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Tue, 19 Sep 2017
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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

San Francisco sees 1,200 lightning strikes in rare September thunderstorms

© Instagram / Lacey_bannister
Updated on September 12 at 7:20 a.m.: The National Weather Service reported Tuesday morning that 1,200 cloud-to-ground strikes and 5,800 in-cloud strikes hit the Bay Area Monday night.

"You can see both," says Scott Rowe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Monterey. "Both are just as dangerous."

It started with strong wind gusts between 35 and 50 mph that roared through Monterey County and parts of the South Bay in the early morning hours. Later in the day, temperatures climbed to the 90s in San Jose and the high 80s in San Francisco.

Then came the rain, thunder, and lightning. The National Weather Service tweeted out that the Bay Area saw more than 800 lightning strikes and cloud flashes between noon and 5 p.m.



Molltal Glacier in Austrian Alps receives 7 inches of September snow overnight

Molltal Glacier
Austria's Molltal Glacier has reported 20cm of fresh snowfall overnight and this morning has blue skies for perfect powder conditions for the last week of summer 2017.

The Molltal (pictured top at 8.30am this morning) is one of seven glacier ski areas currently open in the Alps and Scandinavia, most of which have received good snowfalls over the first two weekends of September, with more forecast for the coming few days.

It's very good news after the long hot summer in the Alps when most of the old snow cover on Europe's glaciers was melted away and the Molltal was one of two centres that had to temporarily close in late August due to lack of snow.

The most recent snow has been falling down to lower elevations (2000m)

Three more glacier ski areas - the Stubai and Pitztal glaciers in Austria and Val Senales in Italy - are due to open for their 2017-18 ski seasons later this week. Solden opened last weekend.


Communities west of Edmonton near Alberta Rockies hit with first snowfall

Winter is coming.

Communities along the edge of the Alberta Rockies were walloped with the first snowfall of the season Wednesday.

After periods of drizzling rain, snow began falling over sections of the Icefields Parkway mid-morning.

Between five and 10 millimetres of precipitation is expected to fall in Jasper throughout the day, according to the latest forecast from Environment Canada.

The Hinton area has also been buried in a small dump of wet snow. Photographs posted to social media suggest that area highways were slick.


Hundreds of dead seabirds found on Bering Sea shores

© Ken Stenek / Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team
A dead northern fulmar was found near Shishmaref on Aug. 13. Hundreds of dead birds have been found on the Western and Northwestern coasts of Alaska and in Bering Sea islands this year.
Hundreds of dead seabirds have been found washed ashore on sites from islands in the Bering Sea to villages north of the Bering Strait, signs of another large die-off in the warmed-up waters of the North Pacific Ocean.

The dead birds are mostly northern fulmars and short-tailed shearwaters, species that migrate long distances to spend summers in waters off Alaska and other northern regions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported. Also in the mix are some kittiwakes, murres and auklets, the federal agency said.

The cause is being investigated. Necropsies so far show that the birds are emaciated — with no food in their stomachs or intestines and little or no fat on their bodies.

"Right now, we know that they are starving to death and can't hold their heads above water, and they're drowning," said Ken Stenek, a teacher in Shishmaref and volunteer in a program that monitors seabirds.

The precise toll is unclear. Fish and Wildlife said in its bulletin about 800 dead birds had been found since early August, but surveys are continuing and the known toll appears to be mounting — and experts caution that birds washing ashore represent only a small fraction of the dead.


Melting permafrost flowing like lava filmed on Tibetan Plateau

Impressive footage has emerged of melting permafrost slowing churning up grassland on the Tibetan Plateau.

The video, filmed in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in China's southwestern Qinghai Province on September 7, shows mud and grass being churned up in a process known as solifluction phenomenon.

It happens because permafrost is impermeable to water - any soil on top of it may become waterlogged and slide downslope due to gravity.

Several families and a farm were affected by the incident.

The farm has had to relocate.


Second grizzly bear attack within a week in Montana

A grizzly bear attacked a woman in southwest Montana but was driven off by bear spray.

It was the second grizzly attack in the region in a week.

Andrea Jones of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department says the latest attack occurred on Saturday on a private ranch north of Gardiner.

Jones says the victim and two companions were near a cow carcass when the bear attacked and bit the legs and back of the victim. The bear fled when her companions deployed bear spray.

Jones says the victim is being treated for injuries that aren't considered life-threatening.

No names or other details were released.

On Sept. 4, a hunter was mauled by a grizzly in the same region. That attack also was stopped by bear spray.

Source: The Associated Press

Comment: Details of the earlier attack here.

Snowflake Cold

SOTT Exclusive: Hiding the decline, again? DMI says temperature means nothing

DMI call an atypical summer, normal and hides the averages to 'cover up'.
As those who have followed SOTT know, Scandinavia has not had much of a summer. I was curious to see what the verdict was from DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute) about the Summer (June to September) 2017. They had this to say (the link is in Danish which is translated below):
"The summer has been cold. That has been said many times this year. But the summer has actually been more 'lacking in sun' and 'full of rain'.

Denmark has, in other words, had an average summer in 2017 - not least when compared to what we have been used to in the last decade.

But how far back do we have to go to find a worse summer? Climatologist Mikael Scharling has looked into it.

The Temperature says nothing

"When we look at the temperature - and we have had to hear a lot about it - then it is only two years ago, that we had an even colder summer. This year the average was 15,4°C. In 2015 it was down to 15,2°C".

The average temperature doesn't necessarily say much of interest about the summer. Two completely different versions of the season can produce the same result.

"A summer with few clouds typically has colder nights and warmer days. A cloudy summer on the contrary lukewarm nights and cooler days. Both parts can result in for instance 15,4°C, but the two summers will be experienced quite differently", explains Mikael Scharling."


Dead whale found near Downham Market, UK

A man had a shock last night as he drove home from Downham Market: a whale on a nearby riverbank.

Ricky Pettit told us the dead animal had been washed up yesterday evening.

But he said it had disappeared this morning:
"It was probably about eight to ten feet long.

"Fairly big, but I wouldn't say it was a fully-grown one, because having looked online it looked like it could have been a Mink whale."

"We stopped, turned round and had a look.

"Couldn't make out from the bridge what it was, so went and had a closer look and turned out it was this little whale dead on the side of the river."


Squirrels attack residents of Lake Vista, New Orleans in at least 4 incidents

In the Lake Vista neighborhood of New Orleans, neighbors live along lush, tree-lined lanes in harmony with nature.

But, this week nature attacked.

"All of a sudden I felt something on my back and it was a squirrel," Gary Prechter said. "I grabbed it and I flung it down on the lane and it turned around and came back at me. It attached itself to my ankle and started biting me and scratching me and I tried to get it off as best I could."

Prechter is one of at least four people who've had violent encounters with Lake Vista neighborhood squirrels in recent days.

The pastor at St. Pius Catholic Church confirms two women were attacked in his parking lot after Sunday mass.

Cloud Lightning

At least 9 killed, 5 injured by lightning strikes across Odisha, India

At least nine people were killed and five others injured in separate lightning incidents in Odisha on Tuesday.

While Laxmi Majhi (35) and her sister-in-law Bhagabati Majhi (20) at Baruamunda village under Komna police limits in Nuapada district were killed due to lightning strikes one died another injured in Banta block of Bhadark.

Among other deaths, two persons- one each from Bada Barahampur in Kholar panchayat under Delang block and Pubasasan village under Pipili in Puri district were killed due to lightning.

Similarly, a man was killed his wife sustained injuries at Sosa Sankatapali villager under Anandapur of Keonjhar district.