Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 26 Jan 2021
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


1 dead, at least 17 injured after tornado strikes Alabama town

Alabama tornado damage
A teenager huddling in his basement was killed and several of his family members were critically injured when a tornado blew a tree onto their home in Alabama and it collapsed on top of them, police said Tuesday.

The tornado left a swath of destruction Monday night in Fultondale, a Jefferson County city north of Birmingham. Piles of furniture, appliances and tree limbs were strewn about and vehicles ended up in awkward positions, as if a child had flung his collection of Matchbox cars into the air. One car landed upside down against some tree branches on a large pile of debris.

Police Chief D.P. Smith said several other family members trapped in the basement were critically injured, while one escaped harm. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene Tuesday morning .

"They were doing what they were supposed to be doing,'′ the chief said.

Fultondale Fire Chief Justin McKenzie said 17 people have since been hospitalized and 11 others were treated on scene, WVTM-TV reported.

Comment: Winter storms alerts in effect for 23 US states

Snowflake Cold

Madrid's record-breaking snowstorm killed half a million trees

Madrid, Spain's central capital, is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro - at least it was, before the Grand Solar Minimum slapped it silly.

A slew of new all-time cold and snow records have been set across Spain this January, snowfall so substantial that people even skied the streets of Madrid:


Over 100 gannets found dead after high tides believed to have pummelled breeding colony in New Zealand, 10-metre swells

A Kāwhia local reported that 134 dead birds had washed ashore on the coastline, and most of them were juveniles.

A Kāwhia local reported that 134 dead birds had washed ashore on the coastline, and most of them were juveniles.
More than 100 dead birds were found along the King Country coastline, near a biodiversity hotspot.

A Kāwhia local reported 134 dead birds had washed ashore between Kāwhai Ocean Beach and Aotea Harbour on Saturday.

Ōtorohanga District Council and the Department of Conservation were notified, and it's believed high tides sweeping over a breeding colony on nearby Gannet Island were to blame.

The dead birds were initially mistaken as albatrosses, then identified as gannets by DOC - with 117 of them juvenile gannets, known as gugas.


Snow falls on Maunakea, Mauna Loa summits in Hawaii

The Maunakea summit was blanketed with snow Monday evening amid a winter storm warning that remains posted for Hawaii Island summits until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
© W.M. Keck Observatory
The Maunakea summit was blanketed with snow Monday evening amid a winter storm warning that remains posted for Hawaii Island summits until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Maunakea and Mauna Loa summits were blanketed with snow Monday evening amid a winter storm warning that remains posted until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Honolulu are calling for heavy snow, with accumulations up to 8 inches, and wind gusts up to 45 mph, for the two Hawaii Island summits.

The Maunakea Access Road was closed to the public Monday evening at the Visitor Information Station at the 9,200-foot level elevation.

Forecasters predict that a strong high pressure system northeast of Hawaii and a trough to the southwest will combine to create locally strong southeast winds over Hawaii through the midweek.

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly floods, landslides in Santa Catarina, Brazil - 3 inches of rain in 3 hours

Further heavy rain has triggered flooding and landslides in the city of Florianópolis and areas of Santa Catarina state, Brazil .

Flash flooding and landslides were reported in Florianópolis after heavy rainfall on 21 January, 2021.

More heavy rain was reported in the state of Santa Catarina during the following days, in particular in the capital, Florianópolis. Civil Defense of Santa Catarina (DCSC) said almost 40mm of rain fell in Florianópolis in a 1 hour period around midday on 24 January. DCSC added that 86mm of rain fell in 3 hours and 104mm in 6 hours.

Snowflake Cold

Migratory birds wintering in northern Iran increased by 30% due to severe, premature cold in Siberia

The population of migratory birds took flight

The population of migratory birds took flight to spend the cold season in the northern province of Mazandaran increased by 30 percent since the beginning of winter (December 21, 2020) compared to the same period last year, head of wildlife affairs at the provincial department of environment (DOE) has said.
The annual census for migratory birds in Iran begins in the middle of the Iranian calendar month of Dey (December 22- January 20) and ends in the middle of the month of Bahman (January 21- February 19), which will be a 1-month period since January 1 to 31.

The reason for the increase in the migration of wintering birds this year is due to the severe and premature cold in Siberia, Korous Rabiei stated, IRNA reported on Monday.

According to the wintering census last year, 90 species of migratory birds with a population of over 500,000 migrated to the three wetlands of Miankaleh, Sorkhrud, and Azbaran, reservoirs and protected areas of the province, which is predicted to reach up to 700,000 this [Iranian calendar] year, he explained.

He went on to say that the largest increase in the migratory birds' population is related to the whooper swan, whose number increased about 10 times compared to the same period last year, from 500 to about 5,000.


Winter storms alerts in effect for 23 US states

A satellite image shows weather over the United States
A satellite image shows weather over the United States on Monday.

The country is expected to be hit with a slew of storms this week with winter weather alerts in effect Monday for 60 million people across 23 states, stretching from Southern California to the Midwest and mid-Atlantic.

Heavy snow was expected to fall Monday from the Central Plains to the Midwest and Great Lakes where cities like Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and especially Chicago could see their biggest snowstorm of the season.

Snowfall rates, forecast to be 2 inches per hour at times, will likely cause treacherous travel conditions and the risk of power outages.

For the Chicago area, heavy snow occurring around Monday evening's rush hour could also be met with lakeshore flooding from Lake Michigan. Strong winds across the Great Lakes are expected to kick up large waves and cause flooding. For Lake Michigan, forecasts called for waves of 10-13 feet, producing a risk for water splashing up on Lake Shore Drive as well as inundating nearby parks and parking lots.

Comment: Spectacular snowfall was also recorded in Naco, Sonora, Mexico:


Powerful 5.8-magnitude quake hits Auckland Islands, New Zealand, USGS says

© AP Photo
New Zealand is located in a seismically active zone known as the Ring of Fire and regularly suffers from powerful earthquakes.

A powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the Auckland Islands, an archipelago 465 kilometres south of the South Island at 05:47:53 UTC, United States Geological Survey said on Sunday.

The seismic activity was registered at a depth of 10 kilometres by the USGS. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, however, reports that the epicentre of the quake was determined to be at a 2 kilometre-depth.

No data of any injuries or damage have been reported so far.

The country is situated in a collision zone between the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, and earthquakes occur frequently. The region is part of the Pacific Ocean basin's "Ring of Fire", famous for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Arrow Up

Strong activity at Russia's Klyuchevskoy volcano

Russia volcano eruption
© YouTube/Volcano Discovery (screen capture)
Time-lapse of strong activity at Klyuchevskoy volcano in Kamchatka, the world's largest and most active stratovolcano, today 24 Jan 2021: increased lava effusion from the summit leads to glowing avalanches on the SW flank that trigger massive block and ash flows (pyroclastic flows) with tall ash plumes rising several kilometers. Klyuchevskoy volcano updates: https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/klyu...


Desert snow makes winter wonderland in Joshua Tree National Park, California - up to 6 inches deep


On the evening of January 23rd it started to rain in Joshua Tree, and by morning there were 6 inches of snow, turning the dry desert into a beautiful winter wonderland.

We were some of the first visitors to the park and captured some amazing views. We spotted three coyotes hunting in the snow and a hawk taking flight from the top of a snowy Joshua Tree.

Some of the scenes recorded are of the Queen Valley, Wonderland of Rocks, Pine City back country board, Queen Mountain, Mount San Gorgonio and Negro Hill.