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Wed, 12 May 2021
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow hits Australian ski resorts a month early

Thredbo ski resort

A blizzard has lashed Australia's ski resorts more than a month early in welcome signs for the nation's skiers and snowboarders (pictured, Thredbo resort on Wednesday morning)
A 'blizzard' has lashed Australia's ski resorts more than a month early in welcome signs for the nation's skiers and snowboarders.

Temperatures fell to nearly 0C on Tuesday night, seeing a heavy downpour of snow to fall throughout the night through New South Wales snowy mountains.

Both Thredbo and Perisher ski resorts received a 10cm dump of snow at their village level alone, with much deeper powder at the top of the runs.

Mid-May snow dumps are rare in the region but offer a welcome sign for people hoping to get their skis on when the snow season gets going in June.

Perisher recorded 74.7mm of rain overnight Tuesday, resulting in large snowfall across the region.


Spring snow accumulates in parts of Colorado and Wyoming

Interstate 70 near the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel in Colorado.

Interstate 70 near the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel in Colorado on May 10
Portions of Wyoming and Colorado got another taste of winter on May 10 with several inches of snow accumulating across higher elevations.

Cloud Precipitation

Flood kills 6 in Afghanistan's northern Takhar province - 70 deaths due to flooding across the country in 2 weeks

Six persons were killed as downpours and flash floods swept away parts of northern Afghanistan's Takhar province including provincial capital Taluqan city on Monday night, a local official said Tuesday.

"At least six persons including five children were killed in rainstorm and flooding in Taluqan and its vicinity last night," Hajji Mohammad Ashraf told Xinhua.

Several houses were also destroyed or damaged due to the rainstorm and flooding, the official further said.

Comment: Earlier report from May 7: Afghan flash flood toll increases to 56


Baby dead after attack by family dog in Norwich, Connecticut.

dog attack
A 1-month-old was killed in a dog attack on McKinley Avenue in Norwich, according to police.

Officials said the incident happened at approximately 8:40 p.m. on Monday.

The infant was attacked by the family's dog and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Detectives are investigating the incident.

Arrow Down

Deadly landslide after heavy rain in West Sumatra, Indonesia - at least 7 people killed

At least 7 people have died after heavy rain caused a landslide West Sumatra, Indonesia.

According to the country's disaster agency BNPB, a landslide struck a mining area of Sangir Batang Hari District, South Solok Regency, West Sumatra, on 10 May 2021 after heavy rain. Conditions are making access to the area difficult for rescue teams.


Taiwan rations water, drills extra wells amid record drought

Taiwan Drought

Taiwan Drought
Some households in Taiwan are going without running water two days a week after a months-long drought dried up the island's reservoirs and a popular tourist lake.

Authorities are drilling extra wells and using military planes to dump cloud-seeding chemicals in hopes of triggering rain. The government has allocated money to extract drinkable water from the sea.

Farmers who need to flood paddies to raise rice, lotus root and other thirsty crops have been hit hard.

"The lotus flowers and seeds I planted don't produce well," said Chen Chiu-lang, a farmer in the southern city of Tainan standing in a dry paddy field.

Rainfall in the seven months through February was less than half the historic average after no typhoons hit Taiwan in 2020 for the first time in 56 years, according to the government.


California declares drought emergency across vast swath of state

Houseboats are dwarfed by the steep banks of Lake Oroville
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Houseboats are dwarfed by the steep banks of Lake Oroville last month in Oroville, California.
California has expanded a drought emergency declaration to a large swath of the nation's most populated state amid "acute water supply shortages" in northern and central parts of California.

The declaration, expanded by Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, now includes 41 of 58 counties, covering 30% of California's nearly 40 million people. The US drought monitor shows most of the state and the American west is in extensive drought just a few years after California emerged from a punishing multiyear dry spell.

Officials fear an extraordinary dry spring presages a wildfire season like last year, when flames burned a record 6,562 sq mi(16,996 sq km).

The declaration comes as Newsom prepares to propose more spending on short- and long-term responses to dry conditions. The Democrat last month had declared an emergency in just two counties north of San Francisco - Mendocino and Sonoma.

The expanded declaration includes the counties in the Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake watersheds across much of the northern and central parts of the state.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides about a third of the state's water, was at just 59% of average on 1 April, when it is normally at its peak.

Comment: The droughts in California often tend to be followed by devastating flooding: California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?


Forecast of 16 inches of May snow prompts 'winter storm warning' in Colorado

A winter storm warning has been issued for parts of Colorado after the National Weather Service has predicted between eight and 16 inches of snow in parts of the state through Tuesday afternoon, with higher totals possible in isolated areas.

Areas impacted by the warning include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Medicine Bow Range, the mountains of Summit County, the Mosquito Range, the Indian Peaks, and the Front Range foothills. The warning is currently in place from 3 PM on Monday through 3 PM on Tuesday. A few places of interest this warning includes are the Eisenhower Tunnel, Breckenridge, Mount Evans, Georgetown, and Estes Park.

See a full map of the storm prediction below:

Cloud Lightning

Lightning sends chunk of I-10 through truck's windshield in Walton County, Florida

A lightning strike hit I-10 Monday morning, sending a piece of the road through a truck's windshield. Both occupants were injured.
© Walton County Fire Rescue
A lightning strike hit I-10 Monday morning, sending a piece of the road through a truck's windshield. Both occupants were injured.
Two people were injured by lightning in Walton County, Florida, just after 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. The way in which they sustained their injuries just probably isn't what you're thinking.

As heavy thunderstorms rolled through the Florida Panhandle, there were numerous lightning strikes occurring -- including plenty that were cloud-to-ground. One of those strikes happened to hit the eastbound side of I-10 around mile marker 81.

Upon impact, the lightning strike sent a chunk of the interstate flying through the air.

That debris went through the windshield of a Ford pickup traveling on I-10 before then exiting through the back window. Both the windshield and back window were shattered by the force of the impact.

Snowflake Cold

Hungary records its coldest April of the 21st century

© György Varga/MTI
April this year was the coldest this century, and it was the 15th coldest since 1901, Hungary's weather service said on Sunday.

The month was 2.9 C. cooler than the average of 11.4 C. recorded between 1991 and 2020, the service said on its website and on Instagram.

April was especially capricious this year, witnessing snow and even snowdrifts.

Several other records were also broken during the month, with 80.7mm of rain drenching Tokaj, in eastern Hungary, on the first day of the month, while in Budapest, the record for the hottest day (26.1 C.) was broken on the same day.

On April 15, the coldest day, the mercury did not get above -0.6 C. in Kekesteto in the north of the country.