Monday, August 23, 2010

Pakistan's temperatures soar; Europe braces for storms - As Pakistan flood recovery efforts continue, the temperatures and heat indices are soaring. On Sunday the heat indices were once again in the mid 50s Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) across much of southern and central Pakistan. Although most of the country has seen little rain over the past few days, the incredibly high temperatures and humidity have made for difficult living conditions for the millions of people that have been displaced from their homes. Temperatures above 40 C (104 F) and heat indices into the lower 50s C (120s F) will continue at least into the early part of this week.
In Europe, a strong low pressure will move across the United Kingdom and towards Scandinavia today. Severe weather warnings are in place for southern England, including London. Strong winds and up to 8 centimeters (3 inches) of rain will be possible, which could lead to flash flooding. Afternoon heating will likely destabilize the atmosphere and lead to more severe storms from France to Poland. Strong winds, large hail, excessive rainfall, and isolated tornadoes will be possible.
Around the globe, the tropics are beginning to heat up. On Sunday, Tropical Depression Six formed in the South China Sea and it is likely to become a tropical storm on Monday. Although it isn't expected to gain much strength before moving into northern Vietnam by the middle of the week, it will bring heavy rain and the threat of flooding.
In the East Pacific, Tropical Storm Frank was about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Puerto Angel, Mexico, on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 95 kph (60 mph), and Frank is expected to become a hurricane by Monday afternoon. Frank is moving parallel to the southern Mexico coast and is not expected to make a direct landfall. However, heavy rain and gusty winds from the outer bands have led to tropical storm watches and warnings being issued along the coast, including for Acapulco.
In the Atlantic, Danielle became the fourth tropical storm of the season on Sunday. Located about 1,165 kilometers (725 miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands, Danielle is not a threat to any land over the next five days. Danielle will likely become a hurricane by the middle of the week as it moves to the west-northwest and eventually northwest. Although it is early, computer models are currently forecasting Danielle to curve out into the north Atlantic without threatening the United States.

**When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius.
When you're two steps ahead, you're a crackpot.**
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/22/10 -

Strong quake rattles Greece, but no damage - The U.S. Geological Survey said the 5.7 magnitude quake struck at 1023 GMT (6:23 am EDT) at a depth of 20.5 miles. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said a moderate magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck off the coast of the Greek island of Zakynthos.

Tropical storm 06W was 161 nmi E of Da Nang, Vietnam.
Tropical storm DANIELLE was 1383 nmi E of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Tropical storm FRANK was 160 nmi SW of Salina Cruz, Mexico.

Danielle forecast to be hurricane mid-week - Tropical Storm Danielle formed Sunday afternoon in the far eastern Atlantic, the fourth named storm of the 2010 season. Late Sunday, the storm's sustained winds were 50 mph. It was about 3,000 miles southeast of Miami. The hurricane center predicted that Danielle will become the Atlantic's second hurricane of the season by late Tuesday. Its potential effect on the USA is uncertain.
Regardless of what Danielle does, the Atlantic hurricane season, which includes the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, is entering the traditional peak period in what is predicted to be a very active year for tropical storms and hurricanes. "There are signs that the Atlantic is acting like it should in August and September. We're seeing more activity than we did earlier in the season."
Danielle could be the start of what calls "an upcoming frenzy of storms, days with two or three storms on the chart." Tropical waves are starting to move from Africa into the Atlantic with more regularity. "Tropical waves are the seedlings for the hurricanes that move across the Atlantic." In a typical year, about 60-70 tropical waves form off the West African coast, but only a small fraction become hurricanes. This is the prime time of year for storms to develop from those waves because of the warm ocean water and absence of strong wind shear that can shred even the strongest hurricane. Most major hurricanes that have struck the USA have come after mid-August. Before Sunday, there had been three named storms: Hurricane Alex and tropical storms Bonnie and Colin. Alex lashed the southern Texas and northeastern Mexican coasts in June.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Frank is developing off Mexico. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Mexico issued a tropical storm warning for the coast from Puerto Angel to Tecpan de Galeana.


China and North Korea have evacuated thousands of people from their homes after heavy rains burst the Yalu river, flooding areas near their border. North Korean state media reported that 5,000 people had been moved in the city of Sinuiju and nearby villages.
China is continuing mass evacuations, with 94,000 people in the Dandong area being taken to safety after the Yalu burst its banks on Saturday. Further rain is expected in the region, putting more pressure on rescue work.
North Korea's official KCNA news agency reported that water from Yalu - or Amnok, as it is known in Korean - had destroyed homes and buildings in five villages. Sinuiju, in the North Pyongan province, was said to have been "severely affected", with residents trying to find safety on roof-tops or on higher ground. Sinuiju lies on a vital trade route for North Korea and previous flooding has exacerbated problems in a country where millions have died in famines over the last two decades.
More than 1,500 people have died in China in recent months. The latest flooding comes after the deaths of more than 700 people in China in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Zhouqu county, Gansu, last week.


Natural disasters and other extreme events have to a large degree dominated the news in 2010. They include devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, unrelenting heat in much of the United States and three major winter storms that dumped more than 20 inches of snow in New Jersey. Several of the world's regions are dealing with an UNPRECEDENTED STRING OF EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Strong monsoon rains have spawned the HIGHEST WATER LEVELS IN 110 YEARS in the Indus River in northern Pakistan. The nation's central and southern areas are also beset by flooding, and millions of people are affected overall. China also is enduring its WORST FLOODING IN DECADES. Russia is afflicted by a RECORD-BREAKING HEAT WAVE that has led to massive peat and forest fires, while sub-Saharan Africa is coping with severe droughts.
According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, around 48 massive floods, 85 tropical storms, typhoons, heavy rains and hurricanes and more than 30 wild fires have been reported so far this year. The affected areas and countries include Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Kazakhstan, North-South Dakota, Southern Queensland, Spain, the Madeira Islands, Peru, Tanzania, Brazil, Southern China, Azerbaijan, Kentucky, North-eastern United States, Pakistan, Mexico and China-North Korea border.
Given the unpredictability of the weather patterns, countries should be prepared to face extreme situations.
“Floods, droughts, thunder and lightning, landslides, sea erosion, storms and tornadoes have been there since ancient times. But THE SITUATION TODAY IS DIFFERENT. They are becoming more intense and more people are being affected. The extreme weather conditions are unpredictable."


FIREBALL ON JUPITER - On August 20th at 18:22 UT, an amateur astronomer in Japan video-recorded an apparent impact on Jupiter. This is the third time in only 13 months that amateur astronomers have detected signs of impact on Jupiter. The earlier events occured on July 19, 2009, and June 3, 2010. Jupiter is getting hit more often than conventional wisdom would suggest, leading many researchers to call for a global network of telescopes to monitor Jupiter 24/7 and measure the impact rate. "Like the event of June 3rd, this fireball did not produce any visible debris."