Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic:

Tropical Storm Earl is located about 195 mi…310 km E of Isla Roatan Honduras and about 315 mi…505 km ESE of Belize City Belize with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Howard is located about 1465 mi…2360 km W of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…45 mph…75 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

Tropical Storm Ivette is located about 855 mi…1375 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 285 degrees at 20 mph…31 km/h.


Jamaica – Heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Earl yesterday caused severe flooding in sections of the resort city of Montego Bay.

Arizona, USA – Monsoon storms in Arizona hit the Valley hard on Tuesday, causing flash flooding. Two high schools in southern Arizona were evacuated as a precaution Tuesday as flooding closed several major roads and stranded motorists between flowing washes. The Arizona Department of Transportation closed the Interstate 17 at Indian School in both directions due to flooding. The wet weather has caused sporadic delays at Phoenix Sky Harbor.

India – The raging floods that started on July 25 submerged up to 80 percent of India’s Kaziranga National Park, in the northeastern state of Assam. The flooding subsided on July 31, but hundreds of animals have drowned, including more than a dozen rare Indian rhinoceroses. Across the country, the flooding has displaced millions of people and killed 152.


Siberian Anthrax Outbreak – Update

The number of confirmed anthrax cases in the Siberia outbreak has grown to 20, up from nine yesterday. The number of patients hospitalized is now 90, suggesting the area of risk is larger than previously thought, prompting fears of additional spread in Russia.

There are no reports of person-to-person transmission of anthrax. People get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals.

The outbreak of anthrax thas been linked to 75-year-old anthrax spores released by melting permafrost. It’s an event of the sort many scientists have warned about: Warming temperatures reviving dormant diseases, perhaps even pathogens long-thought extinct. The anthrax currently infecting reindeer and people in western Siberia likely came from the carcass of a reindeer that died in an anthrax outbreak 75 years ago and has been frozen ever since — until an unusually warm summer thawed permafrost across the region this year.

Anthrax in Sweden

Swedish agricultural officials are reporting an anthrax outbreak in farms in the Östergötland region of southeastern Sweden, according to a local media account. The serious bacterial disease has killed nine animals (eight cattle and a horse) on two farms in the county. Swedish veterinary officials are currently vaccinating animals and investigating the source of the infection.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Gamalama (Halmahera): A small eruption occurred at the volcano this morning. An explosion created an ash plume that rose approx. 600 m above the crater. The Babullah airport of Ternate island was closed due to the ash plume and is scheduled to reopen tomorrow morning at 10:00 am. The nature of the eruption is unclear, but likely a phreatic event typical for Gamalama which last had similar eruptions in July, September and December last year.


Wildfires – USA

Wildfires are burning in 7 Western states:


Fire crews were monitoring high winds and building fire lines as they tackled a large blaze in south-central Washington. The wildfire was burning about 12 miles north of Sunnyside. It held steady overnight. The blaze has scorched about 273 square miles of brush and grass since it started Saturday on the U.S. Army’s Yakima Training Center. It was about 10 percent contained.

It’s the largest of several wildfires burning in Washington state.


Crater Lake National Park remained open as a wildfire grew to more than 400 acres. The fire has led to the partial closure of the Pacific Crest Trail from Dutton Creek Camp to Red Cone Springs. Fire officials said West Rim Drive could be intermittently closed over the next couple of days. The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Officials said it could have resulted from an escaped campfire.


Federal officials mobilized two U.S. Department of Defense retardant-dropping aircraft to help fight wildfires in Idaho. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said the C-130s will go into action on Wednesday.


Firefighters were bracing for strong winds as they battled a blaze in western Montana that destroyed 14 homes and may have contributed to a man’s death. The fire had burned 5.7 square miles in Bitterroot National Forest. Residents of about 500 homes southwest of Hamilton were evacuated or warned to be ready to leave. Residents were allowed back into the burned area Monday, but it was closed again Tuesday due to expected high winds and low humidity.


Evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes northwest of Dubois as progress was made against a wildfire. Firefighters have gained 50 percent containment of the fire that has burned about 22 square miles on private land and in Shoshone National Forest. The fire began July 11.

In Bridger-Teton National Forest, a fire that has burned about 46 square miles was 84 percent contained.

In southwest Wyoming, a fire that has burned about 2 square miles near the Utah border is now 36 percent contained. Residents of about 75 homes that had been evacuated last week were allowed to return.


A wildfire north of scenic Big Sur spread again overnight and has now charred more than 67 square miles. The blaze that broke out July 22 has destroyed 57 homes and is threatening 2,000 structures. It was less than 18 percent contained. Firefighters got help from a low marine layer Monday that brought a spike in humidity and dropped temperatures into the 60s and 70s. More than 5,400 firefighters from across California are fighting the fire in steep terrain.

All California state parks in the area were closed until further notice.

In California’s Central Valley, crews got a bit more control over a stubborn wildfire that has destroyed three homes and is threatening another 400 northeast of Fresno. It has burned two other buildings. Authorities said firefighters increased containment to 30 percent.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says about 300 people were under evacuation orders from homes just outside Sierra National Forest. The 4.5-square-mile blaze started Saturday in steep, rugged terrain.

A 65-square-mile wildfire in wilderness just north of Los Angeles was almost fully contained as isolated pockets of vegetation burned.


Firefighters expected dry, hot winds and the possibility of erratic flames in a series of wildfires that have charred almost 75 square miles of rangeland in northwest Nevada.

Officials predicted humidity in the single-digits in the Virginia Mountains with wind gusts up to 45 mph.

Containment of the fires was estimated at about 40 percent.

Residents in some rural areas have been told to prepare to evacuate quickly if necessary.

Pyramid Lake was closed.

A nearly 8-square-mile wildfire was burning in the scenic Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Area, about 50 miles farther north.