Have a happy Memorial Day!
A small asteroid will buzz by Earth on Monday at a distance of roughly 18,000 miles — just close enough to make sky watchers wince a bit. The moon is about 239,000 miles away. “Small” for an asteroid is about 80 feet in radius. An astronomy blogger assures us this is not Armageddon. "Let me stress, as always, that there is essentially zero chance of impact here. A miss like this is still a miss, so don’t fret over what will no doubt be a slew of panicky doomsday sites and videos that will pop up about this rock — that happens every single time we get a near-Earth pass of an asteroid, and yet we’re still here! If we see one really and truly on its way to an impact, trust me, I’ll let you know."
LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)
This morning -
5.3 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
6.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION [this follows a 6.4 and 6.0 last Sunday & a 6.0 on Wednesday]
5.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.1 NORTH OF SVALBARD
5.1 LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.1 NORWEGIAN SEA
5.0 SOUTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND
Strongest earthquake in years hits northwest of Norway, no damage. A strong 5.1 earthquake struck the Norwegian Sea northwest of Norway on late Thursday evening, making it one of the strongest tremors to hit the region in recent years.
Fear returns in quake-hit Italy - Two new strong aftershocks rattled north-east Italy overnight on Thursday, sending people outdoors and further damaging buildings hit by a weekend earthquake. The aftershocks struck around midnight (22.00 GMT) with the first one measuring 4.3 and the second 3.2, and local media said a total of 18 aftershocks had hit the area during the night. “The fear has returned,” said the mayor of the Finale Emilia town that was worst hit by Sunday's quake that killed six people and left thousands homeless. “We're taking a step backwards and as long as there isn't a bit more calm we won't be able to get out of the situation. We're trying to convince people to return to their homes if these haven't been damaged, but if the aftershocks continue, this will be impossible."
The makeshift dwellings set up in the aftermath of Sunday's quake are completely filled and entire families camped the night in their cars following the aftershocks. The “red zone” that the authorities established in the centre of the city, prohibiting access because of a high risk of damaged buildings collapsing, was enlarged again on Thursday after being reduced the previous day. The Italian government on Tuesday declared a 60-day state of emergency in the region hit by the quake and promised 50 million euros ($63 million) in aid to help rebuild houses and family-owned factories. Sunday's quake has led 6,000 people to camp out in temporary shelters.
Mexico's famed Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash on nearby towns and villages on Thursday (May 24), as officials mulled the possibility of evacuations. Over 20 ash and smoke emissions were reported throughout the day.
Crystals found in magma chambers may help scientists predict volcanic eruptions - Examining crystals formed deep within volcanoes could give a year's warning of impending eruptions. Crystals often grow within magma chambers, large crevices of searing hot fluid rock beneath volcanoes. Chemical analysis of the crystals revealed evidence of pulses of magma into a growing chamber within the volcano. Peaks in crystal growth were found to correlate with increased seismicity and gas emissions in the months prior to the eruption. More than 500 million people live close to volcanoes that could erupt with little or no clear warning, causing widespread devastation and even global effects on climate.
TROPICAL STORMS -
In the Atlantic -
Subtropical storm Beryl was located about 270 mi...435 km E of Jacksonville, Florida. The center of Beryl is expected to approach the southeastern coast of the United States today and then make landfall tonight or Monday. The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the north of the landfall location where the surge will be accompanied by large waves. Dangerous surf conditions are expected along the coast from northeastern Florida to North Carolina over the remainder of the Memorial Day weekend. Beryl is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches along the southeastern coast of the United States from northern Florida through southeastern North Carolina.
In the Pacific -
Tropical storm 03w (Sanvu) was located approximately 160 nm east of Chichi Jima, Japan.
Tropical storm lashed Mexico's coast - Bud weakened to a tropical storm Friday as heavy rain began to pelt a string of beach resorts and small mountain villages on Mexico's Pacific coast south of Puerto Vallarta.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
U.S. - Residents near a privately owned New Mexico ghost town were ordered Saturday to evacuate as a blaze in the Gila National Forest continued to burn erratically, as Colorado crews took to fighting a new fire along the Utah-Colorado border. The Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire has shrunk slightly to 82,000 acres but is still 0 percent contained because of weather conditions. The evacuation of Mogollon, a privately owned ghost town, was ordered due to extreme wind around the southwestern New Mexico fire. Four helicopters and more than 500 firefighters from around the state were on hand to fight the blaze but still had to contend with "extreme conditions."
Cities, as far away as Albuquerque, remained under a health alert until this afternoon due to smoke from the fire, which has spread across the state. State officials were warning residents during the Memorial Day weekend to limit outdoor activities, especially if smoke was visible. Meanwhile on Saturday, crews in Colorado battled a wildfire that has scorched more than 3,000 acres of rugged canyon land near the Colorado-Utah border. The fire started Friday afternoon and is burning in a remote area near Paradox. It is not threatening any structures, and no injuries have been reported. In California, higher humidity and light winds were helping firefighters get ahead of a stubborn wildfire that has charred 4,100 acres of tinder-dry grass and brush in rural San Diego County. It was 30 percent contained. No injuries or damage to structures were reported, and the fire was not moving toward any homes as it burned southeast on Saturday.
Arizona fire officials said a cold front arriving over the state late Friday was providing additional relief to firefighters battling the Gladiator Fire, a blaze that has charred 16,000 acres and is now 40 percent contained. Electricity has been restored to some areas.
Canada - Extreme Conditions. The hot and dry weather has created extreme fire behaviour in Northeastern Ontario. There is no immediate relief in sight as the weather pattern is expected to continue into the weekend.