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Thu, 18 Jan 2018
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Cloud Precipitation

Four killed and flights suspended as storm batters Europe

A woman clears snow from the pavement in Hamburg, northern Germany.
© Axel Heimken
A woman clears snow from the pavement in Hamburg, northern Germany.
Severe storm batters Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and parts of UK, uprooting power lines and trees

Three people have been killed in the Netherlands and one person in Belgium, and all flights were briefly suspended at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, as a severe storm battered north-west Europe.

The hub scrapped 260 flights amid gusts of nearly 90mph (140km/h). Schiphol later said some flights would resume as the storm moved inland, but there would be severe delays.

Comment: See also: Storms Batter The Netherlands: All Five Dutch Storm Gates Closed For The First Time In History

Snowflake Cold

Snowstorm leads to over 500 collisions in North Carolina, state of emergency declared

500 collisions occur amid disruptive snowstorm in North Carolina
A storm will continue to spread snow from the Carolinas and Virginia to New England throughout the day on Wednesday, challenging commuters and work crews looking to keep the roads clear.

The heaviest snow is expected to fall across portions of central North Carolina and south-central Virginia, where 4-8 inches of snow are predicted to accumulate.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Tuesday ahead of the storm.

"Nearly all of North Carolina will be impacted by this winter storm, and we're making sure North Carolina is ready," Cooper said. "I urge all of our residents to be prepared and to stay safe."

Comment: Earth's climate fluctuates cyclically and the changes in weather patterns we're seeing are those which precede an ice age so these increasingly long and cold winters will become more common place and if our infrastructure isn't upgraded to deal with it, we will see greater tragedies in the very near future: Also check out SOTT's monthly video documenting the changes happening on our planet: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - December 2017: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Storms Batter The Netherlands: All Five Dutch Storm Gates Closed For The First Time In History

storm nederland
© Tineke Dijkstra
Strong storm on the Dutch coast. The storm led to high water levels near the shore.
When storm Eleanor was sweeping through Europe in early January, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) issued a code orange weather warning for northwestern provinces due to powerful wind gusts. The storm caused widespread damage and chaos in the Netherlands: Trees crashed down blocking the roads, flights were canceled, and several buildings were damaged.

It also led to high water levels, which moved the Dutch infrastructure agency, Rijkswaterstaat, to simultaneously close all five flood barriers for the first time in history. These storm surge barriers are:
  • The Maeslantkering, a flood barrier on the Nieuwe Waterweg, which closes if the city of Rotterdam is threatened by floods.
  • The Hartelkering, another barrier which lies in the city of Spijkenisse. The last time this gate was closed, was in November 8th, 2007, after a storm hit the Dutch coast.
  • The five-mile-long Oosterscheldekering in the province Zeeland, south-west of the country.
  • The Hollandsche IJsselkering in the province Zuid-Holland, near the city of Rotterdam.
  • The Balgstuw Ramspol, an inflatable rubber dam, which lies between the lakes Ketelmeer and the Zwarte Meer, in the province of Flevoland.

Snowflake Cold

Winter Storm Inga: Travel chaos, power outages and at least 10 killed in southern US

Winter storm warnings US South
© The Weather Channel
Winter storm warnings have been issued for parts of Texas
Winter Storm Inga unloaded snow and ice on much of the South Tuesday and Wednesday, and with frigid temperatures moving in behind the snowstorm, travel in the region has been all but shut down and at least 100,000 homes and businesses were in the dark.

At least seven deaths have been blamed on the winter storm. Authorities in Bibb County, Georgia, confirmed a fatal crash caused by wintry conditions killed two people Wednesday morning along Interstate 75, and the roadway was shut down the road for an extended period of time. On Tuesday afternoon, a woman died in a crash on Interstate 64 in Cabell County, West Virginia, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

In Metairie, Louisiana, a baby died after a vehicle crashed into a canal, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The mother remains in critical condition following the crash that was likely caused by icy roads, the report added. The governor's office announced three more deaths caused by the storm.

Three other deaths were blamed on the brutally cold weather that rushed in behind the storm. Officials in Houston reported two deaths from cold-weather exposure and Memphis authorities said there was one confirmed fatality.

Hundreds of flights were canceled across the South again on Wednesday, including in Atlanta and Charlotte, where the former was in a ground stop in the morning hours and the latter was facing multi-hour delays.

Residents were urged to stay home and off the roads as several Southern cities attempted to avoid a repeat of recent "Snowpocalypse" events, when hundreds of thousands of motorists were stranded on icy roadways for several hours. Nevertheless, officials reported hundreds of accidents on slick roads in the metro Atlanta area on Wednesday

Comment: How treacherous did some of the roads get? Check out this tweet of the ice skating police officer:

Winter Storm Inga is the second major storm to hit the US in two weeks following Storm Grayson. A new storm system is forecast for the US West, Plains and Midwest into next week.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt strikes 4 boys in Namibia, kills one

Four boys were struck by lighting at the Otjikuanjimi cattle post in the Kunene region's Epupa constituency on Saturday.

Acting regional crime investigation coordinator for Kunene, detective chief inspector Paavo Iyambo confirmed the incident to Nampa yesterday, saying the boys had taken cover from the rain under a tree when they were struck by lightning.

"One of them died on the scene, while the other three were rushed to the Opuwo District Hospital for medical attention," Iyambo said.

Cloud Lightning

Two children killed by lightning bolt in Malawi

Two Standard 6 learners in Lilongwe were on Monday hit by lightning as they were chatting in a maize field.

Malawi24 caught up with Kanengo police spokesperson Labani Makalani who has confirmed the issue.

Makalani said the two were hit by lightning at Mzondo Kachimbwinda village, Traditional Authority Chitukula in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe

Makalani has identified the two as Patricia Guwe,12, and Anderson Yohane, 16, both from Mzondo Kachimbwinda, Traditional Authority Chitukula in Lilongwe.

"They were in love affair and were chatting in maize field when rain with thunders found them there. Then today morning they were found dead with all signs showing they died due to lightning," Makalani said.


Nearly two feet of snow wallops Wilmington, Massachusetts

Thursday's snowstorm brought almost two feet of snow in some areas of town, with snow falling from 7 a.m. on Thursday through into the night. Wilmington DPW, however, was ex­pecting the snow to start at 3 a.m., so they delayed their start plowing until about 10:30 a.m.

Operations Manager Jamie Ma­galdi explained that the excessive winds make it hard to quantify exactly how much snow fell, but he provided an average of 17.5 inches throughout the day. This storm fell in the midst of an extremely cold week, with temperatures in the negative degrees, which made the cleanup and the aftermath of the storm particularly difficult.

Magaldi shared that the town had a total of 90 workers plowing from Thursday morning to Friday afternoon.

"We had 45 staff and 45 contractors," he said.

The equipment they use ranges from snow plows to front loaders to sidewalk cleaners.


Heavy snowfall traps 430 passengers overnight on stranded train in Japan

Passengers on Friday walk out of a train on East Japan Railway Co.'s Shinetsu Line, where they spent the night after being stranded
Passengers on Friday walk out of a train on East Japan Railway Co.'s Shinetsu Line, where they spent the night after being stranded between stations by heavy snowfall the night before in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture
Around 430 passengers in Niigata Prefecture were forced to spend the night on a packed four-car train after it got stranded Thursday evening by heavy snow along the Sea of Japan coast.

According to rescue workers, five passengers — a man in his 40s and four women in their teens and 20s — were found unwell when they arrived, and the man was taken to a hospital. The train, which was bound for Nagaoka from Niigata, resumed service Friday morning about 15 hours after getting stuck.

More than half of the passengers on the train on the East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) Shinetsu Line were evacuated earlier in the morning, with families arriving to pick them up by car.

While JR East said the train's interior lights and heating worked properly, it only had one bathroom and the toilet paper ran out, passengers said. Some said they took turns using the seats to relieve passengers who were standing.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills man in Zimbabwe

A Karoi man was struck by lightning while seated under a tree during a thunderstorm. Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara said Mr Tatenda Hotel (22) died on Tuesday afternoon at Vuka Farm after being struck by a lightning bolt.

Mr Hotel was in the field with his friend Mr Peter Golden (24) when he sought refuge from the rain under a tree. While seated under the tree, Mr Golden decided to continue with his work in the field, while Mr Hotel stayed behind.

"Golden left Hotel sitting under the tree as he commenced his work, but immediately Hotel was struck by a lightning bolt and died on the spot," said Insp Mabgweazara. After noticing what had happened, Mr Golden rushed and informed the owner of the farm, Mr Godfrey Musaniwa, who made a report at Karoi rural police station.

Cloud Lightning

Farmer killed by lightning strike in Cambodia

A 56-year-old farmer died and another was injured on Tuesday when lightning struck them in Pursat province's Krakor district as they farmed in the rain.

Yo Soleang, 56, died from his injures, while On Sokheoun, 27, survived and is recovering. Both are from Tnot Chum commune.

Chap Sokheoun, Tnot Chum commune police chief, said the victims were harvesting cassava on their farm when they were struck by lightning.

"One man died immediately," he said. "Villagers rushed to send the other victim, a woman, to the hospital. She survived and is recovering."