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Sat, 11 Jul 2020
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain floods southern Japan, leaving many presumed dead, several missing

Japan floods
© AP/Kyodo News
The Japan Meteorological Agency downgraded its alert from the highest level it had initially posted to warn against floods.
Heavy rain in southern Japan has triggered flooding and mudslides, leaving at least two presumed dead, about 10 missing and dozens stranded on rooftops waiting to be rescued, officials say.

More than 75,000 residents in the southern prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima were asked to evacuate on Saturday following pounding rains overnight.

NHK television footage showed large areas of Hitoyoshi town in Kumamoto inundated in muddy waters that gushed out from the Kuma River.

Many cars were submerged up to their windows.

Mudslides smashed into houses and floodwaters carried trunks from uprooted trees.

Several people were standing atop a convenience store as they waited for rescuers.

"I smelled mud, and the whole area was vibrating with river water. I've never experienced anything like this," a man in a shelter in Yatsushiro city, western Kumamoto, told NHK TV.


Severe floods in China leave over 106 dead or missing - 15 million affected

Floodwaters surrounding a village in the Guangxi region of southern China, in a photo released last month by Xinhua, a state-run news agency
© Lu Boan/Xinhua
Floodwaters surrounding a village in the Guangxi region of southern China, in a photo released last month by Xinhua, a state-run news agency
Unusually intense rainfall has swept away buildings and ruined homes in southern China, affecting about 15 million residents. More downpours are forecast for Saturday.

In the inland Chinese city of Yichang, the murky water ran waist-high, stranding people in their cars and turning streets into canals. Near the metropolis of Chongqing, angry torrents of water swept away country roads. The tourist town of Yangshuo experienced a cloudburst that an official called a once-in-two-centuries event.

Weeks of abnormally intense rains have wrought destruction across southern China, leaving at least 106 people dead or missing and affecting 15 million residents in the worst flooding that parts of the region have seen in decades.

One of the hardest-hit provinces has been Hubei, whose capital, Wuhan, also had the first emergence of the coronavirus last year. Late last month, rescuers smashed car windows to free passengers trapped by floodwater in Yichang, a city in Hubei down the Yangtze River from the Three Gorges Dam, one of the world's largest.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flooding strikes Mississippi, Tennessee as state of emergency declared - 10 inches of rain in a short time

A 911 call center in Tennessee was flooded and had to be evacuated

Floodwaters overtook roads and left some vehicles stranded on Wednesday as drenching storms pounded northern Mississippi.
© Ecru Police Department
Floodwaters overtook roads and left some vehicles stranded on Wednesday as drenching storms pounded northern Mississippi.
A state of emergency has been declared for one county in Tennessee after slow-moving thunderstorms spawned flash flooding across the region Wednesday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Memphis issued a flash flood emergency midday after several inches of rain fell in a short amount of time - up to 10 inches in some locations.

"It's been a hell of a day in Selmer, but we're going to get through this," Mayor John Smith told FOX13.

McNairy County Mayor Larry Smith declared the state of emergency on Wednesday morning, and it remains in effect through Thursday.


Snowy start to July in Banff National Park, Canada

Snowy conditions observed in Banff National Park on July 2, 2020.
© Sunshine Village Ski Resort
Snowy conditions observed in Banff National Park on July 2, 2020.
It's not common, but it does happen, and it coincided with a few days of markedly cooler-than-normal temperatures in Western Canada.

Though we normally expect summer-like warmth in Canada by July 1st -- and indeed, parts of Central Canada were cooking in temperatures at or above the 30-degree mark -- an unwelcome cooldown is never completely out of the question provided the right ingredients are there.

In the case of this year, much of Western Canada found itself beneath an upper-level low that brought some unstable conditions and noticeably cooler temperatures.


Annual U.S. honey bee survey shows Summer 2019 marked highest colony losses ever recorded

Total summer (yellow bars; 1 April – 1 October),
© The Bee Informed Partnership
Total summer (yellow bars; 1 April – 1 October), winter (gray; 1 October – 1 April), and annual (orange bars; 1 October – 1 October) honey bee colony loss rates in the United States across years of the Bee Informed Partnership’s national honey bee colony loss survey, 2007/2008-2019/2020. Results from the inaugural survey commissioned by the Apiary Inspectors of America and performed in 2006-07 are not included.
The western honey bee, the species used across the country to support food production, to provide a natural sweetener, and to quite simply contribute to our leisure and free time, is among the most important of pollinators.

To mark Pollinator Week, the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) recently released the results of its 2019-2020 National Honey Bee Colony Loss Survey.

Results revealed some interesting insights into the experiences of our honey bee colonies, and their keepers, across the country this past year.


Fin whale found washed up on Baja California beach in Mexico

An 18-meter long Fin Whale found washed up on Baja California beach

An 18-meter long Fin Whale found washed up on Baja California beach
The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) attended to the report of a deceased whale in the municipality of Playas de Rosarito.

The large mammal was discovered washed up on the beach by municipal cleaning personnel. Profepa officers arrived and verified the mammal was an 18-meter long Fin Whale and was in an advanced state of decomposition.

Officers noted that the whale did not exhibit any signs of physical injuries and deemed the death was likely caused by anthropogenic impacts. The Fin Whale is listed as a protected species in Mexico. It is the third whale found dead in Mexican waters since May.

Cloud Lightning

2,170 lightning strikes within 3 hours near West Little Rock, Arkansas - thousands without power

Meteorologist Todd Yakoubian reports that 2066 lightning strikes happened within 25 miles of West Little Rock Thursday evening.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill 4, injures 10 others in Bara, Nepal

As many as four persons have lost their lives while 10 others have been injured due to a lightning strike early Thursday morning, in Bara district. All of the deceased are women.

Two of the four — Aasha Devi Mahato (35) and Halika Khatun (45) — were residents of Sitalpur, Kalaiya Sub Metropolitan City-12. They were working at the field. While two others — Indu Devi Mahato (30) and Sunarpati Dev Mahato (40) — were from Tribeni, Pheta Rural Municipality-1.

Indu and Sunarpati were at their homes while the lightning struck and they were killed on the spot, informed Chief District Officer Rudra Prasad Pandit.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill at least 8 in Rangpur region of Bangladesh

At least eight people were killed and nine others injured in separate incidents of lightning strikes in three districts of Rangpur region on Thursday.

Of them, four were killed in Lalmonirhat, three in Rangpur and the other was killed in Kurigram district.

The deceased in Lalmonirhat were identified as Montu Mia, 32, son of Ramzan Ali of Bejgram area of Hatibandha upazila, Ati Mia, 39, son of Abdul Hamid and Jahedul Islam, 28, son of Khandaker Ali of Islampur village under Patbarbati upazila and Hasan, son of Zahir Uddin of the same village.

Police and locals said some youths went for fishing in Kalibari beel of Tongbhanga union of Hatibandha upazila when Montu Mia and Ati were injured in a lightning strike.


US tornado alley goes quiet, Canada's season had roaring start

Tornado activity US
© The Weather Network
A single U.S. outbreak in April produced more tornadoes than May and June combined.

Tornado sirens are a fact of life for people in the United States' traditional 'tornado alley' in the country's midsection.

But it looks like the region had something of a reprieve this season, boasting May and June tornado numbers lower than they've been for half a century or more, with the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) going so far as to call it a tornado drought.

May's preliminary tornado count of 59, for example, is the lowest in 50 years, while June mustered no more than 50 twisters, the fewest since 1952. The drought is enough to bring 2020 in below average so far, though some parts of the country have had higher than normal tornado activity.

The 2020 season didn't start out this slow. May and June's combined count is less than a single outbreak over the Easter weekend in April that produced 114 confirmed tornadoes and killed more than 30 people. That month as a whole produced 351 tornadoes, the second most of any April on record.

The count of tornadoes at EF2 level or higher is also down, with the U.S. only seeing a single twister at that strength for the entire month of June.