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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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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.


Rare tornado touches down in Carinthia, Austria

''Gustnado' touches down in Stall in Mölltal, Austria
© YouTube/Peter Maier (screen capture)
A rare tornado or 'gustnado' touches down in Stall in Mölltal, Austria
A rare tornado touched down in Stall in Mölltal (district Spittal an der Drau), Carinthia, Austria on Wednesday, 17 January, stirring up snow in the Mölltal valley of this mountainous area. A rare 'snownado' was filmed in Poland recently, as well as in Canada and Scotland.

According to the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), the weather phenomenon (captured on video by Peter Maier), is either an F0 tornado (weakest class) or a so-called "Gustnado", a turbulence caused by a strong gust of wind. The Netherlands and other parts of Europe have been battered by very strong winds this week.

ZAMG meteorologist Gerhard Hohenwarter said this is a "rare and extremely exciting" weather event. Less than two weeks ago another rare tornado ripped through two towns in the French Pyrenees causing significant damage.


Pedestrians get blown away in shocking footage as 140kph gusts sweep across the Netherlands (VIDEO)

© Thilo Schmuelgen / Reuters
Shocking footage shows people being knocked down and dragged around like tumbleweed as extremely powerful winds sweep across the Netherlands. The deadly storm grounded transport and took rooftops to the air across northern Europe.

Footage from the southern city of Den Bosch, obtained by RT's video agency Ruptly, showed people being blown across the ground as the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute issues a Code Red weather warning for large tracts of the country, with winds reaching up to 140kph (87 miles per hour) in some places.

Earlier, stacks of shipping containers in the port city of Rotterdam were filmed collapsing under the barrage while strong gusts ripped the roofs off houses.

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.