Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sorry, late update.

**It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
7/6/10 -

MICHIGAN - The June 23 earthquake in Canada that shook parts of metro Detroit nearly collapsed the city of Warren’s 200-year-old fire station, prompting the city to consider razing it. In the city’s historic district on Chicago Road near Van Dyke, the station that once housed horse-driven fire equipment received damage to its walls and foundation when the 5.0-magnitude earthquake near Ottawa struck and rattled some buildings in metro Detroit. City officials removed fire department vehicles and other equipment in case the building collapses. The damage wasn’t spotted until late last week.


RUSSIA - Kamchatka volcanoes acting up - Mt. Shiveluch, Russia’s northernmost active volcano on the Far East Kamchatka Peninsula, is spewing plumes of ash 7 km up in the air sending a dark-gray cloud snaking 30 km northwest from the crater. In a parallel development, Kamchatka’s other active volcano, Mt. Karymsky, has in the past 24 hours been sending a trail of ash billowing 2 km into the sky. Scientists say there is no immediate danger to villages in the area. (photo)

No current tropical cyclones.

A low-pressure weather system hovering over the northern Yucatan Peninsula and the south-central Gulf of Mexico has a 40 percent chance of evolving into a tropical depression or more severe storm over the next 48 hours. It brought widespread showers and thunderstorms to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico Tuesday. As the disturbance moves west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph, it has a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone, with winds rotating around a low-pressure core.
A system that had been hovering over the Louisiana coast earlier Tuesday moved inland and dissipated.


Mexico town evacuated as dam threatens to overflow - Some 18,000 people have left a town in northern Mexico where a nearby dam is threatening to overflow. Authorities in Ciudad Anahuac opened some of the dam's floodgates to ease pressure but say the situation is still critical. The region has seen heavy rainfall in the wake of Hurricane Alex which struck last week, leaving 12 people dead. Officials on both sides of the Mexico-US border are monitoring rising water levels on the Rio Grande.
A bridge linking Laredo in Texas to Nuevo Laredo in Mexico is likely to be closed by midnight local time on today as the Rio Grande crests. In some areas, the river is 6m (20ft) above normal.
On Tuesday, residents of Ciudad Anahuac were taken to shelters in nearby towns and cities. The Venustiano Carranza dam, which is located 70km (43 miles) away, is full after several days of heavy rain following Hurricane Alex. Authorities have opened 20 floodgates, releasing 600 cubic metres per second into the Salado River, a tributary of the Rio Grande. "It was preferable to have controlled flooding than having the whole town disappear. The situation is still very critical." North-eastern Mexico has suffered widespread flooding over the past week. The usually dry Santa Catarina river that runs through the centre of Monterrey turned into a raging torrent, flooding major highways and paralysing Mexico's third-biggest city. A week on, some 130,000 people remained without drinking water. (photos)

CALIFORNIA - More RECORD-BREAKING COOLNESS - SEVEN RECORDS FOR LOWEST PEAK TEMPERATURE WERE SET OR TIED Monday, from Campo to San Diego to Oceanside. Lindbergh Field only reached 65, breaking the record of 66 set in 1933. Escondido and El Cajon both topped out at 75 - amazingly cool for July 5 for the inland valleys. That broke the record in both cities by one degree. Oceanside Harbor (63) and Vista (70) set records, and Campo (83) and Ramona (78) tied the mark for lowest maximum. San Diego is running six degrees cooler than normal through the first five days of the month, with an average temperature of 63.6. No one expects that to contine all month. If it did, this would be the coolest July in city history.
The Climate Prediction Center said a few weeks ago that the odds favored a warmer-than-normal summer in the region. After so many record-breaking or near record-breaking cool days the first two weeks of summer, it will need to get very warm to get it above normal. The forecast now calls for below-normal temperatures at the coast through at least next Monday. And the weather service has backed off a little bit on the heat predicted for inland later this week. Now the forecast is just calling for highs in the low 80s - right around normal.


Heatwave causes power cuts in eastern US and Canada - The eastern US and parts of Canada are in the grip of a heatwave which is straining power grids and forcing some residents to seek shelter in city cooling centres. Soaring temperatures are afflicting areas from Quebec to Virginia, hitting 39.5C (103F) in some places. Heavy energy usage has left thousands of residents along the coast without power. The heat is already being blamed for at least two deaths in the US. A 92-year-old woman, who did not have air conditioning, was found dead in her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The body of a homeless woman was also found lying next to a car on Sunday in Detroit. The heat is also said to be causing sharp increases in hospital visits in Canada. 158 people visited the emergency room at Montfort Hospital in Ottawa on Monday - the highest number of visits the hospital has seen in one day.
Heavy power usage has already taxed some power plants and distributors, leaving residents in cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC without power. Demand on Tuesday approached the record highs set during a heatwave in 2006. New York City BROKE THE 38.3C (101F) RECORD set on 6 July 1999. The National Weather Service measured 39.5C (103F) in mid-Manhattan on Tuesday. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also BROKE ITS PREVIOUS RECORD for the time of year as temperatures rose to 38.9C (102F). The soaring temperatures are expected to continue throughout much of the week.


Shrimps get high on Prozac as antidepressants flood British coastal waters. Shrimps around the coasts of Britain are getting high on antidepressants. Sea life is being exposed to potentially damaging amounts of chemicals found in the drug Prozac. In tests, the small crustaceans were exposed to the same levels of fluoxetine as found in British waste waters. Scientists found that the test shrimps were five times more likely to swim toward the light instead of away from it, making the creatures more likely to be eaten by fish or birds. The change in behavior could potentially devastate the shrimp population.
“Crustaceans are crucial to the food chain and if shrimps’ natural behavior is being changed because of antidepressant levels in the sea this could seriously upset the natural balance of the ecosystem. It’s no surprise that what we get from the pharmacy will also be contaminating the country’s waterways.” Some shrimps are taking on the excreted prescription drugs of whole towns. Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen rapidly in recent years, according to offical statistics. In 2002, there were 26.3 million antidepressant prescriptions handed out by doctors in England and Wales, yet the environmental effect of pharmaceuticals in sewage is largely unexplored.