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Fri, 27 Jan 2023
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

2 missing as heavy rainfall causes flooding in southwest Serbia

Emergency teams in Serbia Thursday were searching for two people swept away by a swollen river in a southwestern town as floods led to evacuations and emergency measures, state RTS television reported.

Heavy rainfall this week across the Balkans has caused rivers to rise dangerously in Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro, flooding some areas and threatening flood defenses elsewhere.

Floods were also reported in Kosovo and Albania, where high waters soaked agricultural land, blocked roads and caused temporary power outages.

In northern Albania, the local power company had to open sluices and release water from bulging reservoirs, flooding nearby areas for a third time in as many months.

In northern Kosovo, authorities said parts of the town of Mitrovica have been flooded, forcing people to evacuate their homes.

Snowflake Cold

Dozens of people killed as cold wave sweeps Afghanistan

afghanistan cold weather
© Omer Abrar/AFP
Children carry containers to fetch drinking water along a road during a cold winter day in the Yaftali Sufla district of Badakhshan province in Afghanistan on January 18, 2023
At least 70 people and tens of thousands of cattle have died due to freezing temperatures across Afghanistan, the country's Ministry of Disaster Management confirmed with Al Jazeera as Afghans reel from a spell of cold weather amid a humanitarian crisis.

The ministry said on Wednesday that 70 people and 70,000 cattle have died in the past week.

For the last two weeks, many provinces in Afghanistan have been witnessing exceptionally cold weather, with the central region of Ghor recording the lowest reading of -33C (-27F) over the weekend.


'Sun breaks tail of comet': Disconnection event observed on Comet ZTF

Something unusual is happening to the tail of Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3). It's being disconnected. The break is inset in this picture taken by Austrian astrophotographer Michael Jaeger on Jan. 17th:
comet ztf
This is a disconnection event: A piece of Comet ZTF's tail has been pinched off and is being carried away by the solar wind.

Blame space weather. CMEs hitting comets can cause magnetic reconnection in comet tails, sometimes ripping them off entirely. NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft watched this happen to Comet Encke in April 2007: movie.

This month, multiple CMEs have swept past Comet ZTF as a result of surging solar activity. One of them is responsible for the disconnection event.

Soon, we'll get a better look. Comet ZTF is approaching Earth for a close encounter (0.28 AU) on Feb. 1st. Between now and then, the comet's brightness will cross the threshold of naked-eye visibility, possibly peaking at magnitude +5. CME effects will be increasingly visible as the comet approaches. Stay tuned!

Comment: See also:


Record-breaking snowfall blankets northern Arizona

Bearizona keepers report that the park has received more than 28 inches of snow at the wildlife park!
© Bearizona
Bearizona keepers report that the park has received more than 28 inches of snow at the wildlife park!
More than 2 feet of snow fell over two days across parts of northern Arizona, becoming the 25th largest snow event in Flagstaff history and breaking the record for single-day snow accumulation on Sunday.

The Flagstaff Airport measured 14.8 inches on Sunday, smashing the previous record of 8.9 inches that held for 45 years. As snow continued to fall, accumulation eventually reached 30 inches at the airport by Tuesday morning.

The last time Flagstaff saw a storm of this magnitude was in late January 2021 when officials measured a 33.2-inch snowfall.

The areas impacted by the storm were expansive, said meteorologist Benjamin Peterson, including most areas at elevation above 5,500 feet, stretching from the northern rim of the Grand Canyon east to the White Mountains.


Polar bear kills woman, boy in remote Alaska village

In this June 15, 2014, file photo released by the U.S. Geological Survey, a polar bear dries off after taking a swim in the Chukchi Sea
© Brian Battaile/U.S. Geological Survey
In this June 15, 2014, file photo released by the U.S. Geological Survey, a polar bear dries off after taking a swim in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. A polar bear has attacked and killed two people in a remote village in western Alaska, according to state troopers who said they received the report of the attack on Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023, in Wales, on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula.
A polar bear has attacked and killed two people in a remote village in western Alaska, according to state troopers.

Alaska State Troopers said they received the report of the attack at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wales, on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula, KTUU reported.

"Initial reports indicate that a polar bear had entered the community and had chased multiple residents," troopers wrote.

"The bear fatally attacked an adult female and juvenile male."


Man killed in dog attack in Bloemhof, South Africa - 9th such fatality for the country within 10 weeks

dog attack
A 47-year-old man was mauled to death by two cattle dogs in Bloemhof, North West, on Monday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Capt Aafje Botma said the incident happened at about 4pm at a house in Dorp Street.

"Initial investigation indicates that the man was walking in the street when the dogs allegedly escaped through a hole in the fence of their yard and attacked him. The dogs bit him on his throat and he died on the scene," Botma said.

She said police were busy with the investigation and awaiting the post mortem results.

The dogs were removed by the Kimberley SPCA.

Comment: Further details of the other 8 attacks:


Dead humpback whale found washed up on Assateague Island, Maryland

dead humpback whale beached on assateague island
© National Park Service
Dead humpback whale beached on assateague island
A dead humpback whale was found beached at the Assateague Island National Seashore early Monday morning.

According to the National Park Service, the 20-foot-long humpback whale was found on the beach on the morning of Jan. 16 in the Maryland Oversand Vehicle Area. The area is currently closed so the whale can be handled safely.

Staff with the NPS contacted the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Stranding Response Team, and in partnership with the National Aquarium, a necropsy is planned for Tuesday. At the time, there were no obvious signs as to the cause of death.

Officials said heavy machinery will help move the whale to the upper part of the beach, then after the necropsy is performed, it will be moved to the dunes to dry before burial.

Visitors are asked to keep their distance and keep any dogs on a leash. Officials are warning that the carcass will smell for a while but should not be an issue more than 50 yards from the location.

Cloud Grey

Global cooling: Delhi records 8th cold wave day - dense fog hampers air, rail movement

People sit around a bonfire to warm themselves during a cold winter morning, in New Delhi
People sit around a bonfire to warm themselves during a cold winter morning, in New Delhi
The national capital Delhi logged its eighth cold wave day in January on Wednesday, the most in the month in at least 12 years, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Several flights and trains were running late due to low visibility, reported news agency ANI.

"Several flights scheduled to depart from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) were delayed due to fog, ANI quoted airport authority as saying.

The Sadarjung observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of 2.6 degrees Celsius. It was 2.4 degrees Celsius on Tuesday and 1.4 degrees on Monday.


7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia, sparking tsunami fears

A large earthquake has rocked Indonesia, leading to fears of deadly tsunami waves in the Pacific Ocean.

The Indonesian geophysics agency said that the epicentre of the earthquake's was about 40 miles deep, 88 miles southeast of the small town of Melonguane in the North Sulawesi province.

It is unclear if there have been any deaths or injuries. One local in the regional capital of Manado told Reuters that they had felt the earthquake very strongly for several seconds, and people had run out of buildings, but that no property damage was visiblel.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that there was a risk that the earthquake could cause tsunami waves within 300 kilometres of the epicentre, Reuters reported.

But the Indonesian agency said there was no risk of tsunamis.

A 7.5 earthquake hit Sulawesi in 2018 with devastating effect. The tremor and the tsunami that followed killed more than 4,000 people.


Magnitude 6 earthquake strikes Sulawesi, Indonesia region

A magnitude 6 earthquake struck Sulawesi, Indonesia region, on Wednesday, the European Mediterranean Siesmological Centre (EMSC) said.

The quake was at a depth of 145 km (90.09 miles), EMSC said.