Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 27 Jan 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Mysterious white spots are appearing in the ocean and nobody knows why

White Spots
Scientists have spotted a mysterious uptick in the appearance of unexplained patches of white water in the shallow waters off the coast of the Bahamas, reports a new study based on satellite observations.

For almost a century, people have observed these so-called "whiting" events, which typically cover an area equivalent to a few hundred football fields, but nobody knows the exact cause of this phenomenon. Samples show that the discoloration is caused by fine-grained calcium carbonate that floats over the Bahama Banks, which are carbonate structures that surround the archipelago, but it's not clear why the grain clouds sporadically appear in the ocean.

To shed light on this enigma, researchers from the University of South Florida compiled the longest and most detailed space-down view of the Bahama Bank whiting events using observations captured by NASA's Aqua satellite between 2003 and 2020.

The team also trained a machine learning tool to analyze the images, an approach that revealed a "mysterious increase" in whiting events over the past decade, which peaked in 2015, as well as seasonal patterns in these discolorations, according to a recent study in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.

Cloud Precipitation

New Zealand - State of Emergency as record rain causes flood havoc in Auckland - 10 inches of rain in 18 hours

Flooding blocked highways around Auckland after record rain on 27 January 2023.
© Waka Kotahi NZTA Auckland & Northland
Flooding blocked highways around Auckland after record rain on 27 January 2023.
A state of emergency has been declared in Auckland, New Zealand after record rain caused widespread flooding on 27 January 2023.

"It only took a half-day to beat the previous daily rainfall record," the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said.

Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, said in a statement, "I'm pleased an emergency declaration has been made due to flooding in Auckland tonight. All relevant govt agencies are working flat out to help in an extraordinary set of circumstances. The emergency response is underway and the Government is ready to assist as needed."

Major roads have been blocked by flooding, landslips or stranded vehicles, causing severe traffic disruption across the Auckland Region. Auckland Airport's international terminal has been closed due to flooding.

Cloud Precipitation

More than 4,000 displaced by floods in Johor and Pahang, Malaysia - 17 inches of rain in 24 hours (UPDATE)

The number of flood victims in Johor is expected to continue to rise due to the ongoing heavy rain.
The number of flood victims in Johor is expected to continue to rise due to the ongoing heavy rain.
The number of flood victims seeking shelter in relief centres in Johor state rose to 1,093 in the late afternoon on Tuesday, as several districts were inundated with rising river waters amid the heavy rain. Johor's State Disaster Management Committee had earlier said some 422 victims were forced to move to relief centres.

Most of the victims were from the northern district of Segamat, with 975 people from 273 families placed at eight relief centres, officials said.

Other districts hit by the flood were in Kluang in central Johor and Kota Tinggi in the east of the Malaysian state. Many of the victims were villagers who live close to rivers that have overflowed their banks after days of non-stop rains.

Comment: Update January 26

Floodlist reports:
Malaysia - Floods in Johor and Pahang After 430mm of Rain in 24 Hours

Over 4,000 people have been displaced by flooding in the states of Johor and Pahang in Malaysia. Flooding has also affected parts of Sabah State on the island of Borneo.

Flood rescue in Johor, Malaysia, 24 January 2023.
© Korporat JBPM
Flood rescue in Johor, Malaysia, 24 January 2023.
Johor and Pahang States

Flooding began on 24 January 2023 where initially 400 people were evacuated from homes in areas of Kluang, Kota Tinggi and Segamat districts.

According to figures from Malaysia's Department of Irrigation and Drainage, as much as 344 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 24 January in Segamat and 432 mm during the same period in Mersing. Rivers are above the danger mark in at least 5 locations.

Johor State firefighters rescued 3 people from a vehicle trapped in flood waters in Labis, Johor on 24 January.

As of 25 January, the National Disaster Management Agency reported a total of 4,382 people now displaced by flooding in Batu Pahat, Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Muar and Segamat. Military teams were deployed to aid flood victims in Segamat.

In the neighbouring state of Pahang, around 7 people were displaced after floods in Rompin district. The Department of Irrigation and Drainage reported the Keratoan river was above the danger mark near Bahau Keratong in Rompin district. As of 25 January, the river stood at 23.36 metres where the danger level is 23 metres. The river is forecast to rise further over the coming days.

Sabah State

Meanwhile, flooding has also affected Sabah state in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The National Disaster Management Agency said a total of 607 people have been displaced, as of 25 January, from homes in the districts of Kudat and Pitas. As much as 225 mm of rain fell in a few hours in Beluran on 25 January.

Local disaster agencies also reported floods and evacuations in Kota Marudu District in Kudat Division.


Rare outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds photographed in Iceland, NASA confirms sightings occurred alongside sudden temperature drop

polar stratospheric clouds
© Taken by Richard Jenkinson on January 24, 2023 @ Nellim North Finland.
These were taken by a friend using an Iphone 12. His name is Francois Guilhaume-Bohl. He took these photos this morning in Nellim Finland whilst out walking. I have submitted these photos with his permission on his behalf. This show continued for a long time this morning. I said as it was such an outstanding show he should submit these to Spaceweather, and he asked me to so.
Arctic skies are filling with color today--but it's not the aurora borealis. A rare outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) is underway. Jónína Óskarsdóttir photographed the display from Fáskrúðsfjörður, Iceland:
polar stratospheric clouds

There have been beautiful nacreous clouds for couple of days. This photo was taken in Fáskrúðsfjörður, Iceland today. Mt. Jökultindur in front and the sky behind covered in colourful nacreous clouds.
"We have been seeing these clouds for a couple of days," reports Óskarsdóttir. "In this picture, Mt. Jökultindur is silhouetted by a sky-full of nacreous color."

Comment: See also:


Algeria witnesses rare snowfall

Algerians slide with a sledge at a ski center after snowfall in highlands of Cheria town in Tebessa Province, Algeria on Janaury 23, 2023.
© Anadolu Agency
Algerians slide with a sledge at a ski center after snowfall in highlands of Cheria town in Tebessa Province, Algeria on Janaury 23, 2023.
Algeria witnessed rare snowfall on Tuesday in a number of desert areas in the south-west of the country. Images published by the Bechar province authorities on Facebook showed "Beni Ounif in white" as sand dunes acquired a blanket of snow.

This was the first heavy snowfall in the area since 2012. Happy local residents have been sharing their own photos and video clips on social media.

The state-run Meteorological Office issued alerts on Monday morning of snowfall in Bechar in areas between 800 and 1,000 metres above sea level. Snow is expected to continue to fall on Thursday evening in other desert provinces, including Ghardaia, which is 700 km south of Algiers.

Arrow Down

Two brothers killed by avalanche while heli-skiing in southeastern British Columbia

The two men killed by an avalanche while heli-skiing near Revelstoke, B.C., on Monday have been identified as brothers and business leaders from Pennsylvania.

Timothy and Jonathan Kinsley were near Mount McCrae, in an area known as Chocolate Bunnies, with a heli-skiing guide when the avalanche struck and buried them in snow.

The three men were airlifted to Kelowna and rushed to hospital, but the Kinsleys could not be saved. Their guide, an employee of CMH Heli-Skiing, remained hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition.

Timothy Kinsley was the president of Kinsley Properties, a Pennsylvania real estate developer, while his brother was an executive at Kinsley Enterprises, a management company that oversees their family's business assets.

Cloud Precipitation

Cyclone Cheneso hits Madagascar - 4 dead, 14 missing with over 15,000 affected - roads to capital destroyed

© L'Express de Madagascar
Schools are closed, traffic is difficult and sometimes impossible, even for emergency services.
Several districts of Mahajanga, in the northwest of Madagascar, have flooded as well as the roads that connect them to the capital, Antananarivo.

Cyclone Cheneso continues to hit the island with more than 15,000 people affected to date.

"I left my house because it was destroyed by the strong winds of the cyclone. The house tilted, so I ran away. My house was totally destroyed," said flood victim Bonne Fehy.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall continues, mercury drops below zero in many parts of Japan - 5 feet of snow dumped


Heavy snow continued Wednesday across much of Japan as the country grapples with the most severe cold snap of the season.
The coldest air mass of the season continues to bring snow, mainly to areas along the Sea of Japan coast from western to eastern Japan. The mercury has dropped below zero Celsius across the country.

Weather officials are advising people to refrain from non-essential outings and watch out for icy road conditions. They also warn that water pipes could freeze.

The Meteorological Agency says a strong winter pressure pattern is bringing an influx of cold air.

Okuizumo Town in Shimane Prefecture saw 18 centimeters of snow during the three hours through 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

As of 4 a.m., snowfall had reached 1.54 meters in Daisen, Tottori Prefecture, and 1.05 meters in Nozawaonsen Village, Nagano Prefecture.

Cloud Precipitation

Indonesia - Sumatra Island floods leave 3 dead and 15,000 homes damaged

Flood damage in Aceh Province, Indonesia,
© Indonesian Red Cross Society
Flood damage in Aceh Province, Indonesia, January 2023.
Disaster authorities in Indonesia report severe flooding and landslides in areas of Sumatra island which began after heavy rainfall on 21 January 2023. As of 24 January, almost 100,000 people and 15,000 homes have been affected. Three fatalities were reported.

Areas in Aceh Province in the far north of Sumatra Island were severely impacted, with flooding reported in the regencies of Pidie Jaya, Aceh Tamiang, East Aceh, Bireuen, Pidie and North Aceh.

One person died in Aceh Tamiang Regency, where floods affected almost 45,000 residents and displaced around 3,000.

Flooding and landslides also struck in Deli Serdang in North Sumatra Province and in Padang Pariaman Regency in West Sumatra Province where 2 people died and 5 were injured.

Snowflake Cold

Lowest temperature recorded in China's northernmost city

This aerial photo taken on Jan 8, 2023 shows an early morning view of Beiji village in Mohe, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
© Xinhua
This aerial photo taken on Jan 8, 2023 shows an early morning view of Beiji village in Mohe, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
The minimum temperature in Mohe, China's northernmost city, fell to minus 53 degrees Celsius Sunday, marking the lowest temperature ever recorded, according to the local weather bureau.

The figure broke the previous record of minus 52.3 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in Mohe, Heilongjiang Province, have dropped to below minus 50 degrees Celsius for a consecutive of three days.

As a new round of extreme cold hit Heilongjiang, a number of areas in the Greater Khingan Range have recorded their coldest ever temperatures.

Mohe has an annual ice and snow period of up to eight months, with the annual average temperature being around minus 3 degrees Celsius.

As the travel peak season arrived during the Spring Festival, tourists and local citizens are advised to keep warm and safe as the low visibility might cause traffic accidents, according to Xu Liling, head of the Mohe meteorological station.