Nature – Images

Interesting Images

California’s ‘Superbloom’

California’s “superbloom” appears in almost unbelievable color in a new aerial image from NASA. The spray of color is an annual event, made more intense by this year’s wet winter in California. When the flowers are as dramatic as this year’s display, they’re called a “superbloom.” The last drought-busting season that resulted in a superbloom in California was in 2017.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 17s (Haleh), located approximately 805 nm southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southward at 14 knots.

NewsBytes:

Peru – Heavy rainfall has been affecting southern Peru (particualrly Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna and Ica Regions) over the last week, causing rivers to overflow (especially the Rio Locumba), triggering floods, landslides and mudslides. According to media reports, as of 13 February at 8.00 UTC, ten people were killed, 1 800 injured and approximately 8 000 affected. Floods and landslides have damaged or destroyed roads, bridges, houses, crops and killed more than 5 500 animals.

California, USA – The latest in a series of Pacific storms has again brought more heavy rain to parts of California in the United States this week. Severe storms, hail and lightning were reported for much of central and southern California on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, severe storms brought flooding rain and hail to Sonora in the central part of the state. The rain was so heavy at times that floodwaters rushed down the city streets, making them look more like rivers. Even the driest place in the US was not exempt from the line of storms. California’s Death Valley picked up 16mm of rain – more than double the park’s average March rainfall.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 02w (Wutip), located approximately 557 nm north-northwest of Yap, is tracking west-northwestward at 12 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 16p (tc) (Pola), located approximately 377 nm south-southeast of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southward at 12 knots.

NewsBytes:

Peru – Two more people have been killed in a landslide in Peru, bringing to at least 50 the number of people who have died since the rainy season started in September, according to the Centre for National Emergency Operations. The landslide was triggered by torrential rain in the city of Huancavelica, where hospitals and schools have been inundated, and severe flooding has blocked roads and damaged bridges, the centre said. Thousands of families have been affected by the flood waters, with many calling on the government to do more to alleviate the situation.

California, USA – Rivers swollen by days of heavy rain inundated portions of northern California on Wednesday, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes. However, about half of the 4,000 people ordered to leave have refused to do so. Two towns – Guerneville and Monte Rio – were islands surrounded by water, local officials said. The only way to reach the two communities now is by boat.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 13s (Gelena), located approximately 1426 nm south-southwest of Learmonth, Australia, is tracking east-southeastward at 10 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 245 nm northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking northeastward at 01 knot.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – Waves of heavy rain pounded California on Thursday, flooding streets, triggering a mudslide that destroyed homes and forcing residents to flee communities scorched by wildfires last year. The powerful system swept in from the Pacific Ocean and unleashed damaging rain, snow and wind across the US west into Wyoming and Colorado after walloping northern California and southern Oregon a day earlier.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

The fire danger in New South Wales will peak today as firefighters battle 33 blazes across the state with some rural properties under threat. Watch-and-act alerts were issued for bushfires at Warrabah near Tamworth and Tingha Plateau in the state’s north-east with Fire and Rescue NSW warning fire activity was increasing in the area.

Wildfires – Chile – Update

Wildfires have now destroyed 41,200 hectares of forest land in southern and central Chile, the country’s National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) said on Monday. The figure represents an increase of 45 percent from last year in the area of forest land razed in the fire season.

California Loses 18 million trees in 2018

It’s a measure of how severe the tree die-off in California has been in recent years that when the state announced Monday it lost another 18 million trees in 2018, a top forestry official pronounced the result “encouraging.”

That’s because California lost far more trees in the three prior years, including a jaw-dropping 62 million dead trees in 2016, due to a combination of drought and bark beetle infestation.

With rain and snow in the state increasing over the last two winters, experts proclaimed an end to the seven-year drought. But the state still faces a heightened fire danger after more than 147 million trees were lost over the last nine years.

Officials at the California Department of Forestry said that it typically takes at least three years of substantial rain and snow for trees stressed by drought to return to good health. That would mean the state’s forests could benefit from at least one more year of wet weather to recover from the brutally dry period of 2010 to 2016.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – The second in a string of powerful storms battered California on Saturday, shutting key highways after water and mud rushed into lanes from bare hillsides in wildfire burn areas where thousands of residents were under evacuation orders. Flash flood warnings were issued for huge swaths of Southern California and forecasters said the system brought more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain at lower elevations and several feet of snow in the mountains, where whiteout conditions closed roads. A wind gust in Santa Barbara County topped 80 mph (128 kph) as the storm moved south and at one point dropped more than a half-inch (1.27 centimeters) of rain in five minutes. Trees and power lines were down across the region.

Queensland, Australia – Once in a century floods have turned streets into rivers and forced thousands to abandon their homes in northeast Australia, with authorities warning of further downpours over the next few days. Australia’s tropical north experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season at this time of the year, but the recent deluge has surged far above normal levels. Thousands of residents in the city of Townsville in northeast Queensland were without power and up to 20,000 homes are at risk of being inundated if the rains continue.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Malaysia – Flash floods brought by heavy rain and overflowing rivers have inundated several parts of Santubong and Bako housing areas near Kuching. Several kampung are under about two feet of water as of Saturday (Jan 19) morning.

California, USA – At least six people are now reported dead after torrential rains flooded roadways, downed trees and sent massive boulders tumbling down hillsides in California. A boulder severely injured a hiker in Malibu and emergency workers found their vehicles pummeled by rocks. Neighborhoods scorched by recent wildfires were evacuated and some streets looked more like rivers in Malibu. Further east, debris from one of the burn areas rushed through a community, but caused only minor damage.

Collapsing Polar Vortex

The blast of Arctic weather headed for the United States this weekend could be a first sign of still worse things to come this winter, with signs that a circular low-pressure system of swirling winds that normally keeps frigid air locked up at the North Pole has been disrupted and split into smaller parts.

The disruption in this counterclockwise-spinning beast, called the polar vortex, is thought to be caused in part by a warm summer over the Arctic and a relatively cold fall over Siberia. The result for the United States and northern Europe? A severe winter lasting throughout February and possibly into March.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Bolivia – At least 10 thousand hectares of banana plantations were flooded in the Cochabamba tropic, causing millions in losses to the community and producers. More than 7 500 families were affected by the floods.

Argentina – Intense rainfall in Northeast Argentina has caused devastating floods, amplifying the economic burdens of the country’s record inflation. About 3,500 people have evacuated the region, and millions of hectares of crops have been sent underwater. The flooded region, which extends into Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil, has received about five times more rain than expected since the beginning of the year. Some areas received a whole year’s worth of rainfall in the first 15 days of the calendar year. 2.4 million hectares of soybeans are flooded. The greatest losses come from the Pampa Húmeda region, one of the main food producers in the world. Other crops like corn and cotton, along with livestock have been wiped out across the Northeast. Just last year, Argentina was plagued with severe drought, the worst that had hit the country in half a century. This drought crushed the country’s agricultural sector and strained the country’s economy. It’s blamed in part for the current run on Argentine currency.

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California, USA – Heavy rain, snow and wind pummeled much of California Thursday, causing at least five deaths, leaving thousands without power and forcing wildfire victims threatened by floods to flee their homes. Southern California authorities concerned with rising streams and excessive runoff ordered evacuations in parts of Malibu and other areas scarred by wildfires. Malibu schools canceled classes. In harder hit Northern California, authorities warned of imminent floods and debris flows in the wildfire-ravished city of Paradise and the surrounding region denuded of protective trees and vegetation, telling residents to prepare to flee their homes on a moment’s notice.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Papua New Guinea – Weeks of heavy rains and flooding have killed at least nine people in Papua New Guinea, with authorities warning more bad weather and devastation could be on the way. Near the capital Port Moresby, there have been unconfirmed reports of children being washed away by floodwaters, while further down the coast, high winds generated by Cyclone Penny – which hit northern Australia – have destroyed homes. Rising rivers have left many bridges unusable, stranding travellers. The storms have lashed the country’s southern coast since late December but have also caused problems in the north.

Israel – Heavy rains caused floods across Israel’s north on Monday, stranding two cars mid-stream and damaging property in several regions. Several roads were also blocked due to floods, including Route 90, a main artery that connects the southernmost city of Eilat and Kiryat Shmona in the very north. The Route 90 flooding also struck close to the northern city of Tiberias when the Arbel River overflowed due to heavy rain.

California, USA – The first of three Pacific storms barreled into the state Monday, closing roads, snarling traffic and drenching the striking teachers in Los Angeles. Flooding rain, yards of snow and mudslides are expected. Interstate 5, the main north-south highway in California, was closed Monday because of heavy snow, stranding cars and trucks. The storms were expected to bring several rounds of heavy rain, mountain snow, gusty winds, rough surf and possible flooding through the week, the National Weather Service said. Even worse, areas burned by last year’s devastating wildfires will be especially prone to mudslides.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08p (Penny), located approximately 312 nm east-southeast of Cairns, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – Flooding, mudslides and snow closed several highways in California over the weekend, with more rain and snow set to hit later in the week. These latest weather emergencies have been exacerbated by wildfires. The effects of the burning keep water from being soaked into dry ground devoid of vegetation, spurring floods and mudflows.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08p (Penny), located approximately 379 nm east-southeast of Cairns, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 07 knots.

Tropical cyclone 09p (Mona), located approximately 248 nm east-southeast of Suva, Fiji, is tracking south-southwestward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – San Francisco – A strong storm combined with high tides has flooded part of the Embarcadero in San Francisco Sunday. Malibu – Heavy rain caused flash floods and mudslides to hit Malibu.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – The second storm in a week brought record-breaking rainfall to parched Los Angeles on Thursday, jamming traffic on Southern California highways and prompting evacuations in wildfire-scarred areas. A mudslide shut down Pacific Coast Highway and surrounding roads in and around Malibu neighborhoods charred by last month’s massive fire that destroyed hundreds of homes. Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California sorely need rainfall. Virtually the entire region is experiencing drought conditions, with portions of Los Angeles and Ventura counties and areas along the Mexican border in extreme drought. In Orange County, flooding closed several schools. Floodwaters also submerged several cars in Costa Mesa and rain partially collapsed the roof of a commercial building in Irvine but no injuries were reported. The powerful storm that slammed southern California Thursday will crawl across the southern tier of the United States over the next several days, delivering a nasty mix of snow, ice, heavy rain, floods and even a few tornadoes.

Cyprus – At least four people died in flooding in northern Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Thursday, as hail and rain hammered the island. Social media images showed cars swept away into the sea, submerged in flood water and water gushing through homes. Normally dry rivers burst their banks, causing damage in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, and forcing the partial closure of a motorway linking the city to Kyrenia, a historic harbour town on the island’s northern coast. Many schools were shut.

Wildfires

Wildfires – CO2 Emissions

Wildfires in California in 2018 released the rough equivalent of about 68 million tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide — about the same amount of carbon emissions as are produced in a year to provide electricity to the state.

The carbon dioxide figure — based on data analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey — is more than 15 percent of all emissions produced by California in a year.

Wildfires – Australia

A central Queensland man has died and 10 people including seven children who were caught up in the state’s bushfires have had to be airlifted to safety, as authorities urged residents in the path of the Deepwater bushfire to leave the area immediately.

As two men were arrested for starting fires in central Queensland, more than 100 fires continued to burn across the state. Heatwave conditions were expected to continue over the weekend and the prospect of an incoming cyclone threatened to complicate things further.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – A storm that brought more than an inch of rain in an hour on Thursday afternoon has triggered flash flooding in places hit by the massive Camp Fire in Northern California, sending trees toppling and stranding motorists caught in high waters, according to officials. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued across swaths of Butte County where rain is expected to hammer the area over the next three days. It is unclear when the latest evacuation orders might be lifted.

California, USA – San Francisco received almost an inch of rain between Wednesday and Thursday nights, with the heaviest of the downpour coming overnight flooding numerous freeways in the Bay area.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

The two wildfires that scorched 250,000 acres in California, Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire, are 100% contained after raging for over two weeks. But the death toll from Northern California’s Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest fire on record, continues to climb, reaching 88 with over 200 people still missing. Firefighters continue to probe the remains of the fire for human remains.