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Thu, 24 May 2018
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Symbolism: Sinkhole opens up on White House lawn

A sinkhole has appeared on the White House North Lawn.
© Jacqueline Alemany / CBS News
A sinkhole has appeared on the White House North Lawn.
A sinkhole has appeared on the White House's North Lawn -- which has naturally spawned jokes on the internet.

The sinkhole, confirmed by groundskeepers, is just outside the office of White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley. The sinkhole, which groundskeepers remarked was smaller than they thought it might be, was roped off with cones and caution tape.

But, according to reporters who have observed it, it appears to be growing.

On Twitter, the hole's appearance garnered jokes about the president's "drain the swamp" slogan and that the sinkhole was actually a portal to another dimension.

Cloud Precipitation

Paris hit by flash flooding and severe hailstorm

Drivers struggle on the Paris roads after rainfall caused flash floods
© Sylvie Johnsson
Drivers struggle on the Paris roads after rainfall caused flash floods
The streets and Métro stations in Paris have been flooded after unseasonal storms brought heavy rainfall and strong hail to the capital - while strong hail further south in Vaucluse has destroyed crops.

The capital's streets looked more like rivers - and stairwells more like waterfalls - yesterday afternoon, with areas in the north and the west said to be most affected.

While temperatures remained at seasonal norms - at around 22°C for most of the day - hail battered the streets and settled, looking at times snow-like in consistency.


Tornado1

After rare tropical cyclone Sagar devastates Somalia, a second aims for Oman

tropical cyclone near the Arabian Peninsula
© Joint Typhoon Warning Center
A satellite view of a tropical cyclone near the Arabian Peninsula that is expected to hit Oman later this week.
In less than a week's time, two tropical cyclones will have battered the Middle East in highly unusual locations.

Tropical cyclone Sagar slammed into northwestern Somalia over the weekend, after forming in the Gulf of Aden, killing at least 31 people in the region. The storm made landfall farther west in the North Indian Ocean basin than any previous storm on record.

Now, a second cyclone has spun up just to the east, due south of the Arabian Peninsula. The rapidly organizing storm is eyeing Oman's southern coast, where it may make landfall at hurricane-strength late this week.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center says the cyclone is over very warm waters, between about 87 and 90 degrees. "Extremely warm sea surface temperatures and favorable environmental conditions will lead to steady intensification," the center wrote in its latest update.

The center forecasts the storm to make landfall near Salalah along Oman's southeast coast between Friday and Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of more than 90 mph. Salalah is Oman's second-largest city with a population of about 200,000. Assuming the storm remains on its current track, the area can expect torrential rain, damaging winds and dangerously high seas.

Brian McNoldy, Capital Weather Gang's tropical weather expert, said that since 1980, only three "hurricane-strength" storms have made landfall within 100 miles of the Oman-Yemen coast, and none near Salalah.

Windsock

Footage shows severe windstorm toppling tower crane in Astana, Kazakhstan

Astana wind storm

Violent winds caused damage to the Palace of Peace and Accord in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 22nd, 2018.
A severe windstorm struck Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, on May 22nd, 2018. Gusts of up to 90 kph (about 56 mph) toppled a tower crane and caused damage to cars and some buildings including the iconic Palace of Peace and Accord, a 62-metre high pyramid.

The violent winds were accompanied by a strong hailstorm. The mayor's office said 13 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the storm but warned that winds of a similar strength were expected today.


Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rains, landslides kill 5 in Sri Lanka, while Cyclone Sagar kills 15 in Somaliland

flood
Heavy monsoon rains in Sri Lanka have killed five people, prompting authorities to warn against landslides and floods in low-lying areas after spill gates had to be opened across the Indian Ocean island.

Lightning killed three people, a landslide a fourth, and the fifth death was the result of a fallen tree, said officials at the country's Disaster Management Centre.

The centre's spokesman, Pradeep Kodippili, said flooding has forced the evacuation of people in areas where several rivers are overflowing, while four districts are on "red alert" for possible landslides.

People in those four districts have been cautioned to be vigilant," Kodippili told Reuters.

The army has sent more than 100 soldiers with more than 25 boats to tackle the emergency, its spokesman, Sumith Atapattu, told Reuters.


Comment: Rare cyclone in Gulf of Aden brings flooding to Yemen, Somalia, Djibouti


Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes have killed at least 50 people and 52 cattle across Cambodia so far in 2018

A dead cow after being hit by lightning.
© Swift News
A dead cow after being hit by lightning.
Lightning strikes have killed at least 50 people thus far this year, a government official said on Friday.

Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said in a statement that since January, 50 people have been killed and another 37 injured, while 52 cattle were killed and more than ten houses were damaged.

"Everyone must be careful during rainstorms and beware of lightning," he said. "Most will occur in April, May and June. It is a dangerous period for natural disasters."

Shortly after Mr Vy's statement was issued, two more people were killed as they slept after being struck with lightning at their home in Ratanakkiri province's Veun Sai district.

Cloud Precipitation

Ice Age Farmer Report: Kilauea's explosive eruption, biblical hail kills people, crops

volcano
Explosive eruption at Kilauea this morning after increased seismic activity overnight. More massive hail storms around the world are damaging people, homes, animals, and crops alike, much as records from the previous Grand Solar Minima indicate happened in the past as well. Are you growing your own food yet?


Sources

Comment: See in addition for some more historical perspective: Baseball-sized hail: How severe hailstorms have caused devastation and killed people


Tornado2

Viewer films "landspout" tornado near Pearl, Illinois

Rex Kindheart captured a fantastic look at a
© Rex Kindheart
Rex Kindheart captured a fantastic look at a "landpspout" tornado.
Rex Kindheart captured a fantastic look at a "landspout" tornado near Pearl, Illinois Tuesday evening.

So what exactly is a "landspout" tornado?

They are called "landspout" tornadoes because they form on the surface of the ground then stretch up into the thunderstorm cloud. They are usually very weak and don't live very long. This is the complete opposite of how classic strong tornadoes develop.

Classic tornadoes form with rotation aloft that tightens down toward the ground.

Tornado2

Waterspout captured on camera off Fort Morgan, Alabama

FOX10 News viewer Sam Sumlin provides these images of a waterspout seen from the beach at Fort Morgan.

FOX10 News viewer Sam Sumlin provides these images of a waterspout seen from the beach at Fort Morgan.
FOX10 News viewer Sam Sumlin shared these pictures and a video clip with us after he encountered a waterspout while he was on the beach on the Fort Morgan peninsula Saturday morning.


Cloud Precipitation

Torrential rains flood city of New Orleans - over 4 inches in hour and a half

3600 Block of Dumaine Street in Mid-City.
© Josh Adams
3600 Block of Dumaine Street in Mid-City.
A series of summertime storms once again brought the city of New Orleans to its knees as flooded streets brought the evening commute to a screeching halt.

Up to four and a half inches of rain fell over parts of the city in as little as an hour and a half, clogging catch basins and causing flooding in areas that were also hard hit last August.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell lifted the parking restrictions on the neutral grounds across the city and encouraged citizens to get their cars to higher ground.