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Fri, 22 Feb 2019
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Earth Changes


Resorts and skiers at Snowbasin, Utah overjoyed at 'unprecedented' snow levels - 8 feet dumped in 18 days

A surprise storm brought more snow to Northern Utah on Wednesday, and skiers and snowboarders were quick to take advantage.

"It is phenomenal, there is a lot of snow," said Jack Schlaf, a skier up at Snowbasin Wednesday.

Davy Ratchford, the general manager of Snowbasin, said the resort at one point got 15 inches of snow in 24 hours.

"Everybody takes the day off of work, it's called the powder flu," said Schlaf.

Many were on the mountain to get their fill of the mid-week fresh powder.

"Oh it was fabulous, super deep," said skier Randy Pearson.

Ratchford said Snowbasin has gotten eight feet of snow in 18 days, which is unprecedented.


'Never ever seen this': LA to London flight breaks speed record due to furious jet stream

Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner broke speed records.

Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner broke speed records.

A Virgin Atlantic plane accidentally flew at the speed of sound during a record-breaking flight from LA to London

A Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London reached the ground speed of 1289km/h with the help of strong winds, according to reports.

The blistering speed was reached while at 35,000 feet, or 10.7km, above Pennsylvania. The Boeing 787 twin-jet aircraft was given a boost by a furious jet stream, the high-altitude air current along which storms travel, Fox News reported.

"Never ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot," tweeted Peter James, a jet captain.

Monday's record was above the speed of sound which is 1234km/h - however, whether air travel breaks the sound barrier is dependent on its airspeed, not ground speed. Commercial aircraft are not designed to fly at supersonic speeds.

Arrow Down

Landslide following a week of heavy rainfall hits illegal Peru mine, kills 7

Seven people are dead after a landslide hit an illegal mining site in Peru.

Seven people are dead after a landslide hit an illegal mining site in Peru.
A landslide has hit an illegal mining site in southern Peru, killing seven people, local media reports.

The incident occurred in Ituata district, Carabaya province, on Wednesday.

The landslide hit tents where miners were staying. The body of a 50-year-old woman was found, reports said.

Other people remained missing. The reports quoted Aniceto Vilca Peralta, a civil defence official, as saying a total of seven people were killed.

The landslide followed a week of heavy rains.

Source: Australian Associated Press

Cloud Precipitation

26 killed as torrential rain triggers flash flood, roof collapse in Pakistan

Earlier, the Balochistan government issued flood emergency alert to Lasbela and other effected areas and called out the Pakistan Army for the rehabilitation activities.
© Balochistan Insights
Earlier, the Balochistan government issued flood emergency alert to Lasbela and other effected areas and called out the Pakistan Army for the rehabilitation activities.
At least 26 people were killed on Thursday in the incidents of roof collapse and flash floods, triggered by torrential rains that lashed several cities in Pakistan, according to a media report. At least 10 people were killed in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Four people, including two children and a woman, were killed in landslide and roof collapse incident in Dir, the Express Tribune reported. Uninterrupted rainfall has flooded the provincial capital Peshawar while flash flood submerged villages near the southwestern town of Lasbella, in Balochistan province, it said.


600 dolphins have washed up on beaches along France's Atlantic coast so far in 2019

Illustration Photo
© Michel Gangne, AFP
Illustration Photo
Since the beginning of the year alone, a record number of up to 600 dolphins have washed up on France's Atlantic coast. So what's going on?

What's the story?

Since the start of 2019, up to 600 dolphins have washed up on beaches along France's Atlantic coast.

According to two different surveys, the numbers of carcasses found this year is between 400 and 600 - but even the lower estimate is higher than any previous year at the same period.

While dead dolphins wash up on beaches in France each year scientists say the situation is alarming.


Wrong place, wrong time: Warbler that should be wintering in southern Asia turns up in Greater Manchester, UK

Hope Carr Nature Reserve, Leigh. Blyth's Reed

Blyth's Reed at Hope Carr Nature Reserve, Leigh.
Bird watchers are all aflutter after a rare species was spotted at a nature reserve.

Several sightings of Blyth's reed warbler have now been confirmed at a United Utilities nature reserve in Leigh.

Blyth's reed warblers are a very rare sight in Britain and even rarer in the North West.

Birding experts at Leigh Ornithological Society believe the sightings at Hope Carr Nature Reserve are the first in Greater Manchester and the first time the tiny bird has been spotted in the UK at this time of year.

It usually spends the winter in India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.

Snowflake Cold

Saskatchewan sees the coldest February in 80 years

Canada cold
© Environment Canada
Seasonal forecasts and pegging below seasonal temperatures for much of western Canada over the next three months.
If it feels the like coldest February you can remember, you're likely not wrong.

This month, Saskatchewan has been plagued with daily extreme cold warnings. Temperatures have dipped into the minus 40s, with wind chills so frigid that forgetting your tuque can mean frostbite in minutes.

As of Wednesday, Regina had 9 days where the temperature had not warmed up past -20 C. Temperatures overnight have been brisk - in the minus 30s or even minus 40s - but there has not been much recovery in temperatures during the daytime.

Saskatoon has fared even worse, with 10 days with daily highs below -20 C. To put that in perspective, a normal year would have us seeing daily highs in the minus single digits and lows in the minus teens, so these conditions are 10 to 20 degrees below normal in many areas.


Shiveluch eruption in Russia's Kamchatka sends ash plume 3.7 miles into sky

Shiveluch volcano
The Shiveluch volcano, located in Russia's Kamchatka Territory, belched column of ash 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) above sea level into the sky on Thursday, the local branch of the Geophysical Survey of the Russian academy of Sciences (GS RAS) told Sputnik.

"Video data have shown that early on Thursday, Shiveluch volcano was registered to spew a column of ash to the altitude of 6,000 meters above the sea level. The ash cloud is stretching to the northeast of the volcano," the agency's representative said.

According to the local branch of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, no ash fallout has been registered in nearby settlements.

Shiveluch is the northernmost active volcano in Kamchatka. The volcano has been active since November 2018.


Sinkholes in BC, Canada sparks local state of emergency, 14 homes evacuated

Caution sinkhole
© Rafferty Baker/CBC
The Seawatch neighbourhood of Sechelt, on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast, is under an evacuation order because of sinkholes.
The evacuation order was issued for 14 homes in the upscale Sunshine Coast subdivision.

Residents of 14 ocean-view homes on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast have been ordered to leave after an engineering report found that nearby sinkholes are putting them at risk.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, District of Sechelt declared a local state of emergency for the Seawatch neighbourhood perched above the west side of Sechelt Inlet north of Vancouver.

The area is surrounded by blue fencing to keep intruders - and residents - away from the homes.

"Future sinkholes or landslides could damage existing infrastructure such as underground utilities, roads or sidewalks, or private property including buildings and retaining walls," says the engineering report commissioned by the district. "Injury or even death are possible consequences."

Comment: Sinkholes are opening up all over the planet: 2 giant sinkholes open up in central Turkey


One dead after rare on-piste avalanche in Swiss Alps

Swiss alps avalanche
Rescuers have been digging through the snow looking for survivors
One person has died and three people are injured after an unexpected avalanche on a marked ski slope at a popular resort in the Swiss Alps.

Hundreds of rescuers searched through the night, but called off the search Wednesday morning after no-one was reported missing.

A 34-year-old French national died in hospital, Swiss police said.

The avalanche was unusual in that it fell on a popular, marked slope when the avalanche risk was deemed low.

Most people caught in avalanches are skiing "off-piste", away from the slopes maintained by ski resorts and used by the majority of tourists.

Such slopes are usually very safe, as the snow around them is carefully monitored and managed to avoid risks.

The avalanche risk in the region was set at only two out of five on Tuesday.

It happened in Crans-Montana at about 14:20 local time (13:20 GMT), when the avalanche engulfed 400m (1300ft) of piste marked out for skiers, local police commander Christian Varone said.

The dead person had been working in Crans Montana's ski patrol service, police said.