Friday, August 17, 2012

Russian Volcano Erupts, Spewing Gas Over Kuril Islands. Ivan the Terrible volcano erupted on one of Russia's far eastern Kuril Islands, releasing a cloud of noxious fumes and raising temperatures in the surrounding area. Emergency officials said in a statement on their website that the volcano, located on the sparsely populated island of Iturup to the south of the Kuril archipelago, erupted Wednesday due to increased water flows rushing into the volcano after heavy downpours. Officials stressed that the volcano had released no lava and that it erupts regularly. The last major eruption was in 1989. Iturup residents were exposed to a slight smell of hydrogen peroxide and noticed ash falling as a result of the eruption. By Thursday, the hydrogen peroxide fumes and ash were no longer noticeable. Emergency officials advised citizens to steer clear of Ivan the Terrible and said they were monitoring the volcano's activity.

**Hope is believing in spite of the evidence,
and watching the evidence change.**
Alaskan elder

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/16/12 -

Volcano Webcams

New Zealand - Tongariro Volcano alert reduced to level 1. Ten days have elapsed since the eruption of Tongariro on the evening of August 6. Although very minor amounts of ash were emitted in the first few days after the eruption, there has been no significant activity since August 6.

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Gordon was located about 1315 mi [2115 km] W of the Azores. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph. [110 km/h], with higher gusts. Gordon could become a hurricane today. Gordon only has a day or so to become a hurricane before it moves over cooler waters and encounters strong shear. A gradual weakening should then begin, but Gordon is forecast to remain a tropical storm by the time it moves through the Azores in 3 days. Potential paths

In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical depression Hector was located about 435 mi. [700 km] WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Gradual weakening is forecast and Hector is expected to become a remnant low today.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon 14w (Kai-Tak) was located approximately 300 nm east of Hanoi, Vietnam.


Britain - Severe weather warning as tropical cyclone sweeps over Somerset. The West is battening down the hatches for the closest thing it will probably ever get to a tropical cyclone, due to sweep over the region over the next few days. The first arm of the deep low pressure, which weather forecasters say will be sucking up very warm and very wet and windy weather from the tropics, were expected to hit the west of Somerset and Dorset from Wednesday, with the Met Office issuing a severe weather warning. It says there is a danger of flooding, both from rivers and flash flooding from heavy rainfall, with the added danger of autumnal strength winds hitting trees in full leaf.
The yellow warning urges the public to be aware of severe conditions. “Heavy rain, accompanied by strong winds, is expected to spread north during Wednesday morning and afternoon. The heaviest rain is likely to clear from the south by evening, but the strong winds will peak a little later. The public should be aware of the possibility of surface water flooding and the likelihood of difficult conditions for travel." And there will be a second wind today, with the tail-end of the cyclone battering the West again, with more heavy rain expected.
Residents in Street have been hit by flash floods this morning following more heavy rain.


The sun is a perfect sphere - Too perfect. The sun is more spherical and more invariable than theories predict. The 11-year solar cycle swoops between peaks of intense magnetic activity — apparent as sunspots, coronal loops and flares — and relative quiescence, when the sun's face is free of blemishes. New research shows that despite this tumult, the sun remains remarkably constant in its globular shape — findings that have left researchers scratching their heads. Earth's closest star is ONE OF THE ROUNDEST OBJECTS HUMANS HAVE MEASURED. If you shrank the sun down to beach ball size, the difference between its north-south and the east-west diameters would be thinner than the width of a human hair. "Not only is it very round, but it's too round."
Scientists have long tried to assess the sun's shape, in part because understanding its structure would help them predict when a flare might shoot toward Earth and disrupt communication satellites and power grids. Measuring the orb has been tricky, however, and no two observations have matched exactly. Researchers accounted for the discrepancies by assuming the sun's figure varied with the solar cycle. In the last two years, the sun's activity has exploded after a long period of relative quiescence, giving researchers an opportunity to watch the evolution of the solar cycle. Previous instruments for observing the star were mostly ground-based, and thus had to peer through the blur of Earth's atmosphere. Researchers may have thus measured atmospheric changes correlated with the solar cycle and not changes in the star itself.


Michigan woman dies of West Nile - Experts fear THE SEASON COULD BE THE WORST IN YEARS. Public health officials in Michigan are sounding the alarm about another potentially deadly mosquito season after a Washtenaw County woman described as healthy and active died of West Nile Virus - the first such death this year.