Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

Tropical storm Cosme was located about 335 mi (535 km) SW of Manzanillo, Mexico. Cosme is expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday. Heading away from land, swells generated by Cosme are affecting portions of the Pacific coast of Mexico from near Manzanillo through Cabo Corrientes. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Tropical Storm Bebinca made landfall in the coastal regions in south China, bringing heavy rainfall that will likely last through Tuesday, forecasters said. Tropical storm Bebinca will continue to bring gales and downpours and was the first tropical storm to make landfall in China this year. Bebinca made landfall in the city of Qionghai in South China’s Hainan province. Bebinca disrupted 147 flights and left more than 8,000 passengers stranded in the airport.

Central African Republic Gold Mine Collapse

Heavy rainfall triggered Central African Republic gold mine collapse. The disaster area is located in Ndassima, about 440km east of Bangui.

Three days of national mourning have been declared after 37 people died in the gold mine collapse. 10 miners have been rescued and a still unknown number of bodies remain trapped.

Severe Storms in Minnesota, USA

A series of destructive storms have lashed Minnesota leaving homeowners and businesses powerless as the outage extended into a third day of candlelight and dripping freezers on Sunday.

Streets blocked by downed trees were so common in some Minneapolis neighborhoods that emergency vehicles and buses were forced to hunt for routes through the wreckage left by the storms that began Friday morning and continued through the weekend.

Damage was widespread with more than 505,000 homes without power in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and across the state. By Saturday evening, over 112,000 were still without power as storm clouds continued to brew across the state. It may be Wednesday before all customers have power again.

Canadian Floods – Update

The massive floods that devastated Calgary, Canada late last week have raced downstream, and are now bringing the highest flood waters ever recorded to Medicine Hat, Alberta’s 5th largest city (population 67,000.) The flood peaked early Monday morning in Medicine Hat, which had evacuated 10,000 residents in anticipation of the flood. The homes of nearly all of the residents evacuated have received flood damage.

The meteorological set-up for the flood began when the jet stream got “blocked” into a high-amplitude pattern that brought record heat to Alaska, but forced heavy rainfall to fall across the Bow River Basin on Wednesday night, with up to 190 mm (7.51”) falling in some areas over just a 24-hour period. Widespread heavy rains of 50.8 mm (2”) blanketed the entire river basin, sending the Bow River to near-record flood levels. At the peak of the flooding, the Bow and Elbow rivers were flowing through Calgary at three times their peak levels from the 2005 flood.

Calgary, Canada’s 5th largest city (population 1.2 million), was forced to evacuate 100,000 people, and the downtown area was submerged by the flood waters. Three people died. Over the weekend, 65,000 people were allowed to return to their homes, but the city remains under a state of emergency.

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Other News:

Heavy rainfall has caused flash flooding in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, India, affecting nearly 15,000 people.

Heavy flooding has been reported in the Pilbara region, Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia is warning of extreme weather, dangerous surf conditions and a king tide is expected for the New South Wales coast. Winds of up to 100 km/h and heavy rain is expected to hit Sydney, as well as the mid-north coast, Hunter region, central tablelands, southern tablelands and Snowy Mountains.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

Tropical storm Cosme was located about 335 mi (535 km) SW of Manzanillo, Mexico. Cosme is expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday. Heading away from land, swells generated by Cosme are affecting portions of the Pacific coast of Mexico from near Manzanillo through Cabo Corrientes. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Tropical Storm Bebinca made landfall in the coastal regions in south China, bringing heavy rainfall that will likely last through Tuesday, forecasters said. Tropical storm Bebinca will continue to bring gales and downpours and was the first tropical storm to make landfall in China this year. Bebinca made landfall in the city of Qionghai in South China’s Hainan province. Bebinca disrupted 147 flights and left more than 8,000 passengers stranded in the airport.

Central African Republic Gold Mine Collapse

Heavy rainfall triggered Central African Republic gold mine collapse. The disaster area is located in Ndassima, about 440km east of Bangui.

Three days of national mourning have been declared after 37 people died in the gold mine collapse. 10 miners have been rescued and a still unknown number of bodies remain trapped.

Severe Storms in Minnesota, USA

A series of destructive storms have lashed Minnesota leaving homeowners and businesses powerless as the outage extended into a third day of candlelight and dripping freezers on Sunday.

Streets blocked by downed trees were so common in some Minneapolis neighborhoods that emergency vehicles and buses were forced to hunt for routes through the wreckage left by the storms that began Friday morning and continued through the weekend.

Damage was widespread with more than 505,000 homes without power in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and across the state. By Saturday evening, over 112,000 were still without power as storm clouds continued to brew across the state. It may be Wednesday before all customers have power again.

Canadian Floods – Update

The massive floods that devastated Calgary, Canada late last week have raced downstream, and are now bringing the highest flood waters ever recorded to Medicine Hat, Alberta’s 5th largest city (population 67,000.) The flood peaked early Monday morning in Medicine Hat, which had evacuated 10,000 residents in anticipation of the flood. The homes of nearly all of the residents evacuated have received flood damage.

The meteorological set-up for the flood began when the jet stream got “blocked” into a high-amplitude pattern that brought record heat to Alaska, but forced heavy rainfall to fall across the Bow River Basin on Wednesday night, with up to 190 mm (7.51”) falling in some areas over just a 24-hour period. Widespread heavy rains of 50.8 mm (2”) blanketed the entire river basin, sending the Bow River to near-record flood levels. At the peak of the flooding, the Bow and Elbow rivers were flowing through Calgary at three times their peak levels from the 2005 flood.

Calgary, Canada’s 5th largest city (population 1.2 million), was forced to evacuate 100,000 people, and the downtown area was submerged by the flood waters. Three people died. Over the weekend, 65,000 people were allowed to return to their homes, but the city remains under a state of emergency.

382484 652233208138573 1338026851 n 1

Other News:

Heavy rainfall has caused flash flooding in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, India, affecting nearly 15,000 people.

Heavy flooding has been reported in the Pilbara region, Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia is warning of extreme weather, dangerous surf conditions and a king tide is expected for the New South Wales coast. Winds of up to 100 km/h and heavy rain is expected to hit Sydney, as well as the mid-north coast, Hunter region, central tablelands, southern tablelands and Snowy Mountains.

Environment

Man-made Particles Lower Hurricane Frequency

Higher levels of air pollution reduced the frequency of North Atlantic hurricanes and other tropical storms for most of the 20th century, a study said Sunday.

Adding to evidence for mankind’s impact on the weather system, the probe found a link between these powerful storms and aerosols, the scientific term for specks of matter suspended in a gas.

Aerosols can occur in natural form — as dusty volcanic plumes, clouds or fog — but are also man-made, such as sooty particles from burning coal or oil.

The study focused on particles from North America and Europe that were generated mainly from burning fossil fuels.

Researchers from the UK Met Office created weather simulations covering the period 1860 to 2050.

They found that tropical storms were much less frequent during periods when emissions of man-made aerosols increased over the North Atlantic.

Aerosols reflect solar rays and change the brightness of clouds, which affects how much of the Sun’s heat is projected onto the surface of the sea.

Ocean warmth provides the raw energy for tropical storms, which in extreme conditions can brew into destructive hurricanes.

Conversely, the study found that measures since the 1980s to tackle pollution and improve air quality reduced levels of aerosols — have in turn ramped up hurricane activity.

The clean-up of industrial aerosols in the last 20 years, while being beneficial for human health and linked to a recovery of African Sahel rains since the 1980s droughts, may have contributed to increases in Atlantic hurricane activity.

The research team postulates that in the future, it will be Earth-warming greenhouse gases, much longer-lasting than aerosols, that will exert the most influence on tropical storm frequency.

Space Events

3 Super-Earth Planets That Could Support Alien Life

Three “super Earth” planets have been found orbiting a nearby star at a distance where life in theory could exist, according to a record-breaking tally announced on Tuesday by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

An international team of scientists found three potentially habitable planets around the star Gliese 667C, a star 22 light-years from Earth that is orbited by at least six planets, and possibly as many as seven, researchers said. The three planet contenders for alien life are in the star’s “habitable zone” — the temperature region around the star where liquid water could exist. Gliese 667C is part of a three-star system, so the planets could see three suns in their daytime skies.

The three potentially rocky planets in Gliese 667C’s habitable zone are known as super-Earths — exoplanets that are less massive than Neptune but more massive than Earth. Their orbits make them possible candidates for hosting life.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Colorado, USA

A trio of wind-driven wildfires have combined and roared unchecked across 76,000 acres (30,756 hectares) of national forest in southwest Colorado on Monday and firefighters held the line against flames threatening the mountain town of South Fork. Officials say a spruce bark beetle infestation is partly to blame – together with the dry, hot and windy conditions.

Disease

Bird Flu in Taiwan

Health authorities in Taiwan announced the first known human infection with H6N1 avian influenza, in a 20-year-old woman who was sick with pneumonia in May and has since recovered.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Kizimen (Kamchatka): The lava dome remained active and produced hot avalanches on the western and eastern volcanic flanks. Moderate seismic activity and strong and moderate gas-steam activity accompany this process. Satellite data showed a thermal anomaly over the volcano. (KVERT)

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Seismic activity has decreased, classified as weak by KVERT. This suggests the active dome is in a phase of relative calm.

Tolbachik (Kamchatka): No end of the eruption is in sight. Lava continues to be erupted from the southern fissure. KVERT reports no significant changes and tremor levels have remained stable over the past 2 weeks.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano is back to about 1-2 explosions of moderate size per day.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Ash plumes at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude and extending to the NW were observed on satellite images (VAAC Darwin).

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): Activity has continued over the past days with little changes. Direct observations are difficult, but for the first time, some incandescence from the central cone was observed on the webcams yesterday. This is likely due to the presence of a lava flow and/or spattering from a vent.

Pavlov (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The eruption continues at low levels. Seismic tremor and occasional explosions are being detected in seismic data and indicate that minor ash emission is likely occurring, although no ash plumes were detected on satellite data over the past day. Elevated surface temperatures at the volcano have been observed in satellite data over the past 24 hours indicating lava at or near the surface. (AVO)

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The volcano has remained at moderate levels with frequent but mostly smaller gas-steam-ash emissions at a rate of approx. 3 per hour. Plumes reached about 1 km above the crater. According to a local press article, some US airlines (United, AA) decided to temporarily use alternative airports instead of Mexico’s International Airport (AICM) as a precaution against encountering ash. AICM itself reports that so far no ash so far has been detected at/near the airport.