Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 Earthquake hits Guerrero, Mexico.

5.9 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.5 Earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.


Afghanistan – Flash flooding in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of at least three people. Fatalities are from Baghlan, Bamyan and Badakhshan provinces of Afghanistan where flash floods washed away hundreds of houses.

Egypt – Around 14 families lost their homes on Thursday in the Red Sea Governorate in Egypt due to floods caused by heavy rains. All highways along the coast in the Red Sea Governorate have come to a standstill as the rainstorm inflicted serious damage in various locations. The rise in rainwater levels has completely flooded the streets, causing a number of cars to be swept off the roads and bringing traffic to a complete halt. The heavy floods also resulted in power cuts in most cities in the affected areas.

Texas, USA – A strong storm system has deluged North Texas with up to 4 inches of rain, triggered flash-flood warnings and prompted a high-water rescue of a group of children.


World Should Brace For Unusually Strong El Niño

Weather agencies around the world are predicting that the El Niño ocean-warming in the tropical Pacific is likely to return within the next few months.

Some say the weather-altering phenomenon could arrive as early as July and warn that nations typically affected by its weather shifts should prepare for an unusually strong outbreak.

Many El Niño experts have begun to predict that because the warming is developing early in the year, it points to the likelihood of an intense El Niño.

The warming typically begins when warm water near Indonesia spreads eastwards and rises to the surface of the Pacific.

Since warm water promotes rainfall aloft, El Niño robs rain from Australia and Indonesia then dumps it on parts of the Pacific coasts of North and South America.

This often brings drought to Australasia and floods to Peru and California.

If an El Niño becomes established during the next few months, it could also weaken storms in the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.



Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit (46.0 degrees Celsius) at Balawalnagar, Pakistan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 102.1 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 74.5 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.


Ebola – West Africa – Update

As of 18:00 on 5 May 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 235 clinical cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), including 157 deaths. There has been no change in the number of cases confirmed by ebolavirus PCR (127 cases) since the last update of 2 May 2014, but there have been two additional deaths: one among the confirmed cases and the other among the probable cases. This brings the number of deaths to 83. There have been no new probable or suspected cases. In addition, 55 cases (34 deaths) are classified as suspected cases. As of 7 May, one patient remains in isolation in Conakry and one in Guekedou. The date of isolation of the most recent confirmed cases is 26 April in Conakry and 1 May in Guekedou.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Reventador (Ecuador): The activity of the volcano had increased during the past two weeks, producing several lava flows and some relatively strong explosions. At the moment, it has decreased again, but remains moderately high. Explosions have become less frequent and the lava flows are only weakly alimented.

Ubinas (Peru): The current eruptive phase might be approaching an end. Since the second half of April, visual and seismic activity at the volcano have been decreasing. Explosions and ash emissions have almost ceased, although there are still some occasional bursts. IGP released a report showing the evolution of seismic activity over the past weeks. It shows that hybrid earthquakes (indicators of rising magma) increased until 5 April and then started to drop. Surface activity in turn increased until 13 April and remained elevated until 19 April. This suggests that the magma took approx 8 days to reach the surface from its deeper source. One of the strongest explosions occurred on 19 April, when large bombs were ejected to up to 2.7 km distance. After this explosion, which might have destroyed the lava dome in the crater, the volcano showed abundant degassing and ash venting, probably a result of the cleared conduit.

Zavodovski (South Sandwich Islands (UK)): A NASA satellite image from 19 April shows that some activity (strombolian explosions, small lava lake?) was present on the remote volcano in the South Sandwich islands. On the picture, a thin plume of white rises from the volcano on Zavodovski island, the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands and streams to the northeast. Further south, a wider white plume can be seen blowing across the Atlantic Ocean. This plume rises from the Mount Michael volcano, which is a young and frequently active strato-volcano located on Saunders Island, near the centre of the South Sandwich Island chain.