Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits off the coast of northern California, USA.

5.1 Earthquake hits east of the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Seram, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

Tropical cyclone Lusi is located approximately 418 nm east of Noumea, New Caledonia.

New Zealand – Forecasters say the remains of Tropical Cyclone Lusi could dump 60mm to 100mm of rain on Christchurch this Sunday. The city is already saturated.


England – A series of cliff collapses at Birling Gap in East Sussex has prompted a warning to visitors to keep away from the edge. More tourists are expected this weekend because of the warm weather and the hope of seeing further erosion. On Tuesday, the high tide caused a severe fall in the cliffs after a 30ft crack appeared, resulting in a row of cottages ending up closer to the edge. The cliffs have already suffered seven years’ worth of erosion, since January.

Lake Kariba – Incredibly Rare Tornado Sighted Over Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.

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Global Warming

How Dry Will It Get? New Climate Change Predictions

Global warming’s crystal ball is clearing as climate models improve, and scientists now predict that some regions will see a month’s less rain and snow by 2100.

The new rain and snow estimates indicate that subtropical spots — such as the Mediterranean, the Amazon, Central America and Indonesia — will undergo the biggest precipitation shifts in the coming decades. The number of dry days in these zones will rise by as many as 30 days per year, according to the study, published today (March 13) in the journal Scientific Reports.

“Looking at changes in the number of dry days per year is a new way of understanding how climate change will affect us that goes beyond just annual or seasonal mean precipitation changes, and allows us to better adapt to and mitigate the impacts of local hydrological changes,” said Suraj Polade, a climate scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and lead study author.

The findings also suggest a rising probability of droughts and floods in the near future as annual rainfall becomes more variable.

“When you’re increasing the variability of the climate, one year you can have a flood and the next year you can have a drought. You can also have an increase in extreme precipitation events, with a whole year’s precipitation in just a few storms.”

South Africa, Mexico and western Australia will go without rain for 15 to 20 more days per year, and California is likely to have five to 10 more dry days per year by the end of the century, the study found.

Some of the subtropical missing moisture will head north: The study predicts the Arctic will have 40 more wet days a year, but the South Pole will only get 10 more wet days per year.

Climate models suggest that midlatitude cyclones may shift north, while those that hit near the equator will likely stay their usual course.

There are also poleward shifts in the vast atmospheric patterns that control where rain falls. For example, the Hadley cell, the large-scale pattern of atmospheric circulation that transports heat from the tropics to the subtropics, has marched south during recent decades, moving the subtropical dry zone (a band that receives little rainfall) along with it. The northern and southern jet streams, which mark where cold and warm air meet, also seem to be creeping toward the poles. Their movement away from the equator suggests that the Earth’s tropical zones are expanding, according to recent studies. The jet streams play an important role in moving moisture around the higher latitudes.

“We are looking at why this is happening,” Polade said. “Earlier studies suggest that warmer regions will get wetter, while colder regions can get wetter or drier,” he said. “The tropics are also getting wetter or drier, while the subtropics are drying.”

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Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112.3 degrees Fahrenheit (44.6 degrees Celsius) at Dampier, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 87.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 66.3 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.