Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The weather in 2010 was especially dramatic. In the U.S., the year started with widespread cold and ended with a massive Eastern blizzard, with ALL-TIME RECORD-BREAKING HEAT, devastating flooding and an active hurricane season in between. Here are the top 10 U.S. weather events of a very memorable weather year:
1)RECORD-BREAKING COLD in January - An outbreak of Arctic air brought intense and widespread cold from the Northern Plains to Florida during the first half of January. Hundreds of records were broken, and it was the coldest 12-day span in parts of Southern Florida in at least 60 years.
2)A RECORD-SMASHING SNOWFALL - occurred in the mid-Atlantic region during the winter. The snow in 2010 was highlighted by back-to-back monster snowstorms in February, on Feb. 5 and Feb. 9. These two storms were followed by a full-fledged blizzard for the Northeast on Feb. 25. Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington were among the cities that finished with their SNOWIEST WINTERS ON RECORD.
3)Major April Tornado Outbreak - nearly 600 reports of tornadoes, wind damage and large hail in the three days.
4)THOUSAND-YEAR FLOOD in Tennessee - Massive flooding that stretched from northern Arkansas to central Tennessee on May 1 and 2 has been rated a thousand-year flood (a flood given 0.1 percent chance of occurring) by the National Weather Service. In Nashville alone, which received roughly 40 percent of its average annual rainfall during the two-day span, damages are estimated to have approached $2 billion.
5)Deadly Arkansas Flooding - Flash flooding caused by rainfall rates of 2 to 3 inches of rain per hour killed 20 campers at the Albert Pike Recreation Center in Arkansas during the early-morning hours of June 11.
6)HOTTEST SUMMER ON RECORD in South and East - A stubborn weather pattern resulted in intense and persistent heat in the South and East during the summer. Summer 2010 was the hottest on record for 11 states, from Mississippi to Rhode Island, including most of the major cities along the Eastern Seaboard.
7)Los Angeles All-Time RECORD HEAT - an intense early-fall heat wave baked Southern California in September. On the 27th, the temperature soared to 113 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, an all-time record. More than a dozen locations in the basin had a high temperature of at least 110 degrees that day.
8)Strongest U.S. Non-Tropical Storm - A powerhouse storm SET THE RECORD FOR THE LOWEST ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE (28.21 inches) FOR A NON-TROPICAL STORM in U.S. history, on Oct. 26.
9)One of the Most Active Hurricane Seasons on Record - The Atlantic hurricane season, with 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes, including five major hurricanes, was the third most active since records have been kept, but the season had little direct impact on the U.S.
10)Powerful California Storms/East Coast Blizzard - The last storm in a week-long December deluge inundated Central and Southern California, brought Christmas snow to the Deep South and produced the post-Christmas whiteout along the East Coast. Long Beach, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara were among the locations with a RECORD WET DECEMBER.

**Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I'll be gone away from you.**
A Pueblo Indian Prayer

This morning -

Yesterday -
12/27/10 -


RUSSIA - Karymsky volcano erupted on Sunday, spewing out hot ash clouds rising up to 4.3 kilometers (2.67 miles) high. Karymsky – which is located in the country’s Kamchatka Penninsula – is the most active volcano of the region’s eastern volcanic zone. Twenty-nine of the over 150 volcanoes in the region are active. In 1996, Karymsky’s activity drastically increased and continues with periodic eruptions until the present. Around 20 tremors in the vicinity of the volcano were felt in the past day. Despite the eruption, there is no immediate threat to local residents or air traffic.

Volcano after volcano erupted in 2010. Take a look back at some of the best photos.


Cook Islands - population 19,000, in the South Pacific, northeast of New Zealand are experiencing climate change. Waves from sea surges are now breaking in front of homes and on roadways; More frequent and more powerful typhoons have destroyed or damaged many island buildings and scoured away beaches; The 15-island nation's first-ever water rationing occurred last year; Soil erosion from unprecedented flooding has been harming fish populations; and Rising water temperatures are killing parts of the coral reef which provide fish with food and shelter. "In the islands, there is a lot of fear among the people.That these things are happening, and the frequency and consistency of them." Anxiety is shared throughout island nations and in low-lying countries like Bangladesh, as they begin to cope with the effects of 1.8 degree F rise in average global temperatures in the 20th century.
Cook Island leaders are working to adapt to changing weather and sea conditions. Still, after witnessing increasing number of devastating cyclones in recent years that destroyed and damaged many structures and beaches in the Cook Islands, it's not certain how easily the country can adapt. "If the current weather we're experiencing now is going to continue for the next 20 years, it doesn't look very bright for the small island nations."

No current tropical cyclones.


AUSTRALIA - The federal government has been asked to send in Black Hawk helicopters to help rescue people from the flooded inland town of Theodore. Authorities were struggling with the task of evacuating most of Theodore's 300-plus population after flood waters from the Dawson River covered most of the town. The town's airport was closed due to tarmac damage. The scale of Queensland's flood crisis was slowly revealing itself, with 1000 people across the state in need of emergency housing.
People in Brisbane are being urged to prepare for possible flooding as wild weather continues to plague the state. Brisbane City Council issued a warning to residents late on Monday, with more rain predicted for the coming days. Sandbags are being offered to those in low-lying areas and the council is also advising that possessions and equipment be moved off the ground. It also recommends downloading a flood map for their suburb from www.brisbane.qld.gov.au to see how individual properties may be affected. "More rain (is) expected overnight and tomorrow to already sodden catchments." Localised flooding has occurred over the past few days on a number of roads across Brisbane, many of which remain affected. At least three people were rescued from trapped vehicles across the state within a matter of hours on Monday night. There have also been instances of retaining and rock walls on private property failing because of the saturated ground. Flash-flooding is affecting a large swathe of central, southeast and southwest Queensland and a severe weather warning remains in place, with heavy falls expected to drench southern and inland areas over the next few days. The immediate concern is for Chinchilla in the state's southwest, Dalby, Warwick and further north at Theodore and Rockhampton in central Queensland. Residents in some of those rural areas are on evacuation alert and towns have been cut off by near record-breaking flood levels.
Floodwaters have inundated businesses in Chinchilla, with the Queensland town braced for what could be its WORST FLOOD IN MORE THAN A CENTURY.


Blizzard moves from US to Canada - The US northeast has begun to dig out from a powerful blizzard that has shut down New York airports and crippled ground transport relied on by millions of holidaymakers and commuters. The storm that started early on Sunday began to abate on Monday afternoon as blue skies finally reappeared, revealing a snow-and-ice encrusted region, deserted highways, stranded cars and still stuttering public transport. Although the National Weather Service lifted its blizzard warning for the US northeast, the storm funnelled into Canada, dealing the Atlantic coast a dose of the same snow and gale-force winds.
In the hard-hit New York metropolitan area, businesses, home-owners and municipal services slowly got back on track and after almost 24 hours of being shut down, the three big area airports were struggling to their feet.
Even after reopening, huge delays were expected as airlines worked their way through the aftershock of thousands of cancelled flights. The Amtrak rail network said it was resuming limited service between New York and Boston after blizzard conditions halted trains along the heavily used corridor for 13 hours. New York commuter routes and bus services were crippled, while roads made hazardous going for the few drivers who'd actually been able to escape their snow-clogged parking spaces. The commuter train line between the NEw York City and Long Island was paralysed, as were portions of the city bus and subway systems, with ice and snow blocking tracks, and sometimes even collecting inside underground stations.
In six states - Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia - governors called up a total of 430 National Guard troops to help authorities get life back to normal. Officials in eastern Canada said the blizzard was already dumping heavy amounts of snow and forcing the cancellation of flights from Fredericton and Moncton. Some 40,000 homes lost electricity. The weather service said winds with gusts upwards of 90km/h would cause widespread blowing snow, reducing visibilities to near zero in these regions. Some areas risked seeing ferocious winds of up to 150km/h. Americans in the southern United States were meanwhile treated to a rare white Christmas, with light to moderate snow blanketing communities in Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina. Atlanta, Georgia enjoyed its first white Christmas in 128 years.
NEW YORK - The total snowfall for Greenwich is 18 inches. Wilton also got 18 inches, followed by Stamford and Norwalk with 16 inches, Danbury with 14 inches and Bridgeport with 12 inches. As far as December storms go, "It's got to be top-10." The storm dumped an estimated 2 to 3 inches an hour from 4 to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Wind gusts measured up to 67 mph for coastal Fairfield County. "That's TROPICAL STORM FORCE. That's only 7 miles away from being hurricane force." A ridge of high pressure entering the area on the back side of the low pressure storm is the cause of the winds, which will be sustained around 20 to 35 mph today and under 20 mph on Wednesday. "We're barely a week into winter."

Britain and Europe have been hit hard for the THIRD STRAIGHT RECORD-BREAKING WINTER season. Labeled by experts as the COLDEST WINTER IN 100 YEARS and set to blow well into 2011. The UNUSUAL Arctic conditions are set to last through the New Year bank holidays and beyond and temperatures plummeted to -10c (14f), prompting the UK’s Met Office to state that this December 2010 was ‘almost certain’ to become the coldest since records began in 1910.


Swine flu in Sri Lanka has killed 22 people and infected more than 300 during the past two months. Since October 25 , 342 cases were reported. "The strain of influenza affects peoples' lungs and triggers off a strain of viral pneumonia. The heavy rains and the cold weather helped spread the virus." The ministry urged people to avoid crowded places and ordered those managing public phone booths to disinfect them at least eight times daily. The World Health Organisation declared the swine flu pandemic over in August, more than a year after the new virus spread across the world, sparking panic and killing thousands before fizzling out.

Salmonella found in U.S., Canada prompts cilantro, parsley recall - The latest recall comes days after dozens of people fell sick after consuming bacteria-tainted alfalfa sprouts in an apparently unrelated situation. Health officials said those first cases became known November 1, with many getting ill after eating alfalfa sprouts in products from Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches outlets. Those vegetables came from Tiny Greens Organic Farm.
The "precautionary, voluntary recall" for cilantro and parsley from J&D Produce, Inc.was announced Monday. No one has reported getting sick from eating the vegetables. In addition to a variety of sprouts, the Urbana, Illinois, produce company distributes arugula, broccoli, fennel, cauliflower, onion, radish and other items. Jimmy John's pulled sprouts from all its Illinois establishments after store locations came up negative for the bacteria.
About 23% of those sickened in that outbreak were hospitalized. The sprouts were distributed in Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and possibly other Midwestern states, with roughly half the illnesses occurring in Illinois.
The separate J&D Produce recall, meanwhile, came after independent tests found salmonella on the company's parsley in Quebec and its cilantro in Detroit, Michigan, both of which came from the same processing line in Texas. The company's products are sold retail as well as to wholesalers, who may then distribute them to restaurants and other establishments. The recall for parsley went out to the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario and the U.S. states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. The recalled cases of cilantro were distributed in Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin as well as Quebec and Ontario
Salmonella is a bacterial infection that usually lasts four to seven days. About 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in the United States. Those who get it typically develop fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea between 12 and 72 hours after becoming infected. Most people recover on their own, without needing significant treatment. But salmonella in very young and very old people, as well as those with weakened immune systems, can lead to severe illness and even death.

-JFC International, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA is recalling all of its un-eviscerated Frozen Capelin because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.
-Whole Foods Market is recalling items (such as Ginger Bread Houses) sold in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin that came from its supplier Rolf's Patisserie of Lincolnwood, Illinois. The recalled items have been used as an ingredient in prepared food and bakery department products or repackaged and sold under the Whole Foods Market Label.