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Hurricane Matthew batters southern Caribbean in rare shift

© NOAA
Tropical Storm Matthew (bottom right) spins in the eastern Caribbean Sea on Sept. 29, 2016.
People in the Dutch Caribbean islands reinforced their homes and stocked up on emergency supplies Thursday as Hurricane Matthew took a rare turn through the southern Caribbean ahead of an expected shift to the north.

Matthew was passing to the north of the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao during the night, before shifting on a course predicted to take it toward Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti over the weekend.

By late Thursday, Aruba was seeing some rain and sea surge had covered part of a road on the northwest side of the island. There were no reports of evacuations. In Curacao, some streets were flooded, and there was a light rain falling on Bonaire.

The so-called "ABC islands" of the Dutch Caribbean, which were under a tropical storm watch, are usually spared from tropical storms. Matthew's approach prompted long lines at gas stations and supermarkets. Authorities in Aruba said government offices would be closed Friday and Curacao's parliamentary elections were postponed until next week.

The government of Colombia also issued a tropical storm watch for its coast from Riohach to the Venezuelan border.

Comment: According to the Weather Channel, Hurricane Matthew became the fifth hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season early yesterday afternoon. It is now a Category 2 hurricane that continues to undergo rapid intensification. Matthew poses a danger to Jamaica, parts of Hispañola, eastern Cuba, and the Bahamas early next week. Its potential U.S. impact later next week still remains unclear.

Roy Spencer comments:
Hurricane Matthew, with 105 mph sustained winds, is now over the south-central Caribbean. It is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane today or tomorrow, and possibly make landfall somewhere on the East Coast around next Thursday. If it does, Matthew's landfall would occur exactly 4,000 days after Major Hurricane Wilma's landfall.

Hurricane Wilma, the last major hurricane (Cat 3 or stronger) to hit the U.S., struck Florida on October 24, 2005. Will Matthew arrive as the first major hurricane to strike the U.S. in almost 11 years? Only time will tell. (Sandy was Cat 1 at landfall, and technically not a hurricane at that time. Hurricane Ike, 2008, was a Cat 2.)



Cloud Grey

Flooding leads to state of emergency in Windsor, Ontario, Canada

© Stacey Janzer/CBC
Mayor Drew Dilkens has declared a state of emergency for the City of Windsor and said damage to homes and businesses will be overwhelming.
Mayors in Windsor and Tecumseh, Ont., declared a state of emergency for their communities after massive flooding hit the region Thursday.

More than 190 millimetres of rain fell in Tecumseh, while 80.8 millimetres of rainfall was recorded in Windsor between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. Thursday.

Another 70 millimetres is expected to hit the region Thursday evening and into Friday, and a flood warning remains in effect.

"This is beyond the reasonable capacity of the city to handle," Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. "It's beyond the capacity of the residents to handle."

Dilkens said damage to homes and businesses will be overwhelming, and he plans to ask senior levels of government for help.

Basements and streets in Windsor and Tecumseh flooded as rain pummelled the region. Dilkens and Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara said they have never seen a storm like this one.

"This wasn't a one-in-10-year storm. It wasn't even a one-in-100-year storm," Dilkens said.

"I've never seen anything that intense in the 35 years I've been in this region," McNamara said. "This is unprecedented."





Tornado2

Incredible video shows 'rare' EF1 tornado ripping through a Utah town

© LiveLeak
A large piece of metal blew across the road seconds before the driver passed by
This incredible video shows buildings being ripped to shreds by a tornado.

The footage, filmed in Layton in Utah, shows debris flying across the road as huge chunks of metal are tossed around by the wind.

The driver who took it narrowly avoided being hit by a metal roof which blew across the road ahead of him.

'Out of nowhere, dark grey clouds rolled in and the tornado winds hit. Just beyond the blown heap of metal, you can see school children crowded behind an SUV with the crossing guard for safety.

'Fortunately, nobody was injured. It took a team of 5 guys to lift the giant pieces of heavy metal.'

The car was forced to dodge fallen trees and branches in the middle of the road, as scraps of building materials were blown across Mr Stimpson's path.


Comment: Two EF1 tornadoes damage homes in Utah


Binoculars

Northern Lights glow brightly as strong solar winds hit Earth

© Maciel Wisniewski / SWNS.com
The Aurora and Milky Way over Noss Head in Caithness, Scotland last night.
Parts of the world are expected to light up with a green glow tonight, as a strong solar storm continues to blast our atmosphere.

The storm was caused by a hole in the outermost layer of the sun, opening the magnetic field up to stretch further than usual, which resulted in a gradual increase in the solar wind.

An increase in solar activity means the chances of seeing the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, tonight in places like Canada, Scandanavia, Scotland and even northern England and are greater than usual.

Seismograph

Shallow 5.4 earthquake jolts Nicaragua, one woman dead

© File pic
The quake struck at 10:48am in the area between the El Hoyo and Momotombo volcanoes, at a shallow depth of 2.9km
A 5.4-magnitude earthquake jolted Nicaragua yesterday, killing a woman and damaging homes close the epicentre in the country's north, officials said.

The quake struck at 10:48am in the area between the El Hoyo and Momotombo volcanoes, at a shallow depth of 2.9km.

The woman, Higinia Margarita Cruz, suffered a heart attack from the shock of the shaking, said First Lady Rosario Murillo, who is also the government spokeswoman.

Cruz was 78.

Windows shattered in a building under construction in Puerto Momotombo and many homes sustained damage to roofs.

Startled locals ran outside their homes and stayed there, concerned that if they went inside, another quake might strike.

Source: AFP

Attention

Dead fin whale washes up on beach in Devon, UK

© Mel Wilks
The remains of the animal were found on Red Rock beach
A dead whale has washed up on a Devon beach.

The whale - believed to be a fin whale - came ashore at Red Rock beach, between Dawlish Warren and Dawlish.

Members of the public are being warned to keep a safe distance from the carcass - thought to measure about 50ft.

Experts say the carcass is an endangered fin whale - the second-largest animal after the blue whale.

Fin whales are usually found in large numbers in the Bay of Biscay and their presence in British waters is a relatively new discovery.


Tornado2

Waterspout filmed over Lake Michigan

A waterspout was seen on Lake Michigan around 8:30 a.m. at Ardmore Hollywood Beach on Wednesday.

A waterspout, though not technically a tornado, is often called a "tornado over water." Though this quickly spinning column of air has the potential to be dangerous, they are usually weak.


Arrow Down

1 dead, 26 missing after landslide in East China

Fifteen people have been rescued, but more than 20 are missing after a landslide in east China's Zhejiang Province Wednesday, authorities said Thursday.

One body was found around 1 p.m. Thursday, and rescuers are racing against time to dig out another victim, after Typhoon Megi brought landslides to Sucun Village, Suichang County at 5:28 p.m. Wednesday.

Ten people are receiving treatment in hospital, according to a statement issued by Suichang county government.

"Roughly 400,000 cubic meters of debris slid down the mountains and buried 20 houses. Seventeen other homes were flooded. A township official who went to help villagers is among the missing," said county official Zhou Ruichen.

Zheng Quanwei, 56, was having dinner 200 meters away from the scene when he heard a loud noise and ran outside. "It was getting dark, but I could see some collapsed houses on the hillside," he said. "There were still some noises."

© Xinhua/Han Chuanhao
Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2016 shows the accident site after a landslide hit Sucun Village of Suichang County, east China's Zhejiang Province.
Video footage from the scene shows debris cascading down the hill around 5:28 p.m. as a landslide engulfed the hillside and people screamed in terror.


Camera

Iceland turns off city lights to view spectacular Northern Lights show

Street and home lighting were turned off in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, for one hour to allow the world renowned Northern Lights spectacle to be viewed in all its glory.

The lights went out in selected parts of the city on Wednesday night and residents were asked to keep their homes in the dark between 10pm and 11pm to facilitate a clearer view of the spectacular natural phenomenon.

Needless to say, there are some risks to having a city-wide blackout and the Reykjavik City Council urged motorists in darkened areas to drive with particular caution.

Tourists and locals snapped awe-inspiring photos and videos of the dancing green-lit sky stretching across the capital.

The predicted combination of clear skies and high Aurora Borealis activity meant those who had traveled from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the celestial activity were in for envious views of the famously unpredictable event.


Comment: The Aurora Borealis, so called 'Northern lights' have been observed heading a lot further 'south' in recent times, providing a 'rare' spectacle even in the most southerly parts of England.

While the Aurora Australis, or the 'Southern lights' have been seen further north in New Zealand than usual. Researchers have also recently identified increased electrical activity moving towards equatorial regions.

Aurorae occur when charged solar particles reach local magnetic field lines, where they enter the planetary atmosphere and excite its atoms and molecules. As they deactivate, the particles produce light emission.

With the increasing comet/volcanic dust loading of the atmosphere (an indicator of this dust loading is the intensification of noctilucent clouds we are witnessing) which is accentuating electric charge build-up, we can expect to observe more awesome light shows and other related phenomena.

The winning Electric Universe model, and much more related information, are explained in the book Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.


Cloud Lightning

Severe weather warnings issued as a once in 50-year storm barrels towards southeast Australia

© BOM
This is the monster low pressure system barrelling towards southeast Australia.

South Australia is bracing for a second day of severe weather with heavy rain and destructive winds to lash large parts of the state.

An intense lower pressure system will continue to move across SA after super cell thunderstorms brought down the entire power network overnight. The winds ripped at least 22 transmission towers from the ground across the mid-north with about 80,000 lightning strikes hitting the state, some damaging generation facilities.

That caused automatic emergency systems to cut power across South Australia with SA Power Networks reporting 200,000 customers were left without electricity. Heading into Thursday most of the Adelaide metropolitan area had power restored with only the northern parts of the state and the Eyre Peninsula likely to still be without services.