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Thu, 21 Nov 2019
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Earth Changes


Dozens of villages remain cutoff by several feet of snow in Kashmir

Dozens of far-flung and remote villages near the Line of Control (LoC), including border towns of Keran and Karnah, remained cut off from the rest of Kashmir valley for the third successive day on Sunday due to slippery road conditions and accumulation of snow.

Meanwhile, the Kupwara-Machil and Gurez-Bandipora roads in north Kashmir remained closed since November 6 owing to the same reason.

"The Kupwara-Keran and Kupwara-Karnah roads remained closed for the third day on Sunday due to accumulation of about one foot snow," an official of Police Control Room (PCR), Kupwara, said over the phone.

He said the upper reaches in the district received fresh snowfall while rain lashed plains, including Kupwara town during the past 24 hours. "Traffic will resume only after improvement in the weather and clearance of snow on these roads," he said, adding that the snow clearance operation will take a couple of days.

Arrow Down

Avalanche kills at least 6 in Ladakh, India


Representational Image
At least four army personnel and two civilians have been killed after being buried under the snow following an avalanche at the Siachen Glacier on Monday.

The initial reports said that at least eight army jawans were buried under the snow as the avalanche hit the army post at Siachen glacier in Ladakh. The avalanche hit the Army position in the northern glacier at around 3:30 pm on Monday. The Army troops immediately launched the rescue and recovery operations.

All eight personnel were pulled out of the avalanche debris. "Seven individuals who were critically injured, accompanied by medical teams, providing critical care were evacuated by helicopters to the nearest Military Hospital, where all lifesaving resuscitative measures were instituted," an official statement by the army said.


Late snow closes roads in November in Southland, New Zealand

© Mark Price
Snow falling at Okaka Lodge high on the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track makes for scenic viewing ... except it's meant to be spring.

And, it appears the unpredictable weather is set to stay around for a little longer yet.

It had been snowing high up on the track in Tuatapere on Monday and the Milford Rd in Fiordland was closed from 5pm on Sunday due to forecasted snow but had reopened at 11.20am on Monday.

Ice Cube

Western Hudson Bay freeze-up earlier than average for 1980s for 3rd year in a row

Polar bear family on the ice off Churchill Manitoba (taken from a helicopter), courtesy Explore.org

Polar bear family on the ice off Churchill Manitoba (taken from a helicopter), courtesy Explore.org
After five good sea ice seasons in a row for WH polar bears, this repeat of an early freeze-up means a sixth good ice season is now possible for 2019-2020.

This is the third year in a row that freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay (WH) ice has come earlier than the average of 16 November documented in the 1980s.

Reports by folks on the ground near Churchill confirm polar bears are starting to move onto the sea ice that's developing along the shore after almost 5 months on land.

Thanks to Laurel for this link.

Snowflake Cold

Military Emergencies Unit called out as heavy snowfall isolates villages in northern Spain

Villages isolated in the province of León as power cuts affect residents in rural areas

The cold front which swept across the Iberian Peninsula over the weekend brought severe disruption to road traffic in the north of Spain, leaving villages on higher ground isolated as snow drifted to depths of well over a metre in rural areas.

So serious were the conditions that 110 members of the Military Emergencies Unit were dispatched to Villablino and other towns and villages in the Laciana valley in the north-west of the province of León to help clear roads and streets, making use of snow ploughs and various other items of heavy-duty machinery. They began the operation with a total of 43 vehicles on Saturday morning after heavy snowfalls during Thursday and Friday, when red alert warnings were issued by the State meteorological agency Aemet, and also delivered generators to ensure that electricity was available for residents unable to leave their homes.


Record November snowfall in Switzerland affects ski stations and roads - almost 28 inches recorded

As a result of the heavy snow, road and rail transport are experiencing their first major winter disruptions
© Keystone/Jean-christophe Bott
As a result of the heavy snow, road and rail transport are experiencing their first major winter disruptions
Heavy snow over the weekend was recorded in the southern and eastern parts of the country. The record for November has been broken and ski stations at Saas Fee and Saas Grund are cut off.

According to the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, the southern ridges of the Alps have received "a great deal of snowfall" over the last three days with as much as 30cm recorded in some parts of the country. A record monthly snowfall of 71cm for November was registered in Santa Maria in canton Graubünden in eastern Switzerland. The previous record for November snow was 69cm, set also in Santa Maria, in 1959.


Record warm and record snow in the same day for Anchorage, Alaska

On Saturday, Anchorage saw a record high daily temperature of 45° Fahrenheit and a record high snowfall amount of 8.4 inches.

The normal high temperature for Nov. 16 is 27°F degrees so Saturday's high of 45°F was 18 degrees above normal. Once again, the observed overnight low temperature (31°F) was above the normal high for the day. Overnight lows have been equal to or warmer than normal highs for each day this month.

While Anchorage is still behind for seasonal snow totals, Saturday's storm made a big dent in the deficit. Friday, Nov. 15, Anchorage was 13.7 inches below the normal for seasonal snow totals. After the Saturday storm, Anchorage is 5.8 inches below normal.

Cloud Precipitation

Food prices set to rise in UK as floods ruin crops, planting delayed

© Andrew Paterson/Alamy
A ruined crop of potatoes. Farmers in several counties have been unable to get vegetables in or sow wheat.
The price of crisps and chips are expected to rise in the new year as the flooding in northern England hits the supply of winter vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflowers and cabbages.

Official data released on Friday revealed a "great deal of uncertainty" around the fate of a 10th of the country's potato crop as farmers count the cost of the deluge that has overwhelmed parts of South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the Midlands.

"There are increasing reports of crops being abandoned or farmers halting lifting but remaining hopeful that they might salvage something in the spring," said analysts at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in their weekly update. With some potatoes rotting in standing water, the report adds: "There remains a great deal of uncertainty over the fate of the crop area yet to be lifted. An estimated 2-3% of the area is expected to have to be completely written off."

Comment: Extreme weather of all kinds are wreaking havoc on food production all over the planet, and, as noted in the article, this has become a recurrent problem:


Mystery surrounds why hundreds of dead seabirds have washed up on Sydney's beaches

Hundreds of dead birds are washing up on Sydney's iconic beaches. Pictured: The corpses of short-tailed shearwaters on an Australian beach in October

Hundreds of dead birds are washing up on Sydney's iconic beaches. Pictured: The corpses of short-tailed shearwaters on an Australian beach in October
Hundreds of dead birds are washing up on Sydney's iconic beaches.

The corpses of short-tailed shearwaters have been spotted at several shorelines including Bondi, Manly and Cronulla.

The birds are migrating back to southern Australia to breed after spending the summer in Alaska.

But, according to experts, a higher number than usual are dying on the way due to a lack of food.

Comment: For some time now these types of events have also been occurring widely across the world, see these similar reports from recent years:


Indonesia's Mount Merapi spews 1,000-metre high ash columns

A screen grab from Indonesia's National Disaster

A screen grab from Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency Twitter feed showing the eruption.
Indonesia's volatile Mount Merapi volcano erupted on Sunday (Nov 17) morning, spewing ash columns up to 1000m into the sky, an official says.

The volcano's eruption occurred at 10:46 am (0346 GMT) Sunday and lasted for 155 seconds, Agus Wibowo, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said in a statement.

The ash cloud from the eruption was blown west, sprinkling a thin layer of ash on some parts of the village of Banyubiru Dukun, located on the side of the mountain, Wibowo said.