Weird Weather

A

Anonymous

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#1
Wind Shock

I had a search for a weird weather thread, but I couldn't find one. This article describes a phenomena that is new to me:

'Multiple suns, upside-down mountains and rainbow halos are part of the fairytale landscape in the perilous Antarctic winter.

Wind gusting in a swirling vortex, which can reach 80 knots (96 mph), creates electrical charges strong enough to light neon tubes spontaneously and give people outdoors powerful shocks...

"Another weird effect is when the ice mist forms a rainbow halo around your head. It's almost spiritual," [physicist Mike Mathews] said.

One of the most disconcerting things is a powerful electric jolt which people get if they bump into each other outside when the wind is blowing strongly.

"It goes right through the soles of your shoes, even though they are rubber and two cms thick. It's not dangerous but you still get sore," Mathews said. "And if you take neon lights outside they would glow by themselves." '

I've never heard of wind carrying an electrical charge before. Anyone any info on this?
 

Anome

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#2
I think it's just a matter of friction. The wind rubs against the ground (and any unlucky scientists wandering about), and creates a static charge. The same thing applies on a cold, dry, windy day in Winter or Autumn. The main difference is that the wind is stronger, the air colder and drier (as all the water has been frozen out).

Then there is the fact that the magnetic field in that part of the world is substantially different, which may have an effect. The halos are probably caused by ice crystals in the air.

Of course, I am mostly guessing, and will stand (or sit if necessary) corrected if anyone posts a thorough and referenced rebuttal.
 

_schnor

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#3
Although I haven't heard anything like this before, that sounds reasonable to me, although I think an addition would be the wind itself not carrying a alectrical charge through friction, but ice particles instead.

I haven't seen the link as it takes ages to load, could it be something to do with solar radiation due to a lack of ozone charging the ice particles/air too?
 
A

Anonymous

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#4
The environment would probably be ideal for the generation of static charges. The absolute humidity of the air is amazingly low. (Probably only rivalled by the "hot" deserts.) In fact the complete lack of moisture means that one of the biggest causes of death is due to fire. (Things end off being freeze dried.)
 

mejane

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#5
Here's some nice piccies of some of these phenonoma.

I wonder if the "charged" wind is a description of the Katabatic wind (details on the above link)? It's not really electric but could certainly be shocking to experience! (bad pun - sorry ;) )

Jane.
 

_schnor

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#6
After having looked at the story in detail it's probably what we all thought - a combination of ice crystals being highly charged, with apparently antarctic ice being "pure" because it forms at much lower temperatures, and are more likely to become static.

This combined with the magnetic south pole, you get ice halos (like around the moon a few months back) around less charged objects, for example the scientists. It probably doesn't have anything to do with the depleted ozone layer.

phew :eek!!!!:

[edit no 4]

I don't think it's katabatic wind, as that's merely a transferrence of cold air sinking and condensing as it travels down a valley - we have lovely displays after it rains down in the dee valley :)

wow - check out the picture of the Brocken spectrum on the url jane posted! We have a name at last!

could the ice crystals act as a prism, as it looks like a mini rainbow...

I've found a nicer picture here
 
A

Anonymous

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#7
If you want to see a glory without travelling to the Antarctic, or climbing up a mountain, just try keeping a lookout next time you fly off on holiday or business.

If flying over uniform cloud, look for the shadow of the aircraft on the cloud below. If the conditions are just right, you should see glow around the shadow, due to the retroreflection of sunlight. With a bit of luck you may also see the rainbow as well. I've seen a few myself this way. :)
 
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#8
Solar halo

Just a general thread on strange weather. Some specific threads:

Strange Falls (fish and shit, etc.):
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13330

Thundersnow:
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13819

Lightning:
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9865

Great book:

Weird Weather: The Strangest Weather in the World
Paul Simons (1997)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0751518050/


--------------
Some news:

Solar halo shines over Changsha

http://www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-20 15:53:36



BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Residents in Changsha,capital of central China's Hunan Province have enjoyed the golden opportunity to see an atmospheric wonder: a solar halo.

Yesterday, the sun was wrapped by a grey and black band and the sight looked more beautiful as colorful rings appeared outside the ring.

The spectacular sight lasted three and half hours in the city.

Meteorological experts make it clear the solar halo can not foretell good or ill luck since it is only an atmospheric phenomenon.

Solar halos indicate the increase of steam and the coming of low pressure.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-05/20/content_1481204.htm
 
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#9
Monster raindrops delight experts

By Paul Rincon
BBC News Online science staff

Scientists have observed the biggest raindrops recorded on Earth - which may be a whopping 1cm in size.

The monster water droplets were observed from the air, by atmospheric experts studying clouds.

They were recorded over Brazil and the Marshall Islands, a group of atolls and reefs in the central Pacific Ocean.

US scientists report in Geophysical Research Letters that a large fire may have influenced the formation of the huge raindrops recorded over Brazil.

"They are the biggest raindrops I have seen in 30 years of flying," Professor Peter Hobbs, co-author of the report told BBC News Online.

Professor Hobbs and colleague Arthur Rangno, of the University of Washington, US, recorded the droplets as being about 8.8mm and possibly as large as 1cm. He speculated that some of these giant droplets even reach the ground.

Raindrops in free-fall are often depicted as teardrop-shaped. In fact, raindrops with diameters larger than 2mm are flattened on their undersides and gradually change in shape from spherical to jellyfish-shaped.

Average drops of rain are between 1 and 2mm in diameter. The previous largest raindrops recorded - 8mm wide over Hawaii - were reported by researchers in 1986.

Smoking gun

Images of the raindrops were taken by a laser instrument on a research plane that flew through cumulus congestus clouds spawned by burning forest in Brazil's Amazon and in clean marine air over the Marshall Islands.

The authors propose that in Brazil, the giant raindrops were formed by condensation of droplets on to giant smoke particles.

However, this was clearly not the case for the mammoth raindrops observed in the Marshall Islands. The scientists think that here, the droplets rapidly grew in size by colliding with each other in narrow regions of cloud with an unusually high content of liquid water.

It was previously thought that, in practice at least, droplets would break up before reaching this size.

"It is remarkable that in two quite different environments, albeit both tropical but one extremely polluted and the other very clean, we measured raindrops that must have undergone numerous collisions without breaking up," Hobbs and Rangno write in Geophysical Research Letters.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/3898305.stm

Published: 2004/07/16 10:38:43 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 
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#10
White rainbow

Picture attached.

Colours of the rainbow turn to white

Michelle Pountney
21jul04

IT'S not so much a rainbow as a drizzle-bow. A rare clear white rainbow formed over Melbourne's west yesterday.



People looking toward the sky caught a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the clear version of the rainbow's colourless cousin.

Weather bureau senior forecaster Dean Stewart said a clear or white rainbow occurred when rain droplets were too small to refract light into the spectrum of the rainbow.

"Because the drops are so small they don't refract the light as much as normal larger raindrops so you are not getting the same breakdown of the light spectrum," he said.

"They are quite rare."

None of the weather-watching staff at the bureau could remember seeing one before and hit the books for the cause of the rare phenomenon.

Mr Stewart said yesterday's clear rainbow did not appear to go all the way to the ground -- but formed in tiny raindrops drizzling out from the base of the cloud that evaporated before hitting the ground.

Photographer John Hart took this picture of the rare rainbow during 10th birthday celebrations for the Melbourne Observation Deck at Rialto Towers.

Since opening in July 1994, the observation deck has welcomed more than five million visitors.
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,10200032%5E2862,00.html
 

CygnusRex

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#11
Colourless Rainbow

Colours of the rainbow turn to white
Michelle Pountney
21jul04


IT'S not so much a rainbow as a drizzle-bow. A rare clear white rainbow formed over Melbourne's west yesterday.


People looking toward the sky caught a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the clear version of the rainbow's colourless cousin.

Weather bureau senior forecaster Dean Stewart said a clear or white rainbow occurred when rain droplets were too small to refract light into the spectrum of the rainbow.

"Because the drops are so small they don't refract the light as much as normal larger raindrops so you are not getting the same breakdown of the light spectrum," he said.

"They are quite rare."

None of the weather-watching staff at the bureau could remember seeing one before and hit the books for the cause of the rare phenomenon.

Mr Stewart said yesterday's clear rainbow did not appear to go all the way to the ground -- but formed in tiny raindrops drizzling out from the base of the cloud that evaporated before hitting the ground.

Photographer John Hart took this picture of the rare rainbow during 10th birthday celebrations for the Melbourne Observation Deck at Rialto Towers.

Since opening in July 1994, the observation deck has welcomed more than five million visitors.


Original Story
 
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#12
'Brocken specter' dazzles climbers on Mt. Fuji




FUJIYOSHIDA, Yamanashi -- Climbers in Japan are raving about the "Brocken effect," a rainbow-like rings surrounding a climber's shadow created when the sun is low.

The Brocken specter is a mysterious phenomenon whereby a climber's image is surrounded by rainbow-like rings, and appears in foggy conditions on high mountains, especially when the sun is low at dawn or dusk.

Climbers experienced the Brocken specter near the top of 3,776-meter Mount Fuji on July 18.

On that day, the weather was poor in the morning, but the sun broke through shortly after 4 p.m., creating a distant shadow of a climber surrounded by rainbow-like rings.

"I'd heard of it, but this was the first time to actually see it," said a climber from Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture. "This was my lucky day."

The Brocken specter is a sign of good luck in Japan.The Brocken effect is named after Mount Brocken in Germany where it is often seen. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, July 22, 2004)
http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20040722p2a00m0dm015001c.html
 
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#13
What was that cloud in Richland?

Friday, July 30, 2004
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Authorities from Allegheny and Butler counties say residents had nothing to fear from a mysterious yellowish-green cloud that appeared yesterday morning near Bakerstown in Richland.

There was no confirmation of a chemical release, which had been suspected earlier yesterday after authorities received numerous 911 calls about the cloud. Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Butler County Emergency Services, an Allegheny County hazardous materials team and local police and firefighters were dispatched in northern Allegheny and southern Butler counties shortly before noon yesterday and detected no chemical releases.

Local residents complained of a chlorine or sweet smell in the air, but there were no evacuations, ill effects or hospitalizations, officials said. Local police asked citizens to remain indoors while it was being investigated, but apparently the cloud dissipated quickly. By the time some emergency response teams arrived, it was gone with the wind.

Allegheny County health officials said tests revealed air quality was normal and they received no reports of chemical accidents at local industries or escaped chlorine at swimming pools.

The National Weather Service suspects the cloud may have been the result of an inversion.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04212/354210.stm

Mysterious mist leaves West Deer in a fragrant haze



By Jonathan Szish
TRIBUNE-REVIEW NEWS SERVICE
Friday, July 30, 2004


Portions of West Deer were in a sweet-smelling haze Thursday, and no one's sure what it was.

Residents initially were told to stay inside when the mysterious wisps appeared. Several residents of Shoaf and Beechnut streets reported irritated eyes, but no one was hospitalized, police said.

The Allegheny County Health Department and the state Department of Environmental Protection were called, but authorities could not determine the source. Police, firefighters and Hazmat crews also responded.

"It was like a haze in the air, maybe 8 to 10 feet off the ground," said West Deer Police Sgt. Darren Mikus, who responded to calls from the Blanchard and Curtisville sections of the township. "It almost looked like heat (rising)."

The haze was barely visible, he said.

The haze had a sweet, strong odor and lay in 100-foot strips over a 3- to 4-mile-wide area, Mikus said. It lifted after about 30 minutes.

"We were unable to track exactly what it was. There is no danger to any of the residents," DEP spokeswoman Betsy Mallison said about 5 p.m.

Asked if anyone was ever in danger, Mallison said, "since we don't know exactly what it was, we can't tell exactly what impact it would have had on the community."

County Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole said the agency found no releases of chemicals from plants or of chlorine gas from swimming pools. The department tested for particulates and vapors in the area and found nothing abnormal, he said.

The mystery started about 11:30 a.m., when township police received eight to 10 calls about a "strong odor."

DEP officials think the haze originated in Richland, moved to West Deer and then to Middlesex, Butler County, Mallison said.

She said anyone who smells mysterious outdoor odors should call 911.

Butler County emergency services said a weather inversion might have been responsible.

National Weather Service meteorologist Rich Redmond, who saw the haze from his home in Buffalo, Butler County, said an inversion is a daily occurrence in which the air acts like a ceiling because the temperature gets warmer with altitude instead of getting colder.

"Whatever formed that haze or cloud may have become trapped in that area where it can't rise any further," Redmond said. "There had to be a source of some kind of particle in the air to cause that. What that was, I don't know."

Redmond saw the haze about 10:30 a.m.

"I didn't smell anything. There was nothing burning my eyes," Redmond said. "You could see it. It looked like somebody was burning something. It was just everywhere. The first thing I thought was, 'Well, we're finally getting smoke from the fires in Alaska.' "
http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/regional/s_205778.html

All-clear issued after West Deer mystery clouds sighted




By Jonathan Szish
VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
Thursday, July 29, 2004


West Deer police issued an all-clear about 2:30 p.m. today after a mysterious cloud or haze was reported covering a large portion of the township.

"There’s no reason to panic or leave or hide in your house," township police Sgt. Darren Mikus said during an impromptu press conference at the township building on East Union Road.

A weather inversion might be responsible for the cloud sighted today over northern Allegheny and southern Butler counties, according to a release from the Butler County emergency services.

"At this point no confirmation of any type of chemical release is reported in the area," the release received at 2:15 p.m. said.





West Deer police received eight to 10 calls about 11:30 a.m. today about a "strong odor" in the Blanchard and Curtisville sections of the township, police said. Blanchard is in the northeastern part of the township near Fawn while Curtisville is in the north-central part of West Deer.

Mikus drove to where the cloud or haze was sighted immediately after the calls. "It was like a haze in the air, maybe 8 to 10 feet off the ground," Mikus said. "It almost looked like heat (rising)." The haze was barely visible, he said.

The haze lay over the township in 100-foot strips over a three- to four-mile wide area of the township. He said earlier reports that it was a cloud floating through the township were wrong.

The haze had a sweet, strong odor, he said. It did not smell like chlorine, he said.

An elderly woman in the Curtisville section complained of eye irritation after encountering the haze, but was not hospitalized, police said.

The haze lifted after about 30 minutes, Mikus said.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, along with Allegheny County and township fire officials, tried to locate the source of the haze but were unable, police said.

The DEP was continuing this afternoon to try to locate the source, Mikus said.

Butler County Department of Emergency Services and 911 center received numerous calls concerning the sighting, a release said.

Allegheny County Hazmat team and several emergency services from southern Butler County were dispatched to the area, according to the release.

"Discussion with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh by Allegheny County authorities indicates the clouds may be the result of a weather inversion in the area," the release said.

Butler County wasn’t issuing any advisories or recommendations at the time, the release said.

Earlier, West Deer township manager Jason Dailey described the sighting as a sweet-smelling gray cloud spreading five to six miles across the township. The sighting prompted township and emergency officials to warn residents to stay indoors if possible at the time, Dailey said.

The cloud was stationary at the Butler County line at 1 p.m., Dailey said. Allegheny County hazardous materials team members and the township emergency management coordinator were trying to determine the content and source of the cloud, Dailey said.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/pmupdate/s_205705.html
 
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#14
Sun Pillars

Spectacular happenings in the dawn sky


The beginning of the Upper Sun Pillar display.


On Sunday 16th May west Cornwall experienced a spectacular Upper Sun Pillar.

It was formed from ice crystals in the atmosphere.

FACTS


Ice crystals form in a wide variety of shapes and sizes: stars, needles, columns and plates.

When bright light passes from the sun, moon or an artificial light source through a portion of the sky containing a concentration of ice crystals, magical apparitions often appear.
The crystals focus, scatter, bend, split and reflect the light rays into a kaleidoscope of optical phenomena: arcs, glories, halos, pillars and sun dogs.
Ice crystals form in the atmosphere in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and when bright light from the Sun, Moon or even a street light passes through a part of the sky containing them, some interesting shapes develop.

One of these is the Light Pillar and the most commonly seen form is the Upper Sun Pillar. It extends from 5 to 10 degrees above the sun when it is just below or just below the horizon.

The ice crystals are in the form of flat hexagonal plates and these reflect the light externally and internally downwards. When the crystals are below a line between the observer and the sun they can reflect the light upwards to form a pillar that appears to be under the Sun.

Because the light forming the pillar is reflected, the pillar takes on that colour so that it is red or orange when close to the horizon and becomes yellow or white as the sun rises.

This change can be seen in the pictures on this page.

They were all taken around dawn on Sunday 16th of May 2004, one by Amanda Jenkin and the others by BBC Radio Cornwall's Chris Stumbles
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/weather/uppersunpillar.shtml

More stuff on light pillars:

http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/eyes/pillars.htm
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#15
A strange cloud:

‘Mystery Cloud’ Appears Over Eastern U.S. And Canada

By Joe Rao
SPACE.com's Night Sky Columnist
posted: 01 September 2004
07:44 am ET


Anyone who lives in the eastern part of the United States or Canada and gazing skyward on Tuesday evening may have noticed something strange in their west-northwest sky.

At around 9 p.m. EDT, a small, bright, silvery circular cloud of light suddenly appeared. Over the next 25 minutes, the cloud appeared to gradually expand and fade, finally becoming invisible to the unaided eye. Those who saw it, wondered exactly what it might have been.

John Bortle, a well-known amateur astronomer with over four-decades of experience of sky observing first caught sight of the cloud at 9:03 p.m. EDT from his home in Stormville, New York. Initially, he thought the cloud was as bright as zero or first magnitude and upon examining it carefully with binoculars, thought that it " ... resembled the petals of a day lily." By 9:30 p.m., he reported that the cloud had faded completely from his view.

From the North Fork of Long Island, Bill Bogardus and his wife were out observing when they took note of the cloud " ... about the size of the moon" in the northwest sky. "It was a roundish, yet not all that round, object drifting towards our location very slowly, slower that most satellites because it took at least twenty minutes to move from where we first saw it to pretty much our zenith."

After studying it for a while through an 8-inch telescope, Bogardus noticed two points of light, " ... like a satellite would appear, in line and above a jet of gas that seemed to come from them."

Observing from Ithaca, New York, Joseph Storch used 7x50 binoculars on the cloud and reported a star-like point or nucleus and four butterfly shaped petals radiating outward.

Other reports, received as far west as Toronto tell of people who initially thought that what they were seeing was the moon behind a cloud. Typical was the comment: "For a second I thought it was the moon, then I realized the moon was in the east."

-----------------------
What was it?

Not a few people who saw this strange, expanding cloud thought that it might have been an atmospheric experiment sent aloft by a sounding rocket. Over the years, those living along the US East Coast have been accustomed to occasionally seeing unusual brightly colored clouds caused when exotic chemicals such as barium and trimethylaluminum were released into the Earth's ionosphere by rockets launched from NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia site.

NASA was indeed responsible for the unusual cloud formation on Tuesday night, but it was not part of a planned experiment.

It was, in reality, a fuel dump of the Centaur stage involved in the NRO-1 satellite launch from Cape Canaveral late Tuesday afternoon. Dumping excess fuel is the usual practice for all Centaur-booster assisted launches. It happens after spacecraft separation; the fuel bleeding off from a Centaur upper rocket stage on its second orbit after launch. Being just after nightfall, the cloud of fuel was still sunlit at that altitude.

And those who were fortuitously outside when the dump occurred, were the ones who saw this very unusual sight!
http://www.space.com/spacewatch/mystery_cloud_040901.html
 

escargot

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#16
Snow in Oz

Hail hammered parts of NSW today, breaking windows and roof tiles, causing a spate of minor car crashes and leaving roads covered in ice, and even snow, in some areas.
I've just seen Sky News clips of Oz snowboarders sliding about near Bondi Beach. Great fun. :)
 
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#17
Strange twist to stormy weather

By Craig Vaughan and Natalie Williams
20sep04

A SEVERE storm system caused bizarre weather along New South Wales' east and central coasts, the Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains yesterday, spawning hailstorms, a waterspout, high winds and heavy rain.

Hailstones about the size of a 10c coin fell in southwestern Sydney - at Razorback, between Camden and Picton - at 3.30pm as wild weather hit for the second time in two weeks.

The Bureau of Meteorology's severe weather specialist Andrew Haigh said the rain storm then moved across parts of Liverpool and Blacktown towards northwest Sydney.

A spectacular water spout erupted at Newcastle, alarming hundreds of people out on a Sunday stroll on the foreshore.

Daily Telegraph photographer Liam Driver was one of hundreds mesmerised as the mini-tornado formed off Nobbys Beach and made for land.

Within a couple of minutes of the water spout forming - and just a few hundred metres off the beach - it simply dissipated.

A separate storm in southern NSW forced flights heading from Sydney and Melbourne to Canberra to turn back and grounded outbound flights for almost two hours.

Budgewoi, Toukley and Erina, where 102 elderly residents were relocated after their nursing home's roof was shattered, bore the brunt of the storm.

The bureau said the storm was not as ferocious as the one that struck Sydney two weeks ago but still classified it as severe weather.

The SES duty officer for southwestern Sydney said the hail was brief and wind had done more damage.

"The biggest job was half a roof that was ripped off by a wee-willy (small tornado) about 2pm," he said.

Other storms also developed to the west of Sydney, in the Richmond area, and were forecast to move on towards Sydney's northwest later in the night.

The heavy rain turned Eungai Place in North Narrabeen into a series of spectacular waterfalls.

About 5mm of rain fell on the Northern Beaches, but it was enough to form at least six waterfalls in the tiny street as the water drained off the overhanging escarpment.

Residents Michael and Libby Krillich said they were treated to the spectacle almost every time it rained.

The bureau issued several warnings of possible severe thunderstorms occurring throughout the day.

Regions under threat included the western part of the Sydney metropolitan area; the southern part of the Hawkesbury; Northern Rivers; Mid-North Coast; and the Lower Hunter.
http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,10817808%5E421,00.html
 

TheQuixote

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#18
Mini tornado damages houses

Roofs were blown off houses, a lamp post knocked over and windows blown out by a mini tornado in Haverfordwest on Monday night, firefighters have said.

The whirlwind struck more than 20 homes on the Priory Estate, Hawthorn Drive and Spencer Way just before 2200 GMT.

Firefighters spent hours making the properties safe and clearing the debris on Monday and Tuesday.

John Davies, who lives on the Priory Estate, said it was "a general scene of destruction".

"It has gone through in a line, taken slates off, smashed tiles into cars and gone through windows," he said.

"I had a car parked in the drive - tiles came off the roof and gone through the sunlight roof and also the windscreen."

Phillip Rees said he was sitting in his dining room with his two children when the tornado struck.

"All of sudden you could hear this noise - both the children were petrified," he said.

"It was just this fantastic roar that seemed to increase then just died instantly.

"Someone could have been killed. I know there are a few houses where the windows have actually gone in."

Gethin Davies, the fire service's county commander for Carmarthenshire, said firefighters had been involved in securing properties and removing debris.

"With severe weather and increased winds, about 25 properties were affected," he said.

"We also had a tree and a lamp post blown down. It lasted about an hour."

A Met Office spokesman said tornadoes could be so localised they only affect one or two streets.

"The ones that happen in the US are on a much larger scale than the ones which happen in the UK," he said.

"But we do have a few reports of tornados in Wales and the south west of England each year."

Earlier this year, a tornado was spotted off the coast of Barry, south Wales.



Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 129561.stm
Published: 2004/12/28 16:57:01 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 

TheQuixote

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#19
Unbearable thaw grips Russian zoo

Temperatures in north-west Russia are so mild this week that they are disrupting bears' sleep in St Petersburg's zoo, local media say.
A zoo official told Interfax news agency that a black bear had woken from hibernation, while a brown bear had still not gone to sleep for the winter.

Temperatures have reached record highs of seven degrees celsius in some areas.

The unusual warmth, accompanied by heavy winds and rain, has melted river ice and caused flooding in the city.


Storms have been causing havoc across Northern Europe in recent days, and were described as the worst to hit the neighbouring Baltic states in 40 years.

Zoologists are monitoring the unusual behaviour of the bears, who are used to winter temperatures below freezing.

Itar-Tass news agency reports that wild bears, badgers and hedgehogs are also waking up from the long winter sleep in Belarus.

And in the western Russian region of Kaliningrad, spring flowers were already in bloom as temperatures rose above 10 degrees.

Meteorologists say temperatures are expected to drop at the end of the week, with more severe cold likely towards the end of the month.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 169565.stm
Published: 2005/01/12 19:31:48 GMT

© BBC MMV
 

TheQuixote

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#20
Gondolas stuck in Venice
14 January 2005

VENICE: Gondolas are running aground and hotel docks hang in midair as Italy's lagoon city Venice, more commonly awash at high tide, dries out because of good weather and an unusual combination of planetary influences.

Only the Grand Canal, Venice's biggest and most famous waterway, can still take water traffic, and the falling canal levels have given rise to terms such as "ghost town" and "desert" in local papers.

"The phenomenon is due to low pressure, that is, the good weather that coincides with the syzygy, the alignment of the moon, earth and sun," said Venice's tides office.

The new moon this week has helped push water levels to their lowest point in more than a decade, nearly 80cm below sea level, it said. The lowest fall on record was 1.21m below sea level in 1934.

The city assured tourists that water levels would soon start rising again, restoring the romantic look they expect, and reminded Venetians they could check the water level at the city's internet site.
Stuff. co.nz

link to-->Syzygy definition
 
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#21
Last Update: Thursday, January 20, 2005. 1:08pm (AEDT)

Apple-sized hail hammers Adelaide

Adelaide Hills residents say hailstones as big as apples fell during last night's big storm over the city.

The weather bureau says 27 millimetres of rainfall was recorded.

Woodside resident Sarah Brayshaw says her gauges show 60 millimetres fell in just a few hours.

She says her tin roof was pounded by hailstones the size of golf balls.

"We have a tin roof on our farmhouse and it was so big and the noise was just deafening," Ms Brayshaw said.

"We couldn't go outside because it would have hurt if it had fallen on you. It lasted for about three or four minutes."
Source
 

TheQuixote

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#22
Waterspouts 'skip over' Channel

Tornado spouts formed out of sea water and about 500ft tall were seen on the English Channel on Monday.
Dover coastguard crews saw three spouts moving across the water at about 25mph, about eight miles offshore.

A spokesman said the rarely-seen weather phenomenon is caused by convection currents which pull water towards the sky in a circular motion.

Meteorologists said waterspouts are more usually seen in late summer or autumn, when cold air hits warm water.


'Not dangerous'

Crews were alerted by ships in the Channel and were able to see the spouts from their base at Dover, the spokesman said.

He said: "The cloud forms circles at the top and the spout then spirals all the way down to the sea."

He added that the waterspouts were moving along at about 20 knots, or about 25mph, "skipping along on top of the water".

The coastguard explained that the waterspouts move at the same speed as the clouds.

He said the waterspouts were not dangerous to larger vessels and would have had a width of about one metre.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 202981.stm
Published: 2005/01/24 16:13:14 GMT

© BBC MMV
 

Mal_Adjusted

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#23
Boston sets snow record

Greets

Boston sets snow record

Other parts of New England near them, with more cold ahead

Thursday, January 27, 2005 Posted: 6:06 PM EST (2306 GMT)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Sal Bartolo removed his gloves, took off his jacket and slipped right into Richie Firicano's red leather barber chair Thursday morning -- no waiting.

"The old-timers, they aren't going to walk up the street in this snow and ice," Firicano said.

There are certain advantages to the record-breaking snowfall that has paralyzed New England this month.

A winter storm over the weekend dropped more than 3 feet of snow in some places, and up to 11 inches more fell Wednesday and Thursday for a January total of 43.1 inches in Boston -- more snow than in any month since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1892. The previous record of 41.6 inches was set in February 2003.

In Providence, Rhode Island, the snowfall total for January stood at 36.7 inches, approaching the 1996 record of 37.4.

With temperatures expected to remain below the freezing mark through the weekend, all that snow is going to stick around for a while.

The snow has delayed trains, slowed traffic to a crawl and turned streets into obstacle courses. Towing companies have been busy pulling snowbound cars from streets, and some gas stations have had to close because deliveries of gasoline could not get through.

Denise Murphy, a 46-year-old employment lawyer, walked through downtown Boston in chunky boots and a fur-trimmed parka. She said her usual hour-and-20-minute commute by car and train from took 2 1/2 hours Wednesday morning. It took three hours to get home.

"It's exhausting," she said. "After driving, waiting for trains, getting crammed on them, freezing while I'm doing it, and then walk, I'm so cold, and I'm so tired. I feel like I've put in a full day already."

Boston schools reopened Wednesday after being closed Monday and Tuesday. But parents complained that it was unsafe because the sidewalks and streets were too icy and cramped by enormous piles of snow. The city responded by canceling classes for the rest of the week, and many other districts made the same decision.

Not all have suffered. Mark Montplaisir, manager of diMio pizzeria in Boston, where many residents still had not dug out their cars, said his shop has been making 30 to 45 deliveries a day, up from the usual 20.

"You can't blame 'em," he said. "Who wants to go out when you can get someone to deliver?"
http://www.newsisfree.com/iclick/i,69910216,2315,f/

mal
 

Mal_Adjusted

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#24
Algeria Hit by Worst Snow in Half a Century

Greets

Algeria too getting record snowfalls

Algeria Hit by Worst Snow in Half a Century
Thu Jan 27, 2005 09:14 AM ET


By Paul de Bendern

ALGIERS (Reuters) - The heaviest snow in more than 50 years fell on the Algerian capital on Thursday, paralyzing traffic, killing 13 people and isolating nearly a third of the North African country's provinces, authorities said.

Several areas in the north, in particular the Mediterranean oil port city of Skikda, were cut off after two days of snow, strong winds and rain. In the last 24 hours 13 people have died and 47 others have been injured, mostly in road accidents.

Authorities warned bad weather would continue for several days. Algiers Meteorological Services said it was the heaviest snowfall since 1950.

"Please stay at home unless you absolutely must go out and avoid driving if possible," a state radio presenter said on behalf of the civil defense authority.

There were no reports that oil and gas production in Algeria, a member of the OPEC oil exporting cartel, was hit. However, electricity and gas distributor Sonelgaz said it was struggling to meet demand and had to carry out power cuts.

More than 100 roads, including several motorways, were shut. Most public administration offices and schools were closed and power and water supplies were cut off as temperatures dropped to freezing in dozens of towns.

Newspapers criticized the government for failing to respond quickly to the poor weather. Authorities have now mobilized truck-tankers of hot water, salt and sand to clear roads.

Civil defense workers were out in force to help thousands of stranded motorists. Algiers international airport suffered traffic delays and several regional airports were shut.

"Many stranded people were forced to sleep overnight in buses we provided for them," said a fire brigade official.

In Bouira, some 80 km (50 miles) southeast of Algiers, 1,000 passengers were forced to spend the last two nights in schools.

Public transport in large parts of northern Algeria, where the majority of the 33 million population live, was halted.

Less severe snowfall was reported in neighboring northwest Tunisia.
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=scienceNews&storyID=7452818

mal
 

lopaka

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#25
And people are taking their kayaks to enjoy the spectacular flowers...of Death Valley. :shock:

Rain in U.S. west yields a wildflower bonanza

Laura Bly
USA Today

February 13, 2005


The sandbags, snowplows and sagging hillsides associated with this winter's epic West Coast storms are giving way to an unusually early profusion of wildflowers across Southern California and Arizona and veteran bloom watchers are predicting one of the best shows in decades.

"It's going to be stupendous," says Pam Muick, executive director of the California Native Plant Society. "What this [record rainfall] does is ensure continuous blooms from now through July. People can literally travel from one display to another, from south to north and low to high elevations."

Drenching autumn rains followed by a series of deluges since Christmas have both hampered and helped tourism in California and the desert Southwest.

The storms have created prime wildflower conditions from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, about two hours east of San Diego, to southern Arizona, where the website for Tucson's Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum notes that rain-dependent perennials such as delphinium, mariposa and desert hyacinth are "sprouting in abundance."

One of the best seasons in 50 years could be on tap at California's Death Valley National Park. Carpets of desert-sand verbena, brown-eyed evening primrose and desert gold already line roadways in the southern third of the park. If current conditions prevail, visitors can expect a "spectacular display" from late February to early April.

Despite optimism, experts caution that the notoriously fickle blossoms could be sabotaged by strong winds, an early heat wave or an invasion of non-native grasses.

Last year, what promised to be a banner show at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster was cut short by unseasonably warm weather, says California State Parks' Joe Rosato.

"The combinations are right" this time for an explosion of orange poppies in late February, several weeks earlier than normal. But "anything can happen."
© The Vancouver Province 2005
http://www.canada.com/vancouver/theprov ... story.html

Local Weather
Weather Magnet
Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Rains bring strange days for national park

Death Valley comes to life with early wildflower blooms, abundant wildlife and believe it or not kayaking

By Robin Flinchum
The Inyo Register Correspondent Tuesday, February 15, 2005 11:50 AM PST


It's certainly been an unusual year in Death Valley National Park. Record rain falls have coaxed normally reclusive desert wildflowers into a full and festive early bloom, carpeting the lower parts of the valley in marvelous fields of gold and purple blossoms. Seldom seen varieties are popping up in side canyons and the wildlife n kit foxes, bighorn sheep and all manner of other critters n are more evident than usual. However, probably the most unexpected thing visitors are likely to see these days is kayakers unloading their small craft in the Badwater basin parking lot.

This, the lowest, hottest point in North America, with the some of the briniest, bitterest water around, has suddenly become a sort of water sport destination. By definition, said DVNPS spokesperson Terry Baldino, this can only be a temporary attraction, since the water will be all but dried up by mid-April. Meanwhile, the water deposited by the recent rains left a lake of sorts stretching about 3-4 miles across the basin.

"It's only about three feet deep at its deepest part," Baldino said, so only kayaks and canoes would have any success navigating it. "At the edges it's only ankle deep." Nevertheless, Baldino reported, enthusiasts have been spotted on the water since an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal last month reported the attempt by several friends to navigate the normally underground Amargosa River that runs through Death Valley. While the swollen river flowed above ground the friends kayaked and canoed some 11 miles, though they were forced to get out and walk from time to time. The photo was picked up by a newspaper in Los Angeles, Baldino said, and word was out.

The water accumulation in Badwater is not the first of its kind, Baldino said, but the notion of exploring it by kayak or canoe used to be something only park service employees ever thought of. "We don't have anything against people getting out there. Bringing a boat is just not something most people think of in coming to Death Valley." He added that power boats or other heavy craft would just sink immediately in the shallow, muddy water.

Baldino estimated that if the temperatures rise into the 90s in March and strong winds continue to blow across the park, the pool of water will shrink back to its normal size by some time in April.

Meanwhile, the wildflowers will continue to bloom, peaking at lower elevations probably in late February and moving into higher elevations later in the season. The breathtaking display of flowers, predicted to be one of the best in the past 50 years, is lush and abundant, Baldino said, "but these rare exposures put the seed bank into the ground that might stay there for decades. Someone might think ‘What would it hurt if I pick a handful?,' but if a thousand people did that, the field would be decimated. It's a rare and unique feature that doesn't recover if it's picked clean."

©2005 The Inyo Register
http://www.inyoregister.com/articles/20 ... 1new01.txt
 

Stormkhan

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#26
Odd Weather!

Cool! Here in North London, it started to hail with flurries of snow then Bamb! Big thunder crack!

What's going to join in next?
 
A

Anonymous

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#28
Stormkhan Posted: 22-02-2005 15:11 Post subject: Odd Weather!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cool! Here in North London, it started to hail with flurries of snow then Bamb! Big thunder crack!

What's going to join in next?



Got to agree Stormkhan, i was out at about 1930 last night and i was sure i saw a flash of lightning during a snowstorm. :shock:[/code][/list][/list][/url]
 

Laney05

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#29
We had a cracking storm here in Essex on Monday night, my son is now terrified of snowstorms! Our power went out for two hours after the first crack of thunder. Weird!
 

RainyOcean

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#30
The weather here is insane. One day there is an inch of slush on the ground and the next day it feels like the middle of spring. Maybe it's this climate change thing keep hearing about.
 
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