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Tue, 20 Aug 2019
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Gran Canaria: 4,000 evacuated as wildfires rip through island for second time in a week

Gran Canaria wildfires

Thousands of people have been evacuated in the area around Valleseco
Thousands of people have been evacuated from dozens of towns on Gran Canaria as firefighters battle to contain out-of-control wildfires.

The fires, which broke out on Saturday for the second time in a week, have forced around 4,000 people to evacuate at least 40 towns near Valleseco, a town situated on the north of the popular tourist island.

They had spread in two different directions and razed more than 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) by Sunday afternoon, according to the island's provincial government.

There is currently a huge operation under way involving nine helicopters, two planes and 600 emergency responders to control the fires, which officials say has "great potential" to spread further.

Angel Victor Torres, the Canary Islands' regional president, told a news conference that the blaze was neither "contained nor stabilised or controlled".


Comment: Huge wildfire on Gran Canaria, Spain sparks mass evacuation


Seismograph

Mountainside in Peru appears to be blowing away in the wind

Some kind of bizarre slow-motion 'hill-slide' is taking place in Apurímac, Peru - and it's affecting local residents
peru mountainside dust
© Indeci
Apurimian authorities have requested the immediate intervention of govt agency Ingemmet in order for experts to carry out technical-scientific studies on this natural phenomenon, which has been ongoing since July 27.

An expedition of the Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute (Ingemmet) will go from Lima to the Apurimac region to inspect the area affected by the collapse of the eastern slope of Chamanayoc Mountain, on the right bank of the Pachachaca river, located in the district of Huancarama in Andahuaylas province.

Ingemmet has coordinated with the general manager of the Regional Government of Apurímac, Raúl Gutiérrez Rodas, for the transfer of specialists Paul Vásquez y Gonzalo Luna to the area, which is affected by the dense dust from constant landslides that occur in the aforementioned mountain, and which have caused respiratory and ophthalmological effects in more than 200 local residents living downwind from the mountain.

Translated by Sott.net

Comment: Well that is just weird. Perhaps some sort of liquefaction process is at work inside the mountain. Local media is calling it 'landslides', but the constant stream of dust coming off it suggests something more unusual than that.

With landslides, top layers give way, the mass crashes to the foot of a slope, and (in dry climates) a dust cloud is the temporary result.

Here, there's apparently just a mountainside 'smoking dust'!


Cloud Precipitation

18 people missing as flash flood washes away 20 houses in Uttarakhand, India

flood
At least 18 people are missing after a flood in the Tons River washed away around 20 houses in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district on Sunday. The Tons River has been flowing above the danger level in Uttarkashi following heavy rainfall in the past few days. The water breached local markets recently, prompting the administration to issue an alert.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat directed the Uttarkashi District Magistrate and Disaster Management Secretary to carry out rescue and evacuation operations and provide relief material to the affected people, news agency ANI reported.

The state government has sent in teams of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for rescue operations.

However, incessant rains have severely crippled transportation, making it difficult to reach the spot.


Snowflake

Glacier National Park in Montana sees snowfall in August

Glacier National Park
© Missoula National Weather Service

The Missoula National Weather service recorded between one inch and trace amounts of snow falling near the Canadian border in Glacier National Park above 6,000 feet Saturday.

The weather in Montana is sometimes described as fickle, and mother nature proved that description true once again Saturday morning.

Officials said the snow stuck at 6,000 feet or above.

Comment: Four days prior over in Europe: Fresh snow in the Alps (Yes, it's August)


Attention

UK cauliflower shortage as 'unprecedented' rain takes toll on brassicas

Cauliflower
© PA
The unexpected rainfall has taken it toll on brassicas.
A shortage of cauliflowers, cabbages and broccoli could extend to Brussels sprouts at Christmas after a week of heavy rain damaged crops in Lincolnshire.

British Growers described the situation as "very concerning" after crops in the region were deluged with as much as six inches (152mm) of rain in a week in June.

Tesco and Sainsbury's online sites are only offering organic cauliflowers, with the former advising customers that standard single and large cauliflowers are "currently unavailable".

British Growers chief executive Jack Ward said the cauliflower shortage was likely to continue until early September, but warned that broccoli was also starting to decline and Brussels sprouts crops had also been affected.

Mr Ward said: "For some, a year's work was destroyed in one week of rains."

"Crops come in waves but we're looking at the shortage going on for another two to three weeks, possibly extending to broccoli.

Galaxy

Large numbers of red sprites in the skies over Europe this summer

Red sprites above a mesoscale convective system in Hungary, as seen from western Slovenia. July 31, 2019.
© : Marko Korošec / Weather-Photos.net
Red sprites above a mesoscale convective system in Hungary, as seen from western Slovenia. July 31, 2019.
Have you noticed the huge number of reported red sprites in the skies over Europe lately? What are they? How are they detected? Is this normal?

Thunderstorms are electrically charged weather systems, and we are quite used to typical electrical discharges from storms - lightning. Lightning that we are most familiar with goes from the cloud to the ground, called cloud-to-ground lightning. However, thunderstorms discharge also upwards, above the storm. This is not typical lightning, but phenomena sometimes called upper atmosphere lightning and more appropriately transient luminous events.

There is an entire zoo of transient luminous events caused by electrical discharges from thunderstorms. Of these, red sprites are by far the most common. Red sprites happen when the parent thunderstorm unleashes a strong positive lightning bolt. Positive lightning is very powerful, typically 2x to 10x more powerful than typical negative lightning. It is also rare, with less than 5% of all lightning bolts being positive.

Comment: Severe Weather Europe reports another round of sightings during the night of 18/19 Aug.

See also the following reports of this increasingly frequent phenomenon (and other unusual atmospheric events) from the last few years:


Cloud Precipitation

Flash-floods hit Istanbul, northwestern Turkey - Entire winter's worth of rain falls in 90 minutes

The coastal avenue in Bakırköy district
© TIHA Photo
The coastal avenue in Bakırköy district was hit flash floods.
Heavy downpours pounded Istanbul and other cities in northwestern Turkey on Saturday after a dayslong heatwave with flash flood warnings from experts over the last couple of days, disrupting public transport and traffic in various areas.

Flash floods were reported in lower parts and seafront areas of the city including major transport hubs such as Eminönü, Beşiktaş, Üsküdar, Karaköy, Kadıköy and Kabataş. The lifeless body of a man was found under the Unkapanı Underpass near the Golden Horn in Fatih district.

Reports said the man could be one of the homeless seeking shelter in the underpass, where floodwaters reached 190 centimeters in depth. It is not clear whether the man drowned during the flood or was unconscious or dead before the flood.


Bug

Locust swarm devours grasslands in Sanghar, Pakistan

Locusts
Swarms of locusts have hit Sindh's Achro Thar Desert in Sanghar district, devouring newly developed grassland after three years of drought.

Locals have demanded the authorities declare an emergency and contain the locust outbreak.

"The attack started Thursday and they are proceeding further with every passing moment," Khuman Singh, a local from Jeenhar village told Samaa Digital over the phone. "They came from the north and are spreading fast towards the south. We don't know whether they are coming from Khairpur district's Nara Taluka or from India."

The pests have spread to two of four union councils of Achro Thar or the White Desert in Sanghar's Khipro Taluka, where most of the population lives with their livestock.

According to locals, the locusts have moved across 50 villages of UC Ranak Dahar and UC Kamil Hingoro and currently roaming around the same areas.

"Locusts are harming the grazing land on a wider level. They are fast eating our newly grown grass after three years of a dry spell and which was vital for the fodder," Khuman added.

Info

Why there is 'shock and distrust' among US farmers

American farmer
© AP Photo/Nati Harnik
Jeff Jorgenson looks over a partially flooded field he farms near Shenandoah, Iowa, earlier this year. About a quarter of his land was lost this year to Missouri River flooding, and much of his remaining property has been inundated with heavy rain and water from the neighboring Nishnabotna River.
Nebraska farmer Edwin C. Brummels, who has been in the agriculture industry since 1981, forecast the future in early June, when continued flooding and rain led him to tweet, "It's like we're trying to plant on top of a lake."

In an email to AccuWeather at the time, Brummels predicted, "There will be a lot of acres not planted."

Turns out, a record-setting number of acres were not planted, as farmers have filed for prevented planning coverage in never-before-seen numbers. In 2019, there have been 11.21 million Prevented Planting corn acres and 4.35 million acres for soybeans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Farm Services Agency.

The previous record for Prevented Planting corn acres was 3.6 million acres in 2013, and for soybeans it was 2.2 million in 2015, according to Thomson Reuters' Karen Braun.

"I have worked for the Risk Management Agency for over 19 years and the scope of the prevented planting impacts this year is much larger than I've ever seen," Matt Mitchell, chief, Loss Adjustment Standards branch of the USDA Risk Management Agency, told AccuWeather.

Comment: What with extreme weather conditions and a trade war with China, US farmers are facing Farmageddon. It is no wonder that these conditions are wreaking havoc on their mental health. See also:


Propaganda

Fakest July on record

climate cartoon
Headlines all over the world are pronouncing that July was the "hottest on record."

In this video I show that the claims are nothing but propaganda, and are based on fake data and junk science.