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Wed, 21 Feb 2018
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Earth Changes


Woman hangs out washing in shoulder-deep snow in Iceland (PHOTO)

The photo that was shared all across Iceland and beyond.
© Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir
The photo that was shared all across Iceland and beyond.
Photographer Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir who lives in Ísafjörður in the West Fjords of Iceland wanted to show her husband, who lives in the capital, how much it had snowed overnight and posted a photo of herself hanging out the washing on her Facebook page.

Having the washing line in the photograph was to help people assess the amount of snow she tells Mbl.is.

Rebekka grew up in Florida and then moved to Hafnarfjörður, a town just outside of Reykjavik, so these extreme conditions are quite exotic for her. However, her husband who is from Húsavík in North Iceland had told her stories about such heavy snowfall.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall (up to 3 feet) hits Sea of Japan coast, at least 5 die

A woman walks during heavy snow in Fukui on Monday.
A woman walks during heavy snow in Fukui on Monday.
At least five people died in prefectures facing the Sea of Japan and elsewhere as heavy snowfall hit the areas Monday due to a strong winter pressure pattern, according to a Kyodo News tally.

Sea of Japan coastal areas are expected to continue to see heavy snow through Tuesday, with the Japan Meteorological Agency warning of avalanches and traffic disruption.

In Niigata Prefecture, a 90-year-old farmer was found dead in the city of Tokamachi in the morning after apparently falling into a snow-covered drain. A 62-year-old woman was also found to have drowned inside a drain in the city of Nagaoka after going out to shovel snow, according to local police.


Beached humpback whale confirmed dead at Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Staff from the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program perform a necropsy on a dead humpback whale
© Carol Vaughn
Staff from the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program perform a necropsy on a dead humpback whale on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. The whale was discovered during the weekend on the southernmost end of the beach at Assateague Island National Seashore in Virginia.
Staff from the Virginia Aquarium were at the site of a dead humpback whale found on the beach during the weekend at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

The dead immature female whale was reported to the Virginia Aquarium at about midday on Sunday, said spokesman Matthew Klepeisz.

The aquarium's Stranding Response Program was on site Monday to conduct a necropsy on the animal, he said.

"There are no immediate findings from the necropsy as the animal was more significantly decomposed than originally anticipated," Klepeisz said. "There are no external signs of human interaction that might have caused the stranding."

Humpback whales measure 48 feet to 62.5 feet long and weigh 40 tons, according to the National Geographic Society.


Arctic chill at minus 65C in Nunavut - eskimos advised to stay indoors

Rankin Inlet Nunavut
© Susan Enuaraq photo
Rankin Inlet in a deep freeze of -60C a couple of days ago.

Rankin Inlet, Nunavut gets cold in the winter. Located on the northwestern shore of the Hudson Bay at 62 degrees and between Chesterfield Inlet and Arviat, the town is definitely in a remote yet exposed region. Weather is just a part of life and recently the weather has been colder than cold.

Schools in the south get "snow days" though when you get to the 60-degree latitudes school closures are "cold days"...usually accompanied by some snow as well. When temperatures fall to -60C with the windchill or more than just about everyone will stay home and not risk going outside and expose skin. For the past few days, schools have cautiously remained closed.

"I don't remember the last time we actually closed due to weather. This is a bit of an extreme," said Mike Osmond, chair of the Rankin Inlet District Education Authority.

Comment: More recent examples of crazy low temperatures:


Dead humpback whale washes up in Queens, New York

A dead humpback whale washed up in Breezy Point, Queens on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
© US Park Police Sgt. Michael Beck
A dead humpback whale washed up in Breezy Point, Queens on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
A dead humpback whale washed up on the shore of Breezy Point in Queens Monday afternoon, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.

The nonprofit groups said it was working with U.S. Park Police, the National Park Service and "local authorities" to "formulate a response plan."

"Atlantic Marine Conservation Society received a call from the US Park Police this afternoon about a deceased humpback whale, approximately 30 feet in length, that stranded in Breezy Point," Atlantic Marine Conservation Society said in a Facebook post Monday afternoon. "Because of the incoming tide and sunset, a response would not take place until [Tuesday] or Thursday."

The area where the whale washed ashore was closed off to the public for safety reasons, the organization said.

It was not immediately clear how the whale died.

Ice Cube

Block of ice falls from sky landing metres from London street cleaner (VIDEO)

The ice landed metres from a street cleaner.
© Bloomfield Executive Cars
The ice landed metres from a street cleaner.
A CCTV camera captured the moment a block of ice plummeted from the sky, narrowly missing a street cleaner.

Council worker Serhiy Myeshkov said he felt lucky to be alive after the sheet of ice smashed on the road metres away from him.

It is thought to have fallen from a plane flying overheard.

Comment: The comments from the aviation authority hint at it being a meteorological phenomenon, and when we take into account the very dramatic changes occurring in our environment, it's possible these 'ice from the sky' reports may hint at the cooling of our planet: Also check out SOTTs monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - January 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Tennis ball sized hail, severe thunderstorms and a heatwave hit Queensland, Australia (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Lightning strikes the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast during Sunday night's storm.
© Bryce Forrest/Severe Weather Australia
Lightning strikes the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast during Sunday night's storm.
A severe thunderstorm that hit the city of Brisbane, Queensland Sunday night (local time), February 11, 2018, left 130 000 homes without power, produced some 265 000 lightning strikes and dropped up to tennis ball-sized hail on the region. At least one person was injured after a lightning hit nearby home.

Heavy rain and winds up to 100 km/h (62 mph) smashed Brisbane around 19:00 local time Sunday, accompanied by up to tennis ball-sized hail that caused extensive damage and blanketed fields. The temperature dropped by 10 °C (18 °F) as the storm hit, from up to 38 °C (100.4 °F) to 28 °C (82.4 °F).

The storm downed numerous trees and more than 500 power lines at the height of the storm, leaving some 130 000 homes without power. On Monday morning, February 12, Logan City, south of Brisbane, still had more than 40 000 properties without electricity, Brisbane almost 7 000 and Redland City about 2 300.

Comment: And some additional footage; check out the frighteningly close lightning strike:

See Also: Hail larger than softballs pummeled Cordoba, Argentina (PHOTO, VIDEO)


Cyclone Gita: Tonga devastated by worst storm in 60 years

The aftermath of cyclone Gita is seen in Nuku’alofa, Tonga
© Social Media/Reuters
The aftermath of cyclone Gita is seen in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
Winds of more than 230km/h recorded as parliament building flattened and power lines brought down

The islands of Tonga in the South Pacific have been devastated by Tropical Cyclone Gita with winds of 230km/h flattening parts of Parliament House and causing significant damage and injuries across the kingdom.

Gita hit Tonga around 8pm on Monday night and peaked between 11pm and 2am, slamming on to the south coast of the main island of Tongatapu, bringing down electricity lines, smashing churches and levelling fruit trees and crops vital to the island's livelihood.

At its peak, winds reached 233km/h - far stronger than predicted, despite Gita not reaching a category five storm as anticipated.

According to the British Met office, Gita is the worst cyclone to pass so close to Tonga's main islands in 60 years, and communications were lost overnight as Gita ripped the roof off the Tonga meteorological office as well as taking the national broadcaster off air for a time.

Snowflake Cold

Dangerously cold wind chills of -65 strike parts of Canada

Feeling like -70. Yes, you read that right. MINUS SEVENTY. Not even record breaking, Kugaaruk, Nunavut had a forecast wind chill of -70 Sunday night. Now, extreme cold warnings cover a wide swath of the country.

"A multi-day episode of severely cold wind chills continues," warns Environment Canada in an extreme cold alert issued for much of Nunavut early Monday. "The coldest wind chill values will be between minus 60 and minus 65."

Polar Vortex takes hold

"The displacement of the Polar Vortex in more southern latitudes has meant some extreme cold for areas in northern Canada and even down to the south," says Weather Network meteorologist Erin Wenckstern. "At the surface, it allows cold, arctic air to flood in in waves bringing extreme wind chills to parts of the southern Prairies."

Extreme cold warnings stretch across all three Prairie provinces as well as into northern Ontario with wind chill values between -40 and -45 and feeling closer to -60 in parts of northern Quebec.

"Conditions will moderate through the morning as daytime temperatures rise," says EC, adding that "extreme cold puts everyone at risk."

Black Cat

'They just left his head': Pack of lions maul 'poacher' to death in South Africa game reserve

© Radu Sigheti RSS/AS / Reuters
A suspected poacher has been mauled to death by a pack of lions in South Africa.

In what could be seen as an ironic turn of events, the remains of a man were found Saturday morning at a private game reserve in the northern province of Limpopo. According to the news site Independent Online, the area has seen an increase in the number of animals hunted illegally in recent years.

Local police said very little of the man's body was left in the aftermath of the grisly attack. "It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions. They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains," a spokesperson for Limpopo police told AFP.