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Tue, 10 Dec 2019
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Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 3 school children in Zimbabwe

Lightning claims over 100 lives every year in Zimbabwe, which holds record for most deaths from single bolt of lightning

Lightning claims over 100 lives every year in Zimbabwe, which holds record for most deaths from single bolt of lightning
Three children were killed by lightning in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East, as heavy rains pounded Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

A herdboy was swept away by a flooded river in Filabusi, and heavy winds blew away roofing sheets at several homes and schools in Matabeleland South.

The three Early Childhood Development (ECD) pupils from Rusike Primary School were heading home when they were struck by lightning, officials said.


Sparks fly as heavy snowfall downs power lines near Italian ski resort

Heavy snowfall saw power lines downed in Bruneck, a town in the Italian province of South Tyrol, on November 17. Two meters of snow caused thousands of outages in the region, and made travel almost impossible.

Bruneck native Andreas Auer captured footage showing downed lines sparking into frightening life having fallen onto trees in the area, which is located at the foot of Kronplatz mountain, a skiing hotspot.

Sharing Auer's footage on Facebook, Martin Ausserdorfe, the mayor of nearby market town Sankt Lorenzen, warned that the situation was "dangerous" for locals.

An avalanche caused large snowdrifts and debris to partially engulf the South Tyrol town of Martell on November 17.

Credit: Andreas Auer via Storyful


Early snow threatens corn, soybean harvest in Ottawa district

Sylvain Quenneville farms in Casselman, Ont.,
© Denis Babin/Radio-Canada
Sylvain Quenneville farms in Casselman, Ont.,
Farmers facing formidable challenge with snow blanketing Ottawa-area fields

During a typical autumn, Sylvain Quenneville would be wrapping up his corn harvest at his farm in Casselman, Ont., east of Ottawa, by now.

But this hasn't been a typical autumn.

The area got about 12 centimetres of snow last week, and Quenneville's equipment isn't built to handle it.

"The thresher can't beat snow," he said in French on Sunday. "We have to wait for the snow to melt ... [or it] will just go through the thresher."

Comment: Related: 'Harvest from hell': 2.7 million acres of canola left buried under snow in the Canadian prairies


Heavy snow in Alps causes avalanches and travel disruptions

Schools and roads were closed on Monday in parts of Austria as heavy snow and rain cause disruption across the Alpine region. Two women were rescued by firefighters after their houses were destroyed in a mudslide.

Schools and roads were closed on Monday in parts of Austria as heavy snow and rain cause disruption.

Two women had to be rescued by firefighters after their houses were destroyed in a mudslide in a town near Salzburg, Austrian news agency APA reported.

One of them was rescued almost immediately, another only after several hours. Both were hospitalized.

Over thirty people were evacuated from their homes in the region of Styria amid concerns over landslides, while the residents of 15 buildings in Carinthia were evacuated as the nearby Gurk river threatened to burst its banks.


Cooling atmosphere: Moon halo captured over Austin, Texas

Moon halo over Austin, TX
© Nick Rober
On Saturday evening, KXAN viewer Nick Rober captured this image. If you look closely, there is a very faint ring around the moon.

What is it?

The ring is referred to as a '22-degree halo' and appears as a light circle around the sun or moon. Why the name? The circle has a radius of ~22°.

What causes it?

Thin, high clouds called 'cirrus clouds' are made up of millions of tiny ice crystals thousands of feet in the atmosphere. Light reflecting off the moon or shining from the sun is refracted, which then creates a visible ring surrounding the sun/moon.

In-Depth: Refraction of light is defined as the bending or splitting of light through a medium. In this case, the light is being bent by the ice crystals in the air that make up the cloud.


Dozens of villages remain cutoff by several feet of snow in Kashmir

Dozens of far-flung and remote villages near the Line of Control (LoC), including border towns of Keran and Karnah, remained cut off from the rest of Kashmir valley for the third successive day on Sunday due to slippery road conditions and accumulation of snow.

Meanwhile, the Kupwara-Machil and Gurez-Bandipora roads in north Kashmir remained closed since November 6 owing to the same reason.

"The Kupwara-Keran and Kupwara-Karnah roads remained closed for the third day on Sunday due to accumulation of about one foot snow," an official of Police Control Room (PCR), Kupwara, said over the phone.

He said the upper reaches in the district received fresh snowfall while rain lashed plains, including Kupwara town during the past 24 hours. "Traffic will resume only after improvement in the weather and clearance of snow on these roads," he said, adding that the snow clearance operation will take a couple of days.

Arrow Down

Avalanche kills at least 6 in Ladakh, India


Representational Image
At least four army personnel and two civilians have been killed after being buried under the snow following an avalanche at the Siachen Glacier on Monday.

The initial reports said that at least eight army jawans were buried under the snow as the avalanche hit the army post at Siachen glacier in Ladakh. The avalanche hit the Army position in the northern glacier at around 3:30 pm on Monday. The Army troops immediately launched the rescue and recovery operations.

All eight personnel were pulled out of the avalanche debris. "Seven individuals who were critically injured, accompanied by medical teams, providing critical care were evacuated by helicopters to the nearest Military Hospital, where all lifesaving resuscitative measures were instituted," an official statement by the army said.


Late snow closes roads in November in Southland, New Zealand

© Mark Price
Snow falling at Okaka Lodge high on the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track makes for scenic viewing ... except it's meant to be spring.

And, it appears the unpredictable weather is set to stay around for a little longer yet.

It had been snowing high up on the track in Tuatapere on Monday and the Milford Rd in Fiordland was closed from 5pm on Sunday due to forecasted snow but had reopened at 11.20am on Monday.

Ice Cube

Western Hudson Bay freeze-up earlier than average for 1980s for 3rd year in a row

Polar bear family on the ice off Churchill Manitoba (taken from a helicopter), courtesy Explore.org

Polar bear family on the ice off Churchill Manitoba (taken from a helicopter), courtesy Explore.org
After five good sea ice seasons in a row for WH polar bears, this repeat of an early freeze-up means a sixth good ice season is now possible for 2019-2020.

This is the third year in a row that freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay (WH) ice has come earlier than the average of 16 November documented in the 1980s.

Reports by folks on the ground near Churchill confirm polar bears are starting to move onto the sea ice that's developing along the shore after almost 5 months on land.

Thanks to Laurel for this link.

Snowflake Cold

Military Emergencies Unit called out as heavy snowfall isolates villages in northern Spain

Villages isolated in the province of León as power cuts affect residents in rural areas

The cold front which swept across the Iberian Peninsula over the weekend brought severe disruption to road traffic in the north of Spain, leaving villages on higher ground isolated as snow drifted to depths of well over a metre in rural areas.

So serious were the conditions that 110 members of the Military Emergencies Unit were dispatched to Villablino and other towns and villages in the Laciana valley in the north-west of the province of León to help clear roads and streets, making use of snow ploughs and various other items of heavy-duty machinery. They began the operation with a total of 43 vehicles on Saturday morning after heavy snowfalls during Thursday and Friday, when red alert warnings were issued by the State meteorological agency Aemet, and also delivered generators to ensure that electricity was available for residents unable to leave their homes.