Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical cyclone Nathan is located approximately 298 nm east-northeast of Cairns, Australia and is tracking south-southeastward at 02 knots.

The category two storm is expected to intensify to at least a category three and turn towards the north Queensland coast on Thursday or Friday. Nathan came very close to Cooktown, north of Cairns, last week before making a U-turn and heading back out to sea.

Tropical storm 03w (Bavi), located approximately 390 nm north-northwest of Yap, and is tracking westward at 10 knots.

NewsBytes:

Vanuatu – Death toll rises after Cyclone Pam – A UN team in Vanuatu says 24 people are confirmed dead and 3,300 have been displaced by Cyclone Pam, with communication to outlying islands still down.

Boston, USA – Boston has broken the record for the snowiest winter in the city’s recorded history. The National Weather Service said the city received 108.6in (275.8cm) of snow this winter, beating the 1995-1996 record of 107.6 inches.

Tornadoes, USA – Not a single tornado has been reported to the National Weather Service so far in March, which typically marks the first month of severe weather season in the Plains and Southeast. The only other year since 1950 that there have been zero tornado reports in the first half of March was 1969.

Disease

Ebola – US Ebola Workers Being Moved Home

Ten health care workers with a Boston-based nonprofit organization responding to Sierra Leone’s Ebola outbreak are to be evacuated to the United States after one of their colleagues was infected with the deadly disease.

Partners in Health said in a statement Saturday that the 10, the largest group to be evacuated to the United States over possible Ebola exposure, would travel on noncommercial aircraft and be isolated in Ebola treatment facilities.

Biggest U.S. Bird Flu Outbreak Prompts Precautions by Producers

The biggest U.S. outbreak of avian influenza has poultry producers tightening security procedures to avoid trade disruptions.

China halted U.S. poultry imports in January, while Mexico, the European Union and other trade partners have stopped buying the meat from Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas, where outbreaks of the disease have been reported. Tyson Foods Inc. and Sanderson Farms Inc. are reinforcing precautions.

Feared plant disease found on Australian banana farm

An outbreak of a feared disease affecting banana plants has been confirmed on an Australian farm, raising worries over the outlook for the country’s A$550 million ($420 million) industry.

The so-called Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama disease was confirmed at a farm in Tully in the country’s northeast after tests last week.

Panama disease hits banana plant roots, with Race 4 considered particularly destructive.

Panama disease can have a significant impact on production. Banana plantations in Central and South America were destroyed by an outbreak in the 1950s.

Australia also has a history with Panama Disease TR4, which was detected in the Northern Territory in 1997, nearly destroying the commercial banana industry there.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Intermittent phases of continuous mild to moderate ash emissions remain a frequent occurrence. This morning, an ash plume can be seen drifting approx. 40 km SW at an estimated altitude of 13,000 ft (4.2 km). Similar plumes were detected over the weekend as well.

Aso (Kyushu): Weak strombolian activity from two vents continue at the Nakadake crater, accompanied by abundant steam and minor ash emissions.

Reventador (Ecuador): The recent lava flow on the southwestern flank, that had started early on 11 March and had reached a length of approx. 1500 m, seems no longer to be active, or has decreased a lot. Occasional small explosions continue to occur at the summit vent.