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Tue, 25 Apr 2017
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The 'March to Silence' - Shots fired at building housing leading climate skeptic scientists

© Image via Google Maps Street View
National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) building.
A total of seven shots were fired into our National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) building here at UAH over the weekend.

All bullets hit the 4th floor, which is where John Christy's office is (my office is in another part of the building).

Given that this was Earth Day weekend, with a March for Science passing right past our building on Saturday afternoon, I think this is more than coincidence. When some people cannot argue facts, they resort to violence to get their way. It doesn't matter that we don't "deny global warming"; the fact we disagree with its seriousness and the level of human involvement in warming is enough to send some radicals into a tizzy.

Our street is fairly quiet, so I doubt the shots were fired during Saturday's march here. It was probably late night Saturday or Sunday for the shooter to have a chance of being unnoticed.

Maybe the "March For Science" should have been called the "March To Silence".

Campus and city police say they believe the shots were fired from a passing car, based upon the angle of entry into one of the offices. Shell casings were recovered outside. The closest distance a passing car would have been is 70 yards away.

This is a developing story. I have no other details.

Cloud Lightning

3 killed, 2 injured after being struck by lightning bolt in Punjab, India

© Hindustan Times
The deceased being taken outside the hospital
Three persons were killed and two got injured after they were struck by lightning at Toot village in Patti sub-division on Sunday night.

The deceased have been identified as Raju (30) of Gahelewal village in Mansa district, Kulwinder Singh (22) of Nandgarh village in Sangrur district and Sandeep Singh (30) of Todarpur village in Mansa district. The injured are Sukha Singh of Bigarwal village, and Tarsem Singh of Jawaharwala village in Sangrur district. All of them run combine harvesters.

After harvesting wheat crop in the fields of a farmer Gurlal Singh, they went to a tubewell to take bath. Suddenly, thunderstorm rolled and they were struck by the lightning caused by it.

They were rushed to civil hospital in Patti, where three were declared dead.

The injured are said to be stable.

Comment: In Cambodia: Storm in K Thom Lightning injures two, kills one

In Bangladesh: Lightning strike kills farmer in Laxmipur


'Ipo-ipo' waterspout filmed in Batangas, Philippines

A spectacular waterspout—known locally as "ipo-ipo"—was filmed off the coast of Mabini, Batangas, on Sunday, April 24.

A witness at a beach resort, who managed to capture the spectacle on video, said that the waterspout's sudden appearance on the horizon prompted bathers to rush out of the water.

Fortunately, according to authorities, nobody was hurt.

Waterspouts are uncommon but well-known phenomena, especially among fishermen and coastal residents.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills three horses in Giles County, Tennessee

As severe thunderstorms rolled through the Tennessee Valley Saturday afternoon, several homes suffered damage.

In western Ardmore, Roger Riddle's home was hit with golf ball sized hail that ripped through part of his wall, leaving several holes.

Up in Pulaski, Larry Hargrove lost three horses to the storms.

"You hate to lose any animal, but when you've had them for 20 years plus and you've raised them from a baby, they're family members," Hargrove said.

While he was away from his home, his three mares were struck by lightning around three o'clock.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill five in coastal districts of Bangladesh

At least five people have been killed when lightning strike different coastal districts as the stormy weather continues across the country.

Three people were killed in Chittagong and one each in Patuakhali and Bagerhat on Saturday.

Sanaullah Shamim, 33, and Mohammad Didar, 40, were struck by lightning while bringing cattle home at Sandwip in Chittagong, Sandwip Police Station OC Moshiur Rahman told bdnews24.com.

Housewife Noor Banu, 40, of Fatikchharhi in the same district died after being struck by lightning at her homestead during a storm, said Bhujpur Union Parishad Acting Chairman Abdul Hamid.

The victim in Patuakhali's Rangabali was also a housewife. Manju Begum, 35, was out in the field adjacent to her home to harvest mung beans when lightning struck her, said Rangabali Police Station OC Shamsul Arefin.


7 notable weather events observed across United States this April

This photo composite shows the snow water equivalent-- water content of snow -- in the Tuolumne River Basin in 2015 and 2017. White and the lighter blue indicates less snow, while deeper blue represents more snow. NASA reports: "The 2017 snow water equivalent was 21 times greater than 2015, which was the lowest snowpack on record."
Spring can bring interesting weather conditions to the U.S. and this year is no exception, with several impressive records having already been set so far this April.

While not setting records, a few other unusual and notable weather occurrences have caught our eye this month.

1) California's Northern Sierra Nevada Set Record For All-Time Wettest 'Water Year'

On April 13, California's northern Sierra Nevada set a new record for its all-time wettest water year with an accumulated average of 89.7 inches of water. The previous record of 88.5 inches was set during the 1982-83 water year. To put it in perspective, the average water year sees 50 inches of precipitation.

The water year runs from October through September, but most precipitation falls from November through March. By April, the storm track typically shifts reducing the chance for additional precipitation. This year, however, has been different with rain and mountain snow continuing to fall this month, allowing records to topple.

Comment: According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) there have been 5,372 preliminary reports of severe weather across the United States in 2017 (up to April 8), which is more than double the average.

For more coverage on the extreme weather affecting the entire planet, check out our monthly SOTT Earth Changes Summaries. Last month:

SOTT Earth Changes Summary - March 2017: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills two in Meghalaya, India

Two persons died on the spot and another suffered burn injuries after lightning struck them when they were playing football in Meghalaya s South West Khasi Hills district, officials said today.

The incident took place yesterday at Umsur village playground under Ranikor PS in the district, he said.

The IMD has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall over Meghalaya in the next 72 hours.

Source: PTI

Comment: See also this other recent report from Asia: Lightning strike kills farmer in Laxmipur, Bangladesh


Arlene forms as only the second tropical storm on record in April

© National Hurricane Center
The year's first tropical storm, Arlene, was located in the north-central Atlantic on Thursday and wasn't expected to threaten land. In fact it could dissipate by Friday.
The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season formed Thursday afternoon some 1,700 miles east of the U.S. East Coast.

Tropical Storm Arlene is just the second on record to form in April, the Weather Channel said. The only other tropical storm to form during the month was Ana in 2003. Hurricane season officially starts June 1.

Arlene's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph, with higher gusts, the National Hurricane Center said. It was located about 815 miles west of the Azores. The system poses no threat to land and is forecast to dissipate Friday.

"I have to add one more surprise to my long hurricane forecasting career," hurricane center meteorologist Lixion Avila wrote in an online forecast discussion.

"Tropical storms in April are rare and Arlene is only the second one observed in this month," since the satellite era began in the early 1960s, he added. Before that time, such storms were practically impossible to detect.

Arlene is also the farthest north a tropical storm has formed in the Atlantic so early in the season.

Comment: The low pressure inside Arlene of 993mb was the lowest pressure ever recorded for a tropical or subtropical cyclone in April in the Atlantic.

Cloud Lightning

Five killed by lightning strikes across Bangladesh

Two fishermen named Marzan and Yusuf were struck by lightning while catching fish in the Kalbadar River in Mehendiganj

Five persons including two siblings were killed when they got struck by lightning in three districts Thursday.

Our Noakhali correspondent reported that lightning strikes accompanied by thundershowers claimed the lives of two siblings in the district in the evening.

Anowar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Sudharam police station, said that Lipi Akter, 11, and Shariful Islam, 8, of Dakkhinchar Sulukia village were struck by lightning when they went to nearby field to call his father home during the shower.

Snowflake Cold

Central Europe shivers as snowfall covers spring blossoms

Snow in Slovakia
A cold spell sweeping across central Europe has brought snow back to some countries including Germany, Poland and Slovakia.

Most of Romania is shivering under sub-zero temperatures and winds exceeding 70 kilometres per hour, and the mountainous regions have been blanketed in snow.

In eastern Ukraine, a white coat, 30 centimetres thick in some areas, has covered the early spring blossoms. In Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, the weight of the snow pulled down trees and electric supply lines, leaving over a thousand homes without any power.

In Switzerland too, more than 20 centimeters of snow has fallen in two days, and the freezing temperatures are starting to worry farmers and winegrowers alike.

The cold spell could bite until the middle of next week.