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Mon, 24 Feb 2020
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Earth Changes


Storm slams Northern Utah with 16 inches of snow and 50 mph winds

Utah snow
Blowing snow reduced visibility for drivers traveling through Salt Lake County, Utah, and surrounding areas on Monday, February 3, transportation officials said.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) shared several videos of Monday's snowstorm, documenting snowy roadways, stranded drivers, and snowplows at work.

By Monday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) recorded as much as 16 inches of snow in northern Utah, with wind gusts surpassing 50 mph in several locations.

Credit: UDOT Cottonwood Canyons via Storyful

Comment: Other videos of the snowstorm in the state:


Red Lodge Mountain in Montana walloped with 26 inches of snow in just 24 hours

red lodge
Red Lodge Mountain is still celebrating the winter with 26 inches of fresh snow in just 24 hours.

Check out this video of the fresh powder from Kelsey Borge, the sales and marketing manager at Red Lodge Mountain.

Borge says February is off to a good start.

"Oh this week is looking awesome. You know with this much snow last night, when I was walking out to the car it was over my knees you know with drifts and spots. We have another storm expected to roll on Wednesday that could bring some significant snowfall, so we love it cause snow is the biz right?" she said.


Pesticides are killing off the andean condor

Andean condor
© American Bird Conservancy
Andean condor
Livestock owners needlessly fear these massive South American birds—and lure them to their deaths with illegal poisons. Extinction countdown is on.

It starts with the whiff of death.

High above the Argentinian plains, an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) — one of the world's largest flying bird species — catches the distinctive aroma of decaying flesh on the wind. It's quickly joined by other condors, perhaps a dozen or more, who start circling in the familiar pattern of all carrion-loving vultures.

Soon the massive condors spy the source of the delicious smell: a dead sheep or goat lying in a field. The hungry birds quickly angle in for descent, land around the body and begin to feed, tearing into the skin and meat with their sharp beaks.

Then the condors also begin to die.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 13 killed in floods and landslides across Rwanda

Fire and Rescue Brigade were busy last night as they rescued a number of people who were stranded after heavy rains
© The New Times
Fire and Rescue Brigade were busy last night as they rescued a number of people who were stranded after heavy rains
The Ministry of Emergency Management in Rwanda reports that heavy rainfall has caused severe material damages and loss of life.

Stormy weather from 02 to 03 February 2020 brought lightning strikes and heavy rain which triggered flooding and landslides in the capital, Kigali, along with other parts of the country.

According to the ministry's provisional update of 03 February, at least 13 people have died
, 2 people injured and 15 houses destroyed.

In areas around the capital in Kigali Province, 3 people died and one was injured after a landslide destroyed a house in Gikondo in Kicukiro district. Seven fatalities were reported after a landslide in Jali in Gasabo district. Twelve houses were destroyed in Nyarugenge district.

Cloud Precipitation

Hundreds stranded in flood-hit Fiordland, New Zealand - 2 feet of rain in 24 hours (UPDATE)

A state of emergency has been declared in Fiordland after flooding cut off the only road out of Milford Sound, leaving more than 380 people stranded.

State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford, dotted with slips and flooding, is closed and expected to remain so for several days.

The visitors' carparks and terminal in Milford Sound are flooded and staff are monitoring ponds in the area.

The NZ Transport Agency said the highway - the only road in or out of Milford Sound - could remain closed until the end of the week. The next update was not expected before 1pm tomorrow.

Comment: Update: Floodlist on Feb 4th reports:
More torrential rain has fallen in areas of Southland, causing further flooding in the region.

MetService New Zealand said over 1,000mm of rain fell in a 60 hour period in Milford Sound, with 600mm in 24 hours to early 04 February, 2020.

A state of emergency has now been declared for the Southland Region, including Gore, due to extensive flooding.

Floodwaters at the Milford visitors’ terminal 03 February, 2020.
© Emergency Management Southland
Floodwaters at the Milford visitors’ terminal 03 February, 2020.
Police have evacuated around 15 homes in Gore. Emergency services and Council staff are at present going door-to-door to 280 households in East Gore asking them to prepare to evacuate at short notice. A boil water notice has been issued for Gore as a precaution as the Mataura River continues to rise and could contaminate drinking water. Several roads in Gore have been closed due to flooding.

Southland Emergency Management said the rain "has caused widespread flooding throughout the region with roads closed by slips and flooding in the Fiordland, northern and central Southland and Gore District areas. Milford Sound Piopiotahi is cut off by slips, and heavy rain is continuing with more damage and road closures expected."

The Mataura and Oreti Rivers are rising and are being monitored closely.


Destructive wind and dust storm hits Chubut province, Argentina

Dust storm in Argentina
© CEN/@NuevaCriatura_
This gigantic dust cloud - compared with a famous scene from The Mummy - was filmed descending over whole cities in Argentina while people ran desperately for cover.

The dust storm hit the southern Argentine province of Chubut and images show a dust cloud covering the city of Trelew in Patagonia as winds reached as high as 100 kph (62 mph).

In the video, an ominous black cloud is seen to swell up and dominate the horizon while cars drive into the eye of the storm.

The cloud, taking on a sinister reddish hue, is then seen to swallow up a whole city.

People who had been enjoying the summer sun on the beach are suddenly sent fleeing for safety while the wind is heard howling in the background.

Beachgoers had to leave the seaside after the strong winds began hitting the area on Saturday at around 6pm, according to local media.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain triggers flash floods in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Heavy rain during a storm on 02 February, 2020, caused severe flash flooding in Alice Town in Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Homes were damaged and traffic brought to a standstill as flood waters of over 1 metre deep swamped the town.

In a statement of 02 February, the municipality said, "Amathole District Municipality has been hit by disaster in its Alice Town due to heavy rain today."

The municipality has dispatched its disaster team to assess the extent of damage.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flood kills four in ambulance in Namibia

flood car
© Selma Gumbo
Four people including a premature baby died when a ministry of health vehicle was washed away in a stream of raging water in the Kunene region on Friday evening.

The tragedy occurred some six kilometres north east of Opuwo.

The car had allegedly gone to collect a mother and her new born premature baby at the Epupa clinic when tragedy struck. The accident was preceded by heavy rains in the area.

Those who perished in the accident include the ambulance driver, the mother and her baby as well as the baby's grandmother who was accompanying them to the hospital.

Five other people including an unconfirmed number of nurses survived the accident.


Over 30 cm of overnight snow hits Cape Breton, Canada

“This is our first winter back on the East Coast, so I'm kind of wishing we were back in Vancouver right now,” said one returning resident.

“This is our first winter back on the East Coast, so I'm kind of wishing we were back in Vancouver right now,” said one returning resident.
The sound of snow blowers filled the air in Sydney on Sunday morning as Cape Bretoners awoke to more snow and lots of it. According to Environment Canada, over 30 cm of snow descended upon on the island overnight.

"This is our first winter back on the East Coast, so I'm kind of wishing we were back in Vancouver right now," said one returning resident.

Mixed in with rain and freezing rain, the snow was not easy to move or shovel.

"I do four driveways here," says resident, Bill Lloy, who was snow blowing driveways in his neighbourhood. "It blows the snow quite well. It has two belts in it, lots of power - it's great."


Meet the amazingly beautiful but frightening Dracula parrot

Dracula parrot
New Guinea's cloud forests in the lower mountains and foothills is the natural habitat of Pesquet's parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus), also known as the vulturine parrot because its head and beak are similar to those of a vulture.

Unfortunately, the decline of the Pesquet's parrot is mainly due to poaching for its beautiful bright red and dark grey feathers which are traditionally used for ceremonial dress. The bird is also killed for meat and captured for the cage bird trade. And habitat loss now has the species listed as vulnerable.

Called the Dracula parrot by some because its plumage resemble that of Count Dracula's black attire and red silk lined cloak, although its call, described as a harsh and ''rasping growl'' in flight, and a "drawn-out scream" mostly at night, may have added to the Dracula reference.

The vulturine parrot is large and heavy, measuring around 20 inches (49 cm) and weighing between of 21-28 oz (600-800 g). It has a short black tail, brown- black breast with grey scalloped feathers, bright red lower underparts and under-wing coverts, and greater and median wing coverts red. The black bill has a vulture's shape and they eyes are a dark reddish brown. While the forepart of the head, around the eyes and beak, have no feathers, the neck feathers are bristled. Males have a red patch behind the eyes which appear to be the only distinction between the male and the female. A pair usually hatch two eggs per breading season.