Friday, April 4, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER: Tornadoes, Hail, Rain Pummel Several U.S. Midwest And Southern States - Damaging Storms To Strike Cleveland To Atlanta Friday Evening! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

April 04, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Thunderstorms were crawling across a large swath of the Midwest and South on Thursday, spawning suspected tornadoes in Missouri and Texas, and slamming several states with large hail and heavy rain that prompted a handful of water rescues.

A strong storm sent a tree through his home and garage, landing on a car on Thursday, April 3, 2014 in Belleville, Ill.
Portions of southern Illinois are being told to brace for a second round of potentially volatile storms after a possible
tornado hit neighboring Missouri. The National Weather Service says the storm that swept across the St. Louis region
Thursday morning caused no injuries or significant damage in the metropolitan area's Illinois suburbs.
(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Stephanie S. Cordle)

Four people were injured in Texas when a suspected tornado destroyed a farmhouse and a mobile home Thursday night near Merit, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said the injuries weren't life-threatening, though he didn't have details.

Storms pummeled the North Texas college city of Denton with hail as large as baseballs, leading to reports of broken windows and other damage. The National Weather Service in Tulsa noted reports of hail up to the size of ping pong balls and strong wind gusts.

Arkansas saw smaller hail, and falling tree limbs knocked out power in western parts of the state.

The heaviest rainfall was tapering off around midnight, though flash-flood warnings will remain in effect through daybreak in eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, and western Kentucky because of runoff from the torrential rains, according to the National Weather Service.

No injuries resulted from the twister that hit University City just west of St. Louis shortly before 5:30 a.m., damaging about 100 homes in winds that reached up to 110 mph, weather service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said.

A man surveys damage after a tornado hit and knocked trees down damaging homes and cutting power early Thursday,
April 3, 2014 in University City, Mo. Jim Sieveking, of the National Weather Service in St. Louis, says the tornado
touched down in the St. Louis suburb, as a strong storm system with intense lightning and heavy rain
moved through the St. Louis region. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden)

That system also carried heavy rain. Up to 5 inches fell in parts of Missouri, prompting flash flooding that damaged dozens of homes and forced at least two water rescues.

In University City, a densely populated area, the city opened a shelter for evacuees. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

Rainfall was heavy over much of Missouri and western Illinois. The National Weather Service said portions of Johnson County, Mo., had more than 5 inches of rain, causing flash flooding that forced evacuation of some homes in the Warrensburg area. Highway T in Johnson County was closed after rushing water washed out three culverts.

At least two drivers had to be rescued from water that swamped their cars. Even a three-person rescue team was briefly imperiled when flood debris clogged their jet skis. They eventually floated to safety.

Heavy rains also flooded some roads in Indiana, and conservation officers said they had rescued at least eight people. - Daily Mail.

Severe Weather In North Texas With Tornadoes Spotted, Damage, Injuries Reported Thursday

Several rounds of severe weather, including reported tornadoes and monster hail, left damage across north Texas on Thursday, injuring at least four.

The storms were part of a multi-state severe weather outbreak, which stretched from the Southern Plains into the Midwest. St. Louis saw a few rounds of severe weather, including an EF1 tornado.

Texas also saw a few waves of severe weather. The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth reports homes were damaged near Highway 69 in Hunt County, including damaged roofs and downed utility poles. The extent of damage from a reported tornado near Farmersville, Texas was not immediately known, but at least four people were injured when a farmhouse and a mobile home were destroyed northeast of the area near the town of Merit.

WATCH:  Baseball-Sized Hail Pelts Texas.

Denton, about 40 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth, saw two rounds of monster hail drive through the town less than two hours apart Thursday evening.

The first storm pounded the area around 4 p.m. CT, dropping baseball-sized hail. Several pictures surfaced on Twitter showing damage to cars.

The second round rolled through around 5:45 p.m. CT — this time, prompting a tornado warning for Denton County. Photos on Twitter show damage to cars and some structures at the University of North Texas campus in Denton.

According to, mostly roofs and cars took the brunt of the storm. The National Weather Service says an 82 mph wind gust was recorded at the airport. Egg-sized hail was also reported with the second cell.

Several tornado watches are posted through the evening from the Southern Plains into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.

Meteorologists warned Thursday would bring a severe weather outbreak, with threats including tornadoes, high wind and hail. The storm threat is forecast to continue overnight into Friday evening. - TWC.

Damaging Storms To Strike Cleveland To Atlanta Friday Evening

As the storm system responsible for bringing severe weather to the Central states at midweek continues to move eastward, the threat of severe weather will slowly diminish. However, a few storms along an advancing cold front can still bring strong gusty winds, hail and blinding downpours into Friday evening.

The greatest risk of thunderstorms with damaging wind into Friday evening is from eastern Ohio to northern West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and western upstate New York and over the Florida Panhandle, as well as in offshore Gulf of Mexico waters.

Winds in some of the storms can bring gusts to 60 mph. A couple of the strongest storms can produce a brief tornado.

Throughout the zone from the lower Great Lakes to the central Gulf Coast there can be brief downpours with incidents of flash, urban and small stream flooding possible.

People are urged to keep an eye on the weather for rapidly changing weather conditions. Listen to alerts on radio and TV. Stay up-to-date with devices equipped with AccuWeather Apps.

The storms will tend to weaken upon reaching the Atlantic coast Friday night, especially in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where a wedge of cool air has moved in from the east. Still, a strong thunderstorm or downpours with rumbles of thunder are possible from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

A few storms in the southeastern corner of the nation can linger and be locally strong on Saturday. - AccuWeather.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Louisiana's Giant Bayou Corne Sinkhole Eats Well Pad - Are People Next?!

April 04, 2014 - LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES - After Bayou Corne's 30-acre sinkhole sucked down more of south Louisiana's treasured environment, and a large portion of a well pad Wednesday, officials worry people might be next. Texas Brine Co. was releasing methane gas pressure from its failed cavern in Napoleonville Salt Dome in Assumption Parish when the latest event occurred.

Louisiana's Bayou Corne Sinkhole is proving its appetite is increasing this spring. It's developed a taste for a well pad
at the fossil fuel storage area where reckless drilling birthed it in Aug. 2012
Assumption Parish, John Boudreau.

The official parish video of part of the latest event (above) shows an estimated 40-foot by 10-foot section of the well pad slowly sink beneath the sinkhole’s surface around 2:35 p.m.

The sinkhole edge collapsed again, called a slough-in, as it has been doing since the sinkhole was only 400 by 400 metres in August 2012 when first spotted, a human rights issue yet to be addressed as such.

This new event came only five days after the last slough-in, that pulled six giant cypress trees down into the seemingly bottomless pit. Texas Brine was releasing methane gas pressure from the cavern around the same time then, too.

 WATCH: Slough In that occurred off of Pad 3.


State regulators say they are trying to determine to what extent reducing methane pressure inside the cavern is linked to the recent slough-ins.

State and Texas Brine officials are trying to reduce cavern pressure in measured amounts and watch for any consequences, according to Patrick Courreges, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.

“Any sudden, sharp change in condition that might have the potential to release additional gas/crude oil, or alter the sinkhole growth trend in some way that would pose a greater threat to the public or to Bayou Corne itself must be prevented,” Courreges told a resident in an email Monday.

John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness shot the video. He said he continued seeing small bits of the well pad — once used by the company to work on the well — being eaten away by the sinkhole.

“Every now and then, I see a piece fall in,” he said.

Scientists think Texas Brine LLC.'s cavern, carved with fresh water from a large underground deposit of salt, collapsed in its supporting side wall.

Rock surrounding that deposit flowed inside the cavern. The shifting rock underground resulted in the sinkhole in August 2012, along with thousands of earthquakes and methane gas leaks that number of 100 now.

Louisiana officials permitted the company's cavern to be developed too close to the 1-mile by 3-mile Napoleonville Salt Dome. State officials also permitted the dome to be developed, despite that specific area being home to Louisiana's most devastating earthquake.

Now, the entire side of the salt dome is collapsing - under Grand Bayou and Bayou corne communities. It is spurting up methane gas in over 100 areas and daily threatening an methane gas explosion.

Such disasters in Louisiana are business as usual where its Governor Bobby Jindal has reaped $1 million in oil lobby money.

There is no other reason why Bobby Jindal refuses to make the oil industry pay for all that it has destroyed in the state.

“There’s no other explanation other than the fact he has received over $1 million in contributions,” Anne Rolfes, director of Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) has said.

The governor's and state legislators' unashamed profit over people drive has created a national sacrifice zone out of the area, that's been under a mandatory evacuation for over 18 months. - Examiner.

MONUMENTAL GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Geological Upheaval - Baby Volcanic Island Swallows Up Its Older Neighbor In Japan!

April 04, 2014 - JAPAN - As a seafloor volcano continues to erupt in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean, a newborn island has swallowed its neighbor whole, images from space show.

Landsat 8 snapped this image of Niijima and Nishino-shima, now one island, on March 30, 2014.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

In November 2013, a baby volcanic island rose from the sea out of a volcanic blast in the Bonin Islands about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of Tokyo, on the western edge of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a hotbed of seismic activity. Named Niijima, the newcomer boiled the sea and spewed steam, ash and lava fragments into the air.

Some thought the small black cone - which sprouted just offshore of a larger volcanic island called Nishino-shima - might slip back into the sea, vanishing under pounding waves. But Niijima kept growing.

Now a satellite image taken March 30, 2014, by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 shows that Niijima has actually overtaken Nishino-shima.

Together, the conjoined islands measure about 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) across, officials with NASA's Earth Observatory said. The landmass has also tripled in height since December, now rising more than 196 feet (60 m) above sea level.

A new volcanic island, called Nishino-shima, emerged from the ocean on Nov. 20, 2013.
Credit: Japanese Coast Guard

The smashed-together islands mark the top of a giant submarine volcano that had not erupted since a major outpouring in 1973 to 1974, according to the Japanese Coast Guard. Lava flows are now most active in the southern portion of the new landmass, and plumes of ash continue to rise, with tiny particles seeding a stream of white cloud puffs overhead.

"The intermittent, pulsing shape of the cloud stream might be a reflection of the volcanic eruption itself," officials with NASA's Earth Observatory wrote. "Strombolian explosions are essentially bubbles of lava and gas rising from Earth's interior in pulses. Underwater, sediment appears to be stirred up in a green plume that stretches eastward from the island." - Livescience.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Strong 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Southern Greece!

April 04, 2014 - GREECE - Seismologists say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 rattled southern Greece and was widely felt in the capital, Athens. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

USGS earthquake location map.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the preliminary magnitude at 5.7, with an epicenter 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of the island of Hydra and about 78 kilometers (48 miles) south of Athens. They later downgraded it to a 5.5 magnitude.

The Web site of the Athens Geodynamic Institute put the magnitude at 5.6. Different seismology institutes often have varying magnitudes in the early hours after a quake.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

USGS earthquake uncertainty ratio map.

The quake occurred at 11:08 p.m. local time (2008 GMT).

Greece lies in a very seismically active area. A series of strong earthquakes in January on the western island of Kefalonia damaged hundreds of homes and injured more than a dozen people. - AP.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity.
The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.

In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey's most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa's largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily's east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. - USGS.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - U.S. Stocks End Near Lows; Nasdaq Wipes Out 2.5 PERCENT; DOW Dives 150!

April 04, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - Stocks closed out the week with a big thud Friday, with the Nasdaq narrowly avoiding its worst one-day loss this year as momentum names got crushed for a second day. The Dow and S&P 500 finished far from their record highs hit earlier in the session.

"This is a spillover effect from the Nasdaq's momentum names into the broader market," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "We've seen momentum names weak over the week and that seems to have picked up steam today – 1,875 on the S&P 500 is going to be a critical level. If we close below that, people are going to see it as a resistance level."

 For the second day, momentum stocks such as Tesla, Netflix, and Priceline fell heavily. Newly split Google Class A and Class C shares were both down more than 4 percent.

"The jobs report was more or less in line with expectations but the market had been up for four-consecutive days," note Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus. "Those that were long the big cap NDX names used the rally as a selling opportunity...It got very ugly after yesterday's lows were pierced. Selling begets selling so money managers can protect their performance."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 159.84 points, or 0.96 percent, to close at 16,412.71, after hitting a fresh high near the open. Still, the index managed to squeeze out its first 3-week win streak since November.

The S&P 500 fell 23.68 points, or 1.25 percent, to end at 1,865.09. The Nasdaq slumped 110.01 points, or 2.60 percent, to finish at 4,127.73. The Nasdaq tumbled as much as 2.8 percent and is down more than 5 percent from its 14-year high of 4,371 reached on Mar. 6, turning negative for the year. Both indexes logged their worst one-day session in two months.

The Global X Social Media Index ETF, Dow Jones Internet Index Fund and iShares Nasdaq Biotech ETF were all down more than 3 ercent each.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped near 14.

Most key S&P sectors finished in the red, dragged by techs, which had its worst day in nearly a year.

The U.S. created 192,000 new jobs in March after a gain of 197,000 in February, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. Economists polled by Reuters had expected employment to increase 200,000 last month and the unemployment rate to dip to 6.6 percent.

"I think this is enough of a goldilocks number for the market – it doesn't change Fed tapering, but still signals the economy is expanding gradually," said Anthony Valeri, investment strategist for LPL Financial.

The central bank previously said it would look to overhaul policy once the unemployment rate declined to 6.5 percent, but has since signaled that policy is no longer focused on unemployment.

Online food delivery services company GrubHub soared nearly 40 percent in its market debut. The company priced its IPO on Thursday at $26 a share, valuing the company at about $2.04 billion. The price was slightly above an already raised expected range of $23-$25 per share.

Anadarko Petroleum climbed after the oil and gas company said it would pay more than $5 billion to clean up areas across the United States polluted by nuclear fuel, wood creosote and rocket fuel waste, resolving a long-running lawsuit. At least 11 brokerages boosted their price targets on the company.

CarMax slumped after the auto retailer posted earnings and revenue that were below expectations. However, the company increased its share buyback program by one billion dollars, and said it also corrected an accounting issue during the fourth quarter related to extended warranties and related issues.

First-quarter earnings season kicks off next week. S&P 500 earnings are expected to grow just 1.2 percent versus last year, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Revenue is expected to increase just 2.7 percent. Alcoa, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo are all slated to post results next week.

"The bar is pretty low but if we get the typical, 3-percent beat rate, then we'll see earnings growth of 5 percent, which the market will be fine with," said Valeri. "And if you see some revenue growth, then investors will be happy."

Companies have been pointing fingers at the unusually cold and long winter weather in lowering expectations. There have been almost six negative pre-announcements for every positive one, according to Thomson Reuters. - CNBC.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Ice Age Now - Drought, Harsh Winters Spike Up Food Prices Across The United States; Heavy Snowfall Destroys Up To 95 PERCENT Of Apricot Harvest And Damages Other Fruit Crops In Armenia; American Farmers Face Planting Issues As Cold Conditions And Drought Linger; And Lingering Winter Delays Planting Season By Weeks In New Hampshire!

April 04, 2014 - GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS - A devastating drought and the harsh winter is costing Americans more at the dinner table. From meat to fruit and vegetables, the cost of food is on the rise.

Drought, Harsh Winters Spike Up Food Prices Across The United States

Grocery stores across the country are hiking up the prices of some major food staples.

In February alone, prices rose .4 percent and by the end of 2014, experts say expect an increase of as much as 3.5 percent.

A severe drought in the Midwest is one of the factors to blame for the price increase, and the beef industry has been hit especially hard.

"Beef supplies are down. We expect beef supplies to be down 6-7% this year. Supplies are down. Prices go up," Dr. Stephen Amosson, a Texas A&M extension economist, said.

In January, the USDA recorded the highest price for a pound of fresh beef since it began tracking this statistic more than 25 years ago.

Then there's produce, higher prices this time of year are normal because of the transition from winter to spring.

The concern is about prices later in the year.

WATCH: Harsh winter and drought spike food prices.

"As the new crops come in the prices are high, but this year we expect them to go higher because some of the crops have been eliminated, mainly because they just won't have enough water," said Peter Carcione of Carcione Fresh Produce Company. 

The unusually cold winter and increases in demand have also contributed to the rising price of food.

"There may be products that are really affected, and other ones that are not, so you'll have to wait and see, and I think people will also adjust what they eat a bit, to what's available," Frank Ballentine, President of Green Leaf Produce, said. - CBN.

Heavy Snowfall Destroys Up To 95% Of Apricot Harvest And Damages Other Fruit Crops In Armenia
Armenia's annual apricot harvest averages 50,000-55,000 tonnes. ITAR-TASS/Alexander Kolbasov

A recent cold spell and a heavy snowfall has killed about 90-95% of the apricot harvest in Armenia, causing a damage of $ 25-30 million, chairman of the Armenian Union of Agrarians and Peasants Grach Berberyan told journalists.

"The frost and snow killed forming blossoms," he said. "Damage was done to apricot, plum, peach, cherry trees and early-ripe species of grapes. The most affected areas are in the Ararat plain and in regions near Yerevan."

Armenia's annual apricot harvest averages 50,000-55,000 tonnes, of which 20,000-22,000 tonnes are exported and about 10,000 tonnes are further processed.

A heavy snowfall hit the republic over the past weekend. The snow blanket, according to meteorologists, reached 20 centimetres. Air temperatures dropped to three degrees below zero. - ITAR-TASS.   

Lingering Winter Delays Planting Season By Weeks In New Hampshire
Farmers, gardeners say they're weeks behind.

The calendar may tell farmers and gardeners to get out and start planting, but that's impossible right now.

The late-season cold and snow is wreaking havoc with New Hampshire's growing season.

If Abby Wiggin of Wake Robin Farm had her way, her plants would already be in the ground.

"Last year, we planted peas on March 21," she said. "It's April 2 now, and I can't get a tiller out in the field."

It's the same in fields across the state. Some farms are two to three weeks behind schedule. Home gardeners and the gardening retail business have been slow to start, too.

"As far as people coming in to shop, we're two weeks behind," said Beth Simpson of Rolling Green Nursery.

At Rolling Green Nursery, the winter blankets covering outdoor perennials are just now being rolled up, a week or two later than normal.

The greenhouse plants are on track, although the extra cold nights and a lack of sunshine have slowed some a bit. Farmers said the sense is that after the long, cold winter, there's a pent-up demand to see color and eat fresh produce.

"If you farm in New England, you just have to take it in stride," Wiggin said. "Some years are colder than others. I'm not worried by any means. It's just going to be late."

Experts said a few warmer-than-normal weeks could make a big difference. - WMUR.

U.S. Farmers Face Planting Issues As Cold Conditions And Drought Linger
"Damp soil leftover from winter, melting snow and lagging temperatures mean a lot of places are going to have
a slow planting period across the Midwest, northern Plains and the Great Lakes,"
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler said. reports despite the official start of spring, lingering effects of the winter season will cause planting delays this year.

While the South will be right on schedule weather-wise for prime planting with looming frost concerns, delays will become more and more likely with every mile heading north.

Frozen Ground, Soil to Create Delays

Coming off a frigid, snow-filled winter for areas from the Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley and Northeast, spring will shape up to be mostly cool and wet.

"Damp soil leftover from winter, melting snow and lagging temperatures mean a lot of places are going to have a slow planting period across the Midwest, northern Plains and the Great Lakes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler said.

With corn and soybeans being the largest crops in the Midwest and Plains, which are planted typically in April and May, one of the most influential factors in when to plant is soil temperature.

"Soil temperatures must be warm enough to support whatever crop you are planting," Mohler said. "For corn that's 50 F or above and for soybeans it's 54 F or above."

After this year's harsh winter with record-breaking cold and snow, meteorologists are concerned that because the ground is still frozen in the Ohio Valley and Upper Midwest, it will take longer for the frost to thaw out of the ground and as a result, keep soil temperatures lower longer.

In these areas, the ground is not expected to heat up quickly, as wetness in the early spring and summer is expected across the regions.

Melting Snow, Severe Weather May Generate Floods

With 92.19 percent of the Great Lakes covered in ice as of March 6, 2014, the water temperatures in the Great Lakes will need time to recover from the historic ice coverage.

"The influence will be in the areas on the east and south sides of the Lakes," Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. "Temperatures may not be quite as warm in the next couple of months going forward."

Along with the ice melt, snow melt along the Great Lakes and in the Upper Midwest can keep soil too moist and cool for planting even if normal temperatures are recorded in the region.

"The soil can't be too moist," Mohler said. "If it is the seeds might rot and it's difficult for machinery to be in the field; it can get stuck."

As a cool and wet start is in the forecast for the Northeast, any above-normal precipitation combined with frost and snow melt may produce some flash flooding events.

Unlike 2013, this year's biggest threats of heavy rain and flooding have shifted into the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley with wet periods in the forecast for both regions.

While the impacts of this year's winter will linger, severe weather season is now upon us which could potentially give farmers another hurdle to jump over.

With high pressure expected off the coast of New England in May, southeastern and eastern Florida could experience an increase in rainfall.

Any type of early tropical wave development could lead to some flooding, according to Pastelok.

Mounting Drought Concerns

With the wet season ending, this spring will be the second in a row with a severe drought for the areas from western Texas through central California, the extreme dryness will take a toll on the planting season.

"In late April to May, temperatures between 90F and 100F will be seen in the Sacramento Valley," Pastelok said.

Due to the severity of the drought, especially in California, water restrictions may be placed on farmers. To date there are no mandatory water restrictions on farmers.

As April is an essential month for wine growers with their grape vines awakening from their dormant stage, growers have immense water needs during this time period. With water restrictions in place, many could experience a significantly reduced crop this season due to the lack of available water resources alongside of the parched ground.

"The soil moisture will not be very deep so it will get used up fast," Mohler said. "They (growers) are going to have problems into the summer because there is too little moisture to last through the hot summer months."

Aside from the impacts on the wine industry, other crops such as vegetables and oranges will likely feel the effects of the drought as well in regards to their taste and relative size.

As the leading state for the production of almonds, artichokes, grapes, kiwi, olives, peaches, pomegranates, rice and walnuts, the result of the drought in California may also impact every state across the U.S., as prices for produce rise.

Weather Pattern May Favor Late Frost

While nothing out of the ordinary is predicted for the Northeast with typical cold shots and freezes in store for the region, the recent weather pattern does have meteorologists worried about late frosts in the lower Ohio and northern Tennessee valleys.

"It seems like the weather pattern has been one that favors some cold air masses coming into the central U.S.," Mohler said.

Two weeks beyond the normal freeze time, late April is the time period for the biggest frost concerns. As a result, timing the planting of corn and soybeans will be essential for the survival of the crops and the success of the harvest. 


- Brainer Dispatch.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States & England - Monster Sinkhole Swallows Up Croagh Patrick's Church, England; Giant Sinkhole Moves Closer To Gulfport, Mississippi Homes As Others Appear Nearby; 3-Metre Wide Sinkhole Appears At Staffordshire B&B, England; Large Sinkhole Destroys Road In Licking County, Ohio; And 10-Feet Deep Sinkhole Traps Minivan In Toledo, Ohio!

April 04, 2014 - UNITED STATES & ENGLAND - The following stories constitutes some of the latest incidents of sinkholes across the United States and England.

Monster Sinkhole Swallows Up Croagh Patrick's Church, England
THAT SINKING FEELING. Photograph of Croagh Patrick taken early yesterday morning
clearly shows the church being swallowed by giant sinkhole.

A giant sinkhole has appeared on the peak of holy mountain, Croagh Patrick causing the church to collapse and disappear, The Mayo News can exclusively reveal. A section of the  roof is the only part of the oratory, built by local men in 1905, that is now above ground and visible.

Experts say ‘a spate of sinkholes all over the country’ are the result of the recent extreme weather which has  had catastrophic consequences along the west coast, leading to a whole herd of cattle vanishing on the Erris penninsula and a  a holiday home near the village of Louisburgh disappearing without trace.   

Emergency services were called to the holy mountain, whose pyramidal peak dominates the skyscape,  shortly after 8am this morning (Monday) after a regular pilgrim made the dramatic discovery. Retired teacher, Mr Donnchadh Ó Móráin, from Dunfanaghy in County Donegal, said he normally climbs the 764-meter high mountain twice a month and that when he reached the summit around 7.30am it was – as is often the case – engulfed in rolling mists and he initially ‘didn’t notice the giant crater where the oratory used to be’.

“I was exhausted after the climb and stopped for a few minutes, looking out over Clew Bay, to catch my breath and rub moisturiser into my feet. I thought I was seeing things when I turned around and noticed the oratory had vanished  into the ground. So naturally, I knelt down and said a prayer, just in case I was in the middle of some kind of miracle,” Mr Ó Morain told The Mayo News.

He continued: “But when it slowly dawned on me that this was real, I walked towards the spot where the roof of the church was jutting up and discovered a huge crater in which the oratory is now dangling perilously. All I can say is, Saint Patrick would turn in his grave, it is like an abyss.”

Mayo County Council personnel along with local community leaders, a representative of the Clergy as well as members of Mayo Mountain Rescue team were on the scene by lunchtime but such was the size of the sinkhole, they were left speechless, scratching their heads and looking into the hole.  

THAT SINKING FEELING This aerial photograph of Croagh Patrick taken early yesterday morning
clearly shows the sinkhole and the half-swallowed church.

“While we were very aware of the increased instances of sinkholes around the country because of the recent flooding and storms it is unprecedented for one to appear on the peak of a mountain. Recovery of the church hangs in the balance now but we will have more information in the coming days after geological experts assess the situation,” a spokesman for the county council said.

He confirmed, that despite budgetary constraints,  the local authority hoped to engage an American Sinkholologist who headed up the famous case in Florida when in February 2013, 37-year-old Jeff Bush went to bed in the quiet residential suburb of east Tampa and disappeared down a sinkhole, sometime during the night.

When questioned, he denied that there would be any attempts to dig for gold, saying he had full faith that Minister of State, Michael Ring, would find the money for the operation somewhere.  

A Fáilte Ireland spokesman said this was the second disaster to occur at a significant Discovery Point along the recently launched Wild Atlantic Way. In January a huge section of an iron-age promontory fort in Dingle, County Kerry,   had been atop a cliff on Slea head since 500BC, toppled into the sea.

He challenged accusations by some sources that the huge amount of traffic by extreme sports enthusiasts up the steep sides of this ancient mountain had contributed to this natural disaster.

“Adventure sports athletes are always very light on their feet and barely hit the ground running, there is no way they have contributed to the cause of this chasmic crater,” the tourism body spokesman said.

However, a local priest said it was ‘a sign from himself upstairs’ that ‘all this exercising was over-rated’ and it was past time for lycra to be banned and for a comeback for sack-cloth and ashes. - Mayo News.

Sinkhole Moves Closer To Gulfport, Mississippi Homes As Others Appear Nearby

Julie Dean says she is getting frustrated with the City of Gulfport in trying to get a sink hole repaired in her backyard. The hole is deep, and Dean says the sink hole swallowed her six foot gate.

"This past Friday, after the heavy rain, the hole opened up a lot larger than it has ever been before, and now it's feet from my home. I contacted the drainage department and the Mayor's office Friday when it happened," said Dean." No one came by, no one called. Monday came; I contacted the drainage department and the Mayor's office. No one came by, no one called. Finally yesterday, Tuesday April 1, someone came and put up a very large fence around our sink hole that is about to swallow two homes."

You can see that other sink holes have popped up in the neighborhood. Across the street from Dean's home there's a smaller sink hole. Next door to that, another sink hole and two more in the front yard of Jason Geddings home. He says the city filled one hole a few months ago, but two more popped up.

"I'm really worried about the kids, because I would hate to see one of them fall into the hole," Geddings said.

I contacted the City of Gulfport Wednesday morning and by midday, Utility Partners had two men on the job.

They connected a robotic camera and placed it down the drainage system to inspect the pipes.

Gulfport Public Works Director Wayne Miller said the problem is a collapsed 30 inch plastic pipe and that the city has a project designed to replace it once two projects ahead of this one are completed.

Dean hopes those two other projects won't take long because time is of the essence.

"It definitely is concerning to me because it is literally a foot, a foot and a half from my home," said Dean. "It is maybe two feet from my neighbor's home, and we are expecting heavy rain coming in this weekend. I'm afraid that it is going to collapse in even further and swallow up my home."  - WLOX.

Three-Metre Wide Sinkhole Appears At Staffordshire B&B, England
A sink hole has opened up next to a bed and breakfast in north Staffordshire.
The hole is expanding "all the time" Mr Tester said.

Phil Tester, owner of The Laurels, in Oakamoor, said the chasm appeared on Thursday morning and now stood at more than three metres (10 ft) wide and is expanding "all the time".

Mr Tester said experts were on site to try and find out what caused the hole to appear.

The hole followed drilling work at the property this week to check damage caused by a nearby landslide last year.

Mr Tester said: "It's been an incredibly stressful time, there have been a few tears.

"It's not just our business, it's our home and [wife] Helen's parents' home.

"We were all in guest bedrooms last night, in rooms furthest from the hole. But, as you can imagine, we didn't sleep very well."

He said it was difficult to determine the depth of the hole as "deep water" had been found almost two metres down.

The hole is at least three metres wide.

The business was forced to close two weeks ago after cracks in the property were followed by damage to the car park, fence posts and walls.

The B&B is built on a hill and work to excavate land further down for redevelopment was stopped by the Health and Safety Executive in January after the landslip.

Repay deposits

Mr Tester's insurers brought in engineers last month to assess damage and monitor the landslide.

He said his property was built over a clay pit and experts had struggled to find solid rock.

"It's only our second season here and we've had to unpick our whole business," Mr Tester said.

"We've had to pay back deposits. One woman booked in September for April, a special birthday booking.

"We've had to cancel it with just a fortnight's notice."

The hole is now due to be filled in with rocks, before being injected with concrete. A concrete cap will then laid on top. - BBC.

Large Sinkhole Destroys Road In Licking County, Ohio

A portion of a central Ohio road will remain closed for the foreseeable future because of a large sinkhole that opened late Thursday night.

The 20 ft.-30 ft. sinkhole destroyed a chunk of S. York Road between Morse and Wesleyan Church Road near Pataskala.

A representative from the Licking County Engineer's Office began examining the damage at approximately 7 a.m. Friday, when heavy rain finally subsided after falling consistently in the area since Thursday morning.

Officials believe that rainfall, combined with wear and tear caused from winter weather as well as the road's position above a creek, likely caused the collapse

A timetable for the repair of the road has not been established. - FOX28.

WATCH:  Licking County sinkhole.


10-Feet Deep Sinkhole Traps Minivan In Toledo, Ohio

Another vehicle has fallen victim to a Toledo sinkhole, becoming trapped at the intersection of Adams and 15th Streets in the city's downtown Wednesday afternoon.

A witness estimated the sinkhole was about ten feet deep and two feet wide.

The minivan involved needed to be towed out of the crater after its right front wheel sank into the hole. When the van was pulled out of the hole around 5 p.m., it was clear that vehicle had been damaged.

Around 7 p.m., Toledo City crews remained on the scene in an effort to secure the area around the hole.

Crews planned to turn off the water that could be seen running under the roadway.

WATCH: Car gets stuck in a deep Toledo sinkhole.


Officials did not know if the shut off would impact nearby businesses or homes.

This is one of several large sinkholes that have opened up in the Toledo area this year. - Northwest Ohio .

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Bananageddon - MILLIONS Face Hunger As Deadly Fungus Decimates Global Banana Crop; Virulent Diseases Immune To Pesticides Or Control!

April 04, 2014 - GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS - Scientists have warned that the world’s banana crop, worth £26 billion and a crucial part of the diet of more than 400 million people, is facing “disaster” from virulent diseases immune to pesticides or other forms of control.

Disease spreads from Asia to Africa and may already have jumped to crucial plantations in Latin America

Alarm at the most potent threat – a fungus known as Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) – has risen dramatically after it was announced in recent weeks that it has jumped from South-east Asia, where it has already devastated export crops, to Mozambique and Jordan.

A United Nations agency told The Independent that the spread of TR4 represents an “expanded threat to global banana production”. Experts said there is a risk that the fungus, for which there is currently no effective treatment, has also already made the leap to the world’s most important banana growing areas in Latin America, where the disease threatens to destroy vast plantations of the Cavendish variety. The variety accounts for 95 per cent of the bananas shipped to export markets including the United Kingdom, in a trade worth £5.4bn.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will warn in the coming days that the presence of TR4 in the Middle East and Africa means “virtually all export banana plantations” are vulnerable unless its spread can be stopped and new resistant strains developed.

In a briefing document obtained by The Independent, the FAO warns: “In view of the challenges associated with control of the disease and the risk posed to the global banana supply, it is evident that a concerted effort is required from industry, research institutions, government and international organisations to prevent spread of the disease.”

A aircraft sprays fungicide over a plantation (Getty Images)

Scientists are particularly concerned about the impact of TR4 across the developing world, where an estimated 410 million people rely on the fruit for up to a third of their daily calories.

According to one estimate, TR4 could destroy up to 85 per cent of the world’s banana crop by volume.

Since it emerged in the 1950s as the replacement for another banana variety ravaged by an earlier form of Panama disease, Cavendish has helped make bananas the most valuable fruit crop in the world, dominated by large multinational growing companies such as Fyffes, Chiquita and Dole.

But the crop – and many other banana varieties – have no defence against TR4, which can live for 30 years or more in the soil and reduces the core of the banana plant to a blackened mush.

It can wipe out plantations within two or three years and despite measures to try to prevent its spread from the original outbreak in Indonesia, it is now on the move. Such is the virulence of soil-based fungus, it can be spread in water droplets or tiny amounts of earth on machinery or shoes.

Professor Rony Swennen, a leading banana expert based at Leuven University in Belgium, said: “If [TR4] is in Latin America, it is going to be a disaster, whatever the multinationals do. Teams of workers move across different countries. The risk is it is going to spread like a bush fire.”

Professor Rony Swennen, leading banana expert based at the University of Leuven

Another senior scientist, who asked not to be named because of his links with the banana industry, said: “There are good grounds for believing that TR4 is already in Latin America.”

The Panama fungus is just one of several diseases which also threaten banana production, in particular among smallholders and subsistence farmers.

Black sigatoka, another fungus to have spread from Asia, has decimated production in parts of the Caribbean since it arrived in the 1990s, reducing exports by 90 to 100 per cent in five countries.

Researchers say they are struggling to secure funding to discover new banana varieties or develop disease-resistant GM strains.

Professor Randy Ploetz, of the University of Florida, said: “The Jordan and Mozambique TR4 outbreaks are alarming but have helped increase awareness about this problem.”

But the large producers insist the problem can be controlled. Dublin-based Fyffes, which last month announced a merger with America’s Chiquita to form the world’s largest banana company, said: “While we continue to monitor the situation, as of yet we do not foresee any serious impact for UK banana supplies.”

A lab holding the World Banana Collection at the University of Leuven

The Cavendish: A top banana under threat

When the world banana industry found itself in crisis in the 1950s, it was saved by a fruit cultivated in Derbyshire and named after a duke.

The Cavendish banana was grown by the gardener and architect Joseph Paxton while he was working for the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth House.

Paxton managed to acquire one of two banana plants sent to England in around 1830 and began growing the fruit in the stately home’s glasshouses. He named his banana Musa cavendishii after the 6th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish.

The Chatsworth bananas were later sent to Samoa and the Canary Islands, providing forerunners for the variety which emerged in the 1950s to succeed the Gros Michel or Big Mike – the banana sub-species wiped out by an early version of Panama disease between 1903 and 1960.

Cavendish is now the world’s single most successful – and valuable – banana, accounting for 47 per cent of all cultivated bananas and nearly the entire export trade, worth £5.3 billion. - Independent.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Blackout - Power Outages Up 15 PERCENT Nationwide In The United States; Surges And Spikes To Cost The U.S. Economy $150 BILLION!

April 04, 2014 - UNITED STATES - An unusual power outage in Redondo Beach, California affected 6,100 customers for three hours in 2013. The cause? Wild parrots roosting on an overhead power line, consequentially knocking out service.

While outages aren’t typically sparked by such unusual circumstances, facility managers should be prepared for unplanned outages. According to a new report from Eaton, such outages were up 15% in 2013 and over half of those surveyed believe that downtime could have been prevented.

Eaton’s Blackout Tracker Annual Report contains data that is based on a full year of reported power outages across the U.S. and provides an overview of national power outage data as well as power outage data by state. For the fifth year running, California topped the list of states with the most power outages, followed by Texas and Michigan.

“The Blackout Tracker Annual Report illustrates the scope and severity of power outages across the country and the serious consequences that can arise for businesses when the lights go out,” said Mike DeCamp, senior marketing communications manager, Eaton Power Quality Division.

“With electrical power outages, surges and spikes estimated to cost the U.S. economy $150 billion, it’s more important than ever for companies of all sizes to invest in reliable power backup solutions.”

Don’t let downtime affect your facility. Be prepared with emergency generator tips. For the full report, visit Eaton's Blackout Tracker. - Buildings.

PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Shower To The People - Police Disperse Brussels Protesters With Tear Gas And Water Cannon In Belgium! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

April 04, 2014 - BELGIUM - Brussels police used tear gas and water cannon in clashes with protesters, as thousands gathered at a trade union rally against austerity.

Demonstrators clash with riot police officers during a European trade union protest against austerity measures,
in central Brussels April 4, 2014. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

of the incidents in the trade union demonstration in Brussels today

Violence in the area where many government offices are situated caused a lockdown at the US embassy.

Around 25,000 people, according to Brussels police spokeswoman, Ilse Van de Keere, marched against austerity and unemployment. They were faced with a heavy-handed police response.

Initially, the trade unions expected to see 40,000 demonstrators on the streets of Brussels.

WATCH: Protests in Brussels.


Some demonstrators threw oranges and cobblestones at police. Violent clashes also took place near the US embassy.

Traffic was paralyzed in the Belgian capital, and public transport stopped well short of the protest location.

Trade unions representatives from across the EU gathered in Brussels, following a call from the European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC). This is the first “euromanifestation” in 2014, with the participants demanding “a new way for Europe.”

A protester feels the effects of the water cannon in Brussels...

Rond Point Schuman, Brussels

A demonstrator is sprayed by tear gas during a European trade union protest against austerity measures,
in central Brussels April 4, 2014. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

Pulling the US embassy Brussels curtains in case anti austerity protestors throw rocks at windows...

An injured demonstrator lies on the ground after being hit by a stone thrown by other demonstrators during a European
trade unions protest against austerity measures, in central Brussels April 4, 2014. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

An injured demonstrator is helped by riot police officers after being hit by a stone thrown by other demonstrators during
a European trade unions protest against austerity measures, in central Brussels April 4, 2014. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

A demonstrator throws garbage towards riot police officers during a European trade unions protest
against austerity measures, in central Brussels April 4, 2014. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

Rescue workers and police evacuate a protestor who was injured during clashes at the end of a demonstration by
tens of thousandspeople in the European district of Brussels to denounce the austerity measures
in Europe on April 4, 2014 in Brussels. (AFP Photo)

Demonstrators clash with police at the end of a demonstration by tens of thousands people coming from some
20 European countries in the European district of Brussels to denounce the austerity
measures in Europe on April 4, 2014. (AFP Photo)

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a European trade union protest against
austerity measures, in central Brussels April 4, 2014. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

It has been reported that clashes happened between the police and dockers from Antwerp and Gent, who led the march and started throwing projectiles at police.

The trade unions are demanding an economic policy that involves “no austerity, but big investment aimed at steady economic growth and quality jobs,” said the ETUC press secretary, Emanuela Bonacina.

Demonstrators are urging EU citizens to vote for candidates that “will change the order of governing the EU,” during the European elections that are set to take place on May 22-25.

The ETUC is also suggesting measures to battle austerity, such as yearly investments at 2 percent of GDP over the next 10 years to stimulate new private investment. - RT.

MASS ANIMAL/FISH/BIRDS/BEES DIE-OFF: Latest Incidents Across The Earth - 500,000 Honeybees Dead Due To Harsh Winter In Holland, Michigan, United States; Thousands Of Dead, Dying Starfish Washing Ashore Across The U.S. Gulf Coast; Thousands Of Fish Dying Off Due To Disease In Tempe Town Lake, Arizona, United States; Harsh Winter Leads To Starvation, Death For Waterfowl Across Michigan, United States; And 900 Sheep Perish Due To Snowstorm In Dogubeyazit, Turkey!

April 04, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass animal, fish, bird and bees die-offs across the Earth:

Thousands Of Dead, Dying Starfish Washing Ashore Across The U.S. Gulf Coast
Dead Brittle Stars, also called Spider Starfish, have been washing ashore beaches from Florida Panhandle to Alabama.  CBS4

Beaches across the Gulf coast, including the Florida Panhandle, are getting the star treatment as thousands of starfish drift ashore.

Most of them, dead or dying, are washing up on beaches from Perdido Key, Florida in Pensacola to Alabama.

The majority are brittle stars, also called spider starfish, and they are very common in waters around the world.

"This is very rare, I have lived here all my life and I have never seen them like this," said beachgoer Charlotte Phillips.

Marine experts said rough surf caused by recent storms may have pushed the starfish over the sandbars and onto the beach.

Tidal pools hold most of what's left. - CBS Miami.

Thousands Of Fish Dying Off Due To Disease In Tempe Town Lake, Arizona, United States
(KTAR Photo/Cooper Rummell)

A bacterial or viral disease is killing off fish by the thousands in Tempe Town Lake.

The disease is isolated to the lake's carp population and city officials said the lake is safe for humans to be near.

"These [diseases] are isolated to fish, in this case they're isolated only to the carp species," said Rick Amalfi, vice president of Aquatic Consulting, a Phoenix environmental services company.

Recent tests done by the company found no inherent dangers to humans near the lake.

"The water quality is fine. We have plenty of oxygen in the lake," Amalfi said. "We always check for golden algae because that's been responsible for a lot of fish kills because of the toxin it produces and we don't find any of that in there."

But some lake visitors are unhappy with the sight and smell of rotting carp carcasses around the lake.

"For the average person going by the lake it is pretty stinky," Amalfi said. "When you really get the odors is when you get a windy day and a large number go down in a corner and you happen to walk by that corner, it's going to be smelly. There's no getting around it."

The carp started to die off two weeks ago when the lake temperature rose. The bacteria thrives at certain degrees, which is the current temperatures.

"There are various bacterial and viral diseases that the fish get and the carp are susceptible to them when the water temperature is where it's at right now," said Amanda Nelson, a spokeswoman for the city of Tempe.

Nelson expected the fish to stop dying in a few weeks when water temperatures warm up further and Amalfi agreed.

"Our best guess is when the water starts warming up a little bit the disease usually dies out," Amalfi said.

Until then, Nelson said the dead carp may be a small nuisance but, they will not affect any events taking place near the lake. She said crews are working to remove the carcasses.

Amalfi said Aquatic Consulting has increased its normal cleanup efforts. Crews will be on and around the lake daily until the disease dies out. - KTAR.

500,000 Honeybees Dead Due To Harsh Winter In Holland, Michigan, United States
(Photo: Beekeepers in West Michigan are calling it a 'crisis', which has only gotten
worse from several months of extreme cold.)Add caption

A local beekeeper who lost all of his honeybees this winter and he says it's happening across the state.

Anyone can look at Don Lam's beehive and see piles of dead honeybees. However, for Lam, each hive also tells the story of a struggle to survive. "They vibrate their wing muscles and that vibration is similar to shivering," says Lam, a beekeeper in Holland.

It was a fight that his nearly half a million honeybees lost to a long, harsh winter. "They had eaten there way all the way to the top, had run out of food, and they couldn't move over because it was too cold," says Lam. "In some cases they froze to death because the cluster got too small and in other cases they starved to death."

Every single colony was killed. "I've lost 20 out of 20, so it's a 100% loss for me," says Lam. "It's the same story everywhere, they're losing 80% or 90% of their bees."

Michigan beekeepers are used to losing bees over the winter months. In fact, Lam says he usually has half his bee population die off, but he says he's never seen it as bad as this year.

Across the country, the honeybee population has already been on a sharp decline.

"We are losing one third of our bee population every year and then we scramble that next summer to make that population up again," says Lam. "You can imagine how much we would be concerned if we lost one third of our chickens or a third of our cows every year, and because we don't see bees in the same way we don't realize it is a crisis."

WATCH: Beekeeper on harsh winter: 'It's a 100% loss for me'

Lam says the 'crisis' for honeybees could mean less pollination, fewer fruits, and higher prices.

Later this month, Lam plans to travel to Georgia to pick up more honeybees from a bee producer, who sells to northern beekeepers. However, Lam says he will probably only have about half as many honeybees this summer, because there isn't enough time to grow the population. - WZZM13.

Harsh Winter Leads To Starvation, Death For Waterfowl Across Michigan, United States
Dead waterfowl line the shore of Lake Macatawa near the Holland State Park Tuesday.
Cory Olsen | MLive.comAdd caption

Harsh winter conditions have led to a large number of waterfowl deaths across the state, something Greenville resident Stephen Schnautz has seen first hand.

Schnautz, 33, a waterfowl hunting and ice fishing guide, said he's seen a variety of species that just couldn't make it through the winter.

"I've seen diving ducks, loons, swans, gulls, a little bit of everything," Schnautz said. "I've been down to the Kalamazoo River and seen dead birds on the river bank. They're everywhere."

The losses aren't just around West Michigan, Schnautz said.

"I guide on Saginaw Bay and I've seen them all the way down to Lake Erie," Schnautz said. "They're in Muskegon, Traverse City, up in Ludington, too. I've mostly seen canvass backs, redheads, long-tailed ducks and some types of mergansers.

Michigan DNR wildlife outreach technician Holly Vaughn said the die-off can be attributed to the amount of ice coverage on inland lakes as well as the Great Lakes.

"Most of the birds that are washing up are diving birds like canvass backs, redheads, long-tailed ducks and some types of mergansers," Vaughn said. "It's mostly because they weren't able to get to their main food source.

"We've sent quite a few specimens to the lab to make sure there's nothing more serious happening and so far we haven't seen a cause other than starvation," Vaughn said.

Schnautz said he's seen birds throughout the winter out on the ice of Lake Michigan and in parking lots, backyards and rooftops; stranded and looking for open water.

"Sea ducks are flying in search of water for food and they're running out of energy," Schnautz said. "They're landing because of exhaustion because they can't find open water. They see big black spaces and think it's water when it's really just asphalt or tar rooftops."

"I was out on the ice on Lake Michigan some this year and I saw a bunch of birds that were dead in ice crevices and some that looked like they landed and just froze right into the ice."

While this is sad to see, Vaughn said, it's really the ebb and flow of nature and usually takes care of itself.

"The birds that we've seen have been in poor condition without much fat on their bodies," Vaughn said. "It's the nature of rough winters but it's also a good way of keeping populations within reasonable levels."

"It is sad and tough to see but it's also nature and over the years nature will make up for this harsh winter and the population will come back." - MLIVE.

900 Sheep Perish Due To Snowstorm In Dogubeyazit, Turkey
Doğubayazıt hence the effective snow and type 900 sheep perished.

Depending on the district Bardaklı shepherd in the village Mahmut Polat , look for the sheep graze Pain took them to the foot of Mt.

Parker, brought to the village of beraberindekilerle type of sheep caught.

530 sheep at a location in the mountains, close to the village at a distance of 370 had perished.

Parker, AA correspondent, said in a statement, suddenly overwhelm due to snow and type said they were forced back from their region.

WATCH: Dead sheep in Turkey.

TIPE the sheep are affected negatively Polat, "Snow and the type and pushes the sheep down in the village wanted to. Violence increases because of the type of sheep is a part of the mountain part of the village, 300 meters away had perished. Herd in some lambs mother died. Them will look at how I do not know," he said.

Parker, learned that a breeders of animals perished in the ill heart attack, he said. - Haberler. [Translated]