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Wed, 19 Jan 2022
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Earth Changes


'It's going to crank up': Tahoe area reports 2 feet of snow overnight, with another 2 to 5 feet on the way

Palisades Tahoe, CA
© Kate Abraham
Palisades Tahoe, CA
Heavy snow is expected to fall this afternoon throughout the Tahoe region and continue until Wednesday morning. The storm will greatly impact road conditions and travel on Interstate 80.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Drivers should expect major travel delays, chain control, icy roads and whiteout conditions. Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort is reporting 95 mph wind gusts at the crest of the Sierra Nevada.

The National Weather Service reported up to two feet of snow from the storm earlier this morning. Another 2 to 5 feet of snow is on the way, with the heaviest snowfall coming tonight.

Snowflake Cold

Mega snow storm dumps nearly 3 feet of new snow in Idaho mountains over the weekend

Tamarack snow stake at 10:30 am Monday
© Tamarack
Tamarack snow stake at 10:30 am Monday
A weather phenomenon known as an 'Atmospheric River' was in place over Idaho this past weekend. A large upper-level low-pressure system off of the West Coast has been funneling subtropical moisture into Idaho from the southwest. Ample moisture moving into our mountain regions this time of year typically leads to large snowfall events as the moist air is forced up and over our mountain ranges. Tamarack Ski Resort has a fresh 9 inches of snow on the snow stake Monday morning, 30 inches for the storm total. Additional heavy snowfall is expected through Tuesday afternoon.

Active weather will continue in Idaho on Monday. Moist southwest flow will bring additional mountain snow showers and valley rain. Winds are going to be blustery today with 15-25 mph winds expected, gusts up to 35 mph. Stronger winds are expected in southeast Oregon and over the Owyhee's in southwest Idaho, winds of 25-35 mph are expected, gusts up to 50 mph.


Rare Ross's gull from the Arctic turns up in Dunkirk, France

Ross’s gull

Ross’s gull
For the past week, it has been the attraction of Leffrincoucke beach, near Dunkirk, in the North. Sunday, a hundred paparazzi were still out with their cameras to try to see ... a seagull. But not just any. The bird, which has found refuge on the northern coasts, is a Ross's gull, extremely rare in our regions.

As soon as the news of its presence was known, naturalists from all over France - even from Belgium and the Netherlands - tumbled into the small seaside town. And this discovery risks adding an element to the dossier of opponents of the offshore wind turbine project off Dunkirk.


"When I shared my discovery on social networks, I did not expect such enthusiasm. »Claire Mariani is a novice naturalist who has been learning birding for two years with the Ornithologist and Naturalist Group of the North (GON). During an observation session on the beach of Leffrincoucke, last Monday, she crashes on a strange little seagull that she does not know.

Comment: Recently the same species also appeared at lower latitudes than is normal for it in North America: Rare gull that normally lives above the Arctic Circle found in Hastings, Minnesota


Indonesia earthquake: Powerful 7.3-magnitude undersea tremor triggers tsunami warning

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.3 has struck off the coast of Indonesia's Flores Island, prompting the country's monitoring agency to issue a tsunami warning which was later called off.

The US Geological Survey said that the quake occurred at a depth of 18.5km under the sea and was located 112km north of the second-largest island town in East Nusa Tenggara province.

The casualties from the undersea earthquake are not immediately clear. However, authorities said several buildings and public properties suffered damage as photos showed roads cracked open by the temblor.

Another photo by local media showed a wall demolished due to the impact of the quake and bricks strewn on the road in South Sulawesi.

Almost two hours after the quake, Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency agency called off the tsunami warning but asked locals in East Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi to remain vigilant.


Quake swarms in Japan raise fears "the next big one will happen this month"

quakes in japan
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of five struck eastern Japan on Sunday. The quake's epicenter was in the southern part of Ibaraki prefecture, east of Tokyo. Buildings shook in the capital, but no damage was reported. Earlier this month, a swarm of quakes was reported near Mount Fuji, and the Tokara Islands, an archipelago that falls within Kagoshima Prefecture, an ominous warning that the next big natural disaster could be nearing.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that experts and government agencies have asked the public to remain calm. They said multiple earthquake swarms near Mount Fuji and the Tokara Islands do not suggest an impending disaster like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.


At least 2 dead as swollen rivers flood streets in northern Spain - 5 inches of rain in a day (UPDATE)

A rescue team help a woman in her home in a flooded area near the Ebro River in Tudela, northern Spain, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.
© AP/Alvaro Barrientos
A rescue team help a woman in her home in a flooded area near the Ebro River in Tudela, northern Spain, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.
Swollen rivers burst their banks in north and northeastern Spain, with the flooding blamed Sunday for the death of at least one person.

Emergency services said they retrieved the body of a 61-year-old man from inside the cab of his submerged van in a river in the Navarra region.

The man was reported missing on Friday and his vehicle was spotted the following day, but the fast-flowing river made a rescue operation impossible, officials said.

The combination of a heavy, dayslong storm and thawing snow brought a surge in the River Ebro and its tributaries, Spanish meteorological services said.

Comment: Update: Floodlist reports on December 13:
Spain - Rain Triggers Deadly Floods and Landslides in Navarre

At least 2 people have died after heavy rain caused floods and landslides in the Navarre region of northern Spain.

Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
© Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
Parts of northern Spain have seen heavy rainfall since late November 2021, when floods prompted rescues in Asturias and Cantabria and later the Basque Region.

Further heavy rain accompanied by the thawing of snow at higher altitudes fell from around 09 December 2021, triggering floods in the Navarre (also Navarra) region. On 09 December the region's government activated the pre-emergency level due to the threat of floods from rising rivers including the Ebro, Ega, Bidasoa and Arga.

As of 10 December, the government reported that the swollen Bidasoa river caused flooding in Elizondo, Baztan and Sunbilla and that some riverside communities along the Arga river were also affected, including the Pamplona neighbourhoods of Rochapea, San Jorge and Txantrea, and the towns of Huarte, Villava and Burlata. Dozens of people were evacuated from a care home in the municipality of Aranzadi in Pamplona, after the Arga broke its banks on 10 December. By 11 December the swollen Ebro river had caused flooding in Tudela.

Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
© Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
Floods in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021.
Flooded roads left some communities isolated. Floods affected two main highways - the N-121-A at the height of the Belate and Almandoz tunnels; and the N-135, in the Puerto de Erro. Likewise, around thirty secondary roads were blocked by floods, landslides or snow.

One fatality was reported after a landslide in the village of Sunbilla. One man was reported missing and later found dead after being swept away by the flooding Bidasoa river in Elizondo.

On 12 December, President of Navarre region María Chivite said a total of 74 municipalities have been affected and announced she will request the central government to declare a natural disaster which would allow access to the aid granted by both the Spanish government and the European Union.

Rivers and Rainfall

According to figures from Spain's Meteorological Agency (AEMET), in a 24 hour period to 09 December, Bera in Navarre recorded 126.2 mm of rain and Roncesvalles 92.6 mm. The following day Roncesvalles saw a further 134.2 mm, while Luzaide recorded 91.8 mm and Esteribar 82.8 mm.

The Arga in Pamplona reached 4.80 metres 10 December, while the Ebro River in Castejón reached 7.94 metres as of 11 December. The government of Navarra said the Ebro at Tudela reached 6.17 metres on 12 December, higher than during the floods of 2015 where it reached 5.85 metres.

As of 13 December, red alerts remained in place for the Ebro at Castejon and the Arga at Larraun. An orange alert was in place for the Ebro Alto at Logroño in La Rioja region, and further south at Zaragoza, capital of Aragon region where levels stood at 4.71 metres and rising, as of 13 December.

Cloud Precipitation

One woman dies as torrential rain floods large parts of Greece

Trees stand on a flooded field after Alfeios river overflowed its banks due to heavy storms, in Ancient Olympia, Sunday.
© Reuters
Trees stand on a flooded field after Alfeios river overflowed its banks due to heavy storms, in Ancient Olympia, Sunday.
One woman has died in Greece after her car was swept away by torrential water near Katerini in Macedonia, Ekathimerini reports.

According to reports, the body of the woman was found more than 1.5 kilometers away from her car.

This news comes as Greece faced severe weather over the weekend which caused widespread flooding and serious infrastructure damage in the western parts of the country.


FEMA administrator on extreme weather: 'This is going to be our new normal'

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell on Sunday said extreme weather events like the storms and tornadoes that swept through a number of states this weekend "is going to be our new normal," pointing to the effects of climate change.

"This is going to be our new normal and the effects that we're seeing from climate change are the crisis of our generation," Criswell told co-host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union."

Severe storms and tornadoes tore through states in the South and Midwest late Friday into Saturday, leaving devastating damage, tens of thousands of homes without power and nearly 100 people dead.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said more than 80 individuals have died in his state as a result of the storm, while warning that the number is expected to grow larger than 100.

Comment: See also: Record-breaking tornado outbreak hits US: At least 3-dozen tornadoes form, including monster that dragged 4 states - At least 100 killed


Absolutely terrifying' reality of Australia's urea shortage used in almost EVERY item in your fridge - forecast to run out in just weeks

© FNQBeersBullsBoars/TikTok
Matt Ferguson-Tait, cattle farmer and pig-hunter from Far North Queensland
An Australian farmer fears the urea supply crisis could halt normal life within weeks if it is not resolved.

Matt Ferguson-Tait, a cattle farmer and pig hunter from Far North Queensland, posted a viral TikTok in which he said Australia could 'come to a standstill' because of the shortage of the essential chemical.

Urea has hit the news because it is needed to produce a key fuel additive for the millions of diesel vehicles that move goods across Australia - including to supermarkets. But the farmer claimed the 'worldwide' shortage of urea is even more 'frightening' than we realise because it is has so many uses beyond transport.

Urea is an organic compound used by cattle farmers to add nitrogen to feed which promotes growth. The substance is also a cheap fertiliser for fruit and vegetable crops. Stockpiles of urea are running low globally after China this year banned exports in a bid to contain fertiliser prices.

Mr Ferguson-Tait claimed most of what is in Australian fridges and cupboards - including meat, vegetables, grains and beer - needs urea for commercial production.
"Go and have a look in your cupboard and go and have a look in your fridge and I guarantee just about every single item there, at some point, urea has been used to produce that item, whether it's a steak or a salad or a can of baked beans. That is terrifying in itself."

Arrow Down

Crystal Mountain avalanche kills 1, traps 5 in snow at Washington state ski area

An avalanche swept through part of a Washington state ski resort used to access backcountry skiing on Saturday, killing a 60-year-old man and temporarily trapping five others.

The avalanche was reported about 10:50 a.m. in the Silver Basin area of Crystal Mountain, which is located about 85 miles southeast of Seattle, said Pierce County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Darren Moss.

The identity of the man who died hasn't been released, but authorities say he wasn't breathing after being pulled out of the snow and didn't survive despite CPR efforts by another skier. The other skiers in his group rescued themselves with the help of two witnesses who saw them get swept up by the snow. All were wearing avalanche beacons.