Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ICE AGE NOW: "OH MY GOD,... I Have NEVER Seen Anything Like This Before,... " - RARE DEEP FREEZE From Arctic Blast Shocks And Stuns America's Deep South; Very Dangerous Ice Storm From Texas To The Carolina Coast; The City Of Atlanta SHUT DOWN; 4,500 Kids Stranded; Drivers Abandon Their Cars; School Children Spend Overnight On Buses; Lots Of People Still Stuck On Highways; 5 Dead In Alabama, Death Toll Expected To Rise; National Guard Troops Activated! [STUNNING PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

January 29, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Officials in Hoover, Alabama, were sending buses early Wednesday morning to pick up stranded motorists.  In the first run, two school buses were sent to transport as many as 100 people to local shelters, said Rusty Lowe of the Hoover fire department.  The buses will make several runs.

Alec Bender is covered with snow while he and some friends went sledding Jan. 28
in Knoxville, Tenn.  Wade Payne, AP

Ice builds up on the Chicago River as temperatures drop below zero in Chicago.  Scott Olson, Getty Images.
The ice-covered interstate highways running through Atlanta are empty on Wednesday, January 29, after a
snowstorm hit the city a day earlier. A wave of arctic air that started over the Midwest and Plains spread
to the Southeast, bringing snow, freezing ice and sleet to a region not familiar with such weather.

[Breaking news update 1:08 a.m. ET Wednesday] 
About 50 Atlanta school children were still stuck on buses early Wednesday morning.  The students had gotten on buses to get home shortly after noon Tuesday, but treacherous road conditions coupled with gridlocked traffic has made it impossible.  Kimberly Willis Green, spokeswoman for Atlanta Public Schools, said she did not have an estimate on the number of children stuck in Atlanta schools overnight.  Atlanta-based Home Depot opened up 26 stores in Alabama and Georgia for stranded travelers.  Spokesman Stephen Holmes said some of those who sought shelter spent time watching movies in store break rooms.  "At one store, they even opened up an indoor garden area to be a quiet area to open for reading," he said.

 A man stands on the frozen roadway as he waits for traffic to clear along
Interstate 75 in Macon, Georgia, on January 29.
The Cincinnati skyline is seen past an ice-covered hill in Covington, Kentucky, on January 29.
 Traffic is snarled along Interstate 285, north of metro Atlanta, on January 29.
Children play on a snow-and-ice covered playground at Emily Douglas
Park in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 29.

[Last update 10:37 p.m. ET Tuesday]  Ice and snow bring chaotic commutes to much of South 
Cars stuck in ditches beside icy roads. Thousands of children stranded at schools that parents can't reach. Drivers camped out at gas stations with no way to get home.  As a winter storm slammed into a broad swath of the South on Tuesday, authorities warned drivers to stay off the streets.  "This is a very dangerous situation," Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said. "People need to stay at home. They need to stay there until conditions improve."  Motorists in major metropolitan areas including Atlanta sat trapped in gridlock as schools and offices shut down, unleashing hordes of vehicles onto slushy roadways.  Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed urged residents to stop driving for at least a day to give crews a chance to clean up.  "The next 24 hours, I really need folks to stay home," he told CNN affiliate WSB. "Go home, give us some time."  While Northerners may laugh at their Southern friends' panic over a dusting of snow, the threat is real: With relatively few resources to battle snow and ice, public works crews may have a difficult time keeping up with any significant accumulation. Add to that the fact that millions of Southern drivers aren't used to driving on snow or ice, and things got messy -- fast.

Abandoned vehicles in Dunwoody, Georgia, line Interstate 285 early on January 29.
Gavin Chambers plays an electronic game January 29 at Oak Mountain Intermediate School in Indian
Springs, Alabama. The severe weather forced thousands of students to spend the night in
various school buildings across the state.
A DeKalb County school bus sits abandoned near Interstate 285 in Dunwoody on January 29.
People work to clear stranded vehicles on County Road 25 in Wilsonville, Alabama, on Tuesday, January 28.

Students stuck at schools 
In Alabama, where freezing rain made driving perilous, at least five people were killed in weather-related traffic accidents Tuesday, state Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Steve Jarrett said.  Bentley declared a state of emergency and said he had activated 350 National Guard troops to help respond to the storm. Emergency officials warned drivers to stay off the roads and urged people stuck in their cars to stay inside.  "The weather right now, the temperatures and the wind chill, if you step out of your car, are very dangerous," said Art Faulkner, the state's director of emergency management.  In Birmingham, Melanie Wilson tried to drive after she got a message that her children's school was closing Tuesday morning.  "Immediately, I almost had an accident," she said. "The school buses were at the bottom of our hill and you could tell the drivers were not sure they should try to make it up the hill. We're not sure where the ball was dropped. We heard it was going to be a light dusting with little accumulation."  She ditched her car after it spun out on a steep hill, and trudged through the snow to pick up her children and make it home safely.  "The children enjoyed it," she said. "It was beautiful, a winter wonderland. It was lovely except for worrying about everybody else who can't get home to their families."

Snow falls on cattle at Todd Galliher's farm in Harmony, North Carolina, on January 28.
iReporter Doug Simonton walked home from work on January 28 and started taking photos of
Atlanta's downtown connector, where Interstates 75 and 85 meet.
A man walks through the scene of a multivehicle accident on Interstate 59 in
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Tuesday, January 28.

Two women are stranded at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on
January 28 after flights were canceled due to the weather.

Governor: Teachers will take care of kids 
The severe weather has forced 4,500 students to spend the night in various school buildings in Hoover, Alabama. And there were 800 students stuck in schools in Birmingham, Alabama, officials said.  "Staff is staying with them, feeding them," Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said. "High schools are showing movies."  Bentley urged parents who are unable to reach their children to remain calm.  "I know the anxiety there," he said. "I want to reassure all the parents that if you trust your teacher to take care of your child during the day, they will be taken care of tonight."  At the Alabama Waldorf School, about 20 students were spending the night at a nearby home late Tuesday after state officials urged parents not to drive in the snow.  "They're doing really well," Administrator Lisa Grupe said. "They're just having an extended play date. ... We all looked like ducks walking in the snow together."  On Twitter, a second-grade teacher said there were still about 150 students and 50 staff members stranded at Greystone Elementary School in Hoover, Alabama, because of "horrible" road conditions there.  Not that they were all complaining.  "Very exciting day," teacher Carol McLaughlin tweeted late Tuesday afternoon. "... The kids are being real troopers. : ) I think they think it's an adventure." McLaughlin, even posted a picture of some kids out playing in the snow.

Motorists jam Interstate 75/85 in Atlanta on January 28.

A semi slides off the road as the driver tries to avoid another wrecked truck as snow begins to accumulate on
Interstate 65 in Clanton, Alabama, on January 28. Clanton lies between the capital, Montgomery,
and the state's biggest city, Birmingham.

Traffic travels along the highway near downtown Birmingham on January 28.

A man puts sand on the steps of his business in downtown Northport, Alabama, on January 28.
Northport is near Tuscaloosa in the central-west part of the state.

Traffic gridlock traps motorists 
In the Atlanta suburbs, school buses were stuck in traffic for hours. Hundreds of students were stranded at schools waiting for their parents to pick them up.  Commutes that normally take minutes became nightmarish treks that lasted for hours.  CNN affiliate WSB captured dramatic footage of parents reuniting with children after being stuck on a school bus for hours.  In downtown Atlanta, streets were clogged as cars became trapped in gridlock after at least an inch of snow had fallen.  "Government, schools, and business closing at the same time and releasing everybody out into the city was a mistake that we all were a part of," Reed told WSB.  For one stranded motorist -- it really was a situation of life and death.  Police in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs said an officer helped a woman give birth on the side of Interstate 285.  Traffic jams on snow-covered roads had stopped the woman from making it to the hospital and blocked paramedics from reaching her.  That's when a police officer stepped in, helping deliver the baby girl Tuesday evening, Capt. Steve Rose said.  As snow, sleet and freezing rain pelted much of the state, authorities warned of dangerous driving conditions and said the roads would likely get worse. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency as the storm hit.  "I'm about to lose my mind, literally," one woman trapped in traffic told WSB. "It's horrible."  Mhari Patterson tried to make the 10-mile commute to her home outside Atlanta, but gave up after six hours, when she arrived at a RaceTrac gas station parking lot. There were about 80 other cars waiting out the storm there, she said.  "All of the area roads are frozen," she said. "There is no way to get home."  Until things clear up, Patterson said she planned to spend the night at the gas station.

Vehicles are backed up on snow covered U.S. Highway 280 in Chelsea, Alabama, on January 28.

People walk in the French Quarter in New Orleans as temperatures drop on January 28.

With temperatures around -10 degrees, commuters wait for a bus in Chicago on January 27.
Bao Bao, a 5-month-old giant panda, is toted around by her mom, Mei Xiang, at the National Zoo in Washington
on Jan. 26. Bao Bao made her much-anticipated public debut Jan. 18.(Photo: Josh Bassett, Your Take)

Airlines cancel flights 
The storms also snarled air travel across the country.  Airlines on Tuesday canceled more than 3,100 flights within, into or out of the United States, with hundreds each at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston's George Bush International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, according to, which tracks cancellations due to both weather and mechanical problems.  It wasn't just the South shuddering. Midwesterners and others more accustomed to bitter weather are, too.  All told, about 140 million people in 34 states were under some sort of winter weather warning or advisory, from snow and ice to bitterly cold wind chills, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.  Sleet and freezing rain began falling early Tuesday in East Texas, which along with Louisiana, was the first area to be affected by the winter storm.  "This town is shutting down," New Orleans cab driver August Delaney said.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency and warned residents to stay off the roads.  Robert Latham, the state's emergency management director, warned residents to expect power outages as well.  "We're looking at a part of the state that has a large number of pine trees," Latham said. "I can tell you that as ice accumulates on pine trees, limbs will break. Trees will fall. Power will be out."

 WATCH: Atlanta commuters stranded in cars after snowfall.

 WATCH:  Traffic chaos in Atlanta.

 WATCH: CNN Meterologist describes highway chaos.

 WATCH: Hot chocolate given to stranded drivers.

 WATCH: Gov. Nathan Deal - I'm willing to take the blame.

A rough commute 
It usually takes Krystle Venuti Moore 10 minutes to drive home from her job at a mall in Kennesaw, Georgia. On Tuesday, it took her five hours, even though there wasn't much snow.  It's quite a change from how storms were handled in her native New Hampshire, where she lived until she was 15.  "My family thinks it's hilarious," she said.  There was one perk in the lengthy commute: "watching the community and people helping each other out."  She saw high school students on ATVs offering rides to stranded motorists. And someone pushed her car when it got stuck.  But it wasn't all positive. She saw drivers foul up traffic as they spun out after driving too fast, and even when she got close to home, she had to park a mile away and walk.  The worst part?  Normally in five hours, "I could have driven to Florida," she said, "someplace warm." - CNN.

GREAT DELUGE: Bolivia Declares NATIONAL EMERGENCY Over TWO MONTHS Of Flooding And Mudslides - At Least 30 Deaths; 21,000 Homeless; $1 MILLION Allocated For Victims!

January 29, 2014 - BOLIVIA - Bolivia's government has declared a national emergency to deal with flooding that has claimed at least 30 lives and forced some 21,000 families from their homes over the past two months.

Civil Defense chief Oscar Cabrera said Tuesday that a 10th body had been found from a weekend mudslide in the town of Rurrenabaque triggered by heavy rain.

Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera's approval of the emergency degree frees up at least $1 million for victims of flooding that has hit hardest the regions of La Paz, Beni, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. - FOX News.

WATCH: National emergency in Bolivia.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Stunning Weather Phenomenon - Rectangular Sun Spotted over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?!

January 29, 2014 - SUN - No, it's not an alien planet. It's just Rio. On Jan. 23rd, Helio C. Vital looked out over the ocean from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and saw something out of this world--a rectangular sun:

As alien as it appeared, this was a phenomenon of Earth. "An inversion air layer next to the sea surface caused the top of the setting sun to acquire unusual shapes. In a matter of tens of seconds, it went from a saucer to a cup, then to a rectangle," says Vital.

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains further: "A mirage morphed the sun into a rectangular block brighter at its top edge. It is even more complex than it seems. Sun rays are deflected (refracted) through the different temperature layers of a temperature inversion, cold air trapped beneath warmer air, to form not one sun image but three or even more. The topmost bright strip is the sun grazing the top of the inversion layer. Beneath it are two or more sun images, half of them rising and the others descending. They overlap to form the rectangle. Other shots show the separate sun images."

"Look for these mock-mirages and their green flashes when the horizon shows a dark band of a temperature inversion," he advises. "But take care and never ever use binoculars or a telescope. Magnified sunlight can cause serious eye damage." - Space Weather.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Los Angeles, Brace Yourself For A Bigger Earthquake - Scientists Predict!

January 29, 2014 - LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - A new study has shown that Los Angeles could experience bigger earthquakes in the future. Scientists are urging citizens in the region to brace themselves as their prediction could become reality. This finding is due to a new technique developed by scientists to predict future earthquakes.

A new study suggests that Los Angeles could experience bigger earthquakes in the future. An aerial photo
of the San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain, northwest of Los Angeles. (Photo : Wikipedia)

Scientists believe that should major seismic activity occur to the city's south; then Los Angeles would experience stronger-than-anticipated ground movement. The new technique uses weak vibrations that are generated by the Earth's oceans to create what they call "virtual earthquakes." Scientist thinks this virtual earthquake can be used to predict shaking hazards and ground movement to buildings posed by real earthquake tremors, according to a statement by Stanford School of Earth Sciences associate director of communications, Ker Than.

"We used our virtual earthquake approach to reconstruct large earthquakes on the southern San Andreas Fault and studied the responses of the urban environment of Los Angeles to such earthquakes," said study lead author Marine Denolle, who recently received her doctorate in geophysics from Stanford and is now at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

Furthermore, it is claimed that earthquakes are not the only things on this planet that create seismic waves.

"If you put a seismometer in the ground and there's no earthquake, what do you record? It turns out that you record something," Stanford geophysics professor and study leader Greg Beroza said.

The seismometer placed in the ground will allow the instrument to record a faint signal known as the ambient seismic field. This field is created when the ocean interacts with the solid Earth, according to the researchers.

"These seismic waves are billions of times weaker than the seismic waves generated by earthquakes that we are worried about," Beroza said. "But they propagate through the same earth and carry much the same information about it [as earthquake-related waves], so we can use these weaker waves to anticipate the behavior of the larger waves."

Marine Denolle, an earthquake seismologist, says that a number of seismometers have been installed on the San Andreas Fault to measure ambient waves.

"We used our virtual earthquake approach to reconstruct large earthquakes on the southern San Andreas Fault and studied the responses of the urban environment of Los Angeles to such earthquakes," Denolle said in a statement.

These findings have predicted that seismic waves traveling to Los Angeles would cause for stronger shaking that doesn't happen in normal conditions. - Tech Times.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Massive Sinkhole Shuts Down Busy Northwest Atlanta Road!

January 29, 2014 - ATLANTA, UNITED STATES - Crews are working right now to fix a broken water main on a busy road in northwest Atlanta.

A northwest Atlanta street was shut down early Monday while crews worked to repair a ruptured
water main that caused a sinkhole. Atlanta Journal Constitutional (John Spunk)

Channel 2's Sophia Choi saw crews trying to make repairs overnight on Collier Drive.

The main break has caused all kinds of problems on Collier Drive, which is closed between Valley Heart Drive and Chalmers Drive.

The water from that broken pipe flooded Collier Drive and caused a sinkhole which is at least 5 feet deep and 12 feet wide.

Here are several images of the sinkhole:

Before crews could fix the 16-inch cast iron pipe, Georgia Power had to fix a leaning pole. It took four hours for that to happen. Georgia Power is using a specially equipped truck to hold up the pole, while city crews try to fix the water main.

“We're probably looking at late this afternoon before anything is completed. It'll probably take us about two or three hours to fix the pipe. To get the road completed, (it will) probably (take) about another four or five hours,” said Scheree Rawles of the Atlanta Department of Watershed.

Choi found out about the water main break when a Channel 2 Action News viewer sent video from Sunday.

Now Collier Drive looks more like a river with water gushing down the road from the broken pipe. The water caused the road to buckle in several areas.

WATCH: Sinkhole closes road in Northwest Atlanta.

Crews emphasize it's going to take pretty much all day to get the road safe enough to open.

Choi has been speaking with neighbors about the mess, including a 98-year-old man who's lived on this street for 56 years. - WTEV.

PLANETARY TREMORS: The Heart Of New Madrid Seismic Zone - 2.6 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Kentucky, Stirs Concerns!

January 29, 2014 - KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES - A few seconds of strange sounds and shaking; many of you experienced that during yesterday's earthquake near LaCenter, Kentucky.

USGS earthquake location.

Some may wonder if the tremor could trigger more earthquakes.  Luckily, the earthquake doesn't mean much. The geologist points out this was a 2.6 magnitude quake. They usually have to be 2.5 magnitude or more to even be felt and larger than that to trigger aftershocks, generally above a 5.

It turns out this earthquake is one of many this size along the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the last 25 years, but the people who felt it are still shaken.

Inside Bluegrass Grill in LaCenter, Kentucky, Max Loe serves the usual; a warm meal, hot coffee, and good conversation.

Today's topic is different.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The 2.6 magnitude earthquake has shaken the tiny town and stirred up questions.

Murray State Geologist George Kipphut said people should prepare for an earthquake, but not worry.

"A small earthquake in LaCenter does not necessarily mean a large earthquake is going to follow soon," Kipphut said.

Back at Bluegrass, Loe sorts silverware as her customers sift through their stories.

everyone has accepted the fact, it'll happen again. the only question is when.

A spokesperson with The U.S. Geological Survey said they will not be sending a team to the LaCenter area because this event wasn't large enough.

WATCH: Earthquake shakes, stirs up questions.

He said if there were multiple small quakes, then they would consider sending a follow up team.

The geologist said individual and family preparedness can go a long way. use this as an opportunity to prepare for all types of natural disasters.

For some helpful disaster preparedness tools from the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency, click here.   

The earthquake also gained the attention of students inside a Paducah Tilghman science class.

Teacher Nancy Broyles tells us her students paid extra attention today as they looked at the seismograph, and learned more about what earthquakes can do.

Broyles let her students know earthquakes of this magnitude are common along the new Madrid seismic zone. - WPSD.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Mass Bird Die-Off - About 1,000 Birds Die From Outbreak Of Disease In Kaiapoi, New Zealand!

January 29, 2014 - NEW ZEALAND - Contractors trying to stop the spread of avian botulism in North Canterbury now estimate that 1000 birds have been killed.

File photo.

Dead birds were discovered in oxidation ponds in Kaiapoi earlier in January and contractors are now removing carcasses to contain the outbreak.

Waimakariri District Council spokesperson Gerard Cleary said on Wednesday that the ponds are monitored several times a year in the Brooklands Lagoon area and the previous check on 6 January showed no evidence of the disease.

Mr Cleary said by Tuesday, there were about 1000 dead birds on pond banks and in the water, with a further 20 showing classic symptoms of avian botulism - lethargy and partial paralysis of the feet and wings.

The disease, which cannot be contracted by humans, is relatively common with several outbreaks in the greater Christchurch area in the past few years. However, this is the largest known outbreak at the Kaiapoi oxidation ponds, the council says.

The species most affected to date are: Paradise Shelduck, Black Swan, Mallard, Grey Teal and New Zealand Shoveler. The Kaiapoi ponds typically contain a total bird population of between 5000 and 6000 birds. The majority of these are currently moulting, which renders them flightless for a short period and thereby increases the risk of them contracting the disease.

Minimisation of the outbreaks consists of the removal and safe disposal of dead carcasses, which prevents the spread of the disease. The outbreak is unlikely to end completely until the arrival of cooler weather, with frosts breaking the re-generation cycle of the disease. - Radio NZ.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Wash Up At Thompson's Bayou In Florida, United States!

January 29, 2014 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - Hundreds of dead fish are being found in shallow water and along the banks of Thompson’s Bayou at the University of West Florida today.

Dead mullet and other fish have been washing up at Thompson’s Bayou on the University of West Florida campus.
Officials suspect the fish died as a result of recent cold weather. / By Will Isern/

Dead mullet and other fish started to appear a few days after arctic cold weather hit the area two weeks ago.

Today, many dead fish could be seen around the bayou that flows into the Escambia River.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission suspects cold weather may be to blame.

Fish kills have been reported at various locations in Escambia County in recent days including Smith’s Fish Camp on the Escambia River, Herron Bayou and Perdido Bay.For more information or to report a fish kill vist or call the fish kill hotline at (800) 636-0511. - PNJ.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Massive TWENTY-FOOT Sinkhole Swallows Woman's Driveway In Florida... And She's Afraid It Could Take Her House Too!

January 29, 2014 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - A 20-foot-wide sinkhole has swallowed the driveway belonging to an elderly Florida woman - and neighbors fear it could take her house, too.

In too deep: This poor Florida woman had to flee her home after her driveway was sucked in by a sinkhole.

The elderly resident of the house in Pasco County was able to escape with her two cats, but her car is still trapped in the garage.

There's no way to get it out with a five-foot deep hole directly in front of the door.

WTSP-TV reports that firefighters evacuated several of the woman's neighbors - fearing the hole could grow and consume their homes as well.

In March, a 36-year-old man died outside Tampa when a sinkhole opened under his bed and sucked him under.

Firefighters evacuated her neighbors, as well, for fear that ground could be unstable at their homes, as well.

Neighbor Joy Zupancic said she couldn't believe the hole in her neighbor's dirveway.

If the sinkhole doesn't grow and damaged her house, the woman will likely be stuck to foot the entire bill to repair her driveway.

A Florida law ensures that homeowners' insurance only covers damage to the home itself - not to the surrounding property damaged by sinkholes.

Sinkhole can be fairly common in the central parts of the Sunshine State.

WATCH: Sinkhole swallows up Florida driveway.

'I could not believe it until I saw it with my own eyes,' neighbor Joy Zupancic told WTSP.

The woman's neighbors have returned - but not without their fair share of unease.

'If you had a sinkhole, you would be worried to. We don't want it to grow,' George Kimball, who lives next door to the hole, said.

Sinkholes like those often seen in Florida are caused by acidic water eroding the limestone be beneath the soil.

Because of the geological makeup of the Sunshine State, certain areas are more prone to this phenomenon. - Daily Mail.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Most Incredible Thing I've Ever Seen,... Never Saw Anything Like It,... As Bright As The Sun,... Half The Size Of The Full Moon,..." - Massive Meteor Fireball Seen Over At Least 8 American Midwest States!

January 29, 2014 - SPACE - The American Meteor Society has received over 100 reports of a bright fireball seen from mid western states at approximately 10:30 PM local eastern time.

File illustration.
America Meteor Society.

Witnesses from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Pennsylvania reported an extremely large and bright bluish green ball of light followed by a bright white tail.

Sighting reports clustered the start and end point of the meteor near the Ohio and Kentucky border, heading from the east almost due west.

UPDATE FROM Bill Cooke (Meteoroid Environments Office, NASA)
  • Time of this fireball was January 29 at 01:17:39 UTC (Jan 28 – 8:17pm EST.)
  • Best trajectory estimation:
    Start location: 83.397 W, 37.809 N at 93 km altitude
    End location: 84.278 W, 37.162 N at 70 km altitude
    Speed: 36 km/s +/- 7 km/s
    Radiant: RA 172.1 +/- 2 deg, Dec +40.8 +/- 0.4 deg
AMS Event #312-2014 – "Mid West Fireball" – January 28th, 2014 – 2D Trajectory.

Below is a 3D estimate of the meteor’s path through the atmosphere. 

AMS Event #312-2014 – “Mid West Fireball” – January 28th, 2014 – 3D Trajectory.

This mid western fireball event was followed by three more fireballs in different parts of the country a few hours later in the night. The three followup fireballs all occurred within 15 minutes of each other near 5:00 UTC time. AMS Event #313, over Missouri happened just a few 100 miles away from the earlier event in Ohio. AMS Event #314 was reported in California and a forth confirmed fireball, AMS Event #316 was report from Florida. 

January 28th, 29th 2014 – Four Confirmed Fireball Events.

Here are a few eye-witness reports:

It was the most incredible thing I've ever seen. - Dawn O., Xenia, OH, US

It was the most impressive meteor I've ever seen. Usually the ones I see are just a yellowish streak, maybe once or twice saw it get a little brighter. But I've never seen one break up and I've never seen multiple colors. - Matt B., Zanesville, OH, US

Absolutely beautiful tail trailing the fireball. Long, bright, and multi-colored. Space, you guys! - Nick V., West Chester, OH, US

It was so bright, not like the usual falling star. As we sat a the red light, I watched it appear and disappear. It looked like a ball of fire. Stellar magnitude of -27 (our Sun's magnitude is -26.74) - Nicole J., Westerville, OH, US

Huge ball - Size comparative to half the size of full moon. - Pam H., Williamstown, WV, US.

I was actually talking to another truck driver on the phone who is in Ill on I64 and we both said what the hell was that. 90miles due west of me, he saw the exact same thing I did and it blew both of our minds. Never saw anything like that before. I was kind of exciting and kind of scary. Makes me wonder what's happening in space that no one has told us about. - Jerald C., Haubstadt, IN, US.

See more reports HERE.

If you witnessed any of these fireball events, please fill out an official fireball report. - AMS.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Freak Electrical Storm Batters Half Of Britain - Incredible Pictures Emerge Of Ferocious Lightning And Giant Hailstones!

January 29, 2014 - BRITAIN - Heavy rain and strong wind has battered much of Britain, with fierce thunderstorms hitting London as the Met Office issued severe weather warnings.

Lightning strikes: This dramatic picture shows the moment a bolt of lightning struck a building in
Birmingham as fierce storms battered Britain.

Warning: Forecasters have warned of more heavy rain tomorrow in south west England, creating the
danger of further flooding on the Somerset Levels.

Shoppers were left drenched in fierce downpours across the south, while sports fans at football, rugby and horse racing meetings were hit by torrential rain.

London was struck by a fierce electrical storm in later afternoon, with lightning strikes cracking across the sky, pouring rain and hailstones pelting the city.

The thunderstorms also struck across the Midlands and into East Anglia, with winds of more than 50mph reported yesterday afternoon.

Birmingham was also hit by lightning, and enormous hailstones were said to have battered buildings in Leicester.

Rail travellers and motorists also faced disruption as highways officers were called in to clear trees in Warwickshire and South West Trains services were halted after trees toppled onto the railway lines.

Battering: This huge hailstone was spotted in Leicester, according to one Twitter user.

Strike: Lightning and heavy rain hit East Lindsey, Lincolnshire.

There were also delays on the route between London and Norwich after a tree fell onto overhead lines during a storm.

Britain faces further flooding today as another band of heavy rain sweeps the country – prompting one MP to call for the Army to be put on standby.

The saturated South West will bear the brunt, with blustery wet weather lasting several days.

Severe weather warnings were issued yesterday by the Met Office for all of the South West, and the Environment Agency said already full rivers are likely to burst their banks.

There is also potential for further river flooding across the south west and southern counties.
The risk of flooding from groundwater continues in parts of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, West Berkshire and Surrey into next week.

Low-lying areas of Somerset – where villages have been only reachable by boat for a month – will be particularly hard hit. The county is nearing breaking point, its council leader John Osman warned.

West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said floods in his region were the worst for a century, adding: ‘I have told the Prime Minister we need extra pumping capacity and we may also need help from the military.’

He spoke after local councils declared a full-scale emergency. Somerset County Council said: ‘We’ve asked the Army to come up with solutions.’

Torrential: The thunderstorms struck across the Midlands and into East Anglia,
with winds of more than 50mph reported.

Somerset County Council has declared a 'major incident' for all areas affected by flooding in the county.

Deputy chief executive Pat Flaherty said: 'Our priority has to be to keep people safe. We are doing everything we can to do this and we believe that declaring a major incident shows just how urgent the situation is for many of our residents and communities.

'The reason we are taking this action is the long-term nature of the issues we are facing and to enable a consistent approach to the way that we deal with them.'

The county council will continue its help and support for people affected by flooding which includes a boat service for the cut-off community of Muchelney and Thorney, providing a pontoon bridge at Langport, supporting farmers providing a vital tractor service to communities, keeping roads open and evacuating residents when necessary.

Sedgemoor District Council has also declared a 'major incident' on the Somerset Levels.

Many communities are still coming to terms with the flooding that hit Somerset at the beginning of January and now face further problems.

 The Environment Agency has issued ten flood warnings across the South of England. Parts of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, Berkshire and Surrey are also at risk.

A spokesman said: 'With the ground already saturated, rivers and groundwater levels remain very responsive to rainfall, particularly on the Somerset Levels.

'Environment Agency teams continue to operate up to 62 pumps 24 hours a day to drain an estimated 65 million cubic metres of floodwater off an area of the Levels spanning 65 square kilometres.'

The Met Office said: ‘There is potential to see nearly an inch of rain across the South West on Sunday.’

The Met Office issued an amber warning of severe weather for the south west, from 6am to 2pm today saying: 'More heavy rain will spread east across the area on Sunday. Given the current disruption on the Somerset Levels, the public should be prepared for further flooding.

 The chief forecaster said that rain across the UK would be accompanied by strong winds with gusts of up to 80mph, and rainfall accumulations of 10 to 20mm were expected.

The Environment Agency has eight flood warnings in place for the south west, which mean flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

A deep depression building across the Atlantic will sweep over the north west and will lead to gusts of wind battering the north west of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Northern Isles, they said.

 Yesterday morning, mist descended over large parts of the country, with large swathes of the countryside shrouded in light fog.

Forecaster Kirk Waite said: 'We've got a deep low pressure developing in the Atlantic that will swing past the north west of the country and it will bring strong winds.

'For much of the country this will reach at 40-50mph gusts in the far west and also the north west, this could be more towards 50-60mph.'

 Mr Waite said the yellow warning in Northern Ireland, the west of Scotland and the Northern Isles would last from midday today to 9am on Monday.

London was hit by a deluge of rain, as ominous black storm clouds filled the skies.

Fog blankets the rolling hills in Somerset as rain and wind are expected to hit Britain this weekend.

'There is a potential for gusts reaching 80mph - but that's for the extreme regions,' he said.

'Overnight showers will die away. Should be quite breezy, but quite clear. The temperature will fall.'

He added that today the cloud would build, and a band of rain will sweep in at 6am into western parts of the country.

He said: 'This will move quite quickly but it is expected to have cleared by 3pm.

 'There is a yellow warning where we're expecting 15-25mm of rain quite widely.

'There is a risk that some areas may see a little more of that.

'Behind this band of rain there will be wintry showers in the north and over high ground.'

The extreme weather warning followed a thick blanket of dense fog that descened over much of Britain at the start of the week. - Daily Mail.