Sunday, June 30, 2013

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Kilauea's Eruption Continues Apace With Two Ocean Entry Points!

June 30, 2013 - HAWAII - Breakouts from the Kahaualea 2 lava flow burned forest areas north of Kilauea’s middle east rift zone today as eruption activity continued with little change. Tiltmeters at the Kilauea summit recorded only minor fluctuations, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Seismic tremor levels were also low, according to the observatory.




The tiltmeter at Puu Oo cone in the middle east rift zone also recorded only minor fluctuations. According to the observatory, the northeast spatter cone continued to feed the Kahaualea 2 flow, which extended about 1.6 miles to the north. Breakouts fro the flow burned forest at the north edge of a flow field created between 1983 and 1986.

A second active front, about 1.2 miles north-northwest of Puu Oo, expanded to the west and burned the edge of the forest to the north, the observatory reported. Meanwhile, the so-called Peace Day flow fed a pair of ocean entries via lava tubes. The main entry area was just east of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park boundary; a smaller entry was located just inside the park.

Lava lakes are large volumes of molten lava, usually basaltic, contained in a volcanic vent, crater, or broad depression. The term is used to describe both lava lakes that are wholly or partly molten and those that are solidified (sometimes referred to as frozen lava lakes in this case).

There is a lava lake in Marum crater, Ambrym in Vanuatu. Hawaii’s Kilauea has the distinction of having two persistent lava lakes: one in the Halemaʻumaʻu vent cavity within the summit caldera, and another located within the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone located on the east rift zone of the volcano.

The number of lava lakes being reported in volcanoes has increased dramatically in the last 25 years, suggesting more magma from the planet’s interior is seeping towards the surface. - Star Advertiser.






GLOBAL VOLCANISM: New Research - Mega-Quakes Caused Volcanoes In Earth's Subduction Zones To Sink!

June 30, 2013 - EARTH - Massive earthquakes can cause distant volcanoes to sink, according to research in Japan and Chile published on Sunday. The magnitude 9.0 tsunami-generating quake that occurred off northeastern Japan in 2011 caused subsidence of up to 15 centimeters (9.3 inches) in a string of volcanoes on the island of Honshu as much as 200 kilometers (120 miles) from the epicenter, a Japanese study said.




And the 8.8 magnitude Maule quake in Chile in 2010 caused a similar degree of sinking in five volcanic regions located up to 220km (130 miles) away, according to a US-led paper. It was not clear whether the phenomenon boosted eruption risk, the authors wrote. Both the Japan and Chile quakes were of the subduction type, caused when one part of Earth’s crust slides beneath another. If the movement is not smooth, tension can build up over decades or centuries before it is suddenly released, sometimes with catastrophic effect. In both cases, the sinking occurred in mountain ranges running horizontally to the quake.

The 2011 quake “caused east-west tension in eastern Japan,” Youichiro Takada of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University told AFP in an email. “Hot and soft rocks beneath the volcanoes, with magma at the centre, were horizontally stretched and vertically flattened. This deformation caused the volcanoes to subside.” The researchers for the Chilean volcanoes said subsidence occurred along a stretch spanning 400km (250 miles).

As in Japan, the ground deformation in Chile occurred in huge ellipse-shaped divots up to 15km by 30km (nine miles by 18 miles) in size, although the cause appears to be different. Pockets of hot hydrothermal fluids that underpinned the volcanic areas may have escaped through rock that had been stretched and made permeable by the quake.

Two earthquakes in the Chilean subduction zone in 1906 and 1960 were followed by eruptions in the Andean southern volcanic zone within a year of their occurrence. However, no big eruptions in this volcanic hotspot can be associated with the 2010 temblor, says the study led by Matthew Pritchard of Cornell University in New York. Takada said the impact of the 2011 quake on volcano risk on Honshu was unclear.

“At this stage we do not know the relation between volcanic eruption and the subsidence we found. Further understanding of the magmatic movement would be necessary,” he said. The subsidence in Japan was spotted at the volcanoes Akitakoma, which last erupted in 1971; Kurikoma (1950); Zao (1940); Azuma (1977); and Nasu (1963). The studies, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, used data from satellite radar which mapped terrain before and after the quakes. - Times of India.




Saturday, June 29, 2013

SPACE: The Final Frontier - Voyager Spacecraft Enters A Strange, Mysterious Region 11 Billion Miles From Earth, Upending Long-Standing Theories!

June 29, 2013 - SPACE - Launched 36 years ago, the Voyager 1 spacecraft speeds a rate of about a million miles a day entering a bizarre and mysterious region more than 11 billion miles from Earth that scientists are struggling to make sense of.




It's a region where the fierce solar winds have all but vanished and pieces of atoms blasted across the galaxy by ancient supernovae drift into the solar system, the NASA probe is causing scientists to question some long-standing theories on the nature of our solar system and life beyond its cold dark edge dubbed the "magnetic highway" --a newly discovered area of the heliosphere, the vast bubble of magnetism that shields the solar system from deadly cosmic rays.

Scientists had long envisioned this outermost layer of the solar systems, the heliosheath, to be a curved, distinct boundary separating the solar system from the rest of the Milky Way where three things would happen: The sun's solar winds would become quiet; galactic cosmic rays would bombard Voyager; and the direction of the dominant magnetic field would change significantly because it would be coming from interstellar space, not the sun.

“The models that have been thought to predict what should happen are all incorrect,” said physicist Stamatios Krimigis of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, who is lead author of one of three new papers on Voyager appearing in Science on June 27. “We essentially have absolutely no reliable roadmap of what to expect at this point.”




Voyager 1 entered the edge of the solar wind in 2003, when the spacecraft’s instruments indicated that particles around it were moving subsonically, having slowed down after traveling far from the sun. Then, toward the end of July 2012, Voyager 1's instruments reported that solar winds had suddenly dropped by half, while the strength of the magnetic field almost doubled, according to the studies. Those values then switched back and forth five times before they became fixed on Aug. 25. Since then, solar winds have all but disappeared, but the direction of the magnetic field has barely budged. This transition happened extremely fast, in a matter of a few days.

"The jumps indicate multiple crossings of a boundary unlike anything observed previously," a team of Voyager scientists wrote in one of the studies. They labeled the new area the heliosheath depletion region.

At the same time, the measurements of galactic cosmic rays increased significantly, which would be “just as we expected if we were outside the solar wind,” said physicist Ed Stone of Caltech, Voyager’s project scientist and lead author of one of the Science papers. It looked almost as if Voyager 1 had left the sun’s influence. But here's the baffling discovery: if the solar wind was completely gone, galactic cosmic rays should be streaming in from all directions.

Instead, Voyager detected an increase in galactic cosmic rays — but found that at times they were moving in parallel from one direction instead of randomly. And even though the solar particles had dropped off, the probe hasn’t measured any real change in the magnetic fields around it. That’s hard to explain because the galaxy’s magnetic field is thought to be inclined 60 degrees from the sun’s field.

"This was conceptually unthinkable for cosmic rays," said Stamatios Krimigis, a solar physicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and leader of another one of the studies. "There is no cosmic ray physicist I know who ever expected that they would not all be coming equally from all directions."

"This is a new region that we didn't know existed," Krimigis says. "We have no road map, and we're waiting to see what's going to happen next." - Daily Galaxy.




Friday, June 28, 2013

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Energy Crisis - London Could Face Rolling Blackouts By 2015!

June 28, 2013 - ENGLAND - Britain’s risk of electricity blackouts by 2015 is more serious than previously thought, regulator Ofgem warned on Thursday. The country’s spare electricity supply margin could fall as low as 2 percent in 2015/16, down from around 14 percent currently. Last year Ofgem gave an estimate of 4 percent.




“Electricity supplies are set to tighten faster than previously expected in the middle of this decade,” Ofgem said in a report, adding that the chance of supply disruptions would rise to one in 12 years in 2015/16 from one in 47 years now. Britain has seen a vast number of power plants close and being mothballed due to emissions-reduction policies and the loss-making economics of gas-fired power plants.

Ofgem said it had lowered its estimate of the amount of conventional power capacity expected for 2015/16 by more than 2,000 megawatts due plant closures and delays in building new ones. Energy Secretary Ed Davey admitted, “Without timely action, there would be risks to security of supply.” While it played down the actual likelihood of blackouts, saying the market managed the problem effectively; the regulator said its findings showed that urgent action is needed.

Britain’s network operator National Grid and the government on Thursday outlined proposals to better manage electricity demand to balance the market at times of tight supply. They include payments to energy users for reducing their demand when necessary. At the same time, the government on Thursday published details of its proposed capacity market, a mechanism that will pay certain power plants to be on standby to produce additional electricity when supply is tight.

The government next year will hold the first auction for power plants to participate in the capacity market for delivery of electricity in 2018/19. The costs of the capacity agreements will be borne by energy users, but the government said that lower wholesale prices and protection against costly blackouts will offset the payments. RWE npower, one of Britain’s biggest power producers, said it was concerned the capacity mechanism favoured certain power plants, such as gas-fired ones that can respond at short notice.

“Government’s proposal for a capacity mechanism must pass the simple test of whether it keeps the lights on at the lowest cost to consumers,” RWE npower chief executive Paul Massara said in a statement. “A mechanism that treats all power plants in the same way will do that, but the current proposals do not suggest this non-discriminatory approach.” - Reuters.





GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 28, 2013 - Updates On Popocatépetl, Shiveluch, Pavlof, Cleveland, Taal And Telica!

June 28, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.



Telica, Nicaragua - A new earthquake swarm started this morning, visible on INETER’s seismograms.

Telica has six cones, the tallest of which is 1061 meters high. There is a double crater at the top, 700 meters wide and 120 meters deep.

Telica has erupted frequently since the Spanish Era.

The most recent eruption was in 2011. In terms of explosive force, Telica’s largest eruption has been rated with a VEI of 4. That eruption occurred in 1529.

One of Nicaragua’s most active volcanoes, Telica has erupted frequently, and ash from those frequent eruptions keeps the slopes of its cone bare of vegetation. 





Popocatépetl, Mexico - Seismic activity has picked up, suggesting that the volcano could be headed for more vigorous activity soon. SO2 emissions on NOAA recent satellite data have been relatively high as well. A magnitude 3.6 volcanic quake occurred on Tuesday night 23:57 local time and was located SE of the crater at 2 km depth.

Over 3 hours of low frequency and short amplitude tremor were recorded. An earthquake swarms occurred yesterday as well and another one seems to have started an hour ago. The rate of small to moderate steam and ash explosions was reported to about 2 per hour during yesterday, with ash plumes reaching up to 1-2 km height above the crater. Ashfall has been reported at Tepetlixpa and Ecatzingo.

On 25 June, with the support of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Navy of México, a reconnaissance flight over Popocatepetl´s crater was carried out. It could be observed that the inner crater has grown to 250 m in diameter and 60 m depth, as a result of the explosions of recent days. No other changes could be seen. (CENAPRED).



Taal, Philippines - Growing unrest is being reported at Taal Volcano in Batangas. The volcano appears to becoming more agitated. It has been shaken by 15 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours. According to the Philippine Volcanic and Seismology (Phivolcs), there was also a slight increase of water level in the crater of the volcano. Ground deformation is also being reported on one flank of the volcano. A 6 km exclusion zone has been set up around the volcano to protect locals from any sudden, unexpected eruptions from the volcano.





Pavlof and Cleveland, Alaska -  Alaska volcano eruptions are entering a more powerful phase. After six weeks of Alaska volcano eruptions reaching five miles into the sky, covering nearby communities with ash and shutting down air flights, there looks to be no end. Alaska volcano eruptions 2013 started in May at the Pavlof Volcano, which is located about 590 miles southwest of the major city Anchorage, in the Alaska Peninsula. The most powerful phase of Alaska volcano eruptions started with low-level rumblings.

According to scientists at the federal-state Alaska Volcano Observatory, the latest phase of Alaska volcano eruptions started late on Monday and continued through the night into Tuesday. The blasts emanate from the crater of a 8,261 foot volcano. Tina Neal, an geologist at the observatory said, “For some reason we can’t explain, it picked up in intensity and vigor.’ In May, Alaska volcano eruptions sent a smaller ash cloud 15,000 feet into the air. The ash was visible for miles. Residents were worried that it would damage power generators. The ash plume has so far topped of at an altitude of 28,000 feet, which is too low in the air to affect major air traffic, but high enough that small planes have to fly around it.

Missy Roberts, the vice president of PenAir, which is based in Anchorage, said the airline cancelled one flight and had to re-route other flights. Air traffic controller John Maxwell said, “Everybody is thinking about it. Not that anybody is afraid they’re going to be like Mount Vesuvius and turn into little mummies.” The whole region is under an ash advisory. The National Weather Service warned that people with respiratory ailments in the area could experience breathing problems. They also warned about potential damage to exposed electronic equipment.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory reported that King Cove, which is located 30 miles southwest of Pavlof and has a population of about 900 people, has been dusted with ash. The observatory said that a second Alaska Peninsula volcano also continues to experience a low-intensity eruption. The observatory said that ash from Veniaminof Volcano, which is located 485 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been contained to the area around its 8,225-foot summit.

The scientists say the eruptions at Pavlof and Veniaminof are unrelated. According to the observatory, there is a third Alaska volcano that is restless is in a more remote area, but that has not started spouting lava or ash. The Cleveland Volcano began its eruptive phase in the middle of 2011 and has been erupting on and off. It has not produced an explosive eruption since May 6. The Cleveland Volcano is located 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.





Shiveluch, Kamchatka, Russia - Russia’s northernmost active volcano churned out ash to a height of up to 7,000 meters (almost 23,000 feet) in the country’s Far East, local Emergencies Ministry’s department reported on Friday. The 3,283-meter (10,771 feet) Shiveluch volcano increased activity in May 2009 and has been periodically spewing ash from three to ten kilometers. “Considering the direction and the force of wind, the cloud of ash moved to the southwest and dissipated without having reached residential areas,” the department said in a statement. Although the current eruption poses no immediate threat to nearby settlements, the ensuing ash fallouts could be hazardous to health and the environment. The clouds of volcanic ash could also pose threat to air traffic because the tiny particles cause problems with aircraft engine turbines. There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka and up to 30 of them are active.


SOURCES: Volcano Discovery | PHIL Star | Kpopstarz | RIA Novosti.




Thursday, June 27, 2013

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Extreme Weather Tied To Unusual Jet Stream - Responsible For Record Heat Wave, Damaging Tornadoes, Unseasonable Snowstorms, Historic Floods, And The Path Of Superstorm Sandy!

June 27, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Lately, the jet stream isn’t playing by the rules. Scientists say that big river of air high above Earth that dictates much of the weather for the Northern Hemisphere has been unusually erratic the past few years.





They blame it for everything from snowstorms in May to the path of Superstorm Sandy.

And last week, it was responsible for downpours that led to historic floods in Alberta, Canada, as well as record-breaking heat in parts of Alaska, experts say. The town of McGrath, Alaska, hit 94. Just a few weeks earlier, the same spot was 15 degrees.

The current heat wave in the Northeast is also linked.

“While it’s not unusual to have a heat wave in the east in June, it is part of the anomalous jet stream pattern that was responsible for the flooding in Alberta,” Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis said yesterday in an email.

The jet stream usually rushes rapidly from west to east in a mostly straight direction. But lately it’s been wobbling and weaving like a drunken driver, wreaking havoc as it goes. The more the jet stream undulates north and south, the more changeable and extreme the weather.

It’s a relatively new phenomenon that scientists are still trying to understand. Some say it’s related to global warming; others say it’s not.

In May, there was upside-down weather: Early California wildfires fueled by heat contrasted with more than a foot of snow in Minnesota. Seattle was the hottest spot in the nation one day, and Maine and Edmonton, Canada, were warmer than Miami and Phoenix.

Consider these unusual occurrences over the past few years:

• The winter of 2011-12 seemed to disappear, with little snow and record warmth in March. That was followed by the winter of 2012-13 when nor’easters seemed to queue up to strike the same coastal areas repeatedly.

•  Superstorm Sandy took an odd left turn in October from the Atlantic straight into New Jersey, something that happens once every 700 years or so.

•  One 12-month period had a record number of tornadoes. That was followed by 12 months that set a record for lack of tornadoes.

And here is what federal weather officials call a “spring paradox”: The U.S. had both an unusually large area of snow cover in March and April and a near-record low area of snow cover in May. The entire Northern Hemisphere had record snow coverage area in December but the third lowest snow extent for May.

“I’ve been doing meteorology for 30 years and the jet stream the last three years has done stuff I’ve never seen,” said Jeff Masters, meteorology director at the private service Weather Underground. “The fact that the jet stream is unusual could be an indicator of something. I’m not saying we know what it is.”

Rutgers’ Francis is in the camp that thinks climate change is probably playing a role in this.

“It’s been just a crazy fall and winter and spring all along, following a very abnormal sea ice condition in the Arctic,” Francis said, noting that last year set a record low for summer sea ice in the Arctic. “It’s possible what we’re seeing in this unusual weather is all connected.”

Other scientists don’t make the sea ice and global warming connections that Francis does. They see random weather or long-term cycles at work. And even more scientists are taking a wait-and-see approach about this latest theory. It’s far from a scientific consensus, but it is something that is being studied more often and getting a lot of scientific buzz.

“There are some viable hypotheses,” Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said. “We’re going to need more evidence to fully test those hypotheses.”

The jet stream, or more precisely the polar jet stream, is the one that affects the Northern Hemisphere. It dips down from Alaska, across the United States or Canada, then across the Atlantic and over Europe and “has everything to do with the weather we experience,” Francis said.

It all starts with the difference between cold temperatures in the Arctic and warmer temperatures in the mid-latitudes, she explained. The bigger the temperature difference, the stronger the jet stream, the faster it moves and the straighter it flows. But as the northern polar regions warm two to three times faster than the rest of the world, augmented by unprecedented melting of Arctic sea ice and loss in snow cover, the temperature difference shrinks. Then the jet stream slows and undulates more.

The jet stream is about 14 percent slower in the fall now than in the 1990s, according to a recent study by Francis. And when it slows, it moves north-south instead of east-west, bringing more unusual weather, creating blocking patterns and cutoff lows that are associated with weird weather, the Rutgers scientist said.

Mike Halpert, the deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said that recently the jet stream seems to create weather patterns that get stuck, making dry spells into droughts and hot days into heat waves.

Take the past two winters. They were as different as can be, but both had unusual jet stream activity. Normally, the jet stream plunges southwest from western Washington state, sloping across to Alabama. Then it curves slightly out to sea around the Outer Banks, a swoop that’s generally straight without dramatic bends.

During the mostly snowless winter of 2011-12 and the record warm March 2012, the jet stream instead formed a giant upside-down U, curving dramatically in the opposite direction. That trapped warm air over much of the Eastern U.S. A year later the jet stream was again unusual, this time with a sharp U-turn north. This trapped colder and snowier weather in places like Chicago and caused nor’easters in New England, Francis said.

But for true extremes, nothing beats tornadoes.

In 2011, the United States was hit over and over by killer twisters. From June 2010 to May 2011 the U.S. had a record number of substantial tornadoes, totaling 1,050. Then just a year later came a record tornado drought. From May 2012 to April 2013 there were only 217 tornadoes — 30 fewer than the old record, said Harold Brooks, a meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Brooks said both examples were related to unusual jet stream patterns.

Last fall, a dip in the jet stream over the United States and northward bulge of high pressure combined to pull Superstorm Sandy almost due west into New Jersey, Francis said. That track is so rare and nearly unprecedented that computer models indicate it would happen only once every 714 years, according to a new study by NASA and Columbia University scientists.

“Everyone would agree that we are in a pattern” of extremes, NOAA research meteorologist Martin Hoerling said. “We don’t know how long it will stay in this pattern.” - Valley News.




EXTREME WEATHER: High Floodwaters Force Hundreds To Evacuate Iowa Town - Radar Reveals East, Midwest Storms Triggering Life-Threatening Flooding; As Severe Storms Threaten 100 Million Citizens From Chicago To New York!

June 27, 2013 - UNITED STATESThe northeast Iowa town of New Hartford was mostly deserted Tuesday after authorities went door-to-door before dawn, warning residents a flooded stream would inundate most of the small community.

Floodwaters Force Hundreds To Evacuate Iowa Town.
Jim Johnson rows his boat down Main Street, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, in New Hartford, Iowa© Associated Press/Charlie Neibergall

"Everybody was notified and told to evacuate," said Butler County emergency management coordinator Mitch Nordmeyer as he surveyed the town, about 90 miles northeast of Des Moines. "If they stayed they were staying at their own risk."

Although most of New Hartford's 500-plus residents heeded warnings and left town, some stayed behind and there was no sense of panic.

Residents had seen the normally placid Beaver Creek flood before. And after some areas upstream received more than 7 inches of rain on Monday, few seemed surprised the stream was surging out of its banks again.

Jim Johnson, 49, rowed down Main Street just before noon. He's lived in town since the 1960s and said he's been through it before.

"I have about 8 inches of water in my basement," he said after getting out of the flat-bottom aluminum boat and tying it to a small tree.

He said a flood in 2008 was worse. That one flooded his home with about 4 feet of water.

"I've got this boat and another one with a motor," he said. "I usually stay until everything is lost."

But Johnson and authorities said most people had left, especially elderly people and residents with young children.

Residents were notified via a telephone emergency system on Monday about the danger, and an evacuation order came early Tuesday.

Up to 50 emergency services workers, sheriff's deputies and firefighters began to help townspeople flee at 3 a.m., before the water got too high and when boats and high-centered vehicles would have been required for rescues. Nordmeyer estimated about a third of the town's residents remained, but the town was largely silent by afternoon.

"Pretty much everyone who wants out is out, at this point," Nordmeyer said, adding that a sandbagged road to the north presented the only remaining route out of town. An emergency shelter was set up six miles away in Shell Rock.

Sue Ragsdale, 60, said she evacuated her home in the early hours but returned later in the day. She found a flooded barn but a dry home.

"I've seen it a lot worse," she said.


New Hartford firefighters Clint Olmstead, left, and Jon LeBahn walk through floodwaters on Tuesday in New Hartford, Iowa. Hundreds of residents obeyed an order to evacuate their homes in this northeast Iowa town before floodwaters from a rising creek could strand them.  Charlie Neibergall, AP

Nordmeyer estimated that the water was already 3 feet deep on the east side of town, and said floodwaters were pouring into the west side of town as well. The creek has topped a levy that surrounds the town on the east side near the elementary school, Nordmeyer said. He also suspected a breach had occurred Tuesday morning on a gravel road about three miles west of town that works as a makeshift levy. Officials couldn't get there to confirm his suspicions, he said.

Beaver Creek rose 3 feet above flood stage and crested at 15.15 feet by 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service said most of New Hartford floods when the creek rises to 14 feet. The weather service said the creek was at 14.8 feet as of noon Tuesday and the water continues to recede. It is expected to return to the creek by Wednesday evening.

The crest is about half a foot short of the record of 15.7 feet set in June 2008, and it is two feet higher than when the creek caused flooding last month.

The rest of Butler County is under a flash flood watch until Wednesday morning. The weather service said New Hartford is along a path in northern Iowa that may experience showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon into the overnight hours. Meteorologist Kevin Skow said between 2 and 3 inches of rain could fall per hour from the systems moving through the area.

Any rain that falls over the town will flow back into Beaver Creek because the ground is saturated, said Skow, resulting in standing water possibly staying around for a bit longer than expected. - NBC.


Radar Reveals East, Midwest Storms Triggering Life-Threatening Flooding.
Storms hammering the Midwest and the East Coast are resulting in significant flooding across portions of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky Wednesday.

The emergency manager in Independence, Iowa, referred to flooding as unprecedented and life-threatening Wednesday morning, following 6.10 inches of rain.

Moderate to major flight delays have been occurring at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport as a result of the drenching thunderstorms.

Louisville and Madisonville, Kentucky have been experiencing flash flooding as storms continue, according to law enforcement and an NWS employee.

Northeast Regional Radar:

Indianapolis Radar:


- AccuWeather.


As Severe Storms Threaten 100 Million Citizens From Chicago To New York.


Another show in a seemingly endless parade of severe weather will march through the Midwest and the Northeast into Wednesday night, bringing damaging winds, large hail, flash flooding and even the threat for tornadoes along with it.

Cities most at risk include New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, Nashville, Tenn., Indianapolis and St. Louis.

The worst of the storms will produce damaging wind gusts as high as 70 mph, hail as large as golf balls and perhaps an isolated tornado.

Wind gusts to 70 mph can easily uproot trees, snap off large branches and bring down power lines. Sporadic power outages are possible in some areas. Winds of this strength can also damage roofs and send unsecured objects airborne.

Hail as large as golf balls can cause damage to vehicles and crops. Any people or livestock caught outside can easily be injured.

While the pattern does not favor a large outbreak of tornadoes by any means, a few short-lived twisters are possible, especially across southern Illinois, southern Indiana and western Kentucky.

The most dangerous storms are likely to fire from St. Louis into Indianapolis, Louisville and Cincinnati during the afternoon and evening hours.

If you have any plans to be out and about on Wednesday or Wednesday night, keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions.

Soon after showers first develop, many will strengthen quickly into thunderstorms, and dangerous conditions could follow soon after.

Dark skies ahead can signal blinding downpours, powerful winds and possible hail. If you get caught driving through this weather, pull over to a safe location, away from any trees or power poles, and wait for it to pass.

A major concern across the region is the potential for flooding rain. The storm system has had a history of flooding and producing torrential rainfall on the order of 3 to 6 inches in some communities over the Midwest during the Tuesday night and early morning hours Wednesday.


 National Weather Service Current Weather Warnings


This storm system will have the ability to produce 1-3 inches of rain in as many hours, potentially across such cities such as Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh.

Flash flooding can easily become life-threatening, and given the already saturated soil across the region, it will not take much rain to cause flooding.

Current technology has advanced enough over recent years to provide ample alert of the potential for severe weather and the approach of localized severe storms. Be sure to understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that an area is being monitored for dangerous weather. A warning means that dangerous weather is imminent. When a warning is issued, there may be too little time to travel across town or across a county to escape the storm. The time to have a plan of action and move to the general vicinity of a storm shelter or safe area is when a watch is issued.

Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's leading source of injuries and fatalities. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining. - AccuWeather.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FIRE IN THE SKY: NASA Discovers Near-Earth Asteroid 2013 MZ5 - One Of 10% Of Potentially Life-Threatening Deep Impact Space Rocks; At Least 100,000 ARE STILL OUT THERE!

June 26, 2013 - SPACE - The good news: NASA has discovered the 10,000th near-Earth object (NEO). The bad news: At least 100,000 are still out there.

NEOs are asteroids and comets that approach Earth, coming within 28 million miles (45 million kilometers) of our planet during their orbit around the sun. The vast majority of these chunks of space rock and ice are harmless — they just fly right by, minding their own business, in well-defined, well-known orbits.




NEOs also come in a range of sizes, from the pipsqueak few-footers to the rather terrifying whopper, 1036 Ganymed, that measures 25 miles (41 kilometers) across.

And now NASA has discovered the 10,000th NEO — a 1,000 feet (300 meters) wide asteroid affectionately named 2013 MZ5.

“Finding 10,000 near-Earth objects is a significant milestone,” said Lindley Johnson, program executive for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations (NEOO) Program at NASA Headquarters. “But there are at least 10 times that many more to be found before we can be assured we will have found any and all that could impact and do significant harm to the citizens of Earth.”

That means there’s at least 100,000 of these (potentially) marauding space rocks still to be tracked down, a feat that NASA is tackling head-on.

The latest asteroid was spotted by the Maui-based Pan-STARRS-1 telescope as part of a NASA-funded, University of Hawaii-managed PanSTARRS survey. 2013 MZ5 is by no means a hazardous asteroid and is not expected to be any threat to Earth of the foreseeable future.

The discovery of 2013 MZ5 is the latest in a long line of NEO discoveries, most of which have been made by NASA projects over the last 15 years.

“The first near-Earth object was discovered in 1898,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. “Over the next hundred years, only about 500 had been found. But then, with the advent of NASA’s NEO Observations program in 1998, we’ve been racking them up ever since. And with new, more capable systems coming on line, we are learning even more about where the NEOs are currently in our solar system, and where they will be in the future.”

Although many more space rocks remain to be found, it’s believed that the majority of big, potentially hazardous NEOs have been discovered. Of the 10,000 discoveries so far, roughly 1,000 are larger than one-kilometer across. From this size and up, should one hit Earth, it would have global consequences for the planet and all life on it. So far, none of these large objects pose a threat. Even better news is that only a few dozen of the largest NEOs remain to be found.

As the NEOs get smaller, they’re harder to detect, meaning the vast majority of undiscovered NEOs are small, but not insignificant, objects. For example, any space rock measuring 30 meters (100 feet) or bigger can cause significant damage to a populated region should it hit. Less than one percent of NEOs 30 meters and smaller have been spotted so far.


Asteroid 2013 MZ5 as seen by the University of Hawaii's PanSTARR-1 telescope. (NASA).


In 2005, NASA was directed by Congress to find 90 percent of all NEOs 140 meters (460 feet) or larger. It is believed there are around 15,000 NEOs of that size, 30 percent of which have been discovered so far.

So NEO programs are finding new objects at an average rate of 3 per day, greatly enhancing our ability of tracking and identifying potentially hazardous NEOs. But as can be seen from the numbers, it’s not necessarily the largest, civilization-ending NEOs that may cause concern, it’s the smaller, city-killing NEOs that may take us by surprise.

As the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February showed us, it doesn’t take a huge piece of space rock to cause widespread damage and injury to a populated region. The Chelyabinsk meteor was only 15 meters (50 feet) wide. - FOX News.





EXTREME WEATHER: Major Heat Wave For Western United States In The Making - Reaching Most Dangerous Levels, Challenging Records And Elevating Wildfire Threat; Death Valley In California Could Reach 128 Degrees Fahrenheit!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Temperatures will be at full throttle later this week over the interior West, reaching dangerous levels, challenging records and elevating the wildfire threat.

While many folks over the interior West are accustomed to and expect hot weather during the summer the developing pattern will take the heat to the extreme. In some cities record highs for any date throughout the year could be equaled or breached.




The weather this week will favor an expanding area of sunshine and building heat over the West. As temperatures soar to record-challenging levels, dry fuel and the potential for spotty dry thunderstorms will push the wildfire threat to new areas and raise the risk in other locations.

Building heat, drought and the risk of wildfires could result in a fireworks ban in some communities as Independence Day activities increase.


The pattern bringing clouds, showers and cool air to the Northwest will gradually erode, dissolve and disappear.

Once the pattern sets up, the heat wave will last through next week in many areas. Grassy and wooded areas that are green now may become dry fuel for fires as the atmosphere heats up.




Cities that will experience record-challenging heat on a daily basis during the pattern into next week include Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boise, Idaho, Rawlins, Wyo., Medford, Ore., and Fresno, Calif.

Cities that could set new annual extreme temperature marks include Flagstaff, Ariz., Las Vegas and Reno, Nev. In Flagstaff, Ariz., the all-time record high is 97 set on July 5, 1973. In Las Vegas, the all-time record high is 117 degrees set on July 19, 2005 and July 24, 1942. At Reno, the all-time high is 108 degrees set most recently on July 5, 2007. Death Valley, Calif. could reach their hottest June temperature on record of 128 degrees set June 30, 1994

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "People driving through desert areas during the pattern should make sure their vehicle can make the journey and that they carry extra water in case their vehicle breaks down."

With time, the heat can expand to part of the California coast by way of a slight offshore flow. However, the worst of the heat will hold up just inland. The pattern will make the beaches a hot spot to avoid the heat.


Gone!

The system producing the heat and sunshine will allow widely separated, pop-up thunderstorms with time.

Most of the storms will form and die over the mountains, but there will be a few exceptions.

A few locations can receive a downpour. However, many of the storms will bring little or no rainfall. This phenomena, commonly called "dry lightning," can spark new wildfires.

While the natural spark for wildfires cannot be avoided, people are urged to be very careful when using outdoor power equipment and open flames. Never park a vehicle that has been running for any length of time over dry grass and brush as the hot exhaust can start a fire. - AccuWeather.





DELUGE: The Precursors To A Global Coastal Event - Record Rainfall Dumped On Pilbara Coast In Western Australia; An Entire Month Of Rainfall In Just 6 Hours!

June 26, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - Parts of the Pilbara have been inundated with rainfall overnight that would usually only fall during a cyclone.

The highest rainfall in the region was recorded in Karratha, where 209.2mm of rain has fallen since 9am yesterday.


Heavy rain outside Karratha.© Martin Tscheuschler


The rainfall smashed Karratha's daily June record of 60mm.


Roebourne Airport recorded 135.8mm, Karratha Airport recorded 209mm, Port Hedland 129mm, Barrow Island 73mm and Paraburdoo 52.4mm.

Main Roads reports that the North West Coastal Highway is closed to all traffic between Roebourne and Port Hedland.

The Weather Bureau has issued flood warnings for Pilbara coastal rivers.

Further heavy rainfall of 50mm to 100mm with isolated heavier falls is expected in the the Turner and Yule River catchments and inthe Port Hedland area during today.


Karratha worker Martin Tscheuschler said there had been heavy rain overnight.

He said water in the mining site in which he worked was "a foot deep, maybe two in some places".

Minor flooding is expected to continue in the Maitland River and extend toother streams between Karratha and Port Hedland during today.

The State Emergency Service advises people and communities to be aware that flooding is possible and be prepared to relocate equipment and livestock.


WATCH: Pilbara Floods.





Travellers need to be aware that road conditions may be adversely affected and travel plans may need to be reconsidered.

Do not drive into water of unknown depth and velocity.

Weather Bureau duty forecaster Rabi Rivett said the rainfall was caused by a small tropical low and a trough out to the north-west of the Pilbara, which interacted with a front and caused a cloud band and heavy rainfall.

"This is very unseasonable rainfall," he said. "The highest totals have been right on the coast.

"It's normally the type of rainfall you would see with a cyclone."

The Department of Education says Baler Primary School, Nullagine Primary School, Marble Bar Primary School, Hedland Senior High School, Roebourne District High School and Wickham Primary School have all been affected by flooding.

Roebourne/Wickham Road is closed but the Department says the water is starting to recede.


The soggy entrance to Karratha's industrial estate.© GianDP/ABC/Twitter

Work is being carried out on a roof leakage at Baler Primary School. There is also no power or a landline phone connection at the school.

Most students at Hedland Senior High School from outlying areas have been unable to attend school due to the flood waters and bus services from Point Samson, Wickham and Roebourne to Karratha Senior High School have been cancelled.

Emergency services warned residents in coastal catchments between Onslow and east of Karratha and those in the Ashburton and Fortescue River catchments to prepare for possible minor flooding overnight and today.

The rain is expected to weaken as it moves away from Karratha and starts streaming over Port Hedland throughout the morning.

Heavy falls are expected through the eastern and inland areas of the Pilbara, with the rain moving over the Kimberley by Thursday.

In the south of State overnight, North Island received 16mm of rain, Bunbury recorded 15.2mm, Collie East 10.8mm and Witchcliffe 10mm. Dwellingup recorded 17.8mm while Perth received 7.8mm of rain.

Isolated showers are forecast for Perth today, with a maximum of 19C.

The showers are expected to continue in the south tomorrow before conditions become sunny or partly cloudy by the weekend. - Yahoo.



MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Unusually High Number Of Dead Fish Found Washed Ashore In Canandaigua Lake, New York?!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATESAn investigation is underway to learn why a greater-than-normal number of fish for this time of year are washing up on shore around Canandaigua Lake.


Dead fish are washing ashore on the north end of Canandaigua Lake but on Monday it wasn't keeping
people such as these playing with their dog at the small boat launch out of the water.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

During spawning season it is typical to find dead fish washing up due to various stresses fish experience, such as in defending their turf and dealing with a rapid increase in temperature, said Canandaigua Lake Watershed Manager Kevin Olvany.

"The usual suspects" in Olvany's words are smaller fish like perch and sunfish. This season, he said, there appears to be a greater quantity of fish washing up of all varieties, which include larger fish — such as large bass. The situation warranted an investigation, Olvany said.


A recently deceased Sunfish washes ashore at the small boat launch at the north end of Canandaigua Lake.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

A large fish washes up amonngst the large rocks on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake at Kershaw Park.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

Over a dozen fish lay dead along with some garbage on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake along Kershaw Park.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

Olvany was at Kershaw Park in Canandaigua on Monday looking over the situation, and he said other sections of the lake also appear to have more fish washing up. A fish sample has been sent to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for testing and results should be back soon, he said.

The DEC is having the fish tested for viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus. A serious pathogen of fresh and saltwater fish, the rod-shaped virus affects fish of all size and age ranges. It does not pose any threat to human health, according to the DEC. The virus is causing a disease issue in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada; it can cause hemorrhaging of fish tissue, including internal organs, and can cause the death of infected fish, the DEC says. Once a fish is infected with VHS, there is no known cure.

Olvany said that even if the first test comes back negative for the virus, there will be further testing to confirm that. The virus was found in fish in Irondequoit Bay in May, Olvany said.

Paula Larivee, who walks regularly along Kershaw Park, said she was disturbed to see the number of big, dead fish — 12 inches or longer, she said — during a walk Sunday.

“When you walk there several days a week, you notice changes in the lake,” said Larivee. “This was alarming.” - MPN Now.






MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore In South Durras, New South Wales, Australia?!

June 26, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - As harsh weather continues, hundreds of bait fish were seen washed ashore at South Durras. With many of them still alive, a question that arose was what caused the incident.




The reasons behind the same still remained mysterious.

The event was something that was never seen before at the place. Hundreds of fishes were seen lying on shore. John Perkins, a Friends of Durras spokesman who snapped the pictures of the fishes, said that the waves came and washed them back.

It emerged that Durras Lake's entrance to the sea has been closed recently. Mr. Perkins said that it may be the reason behind unusual event. Stan Gorton, the Editor at Narooma News, said that the he had never seen yellowtail scad and slimy mackerel piled up like that earlier.

The pictures of the fishes have been sent to NSW Fisheries to find out the reason behind the same. The residents of the Batemans Bay have been asked to stay away from the waterfront as the tides are still hitting the town.

"The tide wasn't as big as the same time last year. Climate scientists say this will be 'normal' high tide in couple of decades. It's a bit of a benchmark", said Narooma local Greg Watts. - Top News.







PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: China Pops - 27 Dead In Massive Riots In Northwest China!

June 26, 2013 - SINGAPORE At least 27 people have been killed and three others injured after knife-wielding gangs went on the rampage through a town in far western China, according to state media.




The Xinhua news agency said mobs attacked police stations, a local government building and a construction site in the Turpan Oasis in the Turkic-speaking Xinjiang region.

Nine police officers and security guards, as well as eight civilians, were killed before police shot dead 10 of the attackers.

The death toll from the unrest was the worst in the restive region since July 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in riots in the regional capital Urumqi, involving local predominantly Muslim Uighurs and ethnic Han Chinese.

Xinhua said Wednesday's unrest erupted at about 6am in the remote township of Lukqun, about 120 miles southeast of Urumqi.

Gangs attacked officials and civilians, stabbing people and setting fire to police vehicles, Xinhua reported.

Residents told Sky News there was a heavy police presence in the township. Search results for the words Xinjiang and Lukqun, in both English and Chinese, were unavailable on Chinese search engines.


Paramilitary police in riot gear block a road at the centre of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Autonomous
Region September 3, 2009. Reuters

The reasons for the attacks were not immediately clear, but Xinjiang has been the scene of numerous violent incidents in recent years.

The region is home to a large population of Uighurs, and the influx of China's Han majority has led to unrest.

Many Uighurs, who have ethnic links to central Asia, accuse the Chinese government of placing restrictions on their culture, language and religion.

They also claim Beijing has encouraged the numbers of Han Chinese to rise in order to reduce the Uighurs' dominance.

China says it grants Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms and is fighting separatist terrorists in the region. It also claims to be modernising the region, which has for many years been seen as a backwater.


A map showing to location of the Turpan Oasis in Xinjiang

In 2011, the China National Petroleum Corp announced it had started large scale exploration of an oil field around Lukqun, which is thought to be the world's deepest heavy oil reserve.

In that same year, 113 oil wells were opened. Local people claim the water level has dropped in the last few years.

The report also said three rioters had been seized, and the police pursued fleeing suspects, although it did not say how many. - SKY News.



EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: From Mask To Helmet - Rare Hailstorm Pounds Singapore, Causing Massive Traffic Jams, Damaging Trees And Cars!

June 26, 2013 - SINGAPORE - A hailstorm, by far a very rare occurrence in Singapore, pounded the island nation on Tuesday. But government environment authorities stressed the weather disturbance has no relation at all to the ongoing cloud seeding over Indonesia.

The hailstorm, which started in western Singapore at around 3 pm on Tuesday and affected several parts of Singapore, was considered a welcome relief as it managed to somehow lift the haze clouding the city-state for the past few weeks now.




The country's National Environment Agency (NEA) immediately clarified the hailstorm experience does not have any relation at all to the ongoing cloud seeding over in neighbour Indonesia. And most importantly, it was not toxic.

"The hailstorm which hit certain parts of western Singapore is not toxic," a spokesman for NEA said in a media conference.

Hail is caused when super-cooled droplets of water come into contact with particles such as dust and freeze on contact. They are not considered hazardous. Although the hailstorm could have been caused by the haze, NEA said it has yet to confirm such theory.

Residents' Experiences


"The wind suddenly turned very cold, and these crystal-like stones started raining down. It was very frightening. I could not believe my eyes," Laura Tang told Yahoo! News.

Fitness trainer Koh Zhen Rong, who took refuge inside his car, told Asia One he heard what sounded like "seeds dropping" over the roof of his automobile.

"The torrent came in a five-minute burst; something was clanging on my windows and I went to my front door to see what was going on," Lucas Ho, a playwright and teacher, told The Straits Times. "I never thought I'd see hail in Singapore."




"[They were] very sharp droplets that were a little prickly, like sand, when it landed on my hand," 24-year-old banking executive Caydence Woo said. "The droplets also looked weird. They were coming down in straight, solid lines, instead of one by one.

Chaos


No casualties were reported from the hailstorm, but it did create minor damage to property around Singapore.

Strong winds that came with the hail storm uprooted trees, creating massive traffic jams during and after the heavy downpour. Affected roads were Bukit Batok Road, Toh Guan Road and Old Jurong Road.


WATCH: Singapore Hail Storm Footage and Forecast.


The falling trees and branches damaged at least three cars that were parked at the open-air carpark on Toh Guan East Road and on Bukit Batok West Avenue 2.

The ice pellets that fell on Singapore on Tuesday were as large as 50-cent coins, according to Ang Lam Toh, a retiree. - IBTimes.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Intensified Eruptions Observed At Two Alaskan Volcanoes - Pavlof Volcano Spews 5-Mile-High Plume Of Cinders And Veniaminof Volcano Continues Low-Intensity Eruption!

June 26, 2013 - ALASKA - An Alaska volcano spewing ash and lava for the past six weeks erupted with new intensity on Tuesday, belching a plume of cinders 5 miles into sky and onto a nearby town and disrupting local flights, officials said.


The Pavlof Volcano in Alaska, seen here on May 18, has sent a plume of cinders 5 miles into the sky.
NASA via Reuters, file

The eruptions from Pavlof Volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula 590 miles southwest of Anchorage, were its most powerful since its current eruptive phase began with low-level rumblings in mid-May, according to scientists at the federal-state Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The latest series of more powerful ash-producing blasts from the crater of the 8,261-foot volcano started late on Monday and continued overnight into Tuesday, scientists said.

"For some reason we can't explain, it picked up in intensity and vigor," said Tina Neal, an observatory geologist.


While the ash plume has so far remained too low in the sky to affect jetliner traffic, topping out at an altitude of 28,000 feet, smaller planes had to fly around it, officials said.

Anchorage-based PenAir canceled one flight and re-routed others, said Missy Roberts, a company vice president.

Ash has dusted King Cove, a town of about 900 people located 30 miles southwest of Pavlof, the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported.

The National Weather Service issued an ash advisory for the region, warning of breathing problems for people with respiratory ailments and potential damage to exposed electronic equipment.

A second Alaska Peninsula volcano continued a low-intensity eruption, the observatory said. Ash from Veniaminof Volcano, 485 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been limited to the area around its 8,225-foot summit, the observatory said.

The eruptions at Pavlof and Veniaminof are unrelated, scientists say.

A third, more remote, Alaska volcano remained restless but was not currently spouting lava or ash, the observatory said.

Cleveland Volcano, 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, began an on-and-off eruptive phase in mid-2011 but has not produced an explosive eruption since May 6, according to the observatory. - NBC.





GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Arctic Ice Break-Away - After Drifting For Hours On Arctic Ice Floe, 20 Tourists Are Safe!

June 26, 2013 - ARCTIC - A group of tourists got a bit more adventure in the Canadian Arctic than they wanted Tuesday, after they realized the ice floe on which they were camping had split off and begun drifting into open water. The 20 tourists and their guides Wednesday afternoon.


Ice near Baffin Island, Canada, where the tourists are stranded. Photograph: Stuart Westmorland/CORBIS

The tourists were part of a week-long expedition hosted by Arctic Kingdom, a company that offers "Arctic safari" trips to guests who camp on Baffin Island and other areas to see animals such as polar bears, bowhead whales, and narwhals in their natural habitats.

But Tuesday morning, the guides woke up to realize their group was camping on top of an ice floe that had become disconnected from the shore in Admiralty Inlet, off the coast of Arctic Bay, Nunavut. They used GPS technology to confirm that their camp was drifting away, then called for help with radio satellite phones.

Graham Dickson of Arctic Kingdom says the company's guides are trained to stay far from the edge of the ice when they establish their campsites. He says strong tides from this weekend's Supermoon and strong winds caused an unexpectedly large chunk of ice to break off the mainland sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.


This visualization shows the extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, 2012, compared to the average sea ice minimum
from 1979 through 2010 shown in orange. The sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more
than three decades, according to scientists from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

When the ice, which was reportedly , broke off, it took the entire camp with it.

Dickson says the Arctic Kindgom camp atop the ice floe included dining rooms, cooks, and 300-square-foot tents. "Our people had all the comforts of home in their safari camp," he said.

Many of the guests on the expedition were comfortable, happy, and easygoing throughout the rescue, Dickson says, noting that many of them were experienced world travelers.

Yvonne Niego of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police says that it is fairly common for people to get stranded on ice floes moving away from land in this area. 


WATCH: Tourists rescued after being stranded on Arctic ice floe.




"Annually we receive this sort of call for help, but it is usually just one to two people who get stranded," Niego says. "This is the first one over several years that is this large.... it's a bit extraordinary."

And with limited ability to land aircraft and helicopters, rescue efforts in this region are difficult, Niego says. The tourists received a survival kit delivery from the Royal Canadian Air Force Tuesday, which included large rafts in case the ice floe split.

Later, the tourists were able to get back on land, after their floe drifted toward the shore again. There, they waited in a small cabin with supplies and food, until a military helicopter picked them up. - NPR.





PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Global Food Crisis - Locust Plague Threatens To Trigger A Monumental Food Crisis In Madagascar; Over Half Of The Island's Cultivated Land And Pastures Infested!

June 26, 2013 - MADAGASCARMadagascar is in the grips of a largely uncontrolled locust plague and risks a serious food crisis. A large-scale emergency control campaign urgently requires a minimum of $22 million in funding to start in time for the next crop planting season in September. So far, FAO emergency appeals for Madagascar remain severely underfunded.




By September, FAO expects that two-thirds of the country will be infested by locusts.

Some 13 million people’s food security and livelihoods are at stake, or nearly 60 percent of the island’s total population. Nine million of those people are directly dependent on agriculture for food and income.

Sounding the alarm – more loudly

FAO has issued various warnings since August 2012 calling for financial support.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva emphasized that prevention and early action are key. “If we don’t act now, the plague could last years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This could very well be a last window of opportunity to avert an extended crisis,” he said.

Timely control of the locust upsurge in Madagascar at an early stage would have cost $ 14.5 million in 2011-1012, but FAO only received half the funding necessary. Another campaign had to be launched, but that received barely a quarter of the required funds in 2011/2012.

When the Sahel region experienced a locust upsurge in 2003-2005, the costs of control operations exceeded $ 570 million, in addition to the economic damages in terms of lost crops and food aid.

Preventive control measures normally cost $3.3 million per year for the 10 affected Sahelian countries. So intervening only when the situation reaches a crisis point cost roughly the same as 170 years of prevention.

In order to have all the supplies and personnel in place to mount a wide-scale anti-locust campaign starting in September, funding should be allocated by July.

FAO’s locust control programme needs to be fully funded in order to monitor the locust situation throughout the whole contaminated area and to carry out well-targeted aerial control operations. Otherwise, undetected or uncontrolled locust populations will continue to breed and produce more swarms.

The plague would therefore last several years, controlling it will be lengthier and more expensive and it will severely affect food security, nutrition and livelihoods.

The complete three-year programme, which is needed to return the locust plague to a recession, requires more than $41.5 million over the next three years.

According to a recent FAO assessment mission on the impact of the current locust plague in Madagascar, in parts of the country rice and maize losses due to the locusts vary from 40 to 70 percent of the crop, with 100 percent losses on certain plots.

A joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission, supported by FAO, IFAD and WFP and in close cooperation with the Malagasy Government, is currently on the ground to measure the locust plague’s damages to food security and livelihoods. More detailed data analysis will be available in July, but the resources to start preparation for the field actions have to be available now.

Major impact on food security
According to FAO estimates, there could be losses in rice production of up to 630 000 tonnes, or about 25 percent of total demand for rice in Madagascar. This would severely affect food and nutrition security and livelihoods of the most vulnerable.

Rice is the main staple in the country, where 80 percent of the population lives on less than a dollar per day. One and a half million hectares will need to be treated by aerial spraying during the 2013/2014 campaign.
The three-year FAO programme includes:
  • improving the monitoring and analysis of the locust situation;
  • large-scale aerial and ground spraying and related training;
  • monitoring and mitigating the effect of control operations on health and the environment;
  • measuring the impact of anti-locust campaigns and the damages to crops and pasture.
- Stackyard.



MASS FISH DIE-OFF: State Agencies Look Into Mysterious Fish Kill At Ashland Creek, Oregon?!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATESState police, fish biologists and Ashland city officials are investigating an apparent fish-kill in lower Ashland Creek along and downstream of the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant.


File Photo.

Ashland Director of Public Works Mike Faught said an unspecified number of fish he could not identify were found in that reach of the creek.

The plant discharges treated effluent into Ashland Creek and it was not known late Monday whether the die-off was caused by effluent released from the plant or some other source.

Faught said there were no change to dissolved oxygen levels in the plant's discharge, and there were no signs of toxic poisoning within the plant's treatment regimen.

Changes in dissolved oxygen or toxic poisoning are two common causes for some fish kills.

The dead fish apparently were discovered by a private citizen who notified Oregon Department of Fish and

Wildlife biologists in Central Point, Faught said. ODFW officials called city public works crews and an investigation was launched, he said.

Ashland Creek is a Bear Creek tributary that flows through Ashland's Lithia Park and portions of city neighborhoods before reaching the treatment plant area close to its confluence with Bear Creek. - Mail Tribune.




PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Mass Fish Die-Off - Wisconsin DNR Suspects Virus Killed Hundreds Of Carp!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Wisconsin fisheries experts suspect a virus played a role in the death of hundreds of carp in Iowa and Dane counties this month.


File Photo.

David Rowe is the Department of Natural Resources' fisheries team supervisor.

He says carp in Ludden Lake near Mineral Point and Marshall Millpond in Marshall started turning up dead around the middle of June.

He says hundreds died in both locations.

Rowe says the carp likely became infected with koi herpes virus during spawning and developed a secondary bacterial infection that did them in.

Results from testing at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory are pending.

Rowe says the agency is unsure how the virus got into the water bodies. The DNR advises anyone cleaning up the dead fish to use a shovel or gloves. - TwinCities.



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Storms Threaten 42 Million People In The United States Midwest, Dakotas And Western Great Lakes - Dangerous Thunderstorms, Large Hail, Flash Flooding, Damaging Wind And Possible Tornadoes Expected!

June 25, 2013 - UNITED STATESAs potent jet stream energy dives through the northern Plains, several rounds of dangerous thunderstorms will erupt from the Dakotas into the Midwest and western Great Lakes.

Severe Storms Threaten 42 Million In The U.S. Midwest.


Some of the cities and towns most at risk include Minot, N.D.; Fargo, N.D.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Minneapolis, Minn.; La Crosse, Wis.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago, Ill.; Fort Wayne, Ind. and Detroit, Mich.

The worst of the storms will bring damaging wind gusts as high as 60, 70 or even 80 mph. Large hail as big as golf balls or baseballs and a few tornadoes are also possible.

Wind gusts over 60 mph can uproot large trees, snap branches and down power lines, resulting in power outages. Winds this strong can also easily blow around any unsecured objects left outside.

Hail as large as golf balls or baseballs can cause severe injury to animals or people caught outside. Unprotected livestock are especially at risk. Hail of this size can also cause damage to vehicles, roofs on houses and crops such as corn.





Spotty drenching thunderstorms around in the morning will diminish toward noon, but more storms will fire later in the afternoon and evening hours.

The most dangerous storms are likely to fire in the evening hours into the overnight on Tuesday, especially from Minneapolis into Chicago and South Bend.

If you have any plans to be out and about on Tuesday or Tuesday night, you will need to pay special attention to the weather.

Once thunderstorms develop this afternoon, they will strengthen quickly, and dangerous conditions could follow soon after.

One added concern across the region will be very heavy, potentially flooding rain. This storm system will have the ability to produce a large area of 1-3 inches of rain, especially across areas such as Dubuque, Iowa; Madison, Wis. and Chicago, Ill.




Flash flooding can easily become life-threatening, and given the already saturated soil across the region, it will not take much rain to cause flooding.

Current technology has advanced enough over recent years to provide ample alert of the potential for severe weather and the approach of localized severe storms. Be sure to understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that an area is being monitored for dangerous weather. A warning means that dangerous weather is imminent. When a warning is issued, there may be too little time to travel across town or across a county to escape the storm. The time to have a plan of action and move to the general vicinity of a storm shelter or safe area is when a watch is issued.

Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's most dangerous killers. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining. - AccuWeather.


Derecho Hits Midwest With Strong Winds, Tornado Reports.
Twitter: Luckily the kids were out! Driver reported she just parked prior. Power line involved.
@omahapolice @OPPDStorm pic.twitter.com/ZSTEQ8IRvQ

A derecho struck the Midwest Monday, leaving wind damage in Chicago, Iowa, and other parts of the Midwest. The Monday storms snarled traffic, air travel, and downed dozens of trees in the region. There were also several tornado reports Monday.

Derechoes are large clusters of thunderstorms that produce widespread wind damage, usually as a result of one or more curved lines of thunderstorms known as bow echoes. The word in the Spanish language means "straight" and these windstorms leave wide, long swaths of straight-line wind damage. These winds can be as strong as 50 to 100 mph or higher.

"The mayhem started when thunderstorms that had been rumbling all morning turned severe right over Omaha, causing serious tree damage and power outages," said weather.com meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.

"This line then marched across Iowa with only a brief pause in the wind damage. By the time it reached eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, it was a monster squall line with winds to 80 miles per hour and at least nine reports of embedded tornadoes."


Twitter: This damage in my neighborhood is absolutely nuts. Thankful no one is hurt.
pic.twitter.com/g8dz62baea

Twitter: Current photo of Chicago from @myrarubin pic.twitter.com/eJnUxEFRrr” Holy crap!

Twitter: My front yard moments after a huge derecho storm front just moved through- that's not my car under there... pic.twitter.com/H4u6EHJ6jj

Commonwealth Edison crews worked to restore electricity to thousands who lost power in Chicago as a thunderstorm swept across northern Illinois.

High winds accompanying the storm uprooted trees and downed power lines Monday.

Commonwealth Edison spokeswoman Liz Keating says at the peak, 300,000 customers, most in Chicago's South Side and southwest suburbs, were without power. Keating said crews began almost immediately to make repairs. As of Tuesday afternoon, approximately 54,000 customers still have no power, predominantly in the south side of Chicago.

Wind gusts of 67 miles per hour were reported at Chicago's Midway International Airport, causing flight delays there and at O'Hare International Airport.

The storm, which moved quickly across the region, also caused the Metra commuter rail line to briefly halt service to Chicago's northern and western suburbs.


Twitter: Dark Omens at Midway Airport.  pic.twitter.com/Ii4dzxVqnr

Twitter: Car in #TinleyPark pic.twitter.com/2VpNppS2V2

A large tree split in two and fell on two homes in Omaha Neb., Monday June 22, 2013 after a fast moving storm knocked down several trees and power lines. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald, Brynn Anderson)

A man inspects a downed tree limb that blocks Woolworth Ave., between 41st and 42nd. Street, Monday, June 24, 2013 in Omaha Neb. A fast moving storm moved through Omaha knocking down several power lines and tree limbs. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald, Chris Machian)

A thunderstorm with heavy rains approaches downtown Chicago, Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Scott Eisen)

A car sustains heavy damage after being hit by a tree limb, Monday evening, June 24, 2013 in Momence, Ill. (NWS Chicago/Cole Carmen Weeks)

The threat for storms remains today for the same area.

"The same areas that were hit by Monday's derecho are at risk for more severe weather today," said Wiltgen. "There will be corridors of damaging winds and some large hail, the chance for a few tornadoes, and it's not impossible that another derecho could form."

Below is a roundup of how the derecho affected other states

Iowa

• Evacuation order for New Hartford as floodwaters threaten the town
• Butler County under flash flood watch until wednesday morning
• Tornadoes reported in Johnson County
• At least one person injured in Muscatine; damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles
• Gov. Terry Branstad will travel to cities in eastern Iowa today.

Nebraska

• 10,000 customers have no power in the Omaha area
• Winds knocked down trees, limbs and damaged homes and business Monday

Indiana

• Vehicles stuck or abandoned on flooded streets
• No injuries reported


This came after a weekend of storms left hundreds of thousands of people without power in Minnesota and the Great Plains. Approximately 20,000 customers in Minnesota still have no power due to the weekend storms. - TWC.