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Fri, 28 Apr 2017
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Time to defund the weather-forecasting rent-seekers

For Totalitarianism Day (formerly Earth Day), over three dozen weather forecasting organizations have issued a joint (or, in their revealing word, "Collective") "Global Climate Statement". It has not exactly made headlines: even the Mainstream media are tired of yet another pietistic, self-serving demand that more taxpayers' money should be sent in the direction of yet another generously-proportioned trough in which the rent-seekers keep their snouts.

Cloud Precipitation

Dangerous flooding engulfs eastern North Carolina

Intense rainfall led to flooding in parts of the Carolinas this week. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the rain was "like we haven't seen since Hurricane Matthew."

Road closures and water rescues were reported in eastern portions of the state on Tuesday. Raleigh recorded 4.51 inches of rain on Monday alone, making it the wettest April day in the city's history.

In Elkin, North Carolina, the Yadkin River approached moderate flood stage after rising from nearly 5 feet to 20 feet from Sunday night into Monday. Moderate to major flooding will persist along area rivers into next week in some locations.


Shallow 5.7 magnitude earthquake recorded in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska; 4 aftershocks follow

5.7 magnitude earthquake

2017-04-27 14:46:33 UTC

UTC time: Thursday, April 27, 2017 14:46 PM
USGS page: M 5.7 - 77km S of Little Sitkin Island, Alaska


Woman mauled to death by her dog in Upper Macungie, Pennsylvania

An Upper Macungie Township woman was mauled to death by her dog Thursday afternoon on the rear deck of her home, despite the attempts of neighbors to draw the dog away, police and witnesses said.

An off-duty police officer eventually ended the attack about 1:30 p.m. by shooting the dog once in its leg, but it was too late.

Lisa Green, 32, of the 900 block of Spring White Drive bled badly at the scene, neighbors said. She was taken by Cetronia Ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, where she was pronounced dead at 2:46 p.m.

Loretta Ottinger, a next-door neighbor, said she heard Green calling, "Someone help me!" She went to a window and saw the dog, a 3 1/2-year-old pitbull-boxer mix, biting Green's legs, neck and head.

Ottinger said she tried to stop the dog's attack, first by hitting it with a meaty hambone, then by hitting the dog with a stick. But the mauling continued.

Cloud Precipitation

Sunless in Seattle, WA - Two rainfall records smashed

© Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times
Jeremy Kahn waits for the bus in the rain in West Seattle last month.
Only eight sunny days since October 1, 2016

Between Oct. 1, 2016 and April 25, 2017, a whopping 44.69 inches of precipitation had been measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This toppled the previous October-through-April record for the city set just one year ago and is far, far above - almost 14 inches above - the average for those seven months combined - more than 44 percent above average.

What's more, the Emerald City recorded 144 days of measurable precipitation during that period, smashing the previous record of 137 days set in both 2010-2011 and 1998-1999. There has been at least .01 inch of precipitation at SeaTac Airport for 70 percent of the days since Oct. 1, far surpassing the roughly 53 percent of wet days in a typical October through April, according to National Weather Service 30-year average statistics.

Other parts of the West also experienced historic precipitation during this period. Through Monday, SeaTac Airport has managed a total of eight "sunny days" - defined as a daily average sky cover of 30 percent or less - since Oct. 1.

This means that Seattle rainfall records have broken in four of the last 18 years. And remember, Seattle just endured its coldest winter on record.

Hmmm. Is this just a coincidence, or are we beginning to see a pattern here?

Snowflake Cold

Hard freeze in France - Some vineyards totally destroyed

© Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Workers and wine growers light heaters early in the morning to protect vineyards from frost damage outside Chablis.
Hard freezes in some of France's famous wine-making regions, including Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy, have caused extensive damage.

Temperatures plunged in all three regions last week, sometimes to below -7C (19°F).

In the Bugey region near Lyon, winemakers said the damage was extensive, with some vineyards totally destroyed.

"Frost destroyed everything - shoots are dead," Julien Hubail, expert at the Bugey wine union, said. "In winemakers' memory it had never happened, no one had ever experienced such a severe freeze."

Snowflake Cold

No April showers? Up to 2 feet of snow to hit Rockies - in late April!

A Winter storm moving across Colorado will bring heavy snow and gusty winds from Friday evening into Saturday night.

National Weather Service Pueblo CO Apr 27 2017 -

Winter Storm Watch from Friday evening through late Saturday night:

* Location...Lake county, western Chaffee county Between 9000 and 11000 feet, Sangre de Cristo mountains, western Mosquito Range and eastern Chaffee County above 9000 feet, La Garita mountains, eastern San Juan Mountains, northwestern Fremont county above 8500 feet, Wet Mountain Valley below 8500 feet, Wet Mountains, Teller county, Rampart Range and Pike's Peak region, northern El Paso county, the upper Huerfano River Basin below 7500 Feet and western Las Animas County below 7500 Feet.

* Snow Accumulation...Total snow accumulation in excess of 8 inches will be possible, with the potential for 1 to 2 feet over the higher elevations of the the eastern mountains.

* Wind...North to northeast winds 15 to 25 mph with locally
higher wind gusts.

* Impact...Snow and blowing snow at times is expected to create hazardous weather and travel conditions in the watch area. In addition, heavy wet snow will be capable of producing tree and powerline damage.

Cloud Lightning

Record 350 people died after being struck by lightning in 2016 across Bangladesh

Even a few years ago, metal objects in the shapes of tridents, crescents, stars and roosters could be seen on the roofs of buildings. They are hardly seen anymore.

The tridents or stars on top of buildings were part of the grounding system installed for protection against lightning strikes.

Even though many modern buildings have specially designed objects, how many of those really have proper grounding remains a point to ponder.

Last year, Bangladesh witnessed a record rise in the number of deaths from lightning strikes. Lightning strikes occur the most between March and May.

According to data of the disaster management and relief ministry, 217 people were killed in lightning strikes last year, beating all previous records in the country. The number was 160 in 2015, 170 in 2014, 185 in 2013, 201 in 2012 and 179 in 2011. At least 22 people have been killed so far in lightning strikes this year.


Rare vaquita porpoise discovered dead off Mexico

A vaquita porpoise - a critically endangered species of porpoise
An endangered vaquita porpoise was found dead in the Gulf of Mexico, the country's environmental protection authority said Wednesday, bringing to four the number of dead vaquitas found in 2017.
There are only 30 remaining vaquitas (Phocoena sinus), scientists warned in February.

The rare mammals, the world's smallest porpoise, live exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists warn that they face extinction by 2022.

The remains of the vaquita were found Tuesday, 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of the town of San Felipe, in the state of Baja California on the Barra del Primer Estero beach, the statement read.

The remains of the young vaquita, which measured 115 centimeters (45 inches) long, was in such an advanced state of decomposition that experts were unable to determine its sex.

Comment: See also: 2 rare vaquitas porpoises found dead in the Gulf of California

Note: Vaquitas porpoises are endemic to the Gulf of California rather than live exclusively Gulf of Mexico as stated in the article. From wikipedia:
The vaquita (Spanish: [baˈkita]; Phocoena sinus) is a rare species of porpoise endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California.

Range map for the vaquita (Phocoena sinus)

Cloud Lightning

2 people and 2 cattle killed by lightning bolt in Jessore, Bangladesh

Two people were killed in a lightning strike at Mahinikati village in Jhikargacha upazila of Jessore district on Thursday.

Locals said Saiful Islam, 28, son of Shawkat Ali, and Shahid Hossain, 48, died on the spot when a streak of thunderbolt struck them while they were returning home from a field with cattle in the evening.

Two cattle were also killed in the incident; according to UNB.