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Wed, 07 Dec 2016
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Fierce storm leaves thousands without power in Brisbane, Australia

Thousands without power after southeast Queensland storm
A fierce storm that swept through the Brisbane region has left two people injured and thousands without power.

A traffic controller was struck by lightning on the Gold Coast. She had no visible injuries but was taken to hospital as a precaution.

A 13-year-old boy was taken to hospital with hip and leg injuries when a tree fell on him at Forest Lake, in Brisbane's southwest.

Electricity supplier Energex was working throughout the night to restore power to nearly 7000 customers.

There were more than 6000 lightning strikes during the Wednesday afternoon storm that also brought strong winds and hail to the Gold Coast, Logan and Brisbane.


'Thousands' of mysterious jelly-like creatures found at Huntington Beach, California

© Don Coursey
These "critters" appeared in the Huntington Beach area on Nov. 28, 2016. (Credit: Don Coursey)These "critters" appeared in the Huntington Beach area on Nov. 28, 2016.
A number of photos showing mysterious jelly-like creatures that recently washed up on the sand in Huntington Beach have prompted rampant speculation on social media.

One Facebook user, Ryan Rustan, wrote that he was walking on the shoreline Monday night when he felt "little water balloons popping under my feet, super squishy."

He said looked down and was unsure what exactly he had stepped on.

"Couldn't tell if they were jellyfish or eggs but there are thousands up and down the beach," Rustan wrote on Facebook, sharing the post to the Huntington Beach Community Forum group.

Rustan told KTLA he saw the creatures near 10th Street and Pacific Coast Highway, on the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier, but said they were "all over" the beach.


Four in hospital, including a child, after dog attack in Manchester, UK

The incident happened in Manchester involving what's thought to be an American Bulldog, like the one here (NOT the actual dog)
Four people are in hospital after being attacked by a dog in north Manchester.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the American Bulldog is still trapped inside the house, and police are at the scene.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to Bluestone Road in Moston just before 1pm to reports that a dog had attacked four people.

The victims' ages are unknown but it's believed at least one was a child.

Police have said that the dog is an 'American Bulldog-type' animal. The American Bulldog is not a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act - and is not to be confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier, which IS banned.


Woman in critical condition after pit bull attack in Rochester, New York

A woman is fighting for her life after police say she was mauled by a dog Wednesday morning.

Officers were called to Rockview Terrace just after 1 a.m. for the report of a pit bull attack. At the scene, police say they found 33-year-old Mariah Schaffer being attacked by the dog. Investigators tell News10NBC Schaffer was on the ground and unclothed.

Police were forced to fire on the dog to save the woman's life. Deputy Chief Scott Peters says the dog owner, Jamie Cruz, was trying to stop the attack with verbal commands, but the dog was "uncontrollable." The dog's owner told officers to shoot the pit bull

"The animal was actively attacking the female by biting and chewing various areas of her body," said Deputy Chief Peters.


Great white shark attacks surfer off Booti Booti, Australia

A 65-year-old man who was bitten by a great white shark while he was surfing on New South Wales' Mid North Coast is "quite happy" and in stable condition.

A 65-year-old man who was bitten by a shark while he was surfing on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales is "quite happy" and in stable condition.

Police said the man was attacked just off Booti Booti after 9:00am, by a shark later confirmed to be a great white.

He managed to swim to shore and contacted emergency services.

He was treated for puncture wounds to his arm and leg and airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in stable condition.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said its assessment confirmed a great white shark was responsible for the attack.

Graham Nickerson, from the Westpac Rescue Service, said the victim was in good spirits despite his ordeal.

The man was in good spirits as he was airlifted to hospital.

Snowflake Cold

Coldest November for the Netherlands since 1998

© Johan Neven / Wikimedia Commons
This month was the coldest November the Netherlands had since 1998. The average temperature for November, measured at De Bilt, came down to 5.5 degrees. On 12 days the minimum temperature dropped below zero, according to meteorological institute KNMI.

The hottest it was this month was in Westdorpe in Zeeland, where the maximum temperature was 15.2 degrees on November 1st. Despite the low temperatures, this November was quite sunny. There was about 85 hours of sunshine, compared to the November average of around 63 hours.

According to Weerplaza, this autumn is full of extremes. Temperatures in the Netherlands went from 33 degrees to -7 degrees in three months.

Snowflake Cold

Frigid air mass building in Alaska, poised to descend into lower 48 next week

Alaska is witnessing its coldest air in almost two years, and some of the biting chill is forecast to plunge into the western United States in about a week's time.

In Fairbanks on Tuesday morning, the temperature tanked to minus-31 degrees, ending a 624-day stretch in which it was warmer than that — the second longest on record. Tuesday afternoon, the mercury only recovered to minus-21, ending a record-long 658-day stretch with highs above minus-10.

It was even colder in Bettles, Alaska, on Tuesday, where the temperature dropped to minus-41 with a bone-chilling wind chill of minus-53.

Statewide, it was the first time Alaska's daily temperature index was significantly below normal in almost a year.

Comment: From Paul Dorian at Vencore Weather:


Huge waterspout touches down near Destin, Florida

A photo of a waterspout, taken by Mark Hinds and sent to Panama City meteorologist Chris Smith, hit near Destin Wednesday morning.

While parts of northern Florida are under tornado watch until 5 p.m. local time, a waterspout touched down near Destin on Wednesday morning.

About 11 a.m., according to Northwest Florida Daily News, the waterspout formed and grazed the coast for several miles.

Locals took video from balconies and cars as what they thought was a tornado made its way around the Choctawhatchee Bay.


Masked wagtail bird from Asia found in the UK for the first time

© Athena
The masked wagtail has attracted birdwatchers from all over Britain
Birdwatchers from all over Britain have turned up in a tiny Welsh village to see the first recorded visit of a masked wagtail.

The species is normally found in Kazakhstan, Iran and Afghanistan but may have been brought here by the icy temperatures.

It was spotted on the roof of a semi-detached house in Camrose, Pembrokeshire, but local birdwatchers were unable to identify it.

An expert arrived and the bird was confirmed as the masked wagtail which has never been seen before in the British Isles.

More than 40 twitchers drove through the night and slept in their cars to get the first glimpse of the bird seen flying between chimney pots in the village.

Comment: See also: 4 birds from Siberia seen in the UK for the first time; an unprecedented influx of 59 in northern Europe


What killed up to 300 red-winged blackbirds in Cumberland County, New Jersey?

Hundreds of Red-Wing Blackbirds were found dead in Stow Creek. Officials are trying to determine what might have killed them.
Authorities are still investigating what killed an estimated 200 to 300 red-winged blackbirds in this rural township.

The dead birds were found near Frank Davis Road on Nov. 22, according to Cumberland County Department of Health Director Megan Sheppard.

The were found on the road, in farm fields and in wooded areas. Some of the dead birds were also found on some nearby roadways.

There has been no cause yet determined as to what killed them.

As for humans, Sheppard says there appears to be no threat.

"Not at this time, we don't have any concerns," she said Wednesday, noting no unusual illness has been reported in humans or pets in the area.