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Thu, 23 Jan 2020
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Snowflake Cold

Anchorage, Alaska breaks snow record for New Year's Day following the warmest Dec 31 on record

Snowfall overnight transformed Southcentral Alaska from an icy, slushy mess to a snow-laden landscape, Jan 1, 2020. Spruce trees are loaded with snow in Eagle River valley, Wednesday morning.
© Anne Raup/ADN
Snowfall overnight transformed Southcentral Alaska from an icy, slushy mess to a snow-laden landscape, Jan 1, 2020. Spruce trees are loaded with snow in Eagle River valley, Wednesday morning.
Anchorage rang in the new year with record-breaking snowfall and warmth, as temperatures tumbled on Tuesday evening and precipitation ticked up throughout the night.

It was the snowiest New Year's Eve and New Year's Day combined on record for Anchorage, with 9.5 inches of snow by Wednesday afternoon, according to meteorologist Michael Vuotto at the National Weather Service in Anchorage. The snow totals broke the previous record set during the 1963-64 New Year's, which measured 7.2 inches of snow.

The snowfall came after Anchorage broke the daily record for warmest Dec. 31, with temperatures at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport measuring 46 degrees. That broke a previous record that was set in 2018, at 44 degrees for the final day of the year.


Fire

Crikey. Australian military preps for major evac operation from fire-ravaged Victoria


Comment: It's 'climate change', sure, but there's nothing your govts can do to stop it...

At least they've found a productive use for the military.


australia wildfires mallacoota

Residents of Mallacoota in Victoria, Australia, prepare for emergency evacuation as wildfires reach the sea-shore
Plans to evacuate thousands of stranded residents from fire-ravaged communities in Victoria are underway; Australian navy ships are anchored offshore as air force vehicles brave the acrid smoke to evacuate the sick and elderly.

At least 18 people have died throughout the current bushfire season in Australia. Eight of the victims perished in the country's southeast on New Year's Eve, while 17 people remain unaccounted-for in Victoria State.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has declared a seven-day state of emergency and the fire service have created a roughly 200km-long "tourist leave zone."


Comment: Videos are emerging of the destruction some of these wildfires left in their wake:


What else is known, so far (summary courtesy of The Guardian):
  • The NSW government declared its third state of emergency, beginning on Saturday and running for seven days
  • The Australian Capital Territory has declared a state of alert
  • There are extraordinary delays and traffic jams on the roads out of South Coast regions, after authorities told all tourists and some residents to leave areas today and tomorrow
  • There are now four 'leave zones for tourists' and/or residents in Snowy Monaro, Shoalhaven, Batlow/Wondalga, and South coast
  • Evacuation orders were made for Kosciusko National Park, where the Dunns Road fire is taking hold
  • Exits were hampered by high crowds, road closures, and fuel shortages
  • Some service stations ran out, while others limited people to 50L of gas
  • Victorian authorities also urged people to leave the alpine and East Gippsland regions before the weekend
  • There is a total fire ban for NSW on Friday and Saturday
  • The Choulas Navy ship can take 500-1,000 people, but they will have to climb up a rope ladder to get aboard
  • Limited evacuations by air will be organised for elderly and infirm people
  • The conditions are predicted to be extreme in South Australia on Friday, with temperatures in Adelaide of 42C and 45C in the regions
  • Fire chief Mark Jones said the concern was already existing fires. "There are millions of sparks out there ready to go tomorrow if they break containment lines."
  • The prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, attended the funeral of firefighter Geoffrey Keaton, who died in December while fighting the Green Wattle Creek blaze
  • Some $21m in commonwealth disaster payments has so far been paid to fire victims in NSW
Is this scale of disaster-by-wildfire 'unprecedented' for Australia?

Update 19:00 CET

PM Scott Morrison has been visiting townships to 'lend his support'. It's not going too well...





Attention

Wild boar goes on rampage in Uttar Pradesh, India

boar
In a terrifying moment, workers at a petrol station were confronted by a wild boar as they went about their regular day's work in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

A wild boar has created havoc in the Sultanpur district town of Kadipur in Uttar Pradesh when it went wild, creating a panic at a petrol station.

In the incident caught on a CCTV camera in the area, the wild boar can be seen tossing a schoolgirl into the air.



Fire

Smoke from Australian fires colours New Zealand glaciers

new zealand ash
© Rachelhatesit/Andy Hoare
The ash has spread as far as New Zealand
A huge ash cloud from the Australian bush fires is so vast it has spread over 2,500 miles to New Zealand.

Images show a thick orange haze filling the skies after drifting across the Tasman Sea.

Meteorologist Aidan Pyselman told Stuff: 'It's off and on, when we get a particular setup with the way the upper winds are it tends to come across. We haven't had it consistently but at the moment we've got a front moving on to the South Island.

'It's been happening for quite some time since the Aussie bushfires have been going. At the moment it's definitely more noticeable, especially over the South Island.'

'It will probably peter out. At the moment it's coming across on northwesterly flow, but later in the week the winds will be more southwesterly, so we probably won't see as much.'

Attention

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Jet streams break while 'once in a century' is our new norm

Polar Stratospheric Clouds over Lapland
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Earth's winds and jet streams are reversing their flow sending record heat to Norway 15C/60F after Christmas and the Balkans are -5C/22F along the Adriatic Sea. Once in a lifetime Polar Stratospheric Clouds, coldest December temperature recorded in Pakistan. Update on Blue Star Kachina comet C/2017K2 arriving 2022.


Comment: See also: A recent study predicts the next solar cycle phase will bring on a 'Mini Ice Age' as early as 2020, as according to the models, there will be a "huge reduction" in solar activity for 33 years between 2020 and 2053. This will cause global temperatures to decrease drastically. Meanwhile NASA predicts the weakest solar activity in 200 years.

Jet Stream meanderings, and much more, are explained by Pierre Lescaudron in his book Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection:
So since about 1998, when the solar activity started to drop, the Arctic jet stream has shown signs of weakness (lower speed and more southerly location). Jet stream latitudinal oscillations have been acknowledged by mainstream science for years. They are allegedly due to changes in the Arctic oscillation. [561] So far, no convincing explanation has been provided for the causes of this 'oscillation'. However, if the electric nature of our solar system is taken into account, shifts in the jet stream begin to make sense...

Therefore, if solar activity is weak, the jet stream should be observed at abnormally low latitudes. This is what has happened in recent years, particularly over Europe, with the jet stream as low as 15° north in winter (above North Africa) when it should be around 60° north (above Scotland)...

In this way, a lasting decrease in solar activity would induce an overall cooling of the 'temperate' latitudes that would be increasingly less separated from Arctic air by a more frequently and abnormally south-shifting polar jet stream. This could be an aggravating factor in the quick onset of an ice age.



Snowflake Cold

At least 50 people dead as cold wave sweeps through Bangladesh

Hospitals have been crowded with people suffering from cold-related illnesses in Bangladesh
© AM Ahad/AP Photo
Hospitals have been crowded with people suffering from cold-related illnesses
At least 50 people have died in Bangladesh as cold weather continues to sweep across the country, officials have said.

The country's lowest temperature this year was recorded at 4.5 degrees Celsius (40.1 degrees Fahrenheit) early on Sunday in Tetulia, a border town in Bangladesh's north, the weather office said.

At least 17 people died of acute respiratory infection and 33 from diarrhoea caused by rotavirus and other diseases across Bangladesh from November 1 to December 28, said Ayesha Akhter, a senior official of the government's health directorate.

Hospitals have been crowded with people suffering from cold-related illnesses, such as influenza, dehydration and pneumonia, she said.

Those on low incomes, particularly labourers, are the worst affected by the cold weather because they lack clothes, while many others, especially children and the elderly people, are prone to diseases such as pneumonia, Akhter said.

Comment: Meanwhile in neighbouring India, Delhi faced its second-coldest December in 100 years. In Skardu, the city's recent low of -21C (-5.8F) broke Pakistan's all-time December low temperature, which was set back in 1994.


Seismograph

Northern Iran hit by 5.8-magnitude earthquake

quake
© CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ivtorov / Seismograph
Iran is located on major seismic faults and often experiences powerful tremors, especially in the southern part of the country.

A powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake has hit the town of Sangan, according to Iranian state television. The epicentre of the quake was located at a depth of 8 kilometres (5 miles). At the moment, there are no official reports about casualties or damage, caused by the tremor.
​Sangan is a city with a population of around 9,000, located near the Afghan border.

Attention

214 grey whales washed up dead on the West Coast of North America in 2019

By April 2019, strandings like this unusually thin whale found at Leadbetter Point State Park, Wash., were becoming frequent on the West Coast
© John Weldon/Northern Oregon and Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Program
By April 2019, strandings like this unusually thin whale found at Leadbetter Point State Park, Wash., were becoming frequent on the West Coast
The first grey whale found dead in B.C. last year was in such rough shape that its tail had turned pink. It looked as though it was covered in foam.

The pink wasn't anything artificial, officials learned when they arrived to tow the skinny male to shore near Victoria for a necropsy last April.

It was the animal's own flesh, eaten raw by whale lice.

Two weeks later, another, off Tofino. Then the islands of Haida Gwaii, where a total of six would wash ashore this year. The epic migration the whales make every spring — more than 10,000 kilometres from breeding lagoons in Mexico to a summer feeding in the Bering Sea — had turned deadly.

"It was quite disturbing to see," said Paul Cottrell, regional marine mammal co-ordinator with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. "When they become compromised, their immune system is obviously not able to deal with that, and they get eaten alive."

"We had these kind of zombie whales swimming in our waters."

Snowflake

Hundreds of trees fall onto roads due to weight of ice, snow in Chippewa County, Michigan

trees snow
Hundreds of trees have fallen onto the roads in the Upper Peninsula's Chippewa County.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office says the weight of ice and snow on the trees has caused hundreds to fall into the roads, blocking the entire path of travel in some areas. Deputies say there is also a danger of downed power lines being mixed in with the trees.

Arrow Down

Two skiers killed by avalanche in British Columbia

Glacier view, Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, northwestern British Columbia, Canada

Glacier view, Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, northwestern British Columbia, Canada
Two people were killed after getting swept up by a massive avalanche in a mountain pass in British Columbia, Canadian authorities said.

The two skiers were climbing by foot on a slope near the Alaskan border when they were buried by the avalanche, which barreled into a terrain trap, Avalanche Canada said. A third skier who was with the victims was partially buried but managed to get free and used a satellite messaging system to get help, the organization said.

The skiers were friends from Haines, Alaska, the Haines Volunteer Fire Department said in a news release. Their names will not be released until family members are notified, the department said.