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Mon, 18 Jan 2021
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Earth Changes


Novel atmosphere phenomenon 'STEVE' makes ANOTHER appearance over Finland

STEVE over Finland
© Rayann Elzein
Last night, STEVE visited Finland. The purple ribbon of light, which is not an aurora, appeared over Utsjoki in the Finnish Lapland. "This is very unusual," says Rayann Elzein, who photographed the apparition.

"I've been chasing auroras in Arctic Finland for nearly a decade, and this is only the second time I have seen STEVE here at 70 degrees N," says Elzein.

Comment: STEVE (Strong Thermal Velocity Enhancement) is a relatively recent discovery, first spotted and photographed by Canadian citizen scientists around 10 years ago. It looks like an aurora, but it is not. See also: Discoveries like STEVE are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to the unusual phenomena that reflects the shift occurring on our planet - and even further afield:


500 people evacuated from the area around the Merapi volcano, Indonesia after thick clouds of smoke expelled

Merapi volcano
© Travel News Twitter
Merapi volcano
At least 500 people were removed from the island of Java, Indonesia, today after the erupting Merapi volcano began to expel thick clouds of smoke, the Indonesian Geology Agency said.

The authorities evacuated an area of five kilometres around the volcano.

"So far the potential danger does not exceed five kilometres," said Hanik Humaira, director of the Indonesian Geology Agency, in a statement.

Activity at the Merapi, 400 kilometres southwest of Jakarta, began to increase last Thursday, according to the Indonesian Geology Agency, which indicated that the volcano was erupting.


Waterspout filmed off the coast of the Philippines

Onlookers recorded as a waterspout spun off the coast of the Zamboanga City, Philippines, on Jan. 3.

Cloud Precipitation

50,000 people affected by floods in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) in Sri Lanka reports severe weather, including high winds, lightning, heavy rain and flooding has affected over 50,000 people across the country since the start of the year.

Most of those affected were in Batticaloa, Eastern Province, where 12 division have seen flooding since 03 January 2021. Sri Lanka's Meteorological Department reported 142.4mm of rain fell in Batticaloa in 24 hours to 04 January.

Over 18,000 people have been affected by floods in Kattankudy, around 13,000 in Manmunai North and 8,000 in Eravur Pattu. DMC report 8 houses have been damaged across Batticaloa district as a result. No displacements or injuries were reported.


Deadly floods in North Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia - at least 3 killed

Floods in Bima Regency, Indonesia, 05 January
© BPBD Bima Regency
Floods in Bima Regency, Indonesia, 05 January 2021.
Disaster authorities in Indonesia report at least least 3 people have died in recent flood incidents in North Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara Provinces. Meanwhile flooding in Lhokseumawe City in Aceh Province has damaged over 2,000 homes.

National Disaster Agency BNPB reported flash flooding in Bima Regency, West Nusa Tenggara Province from 05 January 2021. At least 2 people have died and around 90 homes were damaged.

The previous day, high intensity rain falling on unstable ground triggered landslides and flash flooding in soil conditions in the Sangihe Islands in North Sulawesi Province. BNPB reported the sub-districts of Tahuna, Kendahe, Maganitu, South Maganitu, Tabukan Selatan Tengah and Tabukan Selatan Tenggara were all affected. At least 1 person died, over 200 buildings damaged and 223 families displaced. Flood waters were up to 1.5 metres deep in some areas.

Snowflake Cold

Kugaaruk, Canada suffers a record -47C (-52.6F) with a windchill below -60C (-76F)

Kugaaruk, Canada

While extreme Arctic conditions have spared southern Canada of late, instead favoring to dip deep into Asia where Russia and even the subtropical regions of China and India continue to suffer record-breaking sub-zero temperatures, things have played out very differently in northern Canada.

Taking Kugaaruk as an example, on the morning of Tuesday, January 5 the small Nunavut hamlet located on the shore of Pelly Bay registered -47C (-52.6F) — this was a temperature among the area's coldest on record, and it also comfortably broke the previous Jan. 5 all-time low of -42C (-43.6F) set back in 1985 (solar minimum of cycle 21).

In addition to the official new record low, a staggering windchill or "feels-like" benchmark was also set.

When speaking to Yahoo News, Jaclyn Whittal, meteorologist at the Weather Network, pointed out that Kugaaruk's windchill was over -60C (-76F) early Tuesday morning, a number she said is hard to even wrap your head around.

"Windchills of minus 60 would freeze your skin in less than two minutes," said Whittal. "Think about that. It takes two minutes to order a coffee at a drive-through".

Comment: Global temp plunges 0.26C in a month: "The next ice age has just started"

Cloud Precipitation

Chennai, India records highest rainfall for a January day since 1915

Chennai rain
The sudden downpour on Tuesday left many roads inundated in Chennai and brought significant inflows into waterbodies. The city recorded the highest quantum of rainfall on a single day in January since 1915.

While the northeast monsoon extending to January is not uncommon in Chennai, what came as a surprise was the intensity of rain lashing the city and neighbouring districts since Monday night.

Officials of the India Meteorological Department attributed it to an easterly trough over north Tamil Nadu.

Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded 6 cm and 5 cm of rainfall respectively for 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday. However, by 6.30 p.m., the two stations had recorded 8 cm and 10 cm rain respectively. Many other places, such as Taramani, received 12 cm, West Tambaram 10 cm and Poonamallee 7 cm.


Sudden stratospheric warming could increase risk of snow over coming weeks

© University of Exeter
Lead author of the study, Dr Richard Hall, said there was an increased chance of extreme cold, and potentially snow, over the next week or two.
A pioneering new study helps shed light on the chances of extreme cold, and potentially snow in the UK in the next fortnight.

A dramatic meteorological event, known as a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW), is currently unfolding high over the Arctic. SSW events are some of the most extreme of atmospheric phenomena, occurring in only about 6 of every 10 winters, and see polar stratospheric temperature increase by up to 50°C over the course of a few days.

The usual strong westerly winds of the stratospheric polar vortex also break down and reverse in direction.

The new study, by experts from the universities of Exeter, Bristol and Bath, involved the analysis of 40 observed SSW events which occurred over the last 60 years. Researchers developed a novel method for tracking the signal of an SSW downward from its onset in the stratosphere to the surface.

These events are linked to severe weather events, such as the infamous 2018 "Beast from the East" which covered the UK in swathes of snow.

The study is published in the Journal of Geophysical Research and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere from around 10-50km above the earth's surface.


6.1-magnitude earthquake hits 60 km SSW of Gorontalo, Indonesia

© Associated Press
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 jolted 60 km SSW of Gorontalo, Indonesia at 20:59:34 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 151.69 km, was initially determined to be at 0.0115 degrees north latitude and 122.9237 degrees east longitude.

Comment: About 15 hour earlier a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Kermadec Islands region in the South Pacific Ocean.

Snowflake Cold

Spain records lowest temperature ever at -34C

low temp
Heavy snow and icy winds blasted Spain as temperatures plumetted to -34.1C, the lowest ever recorded on the Iberian peninsula, the State Meterololgical Agency said on Wednesday.

The chilling temperature was recorded at Clot del Tuc de la Llanca in Aragon in the Spanish Pyrenees at 5.19 a.m., the agency said.

This was two degrees lower than in 1956, when temperatures of -32C were recorded in Estany-Gento, in Lleida, in northeastern Spain.

More heavy snowfall is forecast for much of central and northern Spain with temperatures expected to fall -11C.

A 75-year-old man who got lost after he decided to walk to safety when his car became stuck in a snow storm was rescued by police in Navia de Suarna, near Lugo, in northwestern Spain.

Comment: Heavy snowfall traps people in Asturias, Spain