Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits Lake Rukwa, Tanzania.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 20p (Trevor), located approximately 109 nm north of Mornington Island, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 06 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 21s (Veronica), located approximately 185 nm northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 02 knots.

Tropical cyclone 22s (Twenty-two), located approximately 735 nm southwest of Diego Garcia, is tracking southeastward at 03 knots.


Mozambique – Rescue workers in Mozambique fear that thousands more may have fallen victim to floods which have left a 125-kilometre lake after the African country was hit by cyclone Idai. The storm made landfall near Beira on March 14, leading to storm surges and massive flooding, as well as a massive body of water in an area where hundreds of thousands of people live. In the Buzi region near the severely affected city of Beira, a lake 125 kilometres long and 11 metres deep has formed. In Beira’s hinterland, river levels continue to rise due to prolonged rainfall. Thousands of people are believed to have sought refuge on rooftops and in treetops. In the inland province of Manica, more than 100,000 people are cut off from outside help because transport routes are destroyed. Cyclone Idai, a Category 4 storm, could be one of the biggest cyclone disasters south of the equator, according to the World Meteorological Organization.



Hydrogen Power

Stanford scientists have proven they can use solar power to convert salt water taken directly from San Francisco Bay to create hydrogen gas.

On a larger scale, the process could achieve a truly pollution-free and carbon-neutral energy source to power cars and other devices.

Current methods of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen require the use of expensive purified water, which doesn’t corrode the electrodes that produce the splitting as does seawater at high voltages.

The researchers found that by using electrodes rich in negatively charged layers of nickel-iron hydroxide and nickel sulfide over a nickel foam core, the corrosion is significantly reduced.


Tiny Traveller

The epic migration of a tiny bird was tracked as it traveled 12,400 miles back and forth between Alaska and the Amazon.

Scientists from Canada’s University of Guelph say the 0.4-ounce blackpoll warbler is one of the fastest-declining songbirds in North America.

The record-holding bird was observed taking 18 days to fly from Nome, Alaska, to the Atlantic coast of the Carolinas, where it rested and fattened up for almost a month.

The bird then endured a nonstop 2.5-day flight across open water of the Atlantic toward its wintering grounds in South America.



Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) in Diourbel, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 89.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, Antarctica.

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.


Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 13 March – 19 March 2019

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 1827 on 15 March an explosive event at Agung was recorded for one minute and 23 seconds and produced a dense gray ash plume that rose about 1 km above the crater rim and drifted NNW. Minor ashfall was reported in the villages of Kubu (6 km N), Tianyar (14 km NNW), Ban, Kadundung, and Sukadana. At 0803 on 17 March an event was recorded for 39 seconds and produced a dense gray ash plume that rose about 500 m above the crater rim and drifted E. A second event began at 1030 and lasted about one minute and 16 seconds; a dense gray ash plume rose about 600 m and drifted E. At 0736 on 18 March an ash plume rose 1 km and drifted W and NW. Thermal satellite images continue to indicate hot areas in the crater on the previously-erupted lava surface especially near the flow margins. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) with the exclusion zone set at a 4-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was occasionally visible during 11-18 March. There were nine events and four explosions detected during 11-15 March ejecting material as far as 1.3 km. One of the events, recorded at 2323 on 14 March generated an ash plume that rose 3.5 km above the crater rim and ejected material as far as 1.1 km. During 16-18 March there were eight events and two explosions. Ash plumes rose as high as 2.7 km. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite images, wind model data, and PVMBG observations, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-18 March ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.4 km (5,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, and SSE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 8-10 March that sent ash plumes to 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images showed the ash plume drifting about 30 km ENE. Ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk during 9-10 March. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the slow extrusion of a lava dome in Merapi’s summit crater continued during 11-17 March. The volume of the lava dome had not changed since the last measurement of 470,000 cubic meters estimated on 5 March. There were no apparent morphological changes; most of the extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the Gendol River drainage on the SE flank. Block-and-ash flows traveled as far as 1,500 m down the Gendol drainage on 12, 15, and 17 March. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Poas | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that on 18 March an event at Poás produced a plume with minor ash content that rose 200 m above the crater rim.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 13-19 March there were 43-175 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained ash. Crater incandescence was visible most nights. A short period of Strombolian activity commenced at 0500 on 13 March and lasted for 15 minutes, ejecting incandescent fragments onto the E and SE flanks. An explosion at 0510 generated an ash plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater rim and ejected incandescent material 1.7 km away and onto the ESE flank. An ash plume from an explosion at 0730 rose 3.5 km and drifted NE. An explosion at 1430 on 14 March generated a dense ash plume that rose 5 km and drifted NNE. During an overflight of the crater on 15 March observers noted that lava dome #82 was gone, and that the inner crater was 300 m wide and 130 m deep. Explosions at 0255 and 0930 on 16 March produced ash plumes that rose 2-2.5 km and drifted NNE. Explosions were detected at 2206, 2321, and 2325. Gas, steam, and ash plumes from an event at 2138 on 18 March rose 4 km and drifted E. Incandescent fragments were ejected 2.5 km onto the flanks and set fire to some grasslands. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale).

Reventador | Ecuador : IG reported that during 13-19 March periodic seismic data from Reventador’s network indicated a high level of seismic activity, including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions. Steam, gas, and ash plumes sometimes rose higher than 1 km above the crater rim and drifted W and NW. Incandescent blocks were observed rolling 500-700 m down the flanks on a few of the days. Inclement weather sometimes prevented visual observations.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 8-15 March. Explosions on 9 March generated ash plumes that rose to 11 km (36,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 375 km NNW, causing KVERT to temporarily raise the Aviation colour Code to Red. Forceful gas-and-steam emissions containing variable amounts of ash rose to 3.5-4 km (11,500-13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E during 10-11 March. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that crater incandescence at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater was visible at night during 8-15 March. Small events were occasionally recorded, generating plumes that rose as high as 400 m above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).