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Tue, 21 Mar 2023
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Earth Changes


Earth dodges one of the fastest CMEs ever recorded

CME solar
The Sun mid-explosion as imaged by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The object to the bottom right is Mercury. A powerful coronal mass ejection could crash electricity transmission and bring down the Internet if directed at Earth, so it is just as well this one was traveling the other way.
Late on Monday, March 13, the Sun blasted out a coronal mass ejection (CME) traveling at at least 3,000 kilometers per second (6,700,000 miles per hour), possibly the fastest ever recorded. The expelled particles reached the Earth's orbit in less than a day. Had they hit the Earth, the results could have been catastrophic, but fortunately the CME was directed almost directly opposite. However, the explosion is a reminder the next time we may not be so lucky.

Comment: That it was 'almost directly opposite' is interesting in itself.

Despite coming from the far side of the Sun, it appears the event has caused a minor radiation storm on Earth. A smaller, and much slower, CME on Saturday that was predicted to graze the Earth may have also contributed. CMEs can affect each other, with one clearing a path for the charged particles from another. Spaceweather.com predicts shortwave radio failures for planes flying over the poles.

Comment: The following video is a recent analysis of the event:

See also: And check out SOTT radio's:

Arrow Down

Brazil - Three people killed in landslide in Ceará State

Three people died in a landslide in Aratuba, Ceará, Brazil, 16 March 2023.
© State Government of Ceará
Three people died in a landslide in Aratuba, Ceará, Brazil, 16 March 2023.
At least 5 municipalities in Ceará State in northeastern Brazil have declared a state of emergency after days of heavy rain triggered flooding and landslides. Dozens of people have been displaced and at least 3 fatalities reported.

Three people from the same family died after heavy rain triggered a landslide which destroyed their home in Aratuba on 16 March 2023. A further 15 homes were damaged or deemed unsafe by authorities, forcing around 50 people to evacuate.

"The municipal government deeply regrets what happened and will provide full support to the families of the victims and survivors," the Municipal Prefecture of Aratuba said in a statement. A three-day period of mourning was declared. State Governor Elmano de Freitas visited the area on 17 March.


California snowfall: Now the second snowiest winter ever on record

Snowpack statewide is over double the normal, and much above what we typically have by April 1st, which is historically the deepest snow depth of the season. More snow is ahead this week, and while the moisture is wonderful for the state of the drought, the back to back systems are overwhelming California's soils & rivers.

The heavy rain and snowmelt led to widespread flooding around rivers and creeks, most notably in Porterville and Kernville in central California. Here, the rivers overflowed, resulting in mandatory evacuations for the surrounding communities.

The southern Sierra has benefited the most from the active winter season. Soda Springs, CA has received over 56 feet of snow this season, making this season the 2nd snowiest since records started in 1946! We are about 11 feet shy of the record 1951-52 year but with more snow in the forecast, we will get awfully close in the next couple of weeks.

Apple Red

Strawberry fields forever? California crops lost after floods - how much of the US will feel the shortage?

Flooded strawberry fields in Pajaro, California,
© David Paul Morris
Flooded strawberry fields in Pajaro, California on March 15.
Too much thing, rain, is sinking farmers' bottom lines across California's Central Coast. The area some call "America's salad bowl" more resembles a soup bowl as round after round of atmospheric river-fueled storms overwhelmed farmland. We all may start to notice a difference in the grocery store as some staples become harder to find.

FOX Weather brought you to Pajaro, California when the levee failed recently. The farming community in the Pajaro River Valley disappeared under feet of water. Similar scenes played out across the Salinas River Valley, another iconic farm area in Monterey County which is the fourth top agricultural producer in the state, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

"For the farms that were flooded, this catastrophe hit at the worst possible time," said California's Strawberry Commission President Rick Tomlinson in a statement. "Farmers had borrowed money to prepare the fields and were weeks away from beginning to harvest."

Acre after acre of strawberries and lettuces are literally underwater at a time when farmers should be getting ready to harvest. While the state grows about half of all the fruit and vegetables for the country, Monterey County is responsible for over $4 billion in revenue primarily through strawberries, lettuce and broccoli.

Arrow Down

2 dead in Colorado avalanches bringing total number of deaths this season to 9

Two skiers died over the weekend in separate

Two skiers died over the weekend in separate avalanches in Colorado's high county.
One man was killed, and two others were injured when a powerful avalanche was triggered near Chair Mountain in the Marble, Colorado, area of Gunnison County. Another skier was killed, and 2 others narrowly escaped an avalanche near Aspen.

These deaths now brings the total number of people killed by avalanches in Colorado to nine so far this season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and the Pitikin County Sheriff's Office..

According to the Gunnison County Sheriff's Office, reports of the Marble avalanche were received just before 6 p.m. local time on Friday.

One of the men trapped by the avalanche was able to exit the backcountry and was taken to a hospital for treatment. A second victim needed to be rescued via helicopter, and the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post that the third victim remained missing for some time.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 10 killed in Balochistan, Pakistan floods

Torrents sweep away 10 in Balochistan

Torrents sweep away 10 in Balochistan, Pakistan
At least 10 people have been swept away in a flood in the Awaran and Zhob areas of Balochistan due to the heavy rainfall on Sunday, reported Dawn.

According to the disaster management officials, of those 10 people who died in the Balochistan flash floods, eight belonged to a family which was on its way to Kalat from Awaran in a vehicle. The eight family members included three women, two children and three men, as per multiple media reports.

The heavy rains started on Friday (night) in Khuzdar and Awaran districts which have caused floods in seasonal streams, as per a local news agency.

Cloud Precipitation

Rain, hailstorm damages wheat crop in key states in India

Heavy rainfall has been recorded in Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Telangana, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu in the past 24 hours.

Heavy rainfall has been recorded in Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Telangana, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu in the past 24 hours.
Storms, rain or hail could batter almost the entire country for another two days, an update by the India Meteorological Department said on Sunday.

Squally weather and rain have damaged wheat crop in almost all key producer states, but finding out the extent of losses might take weeks, according to preliminary assessments by a panel formed in view of anticipated early-summer heatwaves.

Storms, rain or hail could batter almost the entire country for another two days, an update by the India Meteorological Department said on Sunday. Several rain-bearing systems are currently active, it said.

Crop-shriveling hot spells have, however, not struck any wheat-growing state in March so far, as predicted, barring pockets of Gujarat and Konkan in western India.

India is on alert over heatwaves which could pressure the economy, especially agriculture, power generation and water supply. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been reviewing the situation, spelling out emergency measures.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning, hailstorm claim the lives of 16 people and 80 cattle in 2 days in Madhya Pradesh, India


Representative Image
At least 16 people lost their lives and 14 others were injured in lightning and rain related incidents across the state in past days. Hail and lightning also claimed the lives of around 100 cattle in the state, according to the meteorological department.

At least 4 persons were killed as severe storms accompanied by heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds swept through Khandwa. Sagar reported three deaths and Satna and Raisen two deaths each. Narmadapura, Dhar, Ratlam, Ashok Nagar, Damoh reported one death each in the last two days .

Cattle deaths were reported from Betul, Itarsi and Satna. Itarsi (Chanagarh) reported the death of 35 cattle, Betul 32 cattle and Satna 13 cattle.

Gusty winds accompanied with rain and hailstorm caused damage to properties and standing crop in Betul, Mandsaur, Khandwa, Khargone, Alirajpur, Jhabua, Neemuch, Dhar, Sehore, Harda, Rajgarh, Raisen, Damoh and Agar.

Meteorological department senior officer Ved Pratap Singh said strong wind and hailstorm damaged crops in the state, while lightning claimed lives of labourers working in the agricultural field. In the last 24 hours, 3cm rain was reported in Silwani, Burhanpur, Khajuraho, Khaknar, Depalpur, Badarwas. Similarly, 2cm rainfall in Nepanagar, Navibag, Kolaras, Multai, Malanjkhand and Nateran.

Cloud Lightning

Two minor girls killed in lightning strike in Chhattisgarh, India


Representative Image
Two minor girls were killed after being struck by lightning in Bastar's Kondagaon district on Saturday afternoon, said Kondagaon SDOP Nimitesh Singh.

The incident took place at Chilputi village, 8 km from Kondagaon district headquarters, around 2.30 pm on Saturday when the two girls, identified as Monika Nag (10) and Radha Markam (10), were out to collect tamarind in a nearby jungle.

Eyewitness said that the two girls were taking shelter under a tree to protect themselves from rain when lightning struck them. The other villagers present nearby rushed to the spot and informed their relatives. Ambulance was called and the girls were taken to the district hospital, where the doctors declared them dead.

The two class 6th girls died on the spot, said the SDOP. Postmortem examination was done immediately after the incident on Saturday afternoon and bodies were handed over to their families the same evening. Police had registered a case, said the SDOP.


Sailboat attacked and disabled by orcas in Strait of Gibraltar

Orcas off Spain (file image courtesy MITMA)

Orcas off Spain (file image courtesy MITMA)
The Strait of Gibraltar's notorious orcas are back. This week, another sailboat was disabled off Cape Spartel by killer whales who attacked it until they had broken its rudder - a pattern all too familiar to sailors in the region.

Early on Monday, the crew of the sailboat Larios made a distress call and reported that their vessel was disabled. They had come into contact with three orcas and had lost their rudder. Salvamar Maritimo dispatched the rescue boat Salvamar Arcturus from the port of Tarifa to give them assistance, and the Arcturus towed them all the way to Barbate for repairs.

There has never been a documented fatal attack on a human by an orca in the wild, but orcas have been knocking into sailboats off the Strait of Gibraltar and the coast of Galicia for years. Between July and October of 2020 alone, there were at least 40 reported orca incidents involving sailboats off Spain and Portugal. The attacks have a specific pattern: the orcas always target the rudder, and often cause the boat to swing through a wide arc. The vessels targeted are always sailboats under 15 meters in length.