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Thu, 22 Oct 2020
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Scottish village recorded 'coldest September temperature for 20 years'

The weather station at Altnaharra
© Stuart Meek / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA
The weather station at Altnaharra.
A SUTHERLAND village is once again living up to it moniker as the coldest spot in the UK after the mercury plunged last night.

The temperature fell to roughly -5C in Altnaharra - making it one of the coldest September nights reported in Scotland for more than 20 years.

BBC weather presenter Matt Taylor, who is also a former senior operational meteorologist at the Met Office, confirmed the news on Twitter this morning.

Of course, -5C is nothing unusual in winter in Altnaharra, which holds the record for the coldest temperature ever documented in the UK. On December 30, 1995, the mercury plunged to an Arctic -27.2C (-17F).

Altnaharra wasn't the only slightly chilly place in the Sutherland last night. Kinbrace was not far behind Altnaharra's low, recording a temperature of close to -4.5C.

Weather stations at Klibreck and Banscol also recorded temperatures near to -3C.


Shallow 6.2-magnitude earthquake hits south of Africa, USGS says

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit south of Africa at around 17:10 GMT this Saturday with the epicentre lying at the depths of 10 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey

No tsunami warning has been issued yet. Meanwhile, people living in South Africa have been reporting tremors.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods hit SW Slovenia after torrential rain - at least 6 inches in just a few hours

Torrential rainfall over the night and in the morning caused severe flash floods in SW Slovenia.

Locally, up to 6,7 inches of rain has fallen in just a few hours!


Alps surprised by early snowfall, 2 Swiss towns set new records of 10 inches and nearly 2 feet

St Anton, Austria

St Anton, Austria
Parts of Switzerland, Austria and Germany were surprised by unseasonably early snowfall overnight, after a sharp drop in temperatures and heavy precipitation.

The Swiss meteorological agency said Saturday that the town of Montana, in the southern canton (state) of Valais, experienced 25 centimeters (almost 10 inches) of snowfall — a new record for this time of year.


Beautiful sun halo brightens Singapore skies

Sun halo over Singapore
© Desmond Wee
A sun halo seen from a Housing Board block near Guillemard Road at about 12.15pm yesterday. The weather phenomenon occurs when thin clouds are so high in the sky that the water in them consists of ice crystals rather than droplets. These crystals act like tiny prisms, reflecting and refracting light in a way that creates what appears to be a ring around the sun.

Yesterday's sun halo was visible from locations across eastern Singapore such as Tampines, Simei and Ubi around noon.

A less distinct halo was seen three weeks ago, near the Merlion.


Yellow-bellied Flycatcher from North America turns up on Tiree, Scotland - first time recorded in Western Palearctic

Rich olive-green above, with a complete bold eye-ring, an orange lower mandible,
© John Bowler
Rich olive-green above, with a complete bold eye-ring, an orange lower mandible, a distinct yellow suffusion on the throat and down the breast, plus the bird's overall 'cute' look, diagnosed the 'Empid' as Britain and the Western Palearctic's first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
A fast-moving depression whipped across the North Atlantic and struck the Isle of Tiree early on Sunday 13 September 2020. Conditions looked ideal for bringing a North American bird or two across 'the pond' and I even fantasized about finding an Empidonax flycatcher. However, checks of my local patch at Balephuil later that day produced nothing new other than a Lesser Whitethroat and a small influx of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

A fresh juvenile Common Rosefinch popped up briefly in our garden the following day and with the winds slackening in a ridge of high pressure, my bird-finding thoughts switched back towards drift migrants from the east. First thing on Tuesday morning, I casually opened the curtains of our lounge windows with a cup of tea in hand and was dumbfounded by what I saw! In exactly the same willow where the rosefinch had been the previous day, a boldly marked flycatcher eyed me from just a few metres away. Rich olive-green above, with a complete bold eye-ring, an orange lower mandible, a distinct yellow suffusion on the throat and down the breast, and very striking whitish wing-bars and edgings to the tertials and secondaries - it was an Empidonax flycatcher! I grabbed my camera and took a few record shots to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly flash floods in Gilan Province, Iran

Floods in Talesh County Gilan Province, Iran, September 2020.
© Iran Red Crescent
Floods in Talesh County Gilan Province, Iran, September 2020.
At least 2 people died after flash floods struck in northern Iran.

According to the Iranian Red Crescent, heavy rainfall triggered flash flooding in Talesh County in the northern province of Gilan on 20 September.

Flooding caused damage to homes, roads and bridges in 6 villages of the county. Two fatalities were reported.

Iranian Red Crescent has distributed relief items such as tents, blankets, hygiene items and food.


First ever Iberian subtropical storm recorded

Subtropical Storm Alpha
© NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)
On Sept. 18, 2020, NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Subtropical Storm Alpha in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean near Portugal’s coast.
The first ever subtropical storm has been recorded in an occurrence described by meteorologists as a "historic fact".

According to weather experts, subtropical storm Alpha, which barrelled along the Portuguese coast and through some parts of Spain last weekend, was the first event of its kind to be registered since weather records began.

This was first put forward by Spanish meteorologists and later confirmed by the Portuguese Met Office (IPMA).

In some cases along the Portuguese coast, particularly the stretches along the Algarve and up to Lisbon, entire beaches were consumed by rapid rises in sea levels, while winds of up to 100km/h were registered in some inland locations.

On 18 September, 522 occurrences were registered by civil protection authorities due to strong rain and wind which wreaked havoc in various parts of the country.

The early hours of 19 September were calmer, but the Civil Protection service still registered 33 occurrences, mostly associated to falling trees, flooding, toppling structures and tidal surges in coastal areas.

Cloud Lightning

Rare 'supercell' storm brings intense hail to Yorkshire, UK

Yorkshire hail storm
Particularly hard-hit by the hail were Guiseley, Baildon and Otley
A "supercell" storm of heavy showers, hail and thunder left parts of Yorkshire under a thick blanket of hailstones on Thursday evening.

The storms, which began at about 16:00 BST, battered much of the region with lightning continuing for several hours.

Hail was reportedly up to 2.5cm (1in) in diameter in places, making conditions difficult for drivers.

A supercell is a severe variety of thunderstorm caused by a change in wind speed and direction.

BBC Weather forecaster Billy Payne said: "We don't see supercells all too often in the UK - they are more commonly seen in the United States Great Plains where they can produce powerful tornadoes and large hail at times."

People living in Baildon, Guiseley, Otley and Menston, shared images on social media of the flash storms leaving them in several centimetres of hail.

Comment: British astrophysicists: "mini ice age is accelerating - New 'Maunder Minimum' has begun," look at changes in Beaufort Gyre


Ice Age Farmer Report: Violent, diseased super-pigs - Vector for next pandemic?

super pigs
The USDA has warned that "SuperPigs" have arrived, and with them, myriad virus (including the G4 swine flu that threatens zoonotic transmission). Media has gone to town on this story -- ensuring it reaches the collective conscious -- but why? Could these superpigs be the vector by which a new disease might be delivered, ensuring that we re-engineer our food supply and end animal agriculture? Problem, reaction, famine: Christian breaks it down.