Tuesday, October 16, 2012

**Luck is a dividend of sweat.
The more you sweat, the luckier you get.**
Ray Kroc

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/15/12 -

Nevada - More than 100 small earthquakes shake Spanish Springs. "People can consider certain mitigation steps in case these earthquakes increase in intensity and there's a larger one," said an associate director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory.

Volcano Webcams

Klyuchevskoy volcano started erupting in Kamchatka in the Russian Far East. It is the highest active volcano in Eurasia. On the night of October 15, there was light seen over the summit of the volcano indicating a blowout of lava in its crater. The luminescence over the volcano summit is evidence that glowing lava is flowing in the crater. The volcano may start blowing out ash any moment now.
The Level of Concern Colour Code has been raised to Yellow, which is a potential danger warning for aircraft. The giant volcano last erupted from September 2009 to December 2010, and it began to again wake up in June this year.

Two Colombian volcanoes were restive overnight on Friday. Two swarms of what appear to be low-frequency earthquakes struck Machin volcano over 24 hours and another swarm in as many days struck Nevado Del Ruiz volcano.

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Rafael was located about 445 mi [715 km] S of Bermuda. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Bermuda. Some slight strengthening is possible today, with a weakening trend likely to begin by Wednesday. Swells generated by Rafael are expected to affect Bermuda and the eastern-facing beaches of the Bahamas and portions of the United States East Coast during the next couple of days. Tropical Storm Rafael strengthened into a hurricane on Monday evening, becoming the ninth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

In the Eastern Pacific -
- Category 2 Hurricane Paul was located approximately 245 mi [395 km] SW of the southern tip of Baja California. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the West Coast of Baja California from Santa Fe northward to Punta Abreojos. Weakening is forecas but Paul is forecast to reach the West Coast of Baja California as a Hurricane. Paul is expected to weaken to a tropical storm as it moves over Baja California on Wednesday.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon 22w (Prapiroon) was located approximately 300 nm south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.
- Tropical storm Maria was located about 45 nm north-west of Iwo To, Japan.

In the Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Anais -was located approximately 560 nm northeast of La Reunion.

Hurricane Paul has strengthened into a "major" storm in the Pacific off Mexico's Baja peninsula, where authorities have warned residents to make quick preparations, US forecasters said on Monday. At 2100 GMT, Paul was a category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale and was about 670 kilometres southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. The hurricane was packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometres per hour, but forecasters said they believed it would weaken on Tuesday, when it is expected to approach the west coast of the Baja peninsula. Isolated areas could see up to 20 centimetres of rainfall and could produce "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides" in mountainous areas. Paul was also expected to generate dangerous ocean swells and rip currents.

Rafael will bring rain to Atlantic Canada by mid-week.


Flooding affected multiple countries in western and central Africa from July through October. Flood conditions continued in Nigeria in early October. The country’s National Emergency Management Agency reported that floods had killed 431 people and displaced 1.3 million more. Floods had also wiped out 152,575 hectares (377,020 acres) of farmland.
News reports described major rivers and severe flooding in the Niger Delta. Although flash floods frequently occur during the rainy season from May to September, news sources described the 2012 floods as the WORST IN MORE THAN 40 YEARS. Floods even damaged the homestead of the Nigerian president, who declared the event a “national disaster”. (satellite images)


WORLD RECORD SET FOR HOTTEST SEPTEMBER - This year was the hottest September since 2005, and this year matched that record, with the heat most intense in South America, Japan, Russia, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean. It was the third time since 2000 that the world set or tied a heat record for September. In addition to 2012 and 2005, previous hot September records were set in 2003. And these records go back to 1880.
Last month's average temperature was 60.2 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 degrees Celsius) worldwide, which is 1.2 degrees above normal. NOAA's climate monitoring chief said it may be worth studying why September, more than other month, keeps setting world records. It might be the lengthening of the Northern Hemisphere summer as a result of man-made global warming and continual loss of Arctic sea ice that indirectly helps cool other parts of the world.
This is the 16th time that the world has set or tied a hot temperature record since 2000. The last time the world set a cold temperature record was in December 1916, nearly 96 years ago. "What's playing out is precisely what climate said we should expect to see 20 to 30 years ago."
For most of the year, world temperatures were warmer than normal, but not near record levels. At the same time, the United States kept setting heat records. But that reversed in September. It was a record hot month for the world, but the United States ranked as only the 23rd hottest. The heat was widespread, but most intense in South America, Japan, Russia, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean.
Two weather factors may be in play. The La Nina weather oscillation - which is the flip side of El Nino and tends to depress global temperatures slightly - ended. And the Arctic was unusually warm and had a record amount of sea ice melting, factors that alter weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This is the 331st consecutive month with global temperatures above the 20th century average.
Some sceptics of global warming have been pointing to British data that a London newspaper claims shows no warming since 1997. But the United Kingdom meteorological office said the claims are misleading. "I don't know what data they are looking at. 2010 is the warmest year. 2005 is the second warmest year." All of the top ten warmest years on record have occurred after 1997, when the sceptics claimed global warming stopped.


Complacency, misperception stymie quest for better flu vaccines - The world needs much better influenza vaccines, but the quest for them faces a formidable barrier: overconfidence about the effectiveness of existing influenza vaccines.

Steroid-linked fungal outbreak expands; FDA eyes other drugs - The number of patients sickened in a fungal infection outbreak linked to contaminated steroid injections rose to 214 in 15 states. The total is 29 cases more than in the CDC's report on Oct 12, with three additional states affected: Illinois, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Two of the cases are peripheral joint infections and 212 are meningitis cases. The CDC reported one more death, pushing that total to 15.
In another development, investigators are looking into possible meningitis in patients who received two other types of medications from New England Compounding Center (NECC), the company that produced the three lots of methylprednisolone acetate injections that have been linked to the outbreak. The two additional products are triamcinolone acetonide, another injectable steroid, and a cardioplegic solution used to induce cardiac muscle paralysis during open heart surgery to avoid injury to the heart. One patient with possible meningitis received the company's triamcinolone acetonide. Two transplant patients with Aspergillus fumigatus infections who received the NECC cardioplegic solution during surgery have been reported. The FDA said it hasn't confirmed that the three infections were caused by NECC products, but it voiced concern about the sterility of any of the NECC injectable drugs.

Fair-linked North Carolina E coli outbreak grows to 21 cases, 1 death - An Escherichia coli outbreak traced to a North Carolina county fair has reached 21 cases and killed a 2-year-old boy. Two thirds of the cases are in children, with 10 cases from Cleveland County, 5 from Gaston County (including the fatal case), 5 from Lincoln County, and 1 from South Carolina. All case-patients had attended the Cleveland County Fair, which was held Sep 27 through Oct 7. Three patients are on dialysis and four have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially life-threatening complication of toxigenic E coli infection. State and county officials are trying to determine the exact source of the outbreak. Nothing has yet stood out. "The only common thread is that they went to the county fair."

A quarter of US schools miss required food safety inspections - About one fourth of schools in the National School Lunch Program have missed at least one of their two required annual food safety inspections in recent years, adding up to about 73,000 missed inspections from 2008 through 2011. For the 2010-11 school year, 21,963 schools of the more than 100,000 in the NSLP reported being inspected just once or not at all. That compares with 22,915 schools with inadequate inspection in 2009-10 and 28,113 in 2008-09. Among the reasons the USDA has received for lack of inspections are that state and local health departments are strapped for cash and staff, that schools are considered low-risk and are therefore a low priority for inspection agencies, and that small towns and rural areas lack local inspectors.

Salmonella plant findings lead to expanded peanut recall - The company involved in a large recall of nut products linked to a multistate salmonellosis outbreak has expanded the recall to include raw and roasted peanuts after Food and Drug Administration inspectors found Salmonella in raw peanuts and environmental samples at its plant. Sunland Inc. is expanding its recall to include in-shell and shelled raw and roasted peanuts that were processed in its plant in Portales, N.M., and are within their expiration date or have no expiration date. Salmonella in the environmental samples, which are taken from various processing surfaces in the plant, matched the DNA fingerprint of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney. Sunland has ceased production and distribution from the plant and has recalled hundreds of its products. The outbreak involves 35 cases from 19 states.