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Thu, 23 Jan 2020
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Spooky 'devil face' captured amid Australia's bushfires

Spooky 'devil face' in Australian bushfire
© SUNRISE
Craig Calvert (L) sent this photo to Sunrise on Friday.
Devastated dairy farmer Craig Calvert, who spent 13 hours fighting fires threatening his property in Victoria, has shared an eerie image of the blaze which depicts "a big devil face" in the billowing smoke.

"I'm not really into hokey pokey spooky stuff but there's a big devil face right in the fire," he told Sunrise on Friday.

"It's just ridiculous, you won't believe, I don't believe it."

Calvert, from Sarsfield, has "extensive fire experience" and "knew it was going to be bad" when fires approached his property earlier this week.

"We had fireballs coming over, jumping. Some of them were 50 metres to 100 metres across," Calvert told Sunrise.

"It didn't even burn the trees. It was burning the gas on top of the trees - It was almost like white flame."


Comment: Aussie police say arsonists & lightning real cause of bushfires, NOT climate change


Snowflake

Summer snow falls on hills in Southland, New Zealand

snow map
Snowfall for 6 hrs ending Tuesday 07 Jan at 1am NZDT

Snowfall for 6 hrs ending Tuesday 07 Jan at 1am NZDT
Southlanders could be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of winter as they woke to snow on the hills on Monday morning.

Snow fell in the high country in Northern Southland overnight on Sunday as a January cold snap continued in the province.


Out on the coast, Metservice issued a strong wind warning for southwest gales up to 120kmh for coastal Southland, Clutha and Stewart Island, warning gusts in exposed places could bring down trees and powerlines.


Binoculars

King penguin turns up on beach in Tasmania, Australia 1,500 kilometres from home

The penguin is in a healthy condition, experts say.
© James Smith
The penguin is in a healthy condition, experts say.
A king penguin has been spotted more than a thousand kilometres from its home on a southern Tasmanian beach, but a wildlife expert says it may not be lost.

The closest king penguin colony is on Macquarie Island, about 1,500 kilometres south of Hobart.

Marine Conservation Program wildlife officer Dr Julie McInnes said the sighting at Seven Mile Beach was exciting.

"It's a pretty rare thing to see king penguins up here in Tasmania, it's quite a way north from the usual range," Dr McInnes said.

"It's not unheard of, we have seen them a couple of times in different parts of the state."

Dr McInnes said it was not clear if the bird was lost — it may have come ashore to rest after a big fishing trip, or was undergoing its annual moult.

Comment: Three months ago another King Penguin turned up thousands of kilometers from home at Cape Point Beach in South Africa


Attention

Two different seal species from the Arctic turn up in south-west Ireland

The male Hooded Seal was first seen at Toormore, Co Cork, on New Year's Day
© Helen Tilson/Schull Sea Safari
The male Hooded Seal was first seen at Toormore, Co Cork, on New Year's Day
Two extremely rare visitors from the Arctic paid visits to beaches on the westerly coasts of Cos Cork and Kerry last week.

The first of these was a male Hooded Seal, which appeared at Toormore beach, west of Schull, on New Year's Day. Apparently in good health, the animal measured more than 2 metres in length and was estimated to weigh around 300 kg.

Sexed as a male due to the distinctive, elastic balloon-like nasal cavity on the top of its head, which only males possess, the seal was observed (and filmed) inflating this sack on a few occasions.

It stayed on the beach for the remainder of the day, where it was monitored by volunteers to ensure its rest was undisturbed by onlookers, before swimming off from Toormore the following day (2nd) - it hasn't returned there or been seen anywhere else since.

While principally an Arctic species, Hooded Seal spends much of its life well away from land and has been seen as far south as the Mediterranean Sea. There are six previous Irish records: two historical occurrences are cited from Co Mayo in 1836 and Co Galway in 1898, with more recent sightings involving juveniles in Co Wexford in September 2001, Co Waterford in October 2006, Co Dublin in July 2012 and Co Donegal in 2016.



Comment: There was another unusual marine mammal migration from the Arctic region just last month: Killer whales migrate from Iceland to Italy for the first time in recorded history


Attention

Portugese Man O' War wash ashore in unprecedented numbers along the beaches on Trinidad

These were found on the east coast.

These were found on the east coast.
The Portugese Man O' War, a marine animal that resembles a jelly fish, continue to wash ashore in unprecedented numbers along the beaches on Trinidad east and north coasts.

These organisms classified by the Institute of Marine Affairs as a dangerous marine creature, are known as siphonophore.

There differences between jellyfish and the Portugese Man O' War.

Doctor Judith Gobin a clinical ecologist and Lecturer at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine told the Express yesterday: "The Portuguese man o' war is often called a jellyfish as it looks like one. It is easily recognized by its balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet, or pink and reaches to about six inches above the water. It is actually a species of siphonophore, another group of animals that is closely related to jellyfish."


Snowflake Cold

Stratospheric polar vortex reaches coldest temperature in 40 years

polar vortex

The graph shows the lowest temperature across the Northern Hemisphere, from 50-90°N latitude, where the coldest area of the polar vortex usually is.
The polar vortex has been gaining strength and has reached its peak climatological strength. It is set to be connected with the lower levels, pushing its influence on the weather patterns.

On January 3rd, a radiosonde has made measurements of the mid-stratospheric layers. Measuring over Reykjavik, Iceland, it has recorded the lowest temperature in the stratosphere in the past 40 years, at -96°C (-141°F). The image and data below from the Universtiy of Wyoming, shows the direct measurements made, where we can see the temperature line disappearing below -90°C near the 20mb level. The raw data shows the temperature and altitude, where we can see the -96°C being reached at 17.2mb level, which was around 25.6 km altitude.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:



Cloud Precipitation

Two die in flooded elevator in Tel Aviv after record rainfall hits central Israel

Cars submerged on a Jaffa street after central Israel is battered by downpour, January 4, 2020
© Screen grab via Ruthi Lerer via Channel 13
Cars submerged on a Jaffa street after central Israel is battered by downpour, January 4, 2020
The Israeli city of Tel Aviv was severely flooded on Saturday (January 4th) after record rainfall.

A video showed severely flooded streets in the city centre and one restaurant in which staff were wading through water.

According to the Ynet news site, 71 millimetres of rain fell in Tel Aviv over the course of a two-hour period.

One person was killed in a parking garage after becoming trapped in a flooded elevator, according to local media.


Comment: The Times of Israel reports that a man and a woman were killed in the basement level of a residential building in the south of Tel Aviv on Saturday, after becoming trapped in a flooded elevator during heavy storms. The two apparently drowned.


Rainbow

Brocken spectre: Rare weather phenomenon captured on film by walker in Wales

brocken spectre
© BBC
Screenshot: Capturing a rare weather effect on New Year's Day
A walker has captured images of a rare weather phenomenon called Brocken spectre on New Year's Day.

Rhys Pleming was climbing Snowdon, Gwynedd, with his friend and they made it to the summit at about 08:15 GMT for the sunrise.

Mr Pleming said the clouds began to cover the summit and another walker spotted the rare weather effect.

The Met Office says the Brocken spectre appears when a large shadow of an observer is cast on to cloud or mist.

Comment: Comments: For more recent wondrous sights, check out:


Ice Cube

Ice builds along the rushing Missouri River in Bismarck, North Dakota

ice river
North Dakota resident Mike Odegaard captured video of an ice jam that formed through Hoge Island on the Bismarck side of the Missouri River on New Year's Day.

The video shows ice sheets piling on the shores of the river bank.


Nebula

'Strongest colors ever seen': Iridescent clouds make another spectacular appearance above skies in South Iceland

iridescent clouds
© Mbl.is/Jónas Erlendsson
The sky above Vík í Mýrdal Friday morning.
Spectacular iridescent clouds formed in the sky above South Iceland Friday morning. As the sun came up, the sky was filled with rainbow colors.

Mbl.is reporter Jónas Erlendsson took the photo above east of Vík í Mýrdal between the hours of 9 and 10 am Friday. He states these are the strongest-colored iridescent clouds he has ever seen.

Another photo, sent to mbl.is , was taken in Hornafjörður, Southeast Iceland the same morning. It appears Nature took out its palette and brushes to create the most beautiful sight.

Comment: Recent reports of iridescent clouds (also known as Nacreous or Polar Stratospheric Clouds) have included comments such as that from residents who have lived in the area for 70 years stating that they were "once in a lifetime" events. Taken together with the numerous other sights in our skies, and other Earth Changes phenomena, it's clear that there are great changes afoot on our planet: Also check out SOTT radio's: And SOTTs monthly report documenting these events: