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Wed, 22 Feb 2017
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Earth Changes


Canada: Emergencies Declared in Two Northern Quebec Communities

© unknown
People gather in Chisasibi, Que., on Tuesday. The power has been out in most of Chisasibi and Wemindji in freezing temperatures since Monday morning.
Things are looking a bit brighter for the northern Quebec Cree communities of Wemindji and Chisasibi, which have been without power for more than 30 hours, as Hydro Quebec has come up with plans to restore power.

Power has now been restored to about a third of residents in Chisasibi as of about 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Hydro Quebec is slowly bringing the power back so as not to blow the line.

If that plan works, it will do the same for Wemindji in the morning. If the system crashes, the company will start the backup generators it sent to the communities.

Hydro Québec estimates the power could be restored within 24 hours.

About 5,200 people have been without power for a day and a half.

Cloud Lightning

Canada: Yukon's storm broke weather records

Heavy snow and winds in Whitehorse on Monday, Dec. 5.
Monday's storm in Yukon broke a variety of weather records around the territory.

High winds and rain sent temperatures up to 14 degrees in Burwash Landing. It was the warmest December day ever for the community on the shores of Kluane Lake.

The community of Haines Junction got the same temperatures, along with some gale-force winds in excess of 100 kilometres per hour.

Haines Junction resident Amy McKinnon says it made a mess of some yards in town.

"Yeah, it was really warm. We woke up to quite a windstorm as well, so there were stories about damaged roofs, trampolines that took flight, tents that ended up in the bush, downed trees all over town, power outages and I heard the winds peaked at over 114 kilometres per hour. So a little more excitement than we wanted," said McKinnon.

Then a cold front sent temperatures plummeting and produced record snowfalls in some areas.

Cloud Lightning

Extreme weather creates havoc in Perth, Australia

Extreme weather conditions have left thousands of passengers stranded at Perth Domestic Airport and 12,000 homes across Western Australia without power.

At the domestic terminal, Qantas planes have been grounded since mid-morning yesterday as storm activity made conditions dangerous for flying.

Perth Airport yesterday afternoon advised 17 aircraft were waiting to be allocated into bays at the domestic terminal, with airline staff unable to service the planes due to safety concerns.

It is understood Virgin had grounded all flights out of Perth since yesterday morning.

Better Earth

US: Strong winds create 'rare' Reverse Sierra Wave over California

After a chilly start to our day, light winds and clear skies should leave us once again in an "inverted state." High temperatures up at Lake Tahoe probably are going to be as warm, if not warmer, than what we will get here in the valley. On Monday, a strong easterly flow up in the mountains created a rare "reverse Sierra Wave."

On Monday, the strong east winds created a Sierra Wave on the west side of the Sierra Nevada.

Usually when we talk about the wave, it happens on our side of the mountains when strong west or southwesterly winds create a standing wave. But as the satellite picture above (forwarded by retired meteorologist Doug Armstrong) shows, the exact opposite happened early Monday morning, and the strong east winds created a Sierra Wave on the west side of the crest. A rare sight indeed!

Bizarro Earth

Could the Dead Sea Completely Vanish?

© akva | Shutterstock
As surrounding nations use up the inflow to the Dead Sea, this salty lake is dropping fast, scientists warn.

San Francisco - Water levels in the Dead Sea have been dropping over the last few years as towns and villages in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria suck up run-off water that would normally fill the extra-salty lake. But new research finds that even in periods without human pressures, the Dead Sea may have dried up, including once when it did so almost entirely more than 100,000 years ago.

The finding does not bode well for the region, according to study researcher Steven Goldstein, a professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. If the giant body of water nearly vanished with no human pressures, what could be the consequences with both man-made climate change and water diversions for irrigation that keep much of the resource from even reaching the Dead Sea?

"Without human intervention during the last interglacial, the run-off declined or stopped," Goldstein said here Monday (Dec. 5) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Already, he said, water has been a source of tension in the region.

With climate change, the Dead Sea region is expected to become more arid, resulting in more pressure on water resources. And recent signs suggest things are already happening; in 1930 the lake's surface was 1,280 feet (390 meters) below seal level, dropping to 1,381 feet (421 m) below sea level in 2008 due to water being used up by humans before it could even reach the lake, the researchers said.


Japan: Scientists Call for Dumping Radioactive Soil into Sea

© Asahi Shimbun
Power shovels remove top soil from an elementary school playground in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, where high levels of radiation were confirmed in August.
Scientists have proposed dumping soil contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the deep sea, an idea certain to meet opposition both at home and abroad.

A group led by Isao Tanihata, a professor at Osaka University's Research Center for Nuclear Physics, and Kozi Nakai, a former professor at the Tokyo University of Science, said the best way to get rid of the radioactive soil is to place it in noncorrosive, pressure-tight vessels and dumping them at least 2,000 meters deep near Japan.

"The sea, away from all residents, would pose no problem," Tanihata told about 30 researchers at a study meeting at Osaka University on Dec. 3.

The participants, including nuclear physicists and researchers at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, did not object to the proposal from a scientific point of view.

Bizarro Earth

Mountain explodes violently in Vietnam as earth cracks- scientist warn of a coming quake

© Tuoi Tre
A mountain of the Truong Son chain in the central Quang Nam Province exploded and caused the land crack near the dam of the Song Tranh 2 hydroelectricity power plant
About 50km from Quang Nam province's administrative center is Tam Ky City. It takes over three hours for a motorbike to make it down the bumpy road DT616 crossing mountains and hills from there to Bac Tra My Town, where strange geologic activity has residents on edge

Increasingly violent mountain explosions

Residents of the town cannot help but feel anxious, as the intensity of the quakes keeps increasing. The nearby mountain of the Truong Son chain explodes ever more loudly every night.

Lu Quang Lai, nearly 70, says he has never witnessed such strange phenomenon in Tra My in the past decades.

"About 10 months ago, when the new hydroelectricity power plant started to conserve water, the water level in the lake got higher every day. The land here seemed to change. Every night exploding sounds would emanate from the earth, followed by a rumbling sound. Recently the explosions and quakes have become more violent. Glasses and cups fall down like leaves, everything tilts", Lai speaks in a tremble.

Nguyen Phuoc Danh, a motorbike mechanic, lives in a house 300km from Song Tranh 2 hydroelectricity plant's dam. His home is the worst affected in the area, suffering from three tremors.

"Two nights ago, the mountain exploded with a deafening sound. Although I've become used to the noise caused by TNT explosives during the dam's construction, nothing compared to the recent explosion.

"A few seconds later, the earth shook. The roof and the windows rattled. Things started to fall. The wall creaked, and then cracked. I took my wife and kids out to the street. A chill crept up from my heels to my head just like electricity", Danh says in disbelief.

Cloud Lightning

Canada: Gale-force windstorm wreaks havoc in Rocky View, Alberta

© Covy Moore/Rocky View Publishing
Beiseker's Jim Fox survived two near-misses during the Nov. 27 wind storm that blew through the County causing damage to buildings, trees and homes. Two buildings lost their roofs in the village, including the fire hall.
Beiseker's streets looked like a scene from a movie after a wicked windstorm blew through the town, Nov. 27.

Wind speeds reaching close to 100 km/h ripped the roofs off several buildings, brought down power lines and sent debris flying in the village.

The Beiseker Fire Station lost its corrugated metal roof in the early afternoon, according to local firefighter Jim Fox.

"It was really scary," he said. "I have never seen wind like that before, it was more like a hurricane."

Fox, the lieutenant in charge at the fire station at the time, was preparing a second crew to assist at a Linden-area grass fire when he heard a horrifying sound.

"All of a sudden, I opened the door and (the roof) peeled up and flew off and landed right in front of me," said Fox. "It was like a freight train coming through."

Resident Fred Walters also lost a portion of his roof.

Cloud Lightning

United Kingdom braces for bout with blizzard windstorm

© Unknown
Heavy rain and gale force winds have already wreaked havoc over Scotland, Northern Ireland, and parts of England but now the December daemon, snow, is here causing more problems.

Snow and ice are affecting roads across Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of Northern England.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for these areas and police are urging motorists to be aware of the risk of black ice on the roads.

In Northern Ireland showers have been most frequent over counties Londonderry, Antrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh as well as in north Down.

Meanwhile in Scotland the A9 and the M74 have been badly affected. The whole of the A9 is badly affected by snow and ice, especially at Helmsdale, Dalwhinnie and Badenoch. Motorists on the M74 in South Lanarkshire were stuck for three hours southbound after a lorry jackknifed in the snow.

Cloud Lightning

US: High Winds Leave Thousands Without Power in California

© Reuters/Gene Blevins
Residents look at slabs of the broken concrete pavement and uprooted eucalyptus trees after a heavy wind storm in the morning at Highland Park in Los Angeles, California December 1, 2011.
High winds returned to the Los Angeles area early on Saturday as over 100,000 homes and businesses lost power, due to fallen trees and other damage from an ongoing windstorm.

Southern California Edison said that at mid-afternoon it still had 73,600 customers affected by the outages, which were mainly concentrated along the San Gabriel Valley foothills east of Pasadena.

The area saw "near hurricane force winds" that caused flying debris to knock over power poles, said Edison spokesman Gil Alexander.

Unusually powerful winds first began striking the Los Angeles region on Wednesday night, in a storm that has raised concern among local fire departments about potential wildfires igniting and spreading at lightning speed.

By mid-morning on Saturday, wind gusts of 73 miles per hour were clocked atop a mountain near Acton, 30 miles northeast of Los Angeles, according to automated weather stations.