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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
The World for People who Think


Cloud Lightning

Woman killed by lightning in South Africa

A 49-year-old South African woman died on Friday, after she was struck by lightning on a farm in Ladybrand in Free State, paramedics said.

"When ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene at 4.35pm, they found the woman lying on the ground covered with a blanket. The police were already in attendance," ER24 spokesperson Ineke van Huyssteen said.

"Upon further assessment, paramedics found that the woman had sustained extensive burn wounds to the front part of her body. Unfortunately, the woman showed no signs of life and she was declared dead on the scene by ER24."

Source: African News Agency

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow hits Shanghai for first time in a decade

Shanghai snow

Extreme weather disrupts flights and train services, with several road accidents during rush hour

Shanghai residents are revelling in rare snow, but the extreme weather has disrupted flights and trains in the region and the city also saw a series of traffic accidents during rush hour on Friday.

Many people braved the cold to enjoy the novelty of snow blanketing downtown Shanghai, which has not seen significant snowfall for a decade. In the city's central area, the snow was 4cm deep, while in the suburbs it was 5cm to 10cm.

Zhao Fang, an office manager and mother of a preschooler, said she took the day off work and gave her son the day off school on Friday to fully enjoy the snow.

"We don't want to miss this rare opportunity to play in the snow," she said. "Who knows how many more years it will be before snow will fall again in Shanghai."

Photos shared online by thrilled residents showed people frolicking in the snow, leaving messages on snow-covered cars, making snow angels and building snowmen.

But dozens of parks were closed for safety reasons until the snow was cleared, local news website Xinmin.cn reported.

Comment: Blizzard wreaks havoc across Central, Eastern China

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 16 cattle in Zambia

Lightning has killed 16 head of cattle in Chipili District in Luapula Province.

Chipili Town Council Chairperson Isaac Kafwimbi says the animals owned by five farmers of Mukanga Village in Chieftainess Mwenda's Chiefdom died on the spot after being struck by lightning in a communally owned kraal.

Mr Kafwimbi says the people of Chipili are still in shocked from the accident.

He says it is sad that at the time when farmers in the district are making efforts to start keeping cattle such an accident can happen.

Mr Kafwimbi has since called on government through the office of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to find means of helping the affected farmers.

Snowflake Cold

Blizzard wreaks havoc across Central, Eastern China

Airport crews remove snow from an airplane at Changzhou airport, in Jiangsu province, on Jan. 25, 2018.
Airport crews remove snow from an airplane at Changzhou airport, in Jiangsu province, on Jan. 25, 2018. A blizzard caused flight and train delays Thursday and Friday across much of central and eastern China.
A blizzard sweeping across central and eastern China since Thursday has led to cancellations and delays of dozens of flights and high-speed train services.

Up to 20 centimeters (7.87 inches) of snow had fallen by 5 a.m. Friday on southern parts of Henan province, northwest Hubei, southwestern parts of Jiangsu, northern Zhejiang province and Shanghai, according to China's Central Meteorological Administration.

In Shanghai, the first heavy snow to hit the metropolis this winter forced the city's two airports, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao Airport, to cancel 138 flights - nearly 12% of scheduled flights - by 6p.m on Thursday., according to the city's airport authority. Seven more were delayed by at least two hours. Another 70 flights out of Shanghai had been cancelled by midday Friday.

Cloud Precipitation

River of hail filmed in Sutherland, South Africa

© Starry Night Sutherland
A "river of hail" ploughs its way through Sutherland, Northern Cape, South Africa
A rare phenomenon caused 'rivers of hail' through the town

As Cape Town gears up for day zero, many citizens are resigning themselves to dry dams and a complete shutdown of their taps. But, as we've seen in the Northern Cape, it may not be time to rule out a miracle just yet.

The NC territory is experiencing a drought just like its neighbour to the south. Resources have been stretched even across such a sparsely populated area. As reported by Good Things Guy, Sutherland was one town in the province that had been hit badly by the lesser-known water crisis.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills teenage boy in Malawi

A 14 year old boy in Nkhotakota district has died after being struck by lightning.

The boy, Yesaya Banda, is reported to have been killed by the lightning on his way to the lake for fishing.

Confirming the reports, Nkhunga Police spokesperson Ignatius Esau said Banda opted to go for fishing with his friend Mabvuto Phiri aged 12 on Monday.

"On their way, heavy rains started and lightning struck the two," said Esau.

He added that well wishers took the two boys to Ngala health center where Yesaya was pronounced dead while Mabvuto was referred to Nkhotakota District hospital for further treatment.


Heavy snow humbles the global elite at summit in Davos, Switzerland

Heavy snow in Davos
© Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Sixty heads of state, hundreds of global business leaders, and countless armed security guards are gathering in Davos this week.
The global economy and geopolitical tensions are taking a back seat to a more immediate problem at this year's Davos summit of political and business leaders: heavy snow is burying the venue.

High in the Swiss alps on Monday, on the eve of the opening sessions, many of the roughly 3,000 delegates struggled to reach the ski resort. Part of the main train line into Davos had been buried in snow over the weekend, forcing people onto buses, and helicopters were disrupted by poor visibility.

Some pre-summit meetings were canceled or delayed as the first waves of delegates waded through snow-blanketed streets with luggage, looking for their hotels, or had to wait for road crews to dig their limousines out of drifts.

Businessmen slipped over on icy patches as snow plows roamed the streets, with the snow returning as fast as the machines could clear it.

World Economic Forum communications chief Adrian Monck said it appeared to be the heaviest snowfall for the four-decades-old summit since 1999-2000, though he described it as more of an inconvenience than a real threat to attendance.

"We know the snow causes inconvenience and it puts a lot of pressure on the city of Davos as a host but so far we have not seen any drop-off in registrations," Monck said.

Comment: In 2015, Al Gore, high priest of the man-made 'global warming' myth, (now man-made 'climate change') spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He described some of the deadly, destabilizing and destructive "costs of carbon" that occurred over the last year - the hottest in recorded history, and the latest in a 14 out of the last 15 years' warming trend.

Recently other 'global warming' theorists have been tripping over themselves to explain America's brutally cold winters. See also:

Al Gore on record cold wave: 'Bitter cold is exactly what we should expect from climate crisis' - UPDATE: Twitter responds


Large dust storm engulfs Mardin, Turkey turning sky dark red

dust storm in Turkey
Strong winds carrying dust from Syria and Iraq hampered daily life in southeastern Turkey on January 19, 2018. Reduced visibility and air quality affected southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Mardin, Şanlıurfa and Batman.

Dust clouds accompanied by muddy rain engulfed the area turning the sky dark red. In Mardin province, which was the most affected from the storm, the disabled, unwell, and pregnant women in public offices were given a day's leave from work according to the Daily Sabah.

It reduced visibility across the Kurdistan Region also, down to two kilometres in Erbil, five in Duhok, four in Kirkuk, and less than half a kilometre in Tuz Khurmatu.


US's first tornado of 2018 touches down during rare storm in Virginia

Virginia tornado
© JOHN BOYER/Times-Dispatch
A radar map from 10:02 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, shows storms that formed a tornado in northern Amelia County. The tornado formed in the rotating, “S”-shaped segment of the thunderstorm between Amelia Court House and Powhatan, near the county line.
The country's first tornado of 2018 has descended upon one Virginia county.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports a rare midwinter tornado uprooted trees and destroyed a carport during its two-minute existence on Jan. 12, in northern Amelia County. No injuries were reported.

A survey team from the National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that the damage along the 0.4 mile (0.6 kilometer) path was evidence of 95 mph (150 kph) winds. The storm's unlikely appearance is attributed to that day's unusual warmth and shearing wind in the lower atmosphere.

January is tied with November as the second-lowest month for tornado activity in Virginia. On average, Virginia experiences only 19 tornadoes in a given year. Amelia County was last hit by a tornado in 2013.

The central Virginia county is considered part of the greater Richmond area.


High winds, big waves batter west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada (swells of up to 9.5 metres)

High waves pushed logs up on North Chesterman Beach in Tofino on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
© April Froment
High waves pushed logs up on North Chesterman Beach in Tofino on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Several beaches, including those in Pacific Rim National Park, were closed Thursday as the west coast of Vancouver Island was hit with high winds and swells of up to 9.5 metres.

CTV reports that they were some of the largest waves seen on the west coast of Vancouver Island in a decade - possibly the largest ever.

"Mostly, it's the danger of the water," Randy Mercer of Parks Canada told CHEK News of the decision to close the beaches. There's a risk of being knocked down and dragged out by the waves, or being struck by floating logs, he said.