the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is,
in the long run, the easiest.**
LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
5.9 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.0 SUNDA STRAIT, INDONESIA
5.0 KAMCHATKA PENINSULA, RUSSIA
5.0 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND
COLUMBIA - A mud volcano erupted in the town of San Jose de las Platas, in the municipio of Arboletes, in the north-western Colombian region of Uraba on Monday. "Just after 8:30 in the evening, we saw a high flame that lit the sky. When we went to check, we realized that there was an eruption of mud." Two injured people have been treated at the health centre, while 15 others suffered from scratches and minor injuries while fleeing the explosion. The region saw another mud eruption three years ago, "but what worries us is that this eruption took place in the vicinity of 30 houses and we do not know what could have happened to those people."
TROPICAL STORMS -
Typhoon MEGI was 195 nmi WNW of Baguio City, Philippines
Typhoon Juan (international name: “Megi”) has maintained its strength and is currently almost stationary over the South China Sea. Juan was seen 350 kilometers West Southwest of Laoag City, still packing maximum sustained winds of up to 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 210 kph.
“Forecast to remain almost stationary for the next 12 hours then move North Northeast at 7 kph." A high pressure area over mainland China was slowing down the movement of Juan but there was no possibility of the typhoon returning to the country. Another scientist said, “There’s always this kind of possibility and this is the reason why every hour on the hour we are watching the typhoon.” Juan was expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility anytime between noon or afternoon of Wednesday.
No existing low pressure area or potential tropical cyclones have been monitored within or outside the immediate vicinity of the Philippines’ area of responsibility. However, at least six more tropical cyclones are expected to hit the country for the rest of the year. Still under storm Signal No. 1 are the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Benguet, Pangasinan and Zambales where rains gusty winds will still be experienced. Public storm warnings elsewhere have been lowered. An existing intertropical convergence zone is likewise, still affecting parts of the country. “Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under Public Storm Warning Signals are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Residents along the coastal areas of Western Luzon are alerted of possible storm surges." By Thursday morning, Juan is forecast to be 320 kilometers west of Laoag City and by Friday morning, the typhoon is expected to be 400 kilometers west northwest of Laoag City.
In the Atlantic a new tropical depression is possible soon. The large cluster of showers and thunderstorms off the coast of Honduras has strengthened over the past few hours, to just shy of tropical depression strength. The National Hurricane Center put out a special outlook at 4:40 saying that any further strengthening of the system would likely put it in tropical depression category, meaning it has a defined, closed circulation. The chances for such development are high now, at 70 percent, according to the outlook, which is based on a recent surveillance flight over the budding system. If the system develops a closed circulation and starts to produce sustained winds of 39 mph or more, it will become Tropical Storm Richard, the 17th named storm of the year.
While it is unclear where the storm will go, it poses its most immediate threat to countries bordering the northwest Caribbean Sea. The storm system is moving northward at about 5 to 10 mph.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA warned to batten down for severe cyclone season. Higher than normal risk of a coastal impact before Christmas, about 6 or 7 cyclones in waters off the northwest coast (average number is 5) and significant risk of at least one severe tropical cyclone. Authorities are warning West Australians to BRACE FOR THE WORST CYCLONE SEASON IN YEARS, with a higher number predicted to cross the coast earlier than usual.
The stark warning follows last year’s "quiet season”, which produced three cyclones, including Laurence - a category five storm that devastated parts of the Pilbara. The forecast from the WA Bureau of Meteorology is for up to seven cyclones this season, four more than last year and two above average. At least one of these is predicted to hit the coast before Christmas and two are forecast to be severe. La Nina conditions, where lower sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean create a see-saw of pressure that triggers dramatic thunderstorm and cyclone activity, are why forecasters are so worried. "Sea surface temperatures off the northwest coast are warmer than usual and climate modelling suggests that the current La Niña event will persist into the cyclone season. “This increases the chance of an early season cyclone and also boosts the number of cyclones we are likely to see over the whole season." Coastal communities between Broome and Exmouth face the highest cyclone risk of anywhere in Australia. The season starts on November 1.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
UNITED KINGDOM - First big freeze is on the way: Polar winds are blowing south with heavy snow forecast by Friday. Icy polar winds are to sweep across the country, with temperatures plummeting to below freezing and up to 2ins of snow forecast for parts of the north by the end of the week. Millions will wake up to frost this week, but the worst of the weather will hit Scotland and North-east England. Wednesday will be the coldest day of the week, with temperatures as low as -3C on Tuesday night in rural parts of the north. The mercury will also struggle to rise above freezing overnight in the south.
The arrival of Jack Frost can be blamed on polar winds. 'We have had a nice area of high pressure just to the west of the UK, giving light winds, settled conditions and quite dry weather. The change is down to an area of low pressure to the north of that high. It is going sit over Scandinavia and displace that high pressure and bring in colder weather from the Pole." The good news is the Arctic blast will not last. 'After Thursday the high pressure will tend to win out again and cut off that northerly flow, making it less cold.' Netweather, which correctly predicted last winter's big freeze, as well as the mixed summer, is forecasting a cold December and a white Christmas. Last winter was THE COLDEST FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS. Temperatures in December, January and February struggled to stay above zero, with the UK average 1.5C (35F), making it THE DEEPEST FREEZE SINCE 1978-79.
But winter’s biggest problem will be another drought and the biggest worry will not be snow but dramatically below-average rainfall. Water companies are still recovering from the summer drought, which developed through THE DRIEST FIRST SIX MONTHS OF A YEAR SINCE 1929. Average rainfall was down 30 per cent at just 356.8mm. "With winter being a key period in topping up reservoir water levels, the below-average rainfall has the potential to cause real issues with water shortages in 2011." The winter drought will be caused by westerly winds - which usually bring rain - being blocked by FREAK AIR PRESSURE CHANGES over the Atlantic Ocean. Winds normally rush to Britain between a high pressure area around the Azores and low pressure area over Iceland - but both zones now have pressure closer to medium, meaning winds are being rebuffed. This pressure problem is proven by a RECORD LOW IN THE PRESSURE MEASUREMENT called the North Atlantic Oscillation.
‘La Nina' is creating Pacific Ocean water temperatures up to 6C below normal, with a knock-on effect on Atlantic Ocean temperatures and a colder winter in Europe. "It is very likely an EXCEPTIONALLY STRONG La Nina event will take place with a probable peak in December or early January. UNUSUALLY COLD La Nina ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific are well established. And given the large volume of water with temperatures up to 6C below normal, this could POTENTIALLY BE THE STRONGEST LA NINA OF THE LAST 60 YEARS."