Thursday, May 20, 2010

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts,
but if he will be content to begin with doubts,
he shall end in certainties.
Francis Bacon

This morning -

Yesterday -
5/19/10 -


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - A report earlier this week claimed that an eruption of Mikeno volcano produced an avalanche that killed dozens, but it appears that those reports were false. Current news claims that an overflowing river on Nyiragongo in the Congo produced an avalanche on the slopes of the volcano. This avalanche killed 46 people and has wiped out at least 200 homes. So, it seems that the landslide was caused by heavy rains rather than any sort of volcanic eruption. Nyamuragira, next door to Nyiragongo, erupted earlier this year and both volcanoes are very active.

Cyclone 02A was 1129 nmi SW of Karachi, Pakistan and 1249 nmi WSW of Bombay, India.
Cyclone LAILA was 532 nmi ESE of Bombay, India.

Deadly tropical storm Laila remained still for a while on Wednesday night and changed course heading for the port city of Kakinada in Andhra Praddesh. The nasty storm is THE FIRST IN 20 YEARS DURING MAY.
Tropical cyclone Laila strengthened and slowed as it neared India’s east coast, claiming at least six lives and disrupting crude oil output in the Bay of Benagal. The cyclone, with sustained winds of 111 kilometers (69 miles) per hour, was about 170 kilometers north-east of Chennai at 11:30 p.m. local time. Waves were 4.9 meters (16 feet) high near the storm’s eye. Hundreds of fishing boats were damaged.
Cyclone Laila slowed down as it approached the coast and is travelling north at 5.6 kilometers an hour towards the city of Vijayawada and the coast of Andhra Pradesh. The storm is forecast to move along India’s east coast toward Bangladesh later this week. The government evacuated a “few thousand people” to higher ground.
Heavy rain of more than 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) is forecast in some areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states in the next 24 to 36 hours and may damage power and communication line. The sea will be “high to phenomenal” along the coasts of the two states. The storm is expected to weaken as it comes into contact with land and moves north-east towards the states of Orissa and West Bengal.
Another cyclone in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Somalia strengthened and has sustained winds of 65 kilometers an hour and gusts up to 83 kilometers an hour. The storm is moving west towards the Somali coast and should hit there tomorrow. (satellite photo)

Central Pacific hurricane season will be 'below normal' - Forecasters say there is a 70% chance of below normal tropical cyclone activity for the 2010 hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30.


An outer edge of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida and beyond. A small portion of the slick from the blown-out undersea well has entered the so-called loop current, a stream of faster moving water that circulates around the Gulf before bending around Florida and up the Atlantic coast. Its arrival may portend a wider environmental catastrophe affecting the Florida Keys and beaches along that state's east coast. It will be at least another seven days before the oil reaches waters west of the Keys. Even farther south, U.S. officials were talking to Cuba about how to respond to the spill should it reach the island's northern coast.
Tracking the unpredictable spill and the complex loop current is a challenge for scientists. The loop moves based on the shifting winds and other environmental factors, so even though the oil is leaking continuously it may be in the current one day, and out the next. And the slick itself has defied scientists' efforts to track it and predict its path. Instead, it has repeatedly advanced and retreated, an ominous, shape-shifting mass in the Gulf, with vast underwater lobes extending outward.
At least 6 million gallons have already poured into the Gulf off Louisiana since the April 20 explosion of an offshore oil rig, THE WORST U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER IN DECADES. The president of the National Wildlife Federation said, "The Gulf of Mexico is a crime scene and the perpetrator cannot be left in charge of assessing the damage."
"It sounds like the plot of a cheesy B movie - A large corporation somehow messes with the environment and threatens to destroy the planet, mainstream media covers it all up, and one scientist, whom no one will listen to, figures the whole thing out just in time to save the day...Except this time, the disaster is real. The characters are nearly set as well. In the role of the catastrophe is the Gulf of Mexico oil leak. BP and Haliburton are sharing the part of the evil corporation. The Scientist would be Paul Noel, a Software Engineer for the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, who has made statements suggesting that he believes that the oil pocket hit will be impossible to contain...There is even a secret document that has leaked to the Internet...The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration`s Emergency Response document, which is exactly what it sounds like, is dated April 28th and claims the scope of the spill is far worse than the public is aware of... Extinction Level Event, folks. On par with the meteor that took out the dinosaurs. That is what some say we are facing at this very moment. The end of life as we know it, a full two years before the whole crazy 2012 movement expected."


The sun is spotless today, but it certainly is not blank. A long dark magnetic filament is looping around the northeastern limb, stretching almost 100,000 km from end to end. Long, bushy filaments like this have been known to grow unstable and erupt, producing a type of spotless flare called a "Hyder flare." If that happens now, Earth would likely feel some effects from the blast because the filament is turning to face our planet. (photo)
Current spotless stretch: 10 days.
A solar wind stream flowing from a coronal hole should reach Earth today. Earth is entering the high speed solar wind stream, and this could cause geomagnetic storms at high latitudes.


Q fever bacterium common in US - An environmental study determined that Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, is fairly common in the United States, suggesting that exposure to the bacterium may be more common than what is suggested by the number of reported cases of Q fever. Researchers collected more than 1,600 environmental samples from six states and found C burnetii DNA in 6% to 44% of them. Overall, 24% of the samples tested positive. C burnetii DNA was detected in areas with livestock as well as places with human activity, such as schools, stores, and post offices. The organism is highly infectious, can survive in a variety of conditions, is present in domestic and wild animal populations, and has been weaponized. On May 12 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert on Q fever for those who have recently traveled to the Netherlands or Iraq.