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Earth Changes


Floods in southern Thailand after 21 inches of rain in 24 hours

Floods in Thailand, 18 December 2022.
Floods in Thailand, 18 December 2022.
Areas of southern Thailand recorded more than 500 mm of rain in 24 hours on 18 December 2022.

Thailand's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) flooding in the southern provinces of Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. A total of 49 districts and 51,543 households have been affected.

The hardest hit areas were Narathiwat, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla Provinces.

In Narathiwat, 3 people died after being swept away by flood waters, DDPM said. Almost 30,000 households across 13 districts have been affected by flooding. Affected districts include Sukhirin, Si Sakhon, Rueso, Ra-ngae, Chanae, Mueang Narathiwat, Cho-airong, Su-ngai Padi, Bacho, Waeng, Su-ngai Kolok, Tak Bai and Yi-ngo.


Heavy snow has left thousands without power in New England and New York

© Jason E. Vines
Utility crews raced Saturday to restore power to tens of thousands of customers across New England and New York after a powerful storm dumped 2 feet of snow in some places.

More than 160,000 customers in New England were in the dark as of the afternoon and another 20,000 were without power in New York as heavy snow brought tree limbs onto power lines, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks outages across the country.

Restoration efforts were complicated by snow still falling in some places, making travel dangerous. Doug Foley, Eversource president of electric operations in New Hampshire, said snow-covered roads were making it tough for workers to reach communities in order to assess damage and make repairs.


Niigata, southern Tohoku in Japan hit by record snowfalls - 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) deep

People walk through wind and snow on Monday morning in Shibetsu, Hokkaido.
© The Yomiuri Shimbun
People walk through wind and snow on Monday morning in Shibetsu, Hokkaido.
A strong cold snap has brought record snowfalls to Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan and the southern Tohoku region. Japan's Meteorological Agency warns that more snow is coming and advises people to be on high alert for traffic disruptions and other problems.

Weather officials said that as of 5 p.m. on Monday, the snow was about 2.2 meters deep in Ohkura Village, Yamagata Prefecture, and more than 1.8 meters deep in Niigata's Uonuma City.

Tadami Town in Fukushima Prefecture had a record 1.1 meters of snow during the 24 hours through Monday morning. The town's snow accumulation reached nearly 1.6 meters as of 5 p.m. on the day.


Record-breaking snowfall blankets Moscow

Heavy snowfall descended on the Russian capital on Sunday, disrupting traffic, delaying flights and leaving pavements buried with snow.

In parts of Moscow, snow piled into mounds over 30 centimetres (12 inches) high, something not usually observed until the end of winter in February, the Fobos weather centre said.

The last time a similar depth of snow was recorded in Moscow in mid-December was in 1989 and in 1993, Fobos added.


Three killed, 17 injured by freak wave at South African beach

Three swimmers died and 17 others were seriously injured on Saturday when a freak wave struck a popular beach in South Africa's southeastern city of Durban, the emergency services said.

"There was a freak wave that washed some people to sea, three have drowned and 17 people have been taken to hospital," Robert Mckenzie, spokesman of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial first responders services told AFP.

He said one of the dead was a child aged around seven or eight years old, while those injured are "in serious or critical condition".


Chile heat wave exacerbates forest fires, causes public health risk

A heat wave that has hit Chile this week with record temperatures in some areas and a lack of rainfall has intensified forest fires that have already burned more than 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres)in the South American nation.

Dozens of people have had to evacuate their homes because of the fires and the capital Santiago is under a public health alert due to a cloud of smoke, officials said on Friday.

The state-owned National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) said firefighters were currently tackling 18 fires concentrated in the country's central regions, as well as a smaller number in the south.


5.4 magnitude earthquake shakes West Texas

5.4 earthquake midland texas december 2022

The earthquake was recorded about 5:35 p.m., December 16, 2022 with an origin about 12 miles east of Midland and about 3 miles below ground, according to the USGS.
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 5.4 earthquake early Friday evening in the Permian Basin between Midland and Big Spring, with residents reporting feeling it as far away as Lubbock, Abilene San Angelo and beyond.

The earthquake was recorded about 5:35 p.m., with an origin about 12 miles east of Midland and about 3 miles below ground, according to the USGS.

There were no immediate reports of damage, but Lubbock residents have reported feeling the earthquake, including A-J reporter Mateo Rosiles. There were also reports of the earthquake being felt by residents in Abilene and San Angelo, according to residents who reached out to the Avalanche-Journal.

Comment: The Associated Press adds:
Geophysicist Jana Pursley at the USGS's National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado said that according to early reports received by the agency, the quake was felt by more than 1,500 people over a large distance from Amarillo and Abilene in Texas to as far west as Carlsbad, New Mexico.

"It's a sizable earthquake for that region," Pursley said, adding, "In that region such an event will be felt for a couple of hundred miles."

The quake was followed shortly after by a less-intense aftershock, and Pursley said there could be more going forward with declining magnitude.

"I haven't received any information about damages but it can crack stucco or driveways close to epicenter," she added.

A quake of similar magnitude struck West Texas last month. That Nov. 16 temblor was measured at 5.3 and had an epicenter about 95 miles (153 kilometers) west of Midland.
Locals tweet:

Cloud Precipitation

Multiple stations in Madrid are forced to close due to flash flooding as Storm Efraín batters Spain

Madrid residents have filmed hundreds of

Madrid residents have filmed hundreds of videos showing how heavy rain has flooded numerous metro stations across the city.
Several metro stations in Madrid were forced to close yesterday after being flooded with waist-high water as Storm Efrain brought a sixth day of torrential rains.

Shocking video footage circulating on social media showed a pair of stations inundated by floodwater which gushed down the stairs and collected in the main concourse.

The Spanish State Meteorological agency AEMET reported on Monday that there could be up to 80 litres of rain in just 12 hours in some areas and more than 100 litres in 48 hours, after heavy rain had already battered the parts of the country on Saturday and Sunday.

Spain has seen some of its heaviest rainfall ever this year.


Holy plow! Nearly 30 inches of snow in Finland, Minnesota and 27 in western Duluth after 3-day storm

A Proctor resident uses a snowblower
© Wyatt Buckner / Duluth News Tribune
A Proctor resident uses a snowblower to clear snow in front of his garage on First Avenue on Thursday morning.
An epic, three-day winter storm was winding down Thursday afternoon after leaving more than 2 feet of snow along the North Shore's highest hills, from western Duluth to Silver Bay and Finland.

The National Weather Service in Duluth allowed the blizzard warning for the North Shore to expire but is continuing a winter weather advisory for all of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin until 6 p.m.

Only light accumulations are expected in most areas, but snow may linger into Saturday as the massive storm system continues to move slowly up north and east out of the region.

So far it's the eighth largest 48-hour snowstorm on record in Duluth and 14th largest total snowstorm.

After the snow ends, a blast of cold is expected going into the week before Christmas.


Storm produced nearly 6 feet of snow in Alta, Utah - dangerous avalanche conditions exist

The Utah Avalanche Center issued a special
© Utah Avalanche Center
The Utah Avalanche Center issued a special avalanche bulletin for dangerous conditions Friday.
Utah's most recent storm officially brought as much as 71 inches, or just shy of 6 feet, of snow by the Alta lifts between Sunday and Friday mornings, according to updated information from the National Weather Service.

Snowbird Resort added 56 inches, or more than 4½ feet of snow, as well. Many mountains received multiple feet of new snow.

And while multiple days of heavy snow this week may be good for Utah's snowpack, it's creating dangerous conditions for avalanches, even at lower elevations near parking lots and trailheads.

That's according to the Utah Avalanche Center, which issued a special avalanche bulletin for "unusually dangerous avalanche conditions" on Friday. The bulletin applies to slopes facing northwest through east at all elevations, "where triggering avalanches is likely." The advisory remains in place through the weekend.