Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.


Midwest, USA – Hundreds have been forced from their homes across the Midwest and South as floodwaters continue to rise following days of rainfall and snowmelt accelerated by milder conditions, killing at least three people. In numerous towns from Texas to Michigan, homes have been turned into islands and school days have been canceled because there’s no way to get to the building. At least six Lansing neighborhoods were issued voluntary evacuations in areas where the Grand River was expected to overtake homes.


Sleep Singing Finches

Argentine researchers have found that zebra finches seem to be practicing their songs while they sleep without actually making a sound.

It’s long been known that the birds’ brains spontaneously reproduce the same patterns in their sleep that they use when singing during the day. But scientists from the University of Buenos Aires have found that the finches’ vocal muscles are also moving during their avian slumber.

The only thing keeping the tiny birds from actually singing while sleeping is the absence of an air flow through their throats. Scientists think the sleep “singing” may be how the birds learn new songs or keep their existing tunes stable.

Primates in Peril

Roughly half of the orangutans living on Borneo have disappeared over the past 16 years due to hunting and vast destruction of their habit.

Researchers say much of the loss of 100,000 of the island’s orangutans is due to logging operations that clear the land to make way for palm plantations and mining.

Field researcher Serge Wich says targeted killings and other direct conflicts between the orangutans and humans are pushing the primates beyond their well-known ability to adapt to a changing landscape.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius) in Jervois, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 69.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.1 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, 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.


Wildfires – Cuba

A wildfire ignited mines laid by the Cuban military decades ago and jumped the fence line at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay on Thursday, threatening buildings and forcing evacuations of six neighborhoods for much of the day. No one was injured.


Yellow fever: Brazil

The Brazil Ministry of Health has confirmed 545 yellow fever cases and 164 deaths in the period from July 1, 2017 to February 20 this year, according to a news release Wednesday (computer translated). This is up from 409 cases and 118 deaths one week ago – 136 new cases in the past week.

Nigeria: meningococcal meningitis

According to Nigerian health authorities yesterday, 31 meningitis C cases were reported in Niger State, including four fatalities.

Listeriosis – South Africa

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 915 cases of the disease have been confirmed since January last year, up from the previous figures given last month of 61 deaths and 720 confirmed cases.

The government said the source of the outbreak was still unknown.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 14 February – 20 February 2018

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that an event at Agung recorded at 1149 on 13 February generated an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4) and the exclusion zone continued at a 6-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that very small events occurred at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 13-16 and 19 February. An explosive event at 0820 on 19 February generated a plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater rim up into meteorological clouds. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Ambae | Vanuatu : Based on satellite and webcam observations, the Wellington VAAC reported that during 17-19 February ash plumes from Ambae rose to altitudes of 3-5.5 km (10,000-18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that low-level unrest continued at Cleveland. Thermal anomalies were identified in satellite data during 15-16 February, and possibly on 17 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 15-20 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, S, SW, and W.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Based on observations by volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions during 9-10 and 14 February generated ash plumes that rose as high as 2.2 km (7,200 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images on 9 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : Based on information from the Yelizovo Airport (UHPP) and satellite images, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 18 February an ash plume from Klyuchevskoy rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosive activity at Sabancaya was similar to the previous week; there was an average of 19 explosions recorded per day during 12-18 February. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events, with signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted 30 km NW, SW, and S. The MIROVA system detected three thermal anomalies. The sulfur dioxide flux was the highest value yet registered during the eruption, at 9,270 tons per day on 15 February. The report noted that the public should not to approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

San Miguel | El Salvador : SNET reported that during 0800-1100 on 19 February gas-and-ash emissions from San Miguel rose 350 m above the crater rim and drifted SW. Ash fell on the upper flanks of the volcano, and a sulfur odor was reported in La Piedra farm.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 9-11 and 15 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.