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Mon, 17 Feb 2020
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Cloud Precipitation

Storm surge from Storm Gloria reaches at least 3km inland in Spain

Storm surge flooded 3 km inland along Spain’s eastern coast 20 to 22 January 2020.
© Copernicus EMS
Storm surge flooded 3 km inland along Spain’s eastern coast 20 to 22 January 2020.
A severe storm brought powerful winds, cold temperatures, snow and coastal flooding to wide areas of Spain from 20 January. Media blamed at least 4 deaths on the storm. Satellite images show storm surge swept 3km inland in Tarragona Province, resulting in severe damage to rice paddies and the ecosystem.

The storm, named "Gloria" by the State Meteorological Agency of Spain, AEMET, produced waves of over 8 metres along the coastline of south-eastern Spain on 20 January.

AEMET reported wind gusts of 115 km/h in Oliva, Valencia, on 20 January and 106 km/h in Barcelona the next day.

Heavy rain was also reported, with Barx in Valencia recording 190.4mm of rain in 24 hours to 20 January.

The following day Horta de Sant Joan in Tarragona Province, Catalonia, recorded 227.4mm.



Comment: Storm Gloria hits eastern Spain, dumping huge amounts of snow and battering coast with record-high waves


Binoculars

Wrong place, wrong time: Cape May warbler that normally winters in the West Indies turns up in Las Cruces, New Mexico

The famed Cape May warbler of Las Cruces' Tellbrook Park pauses in a mesquite in January 2020.
© Jimmy Zabriskie
The famed Cape May warbler of Las Cruces' Tellbrook Park pauses in a mesquite in January 2020.
Even on its summer breeding grounds in Canada and the northernmost states of the US, Cape May warblers are by no means common. In the eastern states, they're most often seen during migration — in fall, mostly moving through the Appalachian Mountains and along the Atlantic coast, and in spring, usually east of the Mississippi Valley. They are extremely rare throughout the West. The great majority winters in the West Indies, with a few in southernmost Florida and along the Caribbean coast. Thus, for one to turn up in January most anywhere in the states but Florida, let alone a city park in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is downright astonishing, but one indeed did, at Tellbrook Park just a couple of weeks ago.

The tiny wayward bird was first spotted by a sharp-eyed local birder, who promptly reported the sighting to the online eBird community's rare bird network, and the news quickly spread. Beginning the next day, not only locals got to enjoy watching what proved to be an unusually obliging bird, but also some of the more serious birders from other parts of New Mexico traveled to see a bird that is hardly ever encountered in our state, and thereby add another species to their state or county bird list. Only once has a Cape May warbler been documented in neighboring El Paso County, that being in 1983, so this January 2020 occurrence, a definite first for Doña Ana County, was truly remarkable.

Snowflake

Snowfall blankets southern Jordan

Tafileh witnessed heavy snowfall on Tuesday
© Al Rai
Tafileh witnessed heavy snowfall on Tuesday
The Education Ministry's "abrupt" decision to cancel school on Tuesday following the circulation of videos of snowfall in the south on social media drew public criticism.

The ministry published the announcement at 7:56AM, after many teachers and students had already left their homes to begin the school day at 9am, as per the government's previous announcement on Monday.

"The decision did not consider those who left before 8am and waited in the cold for transportation, nor many of the students who left because their parents did not know about the decision," Ahmad Ameer commented on the ministry's official Facebook page.

"This decision should have been taken yesterday [Monday], as most students left and came back home. It was confusing," another comment said.

Petra witnessed heavy snowfall early in the morning, according to a Facebook post by the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), which noted that the site was open to tourists as usual.


Snowflake

January brings record snowfall to Shuswap ski area, British Columbia - 56 inches in 9 days

A crew removes downed trees from Larch Hills cross-country ski area trails.
© Larch Hills Nordic Society
A crew removes downed trees from Larch Hills cross-country ski area trails.
Plenty of snow is usually a good thing for the Larch Hills cross-country ski trails, but January's snowfall and the accompanying downed trees has been a challenge for those who maintain the area.

"It's been really difficult," said Larch Hills Nordic Society president Ed Bouma. "I would say we've probably removed between 700 and 800 trees so far, and they're still coming down."

Bouma says it won't be until the summer when trees downed on some of the trails that aren't trackset can be removed.

Volunteers with the necessary experience have been assisting with the tree removal - a job that is not without risk. For example, while two people were cutting up two trees near one another on Larch Hills Road, another tree fell between them.

Black Cat

Mountain lion attacks small child at California park

A mountain lion attacked a 3-year-old boy and then grabbed his father's backpack and climbed into a tree in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., on Jan. 20, 2020.
© Orange County Sheriff's Department
A mountain lion attacked a 3-year-old boy and then grabbed his father's backpack and climbed into a tree in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., on Jan. 20, 2020.
A small child was attacked by a mountain lion at a Southern California park on Monday, causing authorities to evacuate the scene while they raced to capture the wild cat.

A 3-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after the animal grabbed him by the neck as he and his family walked through Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Trabuco Canyon, about an hour south of Los Angeles, officials said.

The child was transported to a local hospital and was listed in stable condition, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.


The attack happened at around 4:15 p.m. local time.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife gave local law enforcement the approval to euthanize the lion due to the public safety threat, the agency said.


Cloud Precipitation

Floods and landslides leave 6 dead in Madagascar, more severe weather forecast

Heavy rain caused flash floods and landslides in parts of Antananarivo, Madagascar, 08 January 2020.
© BNGRC
Heavy rain caused flash floods and landslides in parts of Antananarivo, Madagascar, 08 January 2020.
Continued heavy rain over the last 2 weeks has caused death and damage in regions of Madagascar, including the capital, Antananarivo. More severe weather has been forecast, with warnings issued for heavy rain, strong winds and rough seas.

The country's disaster agency BNGRC reported severe damage in Antananarivo after heavy rain on 08 January, 2020. According to BNGRC, 4 people died and over 40 houses were damaged or destroyed, leaving 136 people displaced and almost 400 affected.

During the same period, media reported that 2 people had been swept away by flood waters in Andapa in the northern Sava Region.
Around 60 people were rescued from the flooding.


Cloud Precipitation

Evacuations after floods in northern Argentina - 4 inches of rain in 3 hours

Floods affected urban and rural areas of Tucumán, Argentina, January 2020.

Floods affected urban and rural areas of Tucumán, Argentina, January 2020.
Over 200 people were evacuated after a storm caused flooding in Tucumán province in northwest of Argentina.

According to Télam news agency, the storm and heavy rain from 15 to 16 January 2020 caused flooding in the municipalities of Famaillá, La Reducción, La Madrid, Los Ralos and Yerba Buena.

The worst affected area was Famaillá, where around 100 people evacuated their homes. Local media, quoting figures from Argentina's National Meteorological Service (SMN), said that 132mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Famaillá.



Snowflake

Storm Gloria batters south of France - 'Most intense' winter storm to hit the region since 1982

storm gloria
Roads are closed, public transport disrupted, and power supplies cut in southern France after Storm Gloria, the most intense winter "Mediterranean weather episode" since 1982, hit France last night.

Heavy rain of up to 200mm, 1.5 metres of snow and ice, and strong winds of up to 110kph, hit last night in the Pyrénées-Orientales (Occitanie) area (Monday January 20).

Roads including the A9 motorway are closed today (Tuesday January 21), including between France and Spain from Perpignan-Nord. The RD914 between Cerbère and Banyuls is also shut, as is the RN 116.


Seismograph

Shallow 6.4 earthquake kills one, injures others in China's Xinjiang region

Rescuers check for safety hazards in Jiashi County in Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Monday.

Rescuers check for safety hazards in Jiashi County in Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Monday.
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has killed one person and slightly injured two others in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, authorities said on Monday.

Authorities have recorded 10 aftershocks above the magnitude of 3, with the highest at 5.2, according to the regional publicity department.

The quake jolted Jiashi County in Kashgar Prefecture in the province's southwest at 9:27pm on Sunday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The epicenter was monitored at 39.83 degrees north latitude and 77.21 degrees east longitude. The quake struck at a depth of 16 kilometers, the center said in a statement.

The tremor toppled four private stores and 1,084 meters of walls, and caused cracks in more than 1,000 houses and 5,574 meters of walls.


Cloud Precipitation

Countless cars and windows damaged as hailstorm tears through Canberra, Australia

storm damage
© ESA
The storm damaged countless windscreens across Canberra.
Hail as big as golf balls and ferocious winds of up to 117 kilometres per hour have torn through Canberra in a storm that had residents running for cover.

The storm, which swept across the ACT and New South Wales — including the firegrounds — smashed windows, dented cars and tore branches off trees, causing localised flooding.

More than 1,000 homes lost power, with outages reported in Florey, Griffith, Deakin and Kambah, and dozens more suburbs across the territory.

Since midday, the ESA had received a record number of requests for assistance, more than 1,900, with ACT Ambulance Service attending to two people for minor injuries sustained during the storm.

That was more than double what the service had received in the preceding two years.

ESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said they had withdrawn personnel from the firegrounds just over the ACT border where bushfires have threatened the territory in recent weeks.

Comment: Giant hail, 'apocalyptic' dust storms batter bushfire-weary Australia