Friday, July 6, 2012

HIGH SOLAR ACTIVITY - Behemoth sunspot AR1515 is crackling with M-class solar flares and appears to be on the verge of producing an X-class explosion. NOAA forecasters estimate an 80% chance of M-flares and a 10% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.
On July 4th, sunspot AR1515 hurled at least four minor CMEs into space. Most flew south of the ecliptic plane (the orbital plane of the planets), on track to miss everything. One of them, however, appears to be heading toward Earth. The cloud will reach Earth on Saturday, July 7th around 0600 UT.
Sunspot AR1513 also erupted on the 4th of July, producing an M2-class solar flare and a burst of shortwave radio noise that roared out of the loudspeakers of receivers on Earth. These radio sounds are caused by beams of electrons accelerated by the flare. As the electrons slice through the sun's atmosphere, they generate a ripple of plasma waves and radio emissions detectable on Earth 93 million miles away. More radio bursts are in the offing as AR1515 and AR1513 crackle with magnetic explosions.

**Be humble, for the proud heart,
as it loves none but itself,
is beloved of none but itself.**
Frances Quarles

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
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7/2/12 -

New Zealand - No serious damage or injuries have been reported after a deep magnitude-7.0 earthquake [magnitude-6.2 USGS] in the North Island that shook New Zealand from the Bay of Plenty to Canterbury Tuesday night. The long, rumbling quake struck off the Taranaki coast at 10.36pm (08:36pm AEST) and was centred 60km southwest of Opunake at a depth of 230km. It was followed by a smaller aftershock. The quake was the LARGEST TO STRIKE THE REGION IN MORE THAN 100 YEARS.
A number of properties in the Canterbury area of New Zealand are still considered dangerous over a year after the previous big earthquake struck the region. The magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck the lower North Island is unrelated to seismic activity in Canterbury, GNS Science says.
A big quake could leave the capital city of Wellington cut off from the rest of the North Island for four months, new disaster predictions show.

Map of world's earthquakes creates an Internet buzz - This week, a spectacular new photo of a map appeared on the Internet that shows all earthquakes between 1898 and 2003 that have had a magnitude of 4.0 of greater. 203,186 earthquakes are marked on the map. The maker of the map said, "First, I was surprised by the sheer amount of earthquakes that have been recorded. It's almost like you could walk from Seattle to Wellington [New Zealand] if these things were floating in the ocean, and I wouldn't have expected that."
The earthquake lines appear alongside the coastline and in the ocean. "I have a general sense of where it is, and a notion of plate tectonics, but when I first pulled the data in and started painting it in geographically, it was magnificent. I was awestruck at how rigid those bands of earthquake activity really are." He has noticed a massive increase in earthquake data since the 1960s.

Volcano Webcams

In the Pacific -
Tropical storm Daniel was located about 625 mi [1005 km] SSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Daniel could become a low strength hurricane by Saturday.

NASA sees tropical fireworks in E. Pacific in newborn Tropical Storm Daniel - When NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Tropical depression 4E on July 4, it saw strong convective storms were dropping heavy rainfall near the center of the tropical depression's center of circulation. That rain was falling at a rate of more than 2 inches/50 mm per hour. A few of these towering storms reached heights of about 15 km (~9.3 miles). Tropical Depression 4E has since strengthened into Tropical Storm Daniel.
At 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT) on July 5, Tropical Storm Daniel had maximum sustained winds near 45 mph (75 kmh). It was located about 600 miles (970 km) south of the southern tip of Baja California. Daniel is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kmh). That general motion is forecast to continue, followed by a turn to the west.


United Kingdom - UK braced for further severe flooding. Northern Ireland has already suffered flooding from torrential rain Experts are warning of floods in many parts of the UK, with a MONTH'S RAIN DUE TO FALL IN 24 HOURS. The Environment Agency has urged 85 communities, mainly in the east and north-east of England, to be vigilant. It says the flood risk could be the highest so far this year and heavy rain has already begun to hit parts of East Anglia and the East Midlands. The Met Office has issued an amber warning which instructs people to "be prepared".
Two bands of heavy rain are expected to hit today and early Saturday, with transport links and properties potentially affected. Yorkshire, the North East, the Midlands and East Anglia are expected to bear the brunt of the downpours. Parts of Cambridgeshire and Essex will be affected first, before the rain tracks northwards. Between 20mm to 40mm of rain is expected to fall in central and northern areas of England. The worst-hit places at the epicentre of the front could see 60mm of rain, the average monthly fall for July.
Over the weekend, further heavy rain is forecast for parts of northern England and central and southern Scotland which will again introduce the risk of localised flooding. There has already been severe flooding in parts of County Down in Northern Ireland. Parts of Durham were affected by flash flooding on Thursday afternoon, causing some road closures. In Scotland, a major road junction in Ayrshire - the A77 Glasgow to Ayr road - was affected.

Monsoon floods kill 81 in India - THE WORST MONSOON FLOODS IN A DECADE to hit a remote northeastern Indian state have killed more than 80 people and left two million people homeless.


Colorado fire efforts gain ground - The Waldo Canyon fire, THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRE IN COLORADO'S HISTORY, was 70% contained on Monday, as nearly 50 fires raged across the western US.

Record-Breaking Heat Wave Continues in U.S. Southeast, Midwest - Last month, more than 3,200 TEMPERATURE RECORDS WERE BROKEN OR TIED around the United States, with mercury readings including a scorching 114 degrees Fahrenheit in Yuma, Ariz., 94 in Lincoln Neb., and 98 in Queens, NY. In the last two weeks, a third of Americans have endured a heat advisory or excessive heat warning. And temperatures from the Great Plains to the Atlantic coast are running a good 10 to 15 degrees above average.
Hot weather alone is not dangerous. Instead, it's a combination of hot temperatures, high humidity, and often preexisting health conditions that can push a person's core body temperature to reach the danger zone of 104 F. At that point, the nervous system goes haywire, the heart experiences excessive stress, and organ systems begin to fail. "If we can't compensate in some way for external temperatures to protect our internal temperatures, that's when things go wrong. If you can't release heat, you've got problems."
The human body can actually tolerate high temperatures quite well. In experiments, people have withstood temperatures as high as 215 F for as long as 30 minutes. And with training, athletes often compete in long-distance running and biking races in desert conditions without dangerously overheating. To cope with rising environmental temperatures, the heart begins to work harder to pump blood to the skin, where blood vessels dilate to allow more heat to dissipate. At the same time, we produce more sweat, which is the body's best strategy for cooling down. In order for sweat to cool us off, though, it has to evaporate. As the salty liquid turns to a gas, the skin gets cooler. That, in turn, cools the blood near the surface of the skin, which then can return to the body's core and protect it from overheating.
But with high ambient temperatures and especially high levels of humidity, evaporating beads of perspiration are replaced by pouring rivulets of sweat. The result is a loss of liquid from the blood and the cells, but rivers of sweat do nothing to lower core temperatures. "Once there's high humidity, now the problem is that sweating is no longer effective." The brain and central nervous system are particularly sensitive to high internal temperatures, which can cause confusion, strange behaviors, loss of memory and an inability to think clearly. That makes it extremely difficult for a heat-stressed person to realize that he's in trouble.
Warm nights that never dip below 75 or 80 degrees, make it hard for the body to find time to recover, especially for people who don't have air conditioners or who have lost power. From 1979 to 2003, more than 8,000 people died from exposure to excessive heat in the U.S. More people died from heat during that period than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined.
A mass of high pressure is pushing cool fronts far to the Canadian north, tropical moisture is being pulled from the Gulf of Mexico region into the Midwest and Ohio Valley, where steamy conditions are projected to persist for a while. The East, Northeast and Southern states should return to normal in the next week or two. But the west is going to heat up, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies. Even though the heat seems excessive to many people right now, it's not that unusual for large portions of the United States to get this hot at this time of year. What's UNUSUAL IS HOW EARLY THE HEAT STARTED AND HOW LONG IT HAS LASTED. "This is nothing shocking."

Since Jan. 1, the United States has SET MORE THAN 40,000 HOT TEMPERATURE RECORDS, but fewer than 6000 cold temperature records, according to NOAA.