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Mon, 18 Jan 2021
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Record cold hits the Russian Arctic coast

Mainstream media outlets are quick to report record Arctic heat but they tend to fall silent when record cold descends, meaning the folks that lap up MSM content are only-ever privy to one side of the story (no wonder they think the world is ending).

Not only do record cold temperatures go largely unreported by western news sources, but the record heat isn't even properly explained.

Much was made of the 38C reported on June 20 in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk, with WMO spokesperson, Clare Nullis, quick to leap on the reading: "[it] comes amid a prolonged Siberian heat wave and an increase in wildfire activity" and that "climate change isn't taking a break because of COVID-19." However, after conferring with Roshydromet, the Russian agency responsible for reporting Eastern Siberia's weather, to see exactly how unusual this event was, Nullis was told that this region "has very, very cold extremes in winter but is also known for its extremes in summer."

Snowflake Cold

Cold-temperature record smashed in Utsjoki, Finnish Lapland

Finnish Lapland
© Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
THE MERCURY in thermometers dropped to its lowest level this winter late on Sunday in Utsjoki, the northernmost municipality in Finland.

The roughly 1,200-resident municipality saw the temperature plunge to -41.1°C at around 11pm on Boxing Day, a reading that broke the previous cold-temperature record of the winter by 10 degrees, according to YLE.

The mercury dropped below -35°C also at several other weather stations in Finnish Lapland.

The cold weather, however, is forecast to give way to higher temperatures in the coming days due to a warm-weather front arriving from the south. The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is forecasting that temperatures will hover five to 10 degrees below the freezing point in eastern and northern parts and on both sides of the freezing point in central and southern parts of the country between Monday and Wednesday.

Arrow Down

Landslide during heavy rain claims 13 lives at mine in Papua New Guinea

A huge landslide has buried a long hut with 13 people asleep inside at the foot of the Tolukuma gold mine in Papua New Guinea's Central province.

The community from Saki village, Tolukuma, experienced the massive landslide yesterday morning between 4.30 am and 6 am amid heavy rain.

They were surprised to see that the long house built for visitors from nearby villages who come and reside there while panning for gold had disappeared.

"We have sent a message to the Central Provincial Disaster Office to assist with a chain saw and excavator to dig and cut through the trees, logs and dirt to uncover the house and search for the people buried by the landslide," Saki village spokesman Cyril Samana told the PNG Bulletin by phone.

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly floods strike again in Uvira, DR Congo

Media in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) reported another incident of severe flooding in Uvira in South Kivu Province, the city devastated by flooding in April this year when over 30 people died.

The recent flooding in the city occurred after torrential rain on 12 December 2020. According to Radio Okapi, the UN radio station in DR Congo, 4 people died, 2 were reported missing and 2 were seriously injured. Reports suggest many of the victims were children. Houses were damaged or destroyed in several districts of the city, particularly in northern areas where the Kavimvira river broke its banks.

Comment: Severe flooding occurred more recently in the district around the 23rd of December:


Strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits central Croatia - Second quake in 2 days - UPDATE: At least seven killed

croatia earthquake
A strong earthquake hit Croatia on Tuesday, with some injuries reported as well as considerable damages to roofs and buildings southeast of the capital.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center said an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude hit 46 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Zagreb. Initial reports said the earthquake caused wide damage, collapsing roofs, building facades and even some entire buildings.

The regional N1 television reported live Tuesday from the town of Petrinja, which was hard-hit in the Monday quake, that a collapsed building had fallen on a car. The footage showed firefighters trying to remove the debris from the car, which was buried underneath. The report said a man apparently was in the car when the quake hit.

The earthquake was felt throughout the country and in neighboring Serbia and Bosnia.

The same area was struck with a 5.2 quake on Monday.

Comment: Here's a report on yesterday's smaller quake in Croatia.

Earlier this year, within a few days of the West going into collective lockdown, a 5.3M quake hit Zagreb. And that was the capital's strongest tremor in 140 years...

Update: On 30.12.20 The Independent reports:
A major earthquake of magnitude 6.3 hit Croatia, killing at least seven people - including a 12-year-old girl - and causing widespread damage in a town near the capital, Zagreb.

Firefighters rescued a man and a boy trapped in a car buried in rubble in Petrinja after buildings collapsed, leaving the streets littered with fallen bricks and covered in dust.

Officials said a 12-year-old girl died in Petrinja, a town of some 25,000 people. Another six people were killed in nearly destroyed villages close to the town, according to HRT state television. At least 26 people were hospitalised, six with serious injuries, officials said, adding that many more people remained unaccounted for.

"My town has been completely destroyed. We have dead children," the town's mayor, Darinko Dumbovic, said in a statement to HRT.

"This is like Hiroshima - half of the city no longer exists. The city has been demolished, the city is no longer liveable. We need help."

The Croatian military was deployed in Petrinja to help with the rescue operation and the Croatian Red Cross described the situation as "very serious" as it dispatched crisis teams to the area.

Croatia's prime minister, Andrej Plenkovic, travelled to the town to oversee the efforts to accommodate homeless residents in local hotels and army barracks after what he described as a "devastating earthquake which was felt in many parts of Croatia".

He tweeted: "We mobilised all available services to help people and clear the destroyed parts. The most important thing now is to save human lives."

Rest of article here.

The seismic activity continues. According to Croatia Week:
Two more strong earthquakes struck Croatia on Wednesday morning, the first measuring 4.7 and the second 4.8 on the Richter scale, with the epicentre in the Petrinja area.

The first hit at 6.15 a.m. and the second a little later, the head of the Seismological Survey, Ines Ivancic, told Croatian Radio.

She said the ground "will rock for a long time. Tuesday's earthquake was devastating and will certainly be followed by a long series of earthquakes, including, quite certainly, stronger ones."

Ivancic said weaker tremors like those today would certainly affect the buildings in Petrinja and Sisak which were damaged in Tuesday's 6.2 quake, which has claimed seven lives and caused enormous damage.

Ivancic said Petrinja was struck by "an enormous quantity" of smaller earthquakes since Monday. The ground is shaking almost every minute, she said, including at least 25 to 30 tremors measuring above 3 on the Richter scale.


Shallow M5.7 earthquake reported off Oregon coast

Oregon earthquake map
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit 150 miles off the coast of Oregon at around 7:10 a.m. GMT on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said.

According to the organisation, the epicentre was located at a depth of 12 kilometres, at 43 degrees north latitude and 127 degrees west longitude.

There were no initial reports on damage or injury resulting from the quake. No tsunami warning has been issued so far.


Noctilucent clouds almost completely missing over Antarctica

Something strange is happening 50 miles above Antarctica. Or rather, not happening. Noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which normally blanket the frozen continent in December, are almost completely missing. These images from NASA's AIM spacecraft compare Christmas Eve 2019 with Christmas Eve 2020:

Noctilucent Clouds
"The comparison really is astounding," says Cora Randall of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. "Noctilucent cloud frequencies are close to zero this year."

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. They form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise up from the poles to the edge of space. Water crystallizing around specks of meteor dust 83 km (~50 miles) above Earth's surface creates beautiful electric-blue structures, typically visible from November to February in the south, and May to August in the north.

Cloud Precipitation

Evacuations after floods and landslides in Madeira, Portugal - up to 6 inches of rain in 24 hours

Floods and landslide damages in Madeira, Portugal, after a storm on 25 December 2020.
© Government of Madeira
Floods and landslide damages in Madeira, Portugal, after a storm on 25 December 2020.
A storm brought strong winds and heavy rain to parts of the Portuguese island of Madeira on 25 December.

Flooding and landslides were reported in the municipality of São Vicente. Local media reported 20 people were evacuated in Ponta Delgada and 7 in Boaventura. One house was destroyed and several others severely damaged. Dozens of roads were closed, leaving some areas isolated, and power lines were downed leaving many residents without electricity.

Several areas recorded more than 100mm of rain in 24 hours to 25 December, with the highest total seen in Porto Moniz which recorded 161 mm of rain.


Record snowfall in New York State - many towns had over 20 inches of snowfall in a day

"Western New York's Christmas present this year was a White Christmas, and then some," according to wgrz.com.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, December 26 ( with two more hours left in the day), many towns had reported more than 20 inches(50.8 centimeters) snowfall in one day.

Those towns included Elma Center, Eden, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Lackawanna and Hamburg, to name a few.

Also, 18.4 inches of snow fell at the Buffalo Airport on Saturday, making for a new one-day snowfall record for December 26.

Thanks to Clay Olson for this link.

Comment: 24 hours earlier on Christmas Day: Hamburg in Western New York hit with 18 inches of snow in roughly 24 hours, several places over 10 inches


Volcano erupts on southwestern Japan island, alert level raised

Mt. Otake on Suwanose Island

Mt. Otake on Suwanose Island
A volcano on a southwestern Japan island erupted early Monday, the weather agency said, warning of the potential for big rocks being hurled into the air within about a 2-kilometer radius of the crater.

The eruption occurred at the crater of Mt. Otake on Suwanose Island of Kagoshima Prefecture at 2:48 a.m., prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to raise the volcanic activity alert level by one notch to 3 on a scale of 5, meaning that people should not approach the crater. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Following the eruption, the Japanese government set up a liaison office at the prime minister's office to gather information.