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Mon, 18 Jan 2021
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Earth Changes

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

Snowflake Cold

Cold wave, heavy snow alerts issued for most of South Korea - low temperatures of minus 15 C recorded

Mount Halla on the southern resort island of Jeju is covered with snow on Jan. 6, 2021.

Mount Halla on the southern resort island of Jeju is covered with snow on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) issued cold wave and heavy snow alerts for most parts of the country Wednesday as the entire nation came under the grip of the season's coldest weather.

A cold wave warning went into effect for the whole of Seoul at 9 p.m. for the first time since Jan. 23, 2018. Mountainous areas of the southern island of Jeju also came under a cold wave warning for the first time since the nation introduced such alert systems in 1964.

A cold wave warning is issued when the morning low is below minus 15 C for more than two consecutive days, or when the temperature drops sharply and major damage is expected.

The warning was already issued for many areas in Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang provinces at 9 p.m. Tuesday, followed by other areas Wednesday, including Incheon, west of Seoul.


Queensland, Australia hit again with intense rainfall causing flooding, 5 inches of rain in an hour - BOM issues severe storm warning

Corner of Stone and Cassady Street in Ingham on Wednesday.
© David Bonanno
Corner of Stone and Cassady Street in Ingham on Wednesday.
Parts of north Queensland have been hit by massive downpours in the aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Imogen, with one town receiving 100 millimetres in just an hour.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued more than a dozen flood warnings, and a severe weather warning for people in parts of the Peninsula, North Tropical Coast and Tablelands is now in place.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 6:33pm for the south-east, Cherbourg, Logan and parts of Ipswich, Somerset, Scenic Rim, South Burnett, Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley and Brisbane council areas.

The storms are likely to produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours.

The BOM said Beaudesert had recorded 83mm of rain in one hour to 5:30pm, Woodlands Road west of Laidley recorded 57mm in one hour to 5:30pm and Highfields, north of Toowoomba recorded 68mm in one hour to 5:00pm.

Comment: Just a week ago: Major flooding in summer caused by super storm closed 64 roads across Queensland, Australia - 4 inches of rain in an HOUR

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall continues to disrupt life in Kashmir, up to 6 FEET dumped - lifeline highway shut for 4th day

People walk past stranded vehicles on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway during heavy snowfall, at Qazigund in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on January 5.(PTI)
People walk past stranded vehicles on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway during heavy snowfall, at Qazigund in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on January 5.
The lifeline Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the fourth day on Wednesday as fresh landslides were reported along the only road that connects the Valley with the rest of the country. Officials said the stranded vehicles along the highway have been taken to safer places amid continuous rain and snowfall.

"Jammu Srinagar NHW [national highway] blocked due to snow accumulation at Jawahar Tunnel and Landslides/mudslides/shooting stones at Samroli, Magarkot, Panthyal, Marog, Cafeteria mor, Dhalwas, Nashri @JmuKmrPolice," tweeted Jammu & Kashmir traffic police.

A group of tourists from Rajasthan had a narrow escape along the highway near Panthal when a landslide hit the vehicle they were travelling in. Police said the tourists were rescued and were safe.

Heavy snowfall since the weekend has disrupted life across Kashmir, especially in South Kashmir and the upper reaches of North and Central Kashmir. Places like Kulgam district in South Kashmir have received up to six feet of snow. The heavy snowfall has prompted authorities to order rationing of petrol, diesel, and LPG cylinders as well as establish helplines at district headquarters.

Comment: See also this report from 2 days earlier: Heavy snowfall leads to closure of Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Kashmir - 4,500 vehicles stranded by up to 3 feet of snow


Heavy snowfall up to 4 feet deep paralysis life in parts of Hazara, Pakistan - roads blocked, electricity breakdown

Three days of continuous heavy snowfall in upper parts of Hazara division has paralyzed life and the people were forced to stuck at homes as mostly links roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall in the area.

According to details, during three days Galiyat and Thandyani received up to 18 inches of snow where most of the roads were blocked, Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) claimed that the main Murree road from Abbottabad to Murree was cleared for traffic but the link roads were still blocked.

For the last two days, residents of Galiyat, Thandyani, Kaghan and Naran were also facing electricity breakdown where electricity poles and overhead transmission lines were broken due to heavy snowfall.

Up till now, Naran received more than 4 feet snow, Kaghan 3 feet, Shogran 2 feet snow while Mansehra Naran Jalkhad road was closed for all sorts of traffic from Naran and onward. Another tourist attraction Chattar plain in district Mansehra also received the first snowfall of the season which was recorded up to 2 feet.


6.2-magnitude earthquake hits Kermadec Islands region

earthquake graph
© Phil McCarten / Reuters
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 jolted Kermadec Islands region at 06:20:32 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 26.12 km, was initially determined to be at 29.0707 degrees south latitude and 176.8993 degrees west longitude.


Heavy snowfall traps people in Asturias, Spain

A man tries to enter his vehicle, covered in snow in Pajares town in Asturias, northern Spain various parts of Spain were hit by heavy snowfall over the weekend.

A man tries to enter his vehicle, covered in snow in Pajares town in Asturias, northern Spain various parts of Spain were hit by heavy snowfall over the weekend.
Spanish civil guard and emergency services worked throughout the weekend to locate and rescue several people trapped after severe snowfall left people stranded in Leon, in the Spanish region of Asturias.

According to local media, an initial snowfall affected a road and a snow removal machine was called to the scene with a team of two workers, but then the two men themselves were caught in a second snowfall.

According to authorities one of the workers was retrieved dead, the other one is still missing.

Comment: With more heavy snowfall forecast for other parts of Spain very soon:
Spain set for big freeze: sub-zero temperatures and 'heaviest snowfall in years'

Much of Spain will experience sub-zero temperatures this week and some of the "heaviest snowfall in recent years", with even Madrid and Barcelona expected to be turned into winter wonderlands.

This year's Three Kings' Day celebrations will be truly out of the ordinary. Firstly, due to the fact that many of the usual Reyes celebrations have been cancelled as part of Covid-19 restrictions, and secondly because much of the country is set to experience some unusually cold weather even for this time of year.

Temperatures already starting dropping across the mainland on Tuesday but it's on Wednesday January 6 when the cold snap truly starts.

Spain's national weather agency AEMET have dubbed it 'Storm Filomena', a weeklong weather phenomenon which will see temperatures drop to -10 C in northern and central Spain and heavy snow fall at abnormally low altitudes of as little as 200 metres.

From Wednesday, maximum temperatures in much of Spain's interior won't go above 5C.

Even Spain's two biggest cities Madrid and Barcelona, which are not famed for getting much snow, are expected to be turned white on Tuesday night and Thursday respectively.

The Spanish capital could get 10 to 15 cm of snow, something which hasn't been seen since January 2009.

Other regions that are expected to get snow include Castilla y León, Cantabria, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Asturias, Galicia and some parts of eastern Andalusia. Some of these have already been turned into winter wonderlands, but by Thursday areas at lower altitudes will also be snow-capped.

"We're facing one of the longest and biggest snowfalls in Spain in recent years," AEMET spokesperson Rubén de Campo said about the weeklong polar snap.

Weather website El Tiempo has also referred to the snowfall that will cover much of Spain as "historic", adding that the majority of the country will be under snow by Thursday, up to 20cm in large parts of the country's interior.