Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the South Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Fobane is located approximately 514 nm south of Diego Garcia.

NewsBytes:

Australia – Kununurra flooded – Broome on cyclone watch. A tropical low brought record rainfall and the weather bureau says there’s more bad weather to come through the Kimberley region with the possibility that a tropical cyclone will hit parts of the Kimberley and Pilbara early next week.

UK – Coastal areas in the west hit by renewed gales. Gales have continued to batter southern parts of the UK, with coastal areas hit by wind and rain. Gusts reached 80mph on the coasts of Cornwall, the Bristol Channel and west Wales and the Environment Agency says there is a risk of further floods. In Surrey, the River Thames has burst its banks at Chertsey, with homeowners warned to expect flooding. Landslips and floods mean all rail routes into south-west England are now blocked. Routes into the West Country from London via Bridgwater and Castle Cary were already blocked because of flooding. In Dawlish, where a key line between Devon and Cornwall was destroyed by waves on Tuesday, concrete has been sprayed onto the cliff behind the track to make the area safer in the face of continuing high winds and large waves. The Environment Agency has three severe flood warnings – which mean “danger to life” – in place, two in Somerset and one for Chiswell in the Isle of Portland. The agency has also issued more than 180 flood warnings and almost 300 flood alerts.

A very moist “Pineapple Express” flow of air from the Hawaiian Islands will impact California through Sunday, likely bringing enough precipitation to make a noticeable dent in the state’s dire drought conditions (though the exceptionally dry and hard soils caused by California’s driest year in its history are forcing the heavy rains to run off faster than usual, reducing the amount of moisture that can soak into the soil.)

Wildlife

Climate Change Killing Young Argentine Penguins

Penguin chicks in Argentina’s coastal Patagonia are being killed by chilling rains that climate change is bringing to the historically arid region, along with spells of unprecedented heat.

A new study published in the journal Plos One shows that chicks being born on the Punta Tombo peninsula are vulnerable to hypothermia when they grow too big for their parents to keep them warm by sitting on them, and have yet to grow their waterproof feathers.

Increasing rainstorms are drenching them to death.

This has been the leading cause of chick deaths on the peninsula during two recent years.

“Climate variability in the form of increased rainfall and temperature extremes, however, has increased in the last 50 years and kills many chicks in some years,” the authors write.

Beyond shifts in weather, the researchers point to altered fish behaviour from climate change as an increasing cause of penguin deaths as well.

Ew140207c

Transportation

French Alps: Train Derailed by Rock

Two people were killed when a falling boulder derailed a tourist train in the southern French Alps, local officials and firefighters say.

At least nine people were injured.

The train was travelling from Nice to the town of Digne-les-Bains on a line which crosses gorges and viaducts at up to 1,000m (3,200ft) above sea level.

“A rock the size of a car came off the mountainside and slammed into the first car of the train,” according to a local report.

72847437 eb7irixz

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Scores of wildfires raging across southeast Australia in dry and windy summer conditions on Sunday destroyed homes and injured a firefighter, authorities said.

Victoria state Fire Service Commissioner Craig Lapsley said 37 blazes were burning out of control across the state, threatening rural towns and the fringes of Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne.

Homes were lost in Victoria, but authorities had yet to assess the numbers, Country Fire Authority spokeswoman Anushia Sivanesan said.

Lapsley said at least one firefighter was injured. The firefighter was hit by a falling tree and received medical treatment.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Activity from the New SE crater continues essentially unchanged. Weak strombolian activity occurs at the summit vent, sometimes associated with more or less pronounced ash emissions. When observed last evening, ejections at the NSEC rarely exceeded 50-100 m above the rim and only occasionally, bombs landed on the outer flank. The lava flow, only about 500-600 m long last night and half way down to the bottom of the Valle del Bove headwall, increased over night. It developed a second branch and its most advanced fronts have now reached again the base of the Valle del Bove. Tremor fluctuates with an overall slowly rising trend. This seems to correspond rather to an increase in effusive(lava flow) than explosive activity. Activity from the New SE crater continues essentially unchanged. Weak strombolian activity occurs at the summit vent, sometimes associated with more or less pronounced ash emissions. When observed last evening, ejections at the NSEC rarely exceeded 50-100 m above the rim and only occasionally, bombs landed on the outer flank. The lava flow, only about 500-600 m long last night and half way down to the bottom of the Valle del Bove headwall, increased over night. It developed a second branch and its most advanced fronts have now reached again the base of the Valle del Bove. Tremor fluctuates with an overall slowly rising trend. This seems to correspond rather to an increase in effusive(lava flow) than explosive activity.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): (8 Feb) A phase of intense activity has been taking place at the volcano over the past few days. On 6 Feb afternoon (or early morning 7 Feb in Kamchatka), a large eruption occurred. VAAC Tokyo spotted an ash plume drifting at approx. 27,000 ft (9 km) altitude more than 300 km northwest. The ash plume reached the Sea of Okhotsk and ash fall occurred in the village Sedanka at more than 200 km distance from the volcano. Unfortunately, webcam images do not allow to determine whether this eruption had been caused by an explosion liberating accumulated pressure, or whether a major collapse of the actively growing viscous lava dome had taken place, producing pyroclastic flows and related co-ignimbrite ash plumes. It is possible if not likely that it was the result of a combination of both.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): (8 Feb) Per HVO, Kilauea’s summit lava lake rose by 20m/66ft in the past week, just another 15m/49ft until it’s visible from the Jaggar Overlook.