Monday, November 12, 2012

**The only people who find what they are looking for
in life are the fault finders.**
Foster’s Law

No update on Tuesday this week.

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday -
11/11/12 -

A new earthquake brought panic to Guatemala's devastated San Marcos region, where up to 10,000 houses may have been destroyed. The 6.1 (5.8) earthquake hit Guatemala just days after at least 52 people were killed by the country's most powerful quake in decades. The tremor had its epicentre off Guatemala's Pacific coast. It also felt in El Salvador and Mexico's southern Chiapas state.
There are no immediate reports of deaths or major damage, but the second strong quake in less than a week caused panic in the Central American country. The earthquake hit at 16:15 local time (22:15 GMT). San Marcos, a mountainous state near the Mexican border, was the region most devastated by Wednesday's 7.2 (6.8) magnitude tremor - the most powerful to hit Guatemala since 1976.
In San Cristobal Cucho, 10 members of the same family were killed when their house collapsed. Most of the victims were from the town of San Marcos, and there were fatalities also in the neighbouring region of Quetzaltenango. Thousands of people lost their houses and were left without power. 22 people were still missing.

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Kentucky on Saturday, felt from Ohio to Georgia, rattling at least 9 state at 12.08 p.m. - People felt the ground shake for about 15 seconds. The epicenter of the relatively light earthquake, which struck at a depth of 0.7 miles, was in Blackey, Kentucky. The town, which is in the Appalachian Mountains, is near the border with Virginia and about 110 miles southwest of Charleston.

Volcano Webcams

Tourists go missing at Chile volcano - Three days of searching has found no trace of three European tourists who went missing while hiking at one of this South American nation's most active volcanos, authorities said on Saturday. Teams led by special police and the Andean Aid Team have been sweeping the area around the Villarica volcano in Chile's central valley since Thursday morning.
The missing Europeans are identified as from Russia, France and Italy. One family has rented a private helicopter to join the search. The hikers haven't been heard from since Wednesday night, when one of them called his girlfriend who lives in the nearby community of Pucon. He told her it was getting late and dark so the group decided to sleep over at the volcano and descend the next day.
"What worries us is that they were unprepared to sleep over in the volcano. They were there only for a day hike and that night a cold front cooled temperatures and brought a lot of snow, which could have covered their footprints." The search began early Thursday after the snowy weather cleared out. "Unfortunately, after three days there's no trace of these persons."

In the East Pacific -
- Tropical storm Rosa was located about 795 mi. [1285 km] SW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Hurricane Sandy: Climate change or just bad luck? - An environmental scientist argues we should let all of the barrier islands in New Jersey return to the condition of Island Beach. He is the prime proponent of the idea we should retreat from the sea. But the area affected by Sandy runs all the way from Cape May to New York. Where would the retreat end? "That’s the $64 million question. But if we don’t sort it out, then nature’s going to sort it out. Within 50 years, those towns are going to be gone, period."
"Nobody doubts or disagrees that the oceans are warming and that warming produces more energy for the hurricanes. Not only are we going to have more intense storms, but sea levels are going to rise." Shore towns might be tempted to fend off the ocean with sea walls and other structures, but he argues that such structures don’t work.
"The rule of sea walls is that if the water is up to the base of a sea wall, then it makes it worse. But if you have a nice, wide beach out in front and are using the sea wall as a last line of defense, then it’s not really a problem." In Sea Bright the structures on the ocean side of the sea wall, such as the beach clubs, took a bad beating. But those on the land side could have survived intact if they were raised on pilings and storm-proofed to the standards common in Florida. "My friends in Florida laugh at us. You got hit with a category 1 hurricane? Big deal."
The coast can be hardened against such storms. A combination of sea walls, sand replenishment and dune protection would greatly minimize future damage. But will those storms be more intense because of climate change? "There are smart people on both sides of that debate."
There was a storm in 1821 that reached almost the same level as Sandy at the Battery in Manhattan. "It took almost 200 years for Sandy to come up to that level. Was it because the climate has warmed or was it just a really unique set of circumstances?" The circumstances in Sandy’s case involved an UNUSUAL TRACK that put her right over New Jersey on a full-moon high tide. Had Sandy hit at low tide, the storm surge would have been much less pronounced.
The environmental scientist warns sea levels will be rising in coming years. A professor of coastal engineering counters that those levels have been rising at about a foot per century and are predicted to continue doing so. We can either plan for that or we can retreat, he argues. The Dutch have been dealing with a much greater challenge for as long as most of Holland has been below sea level, which amounts to its entire history.
"My personal opinion is there’s no one solution that will fit every location and every site. But retreating from the coast is not going to work, as much as it may be nice to think about it." And who would pay for the seaside property to be vacated? When the state purchased Island Beach in 1953, the entire tract cost a mere $2.7 million. These days that wouldn’t even be enough to buy a beachfront house in Seaside.

The National Weather Service classified Sandy as a "post tropical cyclone." Insurers are hoping for reclassification of the storm as a hurricane, which would increase homeowner deductibles by tens of thousands of dollars. Classifying Sandy as a hurricane could boost deductibles to $20,000, compared with $1,000 for a tropical storm.

Philippines - Low Pressure Area spotted off Surigao. Two to four more cyclones are likely to enter the country before the end of the year. A total of 15 cyclones have entered the Philippine area of responsibility so far this year.


Minnesota - RARE November tornadoes. Two weak tornadoes touched down in the south metropolitan area late Saturday -- an EXTREMELY RARE phenomenon that Minnesota HAS NOT EXPERIENCED THIS LATE IN THE SEASON SINCE RECORDS BEGAN being kept by the National Weather Service in the 1950s.
After a day of RECORD-BREAKING HIGH TEMPERATURES that topped out in the lower 70s in some parts of the Twin Cities, a strong cold front rode in from the Dakotas, spawning the tornadoes in Dakota County around 11 p.m. Saturday. They fanned into straight-line winds that ripped out trees, knocked out power and caused light structural damage in Dakota, Ramsey and southern Washington counties. No injuries were reported. Power was lost to about 12,000 homes and businesses.
The twisters were rated as EF-0, on a scale that rates the most devastating tornadoes as EF-5. "In terms of tornadoes, these were of the weakest that we could rank. But even a weak tornado can still do damage. Any tornado ... in a metro area can be dangerous with that many people."
The November twisters are not only rare in Minnesota, but are "extremely rare for places in the Northern Plains, the Upper Mississippi River Valley," which would include Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota. The first tornado showed up on radar at 10:58 p.m., touching down in Burnsville. It moved northeast. Wind speeds were estimated at 80 miles per hour. It then widened into straight-line winds. Seven minutes later, a line of thunderstorms moving fast to the northeast produced a second tornado following the Mississippi River, and it dropped down near the intersection of Interstate 494 and Hwy. 13. That one had wind speeds of 70 to 75 mph.
The winds had picked up intensity as they swept from the west into the east metro, with pockets of homes and businesses hardest hit, and power failures in West St. Paul and Mendota Heights. The straight-line winds were nearly as strong as the tornadoes, wreaking nearly as much damage and over wider swaths.
The tornadoes came four to six weeks later than the typical time that twisters end in Minnesota. "You know how people say it sounds like a freight train. It does." Just after 11 p.m., a man had tried to put his and his companion's dogs outside, but they wouldn't go in the yard and scampered back inside "like they knew something was coming," and then "the lights went out and all fury broke loose." Rain came down so densely it looked like milk. Electrical lines snapped, "flashing like the sun was falling. I opened the door quick and I saw the 60-foot, towering pines break into pieces like toothpicks and blow up in the air over the neighbors' yards. A huge tree in front of the house was ripped out of the ground and landed on my car." The house where he lived was left with shingles missing and back windows bowed out. Straight-line winds of up to 70 mph hit his neighborhood.
In Mendota Heights, West St. Paul and Mahtomedi, trees fell on vehicles and roofs. Across the metro area, a quarter- to a half-inch of rain fell, along with a trace of snow in some areas. While the precipitation is welcome, several big snowfalls and spring rains would be needed to help ease the ongoing drought. There's been a serious deficit of precipitation since Sept. 1, nearly 4 inches below what's considered normal.