Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

Atlantic hurricane season quietest in 45 years, experts say. Apart from Tropical Storm Andrea, which soaked Florida after moving ashore in the Panhandle in June, none of this year’s cyclones has made a U.S. landfall.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical storm Raymond is located about 730 mi (1175 km) SSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Raymond is strengthening and is expected to become a hurricane today.


Massive landslide has blocked Denali National Park road in Alaska at Mile 37 where the road leads up to Sable Pass. According to USA Today, about 30,000 yards of rock and soil fell from a point 500 feet above the road piling the debris in depths of up to 35 feet.

Landslide Denali National Park Alaska

Torrential rains have claimed as many as 48 lives in eastern India. The downpour has seen rivers spill their banks in India’s eastern coastal states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, forcing thousands to flee their homes and seek refuge in shelters, two weeks after India’s most severe cyclone in 14 years lashed the coastline. The Press Trust of India national news agency said that the rains had killed up to 45 people in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, with hundreds of villages submerged in nearly 30 districts and road and rail links disrupted. Another three people were killed in heavy rains in the eastern state of West Bengal, the news agency said.



Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Tremor has remained elevated and the New SE crater continued to produce weak strombolian activity and aliment the lava flow during much of the night. At the moment (Sunday morning), it is not clear if this activity is continuing.

The paroxysm yesterday ended around noon, after about 12 hours total of activity from the New SE crater which consisted in gradually increasing strombolian activity that merged into lava fountains after midnight. The lava fountaining reached its peak in the early morning hours (6-8 am local time) with heights of 4-600 m above the crater.

Strong ash and steam emissions continued to produce an impressive plume rising about 10 km above the volcano, i.e. to an altitude of 13 km (30,000 ft) and drifting SW. A relatively small lava flow was erupted from the saddle vent between the old and new SE crater, traveled south and then east into the upper Valle del Bove, reaching a length of approx. 0.5 km.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): A new explosion occurred yesterday evening (17:40 local time), producing an ash plume rising 2-3 km above the crater and causing ash fall in nearby villages.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.1 Earthquake off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.5 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits of the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

A small tsunami triggered by the 7.1 quake has hit Japan’s eastern coast – where the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is located

.70722681 japan fukushima oct13

The 30cm (1ft) waves reached the region after the 7.1 magnitude tremor struck at a depth of 10km (six miles), about 320km off the coast.

A tsunami alert issued for several areas was later lifted.

Workers at the Fukushima power station had been told to leave waterfront areas for higher ground. But a Fukushima spokesman later said there was no damage or change in readings at radiation monitoring posts around the plant.

Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Contamination Skyrockets

Radiation levels have soared in the groundwater beneath Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the wake of torrential typhoon downpours and the forced release of radioactive water being stored around the plant.

Officials estimate that 400 tons of radioactive groundwater are now flowing into the Pacific each day. That’s in addition to any runoff of water from rain on the surface.

The level of radiation in a drainage ditch at the facility has also risen exponentially, according to the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).

Water contaminated with radioactive materials flowed into the ditch when Typhoon Wipha hit the area on Oct. 2.

TEPCO says much of the water evaporated, leading to the surge in the density of beta particle-emitting materials in the remaining water.

The nuclear complex suffered meltdowns and hydrogen explosions following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

TEPCO and Japan’s nuclear regulatory agency has been unable to keep the resulting nuclear disaster from cascading out of control in recent months.

Officials say they are now looking for help from abroad on how best to scrap the ruined reactors at Fukushima Daiichi.

“We will set up a website in both Japanese and English to notify interested parties at home and abroad of our calls for decommissioning ideas so that we can offer more useful and practical proposals to the government,” the official said.

The process of decommissioning the reactors is expected to take decades.

Reactor damage is clearly visible from the hydrogen explosions that occurred shortly after the March 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster.


Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

The NHC downgraded Lorenzo to a remnant low.

The American GFS model in its latest run shows a strong hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on November 9 heading toward the U.S. coast. The development and movement of the hurricane up from the southwest Caribbean coincides with the change in the resolution the model uses in its forecasts beyond 8 days.

Howling winds aloft across the Gulf of Mexico into the central Atlantic will prevent any development for at least the next few days.

In the Western Pacific

Heavy rain continues being produced by Francisco (now downgraded wind-wise from a typhoon to a tropical storm) and its circulation/moisture interacting with a stationary front to its northwest (details were different but there was a similar setup recently with Wipha). Ikegawa in southern Japan has measured 17″ of rain in the past 24 hours and nearby Torigatayama has measured 16.5″.

Moisture from Lekima is going to start getting involved too, as the triumvirate of it, Francisco, and the non-tropical system all interact with each other and the storms weaken and become non-tropical, but also that front is going to accelerate eastward as a cold front, and the whole conglomeration is going to exit, and the duration of heavy rain is not expected to be as long in northern Japan as it has been in the southern part.

Lekima is no longer a super typhoon and will continue to weaken.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Raymond is heading west, taking its rain with it, and much weaker than it had been. For a while there was even some question whether Raymond’s surface circulation still had a well-defined centre or had opened up to a tropical wave; it now appears to be reorganising and recent satellite-derived wind estimates suggest Raymond still has a “closed” (fully circular) circulation. Raymond has strengthened, but it’s no longer a direct threat to land.

Models differ as to whether a bit of its moisture might eventually get picked up by the flow aloft and reach the U.S.

Space Events

Sun Fires Off Another Monster Solar Flare

Things are really starting to heat up on the sun. Our star blasted out yet another strong flare late Friday morning, continuing a pattern of high and intensifying solar activity over the past few days.

The most recent flare, which erupted at 11:03 a.m. EDT (1503 GMT) Friday, registered as an X-class event, the most powerful type. It clocked in at X2.1 on the space weather scale, beating out the X1.7 flare that the sun fired off just seven hours earlier. (Astronomers classify solar flares into three categories — C, M and X — with C being the weakest and X the strongest.)

Friday’s two monster flares came closely on the heels of a moderate M-class eruption and another one that nearly reached X-class status, peaking at M9.4. The Wednesday night (Oct. 23) eruption that produced the M9.4 flare also generated a huge cloud of super-hot plasma known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), which can streak through space at millions of miles per hour.

Three other CMEs erupted between Sunday and Tuesday (Oct. 20 to Oct. 22), and they merged into a single cloud of material as they headed toward Earth. None of this activity is expected to cause major problems here on Earth, experts say, though both of Friday’s flares caused temporary radio blackouts in some regions.

It’s not surprising to see so much action on the sun. Our star is in the peak year of its current 11-year activity cycle, which is known as Solar Cycle 24. Increased numbers of flares and CMEs are common during solar maximum.

Solar flare oct25 sdo


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Following a slow gradual build-up of increasing strombolian activity at Etna’s New SE crater since yesterday, a new paroxysm is now in the progress, with high lava fountains, lava flows, and a tall ash plume.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.6 Earthquake hits east of the South Sandwich Islands.

5.8 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.7 Earthquake hits the North Pacific Ocean.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the west coast of Colombia.

The deadly 7.2 earthquake that struck the Central Visayas in the Philippines last week created a spectacular rocky wall that stretches for kilometres through farmlands, astounding geologists.

Wall of rock phil quake

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

Tropical Storm Lorenzo has died in the Middle Atlantic, done in by high wind shear. None of the reliable computer models for tropical cyclone genesis are predicting any new storms developing in the coming five days.

In the Western Pacific

Tropical storm Francisco is located approximately 659 nm southwest of Ykosuka, Japan.

Typhoon Francisco has weakened to a tropical storm, and is bringing heavy rains to Japan as it stays offshore and heads northeast, parallel to the coast.

Typhoon Lekima is located approximately 194 nm east-southeast of Iwo To, Japan.

Super Typhoon Lekima, which stayed at Category 5 status for a day and a half, has now weakened to a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical storm Raymond is located about 335 mi (535 km) SSW of Manzanillo, Mexico.

Tropical Storm Raymond continues to move away from the coast of Mexico, and will no longer bring heavy rains to the country.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit (44.0 degrees Celsius) at Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 78.9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 61.6 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 Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.


Wildfires – Australia

Firefighters are working to strengthen containment lines around three blazes burning uncontained in the Blue Mountains as the bushfire emergency in NSW eases. As the state’s bushfire crisis enters its ninth day, there are 57 bushfires burning across the state, with 23 uncontained, the Rural Fire Service says.There are three “Watch and Act” alerts current for blazes burning at Springwood, Mt Victoria and Lithgow that have now burnt through almost 60,000 hectares of bush since sparking late last week.

Forecasted cooler weather for the Blue Mountains would assist firefighters through Friday, but low humidity was also expected and would add to the fire risk. Winds were expected to be from the northeast and northwest at up to 30km/hr. More than 120,000 hectares of bush has so far been burnt across NSW since the crisis began last Thursday.


Bird Flu – China – Update

The National Health and Family Planning Commission, China notified WHO of a new laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Bird Flu – New South Wales – Australia

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has confirmed chickens on a second farm near Young have been infected with avian influenza. It’s prompted fear among egg farmers that the first outbreak last week hasn’t been properly contained. But some are pointing the finger at free range eggs farms, saying they increase the risk of outbreaks.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Activity has picked up during the past week. During a visit yesterday afternoon and evening, we observed frequent and often strong strombolian eruptions from the NW vent (Ginostra side), which had enlarged a lot since early this year. Explosions occurred at 5-10 minutes intervals and produced spatter-rich jets to heights to 200-300 m. Glow from the vent and weak spattering indicates that the magma column inside the western vent has risen high.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): A new phase of explosive eruptions began Wednesday afternoon at around 16:20 local time and intensified yesterday morning between 6 and 8 am. An ash plume rose about 3 km from the volcano.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands off New Zealand.

5.1 Earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.1 Earthquake hits southwestern Sakha, Russia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the central Mid-Alantic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kamchatka, Russia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

Tropical storm Lorenzo is located about about 975 mi (1570 km) E of Bermuda. Expected to weaken. Tropical Storm Lorenzo continue to head eastwards into the Middle Atlantic, and will not be a threat to any land areas. The wind shear is forecast to remain in the high range through Friday, which will likely destroy the storm by then.

In the Western Pacific

Typhoon Francisco is located approximately 141 nm southeast of Kadena Air Force Base, Japan.

Typhoon Francisco continues to weaken, due to cool waters and increasing wind shear, and is now a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds. Francisco is traversing a large cool patch of ocean left behind by the churning action of Typhoon Wipha last week.

Francisco will make its closest approach to Japan on Thursday and Friday, and will likely be a tropical storm undergoing transition to an extratropical storm.

Super Typhoon Lekima is located approximately 505 nm southeast of Iwo To, Japan. The Western Pacific has made up for a slow start to its typhoon season, and has now cranked out its third Category 5 super typhoon of the year. Super Typhoon Lekima intensified to Category 5 status about 1,500 miles southeast of Japan at 18 UTC on Tuesday.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical storm Raymond is located about 280 mi (450 km) S of Manzanillo, Mexico. Raymond weakened to a tropical storm on Wednesday and turned to the west, moving away from Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

Tropical Storm Raymond continues to spin just offshore of Acapulco, Mexico, but its top winds have weakened to 65 mph. As of 8 am EDT Wednesday, Raymond was stationary, and centered about 190 miles west-southwest of Acapulco. Raymond brought 7.05″ of rain Saturday through Tuesday to Acapulco. All watches and warnings have been discontinued for the coast of Mexico, but Raymond is expected to bring an additional 1 – 2″ of rain to the coast.


Tornadoes in the Bandung and Pandeglang regions of Indonesia have injured seven people and damaged 350 houses. There has been a marked increase in the incidence of tornadoes in Indonesia:


Tornadoes data indonesia