CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 120
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32
Do You See That Man?
by Belinda van Rensburg
Submitted by Johanna
Do you see that Man – the One upon the Tree
Who used to walk the shores of the Galilean Sea?
Some say that His coming has long since been foretold;
By dead kings and teachers and our own prophets of old.
He claimed He was the Son of God; indeed this I believe
But others tell me I am wrong; that He came to deceive
They say He was a liar; an utter fake; a fraud
But I have seen what He could do and thus His claim applaud.
Mighty was His power; gentle was His touch
It was clear He loved all men so very, very much!
He knew that He would die, and as the day drew nigh
He told us not to fret because we'd see Him by and bye.
Three days have passed since that dark day
All wrapped in grave clothes now He lay.
What's this I hear – His body's gone?
The priests were wrong – He's overcome!
Mighty is His power; gentle His healing touch
It is clear He loves mankind so very, very much!
He is the Risen King of Kings Who reigns from way up High;
He promised we would meet again in the sweet by and bye.
Upon Himself He's taken and broken every curse;
Upon His shoulders rests the whole wide universe.
Stars are in His eyes; secure within His hands
Are His children on the earth in near and far-off lands.
A Matter of Balance
Isaiah 40:12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span [of his hand]? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in scales?
Everything in creation has balance. Night and day, rain and shine, water and earth, happiness and sadness, love and hate, pride and humility, predator and prey, positive and negative, good and evil. In nature, there is a theory that there is a delicate balance in ecological systems in which any small change in some particular parameter, like the size of a population, that will be corrected by feedback that will bring things back into a point of balance with the rest of the system. We see delicate balances in the human body and mind, behaviors and even in socially within our own circles. Any upset in this balance can cause problems that if not corrected, could lead to issues, problems and sometimes ultimately calamity.
I think of Yahweh as being perfect balance and the One who controls the delicate balances within Her creation.
Proverbs 16:11 Honest balances and scales are the LORD's; all the weights in the bag are His concern.
What we observe in the world right now is creation out of balance. Out of balance with Yahweh, in nature, in ourselves. And when you think about how difficult it can be to maintain balance within yourself and your own life, imagine how amazing Yahweh is to be able to maintain the balance of Her entire creation. Right now it is broken and filled with cancerous evil that rages among us and it is mirrored in the world around us, not only in how we treat one another but also in how the balance of nature and living things is so out of whack. It has been this way from the moment Dawn Lucifer Satan the Devil rebelled against Father and he caused an upset in the delicate balance of creation but the hope lies in knowing that Yahweh has a plan that will bring Her creation back into balance. It’s this matter of balance that the Spiritual War is all about – balancing the scales of justice but also of Her creation and bringing balance back to Father’s good name through sanctification and vindication.
Revelation 6:5 [ The Third Seal ] When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and there was a black horse. The horseman on it had a balance scale in his hand.
While only Yahweh knows exactly how and when this will be completed, we can each do our best at bringing balance to creation by starting with ourselves. By introspectively searching our own hearts and uprooting that which is considered evil in Yahweh’s sight and by searching with whole hearts for Yahweh. It’s in starting with ourselves that we can help restore balance and in knowing that we too will be weighed by what is in our hearts, we humbly listen for Her guidance and direction and follow Her instruction.
Job 31:6 let God weigh me with an accurate balance, and He will recognize my integrity.
Remaining in balance with Yahweh, the Holy Family and Her creation also means exhibiting obedience, faith, loyalty and love. In following Her commandments we are in balance with Her and Her plan and in union with Her will. Strive each day to maintain this balance, and our integrity, so that we might be counted worthy of admission into Christ’s Kingdom and eternal life.
1 Corinthians 11:25-26 — In the same way [He] also [took] the cup, after supper, and said, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
Often when you have someone you love, they are consistently on your mind. In that same way, Father's Way may be constantly on one's mind, and Father's Way is not just a set list of guidelines and items to follow, but Christ, Himself.
John 14:6 — Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
In this same instance, a person would seek to do good for the one(s) they love, and even seek their company. And it would be natural to veer towards the ones that an individual would enjoy being with, and to seek a mutual happiness that can be shared amongst each other.
Romans 1:11-12 — For I want very much to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.
So, by seeking Christ's company, a person also seeks Father's Wisdom personified, Her love, and our Mother's very sacrifice which covers a multitude of transgressions. And at the same time, Father and Christ are active, and in Christ's company, one would also be going anywhere Father and Christ are to be found. Further in this, by being in Christ's company, it cannot be helped but to receive and grow in the Wisdom that Father provides.
Proverbs 8:8 — All the words of my mouth are righteous; none of them are deceptive or perverse.
Proverbs 13:14 — A wise man's instruction is a fountain of life, turning people away from the snares of death.
Proverbs 13:20 — The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.
And so when one seeks Christ, and finds Father's Truth, they hold and maintain all they have learned, and rejoice in all that Father has blessed them with.
Proverbs 8:17 — I love those who love me,
and those who search for me find me.
Song of Solomon 8:10 — I am a wall and my breasts like towers. So in his eyes I have become like one who finds peace.
Proverbs 5:18 — Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.
Philippians 4:5 — Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
And further, Father is a warrior, and does take Her stand. In doing so as well, we each seek to further Father's righteousness as children of Her Light.
2 Corinthians 6:7 — by the message of truth, by the power of God; through weapons of righteousness on the right hand and the left,
Romans 12:18 — If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:20 — But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.
There will most certainly still be a lot of violence ahead, in riots, and many other things. Not allowing oneself to be caught up in such a whirlwind, but maintaining Father's peace and still spreading Her blessing will be to continue to fight for Father's love as children of Her Light.
2 Corinthians 6:5 — by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times of hunger,
Matthew 7:25 — The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.
And opening one's doors to those who did not build their house on the rock at first that seek the support that Father provides would also be to further spread Father's peace and light.
Matthew 25:35 — For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
Nourishment From The Throne
Cherubic Commander: Tell me what you see. This was a news story about an octopus gathering coconut shells to build a fort. But what is most evident went unseen by those that reported the story of this sea creature. Look for the hidden intelligence that guided his actions.
If you missed it – look and see what you can within this crop:
Look again with the color altered:
Now look at a second take of this octopus that is cropped. Can you see the two energies that are together and have become part of this sea creature?
The octopus is a hybrid due to demonic manipulation.
The casts in the water are also clearly visible.
In this example, you have both physical manipulation and casted spirit images to examine. Satan is polluting all living things as well as this planet just as he did 6000 years ago when he polluted the earth's inhabitants of ancient times and brought the old earthly paradise to ruin. Nothing is new under the sun. Satan and his demons still practice their old sins connected to the flesh. It is very degrading to think a spirit of any kind copulated with a sea creature. In Father's eyes it is a despicable act.
Jeshaiah: Here is a picture of what was seen most quickly.
The upper-mid right faces seem pleased with themself…and given what you just shared…I feel pretty disturbed.
Cherubic Commander: Yes they do seem pleased. The behavioral change in animals of late might have much to do with Satanic influence. Satan infiltrates all things whether they be inanimate objects or living cells.
Deborah: This is just really disturbing.
Regina: It is…and I just don't understand it at all. It's a destruction of Father's beautiful creation. Upsetting.
Signs From Above
“He rescues and delivers, He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27
Mass UFO sighting in France investigated and confirmed by police
Michael Cohen email@example.com
Police on the Isle of Oleron off the coast of France near the city of Bordeaux have confirmed that they are investigating a mass UFO sighting that took place on New year's Eve. The authorities have interviewed at least three independent witnesses and believe that their testimonies are reliable.
Oklahoma witness reports UFO coming out of 'worm hole'
January 7, 6:59 PM
An Oklahoma witness reports an unusual appearance of what seemed to be a wormhole opening up and a light moving out of it, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The December 31 incident occurred as the witness was watching the rising full moon – but stated that "off to the right of the moon there appeared to be a darker place which was like a circular void. "
'I saw 50-strong UFO formation over Eastfield'
Scarborough Evening News
Jan 4, 2010
A "FORMATION" of an estimated 50 unidentified flying objects has been spotted in the skies above Scarborough. The sighting was made in Herdborough Road in Eastfield and has been reported to an international UFO reporting website. It was witnessed by N Grant at midnight on the night of Friday December 18, who saw a 50-strong, loose diamond formation of small, flat, silver rectangle lights – which were described as “little flying carpets”.
UFO Activity in Salta Argentina Remains Constant
Jan 4, 2010
SALTA – On Saturday at around 19:42 hours, Victor Cintioni, 61, a businessman from Salta, photographed a strange object in the sky with his small cellular phone while he fished from a catamaran at the Cabra Corral reservoir. The image shows a glowing disk surrounded by an intense red halo, which he classified as a UFO.
'Square' UFO silently floats under 60 feet over North Carolina
January 7, 6:34 PM
A North Carolina witness in Johnston County watched a "small, square craft" float silently and low to the ground on December 30, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The witness estimated that the craft size was about 25 square feet, that it was about 5 feet tall, was traveling just 50 to 60 feet off of the ground and 30 yards away. The speed was estimated at 30 mph. The following is the unedited and as yet uninvestigated report filed with MUFON. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. If North Carolina MUFON investigates and reports back on this case, I will release an update. NC, December 30, 2009 – Dark, square shape, two dim lights (red/green), 50ft. off ground, 30mph due west. MUFON Case # 21363. Traveling southeast on Lassiter Road in Johnston County at 6:25pm on Dec. 30, 2009. Two eyewitnesses saw a small, square craft slowly float by. The craft was very dark, and the evening light made it difficult to determine an exact shape. It seemed to be square, dark, about 25ft. square base and maybe 5ft tall.
Signs Down Below
But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Pakistan: Over 700 Civilians Killed in US Drone Strikes
January 3, 2010
PESHAWAR: Of the 44 predator strikes carried out by US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan over the past 12 months, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians.
Geithner’s Fed Told AIG to Limit Swaps Disclosure
by Hugh Son
January 7, 2010
Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.
Yummy! Ammonia-Treated Pink Slime Now in Most U.S. Ground Beef
by Jennifer Poole
January 3, 2010
You're not going to believe what you've been eating the last few years (thanks, Bush! thanks meat industry lobbyists!) when you eat a McDonald's burger (or the hamburger patties in kids' school lunches) or buy conventional ground meat at your supermarket: According to today's New York Times, The "majority of hamburger" now sold in the U.S. now contains fatty slaughterhouse trimmings "the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil," "typically including most of the material from the outer surfaces of the carcass" that contains "larger microbiological populations."
Dubai reaches for the skies despite crisis
by Adam Schreck, AP
January 4, 2009
Dubai unveiled the world's tallest skyscraper today, hoping to shift international attention away from the Gulf emirate's deep financial crisis and rekindle the optimism that once powered its turbocharged growth.
Signs in Humanity
Personal Bankruptcy Filings Rising Fast
Wall Street Journal
by Sara Murray and Conor Dougherty
January 7, 2010
The number of Americans filing for personal bankruptcy rose by nearly a third in 2009, a surge largely driven by foreclosures and job losses. And more people are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which liquidates assets to pay off some debts and absolves the filers of others. That is significant because a 2005 overhaul of federal bankruptcy laws aimed to encourage Chapter 13 filings, which force consumers to sign onto debt-repayment plans in exchange for keeping certain assets.
Shoplifting is on the rise as downturn bites harder
January 7, 2010
Retailers have reported a sharp surge in shoplifting during the recession. The latest crime survey by the trade body the British Retail Consortium shows thefts by customers jumped by a third between 2008 and 2009. Violence against staff also increased. Shopkeepers are asking the police to do more to protect them and their stock.
Britain's blackspots where there is a criminal in every classroom
by James Slack
January 4, 2010
Britain's child crime wave is so bad that in some areas one youngster in every class will be caught by police – often for a serious offence such as robbery or a violent attack. Analysis of government figures by the Daily Mail has revealed how likely a child is to receive their first reprimand, warning, conviction or penalty notice.
Lessons in being a parent at just 14: As figures reveal alarming rise of teen pregnancies, Labour reveal their big idea
by Laura Clark
January 4, 2010
Ed Balls stands accused of encouraging teenage pregnancy with plans to give 14-year-olds compulsory parenting lessons. Pupils will learn how to raise youngsters under the Children's Secretary's proposals from 2011 onwards. But experts warned that this could lead to teenage pregnancy being seen as increasingly acceptable, youngsters giving up education to have a baby – and teachers taking on the role of social workers.
Bloody fighting grips Somali town of Dhuusa Marreeb
January 4, 2010
At least 47 people have been killed and 100 injured in fighting in the central Somali town of Dhuusa Marreeb, a human rights official has told the BBC. Ali Yasin Gedi, of Somali human rights group Elman, said many people had fled the town where allies of the government fought to drive out Islamist rebels.
Arks of Safe Haven
The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.
Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.
How You Can Help?
In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit http://www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.
msbusychild – Lynnwood, WA. – Hello! My name is Lynne and my husband and I are a bit short on rent this month. I just had a baby so I've been on maternity leave and he just hasn't made enough. We have tried pretty much all resources we know to be available and have not found any help. We are in need of $500 to get our rent paid. Is there someone who can help us please?
meadows – I am a fulltime student at the age of 49 and caring for my homebound husband who suffered a traumatic brain injury 6 years ago. I work full time, but am so far behind on bills because of daughter who stole our money and identity. I need help with police reports, lawyers for trying to recieve moneys back, need help moving because I can't do it alone and husband cannot help. I am in my 3rd year of nursing school and will graduate with my BSN in nursing then. I can't graduate early because I am limited to 12-14 credits because of having to work. I am losing my mind because I feel everything that has gone wrong is my fault. Desperate!
Signs in Natural Disasters
“You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 MACQUARIE ISLAND REGION
5.1 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
5.4 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.4 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 SOUTHERN IRAN
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.0 WESTERN XIZANG
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.8 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.7 EAST OF SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
5.1 NEAR COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU
5.2 FIJI REGION
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.7 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
7.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.5 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.7 CENTRAL PERU
5.6 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.8 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
6.2 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.2 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 YUNNAN, CHINA
TAJIKISTAN – Rescue efforts are under way in Tajikistan’s mountainous Badakhshan region after a strong earthquake has left thousands of people without shelter in freezing temperatures. A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck on the morning of January 2 destroying or partially damaging hundreds of homes. There were no reported deaths, although at least two villagers were wounded. Most villagers left their homes after the first tremor, significantly reducing the casualties. Electricity power lines were cut and roads were blocked. Two schools and a clinic have also been destroyed. There are conflicting estimates of the amount of people left homeless, ranging from several hundred to 20,000. Preliminary damage estimates are said to be between $1 million and $1.5 million. Villagers have been clearing roads using spades and shovels. People are afraid to return to their homes as aftershocks are still continuing. “There are many mild tremors almost every 20 minutes. It’s not as strong as the first one, though. And there’s some kind of noise. It feels like the earth under your feet is moving up and down. Children are afraid and don’t want to enter homes, but what can we do in such cold weather?” While Tajikistan is prone to earthquakes, Vanj residents complain that tremors have been happening more frequently in the district since 2007.
SOLOMON ISLANDS – The Solomon Islands archipelago in the Pacific was hit by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake yesterday causing a local tsunami. Several houses collapsed and some people were injured as they ran away from the shore in panic. Sea level measurements taken off Honiara indicated a tsunami of 6 centimeters (0.2 feet) was generated. There was no region-wide threat.
SOLOMONS – Aftershocks continued to shake the Solomon Islands as officials visited isolated villages a day after a powerful 7.2 magnitude quake and tsunami (up to 2.5 metres) damaged at least 500 homes. Landslides had occurred on Rendova and Tetepare islands following the 7.2 quake and an earlier 6.5 tremor. "It will take several days however until we know the full extent and consequences of this tsunami because these islands are very remote and difficult to access."
SOLOMONS – Landslides and a tsunami triggered by a quake in the South Pacific's Solomon Islands have left some 1,000 people homeless. Aftershocks continued on Tuesday after Monday's quakes – the largest of which was magnitude 7.2. This quake led to a tsunami with waves of eight feet (2.5m) in some areas. It led to widespread panic, but there had been no reports of serious injury or deaths. About 200 houses were destroyed on remote Rendova island, some 190 miles (300km) from the capital Honiara. Aerial photographs taken from police helicopters on Tuesday showed debris littering the coast, and scars from landslides inland. (photo)
CALIFORNIA – A rolling earthquake rattled San Francisco and cities throughout the Bay Area this morning at 10:09, and although it was felt widely across nearly 100 miles of territory there were no reports of significant damage. The quake registered a magnitude of 4.1, and from preliminary indications it struck on the Calaveras fault about six miles east northeast from Milpitas and 10 miles from downtown San Jose.
MYSTERY BOOMS / SKYQUAKES -
ENGLAND – 12/29/09 – Sheffield residents are all shook up by a mysterious earthquake. A man in Whirlow Brook Park was in bed with his wife when he heard a strange rumbling noise in the early hours of Tuesday, December 29. The house started 'shuddering' and his digital clock was also affected by was also affected by the quake. More people have since come forward to say they felt the earth move, too. A car dealer from Loxley said he felt the quake at the same time, and that his mum, experienced it too. A resident of Fulwood said she heard a loud cracking noise that woke her in the night, and that the tremor had made cracks in the plaster in her bedroom. Another said he felt the quake as far away as Rotherham, and that his bed 'shook gently' for about 30 seconds. But the UK earthquake monitors at the British Geological Survey said there was "certainly not anything felt in the Sheffield area" on December 29.
PHILIPPINES – Thousands of Filipino evacuees began returning home Saturday after volcanologists said the Mayon volcano no longer was in danger of imminent eruption.
COLUMBIA – Galeras volcano in southern Colombia erupted on Saturday, shooting rock and ash and prompting authorities to order the evacuation of about 8000 people. No one was killed or injured in the eruption. But officials warned that the volcano could remain volatile.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Mount Nyamulagira, 25km (16 miles) from the eastern city of Goma, erupted at dawn on Saturday, sending lava into the surrounding Virunga National Park. About 40 endangered chimpanzees and other animals live in the area. But the country's famous critically endangered mountain gorillas are said to be safe as they live further east. Rangers were deployed to the area to monitor the flow of lava and were due to report back hourly. While few people live in the area immediately affected, officials said their primary concern was to protect human settlements. Lava was flowing towards an area to the south of the volcano, where "many people" live. "I was woken at 0345 [0145 GMT] by a loud bang, which I first thought was the sound of war…Then I saw the mountain was on fire with sparks flying." Mount Nyamulagira (also spelled Nyamuragira) is one of the most active volcanoes in Africa. It has registered more than 35 eruptions since 1882, with the most recent before this weekend being in 2006. Previous eruptions of the volcano have threatened the city of Goma, which has a population of at least 200,000 as well as tens of thousands of refugees. (map & video)
COLUMBIA – Authorities in the south of Colombia lowered the level of alert from red to orange following a decrease in activity of the Galeras volcano.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – The Nyamulagira volcano which erupted in Virunga National Park early on Sunday is still spewing lava. The lava flows are not known to have threatened large populated areas. (video)
MONTSERRAT – The Soufriere Hills volcano is acting up again, with recent pyroclastic flows triggering a level 4 alert (on a 1-5 scale) and forcing evacuations in some residential areas closest to the volcano. The Montserrat Volcano Observatory is reporting the formation of a large, rapidly growing lava dome atop the volcano, which could portend a major eruption. All in all, the last month has seen SOME OF THE MOST SERIOUS VOLCANIC ACTIVITY ON THE ISLAND SINCE THE MID-1990s, when a major eruption entombed the former capital of Plymouth and led to mass evacuations off the island.
COSTA RICA – Turrialba volcano, last active in the 19th century, erupted on Tuesday, spewing ash and steam. Winds were sweeping some ash toward the capital, and "intense but low" seismic activity continued in the crater area. Evacuations will extend from a three-kilometer radius to five or six kilometers, with some 50 people already evacuated. The last major eruption of the Turrialba volcano was in 1856. It has had at least five major explosive eruptions in the last 3,500 years.
CONGO – Mt. Nyamarugira, one of the most active volcanoes in the eastern Congo, erupted over the last weekend and is said to be spewing clouds of ash and smoke into the skies over the Virunga mountains, besides lava flows which are already burning parts of the forests on its slopes. The wildlife in the area, including chimpanzees, are said to be fleeing from the scene and park rangers and wardens are apparently monitoring the direction of the lava flow. The volcano is located some 20+ kilometers from the town of Goma, itself a victim of an eruption a couple of years ago, when part of the town and of the airport were buried under a lava flow. No immediate danger reportedly exists for Goma, but even there, events are being carefully monitored to allow an early evacuation of the town, should the eruptions intensify.
TROPICAL STORMS -
Australian authorities declared a natural disaster Monday in a southeastern farming town where raging floodwaters forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. The swollen Castlereagh River peaked at 5.14 metres (17 feet) just before midday (0100 GMT) in Coonamble, after 1,200 residents in the New South Wales town were urged to leave their homes for higher ground. Forecasters had feared the river would surge to a 40-year record of 5.5 metres and break its banks, putting hundreds of homes in the town at risk. But the threat eased late in the morning when it appeared water levels had gone down slightly. "This indicates that the river is at its peak with major flooding." Heavy rains have pelted the drought-parched region since late December, with hundreds of centimetres of rain unleashed by ex-tropical cyclone Laurence. Several towns have already been cut off by the ONCE-IN-A-DECADE DELUGE but no lives have been lost. Flooding rains were also recorded further north, in the neighbouring state of Queensland, while fires raged in the country's west.
AUSTRALIA – A cyclone could develop in the Top End by tomorrow. An official tropical cyclone watch has been activated. "The Bureau of Meteorology has put extra staff on to observe the situation, but we haven't issued an official cyclone warning yet, as we don't know what's really going to happen…With a low heading over warm water, there is a chance for a cyclone to develop. But even if it doesn't turn into a cyclone, it's going to be pretty blowy and very wet in the Top End…We're expecting it to drift south to the Territory-Queensland border within a few days, but as we all know tropical weather is notoriously unpredictable." A severe weather warning was issued, predicting heavy rainfall and damaging wind with gusts of 90km/h or more for the Darwin-Daly. The vigorous monsoon flow developing in the Arafura Sea could cause seas rising to three to four metres and 50 knot wind gusts in the areas between Cape Fourcroy and Maningrida. Widespread rain fall from 20 up to more than 110mm in 24 hours left most Territorians seeking shelter from the rain yesterday.
AUSTRALIA – A cyclone watch for the Territory coast has been called off but heavy rain continued to fall in bucketloads on Darwin yesterday. Almost 300mm has fallen in the city centre in the last three days. The northern suburbs have also copped a soaking, with 195mm recorded at the hospital in the 72 hours to 9am yesterday. The heavy rain and storm activity uprooted trees and slowed traffic in the Top End, with water pooling over the roads. Wind gusts up to 100km/h were expected in the area. The weather bureau last night said Territorians could expect more torrential downpours – and damaging winds – as an active monsoon trough remained hovering over the northern Top End. Police warned motorists to take extreme caution on the roads as recent rain has caused significant stream rises and flooding.
Tropical Cyclone Edzani formed over the Southern Indian Ocean in early January and intensified rapidly. As of January 7, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 100 knots (185 kilometers per hour) and gusts up to 125 knots (230 kilometers per hour). The storm’s center was roughly 590 nautical miles (1,100 kilometers) southeast of Diego Garcia.
MADAGASCAR – A tropical cyclone will “probably” hit Madagascar on 14 January, but a shortfall in donor funding means the enormous Indian Ocean island may be more vulnerable than usual. "Tropical cyclone Edzani is progressively intensifying in the Indian Ocean … 3,100 km off the coast … [and] will probably make landfall on 14 January 2010.” Madagascar lies in the main path of storms crossing the western Indian Ocean and is battered by cyclones every year; five have struck it in the last two years, affecting over 463,000 people. During the past year, humanitarian agencies have exhausted their emergency stocks in responding to drought in the south, and cyclones that hit the island in early 2009.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER -
BRAZIL – Rescuers have pulled more bodies from an avalanche of thick mud and rock that buried a luxury hotel filled with New Year revellers, one of several landslides in southern Brazil that have claimed about 60 lives. The death toll from the hotel tragedy on Ilha Grande, a resort island southwest of Rio, rose to 26 on Saturday. "It was a deafening noise, I've never heard anything like it – a loud thunder that wouldn't stop. There was a lot of earth, mud, trees – trees falling and taking away everything." Rio's deputy governor said it was "a vision of horror", describing it as "a mountain of rocks and trees covering various homes". Nearby houses had been rented out to tourists for the holiday period. Most of the bodies recovered earlier were found on land, but at least three had been pulled from the sea. The whole area is in severe danger (of new landslides) due to the vegetation.
Another landslide in the nearby city of Angra dos Reis south of Rio left at least 13 people dead, part of a series of mudslides brought on by incessant rains that have killed at least 60 people across the state of Rio de Janeiro since Wednesday and left dozens missing. Although the rains stopped on Friday, authorities put Rio on alert because of fears of potentially devastating mudslides in its densely populated hillside favelas, or shanty towns. About 20 people were reported killed on Thursday because of subsidence and house collapses, mainly in and around the city. The mudslides have forced 3000 people to leave their homes across the state – about the same number affected by similar mudslides which hit the state one year ago.
BRAZIL – Two nuclear power stations near a city in southern Brazil hit by deadly landslides may be temporarily shut down. Main roads have been blocked by landslides and could obstruct any evacuation in the case of an emergency at the plants. The plants – Angra I and Angra II – were not damaged or threatened but will be shut down as a precaution. A landslide that hit a nearby resort on Friday killed at least 29 people. Floods and landslides have killed more than 70 people in southern Brazil. The disasters have been triggered by torrential rain across the region. More than 4,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.
KENYA – 30 died people due to flooding in Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western Provinces, following torrential rains currently pounding parts of the country, which until recently was ravaged by drought. But the fate of 60 people were yet unknown, after a bus in which they were travelling from western Kenya on Sunday night was washed away by flash floods. The floods have also killed hundreds of livestock " cattle, sheep and goats" in mostly arid and semi-arid regions. Three schools and nearly 7,000 homes were washed away in northern Kenya by the raging floods. In the same region, 2,000 sheep and goats, 430 cows 65 camels and 57 donkeys have died as a result of the heavy flooding. Northern Kenya is largely a semi-desert with rain cycles of between three and five years. Hundreds of thousands of livestock were last year decimated by a three year-drought blamed for sporadic fighting between the nomadic pastora list communities that live in the drylands as they fought over the scarce pasture and water for their animals. The roads that connect northern Kenya to Ethiopia and Southern Sudan have been washed away, leaving scores of people who depend on arterial transport stranded. On Monday, the Kenya Meteorological Department, warned of more havoc as rivers break banks and gulleys become potential deathtraps. The department, which described the freak weather as minor El Nino, said the torrential downpour being experienced would subside mid next month. It has issued an alert to people living in low lying areas and plains to relocate to safe grounds as the rains persist. The full impact of the freak weather has not been assessed, but indications are that the ravage wrought by the UNUSUAL RAINS was likely to cost a huge sum in terms of road repairs and humanitarian assistance to those people. Kenya has two rainy seasons. The long rains season extends from March to July, while the short rains are experienced between September and November. December to February is generally a dry spell.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
U.S. – VERMONT – the long duration of a weekend storm could leave much of central and northern Vermont beneath 12 to 18 inches of fresh powder by the start of the work week. Nor’easters are common in a New England winter, but this one’s behavior is expected to be ODD, meteorologists said. Instead of continuing on a northeastward path, the storm was forecast to stall Saturday, then slowly trudge westward toward the New England coast Saturday night and Sunday. A westward movement like that is RARE. The slow westward movement of the storm will keep the snow falling in Vermont for longer than a typical nor’easter, which usually lasts about a day. Because forecasters aren’t used to such strange weather patterns, nobody is certain the snowfall will be as deep as forecasts predict.
RUSSIA – An avalanche hazard was in effect Saturday for the Russian island of Sakhalin, which was socked by a snow cyclone and blizzard. Three avalanches have already taken place there in the new year. Friday's avalanches were blamed for the derailment of a locomotive and a snow remover. One railway worker was found alive but a search was under way for two other missing workers. The cyclone and blizzard plaguing the island created limited visibility with snow whipped by winds up to 55 mph.
Britain is facing ONE OF THE COLDEST WINTERS IN 100 YEARS with temperatures hitting minus 16 degrees Celsius, experts predict. They predicted no let up in the freezing snap until at least mid-January, with snow, ice and severe frosts dominating. And the likelihood is that the second half of the month will be even colder. Weather patterns are more like those in the late 1970s. Met Office figures released on Monday are expected to show that the country is experiencing the COLDEST WINTER FOR UP TO 25 YEARS. The cold weather comes despite the Met Office’s long range forecast, published, in October, of a mild winter. That followed it’s earlier inaccurate prediction of a “barbecue summer”, which then saw heavy rainfall and the wettest July for almost 100 years. On New Year's Day 10 extreme weather warnings were in place, with heavy snow expected in northern England and Scotland. Parts of Scotland have had snowcover for nearly three weeks. (photo)
BRITAIN – There are fears that more lives could be lost as Britain’s big freeze continues well into the new year. The COLDEST DECEMBER FOR A DECADE has claimed seven victims in the past few days. Three people died in avalanches, three were killed on icy roads and a woman in her 40s died when her car plunged into a pond on Wednesday.
CHINA – Heavy snow has blanketed the Chinese capital Beijing, closing major roads and stranding air travellers. Several centimetres of snow covered the city centre early on Sunday and forecasters warned of temperatures down to -14C (6.8F) in the next few days. Snow is also affecting other areas of northern and north-eastern China. The port of Tianjin, Inner Mongolia and the provinces of Hebei and Shandong are worst affected.
ENGLAND – The Midlands faces RECORD-BREAKING ARCTIC WEATHER this week with temperatures set to drop as low as -8C after the COLDEST DECEMBER IN MORE THAN A DECADE. "We could see temperatures as low as -15C in Scotland and -10C in parts of England. Winds coming in from the North East will bring snow showers to eastern England and northern and eastern Scotland." A Met Office forecaster said: “The cold spell’s here for the foreseeable future. It will stay with us right through the coming week – we can’t see an end to it.”
U.S. – NORTH CAROLINA – Bitter cold snap could be LONGEST IN 30 YEARS. Wind chills plunged to 6 below zero overnight in the Asheville area and at noon were still at 1 degree. The overnight low in Asheville was 12 degrees, but 10-20 mph winds accounted for the sub-zero wind chills. The forecasts for today through Tuesday show high temperatures hovering around the mid- to upper 20s. If the forecast proves accurate, it would be the first time since 1977 the Asheville area saw four consecutive days with high temperatures below 30. “There are numerous times when we have one or two days where we don't get out of the 20s. It's just VERY RARE for it to go on this long. That is EXCEPTIONAL.”
The reach of the cold even extended to tropical locations such as Key West, Florida, and Havana, Cuba. The overnight low in Key West was 55 degrees, below the normal of 66 degrees. Havana was 45 degrees overnight.
U.S. – Parts of New England woke up Sunday to more than a foot of new snow from an offshore storm that also brought winds that made it feel well below zero outside. The storm off the New England shore was kicking out more heavy snow in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. In Maine, forecasters said near blizzard conditions were possible during the day due to gusts as high as 45 mph. On Saturday, the storm kicked huge waves onto the shores in Massachusetts, and they also saw snow that ranged from 6-10 inches. Forecasters say the storm's location makes it a bit UNUSUAL since most systems slide in from the south, push their way northeast and strengthen as they get to the Gulf of Maine. Coastal areas also saw higher tides than normal and could get some flooding. New England was also getting some of the Arctic blast coming down into the Midwest and as far south as Florida. In Buffalo, N.Y., the wind chill Sunday was expected to make it feel below zero. Temperatures were expected to be well below average as far south as the Gulf Coast. The coldest air was expected to hover over the Upper Midwest and Northeast and cause fairly widespread snow. The blast hit Minnesota especially hard, with a third of the state seeing temperatures below -30 degrees on Friday. And International Falls on Sunday TIED ITS RECORD LOW, SET JUST A DAY EARLIER: -37 degrees F. Factoring wind chill, Grand Forks, North Dakota, posted the lowest temperature across the nation on Saturday: – 51 F.
BULGARIA – A freezing cold front swept over much of Bulgaria on Sunday with snowstorms snarling the intensified traffic as the Christmas and New Year holidays are coming to an end. The onset of northern and northwestern winds sent the mercury plummeting to between 3 and 4 centigrades below zero. The strong cold front will bring blizzards and heavy fog in Northern Bulgaria, the Danube Valley and the region close to the capital Sofia. The cold snap comes RIGHT AFTER SOME OF THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES IN DECADES were recorded in Bulgaria. The country started the new year in a surreal Spring-like atmosphere with UNUSUALLY WARM weather, brought about by unseasonal southerly winds.
CHINA, KOREA – Schools have been closed in the Chinese capital Beijing, and flights cancelled out of Beijing and South Korea's capital Seoul, due to heavy snow. About 30cm (almost 12 inches) of snow has blanketed parts of Beijing, THE MOST SINCE 1951. The government has ordered residents to form work groups to clear snow and ice as transport systems come under strain. Temperatures were well below freezing, partly because of winds from Siberia, although fewer snowfalls are predicted. The cold snap is halting normal activities in an area already used to heavy weather but is not yet as bad as a 2008 freeze which caused huge power outages and transport breakdowns. More than 30 highways in and around the capital were impassable. The authorities warned the conditions could push up food prices, delay further flights, and hold up some business in Beijing and other cities for several days. The cold snap could also strain gas supplies. China's national meteorological office warned that temperatures in its far north could fall to -32C (-26F), with Beijing temperatures around -10C in daytime.
Large parts of the Korean peninsula were also blanketed with heavy snow that caused chaos in Monday's rush-hour. Heavy snow also grounded dozens of planes at major airports in South Korea after more than 17cm of snow fell in just four hours.
U.S. – RECORD-BREAKING WINTER STORMS hammered the northeastern U.S. over the weekend, creating headaches for commuters and causing numerous school delays Monday. Residents in Burlington, Vermont received nearly 84 centimetres of snow over the weekend, BREAKING A SINGLE-STORM RECORD of 76 centimetres set in 1969. Parts of upstate New York were also blanketed by more than 91 centimetres snow. Heavy overnight snowfall in western Pennsylvania slowed commuters and caused hundreds of school delays. Ohio students got an extra day of holidays Monday thanks to lake-effect storms threatening to dump 30 centimetres of snow just as residents dug their way out a weekend storm. Residents in Maine continued to search for an 18-year-old snowmobiler Monday who disappeared shortly after a winter storm began Friday night. Technicians worked to get two nuclear power plants in New Jersey back to full power Monday after ice in a nearby river interfered with the facilities. The Salem Unit 2 plant, situated by the Delaware River, was forced to shut down Sunday morning when it was discovered the station's cooling mechanism was taking in ice. Another nuclear plant was reduced to 80 per cent power for the same reason.
BRITAIN – Heavy snow and icy roads are causing chaos across most of the UK, where Met Office severe weather warnings are in place as the "deep freeze" continues. Hundreds of schools across Britain are shut, while Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool and Manchester airports are closed and many rail services delayed. Snow fell overnight in Scotland – where temperatures were -15C (5F) in places – in north Wales and northern England. Up to 10cm (4in) is expected to fall as the snow moves south. On Monday the National Grid issued a gas balancing alert, for only the second time, asking power suppliers to use less gas as more was sourced overseas. Extra gas – including supplies from Belgium and Norway – was necessary to meet rising demand after a 30% rise on normal seasonal use during the cold snap.
POLAND – RECORD-BREAKING FREEZING WEATHER. Last Sunday was very cold in Białystok where the temperature registered 25 degree below zero, while in some places it was even -31. The next few nights may be quite freezing and the temperature will reach – 20 degrees. The roads are very dangerous and many people have already died because of cold.
PAKISTAN – At least 10 people have died in a landslide triggered by snowstorms in Pakistan's northern region of Gilgit. Rescue workers believe that more than a dozen people are buried in the rubble after the landslide in the Hunza area on Monday afternoon. The landslide also wiped out Atabad, a small village of more than 25 houses. Officials have asked residents of a neighbouring village to evacuate because of fears about flooding of the Hunza river. Much of the rubble from the landslide in Atabad has fallen into the river and blocked its passage. If the blockage is not cleared in a couple of days, the river may overflow and threaten several low- lying villages. The landslide has also damaged a portion of the Karakoram highway, which connects Pakistan with China, bringing traffic on the road to a halt. The police official said boulders had been rolling down the mountain in the area for more than two years, but there were no casualties and the villagers did not heed this as a warning.
Freak snowstorms and record low temperatures sweeping northern China are linked to global warming, say Chinese officials. On Sunday the capital received its BIGGEST SNOW DUMP SINCE 1951, immediately followed by the HARSHEST SIBERIAN WINDS IN DECADES. Tomorrow morning the mercury is forecast to plunge to minus 16, a 40-YEAR LOW, after a day-time maximum of minus 8. The head of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau linked the blizzard-like conditions this week to UNUSUAL ATMOSPHERIC PATTERNS caused by global warming. Beijing winters are normally cold but arid, with most years recording only a light dusting of snow. On Sunday most of Beijing recorded between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow. The city's north received 33 centimetres. No officials have claimed credit for inducing or increasing the snow dump, in contrast to November 1 when Beijing recorded its earliest winter snowfall in 22 years. The Beijing Weather Modification Office later admitting it had fired 186 rockets into the air to break the drought. Weather officials told some state media they were also behind a second snowfall in November, but told other outlets they were not. They kept silent when the city recorded its third big unseasonal dump that month. (There are about 2000 weather modification offices in China which are responsible for bombing the skies with silver iodide to induce precipitation. The program had previously been halted in 1980, after a decade in which 169 people were killed and 410 injured due to unspecified weather manipulation-related accidents.)
ASIA – Heavy snows and biting cold hit parts of Asia on Monday, with UNUSUALLY HARSH WINTER WEATHER snarling up transport across north China, South Korea and India. At least 60 people died over the weekend after the cold snap swept over northern India. The accumulation in Seoul BROKE A ONE-DAY RECORD of 25.6 cm (10 inches) and is expected to grow, said weather officials who have been keeping records for about 70 years.
United States facing COLDEST WINTER IN 25 YEARS – meteorologists are predicting that the United States, particularly the entire eastern half of the country, will experience record-breaking blasts of frigid cold weather this winter. The nearly nationwide swath of cold and stormy weather has not been seen since January 1985, when freezing cold temperatures reached as far South as Georgia. AccuWeather.com believes our current winter weather pattern is reminiscent of the long and bitterly cold winter of 1977-78, when the Eastern seaboard experienced the great blizzard of 1978. “It’ll be like the great winters of the ’60s and ’70s." This winter has already dumped high accumulations of snow on the Plains, mid-Atlantic and New England regions of the country and we are still in the early part of January. The entire eastern half of the country continues to experience an arctic blast.
TENNESSEE – Freezing Temps Blamed For 3 Memphis Area Deaths. Two of the victims appear to be homeless men. The third, a man from South Memphis, lived in a house. But for some reason he didn't turn on his heat and froze to death. Three deaths in one day, all caused by the cold weather, is VERY, VERY RARE.
U.S. – FLORIDA – As the thermometer dips toward freezing, Florida's citrus and strawberry crops could be at risk in ONE OF THE LONGEST STRETCHES OF CHILLY WEATHER IN YEARS. Temperatures were expected to dip to 30 degrees in some inland sections of South Florida Tuesday morning and the low- to mid-20s in Central Florida. After a brief but slight warm-up, another major cold front could roll through by the weekend as well. The National Weather Service predicts South Florida won't see a high above 68 all week. Forecasters and the Florida Department of Agriculture warned that Florida's two biggest cash crops — citrus, with a harvest worth about $1 billion a year, and strawberries, fetching about $400 million — could see even colder temperatures at the peak of the harvest season. Little damage was reported from Monday night's first frigid wave across Central Florida. Freezing days are fairly typical in South Florida but it's been at least at least seven years since such a stretch of days averaging 10 to 15 degrees below normal.
PERU's mountain people face fight for survival in a bitter winter. Climate change is bringing freezing temperatures to poor villages where families have long existed on the margins of survival. Now some must choose whether to save the animals that give them a living, or their children. In a world growing ever hotter, the Andes village of Huancavelica is an anomaly. These communities, living at the edge of what is possible, face extinction because of increasingly cold conditions in their own microclimate, which may have been altered by the rapid melting of the glaciers. A consequence is that the people, who have managed to subsist for centuries at high altitude, believe they may not make it through the next southern winter. For the fourth year running, the cold came early. First their animals and now their children are dying and in such escalating numbers that many fear that life in the village may be rapidly approaching an end. There have been warnings from meteorologists in Peru that this month will see the Huancavelica region hit by the WORST WEATHER CONDITIONS IN YEARS with plunging temperatures, floods and high winds. The weather is already claiming lives; last month seven people died and scores were treated in hospital after torrential rain caused flash flooding. The cold is tipping villages into a spiralling decline brought on by pneumonia, bronchitis and hunger. "The problem is there is too much cold, too much rain. We have had no time to recover from last winter before it has begun again."
SWITZERLAND – The bodies of three skiers missing after an avalanche in central Switzerland were found Tuesday, raising to seven the death toll in the country's WORST AAVALANCHE DISASTER IN MORE THAN A DECADE.
BRITAIN – Emergency weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office for large parts of central and southern England. Up to 20cm (8in) of snow fell in parts of Scotland and northern England on Tuesday causing travel chaos for millions of people. Another 40cm (16in) has been forecast in some areas as the freezing weather moves from north to south. More fell overnight and commuters and parents face a difficult journey to work and school today. Dorset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire could see "exceptionally heavy" snow. Hundreds of schools also had to be closed as the UK entered the grip of its LONGEST COLD SNAP FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS.
Forecasters say Britain can expect the arctic conditions to continue for another two weeks. Around 8,000 homes were without electricity in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire after snow brought down power lines. Emergency measures to alleviate the gritting crisis were put forward to allow Britain's biggest salt mine to keep running around the clock. The frozen temperatures have caused major disruption to many businesses across Britain, as employees struggle to make it to work. Up to 10 per cent of the workforce was thought to be staying away from the office. The winter white-out looks set to cost the economy millions of pounds in lost trade. The big freeze is likely to cost the British economy £600 million (A$10.45m) a day until the end of the week.
The icy weather gripping northern Europe has disrupted flights at airports in the UK, France, the Irish Republic and the Netherlands. In Germany, at least nine homeless men aged from 42 to 62 froze to death. A Eurostar train was stuck for about two hours in the Channel Tunnel on Thursday. It later reached the UK. Four other Eurostar trains were cancelled. Many parts of Germany saw temperatures fall below -10C on Thursday. Grit supplies for clearing snow are running very low in many parts of Germany. In the North Rhine-Westphalia region two derailments in as many days have caused havoc with the rail timetable. All roads into Dublin are extremely icy and hundreds of Irish schools have closed. Dozens of farm buildings are reported to have collapsed under the weight of snow in north-east Scotland. Heavy snow caused big traffic jams around Amsterdam and Haarlem on Wednesday evening. Snow is blanketing a large swathe of France, reaching as far south as Bordeaux. In Hemavan, in the far north of Sweden, a NEW WINTER LOW of -40.8C (-41.4F) was recorded overnight. The Arctic freeze has also seen temperatures in central Sweden plummet to between -30 and -40C – THE COLDEST WEATHER SINCE THE MID-1980s. The winter death toll in Poland has reached 122 – most of the victims reportedly homeless people. In Burzyska nad Bugiem, in the east of the country, the army has installed makeshift bridges after flooding and ice split the village in two.
The Arctic Oscillation – The AO is a measure of north-south differences in air pressure between the northern midlatitudes and polar regions. When the AO is positive, pressures are unusually high to the south and low to the north. This helps shuttle weather systems quickly across the Atlantic, often bringing warm, wet conditions to Europe. In the past month, however, the AO has dipped to ASTOUNDINGLY LOW LEVELS – AMONG THE LOWEST OBSERVED IN THE PAST 60 YEARS. This has gummed up the hemisphere's usual west-to-east flow with huge "blocking highs" that route frigid air southward. Forecasters still don't know exactly what sends the AO into one mode or the other.
In the U.S. so far, it’s the COLDEST START TO WINTER SINCE 2000. "It’s already snowed four times in Dallas, Texas. It may end up letting up and then it should come back gangbusters at the end of January and in February.” The season’s average temperatures for cities including Chicago, New York, Seoul, Beijing, Berlin and London are on track to be THE LOWEST IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS. “They will probably wind up 9 below normal in these areas and that’s the coldest since the ‘70’s. It looks exactly like ‘77. These are areas where billions of people live.” Wholesale electricity and natural gas prices jumped from the Southeast to the West as cold weather spurred record demand in Texas and parts of Florida. In Nebraska, “this is the worst snow and wind we’ve had in probably 25 years,” estimating 25 to 30 inches (63 to 76 centimeters) of snow has fallen in the past two weeks. The cold may hit Florida’s tropical fish industry hardest. The fish become stressed when water temperatures reach 62 degrees and start to die at 55 degrees. “I expect that this freeze is going to be devastating” to the $33 million industry. “It’ll take months to overcome.”
The cold weather in North America and Europe is connected by an Arctic high pressure system. Warmer air coming from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea is causing snowfall when it hits the cold Arctic front. In Asia, a new cold front will hit China this weekend, with snowstorms forecast for the provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan and Hubei on Jan. 9. Heavy snow earlier this week hammered Seoul, Korea.
Bitterly cold Arctic front chills US, Europe – A bitterly cold Arctic front has swept through the central United States, bringing temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees Celsius (equals -45 Fahrenheit). RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES in Florida saw farmers battle to salvage some of the temperate and tropical crop that form the backbone of the local economy. The winter snap, which has gripped the southern states this week, will deposit snow and ice from Texas and Louisiana in the south to the northern US border.
In Europe, Eurostar passengers faced new winter misery with another high-speed train breaking down in the Channel Tunnel, while heavy snow also left thousands in Britain with no electricity. Across the rest of northern Europe, ONE OF THE MOST BRUTAL WINTERS IN DECADES caused more travel mayhem with scores of flights cancelled and many roads blocked. Britain's Met Office weather service said the cold spell was the WORST SINCE 1981 and warned of more to come. Much of southern France was put on alert for further snowfall and icy conditions. In Austria authorities are on standby amid forecasts of some 50 centimetres of snow at the weekend in low-lying parts of the country, normally spared much of the regular snowfalls in its Alpine areas. Ireland was also hit by SEVERE WEATHER NOT SEEN FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS, with forecasters warning that a thaw was unlikely to come for six or seven days. "Weather of this severity and duration has not been seen since 1963 in many parts of Ireland." On Thursday, Norway was among the coldest countries, with temperatures ranging from minus 15 degrees Celsius to minus 40 degrees Celsius. Oslo had a reduced bus service as engine oil froze, while ice kept ferries from sailing. The cold snap also hit train services in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, torrential rain hit parts of Italy and officials feared the swollen River Tiber could threaten Rome in the coming days. Thousands of hectares (acres) of land were also flooded in northern Albania and authorities were obliged to open the sluices on reservoirs for fear of dams bursting. Hundreds of houses, particularly in the city of Shkoder, were under water and at least 3,000 people had to be evacuated.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
WASHINGTON – Mt. Rainier's rocks are filling riverbeds – The fallout from Mount Rainier's shrinking glaciers is beginning to roll downhill, and nowhere is the impact more striking than on the volcano's west side. As receding glaciers expose crumbly slopes, vast amounts of gravel and sediment are being sluiced into the rivers that flow from the Northwest's tallest peak. "The rivers are filling up with stuff." Inside park boundaries, rivers choked with gravel are threatening to spill across roads, bump up against the bottom of bridges and flood the historic complex at Longmire. Downstream, communities in King and Pierce counties are casting a wary eye at the volcano in their backyard. There are already signs that riverbeds near Auburn and Puyallup are rising. As glaciers continue to pull back, the result could be increased flood danger across the Puget Sound lowlands for decades. "There is significant evidence that things are changing dramatically at Mount Rainier." Similar dynamics are playing out at all the region's major glaciated peaks, from Mount Jefferson to Mount Baker. Climate experts blame global warming for much of the ongoing retreat of glaciers worldwide. North Cascades National Park has lost half of its ice area in the past century. Mount Rainier's glaciers have shrunk by more than a quarter. "Every year it's been either bad or really bad.This year it was really, really bad." Most debris flows are triggered by heavy rain. Climate scientists disagree on whether the entire Northwest is being hit by significantly stronger storms than in the past, but there's no doubt that's the case at Mount Rainier. Precipitation records show more intense rainfall. What was once a 100-year flood on the Nisqually River now occurs every 14 years. "Even without climate change, you've got to say: 'Whoa, something is going on here." "The potential for glacial retreat to add new sediment is historically UNPRECEDENTED."
AUSTRALIA – The past calendar year – 2009 – was the SECOND WARMEST ON RECORD in Australia since 1910.
AUSTRALIA – The Bureau of Meteorology says it is UNUSUAL for parts of the North West to have already reached RECORD-BREAKING HIGH TEMPERATURES so early in the year. The coastal town of Exmouth, in Western Australia, reached a scorching 48.9 degrees on Saturday and the bureau is predicting more warm weather is on the way. Other parts of the North West have also reached record-breaking temperatures. "Onslow recorded a maximum temperature of 49.1 [degrees Celsius] and the most significant thing about that is it was actually the HOTTEST START TO ANY NEW YEAR ON RECORD." The bureau has also released its annual report showing Australia experienced its HOTTEST DECADE SINCE RECORDS BEGAN in 1910.
Scientists have uncovered what appears to be a further dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas that is seeping from the Arctic seabed. Methane is about 20 times more potent than CO2 in trapping solar heat. The findings come from measurements of carbon fluxes around the north of Russia. Acting as a giant frozen depository of carbon such as CO2 and methane (often stored as compacted solid gas hydrates), Siberia's shallow shelf areas are increasingly subjected to warming and are now giving up greater amounts of methane to the sea and to the atmosphere than recorded in the past. "Methane release from the East Siberian Shelf is underway and it looks stronger than it was supposed [to be]." Methane seepage recorded last summer was already THE HIGHEST EVER MEASURED IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN. This undersea permafrost was until recently considered to be stable. Methane measured in the atmosphere around the Arctic region is 100 times higher than normal background levels, and in some cases 1,000 times higher. Some estimates put the amount of carbon trapped in shelf permafrost at 1,600 billion tonnes – roughly twice as much carbon as in the atmosphere now. The release of this once captive carbon from destabilised ocean sediments and permafrost would have catastrophic effect on our climate and life on Earth, warn the scientists. The worst-case scenario is where billions of tonnes of methane are released suddenly, as has occurred at least once in the Earth's past. Such sudden releases have been linked to rapid increases in global temperatures and could have been a factor in the mass extinction of species.
With record snowfalls in China and freezing cold blanketing the U.S., this winter has been a doozy for half the planet! Yet the other half is enduring unseasonable heat. What's going on? There are few precedents for the global sweep of extreme cold and ice that has killed dozens in India, paralyzed life in Beijing and threatened the Florida orange crop. Chicagoans are taking shelter from a potentially deadly freeze, Paris is enduring sunny Siberian cold and Poland has counted at least 13 deaths in record low temperatures of about 13 degrees below zero. A string of deadly avalanches in northern Italy's Alps led to seven deaths. In northeastern Asia, they are suffering the worst winter weather in six decades. More than 10 inches of snow cover Seoul, the South Korean capital — the heaviest snowfall since records began in 1937.
But life in the warmer parts of the planet is equally off-kilter. 2009 was the hottest year in history in most parts of South Asia and Central Africa. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in September that the world's ocean surface temperature was the warmest for any August on record, according to a preliminary analysis based on records dating back to 1880.
From Dec. 13 to 19, below-average temperatures were observed throughout Canada, Europe, western Russia, and eastern Asia — although above-average temperatures were observed in Africa. From Dec. 27 to Jan. 2, below-average temperatures were observed over the eastern U.S., central Russia, and northeast Asia — and above-average temperatures were observed over northeast Canada, northern Africa, and southern Europe.
Meteorologists have also been trying to find a pattern in the heavy rains that have hit equatorial regions and the Southern Hemisphere in the past week. At least 20 people were killed in flash floods in Kenya after torrential rains made thousands homeless. In Australia, the authorities declared a natural disaster along the Castlereagh River as it peaked after torrential rain, forcing 1,200 residents to abandon their homes for high ground. And in Brazil, the death toll from flooding and mudslides over the past four days rose above 80.
ODD ANIMAL BEHAVIOR-
CALIFORNIA – Scientists believe they may have solved the riddle of San Francisco's vanishing sea lions. Their famous colony of sea lions all but disappeared over the past month, baffling experts. But now large numbers of the animals have been spotted further north, off the coast of Oregon. Scientists say the animals have probably migrated in search of food during the winter, although in UNUSUALLY high numbers. Twenty years ago, for no apparent reason, the smelly, noisy animals took up residence in the docks at Pier 39. Their numbers grew rapidly to about 1,700 animals, and they became a popular tourist attraction. But then most of them disappeared. Initially, marine experts were baffled. One suggestion was that they were fleeing the bay because of an imminent earthquake. But now the sighting of large numbers of sea lions off the coast of Oregon may have solved the mystery. Scientists says it is normal for the animals to move north in search of food during the winter but it is EXTREMELY UNUSUAL for them to migrate in such huge numbers.
HEALTH THREATS -
China advises delaying pregnancy till pandemic over – Women in China are being advised by the country's health ministry to wait to become pregnant until the risk of pandemic H1N1 influenza lessens. Nearly 14% of H1N1 deaths in mainland China have been in pregnant women. The country provides free vaccination for all pregnant women and new mothers.
Flu indicators for Christmas week were mixed – Only four US states had widespread flu activity last week, down from seven the week before. However, outpatient medical visits for flu-like illness, which were at the national baseline the previous week, edged back above that level, reaching 3.2%. Also, deaths due to pneumonia and flu climbed back above the epidemic threshold. There were four flu-related deaths in children, down from nine the previous week.
The emergence and wide spread of a new clone of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in food animals is a worrisome development that should be watched closely, one of the strain's lead researchers has warned. The strain's presence in meat after slaughter – it has been found in beef, lamb, and chicken and other birds in addition to pork – raises uncertainties over the degree of its movement into the food chain. The new strain, which was first noted in French livestock in 2005, is widely distributed. It was successively found in the Netherlands in pigs, in agricultural workers and their families, and in unrelated healthcare workers and hospital patients – and then in a variety of livestock species, and in retail meat, in Europe, Canada, and the United States. ST398 appears to be less virulent and less transmissible than the community-associated strains of MRSA common in the United States. "The impact of ST398 on [human] public health may be limited. but close monitoring of its evolution over time will be required." The chief concern is the possibility that people preparing MRSA-contaminated meat for cooking will become colonized with the organism on their skin or mucous membranes, moving it into a broad new ecological niche and positioning it as a possible cause of further human infections. Because the novel strain has spread so widely and has already been identified as a cause of hospital outbreaks, it should not be allowed to spread further without surveillance.
China logs end-of-year flu increase – All but 6 of China's 659 deaths from H1N1 flu were recorded in the last 2 months of 2009, raising the possibility that the disease is on the upswing. China Daily said fears are growing of uncontained spread of flu in China's vast interior, with government efforts focusing on getting equipment and resources to rural provinces in advance of the mass exodus to the countryside to celebrate Lunar New Year next month.
Researchers create insect-cell H1N1 vaccine – In an effort to develop new strategies to more quickly produce pandemic vaccine, Austrian researchers have used an insect cell technique to create a recombinant virus-like particle H1N1 vaccine for use in mouse studies. The process took 10 weeks. US researchers have already developed a similar system for making seasonal flu vaccine.
Rhode Island reports hospital outbreak of H1N1 – Seven patients in a state hospital in Rhode Island recently contracted H1N1 flu but have since recovered. The outbreak was reported Dec 28, and the state's health department declared it resolved Jan 4. Staff members and other patients on the two floors where the outbreak occurred were treated with oseltamivir.
Indian doctors request more ventilators for hard-hit city – The Indian Medical Association has asked the government for 50 ventilators to help hospitals in Ludhiana, the largest city in Punjab state, cope with a surge of pandemic flu patients. Punjab is in northern India. The IMA said only 160 ventilators are currently available and there aren't enough beds and isolation rooms to handle the influx of patients. They warned that lack of proper health facilities could raise the flu death toll.
CDC hopes to prevent repeat of 1958 flu mortality surge – Warning against complacency about H1N1 influenza, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) don't want to see a repeat of what happened in 1957-58, when a perception that the pandemic was over was followed by a winter surge of flu- and pneumonia-related deaths. To prevent that, they urged the public to get the vaccine, now widely available. "There are ample supplies of H1N1 vaccine in most of the country. The vaccine should be easily available pretty much anywhere you live." Deaths attributed to flu and pneumonia peaked in October of 1957, dropped back to a nearly normal level in December, but then surged again in the winter, peaking in late February. (Accounts of the pandemic say the second mortality peak, strangely, was not accompanied by widespread flu outbreaks.) "The H1N1 virus is still circulating. We have an uncertain future. We want and need to avoid complacency."
RECALLS & ALERTS:
Nutty Guys is issuing a voluntary recall of all Butter Toffee Peanuts and Yogurt Covered Peanuts with sell by dates before March 15th 2010.
The US Food and Drug Administration said it would ask a federal court to halt production at a New Jersey cheese plant after inspectors repeatedly found unsanitary conditions along with cheese contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The court order would stop Quesos Mi Pueblito, based in Passaic, from producing and distributing products until its operators can show the plant complies with FDA requirements and makes cheese that is not contaminated with Listeria. The company makes and distributes a variety of soft, semi-soft, and hard Mexican cheeses that are marketed in six eastern states and the District of Columbia.
Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion
For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also. 2 Timothy 3:6-9
Africa's 'Christian' population on rise
January 09, 2010
By Michael Carl
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
Africa, the "dark continent" to which American Christians shipped missionary after missionary during the 20th Century, now features 40 percent of the Nigerian population among the rolls of Christians, according to the CIA Factbook. Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk's Operation World reports Uganda is 88 percent Christian and Kenya is about 78 percent Christian. Missions analysts at the Free Methodist Church of North America say their African churches are the fastest growing in their denomination and the largest Anglican province in the world is in Nigeria. But Jonathan Bonk, director of the Overseas Ministries Study Center in New Haven, Conn., says the key is how Christian is defined.
Two die in religious procession frenzy in Philippines
By : dpa
09 Jan 2010
Manila – Two worshippers died Saturday in the Philippine capital amid a frenzied annual religious procession attended by more than 2 million barefoot devotees to honour the centuries-old statue of a suffering Jesus Christ. Nearly 200 other people sought assistance from paramedics stationed at key areas along the 6.3-kilometre procession route of the Black Nazarene icon, according to Philippine National Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon.
Human sacrifices 'on the rise in Uganda' as witch doctors admit to rituals
07 Jan 2010
One man said he had clients who had captured children and taken their blood and body parts to his shrine, while another confessed to killing at least 70 people including his own son.
Fla.-based Scientology completes restoration of lost materials
The Associated Press
Clearwater, Fla. – (AP) — More than 1,000 unreleased recordings of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard and reams of corresponding writings have been unveiled in the culmination of a 25-year project to locate, restore and transcribe lost pieces of the Scientology founder's work.
'Mix-and-match' faith dangerous
Allie Martin – OneNewsNow – 12/21/2009
A clergyman in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America isn't surprised that elements of eastern faiths and New Age thinking have found their way into the beliefs of many Protestants and Catholics. According to a recently published survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 65 percent of U.S. adults mix contradictory beliefs — such as blending Christianity with beliefs like reincarnation, astrology, and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects. Also, 28 percent of people who attend church weekly say they visit multiple churches outside their own tradition.
Faith under Fire
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
“You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endured to the end will be delivered.” Matthew 10:22
Gunmen kill 7 at Egypt church after Christmas Mass
By SARAH El DEEB
Jan 7, 2010
CAIRO – Three men in a car sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd of churchgoers in southern Egypt as they left a midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas, killing at least seven people in a drive-by shooting, the church bishop and security officials said.
No. 1 persecutor tests weapons on Christians
January 06, 2010
By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
North Korea, which reportedly has used believers as guinea pigs to test chemical and biological weapons, is the world's worst persecutor of Christians, while Iran, which may be using Christians as scapegoats for internal opposition to its president, is No. 2 on the Open Doors 2010 World Watch List. Iran is among eight nations in the top 10 of the group's ranking of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians in which Shariah, the Islamic religious law, is dominant. A total of 35 nations on the list are under some form of Shariah.
California gay marriage opponent fears for his life
Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO – An outspoken gay marriage opponent serving as an official litigant defending the state's ban on same-sex weddings on Friday asked a judge to remove him from the lawsuit because he feared the trial would generate publicity that could endanger him and his family.
Christian prayers at council 'are non-PC'
January 07, 2010
TOWN council members have been criticised for holding Christian-only prayers at the beginning of meetings. Pat Woodhouse, who has attended a number of recent Helston Town Council meetings as a member of the public – and is considering standing for a seat – asked if the practice was now politically correct.
Muslims, Christians set homes ablaze in Egypt
January 9, 2010
CAIRO — Muslims and Christians set fire to each others' homes and shops near the southern Egyptian town of Nagaa Hamady on Saturday, three days after a gunman killed six Coptic Christians in a drive-by shooting, security sources said.