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Wed, 19 Jan 2022
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Earth Changes


Indonesia - Floods affect over 67,000 in Sumatra, 1 dead in Aceh

Floods in East Aceh, Indonesia, January 2021
© BPBD East Aceh Regency
Floods in East Aceh, Indonesia, January 2021
At least one person has died and thousands have evacuated their homes after floods and landslides on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Severe flooding has also affected wide areas of Malaysia on the other side of the Malacca Strait.


Disaster management authorities reported severe flooding and landslides in the province of Aceh in the north of Sumatra Island after heavy rain from 30 December and the overflow of Krueng Peutoe, Krueng Keureuto, Sepanjang, and Langsa Rivers. The city of Lhokseumawe recorded 149 mm of rain in 24 hours to 30 December 2021.

The regencies of East Aceh, North Aceh and Aceh Tamiang were all affected, along with areas in Langsa City. As of 03 January 2022, a total of 67,871 people were affected, 19,947 displaced and 17,646 homes damaged. One fatality was reported in East Aceh Regency.

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SOTT Earth Changes Summary - December 2021 - Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

Another record-breaking cold December with a historic -61°C in Siberia, and unusual heavy snowfalls that trapped people inside their houses in NY, and some others in an Ikea store in Aalborg, Denmark.

Northern parts of California were hit by a record-breaking amount of snow, following a year of heat and drought that triggered water shortages and wildfires. Lake Tahoe saw 212 inches (5 meters) of snow, and the Sierra Nevada registered 202 inches of snow (5.2 meters) this month, making it the snowiest December ever since the tracking started (1970).

Extreme blizzards and record snow were also reported in northern parts of Spain and France. Arette La Pierre Saint-Martin registered 1.6 m (5 feet) of snow, a record for the month since records started in 1971, and 8 feet (2,445 m) at lac d'Ardiden, the highest since the records started in 1995.

In Asia, a powerful storm dumped 28 inches (70 cm) of snow in western Japan, disrupting travel and leaving hundreds without power. Obama city in Fukui, Japan's coastal region, received record snowfall for this time of the year.

Heavy snowfall also wreaked havoc in the eastern and western provinces of Turkey, blocking roads and disrupting travel, while in Istanbul, a monster windstorm blew away at least 33 roofs, knocked down traffic signs, uprooted 192 trees, and damaged 12 cars. At least 6 people died and 38 others were injured.

And talking about monster storms, "the most severe weather event in the history of British Columbia" continued, triggering widespread flooding in British Columbia this month, leaving a total of $450 million in damages.

Malaysia's worst floods in years, triggered by days of heavy rain, displaced an estimated 70,000 people in the southern and eastern parts of the country. A total of 210 areas in six states have been affected by the floods.

Weeks of intermittent heavy rain, and the collapse of two dams, triggered deadly floods in northeastern Brazil. At least 20 people died and more than 16,000 were left homeless in 11 separate municipalities.

Northern Spain was also hit by record flooding following heavy rain and snowfall. The Ebro River's water level swelled up to 27 feet (8.5 meters) in some areas, breaking a 6-year record. The regions of Navarra and Aragon were the most affected.

A deadly late-season tornado outbreak, the deadliest on record in December, produced catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities across portions of the Southern United States and Ohio Valley. Over 3 dozen tornadoes, including a massive one that tracked through 4 states, were reported. Less than a week later, a rare wind storm brought 'Dust Bowl' conditions and gusts of more than 100 mph (160 kph) to parts of the Great Plains and upper midwest. The powerful storm system triggered power outages in four US states, including in more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Colorado.

All this and more in our SOTT Earth Changes Summary for December 2021:

Snowflake Cold

Tahoe sets new December snowfall record with nearly 18 feet of powder - the most in 142 years

Deep snow from recent storms have partially buried the Donner Lake West End neighborhood just west of Truckee, as seen on Dec. 30, 2021.

Deep snow from recent storms have partially buried the Donner Lake West End neighborhood just west of Truckee, as seen on Dec. 30, 2021.
This story has been updated to correct the snow lab's elevation.

Almost 18 feet of snow fell in North Tahoe during December, more than any other December in the past 142 years.

Located at Donner Pass, U.C. Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Lab reported a whopping 214 inches of snow through the month.

On Dec. 27, the lab recorded 193.7 inches of snow, breaking the previous record of 179 inches set in 1970. An additional 20-plus inches fell between Dec. 27 and 31, cementing 2021 in the history books for the snowiest December on record.


Snow falls in Florida — yes, Florida — in rare cold snap

Snow falls in Florida following first winter storm of 2022

Snow falls in Florida following first winter storm of 2022
Snow in the Sunshine State?!

Some parts of the Florida Panhandle saw snow flurries as temperatures plunged below freezing.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office shared a Facebook video of snowflakes falling overnight.

"Well how's this for a temperature change?" the sheriff's office wrote in the caption. "From 75 degrees at 3 in the afternoon to snow at 3 am captured during patrol in the Lowe's parking lot on Beal by B-Shift Central! Bundle up out there!"

The snow didn't stick and didn't cause any issues, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office told The Associated Press.


Leaving on a jet plane? U.S. air travel nightmare continues - 5,000 flights canceled

Flight cancellations impact Charleston International Airport as winter weather hits

Flight cancellations impact Charleston International Airport as winter weather hits.
The new year brought the same problems for many air travelers in the United States. Canceled or delayed flights are causing a travel mess for passengers across the country. Many spent their new year in an airport.

Airlines canceled more than 5,000 flights over the weekend. And more than 2,600 U.S. flights and more than 4,100 worldwide were grounded as of midday Monday, according to tracking service FlightAware. Another 8,500 flights were delayed, including 3,100 in the U.S. More than 12,000 U.S. flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve. This is creating a huge backlog of passengers.

Airlines are reporting they simply have too many people to move and not enough planes. Airlines are also citing COVID-related staffing shortages for these delays and ongoing winter weather. A major snowstorm hit the Pacific Northwest last week. And now a massive system is moving across the East Coast.


Massive waterspout spins up off Israeli coast

Owing to rapidly fluctuating temperatures, unusual tornado-like weather phenomenon caught on camera off the shores of the southern city Ashdod, wowing passersby

An impressive sight was seen off the coast of southern Israel on Monday as a massive waterspout danced its way through the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The unusual weather phenomenon, which resembles a tornado, was caught off-shores of the southern city of Ashdod.


Strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake - North Atlantic Ocean

Very strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake at 10 km depth

Date & time: Jan 4, 2022 03:18:37 UTC - 6 hours ago
Local time at epicenter: Tuesday, Jan 4, 2022 1:18 am (GMT -2)
Magnitude: 6.1
Depth: 10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 35.2646°N / 35.2407°W

Snowflake Cold

Snowstorm hits parts of Hokkaido, Japan with up to 32 inches of snow

Snowstorms are hitting parts of Japan's northern prefecture of Hokkaido.

Japanese weather officials say a strong winter weather pattern is bringing snow to the Sea of Japan coast in northern and eastern Japan.

Nearly 20 centimeters of snow fell in Teshio, Hokkaido, over 6 hours on Monday morning.

By 9 a.m., more than 80 centimeters of snow had accumulated in Rumoi, also in Hokkaido, and over 60 centimeters in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture.


Snowstorm leaves nearly 1 million without power in the US

A quick-hitting blast of winter weather left several inches of snow blanketing parts of the Southeast, before spreading into the mid-Atlantic, where it shut down much of the nation's capital.

A dramatic weather pattern change marked the first days of 2022 across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, replacing the 80-degree warmth in some locations with an all-out snowstorm. The onslaught of the first accumulating snow of the season for many left several cities along the East Coast nearly shut down, snarled traffic, left nearly 1 million without power on Monday and has been blamed for at least one fatality, according to officials.

The storm unleashed hefty snow amounts across parts of Tennessee and North Carolina, with accumulations climbing to 9.0 inches in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and 11.0 inches in Swiss, North Carolina. Even areas as far south as Alabama were hit with a blast of wintry weather, and Moores Mill, Alabama, picked up 7.0 inches of snow.


Boy died after dog attack in remote Northern Territory, Australia

dog attack
A young boy who died after going missing from a remote central Australian desert community was mauled during an "horrific" dog attack.

The three-year-old's family reported his absence on Friday evening about 11am after searching Hermannsburg, southwest of Alice Springs, for several hours.

Northern Territory police joined the search late on New Year's Eve and an officer found the injured child about 9am on Saturday.

He was taken to the local health clinic but died before he could be treated.