Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

The Atlantic is quiet – None of the reliable computer models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis is predicting development over the next five days.

In the Western Pacific:

Typhoon Francisco is located approximately 152 nm west of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Category 2 Typhoon Francisco strengthening. It is steadily intensifying over the warm waters of the Western Pacific about 160 miles southwest of Guam. The typhoon is expected to make its closest approach to Guam on Friday morning (local time), bringing sustained winds of 35 – 45 mph and heavy rain, as the storm heads north-northeast at 9 mph.

Continued strengthening is likely, and Francisco is forecast to become a major Category 4 typhoon by Saturday as it turns northwest towards Japan. Models predict that Francisco will hit Japan on Wednesday or Thursday next week, though there is very high uncertainty in the storm’s track that far into the future.

Francisco’s formation gives the Western Pacific 27 named storms so far in 2013, which is the average number of named storms for an entire year. The last time there were more than 27 tropical storms or typhoons in the Western Pacific was in 2004, when there were 32.

Global Warming

Oppressive Heat From Global Warming to Arrive Soon

The world is barreling toward a relentless increase in global warming that, within just a few years, will be impossible to come back from, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa calculate that by approximately 2047, the coolest year from then on will be warmer than it was in 2005, which is when the world as a whole had its hottest year on record.

Writing in the journal Nature, study author Camilo Mora says that Kingston, Jamaica, will be among the first to become off-the-charts hot — within about a decade.

He says it soon will be followed by Singapore in 2028, Mexico City in 2031, Cairo in 2036 and Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043.

Mora and colleagues used weather observations, computer models and other data to calculate the point at which every year that passes will be warmer than the hottest year on record.

They found that tropical locations will arrive there first, but U.S. cities like New York and Washington will get there by 2046, soon followed by Detroit, Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Chicago and Seattle.

“Go back in your life to think about the hottest, most traumatic event you have experienced,” Dr. Mora told The New York Times. “What we’re saying is that very soon, that event is going to become the norm.”

But he says that the models indicated that this heat can be delayed by 20 to 25 years if greenhouse gas emissions are quickly reduced worldwide.

“This paper is both innovative and sobering,” said Jane Lubchenco, former head of the the U.S. environmental agency NOAA.

Dr. Mora is not a climate scientist, but is a specialist in using large sets of data to probe environmental issues. He and a group of graduate students analysed forecasts produced by 39 of the world’s leading climate models in arriving at their findings.



Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 109.8 degrees Fahrenheit (42.9 degrees Celsius) at Nouakchott, Mauritania.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 90.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 68.1 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

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



A series of major wildfires are burning in the Australian state of New South Wales, with fears that hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Fire crews are still tackling the blazes on the outskirts of Sydney, despite temperatures and winds easing. One man has died while trying to protect his home.

Around 2,000 firefighters across the state worked to try and contain the more than 100 fires but many are still burning out of control. The fires have been caused by unseasonably hot temperatures and strong winds. While these have now died down, more hot weather is forecast next week.Some of the worst affected areas are in the Blue Mountains around 70km (45 miles) west of Sydney. “It’s been an awful 24 hours for the Blue Mountains [region]. We’ve lost possibly scores of homes.”


Rift Valley Fever – Southern Sudan

An outbreak of Rift Valley Fever Disease has been reported in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria and Upper Nile states, a government official has announced.

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease spread primarily by mosquitoes, which can affect both humans and animals.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): After perhaps a short decrease in activity or more likely, simply the absence of direct observations due to bad weather, the volcano continues to erupt. A moderately large ash plume of approx 3 km height has been rising to about 25,000 ft (7.5 km) altitude this morning.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): As if it was jealous of Klyuchevskoy, the other volcano currently in violent eruption, Shiveluch has increased its activity recently. Dome growth has gained speed again, producing more frequent avalanches as well as explosions. Several explosions occurred during the past 24 hours sending ash plumes to 20-23,000 ft (6-7 km) altitude and drifting east. A large SO2 plume, indicator of the arrival of fresh magma, can be seen on NOAA satellite data as well.

Dukono (Halmahera): Elevated explosive activity (strombolian to vulcanian type) continues. An explosion this morning produced an ash plume rising to 7,000 ft altitude.

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): AVO has lowered the alert level to yellow, as it appears that no new eruptive activity has occurred during the past days. The eruption is not considered over yet, but might be simply pausing and could resume any time (such as the volcano did before).

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Following a small increase in the frequency of small explosive emissions during the previous days, activity has now decreased again to averages of less than 1 emission per hour. At night, crater glow remains visible.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): The volcano is in its most typical state of activity. After a few days with less (recorded) activity, the volcano’s lava dome has again produced a number of small to moderate explosions with ash plumes rising up to about 700 m yesterday. Glow was observed at the eastern rim of the Caliente dome, which suggests that slow lava extrusion has resumed there as well.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Strombolian activity continues at low to moderate levels with little variations over the past days. Explosions with low ash content eject incandescent lava bombs to up to about 50 m above the rim of Mackenney crater.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has decreased and shifted back to be mainly mildly explosive. INSIVUMEH reported a few explosions with ash plumes of about 300 m height yesterday. The lava effusion has decreased. The lava flow was still active yesterday morning, but only 150 m long.