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Mon, 25 May 2020
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Earth Changes


Very shallow M4.3 earthquake near Burra was South Australia's biggest in a decade

The earthquake struck at Burra, north of Adelaide
© Geoscience Australia
The earthquake struck at Burra, north of Adelaide.
An earthquake which has been felt widely across parts of South Australia is the biggest to have occurred in the state in the past decade, a seismologist says.

Geoscience Australia estimates the magnitude-4.3 earthquake happened between Burra and Clare, in the state's Mid North, at 3:23pm.

People felt shaking in Adelaide office and apartment buildings, as well as in the Adelaide Hills and Yorke Peninsula.

Geoscience Australia seismologist Hugh Glanville said it was the largest earthquake in the state for the past 10 years.

He said there were no reports of damage was so far, but it was felt from Mount Barker to Jamestown.

"It is possible for minor damage from a magnitude-4 but it's reasonably unlikely for this earthquake," he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

He said the earthquake happened at a "very shallow" depth of 3 kilometres.


Rare thundersnow reported in southern Ontario

Ontario thundersnow
© The Weather Network
Thundersnow is a rare type of weather that typically occurs during the winter months.

Reports of thundersnow in Kingston and surrounding regions add to the atypical spring weather that southern Ontario has seen this May.

Snow, graupel and a few rumbles of thunder were reported at the Kingston International Airport shortly after 4:00 p.m. on May 12. The unique atmospheric setup created the right conditions for thundersnow to strike and this wintry precipitation to fall.

The angle of the Sun caused air parcels to rise several kilometres up into the cold, unstable air aloft where temperatures were around -20°C. Temperatures near the ground were cold enough for the precipitation to fall as snow instead of rain.

"The air aloft was so chilly that super-cooled water droplets accreted on the falling snowflakes before they reached the surface, distorting the classic snowflake," says Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.

Comment: Snow in May in Southern Ontario, Canada


Scientists closely monitor underwater volcano off Hawaii after rare earthquake swarm

Big Island earthquake swarm
© Hawaii News Now (screen capture)
Volcanologists are keeping a close eye on their instruments after a rare earthquake swarm off the Big Island the past two days.

Twenty miles off the southeast coast of the Big Island, Hawaii's newest volcano rises 10,000 feet from the ocean floor with its summit about 3,000 feet under the surface.

When Loihi starts shaking, scientists pay attention.

"Think of it as a younger version of Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes," said David Phillips, deputy scientist in charge at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Phillips said there's no significant hazard at the moment, but at one point HVO recorded 14 earthquakes per hour on the Loihi Seamount.

"The peak did take place yesterday afternoon, whether it continues to subside or come back is hard to say," Phillips said.

On a seismogram, more than a hundred temblors struck in the 2- to 3-magnitude range, suggesting magma is on the move.


Typhoon Vongfong rapidly intensifies as it nears the Philippines

Typhoon Vongfong
Typhoon Vongfong is rapidly intensifying -- and the Philippines is in its path.

With typhoons or hurricanes, rapid intensification is an increase in maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) in 24 hours.

From Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon, Vongfong easily met that definition, strengthening from a modest tropical storm with winds of 60 mph (95 kph) to the equivalent of a major hurricane. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 120 mph (195 kph) and the storm is still strengthening.

This area of the world is no stranger to rapid intensification. Many storms undergo rapid intensification each year due to the extremely warm sea surface temperatures.

But this is the first named storm of the season in the West Pacific.It didn't exist until Tuesday, and now it will hammer the Philippines as the equivalent of a category 3 or 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.


Rainbow-esque cloud spotted near Ozark, Missouri

Circumhorizontal arc in MO
© Jennifer Madura
A viewer near Ozark, Missouri captured an uncommon sight in the sky Saturday afternoon.

Jennifer Madura submitted several photos of a rainbow-esque cloud spotted over U.S. Route 65 around 1:30 p.m. The optical phenomenon is scientifically known as a circumhorizontal arc.

The circumhorizontal arc is formed when the sunlight is refracted in plate-shaped ice crystals. Essentially, ice crystals split the sunlight into the color spectrum.

Snowflake Cold

May snow hits the UK, just as Met Office (and others) forecast 1,500 mile 'cool blob' lasting all summer

May snow in UK 2020

Parts of Scotland woke to May snowfall this morning (Monday, May 11) as a mass of brutal Arctic air rides anomalously-far south on the back of a meridional (wavy) jet stream flow.

Looking at the forecasts, the Highlands can expect even heavier flurries through Tuesday and Wednesday with temperatures dipping below 0C (32F). While southern England will see lows of around 2C (35.6F) overnight Monday, with the windchill making it feel 0C (32F) — protect those young shoots.

Monday's polar blast has arrived with the news that six global organisations, including king warm-mongers themselves the Met Office, have combined to create a weather model for June through August, 2020 (well they've gotta spend all that funding on something, right, and the world is just screaming-out for MORE MODELS).

Comment: Winter makes a comeback as parts of Scotland are blanketed in snow


Snow in May in Southern Ontario, Canada

Snow in May in Toronto Suburban area Southern Ontario Canada - May 11, 2020.

The calendar may say May, but that didn't stop Mother Nature from blasting some wintry weather in Toronto area and Southern Ontario on May 11.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flooding kills 2 sisters, ages 7 and 3, in Utah canyon

Search teams work in the area where heavy rains
© Meghan Thackery/Deseret News
Search teams work in the area where heavy rains flooded a slot canyon near Goblin Valley State Park in an area called Little Wildhorse Canyon on Monday, May 11, 2020, that killed a 7-year-old and her 3-year old sister while they were hiking with their family.
Two sisters aged 7 and 3 died in flash flooding that sent torrents of water roaring into a narrow canyon in the Utah desert, authorities said Tuesday.

At least 21 others escaped the flooding Monday afternoon in Little Wildhorse Canyon, where the curving sandstone walls are so narrow at points that hikers must turn sideways to walk through.

The girls were hiking with their father and mother when the storm hit. The father found his 7-year-old daughter's body before authorities were called to the scene, according to Emery County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Janalee Luke. Their names were not immediately released.

The family from the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan was camping in the area for Mother's Day, the Deseret News reported.

The 3-year-old sister was found Tuesday, after dozens of searchers combed the area for hours with the help of helicopters about 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City. A piece of her clothing was found in a wash miles away.

Arrow Down

3 dead after heavy rain causes landslides and floods in Guatemala

Three people have died after days of heavy rainfall in Guatemala triggered flooding, landslides and caused buildings to collapse.

The country's National Coordination for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) said one person died on 09 May after rain triggered a landslide on a highway in the municipality of Tajumulco, San Marcos Department.

Two people died when heavy rain caused a wall to collapse in Zacapa in the department of the same name on 11 May.

Local media said these were the first casualties of the rainy season in Guatemala, which usually begins in May and lasts until November but has been present in the south of the country since late April.

Cloud Precipitation

29 killed in hailstorm, rains in 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh, India

At least 38 districts of Uttar Pradesh have been
© Parveen Kumar/ HT file photo. Representative image
At least 38 districts of Uttar Pradesh have been affected by the rains and hailstorm.
At least 29 people were killed across 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh after rains and hailstorm lashed several parts of the state on Sunday, officials said.

Four people were killed in Kasganj, three each in Sitapur, Bulandshahr and Badaun, two each in Barabanki, Chitrakoot, Ballia, Pilibhit, Kannauj and Hardoi and one each in Lucknow, Fatehpur, Amethi and Aligarh.

At least 38 districts of the state have been affected by the rains and hailstorm.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath condoled the deaths and directed district magistrates to give financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to their families.