Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits the Indian Ocean Triple Junction.

5.0 Earthquake hits Yunnan, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Mid-Indian ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the North Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Lehar is located approximately 215 nm east-northeast of Chennai, India.

The very severe cyclonic storm Lehar weakened to a cyclonic storm Wednesday, as wind speed fell to 90 kmph from 180 kmph, hours before landfall expected on Thursday. It changed direction and may now make landfall as a cyclonic storm between Machilipatnam and Nellore, India.

NewsBytes:

Winter storm Boreas – Heavy snow piled up Wednesday in parts of the Northeast and Appalachians while rain drenched locations closer to the coast as a winter storm disrupted millions of travellers heading out for Thanksgiving. Nationwide, nearly 475 flights had been canceled and more than 3,600 had been delayed as of late afternoon. Some of the worst delays were at Philadelphia and the three New York City area airports. Although the storm will be long gone by Thursday morning, howling winds in its wake could spell trouble for some of the big balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. Snow fell in the Appalachians and portions of the interior Northeast. Snow was reported falling as far south as Atlanta. The city picked up 0.4 inch of snow, which was only the third time measurable snow fell there in November since 1930. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories remained in effect as of late afternoon Wednesday in the central and southern Appalachians, portions of northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northern Maine. More lake-effect snow was forecast to fly on Thursday around the Great Lakes. Flood watches also remained in effect for drenched eastern portions of the Northeast. Earlier Wednesday, the weather service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado hit Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, injuring two people. This was the same storm that blitzed the Southwest earlier in the week, killing at least 12 people in traffic accidents. More than 43 million people were expected to travel over the long holiday weekend.

A landslide at an open pit coal mine in north China’s Shanxi Province has claimed lives of at least three people and buried four others.

Rainfall swept across Trinidad for most of yesterday, causing floods in Monkey Town, Barrackpore, Ste Madeleine, Debe, Penal, Otaheite and Cross Crossing.

Two people suffered minor injuries when the roof blew off their condominium in Atlantic Beach along the North Carolina coast in what the National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday as a tornado.

Space Events

Ison: Comet of the Century

Comet Ison came from the Oort Cloud, a mysterious, icy region at the furthest reaches of our Solar System.

It has been hurtling towards the Earth, travelling at more than a million kilometres an hour.

Now it is entering the most perilous stage of its epic journey. It will pass the Sun at a distance of just 1.2 million km, effectively grazing its surface.

It will be getting exposed to more and more intense solar heat, and that will start to sublimate the ices (turning them into gas) at an increasing rate.

The Sun’s intense gravitational field produces tidal forces that will also have a major effect on the comet.

Scientists fear it could follow the path of Comet Lovejoy, which broke apart after it passed near the Sun in 2011. Or it could run out of fuel and fizzle out. It is hoped Ison’s large size could protect it.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): No significant changes have occurred. The New SE crater remains restless with some occasional weak activity, visible from time to time as faint glow on the webcam at night. Tremor is currently low.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): Explosive activity has resumed at the remote volcano in the Tokara Island chain. VAAC Tokyo reported explosions yesterday and this morning, with ash plumes rising to 4,000-6,000 ft (1.2-1.8 km) altitude.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): The volcano continues to produce near-constant ash venting. The emissions produce a plume rising to estimated 18,000 ft (5.7 km) altitude. It seems that the more powerful discrete explosions during the past days have somewhat cleared the conduit, allowing for a more constant (and less violent) eruption of magma. The risk of sudden, more powerful explosions remains however high, because the magma involved (likely dacite) is very viscous