affected areas were also severely damaged.

A few days earlier a dramatic landslide and mud flow struck in Chunchi Canton, Chimborazo Province on 12 February, leaving 2 people injured and houses destroyed, according to SNGRE. Public buildings and at least 2 bridges were also damaged or destroyed, along with livestock and crops. Chunchi Canton officials declared an emergency. The exact cause of the landslide is uncertain.


Shallow M5.6 magnitude earthquake rattles Iran, 25 injured

Iran quake map
© Iranian Seismological Center
An earthquake of 5.6 magnitude earthquake hits Iran late on Wednesday, leaving 25 injured. On late Wednesday, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern Iranian province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, said the head of the country's emergency medical services.

The epicenter was located 10 kilometers (over 6 miles) from the city of Sisakht. Previously, media reported about 10 injured people."About 20 people have been sent to [the city of] Yasuj. The earthquake has hit the outskirts of Sisakht, there have been no problems in nearby settlements.

No people have died, the situation has stabilized," Pirhossein Kolivand said on late Wednesday, as quoted by the government's information portal.He added that 25 people had been left injured as a result of the earthquake.Iran is located in a seismically active zone as lies along the border between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates and often suffers from powerful earthquakes. The deadliest earthquake in the country's history occurred in 856 AD, killing some 200,000 people.

With agency inputs

Comment: The Iranian Seismological Center (ISMC) reported the quake at a 10 km depth.


'Greening' of economy to blame for Texas power outages as half its wind turbines freeze solid during winter storm

wind turbines winter snow

Great job, Greenies, Govts.
The message that we need to electrify everything that currently uses fossil fuels to generate energy has become the dominant message of the energy transition. Solar, wind, and energy storage — perhaps with the help of hydropower and some nuclear — can handle the energy needs of mankind, the argument goes, and do it with a much lower carbon footprint.

Yet, the Arctic cold wave that is sweeping across the United States has seriously undermined this argument.

Natural gas prices exploded last week in many parts of the U.S. and are still rising higher, as are electricity prices. In Texas, a state unaccustomed to such weather, wholesale electricity prices hit $9,000 per MWh on the spot market, prompting at least one retail power supplier to urge its clients to switch to another provider to avoid huge utility bills.

Blackouts are now a fact, with two million households across Texas without power at the time of writing. Authorities, meanwhile, are urging people to conserve energy by limiting their consumption. ERCOT has said the blackouts will be rolling, lasting for 45 minutes per area. This may not be a lot, but it does indicate the presence of a problem.

Comment: Great analysis. We would just add that there may be one additional factor in play here: saboteurs taking advantage of the cold spell to pile pressure on Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who the Deep State has on its Black List because of past support for President Trump.

Cloud Lightning

Flash-flooding strikes Afriski Mountain Resort, South Africa - 2 inches of rain in just 30 minutes

Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho was hit by its most brutal flood since opening its doors, with 60mm of rain in 30 minutes on February 15.

That is the equivalent to one-tenth of Johannesburg's annual rainfall in 30 minutes. The damage to internal roads, infrastructure and buildings are extensive.

Thankfully no lives were lost, with staff and guests remaining safe, but the destruction caused by the floods will amount to millions of rands.

Afriski has recorded unprecedented levels of rainfall in the Maluti Mountains of over 800mm since December 2020, while recording only 400mm the previous year. Although the floods have come as a shock, rain can be scarce in this area and remains vital for the entire operation.