Thursday, January 21, 2016

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Strong 6.6 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Jalisco, Mexico Coast - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

January 21, 2016 - MEXICO - A magnitude-6.6 earthquake struck well off the Pacific coast of Jalisco, Mexico on Thursday morning.

The quake initially registered at 6.9 in magnitude but was later downgraded to 6.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck at 10:07 a.m. PT and was centered 134 miles southwest of Tomatlan and 158 miles west of Cihuatlan, USGS said.

USGS shakemap intensity.

Jalisco's Civil Protection agency said via Twitter that it was monitoring the state's 125 municipalities to rule out any damage.

The U.S. National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was not forecast to cause a tsunami. - ABC7.

Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico's southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California's San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City. In southern Mexico, Volcán de Colima and El Chichón erupted in 2005 and 1982, respectively. Paricutín volcano, west of Mexico City, began venting smoke in a cornfield in 1943; a decade later this new volcano had grown to a height of 424 meters. Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos ("smoking mountain" and "white lady", respectively), southeast of Mexico City, occasionally vent gas that can be clearly seen from the City, a reminder that volcanic activity is ongoing. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing the evacuation of nearby towns, causing seismologists and government officials to be concerned about the effect a large-scale eruption might have on the heavily populated region. Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


GLOBAL COASTAL EVENT: "I've Never See A Big Wave Come In Like That" - Video Captures Stunning "Mini-Tsunami" Along Washington Coast! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

A "rogue" wave rolled in and inundated Joe Creek near Pacific Beach. (Photo: Irene Sumi)

January 21, 2016 - WASHINGTON STATE, UNITED STATES - People on the Washington Coast got quite a show over the weekend when a "rogue" wave rolled in and inundated a creek and beach near Pacific Beach.
Irene Sumi was staying at a friend’s home, which overlooks the mouth of Joe Creek, and just happened to flip on her camera when the wave started to come in.

“The tide was coming in but that was definitely a rogue wave that came in quickly and big -- filled up the entire creek bed and beach,” she said.

Sumi says she visits the area regularly.

“I’ve never seen a big wave come in like that,” she said.

The wave was carrying logs and debris with it.

MarTeam Photography

MarTeam Photography

“It’s pretty dangerous when those waves roll through,” she said.

She posted the video on Facebook and some people compared it to a “mini tsunami.”

“That one you couldn’t run fast enough to get out of the way,” she said.

Steve Martin was with a group on the beach at Ocean Shores when the surge happened.

“I was up on the bluff and had not gone down to the beach yet, but was on my way,” he said.

Martin saw a police car coming right to left, then his friends saw the wave, as did the officer in the police car.

“He pulled a quick u-turn and gunned it to try and beat the wave as our friends were at a dead run towards the bluff. As you can see from the photo, they didn't make it,” he said. “No one was seriously injured, just pretty shook up.”

WATCH: 'Mini tsunami' along Washington coast caught on camera.

“It was probably 100 yards or so of beach that was suddenly gone,” said Martin.

The National Weather Service had issued warnings over the weekend about dangerous surf.

Ocean Shores firefighter Brian Ritter said he has never before seen the ocean behave the way it did that day.

“Multiple people were rolled and injured by this very fast surge,” he said. “These waves pack huge logs and debris traveling at dangerous speeds, causing major traumatic injuries.”

Ritter said the most vulnerable are the people that come to the beach to "storm watch" and actually set foot on the beach, potentially putting themselves at risk.

“Elderly and small children can easily become victims, as there were incidents on this day,” he said.

Ritter said people should pay attention to warnings and signage.

"Stay off coastal beaches during high surf warnings," he said. "Watch from afar. Mother Nature is unforgiving." - KING5.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Blizzard Warnings Issued For Washington D.C. - Snow Accumulation Up To 30 INCHES In The Western Suburbs!

January 21, 2016 - UNITED STATES - The following is a severe weather alert from Weather Underground at 12:09 PM EST on January 21, 2016:

... Blizzard Warning in effect from 3 PM Friday to 6 am EST

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has
issued a Blizzard Warning... which is in effect from 3 PM Friday
to 6 am EST Sunday. The blizzard watch is no longer in effect.

* Hazard types... heavy snow and wind with blowing and drifting
  snow Friday afternoon through Saturday night. Sleet may mix with
  the snow Friday night into Saturday morning east of Interstate
  95 before changing back to all snow by Saturday afternoon.

* Accumulations... snow accumulation of 18 to 24 inches in the
  eastern suburbs of Washington DC... and 24 to 30 inches in the
  western suburbs. The city of Washington DC is expected to
  receive around 24 inches.

* Timing... heavy snow will develop late Friday afternoon and
  continue through Saturday night. Conditions are expected to
  deteriorate Friday afternoon with the heaviest snow... strongest
  winds... and potential life threatening conditions expected
  Friday night through Saturday.

* Impacts... heavy snow and blowing snow will cause dangerous
  conditions and will be a threat to life and property. Travel
  is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during
  the height of the storm Friday night and Saturday. Visibility
  will be reduced to near zero at times in whiteout conditions.

* Winds... northeast 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50
  mph... becoming north Saturday.

* Temperatures... mid to upper 20s.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibility are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions... making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel... have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded... stay with your vehicle. Prepare for the possibility of
power outages during snowy and cold conditions.

Snowfall Potential - The heaviest snowfall potential is indicated by the dark purple and pink contours on this map.

Snowfall Potential - The heaviest snowfall potential is indicated by the dark purple and pink contours on this map.

- Weather Underground.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Rare 2.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Saudi Arabia - Sparking Panic Among Villagers In Taba!

Image: Okaz

January 21, 2016 - SAUDI ARABIA - An earthquake measuring 2.3 degrees on the Richter scale hit the area near the village of Taba, 80 kilometres away from Hail City, at 6.18 am.

According to a report in Arabic language daily Okaz, tremors which lasted for 16 seconds sparked panic among Taba villagers, who did not allow their children to go to school.

The National Centre for Earthquakes and Volcanoes director Hani Zahran confirmed the quake and dismissed any volcanic activity in the region of Hail, urging people not to panic. - Gulf Digital News.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Very Low Temperatures And Heavy Snowfall In Mongolia; Mass Death Of Livestock!

Yurt in snow storm.

January 21, 2016 - MONGOLIA - Frost-cold-winter Mongolia is experiencing very low temperatures and heavy snowfall since early-November 2015, locally named dzud (or jute, mass deaths of livestock in winter).

According to the National Emergency Management Authority, snow has covered 90 percent of the total territory with conditions getting more severe, ReliefWeb reports.

Based on the latest assessment report released from the Mongolian government in early-January 2016, 50 districts in 16 provinces are currently categorized as experiencing dzud, while 120 districts in 20 provinces are on the edge of entering dzud condition.

Some local level governments have already declared dzud in their respective districts as part of the early warning and preparedness measures.

The Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment has indicated that based on the weather forecast, continuous snowfall, snowstorms and temperatures are expected to persist on average of below -25 degrees Celsius (-13°F) during daytime and -38 degrees (-36°F) during night in the coming weeks.

These will further affect more than 965,000 people, especially vulnerable herders living in the affected districts. - AKI Press.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: CDC - "Dozen Or So" Cases Of Zika Virus Among United States Residents!

  Brazilian Marilla Lima had Zika virus while pregnant. Her 2 1/2-month-old son, Arthur, has microcephaly —
a birth defect characterized by a small head and severe brain damage. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro/NPR

January 21, 2016 - UNITED STATES - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that there are at least “a dozen or so” confirmed cases of Zika virus in residents who recently traveled to countries where the mosquito-borne virus is spreading.

The agency said it was not able to provide an immediate breakdown by state because states must authorize the release of that information. Several state health departments have reported confirmed cases in recent days. These include: Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas. The number of cases is from 2015 to date, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

Health officials said there is no risk to the public because all the cases so far have been in returning travelers who were likely infected by mosquitos abroad rather than by mosquitos in the U.S. mainland.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus are found throughout the world, meaning outbreaks could spread to new countries

The CDC and only a few state health departments have the capability to conduct the test to confirm a Zika virus. Many states have been sending samples to the CDC for testing, and that is how the CDC is finding out about potential cases. State health departments are not required to notify the CDC about any cases of the Zika virus. The CDC is in the process of working out a system for collecting information about confirmed Zika virus cases, Skinner said.

Zika is a pathogen carried by mosquitos that typically causes only mild symptoms, but health officials have recently been alarmed because of a possible link between the virus and more than 3,500 children born with microcephaly in Brazil since October. The rare condition, marked by an abnormally small head, is associated with incomplete brain development.

Workers in Brazil are going door to door encouraging and educating residents about how to clean up standing water, which provides perfect
breeding ground for the Zika-carrying mosquitoes. (Panos Pictures/For The Washington Post)

Hawaii health officials say a baby recently born with microcephaly at an Oahu hospital to a mother who lived in Brazil in the spring was infected with the Zika virus in utero.

The New Jersey health department said Wednesday that it was notified by the CDC on Dec. 23, 2015 about an individual who had the illness when she visited Bergen County at the end of November. The woman was exposed in Colombia, and has recovered and returned to that country, according to a a health department statement.

On Tuesday, the CDC released interim guidelines advising obstetricians and other health-care professionals who care for pregnant women to test them for Zika infection if they show symptoms after visiting more than a dozen countries and territories where local transmission of the virus has occurred.

Symptoms include fever, rash, muscle aches or conjunctivitis (pink eye) during or within two weeks of their travel to any of those locations. A positive finding for the virus should be reported to the appropriate local or state health department, CDC said. - Washington Post.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Global Stocks Sink On Fresh Growth Fears!

January 21, 2016 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - Global stocks plunged, driven by heightened concerns about growth and fading confidence in the willingness or ability of central banks to boost their economies.

The concern is the outlook for inflation, which in small doses is crucial to a healthy economy and which monetary-policy makers around the world have failed to accelerate. Another sharp fall in oil prices and weak consumer-price data in the U.S. on Wednesday gave traders fresh reasons to doubt what already were dismal expectations for the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 500 points before rebounding to close down 249 points, or 1.6%, extending a rout that has left the blue-chip index off 9.5% this year. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index sank into bear markets—down 20% from a recent high.

In a sign of the stress, a crush of buying into haven assets pushed yields on 10-year U.S. Treasurys below 2%, leaving them at their lowest level since October. Bond yields fall as prices rise. Gold, another asset perceived as a harbor in times of turmoil, rose 1.6%.

Asian markets were higher early Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index were each up more than 1%, while the Shanghai Composite was up less sharply.

The unusually severe losses in stocks and most commodities to start 2016 have led people in business, the investment community and government to question their outlooks and ask whether economic conditions might be worse than they had expected.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the world economy should continue to expand at a modest pace this year, but said the downside risks are “bigger on the horizon than what we would have thought.”

Growth in China has faltered, slowing to 6.9% last year, the slowest pace in a quarter century. The slowdown has rattled economies on every continent. An indication is oceangoing cargo, with the rates for shipping a single container between Europe and Asia plummeting to $740 recently from $1,765 at the start of 2014.

Meanwhile, U.S. inflation remains weak, with the consumer-price index falling a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in December, according to a report from the Labor Department on Wednesday.

And then there is oil, which fell below $27 a barrel in New York—dropping 6.7%, to $26.55—just two trading days after settling below $30 for the first time in 12 years. Cheaper oil can be good news, signaling lower costs across the economy. But it may indicate slower demand from the factories, truckers and car buyers that use petroleum products around the world.

“If the oil price was just a supply story,” said Peter Schaffrik, chief European macro strategist at RBC Capital Markets, “it wouldn’t bother everyone.”

The turbulence prompted online subprime lender Elevate Credit Inc. to postpone its initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter, the second company this year to do so.

The mood was already pessimistic coming into the year. Just 27% of the chief executive officers sounded out in a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers—timed to coincide with the start of the​ gathering in Davos—said they thought global economic growth would improve in the coming year. That is down from 37% last year and 44% in 2014. The poll surveyed 1,409 CEOs in 83 countries.

Randall Stephenson, chief executive of AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. telecommunications company by revenue, said in an interview at the conference that he isn’t optimistic U.S. growth will accelerate much.

“Our expectation is that we do no better than 2% in 2016,” Mr. Stephenson said. “And absent some fiscal policy move, we think there’s probably more downside than upside in that forecast.”

The views of corporate bosses are colored by the collapse in a number of commodities and questions surrounding the ability of policy makers to boost growth. With interest rates still ultralow in the U.S. and Europe, there isn’t much room for central-bank officials to maneuver.

An electronic stock board in Tokyo displays the closing figure for the Nikkei Stock Average on Wednesday. Japanese shares entered a bear market,
a drop of 20% or more from a recent high.
Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg News

With financial markets often serving as a leading indicator of economic performance, the executives’ views could prove prescient and indeed become self-fulfilling if their companies adjust expansion plans accordingly.

To be sure, not everyone is bearish. The U.S. has posted steady jobs growth, and traders generally don’t expect the country to slip into a recession.

“Everyone knows that the U.S. is in a low-growth environment, and everyone knows that Europe is in a low-growth environment,” Adena Friedman, chief operating officer of stock-exchange operator Nasdaq Inc., said in an interview in Davos. “If you look at China, it’s a slowing environment off of a much bigger economy than it was 10 years ago, but it’s slowing and shifting into more of a consumer market, so to me, those are not bad things.”

Markets are having to find their way with less support from the Fed. While that may boost volatility for now, it ultimately may prove beneficial.

Hedge-fund manager Paul Singer, who runs the roughly $26 billion Elliott Management Corp., said his fear is more monetary stimulus, in lieu of longer-term fixes such as easing tax and regulatory burdens.

He said in an interview in Davos that it can be risky to buy in an environment like this. “It’s very difficult to be a bottom-fisher at any time,” Mr. Singer said. “With the commodities crash, it could be fatal if you bottom-fish too aggressively and too early.”

Ms. Lagarde, the IMF chief, said it also was possible the economy could post stronger growth than expected. But the IMF already has lowered its outlook for 2016, and with markets off to a turbulent start, the immediate prospects have become less certain.

In addition to falling oil prices and slowing growth, she identified a lack of coordination among central banks in major economies as another threat.

The Federal Reserve, which meets on interest-rate policy next week, has been inclined to tighten monetary conditions at a time when many other countries still are easing.

The European Central Bank remains on a path of easy money, but disappointed markets in December by not being as aggressive as expected in its latest decision on interest rates and bond purchases.

Officials at both the ECB and the Fed had expected stabilization in oil prices to help them boost inflation back to desired ranges of about 2%.

Officials in China, meanwhile, have sent confusing signals about plans for further easing.

“The biggest risk for China is not to slow down in a measured way, but to stimulate the economy to such an unrealistic speed that it implodes suddenly and goes down in flames,” Fang Xinghai, a director-general in the Office of the Central Leading Group on Economic and Financial Affairs, said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Guo Ping, who holds the rotating post of CEO at Chinese telecom-equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co., said at a Wall Street Journal luncheon in Davos that China’s economy isn’t in crisis but will experience a deep adjustment for roughly two years.

Policy makers have “made some mistakes,” he said. “I don’t think up till now, they have found the right way.” - WSJ.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: The Great Blizzard Of 2016 - Historic, Long-Duration U.S. Northeast Snowstorm Begins Friday, Blizzard Watch In Effect; Could Dump Up To 2 Feet Of Snow; Two Women Frozen To Death In Wisconsin And Georgia! [MAPS]

January 21, 2016 - UNITED STATES - The latest forecast data are insistent that a severe winter storm will unleash crippling snow and strong winds over much of the D.C. area Friday through Saturday night.

On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch for the entire metro region due to the potential blinding combination of snow and powerful winds. “Potential life-threatening conditions [are] expected Friday night into Saturday night,” the National Weather Service says. “Travel is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during the height of the storm Friday night and Saturday.”

While there is still time for shifts in the exact storm track, which could alter snow totals some, the consensus of forecast models indicate more than a foot of snow will fall in many areas.

Computer models have been remarkably consistent, unanimously forecasting double-digit snow totals for the region since the weekend.

( / USA Today)

There is still significant uncertainty in the onset time of snow. What we can say with some confidence is that snow should hold off until after the morning commute Friday. Many models suggest a midday to early afternoon start time, although it’s not out of the question the snow holds off until Friday evening.
The brunt of the storm will occur overnight Friday into Saturday, when snow is likely to be heavy at times. Winds will crank up by Saturday morning with gusts to 30-40 mph during the day, and higher near the Chesapeake Bay. The combination of snow and wind is likely to severely restrict visibility. Power outages are possible due to weight of the snow and strong winds.

This will be a long-duration event — around 36 hours, with snow potentially not ending until late Saturday night or even Sunday morning. Wherever you are Friday evening, it is quite possible you may need to remain there until Sunday or Monday, or even a bit longer.

Snow totals could be historic depending on the final storm track. We think 12-20 inches is reasonable first estimate for the immediate metro area, with higher amounts of up to 2 feet or so in our colder areas, north and west of line from roughly Warrenton to Fairfax to Rockville to Columbia. Somewhat lesser amounts may fall southeast of the Beltway, more on the order of 8-16 inches.


Here are the chances of different amounts for the immediate metro area:
At least one inch: 95 percent or higher
At least four inches: 85 percent
At least eight inches: 75 percent
At least 12 inches: 65 percent
At least 18 inches: 40 percent
At least 24 inches: 15 percent
Locations west of that Warrenton to Columbia line can add 5-10 percent to probabilities of at least 8 to 24 inches.

Storm scenarios

Scenario 1: Paralyzing snow amounts, 75 percent chance
The scenario that is most likely to play out is one that is likely to cripple the city. All the operational models last night and so far today have featured a low tracking across the South and then strengthening off the Mid-Atlantic coast with higher pressure to our north to keep cold air funneling southward into the region as the storm approaches.

This scenario would produce accumulations that could rival the two biggest storms of the 2009-2010 Snowmageddon season. One to 2 foot accumulations would be likely with such a scenario and some locations might reach 30 inches.





The Canadian, GFS, European, Canadian and NAM models plastered the area with such a storm. All not only predict significant snow but also predict strong winds suggesting some locations could feel blizzard conditions. Travel Friday night and Saturday would probably come to standstill.

The cold stretch we’ve been in means that roads will be cold so snow will quickly accumulate on them.

Locations south and east of the city still look like they would have a period of sleet or might briefly mix snow with sleet but then would likely turn back to snow before the storm exited the region Saturday night or early Sunday.

The combination of strong winds and wet snow could lead to scattered outages. Gale conditions are likely over the Bay.

The NAM model shows conditions that may support thundersnow Saturday morning.

The biggest bones of contention are when the snow will start and end across the area and who will end up in the stripe of heaviest snow.

We tend to favor northwest Virginia near the I-81 corridor as a likely bulls-eye, although today’s GFS model puts it smack over the District.

GFS model forecasts 30 inches over D.C. (

The uncertainty of the timing is illustrated by the spread of the low forecast positions from last night’s GFS ensemble. Each low represents where one of the ensemble members predicted the low to be at 1 a.m. Saturday morning. Note that all have the low clustered tightly along an ideal track to give the area a major snowstorm, but the low positions vary from being along the coast of South Carolina to north of Cape Hatteras North Carolina.

Forecast position of low pressure (storm) Saturday morning from GFS ensemble. (

The same type of timing differences are present in the operational models. The GFS operational model brings the snow into the western Suburbs by mid-morning Friday and into the city by early afternoon. By contrast, last night’s European model doesn’t get the snow into city until sometime between 4 and 7 p.m. Friday. Both models suggest this will be a long duration storm lasting into Saturday night or even Sunday morning.

Last night’s European ensemble members illustrate how much consensus there is for this being an extreme storm and again suggest that the storm could rival some of the all-time greats.

The figures below show the percentage of the 50 European ensemble members that produced at least 12 inches of snow (top panel) and 24 inches of snow (bottom panel).

Probability of at least 1 foot of snow from European model ensemble (

Probability of at least 2 feet of snow from European model ensemble (

The European snow product tends to be a little aggressive, but still, it’s an impressive display of how much potential this storm has to produce big-league snow totals.

The ensembles suggest that the jackpot for snow will probably be somewhere in northwestern Virginia but in reality it could be almost anywhere west of the city where the green shades are depicted. My guess is someone will see 30 inches of snow, but it will be focused along one of those banded type features that the models don’t forecast the location of very well in advance.

Scenario 2: Non-crippling winter storm (25 percent chance)

The second scenario encompasses possible variations in which the storm track shifts just enough to change the evolution of how the storm would play out over our area. Either of these possibilities would still offer the city heavy snow but yield more manageable totals on the order of 6 to 12 inches.

If the storm were to track north of Norfolk, Va., and then across the Delmarva Peninsula, the snow in Washington would mix with or change to sleet and/or rain which would keep snow totals in the city down and would really put the kibosh on snow accumulations in Southern Maryland. However, locations west of the city, especially along the I-81 corridor, would get crushed and could still end up with snow totals measuring in feet.

The other possibility is that the storm track shifts east. Then the D.C. area would stay all snow but might only end up with 6 to 12 inches while locations south and east like St Mary’s and Calvert counties might end up with a jackpot of snow and record well over a foot, while the far western suburbs end up with the least snow in the area. To us, that’s the least likely possibility. In each of these storm iterations, travel would still be a mess Friday night into Saturday but the city would probably spring back to normal by Monday. - Washington Post.

Woman leaves party in shorts, freezes to death

Elizabeth Luebke, who died on a frigid Wisconsin night.(Photo: Facebook)
When 21-year-old Elizabeth Luebke traveled an hour and a half south from her home in Oshkosh, Wis., to Milwaukee for a concert, she wound up at an after-party wearing a tank top, shorts, and fish-net stockings — and at around 4:30 a.m. left angrily after arguing with a friend, reports

It was -5.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind chill was a frigid -27.5 degrees.

Security video footage from a nearby business shows her suddenly collapsing in front of a house and eventually stopping moving altogether, reports BuzzFeed.

Her body was found by a passerby at 9 a.m., just around the corner from the party.

Luebke, who also went by the name Lana Kane, had frozen to death, but alcohol appears to have been a factor.

A friend of Luebke's says she arrived at the party "really, really drunk," while her mother says her daughter had a history of binge drinking and had been hospitalized in October with a blood-alcohol level five times the legal driving limit, reports the New York Daily News.

Luebke wrote on her Facebook page in December that she'd quit drinking, and some of her friends said she'd been sober for the past several weeks.

Tributes online mention her as "one of the last people to deserve this," while police advise against ever walking alone in subzero temps. - USA Today.

Woman Froze to Death as Helpless Husband Lay Nearby

Authorities in central Georgia say a 74-year-old woman froze to death after she tried to help her wheelchair-bound husband outside their home.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills tells local news outlets that Maria Riffe died Thursday while her immobile husband was about 20 yards from her, each unable to help the other.

Roy Riffe, 86, was in a motorized wheelchair going down the concrete walkway at their home when he ran off the walkway and fell out of the wheelchair. Sills says Maria Riffe, who relied on a walker, fell while trying to help her husband, leaving both helpless.

Investigators say Roy Riffe was likely able to survive the night because he was wearing a jacket and fleece pants. His wife was only wearing a dress. - Newser.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Venezuela Calls For "EXTRAORDINARY" Emergency OPEC Meeting Amid Lower Oil Prices!

January 21, 2016 - VENEZUELA - Venezuela has requested that OPEC hold an emergency meeting to discuss steps to prop up oil prices, which have fallen to their lowest since 2003, two OPEC sources said on Wednesday.

But four other delegates from countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said such a meeting was unlikely to happen. OPEC's Gulf members including Saudi Arabia have opposed earlier calls for emergency meetings.

"Venezuela has requested an extraordinary meeting," said an OPEC delegate from a Middle East member-country. Another OPEC source confirmed that such a request had been made.

Oil prices have collapsed to below $28 a barrel, their lowest since 2003, on a supply glut that may worsen this year with the lifting of sanctions on Iran. The decline is painful for all producers and particularly so for less wealthy OPEC members such as Venezuela.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf OPEC allies led a change in OPEC policy in 2014 to defend market share against higher-cost rivals, rather than cut supply to support prices. OPEC at its last meeting, held in December, rolled over that strategy.

OPEC is already pumping oil at close to record levels, even before any extra Iranian crude reaches the market. The next scheduled OPEC meeting is not until June.

The group's statutes say support from a simple majority of the 13 members can trigger an extraordinary meeting. But delegates say that in practice, none will occur without support from Saudi Arabia and other top producers.

"There is no change in the Gulf coun‎tries' position with their market share strategy," said an OPEC delegate. "Also none of the non-OPEC (countries) show they are willing to cooperate with OPEC for a cut. Iran also still didn't add (extra) oil to the market. So things didn't change."

Another delegate, from one of OPEC's larger producers in the Middle East, did not expect the drop in prices to be prolonged as current prices challenge the economics of pumping oil outside low-cost OPEC countries.

"It will not be low for a very long time," he said. "If the price does fall to $20, many producers will leave the market."

The last extraordinary meeting to discuss a price slump, in 2008, resulted in OPEC making its largest-ever production cut, paving the way for prices to double within a year. - Reuters.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Moscow Has Already Received TWICE THE AVERAGE Amount Of Snow For January!

Snowfall in Moscow. © Sergei Porter / Vedomosti
January 21, 2016 - MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Russia's weather center issued an orange weather warning on Tuesday as heavy snowfall threatened to disrupt traffic in Moscow.

Warning of rising wind speeds as a weather front moved into central Russia from the south, the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia said 12-15 centimeters of snow was expected to fall on Tuesday, the TASS news agency reported.

The new alert follows a week of heavy snowfall in Moscow. Since the start of the month 77 centimeters of snow has fallen in the capital — more than twice the average for January, TASS said.

The storm follows an outlandishly warm start to the Russian winter, with temperatures in the capital dropping below zero only in late December.

More than 18,000 machines and 60,000 people have been deployed in the city to clear snow, according to TASS.

WATCH: BTR-80 APC rescues truck stuck in snow in Russia.

- The Moscow Times.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - Heart-Shaped Fallstreak Hole Surprises Residents Of Houston, Texas!

Gloria Youngblood via Travis Herzog

January 21, 2016 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES -  This beautiful heart-shaped fallstreak hole appeared in the sky of Houston, Texas on January 17, 2016 and baffled many skywatchers.
One day after tubular clouds rolled across Texas, a heart-shaped hole punch cloud unexpectedly appeared in the sky of Houston.

The love message in the sky was spotted on Houston's northwest side. Fallstreak holes are also called hole punch clouds.

They occur when clouds composed of supercooled water droplets suddenly turn into ice and fall through the sky.

Twitter: CEØ @CEO4SHO

Twitter: CEØ @CEO4SHO

Twitter: CEØ @CEO4SHO

Twitter: Ian Shelton ‏@IanMckayWx

Twitter: Ian Shelton ‏@IanMckayWx

A passing plane is usually the catalyst that sets off the chain reaction leading to this beautiful sight in the sky.

Is it a message or a sign that it's almost Valentine's?

Well I doubt this one was made by an airplane. - Strange Sounds.