Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Pacaya (Guatemala): The volcano is becoming active again. In a special bulletin yesterday, INSIVUMEH reported that ash emissions occurred from the volcano.

Seismicity has been above normal and elevated temperatures were measured at the Mackenney crater, but also, surprisingly, at the older Cerro Chino cone ( north of the former one). Whether this is the precursor of a stronger eruptive phase in the near future cannot be predicted, but is a possibility and would not be surprising, given that the volcano is one of Central America’s most active.

A satellite image from 8 January already indicates the presence of a thermal anomaly at the Mackenney crater, but did not show any degassing.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical cyclone (tc) 05s (Bansi), located approximately 451 nm east of Port Louis, Mauritius, and is tracking southeastward at 15 knots.

Tropical storm 01w (Mekkhala), located approximately 373 nm northwest of Koror, Palau, and is tracking westward at 14 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 06s (Chedza), located approximately 736 nm west of St Denis, and is tracking east-southeastward at 04 knots.

NewsBytes:

UK – A man died after the heavy storms hit across the UK and led to more than 50 flood warnings being issued in much of southern England and Scotland. More than 100 schools have been closed in the Highlands and Islands, Perthshire and Northern Ireland due to the weather. Storm Rachel has left over 16,000 homes without power in Donegal, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Athlone, Tullow and Wexford region of Ireland. The Environment Agency has issued 32 flood warnings in England and Wales, and 149 flood alerts. While a further 21 flood warnings have been issued in Scotland.

Saudi Arabia – Rare snowstorm in Saudi Arabia has grounded planes at Turaif Domestic Airport. “Snow storms have left a layer of white snow on top of the sand”, BBC reported. The bulk of the snow hit a town near the northern city of Tabuk and forced the Bedouin shepherds and their camels to stay in their tents for protection and to keep warm.

Saudi Arabia Snowstorm 2015 recent natural disasters

Sumatra, Indonesia – A number of regencies and cities in North Sumatra were hit by floods and landslides on Thursday due to heavy rains over the past several days.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

Glorious Dawn: Ice and Sun Create Rare Halos

Texas photographer Joshua Thomas captured a once-in-a-lifetime picture when he was visiting Red River, New Mexico, on the morning of Jan. 9, 2015.

Sunlight shining through ice crystals in the chilly atmosphere of dawn that day created so many different rare phenomena that it took atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley to later name them all.

Many of us have witnessed halos around the sun or moon when a high level of ice crystals were present between us and the heavenly bodies.

Seeing one often means some kind of precipitation will occur within the next 24 hours.

But the photo Thomas snapped contains nine different types of optical phenomena occurring at the same time. Each were labeled by the U.S. National Weather Service office in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and tweeted the following day.

Among the phenomena visible in the photo to the upper right (especially the enlarged version) is a 22-degree halo, which includes a sun pillar and a sun dog.

A sun dog, or parhelion, is a form of coloured spot at the same elevation angle as the sun. It typically appears about 22 degrees on either side of the sun.

A sun pillar is a column of light extending above or below the sun, and is usually seen when the sun is low in the sky.

Farther to the left and right in the enlarged version of the image is an infralateral arc, which is a halo extending 46 degrees from the sun. It is sometimes accompanied by a complimentary supralateral arc around the sun, which somewhat appears like the outer part of a double rainbow.

Sunvex Parry arcs and upper suncave Parry arcs are extremely rare and were first identified in 1820 by Arctic explorer Sir William Edward Parry during his search for the Northwest Passage.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

TThe week’s hottest temperature was 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) at Nyang, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.7 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian community of Verkhoyansk.

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.

Disease

Ebola Outbreak – Cases Declining

Cases of Ebola are on the decline as the three worst affected countries have recorded their lowest rates of new infections in months.

According to figures released by the UN, Sierra Leone and Guinea both recorded their lowest weekly total since August while Liberia had its lowest weekly total since June.

According to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the three countries now all have sufficient capacity to bury all the people known to have died from Ebola.

Sierra Leone is still currently the country with the most cases of the disease.