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Tue, 26 May 2020
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

30,000 hit by floods in Samarinda, Indonesia

Floods in Samarinda, Indonesia May 2020
© BPBD Samarinda
Floods in Samarinda, Indonesia May 2020
Over 30,000 people have been affected by flooding in Indonesia's East Kalimantan Province.

Flooding struck in areas of the city of Samarinda from around 22 May after a period of heavy rain. Officials said areas close to the Karang Mumus River were badly affected.

Samarinda disaster management (BPBD) said on 25 May that flooding has reached 30,894 inhabitants across 4 sub-districts in 14 urban villages in Samarinda City.

North Samarinda district is among the worst hit areas, where as many 1,671 houses have been inundated, affecting 13,896 people. In Sungai Pinang District, 1,634 houses were flooded, affecting 6,211 people.


At least 3 dead as MASSIVE hurricane rips through capital city of Russia's Urals

Tornado Russia
© Ruptly
Powerful winds and heavy rain have hit Ekaterinburg in Russia's Urals, on Monday afternoon, felling numerous trees, damaging cars and obliterating weak structures. At least three people have been killed by the hurricane.

The hurricane brought down numerous trees across the city, Russia's fourth-largest, multiple videos show, blocking some roads and also destroying power lines, disrupting electricity supply.

Many unlucky motorists have found their vehicles obliterated by fallen trees and damaged by other debris.

Comment: Meanwhile: Siberia in midst of freak heat wave


Siberia in midst of freak heat wave

Record warm weather in Novosibirsk
© Kirill Kukhmar / TASS
Record warm weather in Novosibirsk.
Western Siberia is experiencing abnormally high May temperatures, with some areas above the Arctic Circle breaking record-highs, The Siberian Times and The Washington Post reported last week.

Weather experts say temperatures in the region have been between 3 degrees Celsius and 6 degrees Celsius above average since January. The trend picks up from 2019, which forecasters declared the hottest year on record in Russia.

"That's not only a new record anomaly for Russia. That's the largest January to April anomaly ever seen in any country's national average," Robert Rohde of the nonprofit climate research group Berkeley Earth said in a tweet.

Russia's third most populous city of Novosibirsk in Krasnoyarsk region and the nearby regions of Omsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo and the Altai mountains saw record-breaking temperatures of between 30 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius in May, The Siberian Times reported last Tuesday.

At least one Siberian town above the Arctic Circle, Khatanga, broke its previous single-day record of 12 degrees Celsius for May 23 when the temperature hit 25.4 last Saturday.

"This heat wave occurs mostly at the area which has been anomalously warm during the whole 2020," Finnish researcher Mika Rantanen told The Washington Post.

Comment: Wildfires in Siberia are so large you can see them from space

Snowflake Cold

Coldest May day in Brisbane for almost a century

Brisbane has endured its coldest May day in a century

Brisbane has endured its coldest May day in a century with the mercury hitting just 15C at about 1pm on Friday - and the chilly snap is here to stay
The mercury dropped to exactly 0 degrees in south-east Queensland on Sunday morning, the day after Brisbane's coldest May day in almost a century.

On Friday and Saturday, 54 daytime temperature records were equalled or broken across the state, according to a list shared by the Bureau of Meteorology on social media.

The bureau said the low maximum temperature records would need to be confirmed by its climate services team in the coming days.

Meteorologist Kimba Wong said Brisbane reached a maximum of 15.1 degrees on Saturday, the coldest May day since the River City struggled to a top of 15 degrees on May 22, 1922.

On Sunday, the South Burnett town of Kingaroy, about 150 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, reached freezing point and the Scenic Rim towns of Beaudesert, with a low of 0.6 degrees, and Canungra, with a morning minimum of 0.9 degrees, weren't far behind.

Brisbane itself had a minimum of 10.4 degrees on Sunday, while the Ipswich suburb of Amberley and Greenbank, in Logan, both dropped to 3.3 degrees.

Comment: North America has set 233 new all-time monthly low temperature records in May (so far) vs just the 18 record highs


India's worst locust attack in 27 years, and worse is yet to come

Swarm of locusts in Jaipur
Swarms of the desert locust, which invaded India via Pakistan in April, have made their way to at least five states, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Desert locust move in large groups, called swarms, and can eat crops up to their own weight every day. When millions of locusts descend on a crop, they destroy everything.

The desert locust is considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world and a single swarm covering one square kilometre can contain up to 80 million locusts. As per eyewitnesses, the swarm which entered India from Pakistan was about two to three kilometres long.

In December 2019, when the parts of Gujarat were invaded by locust, they had destroyed crops spread over 25,000 hectares of land. This time, the attack is more widespread.

Comment: Biblical-style events appear to be a pretty common occurrence in our days.

Cloud Precipitation

U.S. hailstone and hailstorm records

Hail can accumulate to remarkable depths when a storm becomes stationary over one place for a period of time.
© Michael Mee, FEMA
Hail can accumulate to remarkable depths when a storm becomes stationary over one place for a period of time. The hail in this photograph, however, drifted this deep after floodwaters washed it into these giant heaps in a low-lying area.
Recently, an investigation into a hailstorm that took place in Villa Carlos Paz, Cordoba Province, Argentina on February 8, 2018, reported that a hailstone some 9.3 inches in diameter may have fallen during a storm there. The Weather Channel's Chris Dolce has a summary of the event, which has been documented in a February paper for the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society entitled "Gargantuan Hail in Argentina." The authors propose that hailstones larger than 6" in diameter be classified as "gargantuan".

If verified, the Argentine hailstone would surpass the U.S. record holder, an 8-inch-diameter stone collected near Vivian, South Dakota on July 23, 2010. (That hailstone was said to have actually been 11" in diameter before a portion of it melted prior to being officially measured.) However, the Argentine hailstone will likely never become an official record, since its size was estimated only from video evidence and not from any first-hand measurements.

On Friday night, May 22, 2020, a hailstone of 5.33" diameter was reported in Burkburnett, Texas (the same hailstone shown in this Facebook post). With peak U.S. hail season at hand, here is a recap (portions of which appeared in a blog entry I posted in April 2018) of the costliest and deadliest hailstorms in U.S. history, along with a summary of the largest hailstones yet observed in the United States.

Comment: Related and pertinent: Cosmic rays increases hail size and duration - Lightning inception by large ice particles, GSM much?


Heavy rain triggers floods in Assam, landslides in Sikkim, India

Heavy rain has caused flooding and landslides in north-eastern India, leaving at least 1 person dead in Sikkim state and affecting around 10,000 people in Assam state.


In Assam, the Puthimari and Jia Bharali rivers were swollen after heavy rain brought by the remnants of Cyclone Amphan. As of 24 May, the Jia Bharali in Sonitpur, was 77.55 metres, above the danger mark of 77 metres.

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), as of 24 May flooding had affected 10,081 people in 46 villages in the districts of Lakhimpur, Sontipur, Darrang and Goalpara. Earlier flooding had also affected Barpeta district. Roads and bridges have been damaged in Lakhimpur, Sontipur and Goalpara.


Tornado in San Carlos, Tamaulipas, Mexico - 2nd in less than a month


Tornado is recorded in San Carlos, Tamaulipas on May 24th. It is the second in less than 1 month in the same municipality.


Indian and Bangladesh mango fields devastated by cyclone Amphan

An aerial view of cyclone Amphan affected areas in West Bengal, Friday, May 22, 2020.
An aerial view of cyclone Amphan affected areas in West Bengal, Friday, May 22, 2020.
Cyclone Amphan has dealt a crushing blow to Bangladesh's mango growers, as they are confronted with huge losses from the widespread damage it caused to orchards and fruits ripe for its seasonal harvest.

The cyclone barrelled into the country's southern coasts from the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday and carved a trail of destruction as it moved inland at night generating strong winds and heavy rainfall.

At least 22 deaths have been reported from eight coastal districts in Bangladesh until Thursday noon as the storm tore down homes and foliage while ravaging the power supply. Initial government estimates put the figure of damage incurred by housing, infrastructure, fisheries and livestock, water resources and agriculture in Bangladesh at Tk 11 billion (€121 mln).

Bdnews24.com reported that in several districts in the west and south-west of the country, thousands of hectares of lands are used for the cultivation of mangoes. Primary data indicates the cyclone laid waste to 176,000 hectares of crop yields across the country, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said an online media briefing. The government estimates that the storm damaged 10 percent of the 7,384 hectares used to cultivate mangoes.


Snow walls of up to 16 feet high along road in East Iceland - snowfall considerably more than was once typical

The snow tunnel into Mjóafjörður is five meters high.
© Vegagerðin
The snow tunnel into Mjóafjörður is five meters high.
Summer may have officially started in Iceland on April 23, but you definitely couldn't tell from the weather in Mjóifjörður, East Iceland, where authorities just spent four days digging a traversable roadway through snow walls of up to five meters [16 ft] in height. RÚV reports that the road into the village there has been more or less closed since October.

Fourteen people live in Brekkuþorp in Mjóifjörður year-round (up to 40 during the summer), and the village has its own church, school, tourist office, post service, and coffeehouse. Fishing and aquaculture are also local industries. There is only one road into the fjord, however, and given the immense amount of snowfall that it regularly receives, it is only possible to reach the village by sea during the winter.