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Sat, 31 Jul 2021
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Strange Skies


Cloud Lightning

Scientists stunned by rare Arctic lightning storms north of Alaska

arctic lightning rare
© NOAA Handout via REUTERS
Satellite imagery shows lightning strikes occuring above the Arctic regions of Alaska, United States, July 12, 2021.
Meteorologists were stunned this week when three successive thunderstorms swept across the icy Arctic from Siberia to north of Alaska, unleashing lightning bolts in an unusual phenomenon that scientists say will become less rare with global warming.

"Forecasters hadn't seen anything like that before," said Ed Plumb, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fairbanks, speaking about the storms that started on Saturday.

Typically, the air over the Arctic Ocean, especially when the water is covered with ice, lacks the convective heat needed to generate lightning storms.

Comment: Instead of running to the canard of "global warming", perhaps scientists should be asking why the atmosphere is becoming more conductive to lower strength lightning bolts? And not only on Earth, but on other planets, too.


Cloud Lightning

34% rise in lightning strikes across India in 2020-21 over previous years, leaving 1,697 dead

lightning
The number and frequency of lightning strikes is increasing globally. The proverbial bolts from the blue are killing more people every subsequent year. Between April 2020 and March 2021, 18.5 million lightning strikes were recorded in India. This was a 34 per cent increase from the 13.8 million strikes between April 2019 and March 2020.

These statistics were shared at a webinar on lightning strikes here today, organised by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down To Earth magazine. The webinar attempted to understand why lightning strikes were increasing in numbers, and their connection to climate change and growing urbanisation.

Some of the states that have been at the receiving end of these strikes are Punjab, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Puducherry, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal. In Punjab, the increase in number of lightning strikes has been a staggering 331 per cent annually, while in Bihar — where 401 people lost their lives to lightning strikes during the year — there was a 168 per cent rise. Overall, 1,697 people were struck down dead by lightning in India between March 2020 and April 2021.

(Read more here)

Cloud Grey

Unusual shelf cloud photographed over Georgia explained by meteorologist

shelf cloud georgia
© CodyAlcorn/Twitter
They were all in my social media feeds on July 12th, 2021. Pictures and videos of ominous looking clouds rolling into parts of North Georgia. People scurried from ball fields or homes and grabbed their phones to capture the moment. Jane Worley is a colleague of mine at the University of Georgia. The Northeast Georgia resident sent the picture below from River of Life Church in Nicholson, Georgia with the message, "Thought you would enjoy." Little did she know, I was taking a picture of a shelf cloud rolling through my own subdivision 40 miles away. What are these clouds anyhow?

Comment: See also:


Tornado2

Rare 'tornado' cloud spotted above County Durham, UK

A funnel cloud snapped over a house in Darlington
© Mark Emmerson /via REUTERS
A funnel cloud snapped over a house in Darlington on Friday afternoon
Residents in County Durham were left "amazed" after a rare 'tornado' cloud appeared in the sky.

The funnel cloud emerged just after midday on Friday and people rushed to take photos and video to share on social media.

More were spotted across the region as BBC Look North's Jen Bartram tweeted: "What I would say is that there are a LOT of funnel clouds around - and the thunderstorms likely to get going a bit more across the North East this afternoon."

Speaking to the Northern Echo, one local said: "This was the first time I have seen something like this.

Cloud Grey

Noctilucent clouds sweep across Europe AGAIN

Noctilucent clouds taken on July 4, 2021 @ Zákamenné, Slovakia
© Matej Sekeráš
Noctilucent clouds taken on July 4, 2021 @ Zákamenné, Slovakia
It has happened so often this summer, it hardly feels like news anymore. But it is. On July 4th, noctilucent clouds (NLCs) swept across Europe. There was "a large display" in Belgium, and a "stunning, amazing" show in Germany. In Slovakia, the clouds lingered so long that photographer Matej Sekeráš had time to pose his nieces in front of them.

"It was the first time we witnessed these incredible clouds," says Sekeráš. "The electric-blue ripples were visible for nearly an hour."

At the apex of the display, NLCs descended all the way to northern Italy. "I saw them from Sumirago at latitude +45N," reports Paolo Bardelli. "Another emotional night!"

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. They form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise up to the edge of space (~83 km high) and crystalize around disintegrated meteoroids. When you see one, you're literally seeing a cloud of frosted meteor smoke. The best time to look is during the hours before dawn or just after sunset.

Comment: New NASA study: Satellites see cooling in the upper atmosphere

These articles on noctilucent clouds are from just last month: As explained in Pierre Lescaudron's book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection:
The increase in noctilucent clouds is one of the effects - among others - of increased dust concentration in the atmosphere in general, and in the upper atmosphere in particular. We suspect that most of this atmospheric dust is of cometary origin, while some of it may be due to the recent increase in volcanic activity.
See also: Chemtrails? Contrails? Strange skies


Satellite

New NASA study: Satellites see cooling in the upper atmosphere

NLCs

NASA satellites have revealed that the mesosphere -the layer of the atmosphere some 30-50 miles above our heads- is COOLING and contracting
.

Using decades of data and a number of satallites, a team at NASA have identified a cooling mesosphere.

"We had to put together three satellites' worth of data," said Scott Bailey, atmospheric scientist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, head of the new research, published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.

"You need several decades to get a handle on these trends and isolate what's happening," continued Bailey, who goes on to blame the usual "greenhouse gas emissions" for the observed changes -well how else would they have obtained funding- however, Bailey also mentions "solar cycle changes, and other effects".

Together, the satellites provided about 30 years of observations, indicating that the summer mesosphere over Earth's poles is cooling four to five degrees Fahrenheit and contracting 500 to 650 feet per decade.

Comment: These SOTT articles on noctilucent clouds are from just last month: As explained in Pierre Lescaudron's book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection:
The increase in noctilucent clouds is one of the effects - among others - of increased dust concentration in the atmosphere in general, and in the upper atmosphere in particular. We suspect that most of this atmospheric dust is of cometary origin, while some of it may be due to the recent increase in volcanic activity.
See also: Chemtrails? Contrails? Strange skies


Nebula

Interplanetary shock wave sparks mid-summer auroras over Canada

Aurora & NLC's over Canada
© Catalin Tapardel
Aurora & NLC's taken on June 30, 2021 @ Municipal District of Opportunity Nr.17, Alberta, Canada.
This was not in the forecast. A low-amplitude interplanetary shock wave (data) hit Earth's magnetic field during the early hours of June 30th, sparking mid-summer auroras over Canada.

Catalin Tapardel photographed the display from the Municipal District of Opportunity (#17) in Alberta. "I caught the auroras hovering just above an expanse of noctilucent clouds," says Tapardel.

We don't know where this shock wave came from. It might be the early arrival of the June 27th CME, originally expected July 1st, or perhaps a different stealthy CME that "flew under the radar" when it left the sun. If it's the latter, another jolt could occur in the next 24 hours.

Comet 2

Update on giant oort cloud comet C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein)

Comet C/2014 UN271 Bernardinelli-Bernstein oort cloud

The comet is now known as Comet C/2014 UN271, or Bernardinelli-Bernstein after its discoverers, University of Pennsylvania graduate student Pedro Bernardinelli and astronomer Gary Bernstein.
In 2021 June 19, the circular MPEC 2021-M53 of Minor Planet Center announced the discovery of an asteroidal object by astronomers P. Bernardinelli & G. Bernstein (University of Pennsylvania) that they found in CCD exposures obtained with the 4.0-m reflector at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in the course of the "Dark Energy Survey", and which they reported as a previously unknown member of the Oort Cloud. The reported astrometry was spanning from 2014 Oct. 20 to 2018 Nov. 8. The new object was designated 2014 UN271. It was hidden among data collected by the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile and was announced only now because, in the words of one of the discoverers, "finding TNOs with DES is a massive computational problem (my PhD was solving this problem). The search itself took 15~20 million CPU-hours, and the catalog production from our 80,000 exposures probably took more than that!"

According to the orbit calculated using data from 2014 to 2018, this object is likely to be a comet from the outer edge of the Oort Cloud. But 2014 UN271, despite its typically cometary orbit, appeared completely stellar in these archival images when it moved from 29 to 23 AU (for comparison, Pluto is 39 au from the Sun, on average). Below a simulation (made by T. Dunn) of the orbit of comet C/2014 UN271 showing it path in the Solar System from 1985 to 2049.


A few days after the discovery announcement, 2014 UN271 has been found to show cometary appearance in new CCD images obtained by observers at station codes L81 & K93.Basically this object, that was first seen as an asteroid of magnitude ~22 by DES in 2014 at a distance of 29 AU, approaching the Sun was growing his coma and tails. As of June 2021, it was 20 AU from the Sun shining at a magnitude ~20.After the discovery of the cometary coma, the new comet has been designated C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein). This comet will reach perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, in January 2031 at about ~11 AU away from the Sun.

Attention

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Excuses for grain losses & food price increases across the planet

Brazil drought
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Russia increases yet again its export tax on all grains as the EU wants to decrease production to meet green goals turning the bloc into a net cereal importer, but that leaves many countries on the planet to buy grain. Brazil in a super drought as rivers dry out and grain barges become grounded until the next rainy season.


Comment: See also:


Cloud Grey

Impressive mammatus clouds appear over Warsaw, Poland, before major thunderstorm wreaks havoc

Mammatus clouds over Warsaw, Poland
© YouTube/START (screen capture)
Incredible ! Strange Mammatus Clouds Appears in the Sky of Poland, Warsaw


Comment: And then this happened...