Wednesday, April 14, 2010

May your passion be the kernel of corn stuck between your molars,
always reminding you there's something to tend to.
Jeb Dickerson

This morning -

Yesterday -
4/13/10 -

CHINA - At least 67 people have died and others are trapped under rubble in Qinghai province after an earthquake said to be magnitude 6.9. The quake struck at 0749 (2349 GMT) 380km (240 miles) south-south-east of the city of Golmud, at a depth of 10km. The earthquake happened in a remote and sparsely populated area on the Tibetan plateau. The area is regularly hit by earthquakes.
Some media reports say most buildings in the town near the epicentre fell down. "A lot of one-storey houses have collapsed. Taller buildings have held up, but there are big cracks in them." Soldiers have been dispatched to save the people buried in the collapsed houses. "Everybody is out on the streets, standing in front of their houses, trying to find their family members."
China's Sichuan province suffered a huge earthquake disaster in 2008 - thousands of schoolchildren were among the 87,000 people killed or missing after the massive 12 May earthquake. Five million people also lost their homes, and officials estimate rebuilding work will take at least three years.

CALIFORNIA - Following the Easter 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Calexico, California, aftershocks continue to rattle nerves. The area is still under constant seismic activity from the two epicenters just south of Calexico: Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico and just SSW of Selley, California. Since the major earthquake, over the last 168 hours they have recorded 20 aftershocks greater than 4.0 magnitude and 248 aftershocks greater than 3.0 magnitude in the Southern California region.
Caltech officials spent a good part of Monday fending off rumors apparently originating on Twitter, that scientists at the Pasadena institution were predicting a major quake in the next few days. Reports on the social media site over the weekend said that Caltech had sent students and faculty home. Scientists at Caltech said this week that the number of earthquakes greater than magnitude 4.0 in Southern California and Baja California has increased significantly in 2010. That increase, they said, could mean that more quakes are imminent - but does not necessarily mean that the Big One is on its way.

SPAIN - Something of a seismic anomaly occurred Monday in Spain. A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck deep beneath Granada. While no damage or even significant ground shake were noted, the depth at 616 kilometers is a little enigmatic even according to the USGS. Seismologists in Spain, and at the USGS associate this very deep seismic activity with a powerful earthquake which struck Spain in 1954. Besides that magnitude 7.1 event, earthquakes at this depth, in this region, are not all that common. If you look at the occurrence map (see link) from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre you can see, not only is Monday’s quake the largest in recent days, but it occurred deeper and a little outside other significant events. The depth being the most interesting variable. Several studies have been conducted with regard to very deep, high magnitude quakes in the Mediterranean basin. Counting Monday, there have only been 4 such quakes in something like the last 125 years.
One Spanish geologist predicted a month ago that a quake like that which devastated Chile would strike this region of Spain. Other experts negated his theory based on the fact the Chilean event occurred in a high seismic occurrence area. However, the same geologists noted that Spain is struck about every 100 years or so with a forceful event. The last was over 120 years ago. So far no aftershocks have been felt by the people in the region, or registered at monitoring stations.


AUSTRALIA - A severe weather warning has been issued for towns in Western Australia's southwest, as high tides threaten to cause flooding. Damaging winds and ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES could result in the inundation of coastal low-lying areas in the Geography Bay area, including the towns of Busselton and Dunsborough. "Heavy rain may result in flash flooding however large hail is not expected." An earlier warning for the Perth metropolitan area predicting gale-force winds and heavy rain was cancelled. Heavy rain and strong winds caused storm damage in the capital last night. Homes damaged in last month's severe hail storm suffered further damage.

No current tropical cyclones.

U.S. - Between one and four hurricanes may hit the U.S. coast, according to a new forecast from Tropical Storm Risk, a team in the United Kingdom. They expect the Atlantic Hurricane Season to be 60 percent more active than the long-term average. The group now forecasts around 16 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major Category 3 hurricanes with winds of 111 mph to 130 mph. Nine hurricanes is one more than the eight predicted last week by the Colorado State University forecast team, which also said it foresees a higher than normal hurricane season. TSR’s forecast anticipates a year that has a high probability (77 percent) of being in the top 33 percent of all hurricane seasons in terms of activity. The probability of storms making landfall in the United States at an above-average level is 76 percent.
The meteorologists said the anticipated active season is mainly due to forecasted trade winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere during the August to September timeframes, which enhances the ability for the atmosphere to generate tropical low pressure areas, as well as expected above-average sea surface temperatures. They cited “anomalous warming of the waters in the Atlantic Main Development Region, a region that lies between the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean Lesser Antilles,” as a major factor in the storm activity. The July to September trade wind speed will be influencing the spinning up of storms (cyclonic vorticity) in the main hurricane track region and the August to September main storm development region sea surface temperature provides heat and moisture to power incipient storms in that main track region.