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Wed, 19 Jan 2022
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Warning: extreme weather ahead

© Willoughby Owen/Getty Images/Flickr
A tornado makes its way across Baca county, Colorado, in May 2010.
Tornados, wildfires, droughts and floods were once seen as freak conditions. But the environmental disasters now striking the world are shocking signs of 'global weirding'

Drought zones have been declared across much of England and Wales, yet Scotland has just registered its wettest-ever May. The warmest British spring in 100 years followed one of the coldest UK winters in 300 years. June in London has been colder than March. February was warm enough to strip on Snowdon, but last Saturday it snowed there.

Welcome to the climate rollercoaster, or what is being coined the "new normal" of weather. What was, until quite recently, predictable, temperate, mild and equable British weather, guaranteed to be warmish and wettish, ensuring green lawns in August, now sees the seasons reversed and temperature and rainfall records broken almost every year. When Kent receives as much rain (4mm) in May as Timbuktu, Manchester has more sunshine than Marbella, and soils in southern England are drier than those in Egypt, something is happening.

Comment: Yes, the climate is changing. No, it's not caused by man-made forces. For the real scoop on 'climate change', try these:

Planet-X, Comets and Earth Changes by J.M. McCanney

Planetary Alignments and the Solar Capacitor - Things are heatin' up!

Cyclones, Earthquakes, Volcanoes And Other Electrical Phenomena

Pole Shift? Look to the Skies!


US: Wallow Fire Now Likely to Become Arizona's Biggest

© Jill Torrance / Arizona Daily Star
Shelly Billingsley, center, receives some comforting words from Shelly Myrick, both of Springerville, in the evacuation center at Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop. At left, Lucille Ashcroft partakes of a meal prepared by volunteers.
Authorities say a raging wildfire that could become the largest in Arizona history is now 5 percent contained after charring more than 386,000 acres and destroying 22 homes in Greer.

The Wallow Fire has burned more than 525 square miles in Eastern Arizona. But fire officials Thursday evening said they were optimistic some residents who have been forced to flee the flames would be allowed back home by the weekend.

Full evacuations were still in place for Eagar, Springerville, Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso and many subdivisions. More than 5,000 residences are threatened by the massive fire, officials said.

Fire officials reported earlier Thursday that six homes were burned overnight in Greer. But crews finished touring the area and assessing the damage by late afternoon and said 22 homes in Greer were destroyed and five other homes were damaged.

Officials also say 24 outbuildings in Greer were destroyed along with one vehicle.

A total of 29 residences have been destroyed so far.


Wildfires more rampant in Russia in 2011, spread over east

© Valery Gacheev
Wildfires more rampant in Russia in 2011, spread over east
Russia reported 186 wildfires burning in forests and peat bogs on Sunday, covering an area more than three times the size of that for the same period last year.

"Overall, more than 12,100 wildfires have emerged in Russia since the beginning of the fire-hazardous season of 2011 on a total area of about 752,500 hectares as compared with 228,400 hectares last year," the Emergencies Ministry said.


Arizona Burns: Wallow wildfire now worst in state's history as blaze spreads to New Mexico

Raging: The Arizona wildfires have now crossed into New Mexico
he devastating wildfire sweeping through Arizona has become the worst ever in the state's history.

The Wallow Fire has burned more than 600 square miles, 408,887 acres, and is now six per cent contained.

At least 10,000 people have been displaced and more than 30 homes have been destroyed so far. Authorities said full containment is nowhere in sight, and power lines that supply much of West Texas and Southern New Mexico with electricity are also in jeopardy.

© AP
Perilously close: The Wallow Fire burns near homes in Eagar.
Yesterday an absence of strong winds allowed firefighters to set preventive burns and cut fire breaks. The winds, however, are expected to pick up and pose more challenges to fire fighting crews.

Last night the massive fire did cross the border into western New Mexico.

More than 5,000 residences are threatened by the massive fire, officials said.

Arizona cut $250,000 from the 2011 fire budget under the assumption that it would be a 'quiet' year for fires. This is now the third wild fire in Arizona this year.

Next year the budget calls for $300,000 in cuts from the department.

Full evacuations were still in place for Eagar, Springerville, Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso and many subdivisions. Officials also say 24 outbuildings in Greer were destroyed along with one vehicle.

On Thursday, more than 3,000 firefighters got a break from nature when high winds driving the flames lost strength.

Bizarro Earth

Wallow Fire, Arizona, USA

Wallow Fire
© Earth Observatory, NASA
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and Engineering Center MODIS Direct Broadcast system.
After several days of extreme fire behavior, the Wallow Fire has become the second largest fire in Arizona history. By early afternoon on June 8, 2011, the fire had consumed 389,000 acres (608 square miles), largely in the Apache National Forest, and was completed uncontained. This image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite, shows the fire at 1:25 p.m. local time.

The actively burning fire front (outlined in red) surrounds a vast area of charred land. High winds propelled the fire, igniting spot fires as much as three miles ahead of the fire front on June 8, said the Arizona Emergency Information Network. Dense plumes of smoke billow from the fire and stream northeast in the strong winds that drove the flames. The smoke has been affecting air quality through much of the United States.

Bizarro Earth

US: 'Wild and Weird' Weather Leaves its Mark

© Joe Gamm, The Amarillo Globe News, via AP
James Dickinson, left, and Alton Pickup of the United States Forest Service Task Force attempt to slow the spread of a wildfire in Randall County, Texas, on May 25.
Monster tornadoes, historic floods, massive wildfires and widespread drought: Springtime has delivered a wallop of weather-related destruction and misery across much of the nation this year. And it may all be related.

Never mind the debate over global warming, its possible causes and effects. We've got "global weirding."

That's how climatologist Bill Patzert describes the wide range of deadly weather effects that have whipped the nation this year, killing hundreds of people and doing billions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses, schools and churches.

"Sometimes it gets wild and weird," says Patzert, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Bizarro Earth

US: Update on Arizona Burning

Thousands of residents in two towns were packing Tuesday, having been told to be prepared to evacuate quickly as the massive wildfire in eastern Arizona grows and weather conditions remain dangerous. A huge pall of black smoke loomed over the twin towns of Eager and Springerville, home to about 7,000 people.


Fears Mount That Russia Could Face Another Summer Of Deadly Forest Fires

© Reuters
Dry grass, brush, and trees burn on the bank of the Yenisei River in Russia's Taiga district, near Krasnoyarsk, in late April, when some were already warning of the acute risk of fires.
As raging wildfires continue in Russia's Far East, fears are mounting that the country could face out-of-control blazes for the second summer in a row.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said at one point last week that 421 peat and forest fires had burst out in a 24-hour period in Siberia and in the Urals region, covering an area of 1,160 square kilometers.

The fires were already covering an area twice what they were at this time last year, when a record-breaking heat wave and drought led to the blazes spreading to vast swaths of Russian territory, killing dozens and destroying one-quarter of the country's crops.

But environmentalists warned that authorities were repeating the mistakes of a year ago by failing to address the problem early.


US: Evacuations Continue as Arizona Fire Spreads

© Eastern Arizona IMT
Burning: The Wallow Fire rages through dry pines in Arizona, while firefighters battle to save homes
A massive wildfire continued to force evacuations Monday from towns in the eastern part of Arizona and threatened more communities as flames pushed toward New Mexico.

The so-called Wallow Fire, burning across Arizona wilderness and the Apache National Forest, has grown to 233,000 acres since it started more than a week ago. The fire, the third-largest in state history, has forced 2,100 people to flee their homes.

More than 2,000 firefighters fought to contain the blaze as hot winds whipped flames across tree tops and threw embers as far as three miles. The small mountain communities of Alpine and Nutrioso were evacuated, and hundreds of residents in other towns were told to prepare to leave. The fire destroyed several ranches, but no deaths or injuries were reported, fire officials said Monday.


US: Arizona Burns!

High winds are propelling a devastating Arizona forest fire that has already grown into the third-largest in the state's history.

Smoke from the 225-square-mile covered a mountain vacation town in a blinding yellow fog yesterday and residents are now preparing to evacuate as the fire edges closer.

Strong winds have also blown smoke from the burning pine forest well into the nearby states of New Mexico and Colorado.

© Eastern Arizona IMT
Burning: The Wallow Fire rages through dry pines in Arizona, while firefighters battle to save homes
© AP Photo - Aizona republic - Jack Kurtz
Terrifying: A farm in Luna, New Mexico, sits below the massive smoke column from the 144,000-acre Wallow Fire on Friday. Two of the biggest fires in Arizona history rage on