Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Iran-Iraq border region.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Xinjiang-Xizang border Region.

5.0 Earthquake hits Sakhalin, Russia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the South Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Alessia will hit Australia today.

The path of Tropical Cyclone Alessia takes it to the waters of the Timor Sea, then near the far northern tip of Western Australia’s Kimberley region Saturday night local time and into the Northern Territory later Sunday. While weakening would occur as it crosses the Northern Territory, the window for it to strengthen could open again next week if it tracks over the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria. However, it is looking more likely that the storm may turn southward and remain over land, preventing additional strengthening.

In the North Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Five is located approximately 840 nm east-southeast of Visakhapatnam, India. It is forecast to strike India as a severe cyclonic storm on November 28.

USA:

Winter Storm Boreas is likely to become the season’s first Nor’easter on Thanksgiving Eve. A potent winter storm (Boreas) is bringing snow and difficult travel conditions to Arizona, and will spread a variety of dangerous winter weather across Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Utah over the weekend. On Monday and Tuesday, the storm will dump heavy rains over the Southeast U.S., before emerging over the coastal waters of the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday morning. The models are in fair agreement that Boreas will then intensify into the season’s first significant Nor’easter on Wednesday afternoon, bringing heavy rain to coastal New England and the Mid-Atlantic, snow farther inland at higher elevations, and minor coastal flooding due to strong winds.

NewsBytes:

A powerful storm system has caused hundreds of accidents across the Western U.S. and it has marched eastward with predictions of widespread snow, freezing temperatures and gusty winds. The fierce weather has caused at least eight deaths, including one in New Mexico, and prompted advisories Saturday afternoon in New Mexico and Texas.

Heavy storm in Rhodes in southeastern Greece has claimed the lives of at least two people and left another missing.

Eight provinces in southern Thailand are still suffering from floods, with Narathiwat the hardest hit, while strong waves are buffeting the tourist island of Koh.

Global Warming

Deals at Climate Meeting Advance Global Effort – Warsaw

Two weeks of United Nations climate talks ended Saturday with a pair of last-minute deals keeping alive the hope that a global effort can ward off a ruinous rise in temperatures.

Delegates agreed to the broad outlines of a proposed system for pledging emissions cuts and gave their support for a new treaty mechanism to tackle the human cost of rising seas, floods, stronger storms and other expected effects of global warming.

The measures added momentum to the talks as United Nations members look toward a 2015 conference in Paris to replace the moribund Kyoto Protocol.

Drought

Australia

Drought returns to haunt farmers in north-west New South Wales. The rain stopped coming 18 months ago and families face a grim daily battle.

USA – California

Winter is expected to offer little drought relief in California – Even a normal season wouldn’t be enough to end the state’s drought and pull the state out of its persistent drought, according to a top U.S. climate official.

Disease

Zambia: Anthrax Outbreak

An outbreak of the serious bacterial disease, anthrax, has decimated three herds of cattle and sickened at least nine people in the Luampa district of Western Province in Zambia.

The nine individuals, who presented localized symptoms of swelling of upper lips, legs, face and heads, were admitted to a local hospital, treated and are recovering from their infections, likely cutaneous anthrax.

It is likely the infected individuals contracted the anthrax bacillus through the consumption of infected meat.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): After a short phase of weaker activity, the volcano began to erupt more violently yesterday with a series of powerful explosions that sent ash plumes up to 15,000 ft (4,5 km). Near-constant ash emissions have been taking place from the Showa crater.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): The activity of the volcano continues to increase. More vulcanian-type explosions have occurred over the past days. Since yesterday evening alone, at least 8 explosions have been registered, the biggest one being probably one this morning that produced an ash plume rising to 25,000 ft (7.5 km) and drifting 60 nautical miles to the NW. The frequent eruptions have been causing severe ash fall in villages nearby where lapilli of up to 0.5-1 cm in size have fallen. In Medan city 50 km to the NE, ash fall caused disruptions of traffic as visibility was reduced to 20 meters. The aviation colour code (red) and alert status (4 out of 1-4) of the volcano are now on their highest levels. The exclusion zone was extended from 3 to 5 km, which implies that about 10,000 additional people should be evacuated.

Colima (Western Mexico): Lava avalanches and flows continue to spill down the upper flanks.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The rate of emissions has dropped to less than 10 per day. Glow remains visible from the summit crater at night, indicating that magma continues to arrive (slowly). A small volcanic-tectonic quake of magnitude 2.0 occurred yesterday morning (CENAPRED).

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): No significant changes in activity occurred. Explosions generate ash plumes as high as 900 m above the dome and effusive activity continues to produce small lava avalanches mainly from the NE flank of the dome. A felt earthquake occurred yesterday night at 00:32 local time.

Pacaya (Guatemala): INSIVUMEH reports ongoing, but relatively weak strombolian activity.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has returned to normal levels, with weak explosions (ash plumes of 500-600 m height drifting W and NW). The lava flow towards the Ceniza canyon remains weakly alimented and had a length of 200 m yesterday.