Cloud Lightning

Rain-Triggered Landslide Leaves 18 Dead, 4 Injured in China

Xi'an - Eighteen people were confirmed dead and four others injured in a rain-triggered landslide that lashed Lueyang County in northwestern Shaanxi Province Tuesday, local authorities said Wednesday.

Torrential rain hit Lueyang County from 3 a.m. to midday Tuesday, triggering a 5,000-cubic-meter landslide that engulfed a two-story building in the county seat at 11:15 a.m., the government of Hanzhong city said in a statement.

The local government sent more than 400 people to the site for rescue operations.

Rescuers reached 22 people, but 17 were already dead, and one died after treatment failed. Four others were injured and are hospitalized.

Also in Lueyang, an 80-year-old villager, Sun Guiying, remain missing after she was swept away while crossing a torrential river Tuesday.

As of midnight Wednesday, the downpours that have also wreaked havoc in 10 other counties of Hanzhong City have affected 102,300 people and forced evacuation of nearly 5,000.

Bizarro Earth

South Dakota, US: Rampaging Missouri River Defies Its Master

© Rich Sugg
Yankton - Gary Schaeffer's grandkids ran to an overlook of Gavins Point Dam.

"Ooh, man. Ooh." Schaeffer followed and looked down in disbelief. A riot of water roiled where he'd spent a lifetime of lazy fishing.

"I've never seen anything like it," he said. "Nothing even close."

Eight years out of 10, the 14 flood gates, 40 feet wide, spill not so much as a bucket of the brown water into the Missouri River.

Now enough is barreling out of Lewis & Clark Lake to cover a football field 3½ feet deep every second. Water will race through the dam at that record rate, ultimately swamping farms and towns for hundreds of miles downstream, through August.

"When your bathtub is full, you just can't put any more water in it," said Dave Becker, the operations manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Gavins Point. "Water is going to spill over."

But how did the bathtub get so full? Why did the six huge Missouri River reservoirs - Gavins Point is the farthest downstream - fill to the brim and force the months-long release of floodwater?

The short answer: The corps could have prevented or drastically held down flooding by opening flood gates sooner. The reasons it didn't - reasons putting government water managers on the spot this summer - rest in a tangle of history, physics, meteorology and politics.

Cloud Lightning

US: Massive Haboob Moves Across Parts of Phoenix Valley

A massive haboob moved through the Valley Tuesday night, reducing visibility and kicking up dangerous high winds.
© Unknown
According to ABC15 meteorologist Rich Dahlquist, the wall of dust boasted sustained winds of around 60 miles per hour, close to hurricane force winds.

The powerful gusts knocked down power poles in parts of the East Valley, including Mesa, and led to outages affecting thousands of customers.

The thick dust reduced visibility in parts of the Valley to zero even before the sun set.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Scott Walker said they received 720 emergency phone calls between 5 and 7 p.m. and the storm kept crews busy across the city well into the night.

Communities across the Valley remain under a severe thunderstorm watch until 11 p.m.


US: Dust Storm Warning across Phoenix, Arizona

The National Weather Service in Phoenix has issued a Local dust Storm Warning for northwestern Pinal County in south central Arizona eastern Maricopa County in south central Arizona.

There is a 'Ground Stop' in effect, which means all flights coming in our going out of Sky Harbor Airport have been halted.

Video | News | Weather | Sports

Tue Jul 05 19:38:24 PDT 2011

Historic dust storm moves across Phoenix metro

The National Weather Service in Phoenix issued a local dust storm warning for northwestern Pinal County in south central Arizona eastern Maricopa County in south central Arizona. view full article

Bizarro Earth

Mexican civil protection authorities confirm 11 dead from Tropical Storm Arlene and aftermath

Mexico City - Mexican authorities have confirmed 11 deaths from Tropical Storm Arlene and the aftermath of floods, mudslides and overflowing rivers in central Mexico and Gulf Coast states.

State civil protection officials say five people in Hidalgo, two young children in Mexico state and a rescue worker and woman in Veracruz were killed. Most died after being buried alive in their homes by mudslides or drowning in heavy currents while trying to cross swollen streams.

Bizarro Earth

Weather: Floods, landslides threaten Visayas, Mindanao, PAGASA says

Flash floods and landslides caused by rains from two low-pressure areas threaten parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, state weather forecasters said Sunday afternoon.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the first LPA was estimated at 315 km west of Calapan, Mindoro Oriental as of 2 p.m.

On the other hand, the second LPA was estimated at 850 km east of Surigao City.

Both LPAs are embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, PAGASA said.

"Visayas and Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flashfloods and landslides," PAGASA said.

While PAGASA did not say if the LPAs would intensify into a cyclone, Philippine weather site Typhoon2000 indicated a tropical cyclone is possible between July 4 and 9 (Monday and Saturday).

Bad Guys

Floods at China Mines Trap '40'

Rescuers in southern China are trying to reach more than 40 workers in two coal mines after one pit was flooded and the other caved in.

They are venting explosive gas and pumping water from a mine in Guangxi region, where three miners died.

Flooding has continued to hamper rescue work at the other mine in the neighbouring province of Guizhou.

China's mines are the world's deadliest; more than 2,600 miners died in accidents in 2009 alone.

Heavy rain was said to have caused the latest accidents.

Cloud Lightning

Minnesota, US: National Weather Service: Tornado, Downburst Hit St. Cloud Metro

© Jodie PecheSkies over Whitney Park in north St. Cloud.
The National Weather Service says it was a weak tornado in Waite Park and a downburst north of Downtown St. Cloud Friday night that did much of the damage in the St. Cloud area.

According to the NWS, a tornado touched down just north of the Interstate 94 and Highway 23 intersection, moved northeast at around 65 mph and dissipated in Waite Park, some 2.3 miles later. The NWS says the tornado was as big as 30 yards wide as it broke or toppled trees in its path, touching down in five distinct locations along its path. All of this happened from around 6:23 to 6:26 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, downburst winds of 65 to 70 miles an hour hit north of downtown St. Cloud, toppling hundreds of trees which landed on houses, sheds and vehicles.

The NWS says the damage from the downburst was far more widespread and significant than from the tornado.

Alarm Clock

Minnesota, US: Weather Service Confirms Tornado Touchdown in Douglas County

© Jed CarlsonPeople work to clean up debris Saturday afternoon at a home off Ramel Road in Solon Springs. The mobile home had been moved off its foundation and many trees and items outside where uprooted and overturned in the storm on Friday evening.
The National Weather Service in Duluth confirmed late Saturday that a tornado touched down near Solon Springs during the severe storms that moved across the region Friday night.

According to a preliminary survey report, the most significant damage observed by the Weather Service survey team was EF2 on the 0-5 Enhanced Fujita scale, with peak winds estimated at 120 to 130 mph.

The path of the tornado was estimated at 2.9 miles, with a width of 300 yards, stretching from 3.6 miles southwest of Solon Springs to 1.3 miles west of Solon Springs. The tornado was on the ground for about three minutes, from 7:51 p.m. to 7:54 p.m. There were a few injuries from the tornado, but no fatalities.

The Weather Service reported that the tornado shifted a manufactured home off its foundation and rotated it about 30 degrees from its original orientation, and then destroyed a wood-frame home along Ramel Road. Some debris from the second home was found 1/3 of a mile away.

Cloud Lightning

Colorado, US: Lightning Suspected in Northeast Denver Home Explosion

© Jordan Steffen/The Denver PostThe scene at 4524 Eureka Court in Denver, late Friday morning.
Lightning is suspected in a Thursday night explosion that ignited a devastating fire at a northeast Denver home.

About 11:30 p.m., firefighters were called to 4524 Eureka Court, said Todd Bower, deputy chief of the Denver Fire Department.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, and none of the three people inside the home was injured.

The cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, but investigators think it may have been the result of lightning striking the attached garage, Bower said.

The bolt of lightning likely caused several propane tanks in the garage to ignite and explode.

On Friday morning, a charred car remained under rubble that was once the garage of the burned home. All that was left of the south side of the home was a skeleton of wood and black ash.