Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Eastern Pacific: Tropical Storm Irwin is located about 1070 mi…1720 km WSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…WSW or 255 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.

Hurricane Hilary is located about 515 mi…825 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

In the Western Pacific: Typhoon 07w (Noru), located approximately 443 nm north-northwest of Minami Tori Shima, is tracking nwest-orthwestward at 13 knots.

Tropical storm 11w (Nesat), located approximately 422 nm east-northeast of Manila, Philippines, is tracking north-northwestward at 06 knots.

Dangerous Dance

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Several storms currently swirl in the Pacific Ocean, with two hurricanes on course for meteorological dance that may end in one dance partner cannibalizing the other.

The bigger storm, Hurricane Hilary, is located several hundred miles south of the Baja California peninsula and has wind speeds of up to 105 mph (165 km/h). Hurricane Irwin is farther west of Hilary and has been weakening, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 km/h).

Currently, the hurricanes aren’t threatening any coastal areas, but they might get locked in a strange dance step known to meteorologists as the Fujiwhara effect. A binary interaction —another name for the Fujiwhara effect —happens when two hurricanes get very close to each other, within about 800 miles (1,290 km), so that their vortices, the spinning centers of the storms, interact.

Two vortices spinning in the same direction will start to orbit around a single center of mass if they get close enough to each other. With two hurricanes that are similar in strength, this center of mass will be the midpoint between the two storms. But if one vortex is stronger, that storm will be closer to the center of the action and could swallow the smaller storm. In this case, Irwin is the smaller storm, and it is expected to pinwheel around the eastern edge of Hilary in the coming days, according to the National Hurricane Center.


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Germany – Heavy rains led to flooding Wednesday in some parts of northern Germany, forcing some evacuations and prompting residents to pile sandbags in front of their homes to protect themselves from a swollen river. The center of the town of Goslar, in the mountainous Harz region of northern Germany, west of Berlin, was closed off and a hotel and a home for the elderly were evacuated as its central market square was flooded. Elsewhere, streets were flooded and basements had to be pumped dry of water in the Harz region, and two stretches of railway lines were closed.

Salt Late City, Utah, USA – Flooding from an early morning storm led to some road closures, TRAX delays, flooded basements and power outages Wednesday morning. An inch of rain fell in 40 minutes, according to KSL TV meteorologist Dan Guthrie, causing standing water and flooded areas, particularly in the Salt Lake Valley. Several streets turned into rivers. “The sudden occurrence and intensity of this storm is a 200-year event in Salt Lake City,” said Laura Briefer, Department of Public Utilities director, in a released statement.


Yemen: Cholera outbreak Update

Through July 25, 2017, the number of suspected cholera cases reported in the Yemen epidemic has surpassed 400,000 since April, 27, 2017. In three months, 402,484 suspected cholera cases and 1,880 deaths (CFR: 0.5%) have been reported in 91.3% (21/23) of Yemen governorates, and 88.9% (296/333) of the districts.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 19 July – 25 July 2017

Piton de la Fournaise | Reunion Island (France) : OVPF reported that seismicity at Piton de la Fournaise increased on 10 July and was followed by a seismic crisis that began around 1250 on 13 July. Events were mainly located below the S edge of Dolomieu Crater, between 500 and 1,000 m a.s.l. Inflation was also detected, concurrent with increased seismicity. An eruption began at 0050 on 14 July in an area 750 m E of the Kala-Pélé peak, 850 m W of Château Fort, and 2.2 km NE of Piton de Bert. During a survey at 0930 scientists observed a fissure about 450 m long with seven lava fountains rising as high as 30 m. The fountain on the downhill end had built up a cone and produced two lava flows. A sulfur dioxide plume drifted E. On 15 July only three fountains were active. The intensity of the eruption fluctuated during 15-17 July, and by 17 July activity was concentrated at one eastern cone. During 18-19 July a few vents within the cone were active, ejecting lava no higher than 20 m above the cone’s rim. By 21 July several lava tubes had formed, and fractures within the tubes produced small lava flows. During an overflight on 22 July scientists noted that the lava flow was over 2.8 km long with a maximum width of 0.6 km; the front of the flow had not advanced in the past seven days. Three main vents were active within the main cone and a fourth was just sporadically active. The eruption continued at least through 25 July.

Planchon-Peteroa | Central Chile-Argentina border : Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) – SERNAGEOMIN reported that the Alert Level for Planchón-Peteroa was raised to Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) on 10 July, noting elevated seismicity (above baseline levels) on 8 July.

Sangay | Ecuador : Based on satellite images and information from the Guayaquil MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 20 July an ash plume from Sangay rose to an altitude of 8.2 km (27,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, PVMBG observations, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 19-20 July ash plumes from Sangeang Api rose to altitudes of 2.4-4.3 km (8,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.