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Mon, 18 Feb 2019
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

World Snow Wrap - Massive snow totals in the US and Europe

Clearing Carson Spur on Route 88
© Stephen Ziehlke/Caltrans
Clearing Carson Spur on Route 88, the road to Kirkwood, yesterday.

After a week of fine, spring-like weather, the snow returned to Californian with a big bang last week, two storms in five days dropping metres of snow across the Sierras. The resorts around Lake Tahoe reported some huge snow totals with Homewood topping the count with 2.5metres, Kirkwood had 2.4metres and Squaw Valley 2.2metres. Mammoth Mountain also scored big time with 3.35 metres (11 feet) at the Summit.

Not surprisingly, the conditions were some of the best of the winter, with Tuesday and Wednesday the stand-out days. That was the story across many US resorts as the storms tracked inland with resorts in Utah reporting two metres in 72 hours. Jackson Hole also turned on with a metre of dry snow in three days and there was also 60-100cms in Colorado. It has been a good week, cold temps ensured quality snow and there were many reports of cold, blower pow across the western states. After a couple of days of sunshine, the snow returns to the Pacific Northwest and California tomorrow with two storms tracking through the Cascades and Sierras. Another 1.5 metres snow is forecast for both regions by Monday. That system will move eastward, dropping snow across Utah on Saturday, Idaho and the Tetons on Sunday while Colorado should see decent snowfalls on Monday.

Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: USA cold warning - DMI Greenland ice feed cut - Pakistan record snow

record snow in Pakistan
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Superfreeze 2.0 grips the USA, record snow in Pakistan with runoff expected to fill long dry riverbeds, 3000 years dry and Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) removes Greenland Ice Mass Budget because of too much ice growth. Arctic ice continues to rebound to 2004-2013 levels.

Comment: Pakistan receives record snowfall in winter - heaviest in 48 years


Four year old island spawned by hidden underwater volcano in South Pacific is now teeming with life

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, Hunga Tonga

Hunga Tonga is only the third known volcanic pop-up like this to have arisen in the last 150 years.
Four years ago, this island arose out of almost nothing: a sprawling formation of jutting rock popping up in the South Pacific, where once there were only waves.

This unbelievable place - emerging in between two existing islands of the Kingdom of Tonga - has no official name, but the locals call it Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai (Hunga Tonga), after its neighbours and the hidden underwater volcano that spawned it.

Scientists have been studying Hunga Tonga for years, to learn more about how exceedingly rare volcanic islands like this take shape.

Incredibly, Hunga Tonga is only the third known volcanic pop-up like this to have arisen in the last 150 years, so it's an incredible scientific opportunity to investigate its esoteric environment - and especially to see how that landscape might resemble other strange and rocky terrain (including, hypothetically, that of Mars).

Comment: NASA's Goddard Center published the following video on the birth of the island:
In late December 2014 into early 2015, a submarine volcano in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga erupted, sending a violent stream of steam, ash and rock into the air. When the ash finally settled in January 2015, a newborn island with a 400-foot summit nestled between two older islands - visible to satellites in space. The newly formed Tongan island, unofficially known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai after its neighbors, was initially projected to last a few months. Now it has a 6- to 30-year lease on life, according to a new NASA study.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills 19-year-old youth in Karnataka, India - caught on video

© Johannes Plenio
A youth died when lightning struck him during the heavy rains accompanied by thunder and lightning lashed the village of Subramanya near here on Thursday, February 7.

The deceased person is identified as Praveen (19), son of Krishnappa, a resident of Mithamajalu house,Pallatadka village of the taluk.

Praveen was working as a mason and was presently involved in the renovation of the Aditya Nest Hotel which is near the Kumaradhara Junction of Subramanya village. When the rains started lashing the village at around 6 pm on Thursday, Praveen was covering his two-wheeler with a tarpaulin, when the lightning struck him.

Comment: Ignore the red arrow in the video below pointing at the tarpaulin and the person standing there (who runs away after the strike) and focus on the dark figure slightly to the right who was the individual hit (collapses and doesn't get up). Witness also the people who rush to that spot to help him.

Comment: Also recently lightning strikes have killed individuals in Zambia and South Africa.

Cloud Grey

Rare weather phenomenon triggers air-quality alerts in D.C.

Fog rises on the tidal basin in Washington, D.C.
© Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Fog rises on the tidal basin in Washington, D.C. Residents earlier this week experienced poor air quality due to a temperature inversion that trapped pollution close to the surface.

A 'capped inversion' trapped air pollutants near the ground

Despite a steep downward trend in the number of days with poor air quality over the last several years, residents of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore awoke Feb. 4 to thick haze and warnings about unhealthy levels of air pollution. As a result, authorities issued a code-orange alert, urging sensitive groups such as children, the elderly and those with asthma, heart disease or lung disease to limit outdoor activities.

Why would a region used to grappling with air-quality alerts in the muggy days of summer find itself stuck with one in the middle of winter? The cause is a weather phenomenon called a "capped inversion," which under the right conditions prevents ground-based pollutants from drifting away into the upper atmosphere.

Nowhere to go

Normally, air is warmest near the surface and cools as it rises through the atmosphere. In this scenario, air pollutants are emitted and able to mix and spread through this unstable mass of air flowing between warm and cool areas.

A capped inversion occurs when a less dense mass of warm air moves over a dense, cold mass. In the case of the Washington-Baltimore region, a recent cold spell and fresh snowfall on Feb. 1, coupled with the arrival of extremely warm air over the weekend (high temperatures on Feb. 4 reached nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18 Celsius), created ideal inversion conditions. As a result, any pollutants emitted during that time stayed close to the ground, elevating the level of particulates in the air and triggering a code-orange alert.

"The fresh snow traps cold air near the surface very well," Joel Dreessen, a meteorologist with Maryland's Department of Environment, said in an email to the Washington Post. "Particles jumped dramatically Saturday (in comparison to Friday) due to the inversion which set up. This very stout near-surface inversion was/is in place through Monday due to ongoing high pressure in the region."

Ice Cube

India's capital Delhi enjoys unusual hail storm

Delhi hailstorm
Many people compared the unusual sight to scenes from Chicago or London
India's capital Delhi was hit by a strong hailstorm on Thursday, turning the city white and leaving people stunned and delighted.

Pictures and videos posted on social media show cherry-sized ice balls and streets covered in white.

Many people compared the unusual sight to scenes from Chicago or London.

Hailstorms "are not rare for Delhi, but their occurrence is infrequent," according to US website Accuweather's senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

The severe weather also forced more than 30 flights to be diverted during the early hours of the evening.

However, the hail and rain storm did have an upside. Apart from delighting Delhi's residents, it also helped improve the city's notoriously toxic air quality.


Flights cancelled, roads closed as heavy snowfall hits Indian-controlled Kashmir

Fresh snowfall cuts off Kashmir

Fresh snowfall cuts off Kashmir
Heavy snowfall Thursday hit Indian-controlled Kashmir, leading to closure of roads and cancellation of flights, officials said.

The snowfall has been going on since Wednesday afternoon.

A government spokesman said some areas in upper reaches received over 20 inches of snow. Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir also recorded 5 inches of snow.

"The upper reaches have been receiving snowfall since yesterday, while as plains were lashed with snow. However, early today the snow began in plains as well and is going on incessantly," an official at Srinagar meteorological department said.


Pakistan receives record snowfall in winter - heaviest in 48 years

Pakistan's northern and northwestern parts have witnessed record snowfall last month which would help raise the water table in the country, officials said.

"During the last one month the country's northern hilly areas received heavy snowfall -- up to six to seven feet," Abdul Wali Yousafzai, a senior officer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa irrigation department told Anadolu Agency

This is the heaviest snowfall in 48 years, he added.

According to the met department, the country's northern mountains received heavy snowfall in January and the first week of February.


Upside-down rainbow seen above sun dog over western Minnesota

Sun dog over MN
© Liveleak/Newsflare
A sun dog was seen in a sunny field near Graceville, Minnesota yesterday (February 4) when the filmer noticed an upside-down rainbow forming above the solar phenomenon in this breathtaking clip.

The "rainbow" was caused by a circumzenithal arc, where ice crystals in the higher atmosphere refract sunlight depending on the angle of the sun, creating this bright and colorful bow in the sky.

Cloud Precipitation

Atacama desert, world's driest place suffers massive flooding in northern Chile

Heavy showers on high altitudes in northern Chile have caused dry river beds to become rushing torrents of water.

The flooding has left one dead, one child missing and over 1,200 homeless, according to officials.