Earth ChangesS


Flashback Lightning Sparks New Fires in British Columbia, Canada

Lightning ignited 22 new fires in the Prince George Fire Centre yesterday and more are expected due to the continued risk of lightning.

Additional fire fighting crews from around the province have arrived in the region to help with existing fires and expected lightning-caused fires. Two additional unit crews, comprising a total of 40 firefighters, are available for sustained action on larger fires. Five additional three-person initial attack crews are also standing by to respond to smaller fires and new fire starts.

Cloud Lightning

US: 300 evacuated from flooding in Ruidoso, New Mexico area

©Ruidoso News
Flood waters destroying yards and fences of homes at River Ranch RV Park, along Highway 70 between Glencoe and Ruidoso Downs, N.M.

Ruidoso - About 300 people were evacuated from homes, campgrounds and a recreational vehicle park Sunday after flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Dolly. Two people were reported missing in the water.

Meteorologists said more than 6 inches of rain fell in the mountainous area, and flash flood watches were in effect for central and eastern New Mexico.

The Rio Ruidoso went over its banks about midnight, said Tom Schafer, Ruidoso's emergency management coordinator.

"Water's just going everywhere," Schafer said.

Ruidoso police took reports of the two being swept away in separate incidents after apparently losing their footing near the river, said Ruidoso's emergency management coordinator, Tom Schafer. He didn't have additional details.

State officials estimated more than 60 homes have been damaged.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon nears Taiwan, markets to close

Taipei -- A typhoon in the Pacific Ocean with wind gusts of 173 kph was on course to hit Taiwan late on Sunday, prompting local governments, including Taipei, to cancel work and classes on Monday and close markets.

©REUTERS/Pichi Chuang
People walk in light rain as Typhoon Fung-Wong approaches, in Taipei July 27, 2008.

Typhoon Fung-Wong, Chinese for phoenix, was moving northwest on Sunday evening, on course to make landfall early Monday in central Taiwan, with sustained winds of 137 kph, Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said on its website.

The approaching storm prompted the issue of rough sea warnings as most local city and county governments announced late in the day that offices and schools would be closed on Monday. That also meant the stock and foreign exchange markets would close for the day.

Cloud Lightning

South Texas gets first look at Dolly's damage

Texas Dolly flood
©AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Dulce Martinez, left, and her boyfriend Adrian Palomares walk through a flooded street to their house after Hurricane Dolly, Thursday, July 24, 2008, in San Benito, Texas.

Brownsville, Texas - Residents and recovery teams began fanning out across south Texas Thursday and cars crept along roads with darkened stoplights as the region got its first look at the destruction left by Hurricane Dolly.

Traffic picked up on local roads littered with debris as people emerged for the first time in more than 24 hours after Dolly's soaking rains and punishing winds. After crashing ashore on South Padre Island, the storm ripped roofs from homes, flooded roads and downed power lines, but the Rio Grande levees officials had feared could breach held strong.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning zap traveled through head, couch, wife in New Zealand

Mark Woodhead
©Mark Dwyer / Taranaki Daily News
Mike Woodhead with his lightning-zapped computer gear after the weekend strike.

Next time Taranaki man Mike Woodhead uses his computer he'll get a weather forecast first. A bolt of lightning which struck near his Ohangai home south-east of Hawera on Saturday night has put the 36-year-old local school caretaker on edge.

He was using the family computer with earphones on, his daughter Leah standing next to him, when there was a huge flash in the middle of a storm.

"I felt a shock which was 20 times worse than an electric fence pulse," he said. "I felt it hit my heart. I was worried it might stop beating," the Tiri Rd man said. "It went through me, through the couch and into my wife Ellen who was sitting on the couch."


Piglet born with "monkey's face"

Piglet Monkey

Curious locals flocked to the home of owner Feng Changlin after news of the piglet spread in Fengzhang village, Xiping township.

"It's hideous. No one will be willing to buy it, and it scares the family to even look at it!" Feng told Oriental Today. He says the piglet looks just like a monkey, with two thin lips, a small nose and two big eyes. Its rear legs are also much longer than its forelegs, causing it to jump instead of walk.

Feng's wife said the monkey-faced piglet was one of five newborns of a sow which the family had raised for nine years. "My God, it was so scary. I didn't known what it was. I was really frightened," she said. "But our son likes to play with it, and he stopped us from getting rid of it. He even feeds it milk."

Neighbours have suggested the couple keep the piglet to see how it looks as it matures.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake jolts northeast India, Bangladesh

Agartala - A moderate earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale shook India's northeast and parts of Bangladesh early Sunday, triggering panic among residents here, officials said. An official at the regional seismological centre in Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, said the tremor took place at 12.22 a.m. and had its epicentre along Bangladesh's Mymensingh, 115 km north of the capital city Dhaka.


US: Wildfire erupts near Yosemite National Park

Here we go again.

Fire crews were working feverishly to contain a swiftly moving wildfire near the western border of Yosemite National Park that increased its size 16-fold on Saturday, forcing about 300 homes to be evacuated near the community of Midpines and threatening up to 2,000 residences.

The developments came as officials announced the death of an 18-year-old firefighter who was struck and killed by a falling tree Friday while helping to contain a wildfire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest about 50 miles west of Redding.


Global cooling: Anchorage could hit 65 degrees for fewest days on record

The coldest summer ever? You might be looking at it, weather folks say.

Right now the so-called summer of '08 is on pace to produce the fewest days ever recorded in which the temperature in Anchorage managed to reach 65 degrees.

That unhappy record was set in 1970, when we only made it to the 65-degree mark, which many Alaskans consider a nice temperature, 16 days out of 365.

This year, however -- with the summer more than half over -- there have been only seven 65-degree days so far. And that's with just a month of potential "balmy" days remaining and the forecast looking gloomy.

Comment: Right after a record cold winter, we have a record cool summer. And yet, the global warming crowd still try to find justification for their theory. It really makes one wonder if there is a hidden motive for that.

Cloud Lightning

Severe storm hits New Zealand's upper North Island

A severe storm continued to lash the top half of New Zealand's North Island on Saturday, with strong wind warnings in place for most areas of the North Island. The storm toppled power lines and trees, closed roads and caused extensive power outages, Radio New Zealand reported on Saturday.

MetService predicted the storm, which began on Saturday morning, will last about 24 hours. The storm hit Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty on Saturday evening and was expected to be felt in East Cape by late Sunday morning.