Monday, May 25, 2015

FIRE IN THE SKY: Massive Fireball Explodes In The Sky Over Puerto Montt, Chile!

Giant fireball disintegrates over Puerto Montt, Chile.

May 25, 2015 - MONTT, CHILE
- What was the terrifying light in the sky over Puerto Montt, Chile on May 11, 2015?

Pictures showing the sky suddenly being illuminated by a strange flash of light

Most probably a giant fireball exploding and creating this amazing flash in the sky!

 WATCH: Fireball over Puerto Montt.

This explosion disintegration occurred during the night between monday and tuesday. - Strange Sounds.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

EXTREME WEATHER: Memorial Day Storms Threatens More Than Half Of The United States - High Potential For Heavy Floods, Severe Hail, Violent Thunderstorms, Damaging Winds And Isolated Tornadoes!

May 24, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Showers and thunderstorms threaten to interfere with Memorial Day festivities across more than half of the United States.

That does not mean that half of the picnics, parades and other outdoor events throughout the nation will not be able to go on as scheduled.

Monday will not be a complete washout in most communities being threatened by showers and thunderstorms. There will still be stretches of dry weather.

Residents should monitor their local forecast pages to determine the best time to schedule outdoor plans. On the actual holiday, a close eye will have to be kept on the sky and AccuWeather MinuteCast® to know when to move indoors.

Widespread severe weather is not a concern on Monday, but lightning is.

"While only a small number of storms become strong enough to produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, every thunderstorm produces lightning," stated Brian Lada.

"Lightning is one of nature's deadliest phenomena, claiming roughly 55 to 60 lives every year across the United States and injuring hundreds more," added Lada.

The most active parts of the nation in terms of thunderstorms will lie from Texas and the northern Gulf Coast states to the Midwest and St. Lawrence Valley and across the northern Plains and Intermountain West.

A large corridor of showers and thunderstorms will be found on Monday from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest with steamy air in place and a storm system located over the Upper Midwest.

The morning hours will be more active than the afternoon around Chicago and St. Louis.

On the cool side of the storm, periods of rain will dampen the northern Plains--Fargo, North Dakota, included. Just south of this zone, thunderstorms will return to Nebraska with a few of the thunderstorms becoming strong in the afternoon.

The greatest concern for the thunderstorms to be heavy and trigger flash flooding lies from Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley, home to Shreveport, Louisiana.

In addition to flooding downpours, the threat also exists for some of the thunderstorms in central and eastern Texas to turn severe with damaging winds, hail and an isolated tornado. San Antonio, Dallas and Houston are among the communities at risk.

These violent thunderstorms will eventually bring yet another round of flooding downpours to the lower Mississippi Valley at night.

Meanwhile, the thunderstorms set to develop from the eastern Gulf Coast and Georgia to the eastern Tennessee Valley will mainly be limited to the afternoon and spottier in nature. Most of the Carolinas will stay dry.

Along the leading edge of the surging warm and humid air, a steadier band of rain and thunderstorms threatens to cause more significant disruptions to holiday plans across the upper Great Lakes.

The eastern extent of this wet weather will nose into the St. Lawrence Valley, while the rest of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic remain dry and turn warmer.

Two other storm systems will work to keep a large part from the Rockies to the Cascades and Sierra unsettled with showers and thunderstorms. The afternoon hours will be the most active time of the holiday.

Anyone planning to spend Monday at a national park or forest, including Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain, should have a plan in place of where to seek shelter during a thunderstorm.

As soon as thunder is heard, the risk of being struck by lightning is present.

The Desert Southwest and the immediate West Coast should escape wet weather on Memorial Day. In the Southwest, that means residents will have to remain diligent when participating in some holiday festivities to avoid starting a brush or wildfire.

Away from the contiguous United States, showers will dot Alaska and a few windward communities on Hawaii this Memorial Day. The shower chance will come after Fairbanks, Alaska, experiences a rare feat of recording a high greater than Phoenix on Saturday. - Accuweather.


FIRE IN THE SKY: Fireball Cover-Up - "Flying Rocks From A Quarry" Damage Homes, Businesses In Virginia?!

- Bob Ryan was driving to get a cup of coffee in Sterling, Va., on Thursday morning when he saw rocks the size of baseballs shower out of the sky.

"They hit, and then smaller ones hit in succession like, 'boom, boom, boom,'" Ryan said.

At first, Ryan thought maybe kids hiding in a treeline were pelting cars. But he noticed that the rocks appeared to have rained down from the clouds, as if they were meteors.

Laura Rinhart, a Loudoun County firefighter, said that the rocks likely were not from outer space and had instead come flying from a nearby rock quarry. Rinehart said that some rocks struck a home on Old Ox road and debris also hit the pavement near Oakgrove Rd.

A person who answered the phone at Loudoun Quarries on Thursday said he was not sure if the rocks came from their quarry, the only quarry in the area.

Some residents in the area heard a boom at around 10:30 a.m. that they thought sounded like thunder. Ryan said that stones then blasted car windows and damaged vehicles in a shopping center parking lot. He said he picked up some of the rocks and noticed that they had a burnt smell.

"One rock double the size of a softball was sitting on the sidewalk in front of a beauty salon," Ryan said. "If it had gone through there would have been lots of casualties."

Comment: In relation to the rock quarry, Old Ox Road is 3-5 miles West of the quarry, other locations reported are 2 miles or so East of the rock quarry. Why not rocks North, South, East and West? There isn't enough information to know for sure, but this seems fishy!

Rinehart said that Loudoun fire and rescue units along with officials from the quarry are investigating the incident.

Comment: This story is a bit farfetched and reads like damage control. Here's another piece from USA Today with video of a rock coming from the sky. Would a controlled blast also create a burnt smell on the rocks?
The smell that is being given off by this meteorite is hard to describe. When I first smelt it, I tried to think of the proper words to describe the odor. I tried to think of things that had a similar smell:

"like hot metal, or like a cast-iron skillet that has over-heated, or like the metal filaments when you first turn on an electric heater.
Also, a lot like when you make sparks by striking two flint-rocks against each other.
Maybe a little like ozone, but with a more smoky, sulfurous aroma."

That's when the phrase "burnt gunpowder" came into my mind.

Source: Meteorite Times
Chelyabinsk. Meteor Smells

A group of four observers of the Leonid meteor shower of 1833 reported a peculiar odour, "like sulphur or onions."

It was thought that "This apparent transmission of smells at the speed of light could be explained if they were due to nitrous oxide or ozone produced by an electric discharge." (Ozone [O3] a gas. From the Greek, ozein, for smell). Observers of the Texas fireball of 1 October 1917 also reported the odour of sulphur and burning powder as it passed.

A possible explanation is suggested by the following Chelyabinsk observer reports.

Field survey reports of smells were concentrated in the area surrounding the fireball trajectory. After an initial strong burst, the smells continued for a few hours. The eastern edge of this area coincides with the eastern edge of the glass damaged area. Arkhangel'skoe is the most western village where smells were reported. It is situated near the western edge of the glass damaged area. Fourteen villages reported similar smells, with nearly all described as a sulphur smell, a burning smell, or a smell similar to that of gunpowder.

These smells may have originated from the decomposition of Troilite (FeS), an iron sulphide mineral named after Domenico Troili, who first noted it in a meteorite that fell at Albareto, Modena, Italy in 1766. Troilite is one of the main components of the Chelyabinsk meteorite. Some burning smells may also have been caused locally when the shockwave dispersed soot from flues and stoves.

Respondents in Emanzhelinka, immediately under the fireball trajectory, also reported an ozone smell, similar to the smell after a thunderstorm. Ozone, with nitrogen oxides as by products, may have been produced in the immediate surroundings of the fireball by Ultra-Violet (UV-B λ= 290-320 nm wavelength) radiation from the meteor. This reinforces reports about sunburn caused by UV radiation from the fireball.

Source: Engineering and Technology Wiki
It's more likely space rocks coming into our atmosphere and the government owned media does not want the people to know they are about to be bombarded back to the Stone Age. What slimeballs. - Washington Post.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Nepal Landslides Spark Fear Of Flash Floods!

As survivors of the Nepal earthquakes struggle with the aftermath, a landslide has caused fears of flash flooding. 
© Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

May 23, 2015 - NEPAL
- Villagers evacuated after landslips block fast-flowing river, with emergency workers hoping to drain water masses before they destroy scores of homes

Thousands of people have been told to evacuate their homes in Nepal after massive landslides blocked a river in the west of the country, sparking fears of flash flooding.

Two powerful earthquakes devastated Nepal on 25 April and 12 May, killing nearly 8,700 people and injuring 16,800 others.

Authorities fear tremors could unleash a flash flood that could destroy dozens of villages in the remote Myagdi district, 80 miles (130km) north-west of Kathmandu, the capital.

Emergency workers are hoping to drain the lake created behind the debris now blocking the normally fast-flowing Kali Gandaki river.

Kamal Singh Bam, a spokesman for Nepal police, said at least 123 people had already been evacuated from areas flooded by the newly formed lake. "Luckily they are safe, but the water level has risen covering all the houses up to around a kilometre upstream of the landslide," Bam said.

Nepal's quake-shattered villages: 'there's nothing to stay for now'

Sesh Narayan Poudel, a senior bureaucrat, said at least 10 villages had been evacuated overnight. "The water level of Kali Gandaki flowing below the dam is dropping, and that's not a good sign," Poudel said.

Although police and army teams have reached the site, the threat of new tremors has prevented work to drain the lake and ease the pressure on the natural dam. Continuing aftershocks and the effect of the first major earthquake have left many areas in Nepal unstable.

"Once the landslides have stopped, our technical team in the area will assess the situation, and once we get their report we can try and get the water flowing again," Rishiram Sharma, head of the department of hydrology and meterology, said.

There have also been warnings that natural dams holding back massive glacial lakes high in the Himalayas could have been damaged in the earthquake last month. If one such dam gave way, flood water could kill thousands and destroy huge numbers of homes.

Two lakes in particular - one close to Everest and the other about 18 miles (30km) from the mountain - have caused concern in the past. But specialists say that unless there is a further tremor with an epicentre close to the lakes, they are safe for now.

"We have assessed all the glacial lakes potentially under threat, but there is no any difference in the assessment before and after the earthquake," Sharma said.

There are 1,466 glacial lakes in Nepal, with 21 big enough to cause serious concern. Many are swollen with glacial meltwater as a result of climate change, scientists say.

Myagdi district, where the villagers were evacuated on Saturday night, is in the west of the south Asian country and some distance from the areas worst affected by last month's tremor.

Geologists say the case should be a "a wakeup call for the Nepal", especially with summer rains forecast. "With the coming monsoon it's sure that Nepal will see several such landslides," Ranjan Kumar Dahal, a geologist said. - The Guardian.


WEATHER PHENOMENON: Huge Apocalyptic Thunderstorm Cloud Engulfs San Luis Potosi, Mexico!

May 23, 2015 - MEXICO
- This apocalyptic thunderstorm cloud suddenly appeared in the sky of San Luis Potosi surpising its residents!

That's really a giant cumulonimbus!

This type of giant and angry clouds are more than common in arid or desert areas. But not in San Luis Potosi!

WATCH: Apocalyptic clouds over Mexico.

- Strange Sounds.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Man Is Swallowed Up By A Massive Sinkhole In Gran Canaria, Canary Islands!

The car at the bottom of the sinkhole in which a man almost drowned and the van on top of it. Sinkhole in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

- A man of 63 years has been about to drown on Friday May 15 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria after being eaten by a 6-meter-deep sinkhole in the industrial area of ​​Las Torres.

The man was on the verge of drowning, six meters under, when firefighters arrived and rescued him. The cause of the cavity is unknown.

One car has been swallowed and another was left hanging at the top of the hole.

As shown in the picture, the bottom of the cavity is full of water.

WATCH: Massive sinkhole in Gran Canaria.

- Strange Sounds.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Hear Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano Rumble - Volcanologists Expect The Eruptions Will Get More Frequent And More Violent In Coming Months!

May 23, 2015 - COSTA RICA
- Ever wondered what the inside of a volcano sounds like? The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) has you covered.

OVSICORI took a selection from a seismograph registered inside Turrialba Volcano's central crater and converted it into a sound file. The effect allows you to "hear" the volcano's sub-audible rumbling.

This particular example was mostly for fun, but Dr. Javier Pacheco, a seismology expert at OVSICORI, said that the technique had practical uses for scientists too.

Converting the seismographs into audio files can help scientists identify variations in the frequency of seismological activity that would be difficult to identify visually from the readouts alone, he explained.

Turrialba Volcano has been active during the last several months, closing Juan Santamaría International Airport several times after large eruptions of ash that blew across the Central Valley.

Volcanologists expect that the eruptions will get more frequent and more violent in the coming months and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) has maintained a yellow alert in the area. The Commission recently expanded the evacuation zone around the volcano from 2 km to 5 km.

Pacheco said that Turrialba Volcano was calm on Friday.

- The Tico Times.


GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Massive 85 Feet Wide Sinkhole Opens Up At Golf Course In Branson, Missouri!

The chasm is 85ft wide and 35 ft deep

- A mysterious giant sinkhole opened up at a golf course in what could be the world's easiest hole-in-one.

The 80ft-wide pit formed on Friday at the Jack Nicklaus designed Top Rock Golf Course in Missouri.

And remarkably, the main course, which hosted a Champions Tour event in April, is unaffected and still open for play.

An estimated 7,000 cubic feet of material has been displaced by the phenomenon, with experts speculating that recent heavy rain collapsed the pathway to an undiscovered underground cave.

WATCH: Massive sinkhole opens up on golf course.

The huge hole is close to the driving range at the par-three course, which is close to the town of Branson.

However one wisecracking golfer remarked that the course had a 'challenging new bunker'. - Daily Mail.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - 4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Nevada!

USGS map shows the area of Calienta, Nevada where an earthquake struck on Friday, May 22, 2015.

- An earthquake that struck a rural area of southern Nevada has been downgraded to magnitude 4.8.

The U.S. Geological Survey revised its earlier report that pinned the magnitude of Friday's earthquake at 5.4.

The temblor hit around midday about 24 miles southwest of the small town of Caliente, Nevada. It could be felt about 100 miles away in Las Vegas.

The Nevada Highway Patrol reported damage to one of the state's busiest highway transition ramps.

The ramp from southbound U.S. 95 to Interstate 15 near downtown Las Vegas has been shut down indefinitely.

The Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada Reno says several aftershocks, from magnitude 1.0 to 3.8, followed the larger temblor.

The USGS website recorded hundreds of reports from people who say they felt the shaking. - ABC7.


RATTLE & HUM: Mysterious Noise Rattles Residents In Cheyenne, Wyoming?!

- The streets of Cheyenne are usually pretty quiet, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing paranormal, until late Saturday night.

"I was called by the dispatch center with a siren like noise about 11:30 at night," said Rob Cleveland, the director of the Laramie County Emergency Management Agency

A sound rang through the city that can best be described as a siren noise.

"I had them check the siren system that we control that the dispatch center uses to see if there were any alerts, and they showed no alerts," said Cleveland.

So we began an investigation, researching and making calls to the big organizations in town.

We reached out to FE Warren, the Air National Guard, Holly Frontier, and Emergency Management Services here in Cheyenne and got the same answer from everyone.

"It was not our system that made the noise," said Cleveland.

We then turned to Facebook and heard from more than 100 people who heard the noise. From the east side to the south side, and even downtown, it was heard throughout the city.

Union Pacific was our last local reach as many people believed it could have been train emergency breaks, but they responded with no recorded incidents that night. But the search didn't stop there. People all over the world have been hearing these noises and posting videos online

Suggesting everything from religious theories to geographical ones, and yet the head of the geology department a the University of Wyoming had no answer. So it's up for you to decide, is it just train brakes? Or could something more paranormal be in the skies above Cheyenne? - CBS5v News Channel.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick As The Black Celestial Event Nears - Two Powerful Earthquakes, 6.8 Magnitude And 6.9 Magnitude, Strikes Off Solomon Islands; The Third Day In A Row Islands Rocked By 6.0 Or Higher Magnitude Tremors! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake locations.

May 23, 2015 - SOLOMON ISLANDS
- It is the third day in a row that the Solomons have been rocked by a quake of 6.0-magnitude or higher.

Two strong 6.8-magnitude earthquakes struck off the Solomon Islands early Saturday, May 23 US geologists said, but there were no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warnings were issued.

The first quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), 205 kilometers from Kirakira and 448 kilometers from the capital Honiara and the second shallow quake struck just over two hours later about 159 kilometers from Kirakira.

The Solomons have been rocked by several quakes of 6.0-magnitude or higher in recent days, with the most recent a 6.0 magnitude quake which hit the islands early Friday, May 22 and a 6.9 magnitude tremor the day before. No major damage was caused by the earlier tremors.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami from the Saturday tremors. Geoscience Australia initially estimated the two latest quakes at the magnitudes of 7.1 and 6.9 but said they were unlikely to cause local tsunamis in the quake-prone region, in part due to their location.

Seismologist Mark Leonerd said it was slightly unusual to have two big quakes “right next to each other” but that seismic activity was common in the region. The quakes have been followed by fairly typical aftershocks, he said, adding there had also been recent activity in nearby Papua New Guinea.“That sort of area is putting on a little bit of activity at the moment,” he said.

The Solomons are part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a zone of tectonic activity known for its frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In 2013, the Solomons were hit by a tsunami after an 8.0-magnitude quake, leaving at least 10 people dead and thousands homeless after buildings were destroyed. - Rappler.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (greater than 120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet".

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics



WEATHER PHENOMENON: Omen - Utah Storms Bring Sun Halos And Sundogs!


May 23, 2015 - UTAH, UNITED STATES
- With recent storms moving through Southern Utah on a weekly basis, conditions have been good for seeing two fascinating sights in the sky: sun halos and sundogs.

St. George resident Janna Fox was lucky enough to spot a sun halo Sunday, from her driveway at around 900 South and River Road.

"My 13-year-old son saw it first and came in and told us," Fox told St. George News. "I had never seen a sun halo before, in my 35 years! It was neat!"

Both sun halos and sundogs are caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in the high, thin cirrus clouds that often move in before a storm system. Sunlight reflects and bends, or refracts, causing these sometimes spectacular sights.

These ice-crystal displays can be seen year-round, because the upper atmosphere always below a freezing temperature.

A ring or circle of light around the sun or moon is called a halo, or, for the more scientifically minded, a parhelic circle or ring.

Sundogs are rainbow-colored splashes often seen to the left or right of the sun. Sundogs are also known as parhelions, and are formed by plate-shaped ice crystals drifting in the clouds, according to

© Janna Fox, St George News

Cirrus clouds are made of millions of hexagonal ice crystals 3 miles to 6 miles up in the atmosphere. Each ice crystal acts as a tiny prism bending the sun's light and throwing it elsewhere into the sky. The spectacular displays in the sky depend on the size and tilt of the ice crystals.

There's an old weather saying, "ring around the moon means rain soon," and there is truth to that, according to High thin cirrus clouds often precede a storm system, at 20,000 feet. These clouds contain ice crystals, by the millions. The halos are caused by both refraction and reflection of sunlight.

Sundogs and sun halos are just two of nearly four dozen different kinds of effects produced by sunlight interacting with ice crystals in the sky.

So when's the best way to catch one of these beauties in the sky? Both sun halos and sundogs may be seen whenever and wherever there are cirrus clouds in the sky.

The best displays are most commonly seen in the fall, winter and spring when the northern jet stream descends southward, drawing down Arctic air masses that carry ice crystals.

Sundogs are found at or more than 22 degrees to the left or right of the sun and at the same height above the horizon as the sun.

Because sundogs and sun halos are found near the sun, viewers should protect their eyes while viewing. - St. George Utah.


EXTREME WEATHER: Small Tornado Strikes Southern Netherlands!

Small tornado in Asten. © YouTube

May 23, 2015 - NETHERLANDS
- A small tornado struck southern Netherlands on Tuesday night. The Tornado was spotted in Asten and Liessel.

A portion of a chicken shed on Gevlochtsebaan in Heusden, Asten was blown away, Omroep Brabant reports.

Small tornado in Asten

It is believed that the shed contained asbestos and the surrounding area has been closed down as a precaution.

According to Reinier van den Berg of Meteo Group, the trunk of the tornado touched the ground near Liessel.

WATCH: Tornado in Asten.

The weatherman said on Twitter that the thunderstorm that moved from Antwerp along Eindhoven had "supercell characteristics", the most serious type among thunderstorms.

This type of storm is often accompanied by high winds, lightning and heavy rain. - NLTimes.


MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Extreme Weather - Ten Tornadoes Reported In One Day In North Texas!

Runaway Bay tornado damage. © NBC

- The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday that a total of 10 tornadoes touched down Tuesday across North Texas, including three EF-1 tornadoes and seven EF-0 tornadoes.

NWS survey teams said one tornado touched down in each Mineral Wells and Runaway Bay, both rated EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

Tornadoes rated an EF-1 can have wind speeds up to 110 mph and cause moderate damage.

Four tornadoes occurred in Wise County, including an EF-1 near Balsora and another EF-1 east of Decatur.

Elsewhere, one tornado was reported in Waxahachie in Ellis County and another tornado occurred in Jack County, according to the National Weather Service.

Considerable damage appears to have been caused by the tornadoes with roofs ripped off, cars destroyed and homes moved from foundations and flattened.

Mineral Wells police reported Tuesday an abandoned bank building collapsed and the police headquarters was damaged after a tornado touched down there.

"It was huge, and it was just funneling down. And it went up two or three times and came down. But every time it came down, it seemed like it was just getting bigger," said Mineral Wells resident Tammie Matson, who witnessed the reported tornado.

Damage in Mineral Wells was so widespread the Texas Department of Public Safety advised people to avoid the downtown area due to downed power lines and other scattered debris.

Wise County volunteer firefighters reported damaged homes, debris and downed trees along Farm-to-Market Road 920 in Bridgeport -- where NWS crews confirmed the tornado touched down southeast of Runaway Bay.

A community of about 15 mobile homes was flattened and a number of cars were damaged beyond repair. One woman suffered a minor injury to her wrist while trying to escape her mobile home.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the First Baptist Church, 513 Port O Call Drive in nearby Runaway Bay, according to spokeswoman Anita Foster. The Red Cross is currently working on a disaster assessment plan. - NBCDFW.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteors Makes Sonic Booms Over New Zealand!

Screen Capture

May 23, 2015 - NEW ZEALAND - A picture of two near earth meteors taken near Omanawa this week is being offered as an explanation for mysterious bangs heard in the sky over the lower Kaimai area.

Omanawa resident and EOL CEO Terry Coles heard what sounded like two large explosions last Saturday night. He wondered at the time if they were sonic booms from a meteor.

His suspicions were confirmed on Tuesday when he set up a camera on the balcony to take continuous exposures for a timelapse video he's working on about the night sky over the Kaimais.

"I left the camera running as I needed several thousand consecutive images and went inside where it was warm," says Terry.

"Just after 11pm I heard three more explosions in quick succession, louder this time as if they were close by."

Suspecting he had missed something special he sifted through hundreds of images from Tuesday night and found something in just one frame.

"Two beautiful meteors one behind the other with an amazing green tail. The timestamp on the image coincided with when I had heard the booms."

"A stroke of luck that I had the camera pointing at the right bit of sky, even if it was only a wide angle lens so not a close up view unfortunately."

The colour is caused by the super-heating of magnesium atoms.

"They glow when they get hot and come into contact with oxygen atoms. A bit like auroras do," says Terry.

It could be rock or metal. The tail could be dust fragments off the head of the meteor or smoke. He's got images of that as well. He made a little slow-mo time lapse of the next 22 frames which show a smoke trail twisting and twirling in the wind.

"It makes it look quite close," says Terry. "I wouldn't imagine the camera would have picked up the smoke trail if they were too far away. It's night, pitch black, and smoke doesn't glow.

"The lens was only a wide angle lens so they were a lot closer than they look in the photo. But without actually standing out there and seeing them it would be pretty hard to tell what size they were, and how far away they were."

The camera was pointing south.

Reputable internet sites say a meteor has to be larger than a football to produce a sonic boom, says Terry.

The larger the object the louder the boom. Larger objects make two distinct booms - two ahead, and one behind that is usually not heard from the ground. He heard three distinct booms in rapid succession.

"If you zoom in on the photo you can see the head of the meteor is split in two, that's probably when the sonic boom happened," says Terry. "There's a lot of theory on the internet about sonic booms and when it happens. It probably happened quite a while before, but took a while to get to us.

"It could have happened when it was quite elevated. It's hard to know really without actually seeing it, just looking at a photo."

The camera was facing south with an elevation of 45-50 degrees above the horizon. Each image is a ten second exposure.

"It's hard to know in that ten seconds when it was passing the frame. It could have been the last second or it could have been half, at five seconds which would have made the tail look longer than it was."

It may have struck earth south of Omanawa on the Kaimai range, or even in the Waikato

"Someone might find themselves a million dollar space rock if they look hard enough." - SunLive.

Friday, May 22, 2015

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: New Giant Sinkhole Opens Up In Russia's Perm Region!

Sinkholes are caused by collapses of the surface layer under the ground.  Brian Stansberry/Wikicommons

May 22, 2015 - PERM REGION, RUSSIA
- Another giant sinkhole has appeared in Russia's Perm region, which has seen its soil imploding into a series of large craters in recent years, possibly as a result of the vast network of mines in the area.

The latest sinkhole appeared in the village of Lunyevka, in the Aleksandrovsk district of the Perm region. The town had been a coal mining center, but the last mine was closed there more than 50 years ago the head of the district administration, Lyubov Babich, was quoted as saying by the local Valekse news portal on Monday.

Accounts of the sinkhole size varied. The head of the Aleksandrovsk district civil defense department, Alexander Golchikov, put it at 20 meters in diameter and 10 meters deep, the regional outlet of the national Argumenty i Fakty newspaper reported. Meanwhile, Babich estimated the size at 25 meters in diameter and 4 meters deep, Valekse reported.

"Part of a potato patch and several trees have gone underground," a community group of Aleksandrovsk residents wrote on Russia's VKontakte social network.

The new sinkhole follows an even larger one that appeared in the Perm region town of Solikamsk last fall after an inflow of water during a mining accident at the Solikamsk-2 mine. Uralkali, the world's largest potash company, which owns the mine, suspended operations there as emergency services struggled to contain the expansion of the crater.

The diameter of the hole is 25 metres. © AIF

A series of similar incidents over the past few years also occurred in mines around Berezniki.

The most serious one took place in 2006, when Uralkali was forced to close the Berezniki-1 mine after it was flooded with brine inflow.

A number of other sinkholes in Berezniki followed, including one in the middle of the town this February, according to media reports. That sinkhole ripped through the ground near a local school that had been shut down and "quarantined" in 2007 following previous incidents, the GorodBerezniki news portal reported.

The causes of the latest sinkhole in Lunyevka remained unclear.

The crater could have "appeared on the location of a hole that has been here always," regional mining institute director Alexander Baryakh was quoted by Valekse news portal as saying, adding that it has not yet been determined what caused the original hole.

The sinkhole may or may not have been caused by abandoned mines that had operated in the district between 1857 and 1953, the head of the Aleksandrovsk administration's environment and natural resources department, Yuri Letov, was quoted as saying.

No detailed engineering schemes of the mines were available, and little was known about which areas may have become flooded after the mines were abandoned, he said, Valekse reported. - The Moscow Times.

ICE AGE NOW: Weather Anomalies - Snow Covers Arxan City In Northern China In Early Summer!

Snowfall in Arxan, China

May 22, 2015 - CHINA
- A heavy snowfall falling with northern cold front on Monday brought winter back to the Arxan City of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region while much of China bracing bright summer days.

The snow started to fall early Monday morning and stopped at around 11:00 am. Streets in downtown Arxan were covered by 10 centimeter thick snow and residents going outdoors were seen dressing in layers to keep themselves warm after a sharp drop in temperatures.

Number of cars hit on road apparently decreased due to the snowy weather. Those who hit on road slowed down their speed and drove cautiously.

WATCH: Heavy snow covers north China city in early Summer.

Local border police division dispatched soldiers to help pull the cars stranded in snow to safety.

Municipal authorities have organized personnel to clear the tough heavy snow from streets since morning. Flights at the local airport were not affected as the snowfall continued only a short time. - News Content.


DELUGE: 30-Minute Downpour Results In Widespread Flash Flooding In Izmir, Turkey!

The rain, accompanied by northeaster winds and hail, led to floods, especially at high points in İzmir.  © DHA

May 22, 2015 - IZMIR, TURKEY
- Turkey's western province of İzmir was hit by a flash flood caused by heavy rain that lasted around half an hour at around noon on Wednesday.

The rain, accompanied by northeaster winds and hail, led to floods, especially at high points in İzmir.

Flooding in İzmir

Meanwhile, social media users circulated striking photographs on the Internet showing the gravity of the situation.

The photograph of a man drifting away in a flood in the Gültepe neighborhood particularly drew attention on the Internet. Adem Altıparmak, the man seen in the picture, managed to survive after he was dragged around 400 meters in the flood.

WATCH: Flooding in Izmir.

In the meantime, cars sustained severe damage due to the flood. The local administrator of the Trakya neighborhood told the Cihan news agency the area is often damaged by flash floods and that he petitioned the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality twice for gutters to be built to evacuate the rainfall. He added that a local lost his life in a flash flood last year. - Today's Zaman.


ICE AGE NOW: Weather Anomalies - Snowfall in Italy In Late May!

Snow in Italy

May 22, 2015 - ITALY
- While the center and south of the peninsula is very sunny and warm, in the north it snows. Even for our latitude snow in late May is not common.

Spring snow in Alto Adige. On the A22 motorway on the Austrian border movement of vehicles partially restricted. Huge traffic jams and many accidents.

Snows from early in the morning at the Brenner Pass: as shown in the photo taken by the webcam Site A22 snow is creating heavy traffic disruption in both carriageways between Sterzing and the state border. Especially heavy vehicles proceeding slowly slowing down the entire flow of vehicles.

The disturbance has already created difficulties with falling snow in South Tyrol and the Brenner motorway. The major problems were reported between Sterzing and the crossing with Austria because of the snow that makes it particularly risky transit of heavy vehicles.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for these links

- Ice Age Now.

EXTREME WEATHER: Huge Hail Storm In Pecos, Texas!

Large hailstones
May 22, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - Large hail fell from a tornado warned storm near the town of Pecos, Texas covering the roads and damaging vehicles in the area.

WATCH: Massive hail storm in Pecos.


ICE AGE NOW: Winter Returns In Late May In German Alps - Up To 18 Inches Of Snowfall!

Winter return to the Alps. © Jörg Heisig
May 22, 2015 - GERMANY - Heavy Snow on May 21!!

Up to half a meter (18 inches) of snow hit higher elevations yesterday Snow covers the landscape around the Herzogstand in the Bavarian Alps at around 1730 meters altitude.

Not far away is the Walchensee, a popular destination for the residents of Munich.

Thanks to Loher for this link

- Ice Age Now.


PLANETARY TREMORS: "Heard A Massive Crash,... The Whole House Started To Shake,..." - Strong 4.2 Magnitude Earthquake "Causes Homes To Shake" In Kent, United Kingdom!

- A 4.2 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in Kent, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has said.

The tremor originated near Sandwich at a depth of 15km (9.5 miles) underground at 02:52 BST, it reported.

Residents in areas including Margate, Canterbury and Southend-on-Sea in Essex felt the tremor, with some saying they thought it was a plane crash or a bomb.

Kent Police said a number of calls had been received but no injuries or structural damage had been reported.

But Herbert Smith tweeted that he and his wife Doreen were taking refuge in their caravan after being evacuated from their damaged home in Flete.

The British Geological survey's monitoring stations showed seismic activity on Friday morning.  © British Geological survey

'Massive crash'

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), which monitors seismic activity across the continent, also recorded the earthquake.

Theresa Foord, from Eastry near Sandwhich, said: "I heard this massive crash and then the whole house started to shake.

"Plates came off the wall, doors came open - it was all very frightening.

"It seemed to go on for ages but it was about three to five seconds."

BBC South East reporter Simon Jones, who lives in Canterbury, said he was woken up when his house started shaking.

"The initial thought was perhaps something had gone into the house, like a lorry but then I turned to social media and people right across east Kent were reporting an earthquake," he said.

Vikki Petts tweeted: "So we just had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake in Kent and my housemates slept through the entire thing. certainly woke me up!"

Jonathan Tapp said: "Earthquake in East Kent and now can't get back to sleep. Despite months spent in [New Zealand] this is my first one that I've felt."

Iain Buchanan, from Ramsgate, said: "So I'm not going mental, my house shook due to an earthquake in Kent of all places."

Police said they began receiving reports of the tremor in east Kent at about 02:57 BST.

Neither the force nor Kent Fire and Rescue Services had received any reports of structural damage or injuries, they said.

Hundreds of homes in Folkestone were damaged by a 4.3 magnitude tremor struck parts of Kent in 2007.

More than 70 buildings were so dangerous residents could return to them because of loose chimney stacks, tiles and masonry. - BBC.


WEATHER PHENOMENON: Omen - Solar Halo Glistens Over Mexico City Landmarks!

A solar halo in Mexico City has got people talking. According to meteorologists, the weather phenomenon creates rainbows
around the sun and is formed by the reflection of ice crystals

May 22, 2015 - MEXICO
- A solar halo appeared in Mexico City on Thursday - prompting dozens of calls from worried locals to meteorologists.

The phenomenon, which is actually an optical illusion, is caused when sunlight passes through ice crystals, causing the light to bend into a colourful ring.

Not satisfied with this scientific explanation, locals on social media claimed that an alien invasion was nigh, while other conspirators suggested the government was attempting to blind voters ahead of an election.

The halo was spotted in three cities, most notably above the capital's most famous landmark, the Angel of Independence.

Juan Manuel Caballero, of the National Weather Service, said he had received about 30 phone calls from people who thought it was a "bad omen".

He explained: "It's very common. The thing is that people never look up." - SKY News.


FIRE IN THE SKY: Fireball Captured On Camera Over Tenerife, Canary Islands!

Meteorite captured on camera by Slovakian observatory in the Canaries

May 22, 2015 - CANARY ISLANDS
- A spectacular image was captured on camera by the AMOS project near Los Cristianos in Tenerife at 23.17 on Tuesday when a meteor illuminated the sky as it hurtled towards Earth.

The meteor, which was first spotted when it was still 83 kilometres away from the planet, disintegrated 25.2 kilometres from the Earth's surface, and was snapped by the cameras of the AMOS project in the observatory of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Teide y Roque de los Muchachos.

The AMOS (All-Sky Meteor Orbit System) project has been up and running for only two months, and every night scans the sky in search of meteors using two detectors located 140 kilometres apart in Tenerife and La Palma. These devices can calculate the exact orbits and trajectories of the bodies they detect.

The technology was developed by the Astronomical and Geophysical Observatory of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics at the Comenius University in Slovakia, and won a gold medal at the INVENTO 2013 exhibition.

Its intended use is for improving meteor and meteorite detection and prediction systems, and in future it is planned to install similar equipment in Chile in order to allow the southern skies to be monitored as well. - Spanish News Today.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

FRINGE STARGATE: Beams Of Protons Collide In The Large Hadron Collider At The Record-Breaking Energy Of 13 Teraelectronvolts (TeV) - For The First Time Ever! [IMAGES]

- Last night, protons collided in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the record-breaking energy of 13 TeV for the first time. These test collisions were to set up systems that protect the machine and detectors from particles that stray from the edges of the beam.

A key part of the process was the set-up of the collimators. These devices which absorb stray particles were adjusted in colliding-beam conditions. This set-up will give the accelerator team the data they need to ensure that the LHC magnets and detectors are fully protected.

Today the tests continue. Colliding beams will stay in the LHC for several hours. The LHC Operations team will continue to monitor beam quality and optimisation of the set-up.

This is an important part of the process that will allow the experimental teams running the detectors ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, LHCf, MOEDAL and TOTEM to switch on their experiments fully. Data taking and the start of the LHC's second run is planned for early June.

"We begin by bringing the beams into collision at 13 TeV, and adjusting their orbits to collide them head-on," says Ronaldus SuykerBuyk of the Operations team.

Test collisions continue today at 13 TeV in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to prepare the detectors ALICE, ATLAS, CMS,
LHCb, LHCf, MOEDAL and TOTEM for data-taking, planned for early June (Image: LHC)

Protons collide at 13 TeV sending showers of particles through the ALICE detector (Image: ALICE)

Last month proton beams were back in the accelerator for the first time after two years of intense maintenance and consolidation. The first beam at the record energy of 6.5 TeV circulated on 10 April, and the first collisions – at the lower beam energy of 450 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) – followed.

The team has already checked and fine-tuned all the beam instruments, magnets and collimators along the 27-kilometre accelerator for collisions at 900 GeV. But when beam energy increases to 6.5 TeV, the beam parameters and orbits change significantly as compared to 450 GeV. In addition, the beams are focused down to a much smaller spot size within the experiments and as a consequence the location of collisions changes.

"When we start to bring the beams into collision at a new energy, they often miss each other," says Jorg Wenninger of the LHC Operations team. "The beams are tiny – only about 20 microns in diameter at 6.5 TeV; more than 10 times smaller than at 450 GeV. So we have to scan around – adjusting the orbit of each beam until collision rates provided by the experiments tell us that they are colliding properly."

Protons collide at 13 TeV sending showers of particles through the CMS detector (Image: CMS)

Protons collide at 13 TeV sending showers of particles through the ATLAS detector (Image: ATLAS)

The design of the LHC allows more than 2800 bunches of protons to circulate in each beam at a time. But the LHC Operations team will start collision tests with just one or two bunches per beam at the nominal intensity of 1011 particles per bunch to ensure that all is running smoothly.

Once they have found the points at which the beams interact optimally to give the most physics data, collimators have to be positioned accurately around the beam orbits to intercept particles that stray from the beam before they can hit magnets or detectors. "When the positioning of all collimators has been validated the LHC will switch over to production mode," says Wenninger, "and become a 'collision factory', delivering data to experiments." At this point, the experiments will switch on fully, and LHC Run 2 will begin.

In the meantime, the large LHC experiments ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb will use the test data to check specific parts of their detectors for the upcoming physics run.

"The collisions at 13 TeV will allow us to further test all improvements that have been made to the trigger and reconstruction systems, and check the synchronisation of all the components of our detector," says CMS spokesperson Tiziano Camporesi.

“These data are precious to complete the fine tuning of the preparation for the run,” says ALICE spokesperson Paolo Giubellino. “ALICE has installed new detectors during the shutdown, and has significantly upgraded the trigger and readout. The validation of the new hardware will greatly benefit from the first data.”

"Although these collisions are not used for physics studies, they are useful for refining the synchronization of the readout time of different parts of the calorimeters and muon detectors," says LHCb spokesperson Guy Wilkinson.

Protons collide at 13 TeV sending showers of particles through the LHCb detector (Image: LHCb)

Protons collide at 13 TeV sending showers of particles through the TOTEM detector (Image: TOTEM)

"These 13 TeV data allow us to work on further improving the ATLAS detector readiness, following the recent 900 GeV collisions," says ATLAS spokesperson Dave Charlton. "The higher energies mean that we expect more active and energetic events, which will let us probe more deeply into the detector, for example."

Declaring "stable beams" will be only the beginning for the LHC Operations team. "We’re still working on the injection chain to the LHC, and finalising the collimators," says Wenninger. “And the machine evolves around you. There are little changes over the months. There’s the alignment of the machine, which moves a little with the slow-changing geology of the area. So we keep adjusting every day."

This week's collisions at 13 TeV are to check that CERN's flagship – the LHC – is sea-worthy. But we haven't yet begun the voyage to new frontiers. - CERN.