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Fri, 24 Feb 2017
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods in hit Malaga, Spain; 5 inches of rain in 6 hours

© Sergio Brenes
Storms in the Province of Malaga, southern Spain , resulted in widespread flash flooding on 19 February 2017 causing damage to damaged homes, roads and vehicles.

The city of Malaga was the worst affected area. Spain's meteorological office, AEMET, says that the the port of Malaga recorded 152.6 mm of rain in 24 hours on 19 February, with as much as 130.06 mm of that total falling in a 6 hour period.

Emergency services say they responded to 230 incidents during the heavy rainfall. However, there have been no reported fatalities or injuries.

Roads collapsed and buildings flooded. Torrents of water swept through the streets of the city, dragging vehicles along with it. There were also reports of landslides along the A-45 highway in Casabermeja, triggered by the heavy rain.

AEMET issued a red level (highest) warning for parts of the province of Malaga on 18 February, 2017.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 19 cattle in Zimbabwe

Chikomba villagers mill around 18 head of cattle that died after they were struck by lighting on Saturday
Three families from Chikomba district in Mashonaland East province, were left shell-shocked on Saturday after their 19 beasts worth about $10 000, succumbed to a bolt of lightning.

Mable Njowa of Masendu Village lost 10 beasts, while brothers Masiyiwa and Martin Juru of Munhundorima village lost four beasts each in a mid-afternoon incident that has left villagers in panic.

Chikomba district acting livestock production and development officer, Cosmas Ratsakatika, said the incident occurred close to the families' homesteads in headman Neshangwe's area, 60km north-east of Chivhu.

The incident came shortly after a bolt of lightning killed two students and injured 83 others at Chinatsa Secondary School in Marondera district, last month.

Ratsakatika said, two years ago a Feasterstone farmer lost nine head of cattle under similar circumstances.

Arrow Up

'The Blob' of abnormally warm Pacific water increased ozone levels, researchers claim

© American Geophysical Union
Unusually high sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific in May 2015, compared to the 2002-2012 average.
A vast patch of abnormally warm water in the Pacific Ocean - nicknamed the blob - resulted in increased levels of ozone above the Western US, researchers have found.

The blob - which at its peak covered roughly 9 million square kilometres (3.5 million square miles) from Mexico to Alaska - was assumed to be mainly messing with conditions in the ocean, but a new study has shown that it had a lasting affect on air quality too.

"Ultimately, it all links back to the blob, which was the most unusual meteorological event we've had in decades," says one of the team, Dan Jaffe from the University of Washington Bothell.

The blob of warm water in the Pacific was first detected back in 2013, and it continued to spread throughout 2014 and 2015. While it was less obvious in 2016, there were some indications that it persisted well into last year too.

The vast, warm patch has been linked to several mass die-offs in the ocean during 2015, including thousands of California sea lions starving to death in waters more than 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Farenheit) above average, and an "unprecedented" mass death of seabirds in the Western US.

In April 2015, the effects could also be seen on land, with a bout of strange weather in the US being linked to the higher ocean temperatures, and the increased temperatures saw a massive toxic algal bloom stretch along the entire US West Coast.

"I can't truly give an explanation of what is going on right now," marine ecologist Jaime Jahncke from conservation group, Point Blue, said in late 2015.

Comment: See also:

Cloud Precipitation

More flood fears as California braces for another storm

© Randy Pench/The Sacramento Bee via AP
Flood water crosses over Interstate 5 at Williams, California.
Some Northern California residents are preparing for another powerful Pacific storm by patrolling levees for signs of danger, reviewing evacuation plans and filling hundreds of sand bags.

One resident near Tracy, which is 80 miles east of San Francisco, said that though the levees appear in good shape, they decided take charge after the San Joaquin River started rising.

"We have a levee response team, a sand bagging team, teams to check on what walkers checking on the levees find," said San Joaquin River Club resident Paula Martin, who is helping coordinate emergency plans for the private neighborhood of 800 homes.

Martin said the neighborhood has sirens in the clubhouse and at a church that can warn residents of impending flooding.

"Our community is pulling together like real champs," she said, adding that volunteers have been patrolling the levees every two hours.

The area saw rain and wind Sunday afternoon but forecasters said a storm packing a bigger punch will reach the San Francisco Bay Area overnight before moving to the Central Valley.

Comment: Not just Oroville: Record rain is straining California's whole flood control network


Stray dog attacks child, drags him out of house in Kerala, India

Nandu was bitten on his hands, legs and thighs.

In a shocking incident, a one-and-a-half-year-old boy was attacked by a stray dog here on Friday.

Nandu, son of Ranjith of Krishna Vilasam near the Palliyadi temple in Chavara, was sleeping inside the house when the dog dragged him out of the house.

The incident happened around 8.30 pm on Friday.

As his parents went to a neighbour's house to fetch water, the dog bit the kid and dragged him out of the house.

Upon hearing his cries, a woman in the neighbourhood rushed to the spot and rescued the kid.

Cloud Grey

Incredible 'breaking wave' clouds amaze as they form across the sky over Palmerston North, New Zealand

© Carl Gadsby
The "breaking wave" clouds, also know as Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves, which formed over the eastern side of Palmerston North early today.

Waves were breaking in the Palmerston North sky this morning in a relatively uncommon phenomenon.

Unsurprisingly the formation is dubbed "breaking wave clouds" but its official title is Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, named after Scots-Irish scientist Lord Kelvin William Thomson and German physician and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz.


Arrow Down

Avalanche kills seven people near Lowari Tunnel, Pakistan

An avalanche killed seven persons and injured many in Ziarat area near Lowari Tunnel, District Chitral Valley on Sunday, police confirmed the incident.

The official also confirmed that the dead bodies of the seven persons who were mechanics and technical staff of Sambu Korean construction company had been recovered. Seven persons rescued were rushed to the District Hospital.

Deputy Commissioner Chitral Shahab Hameed Yousafzai informed APP, that avalanche triggered by continous heavy snowfall hit a nearby mountain rock on the top of a workshop of SAMBU Construction Company of Korea, working in construction of 8.5 km long Lawari tunnel.

Workshop was hit by land sliding and avalanche at 11.00 a.m as a result 14 people were burried under the debris and heavy stones and rocks. Chitral Levies, Chitral Scouts and Chitral Police along with local volunteers took part in rescue operation and they recovered seven bodies and seven other injured were rescued and were rushed to Peshawar for medical treatment.


Heavy snowfall kills another 25 in northern Afghanistan

Twenty-five people were killed by snowstorms and avalanches in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, just days after more than 100 people died due to heavy snowfall across the country, according to an official.

This time round northern Faryab province bore the brunt of freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Ammanullah Zafar, director for security in the province, told Anadolu Agency the province's Kohistan district had been worst hit. "We can confirm that 25 people have died in this unprecedented heavy snow," Zafar said.

He said police along with National Disasters Management Authority teams were trying hard with their limited resources to save the lives of several residents in the area, particularly the stranded passengers on the inter-district highways and the people stuck up in the mountains.

Comment: See also: Series of avalanches kill over 100 across Afghanistan

Cloud Precipitation

California storm death toll increases to 5 as rain pummels Bay Area

© Getty
Firefighters prepare to transport a patient by ambulance at the scene of a car stuck in flooding as a powerful storm moves across Southern California on February 17, 2017 in Sun Valley, California.
The death toll in the recent powerful California rainstorms rose to five as the weather system moved to pummel the northern portion of the state.

In Thousands Oaks, rescuers discovered the body of a man in his 20s who was swept away by floodwaters, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said Saturday. On Friday, one person was found dead in Victorville in a flooded vehicle, a 55-year-old man was electrocuted in Sherman Oaks when a power line fell and two people died after a traffic accident in San Diego because of water on Interstate 15.

Meteorologists have called the storm "bombogenesis," an intense extra-tropical cyclonic low-pressure area, or "a weather bomb." They say the system is one of the strongest in years.

The storm flooded roadways in Los Angles and San Diego as power remained out and cars were underwater. At least 8 inches of rain fell on roads in San Diego.

On Friday, two cars plunged into a massive sinkhole in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles.


Seabirds dying of starvation around Iceland

© Sigurdur Olafsson
According to a RUV report an unusual number of dead black seabird is washing up on the northern shores of Iceland this winter. The birds are washing up emaciated so biologists conclude the most likely cause of death to be malnutrition. It's not unusual that seabirds wash ashore over the winter months but reports about the unusually high number in some areas are startling.

Yann Kolbeinsson biologist with the Icelandic Institute of Natural History said the bird is found dead mostly on the shores in areas in the north of the country. "Its all kinds of black seabirds, mostly it's the Common Murre and the Razorbill, but we have received reports and seen photos of dead Puffin, Thick Billed Murre and Little Auke. But the largest numbers of deaths seem to be of the Common Murre." Kolbeinsson informs, he goes on to tell that malnourishment seems to be the most likely explanation, all thought this has not been verified with extensive research.