Storms and Floods

Tropical Storm Andrea was located approximately 65 mi (100 km) SSW of Savannah, Georgia. The center of Andrea will continue to move over southeast Georgia this morning and then move near the East Coast of the United States through Saturday.

Andrea had a busy day Thursday in Florida, dumping heavy rains, spawning ten tornadoes, and bringing a storm surge of up to 4.5′ to the coast. The Florida East Coast was hit by five suspected tornadoes. Only one caused an injury, a tornado that hit The Acreage in Palm Beach County at 6:45 am EDT. Two other tornadoes were reported in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, and two more were reported in coastal areas near the Georgia border.

Deadly Lightning in India

A total of 27 people including six children and three women died in last 24 hours after being struck by bolts of lightning across Bihar.

Environment

Trashing the Seafloor

In their 25 years of exploring the deep seafloor, researchers with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California have discovered trash and debris littering the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Most of the garbage was recyclables such as plastic bottles, soda and food cans. But plastic bags, shoes and even shipping containers make their way to the deep ocean depths, 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) below the surface.

More than half of the plastic items were bags. A deep-sea coral living nearly 7,000 feet (2,115 meters) off the Oregon Coast had a black plastic bag wrapped around its base, which will eventually kill the organism.

Trash 3 intro bag coral

The second biggest source of ocean trash was metal — soda and food cans. Other common types of debris included rope from fishing equipment, glass bottles, cardboard, wood and clothing.

Because most of the ocean pollution came from single-use plastic bottles and cans, it is hoped the research will inspire more people to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Trash 9 rope 350

Disease

Meningitis in Africa

From 1 January to 12 May 2013, 9 249 suspected cases of meningitis, including 857 deaths, with a case fatality ratio of 9.3 percent, have been reported from 18 of the 19 African countries under enhanced surveillance for meningitis in the African Meningitis Belt. The number of cases reported so far are the lowest recorded during the epidemic season in the last ten years.

Novel Coronavirus – Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Wildlife

Long-Distance Migratory Birds Go Hungry

Some migrating songbirds are going a little hungry because they have not adjusted their long-distance springtime journeys back north in response to climate change, a Canadian scientist warns.

Kevin Fraser of York University says he found that purple martins, which migrate from the Amazon Basin to North America, arrived too late to enjoy the abundant food that accompanied the earliest and hottest spring on record in 2012.

He says that since there is no hint of what spring will be like while the birds are still in Brazil, they don’t receive any clues of what the northern spring will be like until they reach the U.S. Gulf Coast.

He says that, at least in 2012, they “missed out on peak food they need to be productive breeders.”

Fraser warns that the lack of adjustment to climate change may be contributing to the decline in migratory songbird populations.

This is especially true for species that migrate very long distances.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 120.9 degrees Fahrenheit (49.5 degrees Celsius) at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.5 degrees Celsius) at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

A wildfire burning in mountains north of Los Angeles has consumed just over 30 000 acres and destroyed 24 homes including a number of summer cabins, fire officials said on Thursday after it was safe enough to send in an on-foot assessment team.

The damage wrought by the Powerhouse Fire comes as officials in California have warned of a particularly early and intense start of the fire season. Two major wildfires are also burning in New Mexico, including one that was threatening Native American sites.

S1 reutersmedia