Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the North Atlantic:

Tropical Storm Gaston is located about 1030 mi…1660 km ENE of the Leeward Islands and about 1195 mi…1925 km ESE of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…NW or 320 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Invest 99L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Lester is located about 510 mi…820 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

Invest 98E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical Storm 12w (Lionrock), located approximately 279 nm southeast of Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan, is tracking eastward at 04 knots.

Newsbytes:

Sudan – Two months of torrential rain have killed more than 110 people in Sudan – and more rain is forecast. More than 160,000 people have been affected and 14,000 houses destroyed.

Ethiopia – The United Nations says more than 600,000 people have been displaced in Ethiopia since March, largely because of flooding. The African country was struggling with its worst drought in decades in 2015, but it ended when spring rains arrived in March. On Wednesday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said nearly 300,000 people were forced to flee their homes between March and June due to flooding. The report further said that others were stranded due to the inter-communal conflict in Ethiopia’s southern Oromia and Somali regions.

Global Warming

Study: Global warming began earlier than previously thought

Man-made global warming may have started a few decades earlier than scientists previously figured, a new study suggests.

Instead of the late 1800s, a slight almost imperceptible warming can now be tracked to around 1850 in North America, Europe and Asia, according to a new study based on coral, microscopic organisms, ice cores, cave samples, tree rings and computer simulations.

And that happened when heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels were tiny compared with now, which means “the speed at which the climate responds to even a small change in greenhouse gases appears to be quite fast,” said study lead author Nerilie Abram, a paleoclimate scientist at the Australian National University. From about 1850 to 1880, Earth probably warmed around a third of a degree Fahrenheit. Still, that pales with about nine-tenths of a degree in the last 30 years or so.

Determining when warming started is more than just a historical question. Early heating could mean either a worse future climate than previously predicted if heat trapping gases aren’t controlled or, more optimistically, faster recovery by Earth if international efforts to cut greenhouse gases succeed.

Wildlife

Monarch Refuge Losses

Storms earlier this year toppled more than a hundred acres of forest in central Mexico, where migrating monarch butterflies spend each winter. Late reports say the severe weather was accompanied by rain, cold and high winds, which killed more than 7 percent of the wintering butterflies. “Never had we observed such a combination of high winds, rain and freezing temperatures,” monarch expert Lincoln Brower said of the storms, which hit Michoacán’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve on March 8 and 9.

‘Mosquitornado’

Hollywood has envisioned the implausible phenomenon of spinning columns of bloodthirsty sharks in recent years, but tornadoes of bloodsucking mosquitoes were actually observed and photographed near Russia’s central Ural Mountains. The photographer who shot a video of several “mosquito tornadoes” in Yekaterinburg on Aug. 13 said each column contained millions of the insects. A single mosquito tornado was photographed in Portugal during the spring of 2014.

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Nature – Images

Interesting Images

A poor Philippine fisherman found what may be the world’s largest pearl but kept it under his bed for a decade without knowing its worth, local authorities said. The man found the 34-kg pearl inside a giant clam that his boat’s anchor snagged as he waited out a storm at sea.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 117.0 degrees Fahrenheit (47.2 degrees Celsius) in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus -102.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 74.4 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.

Disease

Japanese Encephalitis in Myanmar

An outbreak of Japanese encephalitis (JE) has killed 19 people, including four children in Myanmar this year to date prompting health officials to begin a vaccination campaign in the most needed areas.

Due to the cost of the vaccine and limited supplies, the Department of Health announced it would begin the campaign of vaccinating 40,000 from the mosquito borne virus focusing on Rakhine and northern Shan states.

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. About 68,000 clinical cases are reported annually. It usually occurs in rural or agricultural areas, often associated with rice farming.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): The effusive and sometimes mildly explosive eruption of the volcano continues with little changes. Bright glow at night and strong thermal signals detected on satellite show that the lava flow through the Apakhonchich drainage on the SE flank of the volcano continues to be well fed.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): After about a week of relative calm, the volcano’s activity – probably strombolian explosions from Ontake crater – has again picked since last night. Bright glow is visible at the main crater from neighbouring islands and Tokyo VAAC reported several low-level ash plumes today.

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): The volcano’s activity seems to have been very low recently although there are no available direct observations. The heat signal from the volcano has been only intermittent and low and no significant ash emissions have been detected on satellite imagery during the past months (since about Dec 2015). Only a gas plume is visible on clear weather satellite imagery on most days. This indicates that the volcano is no longer producing the violent explosions we used to see during our regular expeditions in past years, usually in November each year as the best time weather-wise.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): The volcano has been producing a series of glowing avalanches and pyroclastic flows on the ESE and SE sides during the past 24 hours, reaching lengths of 1500-3500 m. The cause of the current violent phase is likely that the prominent viscous lava lobe that has been spilling over from the summit dome into a steep ravine of the upper flank has now become too unstable and is crumbling apart. During this process, rockfalls can turn into highly mobile and destructive glowing avalanches of disintegrating hot lava rock fragments, gasses released from these and ambient air (so-called pyroclastic density currents / flows).

Fuego (Guatemala): The activity at the volcano has again started to increase – while it continues with intermittent explosions, satellite-based measured heat emission from the summit is becoming more intense, typically a sign that the magma column is rising inside the conduit.  This could herald a new paroxysm in the near future (coming few days?).

Cotopaxi (Ecuador): Yesterday’s ash plume from the volcano was the result of strong winds remobilizing older ash deposits (from the recent eruptive activity during 2015-16), NOT cause by a new eruptive phase. The volcano is currently calm both at the surface and internally (seismic activity, deformation etc) and only emits a steam plume.