Sunday, January 20, 2013

Meteorologists confounded, as snow doesn't appear in Chicago - January 19, Chicago officially BROKE ANOTHER RECORD FOR NO SNOW. “It’s pretty incredible. It’s the middle of January and there’s no snow on the ground. Dallas, Texas has had more snow than us.”
The last time they went this far into the season without a 1-inch calendar day of snowfall was Jan. 17, 1899. Additionally, it’s been 326 days and counting since they’ve had a 1-inch snow cover on the ground. That RECORD WAS OFFICIALLY BROKEN nine days ago. “If you think about it, we’re just a little over a month away from basically going an entire year without snow in Chicago. Some of it has just been luck but there have been some pretty good storms that have missed us."
While snowfall is not in the stars for the area, very cold temperatures are. “We’re watching a little system Sunday night that will bring a really, really intense cold snap – the coldest we’ve been in nearly two years." Highs will “struggle” to reach the teens by Monday into Tuesday. “We could have lows not very far from zero." The Illinois Tollway will launch its Zero Weather Road Patrols this weekend to assist drivers stranded in their cars during times of extreme cold.

**Closing your eyes doesn't make problems go away,
just as covering your clock doesn't change the time.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday -
1/19/13 -

1/18/13 -

Philippines - A 5.5 magnitude earthquake shook Samar island at 9:48 p.m. Saturday. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

5.6 Quake jolts southwest China; no reported casualties. However, some buildings of local residents surrounding the epicentre were damaged in the quake. The earthquake hit the Baiyu County in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze at 8:42 pm.

New Zealand - Aftershocks likely after 4.6 quake. A magnitude 4.6 earthquake was recorded west of Christchurch on Saturday night followed by a 3.6 in inland Canterbury on Sunday. The tremor struck at 9.15pm, and was centred 15km west of Christchurch, at a depth of 10km. The shake was the strongest aftershock experienced in the region since a 4.8 quake on July 6, 2012. The quake caused a flurry of online traffic that overloaded the system.
Taranaki, North Island, has again been shaken by a short sharp earthquake. The GNS website assesses the quake, at 1.45pm, as of light intensity and a magnitude of 5.2. The quake was initially thought to be centred 20km south of Hawera at a depth of 135km, but has since been updated by GeoNet showing it was centred 138km deep and 25km west of Waverley.
The GeoNet felt report shows people as far north at Auckland and as far south as Dunedin felt the quake. People quickly turned to Facebook to share what they had felt and many described it as a 'sharp jolt then a rolling'. "That was the strongest I've felt since the deep Opunake one some months ago. It certainly wasn't "light". It shook a lot of the stuff here around, and I see it was felt from North Auckland to Dunedin."
"Most definitely (felt it). Woke me up from my sleep. Thought it may have been someone playing a prank on me at first but then realised and enjoyed the ride! Fascinating stuff." Taranaki Civil Defence said there had been no reports of damage. The region has been hit by several quakes since a shallow magnitude 4.3 quake struck 25 km north-west of Opunake in the early hours of New Year's Day. Since then almost an earthquake a day has been recorded, with most centred off Opunake.

Volcano Webcams

Volcano activity of January 18 - Clusters of small earthquakes affected several Alaskan volcanoes, including Mount Spurr, Katmai Caldera, Mount Martin, and Tanaga volcano.
Volcano activity of January 17 - Eruptive activity in Hawaii at Pu'u 'O'o has picked up over the past week. Lava flows erupting sporadically from several places continue to fill the crater and occasionally spill out onto the east flank.

Hawaii - Lava continues to overflow at Kilauea Volcano. Officials say there has been a spike in lava activity at Kilauea Volcano over the past week. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released photos of the eruptive activity on its website. The volcano is so explosive, that lava is spilling over from the Pu'u 'O'o vent. The lava lake in Hawaii's Mount Kilauea volcano reached a record level. Kilauea, considered to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world, has been continuously erupting along its eastern flank for the past 30 years, ever since the vent called Pu'u 'O'o started spewing lava back on January 3rd, 1983.

Italy - Stromboli island volcano still erupting. Experts said a volcano on the island of Stromboli in Italy was still erupting and spewing lava Friday, with no signs of stopping. Tremors, ranging from medium to high levels, began Sunday.

Russia - Four New Cinder Cones from the Ongoing Tolbachik Eruption in Russia. After nearly 7 weeks, the eruption at Tolbachik is still going strong. The latest KVERT report on the eruption says that it has produced four (!) new cinder cones on the flanks of the volcano and the lava flows continue to move away from the volcano.
'Orange' alert code issued for Kizimen Volcano - The Kizimen Volcano on Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula has been awarded the 'orange' aviation alert code, warning that volcanic dust could pose a threat to aircraft flying above. On Thursday the volcano spewed ash.

No tropical storms.

Australia - Gulf of Carpentaria braces for potential cyclone. The Bureau of Meteorology says a developing tropical low may intensify into a cyclone over the next two days, bringing gale-force winds and heavy rain to communities between Mornington West and Aurukun.


Indonesia - Staple food prices soar as extreme weather hits Bantul. The price of staple foods in Bantul, Yogyakarta, has soared following crop failures caused by extreme weather in the regency. The bad weather ruined many vegetable fields in the regency. "The bad weather also disrupted the distribution of produce. Since the arrival of supplies was halted, staple prices increased."
This week, a kilogram of chilies cost Rp 30,000 (US$3.09) in several traditional markets, up from last week’s price of Rp 12,000. Garlic prices, meanwhile, soared to Rp 60,000 per kilogram from the usual Rp 20,000. Meat prices also showed an increase, with beef prices rising to Rp 95,000 per kilogram from the normal price of Rp 85,000. Chicken prices went up to Rp 26,000 from Rp 18,000 per kilogram last week. "I believe the price of vegetables will keep increasing in months ahead."
To prevent a sharp spike in food prices, the Bantul administration planned to turn to other regions, such as Brebes for shallots and Temanggung and Boyolali for vegetables.


Europe hit by blizzards, causing deaths - Four people have died in an avalanche in Scotland as Europe is caught up in extreme winter weather.
Extreme winter weather swept across western Europe on Saturday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at London's main international airport and claiming several lives in Spain, Portugal, Scotland and France, including those of three Mali-bound soldiers. The frigid temperatures also caused delays and cancellations on major railway lines including the Eurostar train service, and transport authorities warned of further traffic disruptions with more blizzards forecast for Sunday.
In London, thousands of passengers were forced to camp out on the floor at Heathrow Airport overnight as hundreds of flights to and from the British capital were cancelled. "There are lots of bodies lying around in the airport. If feels like there's been a natural disaster." London's other main airports, Gatwick and Stansted, managed to operate fairly normally on Saturday.
Aeroports de Paris, which operates the city's main airports, said air traffic there would be disrupted from late Saturday "and all day Sunday". Air France said all of its long-haul flights would operate normally on Sunday, but that about 40 per cent of its short and medium-haul flights would be affected by the disruptions. Snow and ice covering large parts of France led to several fatal car crashes, one of which killed three French soldiers about to join comrades fighting in Mali. The troops were travelling in an army car with their military packs and weapons when their vehicle crashed in an accident involving two trucks and two cars.
In total, six people were killed on the slippery French roads on Saturday, and the nation's weather services have forecast more snow across the northern and southeastern parts of the country over the weekend. The French railway SNCF said high-speed train travellers could expect delays of up to 40 minutes for all TGV destinations on Saturday night, as train conductors had been ordered to slow down because of the elevated risks linked to the storms.
In the Scottish Highlands on Saturday, an avalanche killed four climbers and seriously injured one, while a sixth survived. The cold snap also led to power outages, particularly in Northern Ireland where at least 900 homes were without electricity on Saturday.
In southern Europe, the fierce weather claimed several lives, killing two men in Spain as the force of winds whipping the country's southeastern coast caused a wall to collapse on them in the city of Cartagena. Spain's national rail operator ADIF said wind damage forced delays to high-speed trains linking Madrid with the major cities of Seville and Valencia. The country's interior ministry issued an alert for the weekend, warning of snow and rainstorms nationwide with winds up to 100 kilometres per hour and rough seas in the Mediterranean.
In Portugal, an elderly man was killed after strong winds hurled him into a door in the central municipality of Abrantes, leaving him with deadly head injuries. Two teenagers were hospitalised after a chimney collapsed in Agualva, in the Lisbon suburbs. The Portuguese meteorological institute has issued the HIGHEST WEATHER ALERT for six of its 18 districts. Some 3,900 weather-related incidents were reported in Portugal between Friday morning and noon on Saturday.


Australia -
Floods, fire hit southern Queensland towns - In a summer of extremes, the Darling Downs town of Chinchilla is flooded while fire crews are battling a blaze at Nanango less than 150km away.
Victoria crews backburn before more hot weather - Fire crews are backburning a massive fire in Victoria's east amid fears the blaze could break containment lines later in the week.
New South Wales firefighters mop up as threat eases - NSW'S bushfire crisis continues to ease as firefighters begin mopping up.

Oklahoma - Extreme weather leads to winter water rationing. Oklahoma City area hit hard by dry conditions.
Water restrictions are not unusual in Oklahoma, at least not in the summer. Winter problems are RARE, yet Oklahoma City finds itself in that very sitution. “What we're asking people to do is begin outdoor watering use restrictions as quickly as they can” said the OKC Utilities Director and she hasn’t seen it like this in her career, “we think we’re seeing a drought that’s similar to the drought of the 1950’s."
The lack of rain has many of the lakes near the state capitol nearly dry. At Canton Lake, “it’s going to go so low that it’ll be the second lowest pool that we’ve ever experienced." Canton feeds several other lakes like Overholser and Hefner, that has further pulled down its level. “If we go lower it’s going to be a small body of water left."
“This is a sign of the times, this is what happens when you have drought." These dry conditions have stretched over several seasons. “I don’t know if we’re in the middle or the end but we are in a multi-year drought.” The rationing is on the odd/even system. That means addresses ending with an odd number can water on odd days and vice versa. Any city or town using Oklahoma City water is affected as well. That means Norman, El Reno, Mustang and even Tinker Air Force Base will have to conserve as well.


Flu sending many elderly to hospitals - This year's edition of influenza is hitting the elderly hard, putting many in hospitals, even as overall flu activity is showing signs of slowing down, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.