Earth ChangesS

Magic Wand

Kamchatka: Tourist interest in Geyser Valley peaks following mudslides

In an ironic twist to a sad story, public interest in Kamchatka's Geyser Valley, hit by a pair of devastating mudflows Sunday, has suddenly spiked, a local tour agency representative said Friday.

Inquiries regarding visits to the geyser field have risen sharply. "People, especially foreigners, want to see the result of the natural disaster with their own eyes, the representative said.

Two mudslides June 3 buried nearly two-thirds of the valley, which features some 200 thermal pools and 90 erupting geysers covering an area of 2.5 square miles on the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia's Far East.

A spokesman for the Natural Resources Ministry said Thursday that some 30 geysers had survived intact, 10 had been irretrievably lost and the rest were underwater and expected to recover.

Cloud Lightning

Illinois: May one for the record books

Warren County witnessed a few weeks of near normal weather in March and April, but that pattern did not last long.

May turned out to be one of the warmest and driest on record.

The spring of 2007 March through May was also one of the warmest on the record books.

Cloud Lightning

Record Low Water Levels in May for North Carolina Rivers

Despite some rainfall at the end of the month, streamflows during May in North Carolina were at or near record low levels, particularly in the western part of the state.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been monitoring and recording streamflow for more than 100 years at many locations throughout North Carolina, including the French Broad River at Asheville, which has been continuously monitored since 1895. Streamflows at this location in May were at or below the streamflow recorded on the same date in 2002, during the most recent severe drought.

Cloud Lightning

South Carolina: Committee upgrades drought to moderate

All of South Carolina is under a moderate drought. That's according to a declaration from the State Drought Response Committee.

State climatologist Hope Mizzell says drying farm land and rapidly dropping stream and river flows led the committee to today's vote to upgrade the drought. Mizzell says a moderate drought doesn't require mandatory action by public water systems or the public, but it is a warning conditions are getting worse.

Cloud Lightning

Ship aground as wild weather lashes Australia

Wild weather brought chaos to Australia's east coast Friday, driving a huge freighter aground in tumultuous seas, sweeping cars into flooded rivers, disrupting flights and cutting power lines.

Cloud Lightning

Idaho storm: Quicker than a lightning bolt

A storm that rolled through North Idaho Monday night sank a sailboat, blew a hole in a concrete wall and knocked out power to thousands of homes.

Climatologist Cliff Harris said he counted more than 100 hundred lightning strikes during the storm, which lasted two and half hours.

"It was one of the top five thunderstorms since 1990 because of its duration," Harris said. "It was like a war zone."

©Timothy Eberly
Multiple bolts of lightning strike the mountains surrounding Coeur d'Alene on Monday night.

Cloud Lightning

Hong Kong winters may vanish in 50 years

Hong Kong's winters could vanish within 50 years, with the number of cold days declining virtually to zero due to global warming and urbanization, the head of the city's weather observatory warned on Friday.

Cloud Lightning

Strong winds hit Chicago

High winds swept across the Chicago area Thursday. Wind gusts up to 50 mph downed trees and power lines and triggered tornado watches across the region.

The winds caused dangerous conditions on the water. In Waukegan a man died while trying to rescue somebody in Lake Michigan. 19-year-old Joshua Simpson of Zion died after pushing a woman and a man to safety.

Cloud Lightning

Wis. schools cancel classes before storm - 'granddaddy of all supercells'

Two central Wisconsin school districts canceled classes Thursday as a sheriff warned that violent storms and tornadoes forecast for the state could be the "granddaddy of all super cells." Other schools let out early.

The National Weather Service predicted very windy and warm conditions, with possible severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes, starting in the afternoon and continuing into the night.

Cloud Lightning

Heavy snow falls in mountains of southwestern Montana

A spring snowstorm yesterday dumped up to 21 inches of snow in the Philipsburg area.

And the kids got a day off from school due to a power outage.

Nearly two feet of wet, heavy snow caused a transmission outage that left the rural community in the dark from late Monday night through 12:30 p-m Tuesday.