Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Last weekend's rain in Minnesota obliterates single day record

The rains that triggered widespread flooding in southeastern Minnesota last weekend smashed a state rainfall record for a 24-hour period, according to the National Weather Service. It broke the old record by more than 4 inches.

A Naitonal Weather Service gauge near the town of Hokah in Houston County had 15.1 inches of rainwater in it when measured at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. The previous record -- set in July 1972 at Fort Ripley, Minn., in the central part of the state -- was 10.84 inches.

Bizarro Earth

Moderate Earthquake Rocks Northern Japan

A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 jolted northern Japan Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The quake was centered 145 miles northeast off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, according to the USGS. It struck 37 miles under the ocean floor.

Bizarro Earth

Thousands Ordered to Flee Idaho Wildfire

A mandatory evacuation was ordered Saturday for residents of more than 1,000 homes south of Ketchum, where a massive wildfire raged and high winds grounded firefighting air tankers.

After three days of relative calm, the 39-square-mile fire was 38 percent contained, but embers blew ahead of the blaze and increased the threat of spot fires, fire spokesman Bob Beanblossom said.

This image provided by NASA Thursday Aug. 16, 2007 was taken by one of the crew aboard the International Space Station of wide-spread forest fires in the Payette National Forest, Central Idaho within the Salmon River Mountains Monday.

Cloud Lightning

Queensland's wild weather caused by 'freak event'

The weather bureau says the current low pressure system over south-east Queensland is "a freak event" that has not been seen in Australia since the 1800s.

The system has left backpackers and Indonesian sailors stranded on the coast and substantial rainfall in the Condamine River catchment in inland southern Queensland.

©ABC News
Indonesian sailors ran aground on Rainbow Beach yesterday.

Cloud Lightning

Midwest storms part of once every hundred years weather pattern

A series of storms that has pummeled the Upper Midwest is part of a very unusual weather pattern.

Jonathan Martin is chairman of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He says it only comes around once every 100 or 200 years.

Cloud Lightning

Severe weather kills 50 in Yemen

Fifty people are dead as a result of violent weather that has raged across Yemen since early this month, KUNA reported Saturday.

The Yemeni Interior Ministry said seven died and scores were injured when heavy rain and floods drenched western Yemen Saturday.

Lightning also killed nine people from the same family in Rimma.


New update: 51 dead as Greek forest fires rage on

Forest fires raged unabated today on the Peloponnese peninsula of southern Greece, killing at least 51 people as flames threatened historic sites including Ancient Olympia.

"We are dealing with a national catastrophe, without precedent," said Niakalaos Diamantis, a fire service spokesman.

The Greek Health Ministry announced this morning that the death toll had climbed past 50, putting it among the world's deadliest forest fires of modern times.

Fires in Greece as captured by NASA satelite

Comment: Watch Reuters' video:


Ukraine: Wildfire in Crimea kills two

A male and female found dead in their car surrounded by the wildfire in the Alupka forest district are believed to the first victims of the fire that began on August 24.

Moreover, two officers of the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry combating the wildfire were injured, the press service of the Crimean Council of Ministers said on Sunday.

The fire is raging on the territory of 50 hectares.

Ukrainian Emergency Situations Minister Nestor Shufrych urgently arrived to Crimea from the Kherson region in order tostudy the situation and to organize fire-combating activities.

"The Alpine landscape makes it difficult to combat the fire, and we
are preparing additional forces to help Crimean residents," the press
service said.

Cloud Lightning

Gigantic Lightning-like Jets over Oklahoma

Think of them as sprites on steroids: Gigantic Jets are lightning-like discharges that spring from the top of thunderstorms, reaching all the way from the thunderhead to the ionosphere 50+ miles overhead. They are enormous and powerful.

©Richard Smedley

Cloud Lightning

100,000-plus without power in Midwest

Storms slammed rain-soaked Ohio on Saturday and hundreds of thousands of people in the Midwest were without power after their homes were battered by lashing winds and flooding rains.

Tornado warnings were issued Saturday afternoon for parts of central and southeast Ohio. Downed trees and power lines were reported in the southern part of the state, said National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Hatzos.