weird weather phenomena - part 2

Red sprites

Lightnings are phenomena that we all are used to seeing during thunderstorms. However, the white and light blue strikes are not the complete picture. Second type of a lightning phenomena occurs above the clouds. Directly above the cloud-to-ground or cloud-to-cloud lightning stikes, appear weak but massive flashes. The mostly red illuminations apear from the tops of the clouds up to 95 km above. Red sprites are very difficult to spot with an naked eye. Since the sprites occur above the active thunderstorm, to spot them one has to able to see above the clouds (for example when a thunderstorm occurs on the horizon).


Blue jets

Blue jets, similarly to red sprites, are observed above the active thunderstorm. They appear as blue illuminations from the core of the lightnings rich region of the thunderstorm. Blue jets disappear about 40-50 km above the clouds. The blue color is assumed to come from nitrogen emission caused by high energy collisions with oxygen. Together with red sprites, blue jets have been reported first time in 1989.

Lightning sprites

See also:
weird weather phenomena - part 1

weird weather phenomena

Catatumbo lightning or Lighthouse of Maracaibo

Catatumbo lightning is a phenomenon occurring in Venezuela at the estuary of Catatumbo river to the lake Maracaibo. Very intensive lighting occur there from 140 to 160 days a year, for approximately 10 hours a day. During one hour one can observe about 240 lightning strikes. Taking into account the large number of lightnings this region is probably the largest natural source of ozone in the atmosphere. Light of the strikes is seen from hundreds of kilometers from the source which gave the spot a name "Lighthouse of Maracaibo".


Lunar rainbow

Everyone is used to seeing rainbows during a daytime. The phenomena may be also observed during the night from the light given by the Moon. Lunar rainbow is also known as a moonbow or white rainbow. It is incredibly difficult to see with a naked eye. However, a camera with a long time exposure may easily capture the moonlight rainbow. A lunar rainbow may be easiest seen over a waterfall during a full moon.

Moonbow at lower Yosemite fall LunarRainbowVicFalls small
Moonbow at the Lower Yosemite Fall Moonbow over Victoria Falls, Zambia.

Rain of fish

Rain of fish or Lluvia de Peces is a phenomenon occurring in Honduras. Together with falling rain people  notice small fish. There are legends and even chronicle entries from many places all over the world talking about a similar phenomenon. However, in Yoro in Honduras rain of fish is observed every year usually between May and July. Local people got used to this event occurring and collect small fish from the streets. The rain of fish was first reported in 1970 when the National Geographic Magazine journalist visited Yoro and witnessed the rain of fish.

Gravure de pluie de poissons

Super Mario

Mario Monti
Silvio Berlusconi has stepped down and Mario Monti replaced him as a prime minister of Italy. Mario Monti or "Super Mario" as call him journalists, is suppose to create a government of experts, not politicians. His program and his decisions in the next few months are to help Italy overcome its present financial situation. Italy as a fourth largest economy in Europe is currently following Greece with 119.1% debt-to-GDP ratio (estimate at 2010, CIA factbook). Italy has after Greece (142.7%) and Iceland (126.3%) has the largest debt-to-GDP ratio in Europe.

Mario Monti may not get large support in the Italian parliament where large fraction is Berlusconi's party. Monti is a professor of economics and is an experienced politician. Monti concluded plans and ambitions for his government with words "Italy must take up the challenge of liberation from the crisis, must again be a symbol of strength, not weakness in the European Union".
Silvio Berlusconi zrezygnował i Mario Monti objął po nim stanowisko premiera Włoch. Mario Monti albo "Super Mario" jak nazywają go dziennikarze, ma za zadanie zbudowac odpolityczniony gabinet ekspertów. Jego program i podejmowane decyzje mają pomóc Włochom uniknąć bankructwa. Włochy jako czwarta europejska gospodarka podążają drogą Grecji z długiem publicznym na poziomie 119.1% PKB (szacunek na 2010 rok, dane z CIA factbook). Włochy po Grecji (142.7%) i  Islandii (126.3%) mają obecnie największe zadłużenie w Europie.

Mario Monti może nie znaleźć poparcia we Włoskim parlamencie gdzie znaczącą część zajmuje partia Silvio Berlisconiego. Monti jest profesorem ekonomii z dużym doświadczeniem politycznym. Monti podumował plany i ambicje swojego rządu słowami "Włochy muszą podjąć wyzwanie wyzwolenia się z kryzysu, muszą znów być symbolem siły, a nie słabości w Unii Europejskiej".

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