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Mon, 18 Jan 2021
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Earth Changes


Wolf Creek Ski area in Colorado hit by snowstorms dumping 26 inches in 48 hours - total for the season already 10 feet

© Preston Bass courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area
It's known for being one of the snowiest spots in Colorado and this year is no exception. In 48 hours the Wolf Creek Ski Area picked up 26 inches of new snow thanks to back-to-back storm systems over the weekend.

The storm brought the total for the season at Wolf Creek to 122 inches, making it the first resort in Colorado and one of the first in the United States to surpass the 100-inch mark. Jackson Hole checked in Sunday morning with a total of 123 inches so far this season.


Northeast Lower Michigan buried by Saturday snowstorm - Statewide totals show 15 inches tops list

The Saturday snowstorm put down a solid blanket of snow across the northern half of Lower Michigan and a sliver of the eastern U.P. Here are the snowfall totals.

Snowfall totals for December 11-12, 2020

Snowfall totals for December 11-12, 2020
You had to be around and north of Big Rapids, Mount Pleasant and Gladwin to get several inches of snow. The large area of northern Lower shaded yellow or orange had over six inches of snow. The small darker orange spot near Alpena had over one foot of snow.

The southern half of Lower Michigan and most of the U.P. didn't get in on the snowstorm, as expected.


Mt Etna erupts in Sicily with 100 metre-high lava fountains

Mt Etna has erupted in Sicily,

Mt Etna erupts on December 13
Mt Etna has erupted in Sicily, Italy with 100 metre-high lava fountains.

The South East crater began erupting at 9.20pm on Sunday (local time, 9.20am Monday NZT), according to volcanodiscovery.com.

The website estimated lava from the volcano was reaching heights of more than 100m, while red lava and plumes of smoke was filmed from a distance by an observer.

The eruption was classified as a strombolian activity, which is when a volcano erupts causing a shower of lava fragments, according to GNS Science.

In an update from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy, it said there was a "significant decrease in the explosive activity at the South East crater".


Flood warnings and rescues in 2 states of Australia after 27.5 inches of rain in 72 hours

Flood damage in New South Wales, Australia, after torrential rain from 12 December 2020.
Flood damage in New South Wales, Australia, after torrential rain from 12 December 2020.
A low-pressure trough off the coast of south east Australia caused a wild weekend of weather for south east Queensland and northern New South Wales with torrential rain, damaging winds, abnormally high tides and dangerous surf.

Flood warnings are in place in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales (NSW) after heavy rainfall. In a 72 hour period to 14 December, 738 mm of rain fell in Upper Springbrook in Queensland, including 323mm in 6 hours overnight, 12 to 13 December. In NSW the highest rainfall totals were seen in Burringar with 424 mm in 72 hours.

NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) said areas of Northern Rivers and parts of Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands Districts were among the worst affected. NSW SES said they had received 900 calls for assistance and carried out 4 flood rescue operations.

Cloud Precipitation

2 missing after flash floods in Izmir Province, Turkey

Flash floods in Irmir, Turkey, December 2020.
© Government of Izmir Province
Flash floods in Irmir, Turkey, December 2020.
At least 2 people are missing after flash floods in Izmir Province, western Turkey.

Flooding struck between 13 and 14 December 2020. A stream overflowed, flooding roads in Dereköy in Menderes district, sweeping away a vehicle carrying 5 people. Three managed to survive, while 2 others are thought to be still missing. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

Turkish State Meteorological Service reported 42.1mm of rain in the town of Menderes in 24 hours to 14 December. In Karabağlar, situated about 10 km to the north, 77.3 mm of rain fell during the same period. Elsewhere in the province, 147mm of rain fell in Urla and 103.4mm in Karaburun. Heavy rain was also reported in parts of Muğla and Antalya provinces during the same period.


Mysterious mass death of endangered seals on shores of Russia's Caspian Sea

© Rosrybolovstvo (Russian Federal Agency for Fishery)
Disturbing images have emerged after 272 endangered Caspian seals were found washed up on the beaches of Dagestan. The mammal can only be found in the world's largest inland body of water, which borders five Eurasian countries.

According to Rosrybolovstvo, the Federal Agency for Fishery, 272 carcasses were found on beaches from a settlement called Sulak in the north of the republic, all the way south to the border with Azerbaijan. The agency also noted that the seals are listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

When the first carcasses were discovered, the Caspian Nature Conservation Center director, Zaur Gapizov, pointed out that the mammals are threatened by small-meshed Chinese-made plastic nets used by poachers, and vast amounts of untreated wastewater that gets pumped into the lake.

Comment: For them to die, en masse, all of a sudden, it's unlikely that the usual pollution is to blame. One wonders whether, like in Kamchatka, an unusual bloom of poisonous algae is to blame? "A new phenomenon": Mass marine life die off in ANOTHER location in Russia's Kamchatka region


Snow up to 3 feet deep cuts off dozens of villages in north Kashmir

Mughal Road in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir.

Mughal Road in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir.
For the second successive day, on Sunday, dozens of far-flung and remote villages, including border towns of Keran, Karnah, and Tanghdar, remained cut off due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions in north Kashmir, reported a news agency, United News of India (UNI).

Meanwhile, due to the accumulation of about two to three feet of snow since 8 December, traffic to border towns of Gurez in Bandipora and Machil in Kupwara remained suspended.

"Traffic remained suspended to dozens of far-flung and remote villages
, including Kernah, Keran, and Tanghdar, due to slippery road conditions and accumulation of snow," an unnamed official of Police Control Room (PCR), Kupwara, told UNI over phone on Sunday.


Venice floods: City under water as complex dam system fails to activate

Venice floods
© YouTube/FRANCE 24 English (screen capture)
Venice's St Mark's Square was under water on Tuesday after a newly installed system of mobile artificial dams failed to activate. Residents -- long accustomed to perennial "acqua alta" or high water events -- pulled on their rubber boots once more to deal with flooding that reached a high of 1.37 metres (4.5 feet) above sea level in the afternoon.

Comment: Venice deploys multi-billion-euro flood barriers for first time


Elephant tramples man to death in Assam, India - 4 such fatalities for the country in 2 days

A man was trampled to death by a wild elephant in the Punti tea estate in Patharkandi, Karimganj on Friday.

The deceased, Raju Chasa, was rushed to a hospital after the incident, but he was declared dead on arrival by the doctors.

Locals said that the elephant had been roaming in that area for quite a long time and that the elephant was ill. According to the villagers, due to his illness, the pachyderm used to enter the residential areas of the village and destroy crops.

Comment: Similar deaths were also recently reported in the states of Tamil Nadu (2) and West Bengal.

Cloud Lightning

Two members of family killed by lightning in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Two members of the same family were killed by lightning in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.

A survivor of the lightning strike in Nongoma, 300km north of Durban, was taken to hospital, co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka said on Saturday.

Hlomuka issued a statement in which he sent condolences to the Buthelezi family and said disaster management officials had been asked to support survivors.