Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Kelud (East Java, Indonesia) The volcano continues to emit a dense steam plume and some ash, but has not produced new explosions. Apart from that the 2007 lava dome has been removed by the explosion, it is not very clear (nor easy to find out) what is currently happening in the crater. A constant stream of analysis and interesting details about the eruption has been appearing. Among them the observation that in terms of SO2 output, impressive as it was, it was only a moderate event. The injected amount of SO2 is not sufficient to cause any noticeable (short-term) climate changes. Satellite data have shown that the eruption column reached a maximum of 27 km altitude originally, before falling back and producing beautiful gravity waves at approx. 19 km altitude where it spread into an umbrella cloud.

Ecuadoran Eruption Destroying Crops

Ash from powerful blasts at Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano has damaged crops around the towering mountain, causing a produce shortage and higher prices for residents.

Thousands of acres of farmland have been damaged by the volcanic debris, including pasture lands that were the main source of food for 110,000 head of livestock.

Panicked farmers were forced to harvest tomatoes, potatoes and corn before the crops reached maturity.

The volcano roared to life on Feb. 2, sending a giant plume of ash soaring 8 miles above the Andes and pyroclastic clouds cascading down Tungurahua’s slopes.

Weaker and less frequent blasts have occurred since then.

Tungurahua has been intermittently active since it roared back to life in 1999 after remaining dormant for more than 80 years.

An explosion from the 16,480-foot volcano last July was heard across a wide stretch of the country, including in the southwestern port of Guayaquil.

An eruption in 2006 left four people dead, two missing and large tracts of farmland destroyed.

In December 2012, a fiery eruption sent people rushing from their homes and caused chunks of molten lava to shoot high above the summit crater.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

UK – Flood levels are expected to remain “very high” and in some areas will continue to rise despite an improved weather forecast. Of the more than 1 million properties without power, only 30 000 remain in the dark. The Met Office has a yellow severe weather warning – meaning “be aware” – for ice for most of the UK until 10:00 GMT. The Environment Agency has 16 severe flood warnings – meaning “danger to life” – in south-east and south-west England. After sunshine and light winds on Sunday, next week would be unsettled with further spells of rain but not as stormy as recently.

Japan – he second heavy snowfall in a week to hit Japan killed up to a dozen people and injured hundreds over the weekend, while paralysing traffic and causing power outages. In Yamanashi, in central Japan, a record 114 centimetres (45 inches) of snow fell. About 27 centimetres (10 inches) of snow was enough to paralyse Tokyo, which usually sees only a few light dustings each winter. Media reports said as many as 12 people died and 1,500 were injured nationwide since Friday in snow-related accidents.

Environment

Altering jet stream ‘may drive weather shift’

New research suggests that the main system that helps determine the weather over Northern Europe and North America may be changing. The study shows that the so-called jet stream has increasingly taken a longer, meandering path. This has resulted in weather remaining the same for more prolonged periods.

The meandering jet stream has accounted for the recent stormy weather over the UK and the bitter winter weather in the US Mid-West remaining longer than it otherwise would have. We can expect more of the same and we can expect it to happen more frequently. The jet stream, as its name suggests, is a high-speed air current in the atmosphere that brings with it the weather. It is fuelled partly by the temperature differential between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes.