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Wed, 22 Mar 2023
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Earth Changes


Yosemite National Park breaks decades-old snowfall record, closing park indefinitely - snow 15 FEET deep after recent storms

Cabin roofs at Yosemite National Park are almost completely covered with snow. At the park's Badger Pass ski area, snow is up to the second floor of the lodge. In the Yosemite Valley, snow accumulation broke a 54-year-old daily record — by multiple inches.

The historic snowfall in the Sierra Nevada from back-to-back winter storms has closed the world-famous park indefinitely while rangers and park staffers work to respond to the epic snowpack.

"In all of my years here, this is the most snow that I've ever seen at one time," said Scott Gediman, a spokesperson for Yosemite and ranger for 27 years. "This is the most any of us have ever seen."

The park known for its impressive granite formations and stunning waterfalls initially announced Saturday it would close because of severe winter weather, with plans to reopen by Thursday. But after additional snowfall though early Wednesday, officials for the national park announced it would remain closed, without a specific date to reopen.

Comment: Fresh heavy snow dumped in California - 3 FEET in a day, 4.3 FEET in 2 days at Soda Springs


Australia - Hundreds evacuate floods in Northern Territory - 5 inches of rain in 24 hours

Flooding at Sandy Creek, NT, Australia, 01 March
© Victoria Daly Regional Council
Flooding at Sandy Creek, NT, Australia, 01 March 2023.
Authorities in Australia's Northern Territory have ordered the evacuation of communities in the Victoria Daly Region after persistent heavy rain caused rivers to overflow.

Evacuations were ordered for residents of Daguragu, Kalkarindji, Pigeon Hole and Palumpa in the Victoria Daly Region of Northern Territory on 01 March 2023.

The upper Victoria River exceeded major flood levels after persistent heavy rain in the region. As of 01 March, the Victoria River at Kalkarindji stood at 16.99 metres, where the major flood stage is 14 metres.

Rain has been falling in the state for the past week, but intensified over the last few days. Kalkarindji recorded 134 mm of rain in 24 hours to 01 March and Lajamanu recorded 114 mm.

Snowflake Cold

Fresh heavy snow dumped in California - 3 FEET in a day, 4.3 FEET in 2 days at Soda Springs

Residents of Soda Springs, California, are dealing with an estimated 36 feet of snowfall this winter, with more predicted on the way.

Residents of Soda Springs, California, are dealing with an estimated 36 feet of snowfall this winter, with more predicted on the way.
A string of back-to-back winter storms have lashed the West this week, delivering blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall to many areas in California.

The days long brutal conditions left many stranded, shut down highways, knocked out power to thousands of homes and buried roads in snow as communities ran low on supplies.

Last week, the National Weather Service in Los Angeles issued its first blizzard warning since 1989. Over the weekend, the weather service's local office in San Diego issued its first-ever blizzard warning for the San Bernardino County mountains

Blizzard warnings remain in effect Wednesday across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, where up to 2 feet of additional snowfall are possible through Wednesday morning.

The San Bernadino Mountain Range could see between 1 and 3 feet of additional snowfall, with gusts up to 75 mph.


Rare waterspout forms in Northern California

A waterspout seen in Shelter Cove, California. Feb. 27, 2023.
© Micah Crumbaugh
A waterspout seen in Shelter Cove, California. Feb. 27, 2023.
Amid one of the more extreme weather periods in recent California history, a strange phenomenon was photographed in Humboldt County.

A "waterspout," or "water tornado," emerged over the rocks in Shelter Cove on the Lost Coast Monday afternoon. The unusual sight was seen and photographed by resident Micah Crumbaugh while he was on a walk.

"It was really cool watching it make its way down to the water and seeing the water rise up to meet it," Crumbaugh told SFGATE. "Where I was standing it was sunny and warm. It was a really cool sight to see, especially right after snow down here in Shelter Cove."

Like much of California, Humboldt County has seen severe winter storms over recent days. As of Monday, many roads in the region were closed, as downed power lines and trees left nearly 9,000 residents without power, reports the Times Standard.


6.5-magnitude earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake hits the Kembe district of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday.

Last Sunday, the US Geological Survey reported that an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale had hit Papua New Guinea.

The agency said the quake was detected at 21:24 on Saturday, UTC

The epicenter is located 58 km southeast of Kandrian city. Its source is located at a depth of 65 km.

The US Weather Service Alert System did not report a tsunami risk after the earthquake in Papua New Guinea.


Powerful Solar storm has unusually strong impact on Earth, delays SpaceX rocket launch, stalls oil rigs in Canada

© MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images
A strong geomagnetic storm triggered stunning aurora displays but also disrupted satellite launches and oil rig operations.
A powerful solar storm that swept across Earth on Monday (Feb. 27) forced SpaceX to delay a Starlink launch from Florida and temporarily disrupted operations of several Canadian oil rigs as GPS signals were too inaccurate.

SpaceX eventually launched those satellites, the first batch of 21 second-generation Starlink internet spacecraft, at 6:13 p.m. ET (2313 GMT) on Monday after the geomagnetic storm, classified by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a strong G3 storm subsided. Liftoff occurred about 4.5 hours after the originally scheduled launch time.

SpaceX has been cooperating with NOAA since a mishap in February last year, which saw the company lose a batch of 40 satellites after launching them right into a relatively mild geomagnetic storm.

Comment: It doesn't seem to be a 'mishap', because SpaceX had probably done their homework; what they didn't, and probably couldn't fully account for, is how the atmosphere is clearly changing. Note that it was a 'relatively mild geomagnetic storm', but the impact it had seems to have been much greater than expected; as is the case with the report on this recent storm.

Comment: There have been no mainstream forecasters who have predicted the dramatic changes that we've been witnessing in our skies in recent years, and so we can probably safely assume that they don't really know what's in store; although a few renegade researchers have given us some ideas. But, if recent events are anything to go by, it looks like we'll see for ourselves, soon enough: Also check out SOTT radio's:

Cloud Precipitation

Mozambique - 150,000 displaced, 7 killed as Cyclone Freddy brings flooding rain - 8 inches in 24 hours

Rainfall from Cyclone Freddy in Mozambique
Rainfall from Cyclone Freddy in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, 24 to 27 February 2023.
At least 7 people have died and thousands have been displaced after Tropical Cyclone Freddy made its way across Mozambique.

Prior to reaching Mozambique, the storm caused widespread wind damage and flooding in Madagascar, where authorities reported 7 fatalities, more than 22,000 displaced, around 80,000 affected, and 12,000 houses damaged.

Tropical Cyclone Freddy made landfall in Vilankulo District in the Inhambane Province on 24 February with winds of 95 km/h. Freddy then weakened to a tropical storm with recorded winds of 55km/h. The United Nations said Freddy tracked across seven districts in Inhambane (Funhalouro, Govuro, Inhassoro, Mabote, Massinga, Morrumbene, Vilankulo) and one in Gaza (Chigubo), an area where approximately 873,000 people live.


Solar storm lights up 'best' Aurora Australis in years in New Zealand and Australia

Aurora Australis (The Southern Lights) appeared over New Zealand's skies on 27 February, 2023.
© Ian Griffin
Aurora Australis (The Southern Lights) appeared over New Zealand's skies on 27 February, 2023.
While the North Island deals with the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, a different kind of "incredibly powerful" storm has taken hold of the South.

A recent solar storm has been sending particles our way, sparking stunning aurora at the poles.

"It was a really powerful explosion, and that gas is now interacting with our magnetic field and making it ring and making our atmosphere glow," Otago Museum director Dr Ian Griffin told RNZ on Tuesday.

The Aurora Australis, also known as the Southern Lights, could be seen right across the South Island, he said.

Comment: Breathtaking Northern Lights across UK in rare aurora phenomenon


After stray dog attack, three-year-old girl dies in hospital in Karnataka, India - 3rd such death in Ballari district in 2 months

dog attack
A three-year-old girl, who was critically injured after stray dogs attacked her 23 days ago in Ballari, died at NIMHANS, Bengaluru. She was among 25 people, including seven children, who were attacked by stray dogs in Ballari city on February 3. The deceased, Tayyaba Kizar, was initially admitted to Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Science and was later shifted to NIMHANS. She did not respond to treatment and died.

Tayabba's father Kizar Khan said, "If VIMS authorities had shifted my daughter to NIMHANS earlier, she might have survived."Rudresh SN, Commissioner, Ballari City Municipal Corporation, said, "After the incident, we immediately shifted injured children and adults to VIMS. Three children were serious and were provided treatment in the ICU ward."

Snowflake Cold

Red alert for snow as Storm Juliette hits the island of Mallorca, Spain - temperatures below freezing - 20 inches of snowfall (UPDATE)

It is uncommon that a red alert for severe weather is issued for Mallorca, but red alert there is for snow in the Tramuntana Mountains. The effects of Storm Juliette started to be felt on Sunday night, the met agency Aemet warning of snow of some 40 centimetres over a 24-hour period.

Minimum temperatures fell to -2ºC in Serra d'Alfàbia, -1º in Escorca, 1º in Lluc, 3º in Palma (university area), 3º in Santa Maria and 4º in Porreres.

The snow line is forecast to be as low as 200-300 metres on Monday, and it is possible that there could be snow at sea level, but Aemet says that this is unlikely to settle.

Comment: Update February 28

LBC reports:
Red alert issued as Mallorca hit by 20 inches of snow as Storm Juliette reaches Balearic Islands

The holiday island of Mallorca has been hit by a winter storm that brought with it 20 inches of snow and a rare red weather alert.

A further 15 inches of snow is expected to fall in the next 24 hours as Storm Juliette hit the island.

Spain's weather agency AEMET warned that coastal regions will be battered by 55mph winds and 26ft waves. A red alert has been issued with warnings of 15 more inches of snow on the island's north within 24 hours.

Temperatuers have plummeted to -2C.

The storm has caused power cuts and road closures due to icy conditions and floods.

Locals are being advised to stay indoors until conditions improve.

Mainland Spain has also been affected by the storm with cold weather alerts issued in 30 regions across the county and heavy snow in Barcelona.

Temperatures dropped to -18.6C in Lleida in Catalonia yesterday.