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Tue, 18 Jan 2022
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Earth Changes


Belted kingfisher from North America spotted in Preston, UK - only the fourth ever recorded

A rare belted kingfisher has been spotted in Preston
© George Shannon/Unsplash, Joshua J.
A rare belted kingfisher has been spotted in Preston
Birdwatchers have been flocking to a Lancashire nature reserved in recent weeks, hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare bird that has only been seen a handful of times in the UK in the last 100 years.

A belted kingfisher has been spotted at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston and The Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve has seen an increase in visitors keen to spot the bird for themselves.

The bird is generally only found on inland lakes in the United States and Canada.

It is believed to be only the fourth time the bird has been spotted in the United Kingdom - the last sighting was in Staffordshire in 2005, but one was seen in Ireland over the past couple of years.

The bird was initially seen by fisherman and birder George Shannon on the River Ribble near Samlesbury, before it flew onto the nature reserve where it has been spotted by several local birders.


With just weeks to go until 2022, the Ring of Fire is suddenly ROARING to life

Ring of Fire
Why are so many earthquake swarms suddenly happening all along the Ring of Fire? For those that don't know, the Ring of Fire is a series of fault zones that run roughly along the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. 75 percent of the Earth's active volcanoes are located within the Ring of Fire, and it accounts for more than 80 percent of all global earthquakes. So the fact that the Ring of Fire is starting to become so active should definitely trouble us all.

As I write this, we are less than three weeks away from 2022.

And as I have expressed on numerous occasions, I have such a bad feeling about 2022.

So many pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together, and that includes an alarming rise in seismic activity.

Let me start by discussing what just happened in Oregon. Starting last Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday, we witnessed a very strange swarm of earthquakes along the Blanco Fault Zone...

Cloud Precipitation

Annual rainfall and snowfall records broken in December in Greece

December in Greece has already seen the breaking of two annual records for rainfall and snowfall, the National Observatory of Athens announced on Monday.

By December 12, the annual rainfall reading at Theodoriana meteorological station, in the northwestern regional unit of Arta, reached 3,425 mm, exceeding a 15-year record.

In terms of snowfall, satellite data showed that on Saturday, December 11, 19% of the country was under cover of snow, beating a 17-year record.

The average daily snow cover for the period from 2004 to 2021 in early December is about 4%, the observatory added.

Comment: One woman dies as torrential rain floods large parts of Greece


'It's going to crank up': Tahoe area reports 2 feet of snow overnight, with another 2 to 5 feet on the way

Palisades Tahoe, CA
© Kate Abraham
Palisades Tahoe, CA
Heavy snow is expected to fall this afternoon throughout the Tahoe region and continue until Wednesday morning. The storm will greatly impact road conditions and travel on Interstate 80.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Drivers should expect major travel delays, chain control, icy roads and whiteout conditions. Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort is reporting 95 mph wind gusts at the crest of the Sierra Nevada.

The National Weather Service reported up to two feet of snow from the storm earlier this morning. Another 2 to 5 feet of snow is on the way, with the heaviest snowfall coming tonight.

Snowflake Cold

Mega snow storm dumps nearly 3 feet of new snow in Idaho mountains over the weekend

Tamarack snow stake at 10:30 am Monday
© Tamarack
Tamarack snow stake at 10:30 am Monday
A weather phenomenon known as an 'Atmospheric River' was in place over Idaho this past weekend. A large upper-level low-pressure system off of the West Coast has been funneling subtropical moisture into Idaho from the southwest. Ample moisture moving into our mountain regions this time of year typically leads to large snowfall events as the moist air is forced up and over our mountain ranges. Tamarack Ski Resort has a fresh 9 inches of snow on the snow stake Monday morning, 30 inches for the storm total. Additional heavy snowfall is expected through Tuesday afternoon.

Active weather will continue in Idaho on Monday. Moist southwest flow will bring additional mountain snow showers and valley rain. Winds are going to be blustery today with 15-25 mph winds expected, gusts up to 35 mph. Stronger winds are expected in southeast Oregon and over the Owyhee's in southwest Idaho, winds of 25-35 mph are expected, gusts up to 50 mph.


Rare Ross's gull from the Arctic turns up in Dunkirk, France

Ross’s gull

Ross’s gull
For the past week, it has been the attraction of Leffrincoucke beach, near Dunkirk, in the North. Sunday, a hundred paparazzi were still out with their cameras to try to see ... a seagull. But not just any. The bird, which has found refuge on the northern coasts, is a Ross's gull, extremely rare in our regions.

As soon as the news of its presence was known, naturalists from all over France - even from Belgium and the Netherlands - tumbled into the small seaside town. And this discovery risks adding an element to the dossier of opponents of the offshore wind turbine project off Dunkirk.


"When I shared my discovery on social networks, I did not expect such enthusiasm. »Claire Mariani is a novice naturalist who has been learning birding for two years with the Ornithologist and Naturalist Group of the North (GON). During an observation session on the beach of Leffrincoucke, last Monday, she crashes on a strange little seagull that she does not know.

Comment: Recently the same species also appeared at lower latitudes than is normal for it in North America: Rare gull that normally lives above the Arctic Circle found in Hastings, Minnesota


Indonesia earthquake: Powerful 7.3-magnitude undersea tremor triggers tsunami warning

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.3 has struck off the coast of Indonesia's Flores Island, prompting the country's monitoring agency to issue a tsunami warning which was later called off.

The US Geological Survey said that the quake occurred at a depth of 18.5km under the sea and was located 112km north of the second-largest island town in East Nusa Tenggara province.

The casualties from the undersea earthquake are not immediately clear. However, authorities said several buildings and public properties suffered damage as photos showed roads cracked open by the temblor.

Another photo by local media showed a wall demolished due to the impact of the quake and bricks strewn on the road in South Sulawesi.

Almost two hours after the quake, Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency agency called off the tsunami warning but asked locals in East Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi to remain vigilant.


Quake swarms in Japan raise fears "the next big one will happen this month"

quakes in japan
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of five struck eastern Japan on Sunday. The quake's epicenter was in the southern part of Ibaraki prefecture, east of Tokyo. Buildings shook in the capital, but no damage was reported. Earlier this month, a swarm of quakes was reported near Mount Fuji, and the Tokara Islands, an archipelago that falls within Kagoshima Prefecture, an ominous warning that the next big natural disaster could be nearing.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that experts and government agencies have asked the public to remain calm. They said multiple earthquake swarms near Mount Fuji and the Tokara Islands do not suggest an impending disaster like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.


At least 2 dead as swollen rivers flood streets in northern Spain - 5 inches of rain in a day (UPDATE)

A rescue team help a woman in her home in a flooded area near the Ebro River in Tudela, northern Spain, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.
© AP/Alvaro Barrientos
A rescue team help a woman in her home in a flooded area near the Ebro River in Tudela, northern Spain, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.
Swollen rivers burst their banks in north and northeastern Spain, with the flooding blamed Sunday for the death of at least one person.

Emergency services said they retrieved the body of a 61-year-old man from inside the cab of his submerged van in a river in the Navarra region.

The man was reported missing on Friday and his vehicle was spotted the following day, but the fast-flowing river made a rescue operation impossible, officials said.

The combination of a heavy, dayslong storm and thawing snow brought a surge in the River Ebro and its tributaries, Spanish meteorological services said.

Comment: Update: Floodlist reports on December 13:
Spain - Rain Triggers Deadly Floods and Landslides in Navarre

At least 2 people have died after heavy rain caused floods and landslides in the Navarre region of northern Spain.

Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
© Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
Parts of northern Spain have seen heavy rainfall since late November 2021, when floods prompted rescues in Asturias and Cantabria and later the Basque Region.

Further heavy rain accompanied by the thawing of snow at higher altitudes fell from around 09 December 2021, triggering floods in the Navarre (also Navarra) region. On 09 December the region's government activated the pre-emergency level due to the threat of floods from rising rivers including the Ebro, Ega, Bidasoa and Arga.

As of 10 December, the government reported that the swollen Bidasoa river caused flooding in Elizondo, Baztan and Sunbilla and that some riverside communities along the Arga river were also affected, including the Pamplona neighbourhoods of Rochapea, San Jorge and Txantrea, and the towns of Huarte, Villava and Burlata. Dozens of people were evacuated from a care home in the municipality of Aranzadi in Pamplona, after the Arga broke its banks on 10 December. By 11 December the swollen Ebro river had caused flooding in Tudela.

Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
© Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
Flooded roads left some communities isolated. Floods affected two main highways - the N-121-A at the height of the Belate and Almandoz tunnels; and the N-135, in the Puerto de Erro. Likewise, around thirty secondary roads were blocked by floods, landslides or snow.

One fatality was reported after a landslide in the village of Sunbilla. One man was reported missing and later found dead after being swept away by the flooding Bidasoa river in Elizondo.

On 12 December, President of Navarre region María Chivite said a total of 74 municipalities have been affected and announced she will request the central government to declare a natural disaster which would allow access to the aid granted by both the Spanish government and the European Union.

Rivers and Rainfall

According to figures from Spain's Meteorological Agency (AEMET), in a 24 hour period to 09 December, Bera in Navarre recorded 126.2 mm of rain and Roncesvalles 92.6 mm. The following day Roncesvalles saw a further 134.2 mm, while Luzaide recorded 91.8 mm and Esteribar 82.8 mm.

The Arga in Pamplona reached 4.80 metres 10 December, while the Ebro River in Castejón reached 7.94 metres as of 11 December. The government of Navarra said the Ebro at Tudela reached 6.17 metres on 12 December, higher than during the floods of 2015 where it reached 5.85 metres.

As of 13 December, red alerts remained in place for the Ebro at Castejon and the Arga at Larraun. An orange alert was in place for the Ebro Alto at Logroño in La Rioja region, and further south at Zaragoza, capital of Aragon region where levels stood at 4.71 metres and rising, as of 13 December.

Cloud Precipitation

One woman dies as torrential rain floods large parts of Greece

Trees stand on a flooded field after Alfeios river overflowed its banks due to heavy storms, in Ancient Olympia, Sunday.
© Reuters
Trees stand on a flooded field after Alfeios river overflowed its banks due to heavy storms, in Ancient Olympia, Sunday.
One woman has died in Greece after her car was swept away by torrential water near Katerini in Macedonia, Ekathimerini reports.

According to reports, the body of the woman was found more than 1.5 kilometers away from her car.

This news comes as Greece faced severe weather over the weekend which caused widespread flooding and serious infrastructure damage in the western parts of the country.