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Wed, 19 Feb 2020
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Earth Changes


Winter storm brings up to 15 inches of snowfall in just 8 hours to Minnesota

snow fall
A town southwest of Mankato reported more than 15 inches!

It snowed hard for a solid eight hours or so across southern Minnesota and the result is as much of a foot of powder accumulating in some locations. But there's one clear-cut winner with Lake Crystal - just southwest of Mankato - reporting a massive 15.5 inches.

As of 12 p.m., most of the snow has ended outside of some flurries or light snow. Generally, it appears that the Mankato and Rochester areas picked up 7-10 inches while slightly higher totals accumulated in southwest Minnesota, near Marshall.

The metro area (leaderboard for the metro further down in the story) had varying totals, with lower amounts on the north side and higher totals in the southern suburbs.


Snow and ice set to hit UK after chaos caused by Storm Ciara

Flooded streets in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the wake of Storm Ciara
© Sky News
Flooded streets in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the wake of Storm Ciara
Parts of the UK could see blizzards and up to 20cm of snow after the weekend chaos of Storm Ciara.

More than 20,000 homes are without power after Sunday brought flooding, evacuations and travel disruption as winds reached 97mph and some areas saw a month and a half's rainfall in just 24 hours.

UK Power Networks said more than 18,500 households across the east and southeast of England are still without electricity, while Western Power Distribution reported more than 2,800 households remain without power.

The Environment Agency has issued 164 flood warnings across England, meaning immediate action is required. Another 267 flood alerts are also in place.

Monday brings the threat of further disruption, with a number of yellow weather warnings from the Met Office.
  • A warning for strong winds in southern England between 10am and 7pm
  • A warning for snow and ice in the north of England between 3pm and midnight
  • A warning for wind and snow across Scotland all day

Comment: Storm Ciara's hurricane-force winds batter UK transport


Photographer captures one of the last 'burkitshi' females who hunts with eagles

Woman hunts with eagle
The nomadic tribes of western Mongolia have used the golden eagle to hunt for some 4,000 years. Today, only 10 women still practice the skill of hunting with eagles.

The tribes of the Altai region have trained young men and women in the art of hunting with golden eagles for centuries. While training to master this rare skill the hunters form a strong bond with their eagles.

Known as burkitshi, golden eagle hunters were historically male — the ancient art being handed down from father to son. Women did eventually break through the cultural "glass ceiling" and became excellent burkitshi.

However, the number of female hunters has plummeted to only ten.


Winter storm brings over 50 inches of snowfall in 24 hours to Rabbits Ear Pass, Colorado

Winter Park Resort's snow stake maxed out during Friday's heavy storm.
© Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort's snow stake maxed out during Friday's heavy storm.
Heavy snow closed roads across the county Friday, with some parts of Grand seeing more than 30 inches of accumulation.

The National Weather Service recorded 32.5 inches of snow at Berthoud Pass in the last 24 hours. Winter Park saw 30 inches and Grand Lake got 18 inches.

Rabbits Ear Pass has accumulated over 50 inches in the past day.

Meteorologist Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com is reporting 30 inches at Winter Park Resort from the storm. He predicted a dry day Saturday, with another storm coming in Saturday night through Monday.

Comment: Also in the region: 'This is a truly historic storm' - 3 feet of snow falls on Vail Mountain, Colorado


SOTT Earth Changes Summary - January 2020: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

Wildfires continued to rage across Australia through January, leaving 70% of the country covered in a smokey haze. New South Wales and Victoria were the most affected states with more than 2,000 houses destroyed, and thousands displaced.

The rain has since brought some respite, but there are still more than 50 active fires. And if that was not enough, flash floods, giant hail, and dust-storms hit the country adding to the destruction caused by the ongoing fires.

A significant number of impressive meteor fireballs were filmed this month, along with increased reports of loud "booms" or 'explosions in the sky', highlighting that there could be even more meteor fireballs events that are not reported, or pass unnoticed.

Seismic and volcanic activity reached an interesting peak this month, a devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit eastern Turkey. At least 31 people were killed and more than 1,600 injured.

Puerto Rico was hit by two powerful shallow earthquakes of 5.8 and 6.4 magnitude that left one person dead, a path of destroyed buildings, and island-wide power cuts. The triggered seismic swarm hasn't stopped yet.

A 6.4 magnitude tremor also shook Xinjiang, China, causing one dead, and damage in several buildings.

Last but not least, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck 80 miles from Jamaica, shaking people in the Caribbean and as far away as Miami.

Even if the media is reporting that "a number of countries just witnessed their warmest January", the amount of snow in the northern hemisphere was certainly far from "normal". See it for yourself in this month's SOTT Earth Changes Summary...

Arrow Down

Sinkhole swallows truck in Grand Ledge, Michigan


Sinkhole takes out salt truck (not for a meal)
A giant sinkhole out in Grand Ledge needed a crane to get a salt truck out of it.

The worker was said to be turning around in the old gas station on Saginaw and Jenne Street, just down the road from Grand Ledge Schools and it has residents worried.

"This gas station, back in the year 2005 had a gas leak and they ended up digging the tanks out," Rick Jones, Former State Senator/ Sheriff sai.

Jones says he's been a resident of Grand Ledge for 40 years and has seen the old gas station transform into a mechanical shop and then into nothing. Now, it sits as state property but the real concern is that it's in a school zone.


'This is a truly historic storm' - 3 feet of snow falls on Vail Mountain, Colorado

ski lift
No friends on powder days, they say. But there are plenty of strangers.

As of 5 a.m. Friday, Vail Mountain had seen 17 inches in 24 hours. By the end of the day, that number was up to 31 inches, according to Greg Johnson, vice president of mountain operations at Vail Mountain. Some parts of the mountain saw up to 36 inches.

"This is a truly historic storm," Johnson said. "The snow hasn't let up all day, so we're expecting great conditions throughout the weekend and into next week."

Comment: Also in Colorado, Steamboat Resort received 18 inches of snow in 24 hours on the same day.

Cloud Lightning

Two people killed after being struck by lightning in South Africa

Two people from Qweqwe village outside Mthatha were killed after being struck by lightning while three others from Mhlontlo municipal area were rushed to hospital after a house collapsed on them after a thunderstorm swept through villages in the OR Tambo district last weekend.

District municipal spokesperson Zimkhita Macingwane said the number of people left homeless by the strong rains accompanied by gale force winds had risen to 48, according to the latest information from their disaster management unit.

"Two people were struck and killed by lightning at Qweqwe village in ward 31 of KSD on Sunday," she said."


60 inches of snow in 4 days at Apex Mountain, British Columbia - Most snow in 40-plus years

Apex Mountain Resort sees most snow in 40-plus years.
© Apex Mountain Resort Instagram
Apex Mountain Resort sees most snow in 40-plus years.
James Shalman likens the conditions at Apex Mountain Resort to skiing on clouds.

"You're skiing in this kind of weightless powder zone, the snow is blowing up over your shoulders, it truly is what you live for as a skier or snowboarder," Shalman, Apex general manager, said from the top of the hill Friday.

Apex Mountain has smashed through snowfall records this week, seeing over 150 centimetres in the last four days, and it's still coming down.

"We just happen to be in this little storm cell, and it just hit us, in a great way," Shalman said.

He has been at Apex for 20 years and can't recall a bigger, longer-lasting dump of snow, and he's been talking to locals in the lift lines whose memories stretch even further.


Mysterious "cloud rosettes" only visible from space captured by NASA off coast of western Australia

cloud rosettes
© NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview
NASA's Aqua satellite spotted these actinoform clouds over the Indian Ocean.
Some natural wonders aren't as obvious as the Grand Canyon or Victoria Falls. A NASA satellite caught sight of a series of striking "cloud rosettes" over the Indian Ocean. It looks like an unseen hand turned cloud formations into a flower arrangement.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured the breathtaking view on Jan. 29, and the space agency's Earth Observatory shared it as an image of the day on Friday. The clouds appeared off the western coast of Australia.

Comment: A variety of unusual and normally rare phenomena are being sighted in our skies with an increasing frequency these days: Also check out SOTT radio's: