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Fri, 21 Oct 2016
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Earth Changes


Earth-shattering boom, flash of light in Berkshire, UK sparks online debate

© newburytoday.co.uk
Loud bang 'was not thunder' - was it a meteor?

A huge bang which startled people in Thatcham last night (Sunday) could have been caused by a meteor, some have speculated.

Last night's boom sent several people out into the street expecting to see a plume of smoke from an explosion.

The earth-shattering noise was accompanied by a flash which lit up living rooms, prompting many to assume it was a single, extraordinarily loud, clap of thunder.

But one poster on social media wrote: "So now the met office don't know what the loud noise was."

Others speculated it might have been a meteor like the one which caused a blinding flash and loud boom in Arizona, USA, in June.

What's your theory? Let us know via the comments section below.


Signs and Portents: Video shows 'mutant' pig with two snouts and three eyes born in China

The piglet was born with two snouts and three eyes
More disturbing footage has emerged online showing another 'mutant' pig born in China.

The animal was born with three eyes and two snouts on a farm in a rural area in the south west of the country.

Owner He Ruxian said the piglet had been hand-reared since birth as its deformity makes it difficult to feed, according to the New China newspaper.

Despite being scared by the creature's bizarre appearance, He said she now thinks it is "quite cute".

Owner He Ruxian now thinks the animal is "quite cute"


Typhoon Haima strikes the Philippines; second powerful storm in a week

Infrared satellite image of Typhoon Haima making landfall in Luzon, Philippines on Oct. 19, 2016.
Typhoon Haima, which on Tuesday became the planet's seventh Category 5 storm of the year, is slamming northern Luzon in the Philippines with damaging winds, storm surge flooding and heavy rains.

Fortunately, Haima lost some of its punch shortly before striking land, coming ashore at about 10:30 p.m. local time, or 10:30 a.m. EDT, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The storm is known locally in the Philippines as Typhoon Lawin.

The weakening trend can be primarily traced to a phenomenon known as an eyewall replacement cycle, known to meteorologists by the acronym "ERC."

During such cycles, which typically occur in the most intense tropical cyclones, the storm's inner eyewall — where the worst winds and some of the heaviest rains tend to be concentrated — collapses, while an outer eyewall forms and gradually contracts inward toward the storm's center. During such a process, the storm's maximum sustained winds tend to diminish slightly, while the area of strong winds expands overall.

Eventually the outer eyewall replaces the inner eyewall, and the storm's maximum wind speed increases once again.

As Typhoon Haima showed, such cycles are unpredictable, and can take 12 hours or more to complete. The storm had been forecast to make landfall as a Category 5 storm.

The replacement cycle that occurred within Super Typhoon Haima was fortuitous, since it spared areas of northern Luzon from a truly catastrophic blow.

Comment: Typhoon Sarika leaves two dead, thousands stranded in Philippines


Record snow covers Montana and Idaho

Snow storm over Big Hole Peak, Montana on 10/16/16
Record snow Montana & Western U.S peaks blanketed above 5500ft | Mini Ice Age 2015-2035

As the ultra-Low Pacific storm on the 15th dragged onshore, record snow covered Montana and Idaho, taking aim at B.C and Alberta next.

The US Weather Service did not issue blizzard or snow warnings for all peaks above 5500ft.

This is a look at the snow totals after the storm passed.


Tornado causes damage in Ontario, Canada; 11th so far this year

Car crushed by roof in storms on Monday, October 17, 2016
Environment Canada has confirmed it was a tornado that touched down near Stayner just west of Barrie Monday afternoon.

It was relatively small, an E-F 1.

Damage in Collingwood where trees and hydro poles were knocked over is still being assessed.

A down-burst is believed to have hit the area which blew the roof off a Mr. Transmission Shop.

This is the 11th tornado so far this year in Ontario. Normally we get 12 tornadoes a year.


Yellow-nosed albatross from the southern hemisphere makes rare appearance on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

© Ed Dunens
Yellow-nosed Albatross
Already one of the great seabird watching locations in the world, Cape Cod recently produced yet another staggering record. Following last weekend's storm, a Yellow-nosed Albatross was spotted doing what albatrosses do, casually gliding around in the wicked winds off First Encounter Beach in Eastham.

First Encounter has long been known in the birding world as the place to be following the passage of a Nor'easter, and the legendary location came through again.

During a Nor'easter, seabirds that would normally be well offshore get blown into Cape Cod Bay, where they wait for the right conditions to exit the bay and head back out to sea. During the easterly blow, the north facing beach at Sandy Neck in Barnstable is a good place to see these birds as they struggle to fly into the strong headwinds. But when the storm has passed and the winds shift to the northwest, the west-facing First Encounter offers the best chance to see birds typically difficult or impossible to see from land in this part of the world, and often right off the beach. Everything from puffins to rare Caribbean petrels have passed this beach over the years. And this is the second Yellow-nosed Albatross for First Encounter, the last one recorded in 2003. Local sea birding legend Blair Nikula is responsible for both of these records


6.5 magnitude earthquake rocks Subang, Java

© TEMPO/Prima Mulia
A 6.5-magnitude quake rocked Subang District, West Java, this morning. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) website says that the earthquake occurred at 7:25 am.

The same source says that the epicenter of the quake was at a latitude of 5.29 degrees south and a longitude of 108 degrees east, 120 kilometers northeast of Subang, 654 kilometers below the sea.

According to the head of Data, Information and Public Relations, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), no injuries nor casualties reported after earthquake. "As of now, there are no victims," he told Tempo via text message.

According to the data from the BNPB, the quake has no potential to cause a tsunami. However, it was felt in several regions in West Java, such as Cikarang, Indramayu, Cirebon, Cianjur, etc.

© Google
Epicentre of earthquake


25 square miles and 5 homes lost to wildfire in Custer County, Colorado

The Junkins fire grew rapidly Monday in southern Colorado, forcing more than 175 homes to evacuate.
Authorities say a wildfire in southern Colorado has destroyed five homes and hundreds of people remain under evacuation orders.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday the fire had scorched more than 25 square miles.

The sheriff's department says the fire started when high winds blew a metal outbuilding into a power line.

In addition to the homes, 13 outbuildings have been destroyed.

Crews were trying to block the flames with fire lines, but authorities said the blaze was still uncontained Tuesday night.

Custer County has declared the fire a local emergency, and the Colorado Office of Emergency Management is trying to secure a verbal declaration of disaster from the governor's office, which will provide funding and help from the Colorado National Guard.


Prairie fire scorches 48 square miles and kills scores of cattle east of Rapid City, South Dakota

© Chris Huber
A massive prairie fire that consumed an estimated 48 square miles of private and public ranch lands east of Rapid City — and which was mostly contained but still burning on Monday — led to the loss of ranch outbuildings, caused a pair of interstate traffic wrecks, killed at least 135 head of cattle and consumed untold amounts of grasslands by Monday afternoon.

The blaze, called the Cottonwood Fire, began around 1 p.m. Sunday and was initially battled by 300 firefighting personnel. The fire caused smoky skies and upset ranching activities across a wide swath of land about 75 miles east of Rapid City in an area between Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 14.

No one had been injured by the fire or while battling it as of late Monday; the fire was reportedly 75 percent contained by 4 p.m. Monday, and potential rain in the area Monday night might help the firefighting cause.

Officials located the fire's point of origin and an investigator confirmed Monday that the fire was human-caused, but no specific cause was announced as the investigation continues, said Rapid City Fire Department Lt. Jim Bussell.

Sunday's fire-ripe combination of unseasonably high temperatures, low humidity and winds gusting as high as 50 mph pushed flames swiftly across the prairie, scorching most everything in its path.

"Under these conditions, the fire spread quickly," Bussell said in a Monday news briefing.

The fire scorched an estimated 48 square miles of private land and part of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland, southeast of Cottonwood and north of I-90.


Sinkhole at Florida fertilizer plant 152 ft. wide, overall depth unknown

Mosaic officials say they still don't know the depth of a sinkhole that opened up at the Mosaic plant near Mulberry last month.

The hole opened up in August, but the public did not know about it until WFLA News Channel 8 broke the story.

On Monday, Mosaic officials released details about the size of the sinkhole, which ranges between 40 feet, and 150 feet in diameter at its widest point, and approximately 220 feet deep from the top of the gypstack. Mosaic recently used LIDAR/sonar equipment to measure the sinkhole. LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to provide three-dimensional mapping. This technology expedites the remediation process.

"Based on the survey results, the company now has a better understanding of the sinkhole dimensions - which is a critical step in remediating the sinkhole," Mosaic said in a release. "We continue to work with closely with FDEP and continue to keep Polk County and Hillsborough County apprised of our efforts to remediate the sinkhole."

Comment: To find out more about how sinkholes are formed and the dramatic increase we've observed recently, see: Sinkholes: The groundbreaking truth.

See also: 215M gallons of 'slightly radioactive' water drained into Florida aquifer