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GSM EARTH & SPACE NEWS
BE ALERT FOR STEVE! There’s more to geomagnetic storms than auroras. Sometimes a completely different phenomenon appears: STEVE. Steve Zhu (no relation) photographed the strange mauve ribbon arcing over Chilliwack BC on May 14th
“It was so big I had to stitch together three shots to capture the whole thing,” says Zhu. “I could see it even in bright moonlight.”
STEVE is a hot (3000 degrees C) ribbon of ionized gas slicing through Earth’s upper atmosphere some 300 km above the ground. It appears unpredictably during some, but not all, geomagnetic storms. Originally thought to be a type of aurora borealis, new research shows that it is not an aurora at all.
The soft purple color of STEVE may be caused by emissions from nitrogen, according to a new study just published in the Geophysical Research Letters. Its color and narrow ribbon-like structure distinguish it from regular auroras, which tend to be green and wide. Residents of Canada and northern-tier US states should look for STEVE this week after the CMEs hit.
A several degree long solar filament south of the Region 2741 disappeared by approximately 15:14 UTC on May 13, 2019. Initial analysis suggests an Earth-directed component is likely with this Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). This is the fifth Earth-directed CME since May 6 (May 6 1x, May 10 x 2, May 12 1x, May 13 1x).
A powerful earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.5 hit New Britain, Papua New Guinea at 12:58 UTC (22:58 LT) on May 14, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.5 at a depth of 48 km (29.8 miles).
Prolonged heavy rain is causing severe flooding across central Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina since May 12, 2019. Several people were injured, one person was killed and another one remains missing.
MADISON — The Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison is without a prairie dog exhibit after the animals, unfortunately, didn’t make it through the winter. WKOW reported out of the nearly 20 animals, only one survived the winter.
Zoo officials told WMTV with the historic flooding in summer and fall 2018, the water table rose, which restricted how far the prairie dogs could burrow in the ground to keep warm. In January, the polar vortex brought record-breaking cold.
According to WMTV, zoo officials said they were working to create a new prairie dog exhibit that is resilient during extreme weather conditions.
“This is something that we really want to continue to have at the zoo,” Jess Thompson, conservation education curator told WMTV. “It’s a really important species to us, and so as we look forward into what this might look like, we have actually removed our current prairie dog exhibit, knowing that it is not going to hold up to our future climate, and instead decided to expand the space for our bison so they have a bigger yard.”
WKOW reported the last prairie dog would join a new colony at a different zoo.
The report noted that there were 374 fatalities reported across the globe due to flooding and severe weather events in April. That is JUST April.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Wednesday it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades amid reports of severe food shortages.
The official Korean Central News Agency said an average of 54.4 millimeters (2.1 inches) of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year. It said that is the lowest level since 1982, when North Korea received 51.2 millimeters (2 inches) of rain on average during the same period.
A winterlike weather pattern moved over the northeastern United States early this week, bringing with cooler conditions, rain and even snow in several northern locations.
At a Glance
- A multi-day outbreak of severe weather will roar back in the Plains starting Friday.
- This severe threat will persist through the weekend.
- Another round of severe weather may then follow in the Plains next Monday and Tuesday.
- Tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and flooding rain are all threats.
Severe thunderstorms with tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail and flooding rain will return to the Plains Friday, lasting into early next week, bringing an end to a relative lull in severe weather.
The jet-stream pattern will essentially flip late this week, taking a much farther southward plunge over the Rockies, then punching its energy eastward into the Plains states this weekend.
Florida usually reminds people of sunshine, warm temperature and beaches. But that’s not how it was in Florida, Massachusetts early Tuesday morning, where residents awoke to a rare mid-May coating of snow.
Between one and three inches of snow fell overnight in high-elevation towns in Berkshire County, according to the National Weather Service.
Below, photos and video from the town this morning.
San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco could double average May rain totals over a few days
Forecasts for the mountains and foothills also show wind gusts up to 40 mph are possible by midweek, with even stronger winds expected.
Snowfall is most likely to begin Wednesday for much of the Sierra, ramping up starting Thursday.