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Thu, 23 May 2019
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Late-season snow impedes travel in southwest China

Late-season snow on Tuesday night coated Garze Tibetan Autonomous Region in southwest China's Sichuan Province, catching local residents, tourists and many drivers off guard.

In the Mount Zheduo area, one of the most affected areas, the sprouting grassland was covered with white snow, flinging people back to winter overnight.

The heavy snow disrupted local traffic. Over 1,000 vehicles were stranded on the Mount Zheduo section of the National Highway 318.


Northern Arizona gets rare dose of late-season snow with record-breaking daytime lows

Munds Park, Arizona
© Jared Barker
Munds Park, Arizona
Northern Arizona is getting a rare dose of late-season snow.

The National Weather Service is recording snow in the inches near Flagstaff, in Seligman and at the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

The weather service says measurable snowfall in Flagstaff in late May is unusual. It's happened less than a dozen times since record keeping began in 1898.

The storm also brought record-breaking daytime lows across the region Wednesday.


Snow delays Rocky Mountain National Park from opening Trail Ridge Road

The Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store is buried in snow in this photo taken late Wednesday by snowplow operators in Rocky Mountain National Park.
© Kyle Patterson/Rocky Mountain National Park
The Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store is buried in snow in this photo taken late Wednesday by snowplow operators in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Colorado's lingering and robust snowpack will prevent Rocky Mountain National Park from opening its famed Trail Ridge Road by its annual goal of the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Crews will continue plowing away at the road that reaches more than 12,000 feet, but their efforts have been hindered by persistent snow that continued to dump on the park last week and this week. It is not known when the park's main road that connects the east side of the park to the west side will be open, according to a park news release Wednesday.

Last week, several avalanches involved nine park visitors in the Bear Lake area. The Bear Lake Trailhead, located at 9,475 feet, still has 35 inches of snow. No one was seriously hurt. However, the Bear Lake Road as well as the Wild Basin Road to the summer trailhead are open. The road near the Twin Sisters Trailhead is not yet open.


22 inches of snow falls in 24 hours on Red Lodge resort in Montana

Twenty-two new inches of snow fell in Red Lodge in the last 24 hours, and the fresh snow made for some unexpected and amazing spring skiing by locals.

Rick McGarvey, a resident of Red Lodge, told MTN News Tuesday that he planned to go skiing on Wednesday when he got word the snow would hit.

He shared a string of photos from some spring skiing at the mountain.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning claimed 147 lives in 4 years in the district of Mayurbhanj, India

Lightning is posing a serious threat to human lives in Mayurbhanj district as it has claimed 147 lives here in the last four years, a report said.

According to reports available from the district emergency office, lightning has claimed 147 lives between April, 2015 and April, 2019. A glance at the report tells us that lightning is most severe in July.

Five persons died and four persons were rendered critical by lightning in Betanoti, Baisinga, Badasahi and Khunta areas of the district, July 20, 2018.

Four persons were killed and two were injured after lightning struck them July 7, 2017. The report says that the death toll has remained high in July in the past several years.

Cloud Lightning

Storms, floods kill at least 24 people in 2 weeks across Iran - 20 by lightning strikes

Emergency aid delivered to 83 cities, villages across flood-hit Iran, officials say

At least 24 people have been killed in a wave of torrential rainfall and flooding that has pounded Iran for the past two weeks, local officials say.

According to Mojtaba Khaledi, a spokesman for Iran's emergency services, four people were killed by flooding while another 20 lost their lives after having been struck by lightning.

Fifty-five others, Khaledi said, had been injured by severe flooding.


Birth of an underwater volcano: "This thing was built from zero in 6 months!", and other science-hype

mayotte island
© National Geographic
Mayotte Island off the east coast of Africa
... Which is a lot less than 12 years

Guest geological observation by David Middleton

From the American Association for the Advancement of SCIENCE! of America...
Ship spies largest underwater eruption ever
By Roland Pease
May. 21, 2019 , 1:20 PM

Last week, Marc Chaussidon, director of the Institute of Geophysics in Paris (IPGP), looked at seafloor maps from a recently concluded mission and saw a new mountain. Rising from the Indian Ocean floor between Africa and Madagascar was a giant edifice 800 meters high and 5 kilometers across. In previous maps, there had been nothing. "This thing was built from zero in 6 months!" Chaussidon says.

His team, along with scientists from the French national research agency CNRS and other institutes, had witnessed the birth of a mysterious submarine volcano, the largest such underwater event ever witnessed. "We have never seen anything like this," says IPGP's Nathalie Feuillet, leader of an expedition to the site by the research vessel Marion Dufresne, which released its initial results last week.

The quarter-million people living on the French island of Mayotte in the Comoros archipelago knew for months that something was happening. From the middle of last year they felt small earthquakes almost daily, says Laure Fallou, a sociologist with the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre in Bruyères-le-Châtel, France. People "needed information," she says. "They were getting very stressed, and were losing sleep."


Science! As in "She blinded me with..."
Did I read this correctly?

Comment: The internet is a rich source of information about nearly any subject under the sun. But as Middleton points out, the information needs to be examined carefully. While his nit-picking may be amusing, it shows the larger problem of sloppy writing and potentially, sloppy thinking.

That being said, Mayotte has been the center of some interesting geological and astronomical phenomena.

Cloud Precipitation

7000 ha of crops damaged by hail, storms in Bulgaria


Verenitsa, Bulgaria
About 7000 hectares of agricultural land in Bulgaria have been damaged by recent torrential rains and hailstorms, Agriculture Minister Dessislava Taneva said on May 21.

To compensate farmers for the damage, the state has provided assistance of four million leva (about two million euro), which would be sufficient, Taneva said.

The damage will be assessed, after which farmers will be compensated, but only those who produce has been 100 per cent destroyed, she said.


Stunning sun halo seen over Grand Cayman Island

Sun halo over Grand Cayman Island
© cnslocallife.com
Sun halo seen from Grand Cayman on Saturday, 18 May.
Nature provided some excellent picture shows in the sky Saturday after a beautiful sun halo emerged at lunchtime followed by a stunning full flower (blue) moon rising in the evening. A sun halo is caused by very high, thin clouds made from ice crystals.

The properties of the ice crystals reflect and refract light in such a way as to cause a ring around the sun. The rings typically proceed unsettled weather; it is said a halo around the sun or moon means rain or snow is on the way. Let's hope it's snow.


Shallow 6.1 magnitude earthquake hits off Amatignak Island, Alaska

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.1

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2019-05-23 08:45:19

Depth (Hypocenter) : 27.79 km