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Earth Changes


Airport Christmas for Europe's stranded travelers

© Associated Press

Paris - Hundreds of travelers trapped by icy weather spent Christmas Day queuing for flights in Europe on Saturday after sleeping on camp beds overnight in Paris and Brussels airports.

Travel disruptions this month have upset year-end travel for hundreds of thousands of people and raised questions about the air industry's lack of preparation for icy weather.

Flight schedules were returning to normal in Paris, thanks to fresh deliveries of de-icing fluid from Germany and the United States.

But many people were still set to miss Christmas dinners at their destinations. Travel chaos was compounded by disruptions to high-speed trains and clogged roads from England to Sweden in one of Europe's snowiest Decembers.

Bizarro Earth

5.4-Magnitude Quake Shakes Puerto Rico

San Juan - A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck the U.S. Caribbean territory on Christmas Eve, rattling windows and doors across the island but causing no major damage, officials said.

The quake occurred at a depth of 63 miles south-southwest of the capital of San Juan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Blanca Saez, Ports Authority spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that the international airport is operating as usual. She said six ceiling panels fell at the American Airlines terminal, but that no one was injured.

The earthquake was centered just a couple of miles from the central mountain town of Aguas Buenas.

Emergency officials and police told local media that no damage or injuries have been reported.

Heriberto Sauri, emergency management director, told El Nuevo Dia newspaper that crews would inspect buildings at daylight if necessary.

Comment: From USGS website:
Magnitude 5.4 - PUERTO RICO


Friday, December 24, 2010 at 23:43:44 UTC

Friday, December 24, 2010 at 07:43:44 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

18.260°N, 66.135°W

102 km (63.4 miles)


3 km (2 miles) W (277°) from Aguas Buenas, PR
5 km (3 miles) N (355°) from Santa Clara, PR
7 km (4 miles) W (276°) from Bairoa, PR
9 km (6 miles) NNW (346°) from Bayamon, PR
16 km (10 miles) S (172°) from Bayam�n, PR
19 km (12 miles) SSW (205°) from San Juan, PR

Location Uncertainty:
Horizontal +/- 170 km (105.6 miles); depth +/- 0.9 km (0.6 miles)

NST= 52, Nph= 52, Dmin=42.4 km, Rmss=0.28 sec, Gp=184°,
M-type="moment" magnitude from initial P wave (tsuboi method) (Mi/Mwp), Version=3

Puerto Rico Seismic Network, University of Puerto Rico

Event ID:

Cloud Lightning

US: Hundreds of Christmas Flights Canceled as Storm Threatens East Coast

The mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. could see combinations of rain, sleet and snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Delta Air Lines has pre-emptively canceled approximately 500 Christmas Day flights, a company spokesman said, as it and other U.S. airlines work to get ahead of a storm that's threatening the East Coast.

Morgan Durrant, a Delta spokesman, said Friday that the airline has canceled roughly 300 flights in and out of Atlanta and 200 more elsewhere around the country.

Delta also has joined Continental, United and AirTran in waiving penalties for travelers who have to reschedule their trips over the weekend.

The mid-Atlantic and Northeast could see combinations of rain, sleet and snow, with the heaviest amounts of precipitation in highest elevations, CNN meteorologists said.

It's too soon to say how serious the storm system will become, forecasters say, adding that by Saturday morning the scenario will be clearer.


December snowfall is a record for Minneapolis-Saint Paul, US

© Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune
The on-again, off-again flirting with a December snowfall record in the Twin Cities is back on:

It's definitely a record, according to the National Weather Service. Up to 6 inches of snow fell overnight and pushed the monthly total to 33.4 inches at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The previous December record was 33.2 inches, set in 1969. The record was briefly in doubt because of a small data error at the weather service, which maintains records at the airport as well as its Chanhassen office.

Totals from the latest snowfall ranged from 3 to 6 inches in the metro area, according to the Weather Service, with 3 inches in Burnsville, 4 in Edina, 5 in St. Paul and 6 in Inver Grove Heights.

The snow made roads slick. Even with traffic lighter because of the holiday, the Minnesota State Patrol reported 82 crashes in the metro area, 9 of them with injuries, between midnight and 10 a.m. Friday.

Cloud Lightning

US: Damage from Southern California rains could top $60 million

© Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
Damage from the storms that battered Southern California is expected to top $60 million.

Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado declared a state of emergency Thursday for Los Angeles, Kings and Santa Barbara counties in response to the destructive rain, which caused some severe mudslides and flooding. States of emergency had already been declared in Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties.

One of the hardest-hit areas was the foothill community of Highland in San Bernardino County. There, evacuations remained in place for 140 homes below an unstable 100-foot bluff. City officials said damage there was approaching $17 million alone.

At least 26 homes, most of them in another Highland neighborhood where a creek overflowed, sustained extensive damage. Floodwaters left behind 4 feet of mud and half-buried cars tipped up at odd angles. Dozens of homes and businesses were also damaged in Laguna Beach. Silverado Canyon and the surrounding area in Orange County were also hard hit.

Arrow Down

France: Paris Evacuates Charles de Gaulle Airport Due to Snow on the Roof

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Air France planes are parked on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle-Roissy airport, outside Paris, where flights were cancelled due to the heavy snowfall.
Around 2,000 people were evacuated from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport because of snow on the roof of a terminal.

People remained calm during the evacuation of the terminal - described as a precautionary measure taken because of around two feet of accumulated snow on the roof.

Emergency workers were deployed to clear the roof, a task expected to last until around 14.00 GMT, the source said.

A few weeks after the terminal was opened in 2004, a section of the roof of the architecturally-ambitious building designed by Frenchman Paul Andreu collapsed, killing four foreign travellers and injuring six others.

French aviation authorities had announced earlier on Friday morning the cancellation of half of all flights into and out of Charles-de-Gaulle airport until 1:00 pm (midday UK) because of freezing winter conditions.

The flight cancellation meant that some 2,000 passengers were forced to stay overnight at the airport on Thursday, Transport Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said.

Bizarro Earth

US: Travelers Brace for Snow, Ice in Midwest

© AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
A woman pulls her travel bag in the International terminal at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010.
Holiday travelers in the Midwest braced for snow and ice from a storm Friday that was expected to deliver a rare white Christmas to Nashville and possibly Atlanta before rolling into the Northeast.

A day after the most densely populated parts of the county got a break from the weather, several inches of snow were expected across parts of the heartland. Up to 8 inches could fall in Iowa and 6 inches in Illinois and Minnesota, with forecasters warning drivers about snow-covered roads and limited visibility.

The storm was expected to crawl south into Tennessee on Saturday, then possibly move north on Sunday. Winter weather advisories were in effect from North Dakota into Kentucky.

"People that are going to Grandma's house," warned Bobby Boyd, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Nashville, "need to get going."

In Georgia, the National Weather Service said 1 to 3 inches of snow could fall across metro Atlanta on Saturday. But it said there was still uncertainty about the storm's path, and that any deviation could affect the total amounts. If the forecast holds, it would be the first time since 1993 that snow fell on Christmas in Atlanta, the weather service said. The last time there was measurable snowfall on Christmas Day was in 1882, when one-third of an inch of snow blanketed the city.


Mini Ice Age on the Way!

© Unknown

London - Renowned climate scientist predicts a new ice age is on the way!

Scientists, climatologists and the mayor of London are all in agreement - the cold snap in Europe is going to get worse, much worse. A new ice age is underway.

According to Piers Corbyn, a British scientist who gets the climate right about 85 per cent of the time, were absolutely entering a new ice age. Serious business people - notably in farming - are starting to invest in his forecasts.

Corbyn, an astrophysicist, gets it right again and again.

In November, Corbyn said it would be the coldest for 100 years. He was correct. He predicted a snowy December for Europe, and he put his own money on a white Christmas for most of the U.S. - something that no one, not even AccuWeather had predicted.

How does he do it?

He looks at the flow of particles from the Sun, and how they interact with the upper atmosphere, especially air currents such as the jet stream, and he looks at how the Moon and other factors influence those streaming particles.

Bizarro Earth

Rhine-Main region shaken by earthquake

rhine city
Residents of the Rhine-Main region west of Frankfurt were shaken by an earthquake early Thursday morning that scientists say registered 3.5 on the Richter scale.

While such a magnitude is rated as "minor" on the Richter scale, the quake seized the attention of experts because it reached a strength that is very rare for the area.

Residents of the Wiesbaden and Mainz were startled by the deep rumbling that one observer likened to "a train or a truck were driving past the house."

Another observer compared the noise of the quake to "a railway train ... approaching," followed by a dull boom.

The quake occurred at 2:36 am and lasted a few seconds.

Bizarro Earth

Aleutian Islands - Earthquake Magnitude 6.2

Alaska Quake_231210
Earthquake Location
Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 14:00:33 UTC

Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 04:00:33 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

53.175°N, 171.218°E

22.2 km (13.8 miles)


137 km (85 miles) WNW (286°) from Attu Station, AK

407 km (253 miles) ESE (121°) from Nikol'skoye, Komandorskiye Ostrova, Rus.

838 km (521 miles) E (84°) from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia

3125 km (1942 miles) NE (42°) from TOKYO, Japan