Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Intermittent eruptions continue. New ash emissions occurred yesterday from the volcano. VAAC Tokyo spotted an ash plume at estimated 28,000 ft (8 km) altitude drifting north on satellite imagery.

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands): Activity at the growing island continues, perhaps even with increased intensity, judging from the recent pictures obtained by the Japanese Coast Guard on 23 July: They show active lava flows reaching the sea and enlarging the island continuously, most notably towards the east, where a stretch of new land up to 250 m wide was added during only 1 month!

Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): An comparably small eruption occurred last week at the volcano. Incandescent lava avalanches were reported to descend from the summit lava dome to the SE, towards the area of Batu Awang, during 19-21 July. It seems to have been a short-lived and relatively small event that did not form the feared pyroclastic flows (which Karangetang is notorious for): avalanches of gas-rich fresh lava that detaches from the dome and/or lava flows and turns into devastating hot turbulent flows that can reach many kilometers distance.

Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): New thermal signals have been detected recently coming from the northern rim of the volcano’s summit crater, suggesting that the volcano has entered a phase of increased activity. The rarely visited remote Ibu volcano has been in more or less continuous eruption since 1998, slowly growing a new lava dome as well as producing strombolian to vulcanian-type explosions, with significant variations in intensity. The new thermal signals, in the same area where glowing rockfalls had been reported last year, probably indicate that the (continued) lava extrusion has increased recently.

Dukono (Halmahera): Activity at the volcano continues to be elevated. VAAC Darwin frequently spots ash plumes from relatively strong strombolian to vulcanian activity.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): A piece of the crater walls of the Halema’uma’u lava lake collapsed on 23 July and triggered a small explosive eruption. Liquid spatter was ejected to the outer perimeter of the pit crater (including webcam position and the closed observation area) and an ash plume was generated. The reason for the event was a sudden disturbance of the gas influx and release equilibrium of the lava lake induced by the rockfall, triggering a spontaneous and very strong degassing phase.

Reventador (Ecuador): Activity at the volcano has increased with more frequent small to moderately sized explosions from the growing lava dome in its summit. An explosion on the evening of 26 July generated a pyroclastic flow on the southwestern slope that reached almost 1 km length. Seismic activity reflects frequent explosions and tremor, but visual observations are often not possible due to frequent cloud cover. IGPEN characterizes the activity as “moderate”. The volcano’s activity at the present does not pose a risk for the closest inhabited areas approx. 8 km away.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits the Mauritius – Reunion region.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Pulau region.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Hernan is located about 360 mi…580 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph…110 km/h…with higher gusts. Additional weakening is expected during the next 48 hours.

A number of tropical storms and disturbances have formed in the eastern, western and central Pacific, and in the north Atlantic which have the potential for tropical development.

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Disease

Ebola Update – Liberia

Liberia’s president has closed all but three land border crossings, restricted public gatherings and quarantined communities heavily affected by the Ebola outbreak in the West African nation.

Other measures include restricting demonstrations and marches and requiring restaurants and other public venues to screen a five-minute film on Ebola.

Sirleaf also empowered the security forces to commandeer vehicles to aide in the public health response and ordered them to enforce the new regulations.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf described the measures late Sunday after the first meeting of a new task force she created to contain the disease, which has killed 129 people in the country and more than 670 across the region. Experts believe the outbreak originated in southeast Guinea as far back as January, though the first cases weren’t confirmed until March. That country has recorded the most deaths, with 319. Sierra Leone has recorded more of the recent cases, however, and has seen 224 deaths in total.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Ibu volcano (Halmahera, Indonesia) activity update: New thermal signals have been detected recently coming from the northern rim of the volcano’s summit crater, suggesting that the volcano has entered a phase of increased activity. The rarely visited remote Ibu volcano has been in more or less continuous eruption since 1998, slowly growing a new lava dome as well as producing strombolian to vulcanian-type explosions, with significant variations in intensity. The new thermal signals, in the same area where glowing rockfalls had been reported last year, probably indicate that the (continued) lava extrusion has increased recently.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Depression Genevieve is located near latitude 12.4 north…longitude 140.1 west. The depression is moving toward the west near 9 mph…15 km/h. A turn toward the west-northwest is expected during the next day or two. The last advisory has been issued for this system.

Tropical Storm Hernan forms and is located near latitude 16.9 north…longitude 110.0 west. Hernan is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph…22 km/h. A west-northwest to northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track the centre of Hernan is expected to pass just to the southwest of Socorro island by early afternoon. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph…100 km/h…with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected today…and Hernan could become a hurricane by this afternoon. Weakening is expected to begin on Monday.

NewsBytes:

Paraguay – Some 88,200 people have been displaced here by floods caused by two months of rising waters in the Paraguay River, while nationwide the number of those driven from their homes has dropped from 245,000 to 222,000.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

A wildfire forced the evacuation of more than 500 homes and about 1,200 residents in a rural area east of the California state capital Sacramento on Saturday, a day after the blaze broke out, fire officials said.

The wind-swept fire burned more than 3,000 acres (1,200 ha), destroying five residences and two outbuildings and causing one minor injury. The fire is centred about 5 miles (8 km) north of the town of Plymouth and 30 miles east of Sacramento in north central California and it covers parts of Amador and El Dorado counties, according to Cal Fire.

About 250 homes were ordered evacuated on Saturday afternoon, bringing the total number to 515 since the blaze erupted on Friday, Tolmachoff said.

Wildfires in Sweden

A wide-ranging wildfire is burning in the Vehmersalmi district of Kuopio, spreading to 10 hectares of land. Rescue services say the fire has not yet been retained and fire fighting operations are expected to go on well into the night.

Fire-fighting efforts are being complicated by a strong wind that is effectively spreading the flames. The cause of the fire has not been established, but the Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a forest fire warning for most of the country due to the very hot and dry weather.

Three separate wildfires have also broken out near the city of Lappeenranta and one near Luumäki. 12 different firefighting units are battling the blazes, incorporating 80 firefighters. A Boarder Guard helicopter is also in use.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits east of the South Sandwich Islands

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

A second and third 5.1 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits east of the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Pagan region in the North Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Genevieve is located near latitude 12.2 north…longitude 136.7 west. Genevieve is moving toward the west near 5 mph…7 km/h. Genevieve is expected to begin accelerating later today and maintain a westward motion through Sunday night. There is no threat to land.

NewsBytes:

India – At least nine people were killed in floods due to incessant rains leading to breaches in the embankment of river Baitarani in Odisha. The floodwaters have inundated more than 100 villages.

UK – Flash floods hit Doncaster after heavy rains.

Global Warming

World’s Weather Now Has a New Normal

The U.N.’s weather agency says the baseline for what is considered “normal” in weather needs to be adjusted to account for atmospheric shifts caused by global warming.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that the 30-year period most often used as a yardstick for climate — 1961 to 1990 — is no longer a useful tool for gauging today’s climate.

Such 30-year “normals” are typically updated every three decades, but the WMO argues that’s not often enough.

A press release from the agency urges weather agencies to now use the 1981-2010 climate baseline for predicting temperatures and rainfall, and for recommending crop planting times.

While the United States already does this, the WMO says other domestic weather services should also begin updating their climate baselines every 10 years.

Weather has been so altered by climate change over the past few decades that the old “normal” calculations from 1961 through 1990 are no longer representative.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Etna volcano update: Opening of a new vent at E base of North-East Crater A new vent opened yesterday morning at 11:14 local time. It is located about 150-200 metres north of the two previous vents at the eastern base of the NE crater. Its activity is characterized by small strombolian explosions while a lava flow continues to be weakly alimented from one of the two other vents

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 Earthquake hits southeastern Alaska.

5.4 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 Earthquake hits Leyte in the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Tonga.

5.1 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms near latitude 12.2 north…longitude 134.4 west. Genevieve is moving toward the west near 10 mph…17 km/h. A westward motion at a slower forward speed is expected through tonight. Genevieve is then forecast to accelerate and turn west-northwestward by Saturday night.

There is no threat to land.

NewsBytes:

USA – A tornado in Cherrystone near Cape Charles, Virginia on Thursday morning has claimed the lives of two persons and injured 20 others.

India – Over 25,000 people have been affected in 42 villages across Assam in the second round of floods this year. Over 60 villages in the world’s largest river island Majuli were submerged on Thursday following heavy rain, and nearly 20,000 people were shifted to higher lands, the release said.

Drought

Colorado River Groundwater Disappearing at ‘Shocking’ Rate

As the Southwest’s drought has worsened in the last decade, making surface water scarce, millions of people are drawing more heavily on underground water supplies. The water is coming out faster than it’s being replenished, a new study finds.

Between December 2004 and November 2013, more than 75 percent of the water lost in the Colorado River Basin was from groundwater, according to the study. The region has been in a drought since 2000, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The results show that groundwater is already being used to fill the gap between the demands of the region’s millions of residents and farmers, and the available surface water supply, the researchers said.

The Colorado River Basin stretches across seven states: from Wyoming across Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California. Its groundwater is stored in underground aquifers and is sucked from the ground by wells. If water is removed from an aquifer faster than it can be replaced, eventually the wells will go dry.

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