Friday, May 7, 2010

I can't wiggle your toes.

This morning -

Yesterday -
5/6/10 -


Ireland to shut airports again - Airports in the west of country will be closed today due to the arrival of a huge new cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano which shut down Europe's skies last month. A "massive ash cloud" 1600 kilometres long and 1126 km wide was hovering over the Atlantic, and was drifting into the country's airspace.
"While the northerly winds are keeping the bulk of the cloud out in the Atlantic, the increased size of the cloud is encroaching on Irish airspace along the west coast of Ireland." The shutdown is the third to hit Ireland this week, after two earlier closures led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights and travel misery for thousands of passengers. The fresh disruption came after Europe's skies were closed for up to a week last month following the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano.
Images show volcano intensifying - The UK Met Office has released a vivid series of images that show the Eyjafjallajokull volcano intensifying. In the satellite pictures, which use infrared wavelengths, the ash plume appears as bright orange colours spreading out from the volcano. The plume gradually increased in size over a period of approximately six hours on Thursday morning. Activity from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano had been increasing since Wednesday night, taking the ash plume to a height over 30,000 ft. The winds forecast over the next few days were likely "to keep the plume out to the west". Because it was exploding through a glacier, the Eyjafjallajokull eruption had been creating its own cirrus cloud. "It appears now there's a clean clear signal because all of the ice above the volcano has melted."

No current tropical cyclones.

The weather-altering El Nino condition in the Pacific Ocean seems to be easing and could be over by June, US government climate experts report. If conditions do revert to neutral, it could complicate forecasting this summer's hurricanes, since El Nino years tend to have fewer storms than normal in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Last month, forecasters said they foresee above-average storm activity for the Atlantic hurricane season due to a warming of tropical Atlantic "and a more confident view that the current El Nino will weaken". So-called La Nina years, when the Pacific is colder than usual, can lead to an increase in Atlantic hurricanes, but neutral conditions between the two make the storm season harder to predict. This year, things were complicated by high pressure over Greenland that pushed cold, wet weather south leading to blizzards along the East Coast. Warm conditions in the Pacific continue, but have weakened since the end of February. Most computer models predict neutral conditions through the end of the year, but a few suggest the possibility of a La Nina developing.


YEMEN - Heavy rain has killed seven people in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital. The torrential downpour on Wednesday also swept away a large number of homes in a shanty town north of the city. There has been UNUSUALLY heavy rainfall across the Arabian peninsula this week, with two people killed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Monday. In 2008, severe flooding killed approximately 180 people. 10,000 people were made homeless. (map)


Pandemic may force UK primary-care cuts - The cost borne by primary care practices in England to combat pandemic H1N1 flu may lead to cuts in services. A survey of 107 primary care practices found that each practice paid an average of $512,000 (US) to fight novel H1N1. This may lead one in six of the practices to cut other services, and some have already made cuts. A British Medical Association official said the government should foot the pandemic bill rather than individual practices.

New Zealand sees increase in flu-like illness - As New Zealand heads into its traditional flu season, surveillance data from physicians' offices and the national Healthline hotline show a continued increase in those reporting influenza-like illness. Though numbers are still below baseline, they are higher than at this time last year. The increase could signal higher pandemic flu activity.


ROMAINE - Freshway Foods on Thursday said it was voluntarily recalling products containing romaine lettuce sold chiefly in the eastern United States because of potential contamination with E.coli bacteria.