Friday, November 9, 2012

**Winners lose much more often than losers.
So if you keep losing but you’re still trying,
keep it up! You’re right on track.**
Matthew Keith Groves

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
11/8/12 -

Canada - Recent quakes off BC coast likely not connected. Scientists say the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck off the west coast of Vancouver Island Wednesday is likely not connected to the magnitude 7.7 quake a few weeks ago near Haida Gwaii. The latest quake rattledsome homes in a remote community but caused no injuries or major damage.

After Guatemala earthquake, search for survivors - The 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Guatemala on Wednesday, killing at least 52 people in two states as it toppled thick adobe walls, shook huge landslides down onto highways, sent terrified villagers streaming into the streets, crushing homes and cars, destroying roads and forcing evacuations as far away as Mexico City.
There have been dozens of aftershocks, four of them over 5 in magnitude. Hundreds of rescuers are sifting debris of wrecked towns for survivors of Wednesday's earthquake in Guatemala. The 7.4-magnitude tremor, THE MOST POWERFUL TO HIT GUATEMALA SINCE 1976, left many injured and thousands without power. 22 people were still missing and as many as 10,000 houses may have been rendered uninhabitable. Most of the damage was near the border with Mexico.
The mountainous town of San Marcos and the surrounding area was hit particularly hard, with 40 people confirmed dead. Many residents spent the night outside, huddled under blankets in the dark and frigid streets, afraid to go back into their homes. The only building left with electricity in the area was the hospital, which was packed with the injured and their families. In San Cristobal Cucho, a village 5km (3 miles) from San Marcos, 10 members of the same family were killed when their house collapsed. The other fatalities were in the neighbouring region of Quetzaltenango.
Roads have been deluged by landslides and most regions of the country reported some damage as a result of the quake. Powerful aftershocks continued to hit the area throughout the night. The original tremor hit 23km off Guatemala's Pacific coast on Wednesday at about 10:35 local time (16:35 GMT). The shudders sent people fleeing from buildings in El Salvador to the south, and as far north as Mexico City. In 1976, a 7.5-magnitude tremor caused the deaths of about 25,000 people. (photos, map and video)

Researchers Still Learning About 2002 Alaska Earthquake - The Denali Fault earthquake only rumbled for about 3 minutes when it shook Interior Alaska a decade ago, but some of the reverberations of that powerful seismic event are still being felt today. The 7.9 Denali Fault quake was a monster – THE LARGEST INLAND EARTHQUAKE IN NORTH AMERICA IN NEARLY 150 YEARS – and its west-to-east shockwave was powerful enough that it was felt as far away as Louisiana. Roads were sheared apart along the fault line.

No tropical storms.

Why Europeans are so good at forecasting hurricanes - When it comes to forecasting hurricanes, a great incongruity of modern meteorology is that European scientists are the best in the world at predicting the paths of Atlantic storms.
That's striking because in the past 150 years just one tropical cyclone - Hurricane Vince in 2005 - has actually struck Europe. Vince did so as a depression, bringing 30-mph sustained winds to southern Spain. And yet the European forecast model is the undisputed king of hurricane forecasting at the moment, better than anything North America has to offer.
Seven days before Hurricane Sandy made landfall the major forecast models took the system - which was then a 50-mph tropical storm south of Jamaica - into the open Atlantic, far from the U.S. coast. Except for the European model, that is, which brought a large hurricane toward the New Jersey coast. Which is pretty much what happened.
It's not like the European model just got lucky with Sandy. During the past four years the average error of its five-day hurricane orecasts have been consistently lower than the best U.S. model, the Global Forecast System, produced by the National Weather Service. Last years the European model did so good its four- and five-day forecasts were about 15 miles more accurate than the National Hurricane Center's official track forecast.
So why have the Europeans become so good at hurricane forecasting? The European model doesn't actually forecast hurricanes. It's a "global model," meaning it forecasts conditions around the world. When a new "run" of the model comes out, it forecasts global weather for the next 10 days. Part of its success in predicting the development and movement of large storms is its resolution. This means the model divides the surface of the planet into a grid of boxes that are approximately 10 miles by 10 miles. The Global Forecast System model, with less computer hardware at its disposal, has a resolution of about 16 miles.
But it's not just resolution that matters. Scientists have also gained a deeper understanding of the physics that control large weather systems and have improved their ability to model those conditions. "In 2007 we made big changes to the model's physics, in particular the convection and clouds. This had quite a large impact on our skill with tropical cyclones.''
European scientists are also much better at how they incorporate observations from weather buoys, satellites and other sources into their model. The U.S. model is fairly close to the European model in terms of accuracy, but added that improvements are under way. The Global Forecast System model will receive a computer hardware upgrade in 2013 that should put it on roughly equal footing with its European counterpart. American modelers are also working to improve the way in which data from disparate sources - including buoys, satellites, weather balloons flown by National Weather Service offices and reconnaissance aircraft flying into hurricanes - is incorporated into models to get the best possible forecast. The closer these "initial conditions" are to being correct, the better chance a forecast model has to getting a forecast correct.
This is why satellite data is so critical to models, forecasters say, and it's why they're concerned about a looming gap in satellites that fly pole-to-pole orbits. Outside reviews of U.S. plans to replace the aging polar satellites have characterized it as "dysfunctional." There's growing concern about a months-long or even multi-year gap in the availability of such data as the older satellites fail. And the European model relies on that data. Their center ran an experiment in which the model was denied satellite data with respect to Sandy. In absence of the satellite information the model had Sandy striking Canada rather than New Jersey. "That's a clear message from us. To have the satellite data is key for forecasting."