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Storms

Cloud Lightning

Storm spawns snow, tornado in Northern California

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© Kent Porter / The Press Democrat
A powerful winter storm raked Northern California on Friday, unleashing a small tornado that tore the roof off a business and bringing heavy snow to the Sierra Nevada that was blamed for a fatal chain-reaction crash on Interstate 80.

The afternoon crash in the mountains 70 miles east of Sacramento involved at least six big rigs and 15 vehicles, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Curtis Fouyer said.

A man who appeared to be in his 60s was found dead, but Fouyer did not know if he was in one of the vehicles crushed by a big rig. Other motorists called police to report they were trapped but uninjured.

"They're still pulling things apart to figure out what's where and get the cars moved," Fouyer said three hours after the crash near Yuba Gap, a popular weekend sledding destination.

Cloud Lightning

2010 Extreme Weather: Deadliest Year In A Generation

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© Unknown
This was the year the Earth struck back.

Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 - the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.

"It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010.

"The term '100-year event' really lost its meaning this year."

And we have ourselves to blame most of the time, scientists and disaster experts say.


Comment: Interesting how the blame is assigned to those who are struggling daily with the effects of psychopathy at the top (including scientific establishment), and with the influence of those who are in fact responsible for the negligence, mediocrity, political manipulations and lies so prevalent in our nowadays society.


Even though many catastrophes have the ring of random chance, the hand of man made this a particularly deadly, costly, extreme and weird year for everything from wild weather to earthquakes.

Poor construction and development practices conspire to make earthquakes more deadly than they need be. More people live in poverty in vulnerable buildings in crowded cities. That means that when the ground shakes, the river breaches, or the tropical cyclone hits, more people die.

Cloud Lightning

US: Storm Slams Into Bay Area; Winds Batter Santa Rosa

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A blast of high wind slammed into a Santa Rosa neighborhood early Friday, damaging a landscape company while a rare tornado warning was issued for San Mateo County as a winter storm ravaged the Bay Area.

The gust struck Santa Rosa's Sequoia Landscape Materials on Pacific Avenue and King Street, ripping off the roof. Witnesses said they saw a funnel cloud moments before the gust hit the neighborhood.

However, the National Weather Service could not confirm the winds were caused by a tornado until investigating the scene.

Owner Sue Minnigerode said she looked outside her business at 1330 King St. when she heard the wind howling around 9:45 a.m. and saw pieces of the 100-foot long shed fly onto nearby Pacific Avenue.

Debris from the shed landed in nearby power lines and on properties three houses away, she said.

"I saw the wind just pick up the roof and blow it up into the air," Minnigerode told the Press Democrat.

At around 11 a.m., the NWS Doppler radio indicated a tornado cloud had been spotted over Belmont moving northeast at 40 mph.

A tornado was in effect for San Mateo County until at least 11:30 a.m.

Bizarro Earth

Aqua Satellite Spots Rare Southern Atlantic Sub-tropical Storm

Tropical Storm Arani
© NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
On March 14 at 1553 UTC (11:53 a.m. EST) NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Sub-Tropical Storm Arani along the Brazilian coast. Most of the convection and thunderstorms (purple) were limited to the eastern half of the storm.
NASA's Aqua satellite spotted some strong convection in a recently formed low pressure area that strengthened into Sub-Tropical Storm Arani in the South Atlantic. Arani formed near the coast of Brazil and is now moving away from it. Tropical cyclones in the Atlantic are a rare occurrence and since 2004 there have only been three of them, Arani being the third.

On March 14, 2011 at 1553 UTC (11:53 a.m. EST) the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Sub-Tropical Storm Arani moving away from the Brazilian coast. Most of the convection and thunderstorms were limited to the eastern half of the storm at the time of the image. The strong areas of convection (rapidly rising air that condenses and forms the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone) appeared on the imagery as a sideways boomerang, and were off-shore, paralleling the coast.

AIRS measured the temperatures in those strong areas of convection and found they were as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) indicating some strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. That heavy rainfall was occurring off-shore. NASA's AIRS imagery is created at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

On March 15 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EST), the Brazilian Navy issued a special marine warning for the Brazilian coast. The warning stated that Sub-Tropical Storm Arani was located near 24.0 South latitude and 37 West longitude. Arani had a minimum central pressure of 998 millibars and was moving east-southeast near 10 to 15 knot winds.

Cloud Lightning

Ten killed in south Brazil floods, thousands evacuated

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© Reuters/ Bruno Domingos
At least 10 people have been killed and over 21,000 evacuated in floods in the south of Brazil, civil defense officials reported.

Torrential rain caused floods and landslides and destroyed roads in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana.

Two people are missing. Overall, up to 60,000 residents of the South American country's south have been affected.

Bizarro Earth

US: Terrifying ordeal for 800 motorists rescued from their cars as blizzard sweeps through North Dakota

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© AP
Going nowhere: Motorists had to abandon their cars in North Dakota after 60mph winds caused a blizzard and plunging temperatures turned roads to ice rinks.
Around 800 people had to be rescued from their cars after a blizzard in North Dakota made roads impassable.

Motorists were yesterday forced to abandon their vehicles after 60mph winds created whiteouts and plunging temperatures turned roads to ice rinks throughout the state.

Traffic came to a grinding halt and there were multiple pileups that caused more delay. Miraculously there were reports of only minor injuries.

Rescue workers, including around 70 soldiers, had to use military lorries and other heavy vehicles that could plough through huge snow drifts to pluck people from more than 500 cars abandoned along major highway routes.

They were taken to churches, schools, bars and gas stations that became makeshift shelters while the highways were closed.

Katie Woodbury, a North Dakota State College freshman, was driving from the school in Fargo to her family's farm in Stanley, northwest North Dakota, when road conditions forced her take shelter at a church in Medina.

'It was scary - I was talking to myself the whole time,' she said of her drive. 'I just want to get home and see my mom and dad and the 13 new piglets at the farm.'

She said she talked to her parents by phone today and, after having a hot meal, was just waiting for the weather to clear.

Telescope

Auroras Invade the US as Solar Storm Engulfs Earth

Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from a CME strike on March 10th. During the past 24 hours, Northern Lights have descended as far south as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan in the United States. "It was nice to see the aurora borealis again after so many years of low activity," says Jerry Zhu, who sends this picture from Madison, WI:

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© Jerry Zhu
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© Travis Novitsky

Igloo

Winter Storm Hits Greece, Turkey with Snow, High Wind

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© Associated Press
Plowing snow on Penteli Mountain, northern Athens, Greece, on March 9, 2011
A severe winter storm has swept over much of Greece and Turkey, disrupting travel, closing schools and knocking out power.

The storm, which began on Monday, continued unleashing high winds and snow into Wednesday.

High winds raking southward over the Aegean Sea made for a serious marine hazard for shipping. Ferries linking the many islands and mainland ports were subjected to cuts in service.

Ships were not allowed to sail from Piraeus and a number of other ports, reports said.

Sun

Powerful X-Class Solar Flare

March 9th ended with a powerful solar flare. Earth-orbiting satellites detected an X1.5-class explosion from behemoth sunspot 1166 around 2323 UT. A movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a bright flash of UV radiation plus some material being hurled away from the blast site:



After four years without any X-flares, the sun has produced two of the powerful blasts in less than one month: Feb. 15th and March 9th. This continues the recent trend of increasing solar activity, and shows that Solar Cycle 24 is heating up. NOAA forecasters estimate a 5% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours.

Cloud Lightning

US: Northeast next after twisters, floods hit South

Alabama, Louisiana declare emergencies; N.J. expects 'significant event'

Alabama and Louisiana on Wednesday declared states of emergency after twisters hit some areas, while floods submerged others - all part of a severe storm system making its way to the Northeast, where significant flooding was expected Thursday.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie late Wednesday declared a state of emergency for areas along the Passaic and Delaware rivers and flood-prone Bound Brook in Somerset County.

In the South earlier Wednesday, winds tore roofs off buildings, overturned cars and injured several people. A woman died in a house fire in Mississippi that authorities believe was caused by lightning.

Two apparent tornadoes damaged buildings near Mobile in southwest Alabama, hours after several tornadoes were reported to the west near New Orleans, La.

Several tornadoes also touched down in southern Mississippi damaging some mobile homes, according to the police department in Biloxi.