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Sun, 20 May 2018
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Cloud Precipitation

Severe thunderstorms with large amounts of hail and heavy rain hits Germany

Hamburg floods
One of the houses near Hamburg that had to be evacuated with a car sunken into the ground beside it.
After heavy storms hit regions of the country on Thursday, the fire services responded to some 2,000 emergencies, ranging from streets filled with water to flooded basements.

Just as German meteorologists predicted, heavy rain, wind and hail hit much of the country on the public holiday. Though no injuries were reported due to the weather, northern Germany was particularly hard hit by the storms.

Fire brigades in the north of the country had their work cut out, responding to close to 2,000 calls mainly in Schleswig-Holstein and in the Hamburg area.

On Friday morning in Oststeinbek, a municipality east of Hamburg, cellars full of water were still being pumped. Oststeinbek's historic water mill was also washed out. A few houses had to be evacuated in the vicinity and some of the house's walls had even collapsed. In neighbouring Havighorst, an underground car park was flooded in up to three metres of water.

Comment: Severe storms affected other parts of Europe this week also:


Trump declares a major disaster in Hawaii as Kilauea activity continues

hawaii lava fissure
President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Hawaii after days of volcanic activity that sent molten lava and toxic fumes spewing into residential neighborhoods.

The declaration allows federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by the Kilauea volcanic eruption and earthquake.

Federal funding is available to state, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis, the White House said.

The Kilauea volcano erupted on May 3, leaving the future of hundreds of people in Hawaii's Big Island uncertain.

The threat of violent explosions prompted authorities to close the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Friday until further notice.

Comment: For video's of the activity at Kilauea, see: Lava fountains, tremors, fissures, toxic fumes: Hawaii braces itself as Kilauea boils over in unusual outburst

See also:

Bizarro Earth

78-foot wave is the largest ever recorded in Southern Hemisphere

large wave
© andrej67/iStock
An eight-story monster wave that crashed down in the Southern Ocean off the coast of New Zealand has set a record. It's the largest known wave to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere, according to New Zealand scientists.

Nobody actually saw the 78-foot-tall (23.8 meters) wave crash down, but a buoy moored by New Zealand's Campbell Island managed to log the amazing wonder on May 8, according to MetOcean Solutions, a subsidiary of the Meteorological Service of New Zealand.

The colossal wave eclipsed its record-breaking predecessor by nearly 6 feet (1.77 m). That wave - a 72.2-foot (22.03 m) swell recorded by an Australian buoy, reared up just south of Tasmania in 2012, MetOcean Solutions said.

"This [new wave] is a very exciting event and to our knowledge it is [the] largest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere," Tom Durrant, a senior oceanographer with MetOcean Solutions, said in a statement. "This is a very important storm to capture, and it will add greatly to our understanding of the wave physics under extreme conditions in the Southern Ocean."

In this case, a deep, low-pressure system and high winds exceeding 74 mph (65 knots or 120 km/h) helped to create the perfect conditions for the enormous wave. "What is interesting about [Tuesday's] event is the storm speed appears to match the wave speed, allowing wave heights to grow dramatically as the system tracks eastward," Durrant said.

Comment: Meanwhile average winter wave heights along the Atlantic coast of Western Europe have been rising for almost seven decades, according to new research.


Striking sun halo seen over eastern Florida

Sun halo over FL
© Miguel Angel
Many people took notice of a large, dramatic ring around the sun Thursday afternoon and asked us, "What is it?"

This "ring" is called a sun halo, and it's an atmospheric phenomenon not seen in Florida that often.

The sun halo was caused by clouds that were increasing very high up in the atmosphere. These clouds, called cirrus clouds, contain ice instead of water.

Ice crystals reflect light better than water droplets -- think of a prism in the sky. The ice crystals reflected the light from the sun in a full circle down to the surface, creating the sun halo.


Sick brown pelicans mysteriously turning up in Southern California

Devin Hanson, a rehabilitation technician with International Bird Rescue, examines a young, hungry and anemic brown pelican at a wildlife rehabilitation center in San Pedro.
© Angie Trumbo / AP
Devin Hanson, a rehabilitation technician with International Bird Rescue, examines a young, hungry and anemic brown pelican at a wildlife rehabilitation center in San Pedro.
The number of sick and dying brown pelicans along the Southern California coast has mysteriously surged in the last week, a wildlife organization said Thursday.

More than 25 pelicans have been brought to a wildlife rehabilitation center in the San Pedro, International Bird Rescue said.

The big birds are showing signs of emaciation, hypothermia and anemia, the organization said.

It's normal to receive recently fledged baby pelicans this time of year, but the current wave includes many second-year birds, said Kylie Clatterbuck, the center's manager.

Comment: Pelican attack sparks graduation ceremony chaos


Raging bear attacks 4 villagers in Chhattisgarh, India

The bear closes in on the villager in the town near Bhanwaradadar in Gomarda area Raigad District in Chattisgarh

The bear closes in on the villager in the town near Bhanwaradadar in Gomarda area Raigad District in Chattisgarh
Shocking footage shows a bear which had just attacked four villagers knocking over a man as it runs to hide up a tree.

The bear wandered out of a forest and reached a village near Bhanwaradadar in Gomarda area Raigad District in Chattisgarh, in India.

At about 5am the bear attacked an elderly man - who managed to escape by jumping into water next to a dam.


Bear mauls a man to death who tried to take a selfie with it in Orissa, India

The man became trapped underneath the animal before a mob of men with sticks came to his rescue Facebook

The man became trapped underneath the animal before a mob of men with sticks came to his rescue
Dramatic footage shows a bear being beaten by a crowd of men with sticks and spears after the animal mauled a man trying to take a selfie with it.

The unidentified victim, 27, was saved by locals in Orissa, India, who sprung to his defence when the distressed animal pounced on him.

Video footage captured by one of the bystanders shows the bear attacking the man as he struggles to escape its grip.

Comment: The latter incident: Man mauled to death by bear after trying to take selfie with it in Odisha, India.


Woman killed by pack of 7 dogs in Ardmore, Oklahoma

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
Officials said a woman was attacked and killed by a neighbor's dogs on Thursday night.

Carter County Sheriff Chris Bryant said the victim -- whose name has not yet been released -- was attacked by seven dogs and later died from her injuries.

Bryant said the incident happened before 10 p.m. at a residence just east of Ardmore on Banyon Road. He said one of the dogs was a pit bull; the others were medium-sized dogs of other breeds, all with the same owner.

"Once we were notified that this female had succumbed to her injuries, the owner of the dogs decided to put the dogs down," Sheriff Bryant said.

Comment: A week earlier in the same state a pack of 4 pit bull terriers attacked 2 people in Oklahoma City.


Rare red air glow photographed over Atacama desert, Chile

red air glow atacama
© https://www.instagram.com/yuribeletsky/
When the sun goes down, Chile's Atacama desert can be one of the darkest places on Earth. Last night, it was not. "I couldn't believe what I saw on the screen of my camera when I took the first image," reports photographer Yuri Beletsky, who recorded luminous bands of red rippling across the sky:

"The airglow was absolutely insane!" he says. "Parts of the Milky Way were barely visible because of the intense red glow."

Airglow is caused by a complex assortment of chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere. These reactions get started during daylight hours when the atmosphere is bathed in strong ultraviolet radiation from the sun. After sunset, the afterglow appears--usually green, but sometimes red. Beletsky is a veteran photographer of airglow, having captured it dozens of times from sites in Chile and the South Pacific. "The intensity of airglow varies, and sometimes it can be more prominent," he notes.

Comment: Unusual atmospheric activity is on the increase with the exact drivers yet to be determined. One thing is for sure, in line with the phenomena witnessed above: are the events occurring on below:


Several waterspouts seen in Florida Keys

A string of waterspouts were spotted offshore from the Florida Keys on Tuesday morning, though none of the spouts caused damage or moved onto land.

At least seven waterspouts were reported from United States Coast Guard and National Weather Service officials at several different points on the Keys. Here's a look at some of those spouts: