Thursday, July 1, 2010

The outer edges of Hurricane Alex are causing problems for oil cleanup efforts. Waves were as high as 12 feet in parts of the gulf. In at least one area of coastal Louisiana, the waves were tossing an oil-soaking boom around and forcing crews to take precious time putting it back in place. However, oily water was not yet crashing over it. All near-shore skimmers were idled off the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. "Everyone is in because of weather, whether it's thunderstorms or [high] seas."
The United States will accept help from 12 countries and international groups to deal with the spill, the State Department said. The identities of all 12 countries and international organizations were not immediately announced. One country cited was Japan, which is providing two high-speed skimmers and fire containment boom. BP says it will give cash and other help to the owners, operators and suppliers of gas stations in the United States that bear its name. The stations have struggled because of boycotts prompted by the oil spill.

No updates on July 2-4. Happy Independence Day!

**To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
6/30/10 -

Hurricane ALEX was 97 nmi S of Brownsville, Texas.

Hurricane Alex has made landfall in north-eastern Mexico as a Category Two storm, lashing residents of the Mexican Gulf coast and south Texas with heavy rains and winds. The first Atlantic hurricane of the 2010 season roared ashore on Wednesday evening thrashing the Mexican coast with its eye located some 56km north of La Pesca, Mexico and 177km south of Brownsville, Texas. Hurricane Alex rose one notch on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale on Wednesday as it churned across the warm waters of the Gulf, after Mexico evacuated 17,000 people from fishing towns south of the US border in the state of Tamaulipas. Alex has already disrupted oil clean-up operations off the coast of Louisiana, and US President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in Texas. Giant waves and strong winds were expected as Alex gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico. It hit the coast with sustained winds of 169km/h.
Mexican authorities have already reported one storm-related death, but could consider themselves fortunate in that the storm slammed into the coast in an area with a relatively small population. They evacuated all 2,000 inhabitants of the fishing town of La Carbonera, close to the storm's centre, with Mexico's national meteorological service warning of "intense and torrential rains". Homes in La Carbonera, made largely out of wood and located near the shoreline, are particularly vulnerable to the strong winds and a major tide surge that was forecast to accompany the hurricane. In Matamoros, across from Brownsville, the edge of the storm brought heavy rains that flooded streets.
The NHC has warned that heavy rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, and that ocean water could penetrate inland for several miles. Alex was forecast to weaken as it tracks inland in Mexico today, eventually dissipating in one to two days, but it was still packing a punch. Despite its distance from the oil spill, Alex's severe winds have churned up waves that halted some clean-up operations and pushed more of the huge slick onto fragile shorelines.


A gust of solar wind hit Earth's magnetic field on June 30th, sparking a G1-class (Kp=5) geomagnetic storm. There is no doubt that Northern Lights were dancing around the Arctic Circle. It would have been a good show - except for the midnight sun.


Outbreak reported in Australia's Northwest Territories - At least 29 pandemic H1N1 cases have been reported in recent days in Nhulunbuy, a town in Australia's Northwest Territories. Prior to this outbreak, only 2 cases had been reported in the territory.

Cases in sprouts-related Salmonella outbreak rise to 44 - The case count in a Salmonella Newport outbreak linked to raw sprouts from a California company has reached 44 in 11 states. No deaths have been reported, but 7 of 34 patients with available information were hospitalized. Illness onset dates ranged from Mar 1 to Jun 1. The outbreak led J. H. Caldwell and Sons Inc. of Maywood, Calif., to recall several brands of alfalfa sprouts on May 21. California has had the most cases with 19; no other state has had more than 6.