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Tue, 20 Feb 2018
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Cloud Precipitation

Around 400,000 people hit by floods in the south of Thailand with 5 killed

Floods in Phatthalung Thailand, November 2017.
Floods in Phatthalung Thailand, November 2017.
Flooding has affected parts of southern Thailand since 25 November. Heavy rain has triggered rivers to overflow and flash flooding.

According to Thailand's The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), the floods have affected the provinces of Phatthalung, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pattani, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Yala, Satun and Surat Thani.

Flooding has affected a total of 74 districts, 113,900 households, and 385,498 people. DDPM said that at least 5 people have lost their lives in the flooding. The deaths occurred in Songkhla (2), Pattani (2) and Yala.

A number of provinces have declared disaster zones in various districts. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation is working with the Royal Irrigation Department to synchronize the water discharges in order to minimize damage.

Cloud Precipitation

Tropical cyclone kills 19 on Indonesian island of Java

Java flooding
© AFP Photo/National Disaster Mitigation Agency
This handout picture released by the national disaster mitigation agency shows the flooding that killed at least 11 people in Pacitan, East Java province, Indonesia, Nov. 28, 2017.
A tropical cyclone killed 19 people on the Indonesian island of Java, officials said on Wednesday (local time), with most of the victims caught under a landslide.

Video footage showed rivers overflowing and roads and villages submerged in brown water after the storm struck on Tuesday.

"Nineteen people have died, thousands of homes have been flooded and other damage has been caused," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the Disaster Mitigation Agency, said on Twitter.

Two nearby airports were briefly closed but had since reopened. Flights around Indonesia have been disrupted due to the eruption of a volcano on the neighbouring holiday island of Bali to the east.

Comment: Earlier this month a rare tornado and other deadly flash floods hit Indonesia.

Cloud Precipitation

Washington's Skagit River causes major flooding from highest flow in 11 years

Skagit River flooding
© Skagit County Department of Emergency Management
Water from the Skagit River reach a flood wall in Mount Vernon Friday.
Residents along the Skagit River north of Seattle are preparing to evacuate after heavy rains led the river to reach its highest level in 11 years.

According to the Associated Press, flooding forced the closure of more than a dozen roads and authorities with the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management were preparing for the possible evacuation of some 250 people. Further downstream, residents in Mount Vernon are also preparing for rising waters.

The Skagit River is in major flood stage in Mount Vernon with water still forecast to rise as of Friday morning.

"The water just came so fast. We tried to leave with our van, and it started floating. It filled with water," Hamilton resident Sandi Potter told KING5. "We just couldn't stay anymore so I called 911. I didn't know what else to do."

Lyman City Councilman Mark Harris told KING5 TV his home is sliding into the river piece by piece.

"It's pretty tough to watch," Harris said.

Other residents are facing similar scenarios, including Harris' neighbor Richard Guidinger.


An update: Sunspots a la Cyclic Catastrophism

Sunspot Cycles
© NAOJ/Nagoya University/JAXA
Fig. 1 Fifty years of constant Sun observation.
This post is a response to "Variation of the Solar Microwave Spectrum in the Last Half Century", Masumi Shimojo et al. Astrophysical Journal, Volume 848, Number 1.

The abstract states:
"... we found that the microwave spectra at the solar minima of Cycles 20-24 agree with each other. These results show that the average atmospheric structure above the upper chromosphere in the quiet-Sun has not varied for half a century, and suggest that the energy input for atmospheric heating from the sub-photosphere to the corona have not changed in the quiet-Sun despite significantly differing strengths of magnetic activity in the last five solar cycles."
See Figure 1 above.

Eye 1

Big Brother: Twitter will monitor users behavior 'off platform'

Twitter censorship
In perhaps the most intrusive move of social media platforms' efforts signal as much virtue as possible and appease their potentially-regulating government overlords, Twitter has announced that it is cracking down on what it defines at hate-speech and not just by looking at its own site.

In what amounts to a major shift in Twitter policy, Mashable's Kerry Flynn reports that the company announced on Friday that it will be monitoring user's behavior "on and off the platform" and will suspend a user's account if they affiliate with violent organizations, according to an update to Twitter's Help Center on Friday.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rains cause major flooding in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Severe flooding caused mayhem in Montego Bay

Severe flooding caused mayhem in Montego Bay
Scores of Montego Bay residents are on edge following massive flooding that left them marooned in the second city on Wednesday.

Residents in the tourist city told Loop News that the development reached a stage where people had to seek refuge on top of buildings as angry flood waters took over the city.

"It is the worst I have ever seen flooding in the city and I have been living in the area for many years," said Sandra Samuels.

Another man said he along with his family members had to abandon their vehicle as floodwaters took over a street that the group was travelling on.

"We were travelling along Union Street when water came from nowhere and just started to wash away the vehicle. I had to secure my family members and take refuge at the top of a nearby building," the man who identified himself only as Charles told Loop News.


Homes evacuated as severe rain floods Britain

torrential rainfall floods UK
Torrential rainfall hit Lancashire earlier today
Torrential rain has forced Brits to abandon their homes today as weather experts issue weather warnings across the UK.

Lancaster and Galgate were the worst affected areas, with the A6 closed in both directions and 27 residents housed in two nearby pubs.

Emergency services responded to more than 500 calls about flooding and attended more than 100 incidents across the county.

It comes hours after the Environment Agency issued 25 flood alerts and ten warnings - most being in the North West of England.

A Lancashire Constabulary spokesman said: "All agencies worked really hard in a coordinated effort to minimise disruption and protect the public and we will continue to support those communities worst affected.

Comment: Also in Europe: Atmospheric compression event in Europe brings heavy snow and biblical flood

Cloud Precipitation

California sees its wettest water year on record in 2016-17

Water flows through break in the wall of the Oroville Dam spillway during heavy rains on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
© Rich Pedroncelli /AP
Water flows through break in the wall of the Oroville Dam spillway during heavy rains on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
Massive floods hit Houston and devastating hurricanes struck Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Yet one of the more remarkable stories in the past year is the catastrophe that did not happen: massive flooding in California.

California experienced its wettest water year on record in 2016-17. In previous decades, that huge volume of water would have caused lethal floods, particularly in the Central Valley.

In part, we were lucky. Reservoirs were empty from drought so they had abundant capacity, and there was sufficient time between big storms so the rainfall didn't stack up. Dams and major levees held, though the near-failing of Oroville Dam's spillway and the flooding of the small town of Maxwell in February showed it could have been much worse.

Cloud Precipitation

Three killed as heavy rain wreaks havoc across Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Flash floods in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
© Khaled Sahlie
Flash floods in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on November 21, 2017.
Three people died in flash floods triggered by heavy rains swept through Jeddah on Tuesday, leaving motorists stranded and forcing authorities to shut schools and universities in Saudi Arabia's second biggest city.

One person died of electrocution in Jeddah and three others in other places in Makkah region, according to a Saudi Gazette report. Out if the 29 emergency reports received by Jeddah Health Affairs, eight were related to electrocution and the rest traffic accidents.

The Civil Defense received 250 reports of short circuits, spokesman of the Civil Defense in Makkah Province Col. Saeed Al Sarhan told the newspaper.

Dozens of people were plucked from vehicles engulfed by floodwaters, Saudi civil defence authorities said, with heavy rainfall expected to last at least until Wednesday.

The Saudi Red Crescent Authority in Madinah reported 17 cases of people slipping and falling near the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah and in the Central Area.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods kill 2, damage over 360 houses in central Indonesia

Flash floods in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
© Sutopo Purwo Nugroho / BNPB
Flash floods in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Two people were killed and 367 houses damaged as flash floods struck West Nusa Tenggara province of central Indonesia, a government official said here Sunday.

Heavy downpours were blamed for the natural disaster in four sub-districts of Lombok Timur district, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

"The flash floods hit residential areas and agricultural lands," the spokesman told Xinhua in a text message.

One of the casualties was hit by a damaged building and another was swept away by currents, said Sutopo.

The floods also destroyed 14 bridges and one mosque, he added.

Comment: Earlier this month 9 people died as heavy rainfall caused floods and landslides in Indonesia.