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Sat, 24 Feb 2018
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"Fireball": Lightning strike damages ancient Scottish castle (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

‘Massive fireball’ lightning strike damages ancient Scottish castle
© Wikimedia Commons
Castle Maol.
An ancient castle on the northwest coast of Scotland has been heavily damaged by a lightning strike that a witness compared to a "massive fireball."

Castle Maol on the Isle of Skye was left significantly damaged by the dramatic display of nature's power. Local hotel manager Robert Ireland captured dramatic footage of the powerful strike that blasted the ancient tower.

Duncan Barwise, who was safely indoors during the violent storm, described it as "a rare and unnerving combination of lightning, thunder, violent wind, and wet snow." Local man Barwise captured before and after photos of the ruin.

Comment: The nature of lightning as we know it is changing: From a review for Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk:
"electric universe and nemesis theories and ties them to explain how the nemesis and it's cometary swarm are effecting the Earth including the slowdown of the Earth's rotation, an increase in earthquakes, fireballs and meteors in our atmosphere, meteorite impacts on the ground, volcanic eruptions and sinkholes, global cooling, disruptions of the Gulf Stream and the jet streams, more frequent hurricanes, lightning and tornadoes, floods, droughts, strange and new types of clouds and anomalous sounds, crop failure, and pole shifts."
Also check out SOTT's monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - January 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Windsock

Former cyclone Gita hits New Zealand; state of emergency declared in Christchurch

ex cyclone Gita
Christchurch and two other districts on New Zealand's South Island have declared a state of emergency as former cyclone Gita hit the country.

Dozens of schools have been shut and roads closed on the South Island as the storm made landfall on Tuesday.

New Zealand's national airline has cancelled all flights in and out of the capital, Wellington, on North Island.

Residents were told to expect floods and winds of up to 150km/h (90mph).

The Grey District and Buller Districts on South Island have now also declared a state of emergency.

"The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and tomorrow morning," said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

She urged residents in low-lying areas to evacuate, saying: "We are expecting homes to be flooded."

Comment: Earlier this month ex Cyclone Fehi caused major flooding in New Zealand's South Island.


Seismograph

Earthquake swarm intensifies at Grímsey island, Iceland

earthquake swarm in Grimsey, Iceland
An earthquake of a magnitude of 5.2 was detected at Grímsey island at around 7 this morning. The powerful quake was felt in many parts of North Iceland and the department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has declared a level of incertitude in North Iceland.

Grímsey island is located off the North coast of Iceland and marks Iceland's northernmost point. There are only just over 80 inhabitants in this remote island.

Comment: There has been a lot of quake activity around the globe recently:


Snowflake

Big Island, Maui summits in Hawaii receive snowfall

This photo shows snow atop Haleakala on Monday morning
© Don Rice
This photo shows snow atop Haleakala on Monday morning
Snow blanketed Big Island and Maui summits on Monday morning, prompting officials to close off roads due to dangerous and icy conditions.

A winter weather advisory has been posted for the summits of Haleakala on Maui as well as Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island. The National Weather Service said 1 to 2 inches of snowfall is expected.

The advisory is in effect until 6 p.m.

On Maui, officials already reported 1.5 inches of snow accumulation at the summit of Haleakala. The road to Haleakala is closed at the Kalahaku overlook until conditions are deemed safe again.


Attention

'Red notice' issued to airlines as Sinabung volcano eruption shoots ash 16,000ft in Indonesia (VIDEOS)

Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash as it erupts
© Endro Rusharyanto / AP
Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash as it erupts in Kutarakyat, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Rumbling Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has shot billowing columns of ash more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the atmosphere and hot clouds down its slopes.

A warning notice was issued to airlines after a rumbling volcano in Indonesia shot billowing columns of ash more than 16,000 feet into the atmosphere.

Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra erupted on Monday morning, sending hot clouds down its slopes.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said there were no fatalities or injuries.

The volcano, one of three currently erupting in Indonesia, was dormant for four centuries before exploding in 2010, killing two people.


Cloud Precipitation

Flooding in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq following heavy rain, up to 17 inches in 24 hours

Floods in Lebanon, 18 February 2018.
© Civil Defense Lebanon
Floods in Lebanon, 18 February 2018.
A storm sweeping across the Levant brought snow, heavy rain and some flooding to parts of south eastern Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and northern Iraq over the last few days. According to media reports, at least 3 people have died in the flooding, including 2 soldiers in Turkey.

Turkey

Heavy rain affected parts of south eastern Turkey between 17 and 18 February, 2018. Derik in Mardin province recorded 73.4mm of rain in 24 hours to 18 February. In Sanliurfa province, Harran recorded 56.9 mm and Siverek 52.6 mm during the same period.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported that, on Sunday 18 February, 2 soldiers died after their armoured vehicle fell into a swollen river in Akcakale district of Sanlıurfa province, close to the border with Syria. Two other soldiers in the vehicle managed to escape.

Cloud Precipitation

Torrential rain causes flash flooding in Limassol, Cyprus (VIDEOS)

Limassol
© Kitasweather
Limassol flood
Overnight torrential rain in Limassol caused thousands of euros in damage, as dwellings flooded and motorists were stranded on deluged roads and parking lots along the coast.

The fire service said it had received over 200 calls for assistance, mainly to pump water from flooded homes and basements but also to free stranded drivers.

Dozens of crews worked to restore the damage caused by the floods, which affected almost all areas of Limassol.

No major problems were recorded in the district's higher regions apart from small landslides that were dealt with immediately.

In the area near the city's old port, several restaurants suffered a lot of damage from the torrents and the cars swept by the rushing water.


Seismograph

Shallow magnitude 6.1 earthquake rattles large swathes of Mexico

Earthquake seismograph
A STRONG 6.1-magnitude earthquake has rattled large swathes of Mexico, sending people fleeing into the streets fearing for their lives.

The powerful earthquake struck at a depth of 10 km at 12.56am local time (6.56am GMT), according to the US Geological Survey.

The epicentre was 43 km (27 miles) east of Oaxaca with shockwaves felt as far as Mexico City, USGS said.

Earthquake alarms were sounded in Mexico City - home to almost nine million people - giving residents time to evacuate their homes.

There are no immediate reports of damage to buildings, injuries or deaths.

Taking to Twitter, one wrote: "In Mexico City the earthquake alarms went off and gave us approximately 30 seconds to get out. We could feel it. It seems everything is ok."

The tremor comes just 48 hours after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit south-western Mexico, damaging buildings but causing no deaths.

Pictures posted to Twitter show anxious residents standing in the streets after the alarm was raised in the early hours of Monday morning.

Comment: Quakes shake Pacific plate as Ring of Fire activity returns


Binoculars

Record number of 280 snowy owls counted in Wisconsin this winter

Snowy owl
Two hundred eighty snowy owls have been documented in Wisconsin this winter, the highest total on record, according to state birding experts.

The previous high was 253 in the winter of 2013-'14, said Ryan Brady, bird monitoring coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources.

In fact, more than 200 of the big, white owls have migrated to Wisconsin in three of the last five years, all historically large movements.

"We've gotten pretty spoiled in recent years," said Brady.

By teasing through observations entered on eBird, an Internet-based bird reporting tool hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Brady is able to differentiate sightings of individual animals.

Comment: It's perhaps noteworthy that the standard interpretation for these (increasingly large) influxes doesn't seem to be holding true in recent years - that these invasions occur in 4 year cycles because of successful breeding fueled by periodic high numbers of lemming prey in the Arctic. This cyclic pattern looks to have disappeared this decade, see : SOTT Exclusive: Snowy owls flee northern latitudes for unprecedented fourth consecutive year - Sign of impending Ice Age?


Arrow Down

Father and daughter killed by avalanche in the French Alps

The pair were found in a hollow surrounded by cliffs in the Pisaillas glacier area of Val d’Isère.
© Andy Parant/Office du Tourisme Val d'Isère
The pair were found in a hollow surrounded by cliffs in the Pisaillas glacier area of Val d’Isère.
A father and his 11-year-old daughter have been killed after an avalanche swept them away in the French Alps today.

The pair were part of a larger group, but had split off and were said to be on a closed piste when the snow engulfed them.

Ski resorts close certain pistes depending on their position on the mountain and their steepness on safety grounds if there is a risk of an avalanche.

The fatal incident came just hours after a separate avalanche in Switzerland which wounded two other skiers.

Comment: Two days earlier: Avalanche kills two Alpine Rescue members in Italy