Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 20 Feb 2020
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes
Map


Cloud Lightning

Rare 'St. Elmo's Fire' captured by aircraft in North Atlantic

St. Elmo's fire can be seen outside a
© NOAA
St. Elmo's fire can be seen outside a "hurricane hunter' aircraft in the North Atlantic on Saturday.
A plane that is typically used for hunting hurricanes recently captured a rare weather phenomenon while flying above the North Atlantic.

The NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft was collecting winter storm data during its flight when what appeared to be lightning struck through the skies. While this discharge of atmospheric electricity looks similar to lightning, the aircraft actually encountered St. Elmo's Fire.

This phenomenon occurs because of a luminous plasma that is created between clouds and the ground in the vicinity of a thunderstorm's electric field, which rips molecules apart in a process called ionization.

St. Elmo's Fire has both audible and visual effects - a crackling or hissing noise can appear as well as a whitish-blue ghostly glow that is emitted near sharp objects. It is not necessarily dangerous to those on the ground, but it can be an indicator that thunderstorms are near.


Snowflake Cold

Frosts in two regions of Colombia cause losses in more than 67,000 hectares of pastures and crops

frosts
Although there are still no official consolidated figures, the heavy frosts that have been recorded in the Colombian regions of Boyacá and Cundinamarca have resulted in losses in more than 67,000 hectares of pastures and crops.

Of the 150,000 hectares that Boyacá has for food production, 43,000 have already been affected by the cold temperatures, which have fallen as low as -8 ºC, according to the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam).

This figure, added to the 12,500 producers who have been harmed in that department, has led Governor Ramiro Barragán to ask permission from the Disaster Risk Management Council to issue a public calamity declaration due to frost in 57 municipalities, with Sogamoso, Sotaquirá, Belén, Cerinza, Floresta, Tuta, Siachoque, Caldas, Firavitoba, Toca, Motavita, Paipa, Cómbita, San Miguel de Sema, Tunja and Gámeza being the most affected.

Snowflake

Almost twice as much snow as last year in north Norway - more than 7 feet

In Kautokeino, there is almost twice as much snow
© JOSTEN BITI
TRYING TO OPEN THE ROAD: In Kautokeino, there is almost twice as much snow in February this year compared to last year.
Over two meters (more than 7 feet) of snow in the north. Not since 2005 has there been as much snow in Nordland and Finnmark as in February this year.

In the municipality of Kautokeino there is more snow than normal, 85 cm measured today. That's almost twice as much as at the same time last year.

In many places in Northern Norway it is well over a meter of snow, much more than normal. Most snow is in Lyngen, in Troms and Finnmark, where 220 cm (more than 7 feet) of snow was measured today.

Attention

Dozens of endemic Sumatran birds closer to extinction due to habitat loss, hunting

Straw-headed Bulbul
© Lee Tiah Khee
Straw-headed Bulbul
Dozens of bird species endemic to Sumatra Island are closer to extinction because of habitat loss from land use change as well as illegal hunting.

According to bird conservation NGO Burung Indonesia, 42 bird species have been listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Meanwhile, nine species are listed as critically endangered.

"Most of the species in the critically endangered category are losing their habitat [and are] illegally hunted," Burung Indonesia spokesman Achmad Ridha Junaid said on Tuesday.

For example, cucak rawa (straw-headed bulbuls) were often hunted to be sold as pets, despite their limited number remaining in the wild, Achmad went on to say. The IUCN red list in August 2018 estimated the number of cucak rawa in the wild at 600 to 1,700.

Some experts believe the species is extinct by now.

Snowflake

Northwest Colorado records storm's highest snow total - 40 inches over weekend

Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs
© John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs employee Sean Derning said that shoveling snow off the stairways of Colorado Mountain College's local campus is starting to get a little old this winter especially after the past couple storms that have dumped several feet of snow in the area.
A snow monitoring site northeast of Steamboat Springs near the Routt and Jackson county border reported the highest amount of snowfall in the state over the weekend with close to 40 inches of snow.

But Steamboat residents didn't need to venture too far from their driveway to confirm that the latest winter storm had made its mark in the Yampa Valley.

"For the mountains in northern Colorado, we had generally 18 to 30 inches of snow with the highest amount being close to 40 inches estimated at the Tower Snotel site," said meteorologist Megan Stackhouse with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. "We had that atmospheric river and just that unsettled northwesterly flow, and that does really well for you guys up in Steamboat and the northern mountains — so yes, this is a pretty much a slam dunk for you guys."


Windsock

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Signals Earth's atmosphere is shifting into a new era

Storm Dennis
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Incredible occurrences in our atmosphere leaning to rare and bizarre. New wind speed record set in California @ 209 MPH, breaking the old record set in 2017 of 199 MPH, near wind speed record in Iceland @255 KMH during bombogenesis Dennis. Triple peaks blanketed with snow Hawaii as we saw last year a repeat and some sort of light column phenomenon in Russia in a ski area. Add to this a new tear in the magnetic field and we are off to a GSM intensification start.


Comment: 209 mph wind gust recorded at California peak may have set record


Attention

Ecuador's 'Throat of fire' volcano signalling devastating 'potential collapse', scientists fear

Tungurahua erupting on November 2nd, 1999
© US Geological Survey
Tungurahua erupting on November 2nd, 1999.
Scientists are warning that the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador is showing early signs of impending catastrophic collapse, after satellite data showed substantial internal damage from ongoing magma activity.

Tungurahua, has been persistently active since 1999 so wear and tear was inevitable, especially given that the 'Throat of fire,' or 'Black giant' as the Quechua indigenous people named it, has already collapsed twice before thousands of years ago.

"Using satellite data we have observed very rapid deformation of Tungurahua's west flank, which our research suggests is caused by imbalances between magma being supplied and magma being erupted," says geophysical volcanologist James Hickey from the University of Exeter in the UK, whose worrying research was recently published.

Tungurahua previously collapsed at the end of the Late Pleistocene, after which it then rebuilt itself for thousands of years, before collapsing again about 3,000 years ago.

Snowflake

Winter of 2019-20 is 4th in a row with above average snowfall in Wisconsin

Eau Claire
Believe it or not, but we're right about where we were last year to date in terms of winter snowfall. Both are not only above average, but above the average we see in an entire winter.

This winter now marks the 4th in a row snowier than average (we surpassed the annual 47" average on February 9). The last time that happened was a streak beginning with the winter of 1995-96 and ending 21 years ago with the winter of 1998-99.

The last time we had 5 consecutive winters with above average snowfall ended 34 years ago in the winter of 1985-86.

Cassiopaea

Rare blue auroras captured over Norway, 'strangest in years'

auroras
© Taken by Matthew Steinberg on February 18, 2020 @ Reine, Lofoten Islands Norway
After snow, sleet, and heavy wind all day, the clouds parted for a 2 hour display of spectacular pale green, blue, and purple auroras over the mountains of Reine.
Yes, there really are cracks in Earth's magnetic field. One of them opened on Feb. 18th, sparking some of the strangest auroras in years. First, the night sky turned blue over the Lofoten Islands of Norway:

"After snow, sleet, and heavy wind all day, the clouds parted for a 2 hour display of spectacular pale green, blue, and purple auroras over the mountains of Reine," says photographer Matthew Steinberg.

Blue auroras are rare. Auroras are usually green, and sometimes red. Those are the colors produced by oxygen when it is excited by electrons raining down from space. Blue is a sign of nitrogen. Energetic particles striking ionized molecular nitrogen (N2+) at very high altitudes (> 400 km) produces a cold azure glow of the type captured in Steinberg's photo. Usually the blue is faint, but on Feb. 18th it was strangely intense.

Comment: Just a day before this Space Weather reported that, although there were no sunspots, no solar flares and no gusts of solar wind, there was the surprising appearance of an aurora display which was also attributed to this 'crack' in Earth's magnetic field:

aurora
© Taken by Alexander Kuznetsov on February 17, 2020 @ Kilpisjärvi, Lapland Finland
Rare and unusual sights in our skies are fast becoming the norm: Also check out SOTT radio's:


Binoculars

Sub-Antarctic-dwelling king penguin spotted unusually far north at Port Davey, Tasmania - 2nd in 2 months

The king penguin spotted at Port Davey
© Roaring 40s Kayaking
The king penguin spotted at Port Davey stocked up on fish before moulting.
A second king penguin has been spotted on mainland Tasmania, with one wildlife officer calling the sighting especially rare "unless you're on a tourist ship going to Antarctica".

The penguin was spotted by kayakers at Port Davey in Tasmania's far south-west.

Wildlife officer Julie McInnes said it was a different penguin to the bird spotted at Seven Mile Beach near Hobart last month.


Dr McInnes said it was unusual to have two king penguins sighted in one year.

"This is a really rare thing for people to see, unless you're on a tourist ship going to Antarctica," Dr McInnes told ABC Radio Hobart.