Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying.
Charles C. Finn

This morning -

Yesterday -
5/25/10 -

BRAZIL - No damage of any kind has been reported by civil defense units in the Brazilian state of Acre following the 6.5-magnitude earthquake on Monday.


Mountain Baekdu, a dormant volcano on the border between North Korea and China, is showing signs of a possible eruption in the near future, experts warned Tuesday. "Baekdu could erupt anytime soon. A variety of indicators are backing this scenario. The thing we should try to predict is when. It's clear it's imminent." Major activity in the 1960s created a caldera on its peak. Volcanic ash from this eruption has been found as far away as the southern part of Hokkaido, Japan. Small-scale eruptions were recorded roughly on a centurial basis - in 1413, 1597, 1668 and 1702. The latest volcanic eruption recorded at the mountain was back in 1903. The mountain has stayed inactive since then, leaving it categorized by scientists as dormant. The Chinese government developed the mountain and surrounding areas as a tourist destination drawing tens of thousands of visitors from around the world each year.
Yet, "UNUSUAL SIGNS," including minor trembling among others, began to emerge in June 2002 and a 7.3-magnitude earthquake rattled areas in the vicinity of Baekdu. The frequency of the quakes has notably increased since then.
"It seems that a shockwave from the quake reactivated magma approximately 30 kilometers beneath the mountain. The more frequent these are, the higher the possibility of an eruption." Minor quakes which are too weak to be felt by human beings take place nearly 100 times per day. "We saw the number steeply increase in recent years."
Among other indicators backing the scenario of a future eruption is the height of Baekdu, which has grown nearly 10 centimeters since 2002. Experts say bloated magma, a precondition of eruption, is gradually pushing up the height of the mountain as well as the temperature on the surface.
On October 1, 2006, a Russian satellite found the surface temperature of the mountain notably higher than before. The finding came just days after North Korea conducted an underground nuclear bomb test in its northern region, indicating the test was a catalyst reactivating the magma, analysts said. The increase in the number of withered evergreen trees on the mountain may be another indicator.
If the eruption is major in scale, it would bring about massive consequences to the two Koreas as well as the surrounding states, including China, Japan and Russia. "The amount of volcanic ash from the most violent eruption nearly 1,000 years ago was enough to cover the entire the Korean peninsula to a height of 1.2 meters. Baekdu's caldera contains nearly two billion tons of water. If it evaporates into the air all of a sudden mixed with volcanic ash of a major eruption, it would be blown to the east and consequently engulf Vladivostok in Russia and Hokkaido in northern Japan."

No current tropical cyclones.

The low pressure area in the western Atlantic continued to diminish Tuesday morning. However, the hurricane center continues to monitor the system, saying it has a 20 percent chance of development. At 8 a.m. the area was about halfway between the Bahamas and Bermuda, moving slowly north. The disturbance delivered heavy rain to Bermuda on Monday and might bring some storms to the Carolinas. (map)


HAITI - reports heavy rain will fall on Haiti this week, raising the possibility of flooding and peril for those left homeless by the devastating earthquake this past winter. Makeshift housing in the form of tents is all that stand between Mother Nature and hundreds of thousands of people. A number of victims still have no shelter at all. Deforestation practices of the past and unstable hillsides following the quake have left some of the terrain very vulnerable to mudslides and flash flooding.
An average of 5 to 10 inches of rain is forecast to fall on the region into the weekend. However, local amounts will be higher in the mountains, where runoff will be excessive. Waves of low pressure traveling along a stalled front, combined with heating of the day will allow clusters of heavy showers and thunderstorms to form over Haiti and other nearby island nations in the Caribbean.


MINNESOTA - Monday's heat blast: Not just a RECORD HIGH, but a RECORD-HIGH LOW. Not only was the high of 95 degrees in the Twin Cities a record-breaker, the low - 72 in the early morning hours - also broke a record. Previously, the highest low for May 24 had been 67, set in 2006. To put Monday's smothering heat in perspective: The morning LOW was 1 degree below the average HIGH for the date.