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Wed, 22 Jan 2020
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Earth Changes


Winter blunderland: Numerous crashes on roads as storm blankets central US with snow, ice

The scene of a crash in the Town of Bovina Jan. 17, 2020.
© Outagamie Co. Sheriff's Office
The scene of a crash in the Town of Bovina Jan. 17, 2020.
Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings heralded the arrival of icy roads that would plague residents across the central Plains throughout the day on Friday. After a slick blanket of snow and ice latched itself to roadways, travel hazards and mishaps quickly followed.

Snow accumulations reached up to 7 inches in parts of Iowa by Friday night and 1-5 inches in parts of central Nebraska, western Iowa and spots of Missouri. According to the National Weather Service office in Kansas City (Missouri), some roads were rendered 'nearly impassible' by the precipitation Friday morning.

"Tomorrow morning there could be ice on untreated roads as temperatures drop well below freezing around sunrise. Drive safely tomorrow especially when off the beaten path," the office warned Friday night in a tweet.

Friday evening in Iowa, a pickup truck on I-80 in Western Iowa slid off the road and came hurtling toward a delivery truck, a state trooper and the truck driver. A video had been captured of the incident from the inside of the delivery truck.

Cloud Lightning

Two missing, 3,000 in shelters as Cyclone Tino hits Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Tino batters Pacific

Tropical Cyclone Tino batters Pacific
Tropical Cyclone Tino strengthened to a Category Three storm Saturday as it closed in on Tonga after battering Fiji where two people were missing and more than 3,000 fled to emergency shelters.

The Fiji Meteorological Service said the wind gusts from Tino had increased to 180 kilometers per hour and would likely have its biggest impact in the northern areas of Tonga when it hits overnight.

The Pacific kingdom is still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Gina two years ago which caused widespread devastation, destroying houses and crops.

"The sea is very high and I'm sure beaches are being washed away in the more exposed places and the outer islands," Tupoutu'a Tonutonu told AFP from northern Vava'u.

"It's been bucketing down for about three days, the soil is waterlogged and I'm hearing trees are down in the village."


New ash cloud sparks fears of Taal volcano eruption in the Philippines

A family evacuates to safer grounds as Taal Volano continues to spew ash in Lemery, Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday Jan. 13, 2020.
© Aaron Favila
A family evacuates to safer grounds as Taal Volano continues to spew ash in Lemery, Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday Jan. 13, 2020.
The Taal volcano near the Philippine capital emitted more ash clouds on Saturday, posing the threat of another eruption.

The ash and steam explosions have gotten weaker after seven days of eruption. But despite the seeming lull, factors such as continuing volcanic quakes, the drying of the crater lake and other signs indicate magma is moving beneath, said Maria Antonia Bornas, an official with the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The volcano in Batangas province, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital, Manila, has remained at alert level 4, the second-highest warning, indicating a hazardous explosive eruption is possible in hours or days.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 6 dead as severe weather triggers floods, landslides and lightning strikes in Bolivia

Floods in Tarija, Bolivia, January 2020.
© Secretary of Environment of Tarija
Floods in Tarija, Bolivia, January 2020.
Severe weather including lightning strikes, heavy rain and hail storms has affected several departments in Bolivia since 11 January 2020, with at least 6 fatalities reported.

Chuquisaca Department

In Chuquisaca Department, a storm and heavy rain caused the Quirpinchaca river to overflow, flooding several districts in Sucre City from around 13 January. Over 60 families were affected. Media reported 1 person died as a result of flooding and 2 others as a result of lightning strike during the storm.


Huge blizzard slams Canada's Newfoundland, state of emergency declared in capital St. John's

Newfoundland blizzard
© NOAA/GOES-East. Acquired at 17:50 UTC on January 17, 2020
A winter blizzard hammered Canada's Atlantic coast on Friday packing wind gusts of more than 120 km/h (75 mph) and dumping more than 60 cm (2 feet) in some areas, prompting several towns in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to declare a state of emergency.

The mayor of St. John's, the provincial capital, ordered all businesses to close and told people to stay home. Later in the day the conditions grew so poor that snow plows were taken off the roads.

Comment: Less than two weeks ago another huge blizzard left parts of Newfoundland buried under 50 cm of snow.

Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Vultures signal impending changes for Earth

Fuel truck stuck in snow in Idaho
© Matt Berry
Fuel truck stuck in deep snow in Idaho.
Record snows blanketed the Eastern Himalaya areas of India's N.E states in the same range as the Giffon Non-Migratory Vulture which suddenly abandoned the Himalaya and is 2000 miles south in Singapore. Massive avalanches and unprecedented snow fall in Indian, Pakistan and Afghan mountain ranges and Ice chokes 1/4 of China's second longest river.

Comment: See also:

Cloud Precipitation

Hundreds of thousands of fish killed in Australia after rains wash bushfire ash and sludge into Macleay River

fish kill Macleay River New South Wales
© Larry Newberry
Results of a fish kill in the Macleay River in northern New South Wales, which locals said was like ‘cake mix’.
Hundreds of thousands of native fish are estimated to have died in northern New South Wales after rains washed ash and sludge from bushfires into the Macleay River.

Parts of the Macleay River - favoured by recreational fishers - have been turned into what locals described as "runny cake mix" that stank of rotting vegetation and dead fish.

One freshwater ecologist told Guardian Australia the impact of the fish kill might be felt for decades to come, with long-lived species like Australian bass hit hard.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has been receiving reports of "hundreds of thousands" of fish dead in the river since December 2019.

Locals say rain in the past 10 days has seen more ash and mud from the parched and burned landscape running into the river.

The disaster on the Macleay River is one of eight fish kills reported to the department this year, with the cause of most linked to lack of rainfall.



Lake Tahoe resorts receive up to 26 inches of snow in 24 hours

Sierra-at-Tahoe is busy Friday morning after receiving about 17 inches of fresh snow.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is busy Friday morning after receiving about 17 inches of fresh snow.

The snowstorm that hit Lake Tahoe Thursday performed as expected and dumped up to 2 feet on the mountains.

Flurries still expected this morning and that will add to the already abundant snowfall.

Tahoe Donner has the most reported snow as of early morning reports with over 2 feet, 26 inches.

Northstar California received 22 inches, Sugar Bowl got 21, Heavenly Mountain Resort got 18, Sierra-at-Tahoe 17 and Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Diamond Peak is reporting 15 inches.

Chain controls are in effect all around Lake Tahoe and traveling to resorts will take extra time with the snowy, icy conditions.


Dog pack suspected in woman's death at Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

dog attack
Law enforcement authorities suspect a longtime Taos Pueblo teacher was killed Jan. 8 by a pack of dogs on pueblo land, raising concerns about the dangers of dog overpopulation, not only the pueblo but also in the wider Taos County area.

Newly selected Taos Pueblo Gov. Edwin Concha confirmed this week the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator is looking into the woman's death, but Concha declined to identify her "out of respect to her family."

Sandra Bible of Tulsa identified the slain woman as her sister, 52-year-old Kay Torres.

"She had worked for Taos Pueblo Head Start," Bible said in a phone interview. "She'd worked for Taos Public Schools over the years."


First killer whale in nearly 2 decades washes up on UK coast

A killer whale has been found up washed up on the English shore for the first time in nearly two decades.

A killer whale has been found up washed up on the English shore for the first time in nearly two decades.
The 15-foot-long orca was discovered with a stomach full of plastic in the salt marshes on the eastern coast, between Lincolnshire and Norfolk, according to the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).

The organisation said a 'large fragment of plastic material' was discovered in the young orca's body, however they believe this was unlikely to be its cause of death.

This discovery marks the first confirmed stranding of a killer whale in England and Wales nearly 20 years, the Zoological Society of London has confirmed.

Comment: Dead whales have also washed up recently in Sumatra (Indonesia), New Zealand and Myanmar (Burma):

The Asahan Fishery and Maritime Affairs Agency will investigate the whale's cause of death. (Kompas/Asahan fishery and maritime affairs agency )
© (Kompas/Asahan fishery and maritime affairs agency
Dead humpback whale found off Sumatra on Jan 11th.

The dead whale found off Myanmar (Burma) on January 15th

The dead whale found off Myanmar (Burma) on January 15th