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Fri, 14 Aug 2020
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Earth Changes


Heavy summer snowfall in the Alps - 16 inches deep

Stelvio Pass, Italy

Stelvio Pass, Italy
There's been heavy snowfall up high in parts of the Alps overnight, where six glaciers are currently open for summer skiing.

Passo Stelvio in Italy (pictured above and below this morning, Tuesday 4th August) has reported 40cm (16 inches) of "heavy snow" above 2,700 metres altitude.

Other ski areas currently open in the Alps are Les 2 Alpes in France; Hintertux and Molltal in Austria and Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland. The 'Matterthorn Glacier Paradise' ski area above Zermatt can also be accessed from Cervinia in Italy.

Comment: This is the 3rd summer in a row that substantial snowfall has hit the Alps in August. See here for a report from 2018 and here for 2019.

Indications of the beginnings of a much cooler longer-term trend perhaps...?

Cloud Lightning

At least 6 killed in lightning strikes in Odisha, India

At least six people, including two children, were killed and two others injured after being hit by lightning in separate incidents in Odisha's Balasore and Bhadrak district on Monday, police said.

While two children and a farmer died in Balasore district, three others died in neighbouring Bhadrak district, they said.

A 12-year-old girl had gone to tie Rakhi to her cousin brother aged 15 years at Mandagaon village under Khantapada police station limit when lightning struck and both the children died on the spot while two others present nearby were injured.

Cloud Precipitation

Summer flooding in Jazan, Saudi Arabia

Storms cause flooding in the region of Jazan, Saudi Arabia. August 2nd, 2020.

Cloud Precipitation

Tropical Storm Sinlaku brings flooding rains to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand - up to 14 inches in 24 hours

Tropical Storm Sinlaku

Tropical Storm Sinlaku
At least 2 people have died in flash flooding in Vietnam after heavy rainfall brought by Tropical Storm Sinlaku. Meanwhile hundreds of homes have been flooded as the storm dumped heavy rainfall making its way over Laos and Thailand.

According to Thailand's meteorological department, the storm is now expected to move towards Myanmar, where flooding from heavy monsoon rainfall has recently affected thousands of people in recent days.


Vietnam's Disaster Management Authority said strong winds and heavy rain from Sinlaku caused damages in Quang Ninh, Hoa Binh, Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Binh Dinh provinces on 02 August, 2020. Cam Pha in Quang Ninh recorded 368mm of rain in 24 hours to 02 August. Further heavy rainfall is expected in the wake of the storm.

One fatality was reported in Quang Ninh Province after a flooding caused a river embankment to fail. Another person died in died in flood waters in Hoa Binh Province. Around 2,500 hectares of crops have been flooded.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt hits high-voltage power lines causing massive fireball in Shenyang, China

Lightning bolt hits Shenyang, China
Footage released by state broadcaster CCTV shows a loud bang rocking the Chinese city of Shenyang today before a blaze broke out seconds after, leaving residents in shock
A lightning bolt has ignited a massive fireball over a Chinese city after it struck high-voltage power lines.

Footage shows a loud bang rocking the city of Shenyang today before a blaze broke out seconds after, leaving residents in shock.

The blast occurred near several tower blocks but caused no casualties, according to the country's state media.

The event took place during the evening rush hour in the Tiexi District of Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning, reported state broadcaster CCTV.

A flash of lightning hit the transmission lines nearly a residential compound, sparking a fire on the grass underneath.

The incident did not cause any damage to the public facility or interrupt the local electrical services, the outlet claimed.

Cloud Precipitation

Tropical Storm Isaias floods streets on Grand Bahama

A home in Arden Forest, Grand Bahama flooded during Hurricane Isaias.

A home in Arden Forest, Grand Bahama flooded during Hurricane Isaias.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of "potentially life-threatening" flooding in the northwestern Bahamas through Sunday, August 2, as Tropical Storm Isaias made its way over the islands.

Though the storm was moving past the Bahamas, forecasters still warned of continuous flooding and large swells. This video shows street flooding in Freeport, a city on Grand Bahama.

Isaias was packing maximum winds of 65 mph and located about 65 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, as of 5 pm, according to the NHC.

Tropical Storm Isaias strengthened "slightly" as it moved along Florida's east coast, the NHC said. A hurricane watch and storm surge warning was issued for parts of the Carolinas.

Credit: Marie Hynes via Storyful


Spectacular waterspout swirls across sky off West Flanders, Belgium

Beachgoers in Oostduinkerke observed a spectacular waterspout forming off the Belgian coast.

Waterspouts are common in the late summer and early autumn and occur when the water is relatively warm while upper layers in the air are cold, causing the whirlwind to rise.


'Everything is burning': Argentina's delta fires rage out of control

Pillars of fire across the river from Rosario.
© Cristina Mazzia/Taller Ecologista
Pillars of fire across the river from Rosario.
Cattle ranching and drought have turned the Paraná River grasslands to tinder, threatening disaster for the area's wildlife

A raging fire described as "completely out of control" is threatening one of South America's major wetland ecosystems. The fire has been burning for months now, and is visible from the balconies of luxury apartments along the shoreline of the Paraná River in Argentina's central city of Rosario

Locals have been sharing photos and videos of the fires on social media.

Cloud Precipitation

Two killed as heavy rains ravage northern Vietnam

Cars and motorbikes struggle to go through a flooded street in Hai Phong City following heavy rains, July 2, 2020.
© VnExpress/Giang Chinh
Cars and motorbikes struggle to go through a flooded street in Hai Phong City following heavy rains, July 2, 2020.
Torrential downpours triggered by Storm Sinlaku, which devolved into a tropical depression on Sunday afternoon, killed two people in northern Vietnam while flooding thousands of homes.

Sinlaku weakened on hitting Vietnam on Sunday afternoon. However, it caused heavy rains and strong winds across northern and central regions.

Do Van Manh, 40, a construction worker, died Sunday night inside his tent after a five-meter-high sea embankment collapsed following prolonged rains in Quang Ninh Province, the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control reported.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 5 dead, 8 missing as floods, mudslides sweep South Korea

Collapsed road due to heavy rain in Chungju on August 2.
Collapsed road due to heavy rain in Chungju on August 2.
At least five people have been killed in floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall in South Korea, while another eight are missing, according to media reports Sunday.

Roads were closed and train services suspended in several places following landslides, South Korean broadcasters and the national news agency Yonhap reported Sunday, citing the civil protection agency.

The region around the capital Seoul and the central part of the country were particularly hard hit by the rains.