Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honhsu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the South Indian Ocean:

Tropical Cyclone Amara is spinning in the Southern Indian Ocean along with Tropical Cyclone Bruce, and both share elongated shapes. Even Amara’s 10 nautical-mile-wide eye appeared stretched out. The eye was also cloud-filled. Bands of thunderstorms were wrapping into the center of circulation from the northeast and southwest.

At 4 a.m. EST on December 18, Amara’s maximum sustained winds had increased to 80 knots/92.0 mph/148.2 kph. Amara was centered about 543 nautical miles/624.9 miles/1,006 km south of Diego Garcia. Amara has tracked to the west at 3 knots/3.4 mph/5.5 kph.

Amara is in an environment of low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures that will allow it to continue to intensify, even rapidly. Amara is moving between two subtropical ridges (elongated areas) of high pressure. In three days Amara is forecast to encounter increasing wind shear which will weaken the system. High pressure is also expected to build south of Amara, which should slow it down and bring in cooler, drier air, which will also weaken the tropical cyclone.

Britain

Gale-force winds and rain have damaged properties and felled trees across the British Isles.

Electricity was restored overnight in thousands of homes in parts of the UK. Multiple flood warnings are in place in Scotland, Wales and south-west England and an amber warning of severe gales has been issued by the Met Office. Meanwhile, snow showers are expected in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland on Thursday morning. In the afternoon, wild weather including heavy rain, hail, thunder and wet snow are expected in parts of England including the Midlands, Derbyshire, the Chilterns and the Cotswolds.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency flood warnings, indicating “flooding is expected, immediate action required”, are in force for a large part of the west and centre of the country from Dumfries and Galloway to Tayside. There are more than 25 Environment Agency flood warnings in place, with homeowners in Wales, south-west England and north-west England urged to take action.

Northern Ireland Electricity has restored power to 10,000 customers after storms battered Northern Ireland, while 100 homes remain without electricity. Gale to severe gale force winds continue to affect the Western Isles and the west coast of Scotland. Roads in parts of Wales are still affected after torrential rain and high winds battered the country. About 1,250 homes were still without power in parts of Cumbria and Lancashire due to wind damage to overhead lines.

NewsBytes:

An avalanche in the Austrian Alps has claimed life of a British teenager and seriously injured his father.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): While the New SE crater is calm, the NE crater produces weak ash emissions.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): The lava lake in Halema’uma’u shows activity at Pu’u ‘O’o. 3 active vents with occasional small lava overflows are visible.