Thursday, January 3, 2013

**Seeking what is true is not
seeking what is desirable.**
Albert Camus

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

Very quiet lately; we haven't had a 6.0 or higher quake since 12/21/12.

This morning -

Yesterday -
1/2/13 -

In the South Indian Ocean -
Tropical Cyclone 07s (Dumile) was located approximately 200 nm north of La Reunion,north of La Reunion.

Cyclone Freda brings big swell, stingers to Gold and Sunshine Coasts in Australia. Lifesavers were bracing for another dangerous day on Wednesday, with cyclone-fuelled swell and stingers threatening holidaymakers lured to southeast Queensland beaches by hot weather. Beachgoers are being warned to swim between the flags, with dozens rescued.
Tropical cyclone Freda was forecast to strike New Caledonia as a tropical storm at about 06:00 GMT on Wednesday, January 2. Wind shear punched Freda down to tropical storm status on Jan. 1 and weakened it to a remnant low pressure area on Jan. 2. Strong thunderstorms were over New Caledonia early on Jan. 2.


Extreme rainfall in UK 'increasing' - The frequency of extreme rainfall in the UK may be increasing, according to analysis by the Met Office. Statistics show that days of particularly heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960. The analysis is still preliminary, but the apparent trend mirrors increases in extreme rain seen in other parts of the world. It comes as the Met Office prepares to reveal whether 2012 has been the wettest year on record in the UK.
Extreme rain is defined as the sort of downpour you would expect once in 100 days. There are big swings in rainfall from year to year, but the overall trend is upwards since 1960. Last year, for instance, extreme rain fell around once every 70 days. The phenomenon of more frequent downpours has already been noted elsewhere, particularly in China and India.
Scientists say that as the world has warmed by 0.7C, the atmosphere is able to hold 4% more moisture, which means more potential rain. The change in the UK trend is slight, but if the trend is confirmed it will clearly increase the risk of flooding. This year is already the WETTEST IN ENGLAND'S RECORDED HISTORY. And a series of downpours in late November brought one of the wettest weeks in the last 50 years, causing major disruption.
"We have always seen a great deal of variability in UK extreme rainfall because our weather patterns are constantly changing, but this analysis suggests we are seeing a shift in our rainfall behaviour. There's evidence to say we are getting slightly more rain in total, but more importantly it may be falling in more intense bursts - which can increase the risk of flooding. It's essential we look at how this may impact our rainfall patterns going forward over the next decade and beyond, so we can advise on the frequency of extreme weather in the future and the potential for more surface and river flooding. This will help inform decision-making about the need for future resilience both here in the UK and globally."
The Met Office no longer publishes a seasonal forecast and will not speculate on whether 2013 will produce frequent extreme rain. The immediate forecast however is for more stable weather.


India - More than 100 people have died of exposure as northern India deals with historically cold temperatures. On Thursday at least 114 people have died from the cold in the state of Uttar Pradesh, at least 23 of them in the previous 24 hours. Many of the dead were poor people whose bodies were found on footpaths or in parks. The weather department said temperatures in the state were 4 to 10 degrees below normal. Temperatures in New Delhi, which borders Uttar Pradesh, hit a high on Wednesday of 9.8 degrees Celsius, the LOWEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE IN THE CAPITAL SINCE 1969.

Snow in New Zealand as Australia faces heatwave - As Australians swelter in a heatwave, it's been snowing in New Zealand's South Island. For the second summer in a row, snow has fallen in Central Otago in January. But forecasters say the winter woollies will not be needed for long.
Kids were pictured making snowmen, the Gimmerburn range near Ranfurly looked like a winter postcard and travellers near the summit of Lindis Pass abandoned vehicles on Wednesday night. "There was quite a lot of snow but it's not landing on the town. It's on the hills surrounding." The snow did not damage the area vineyard, which was about two weeks behind a normal season due to cooler weather.
A hailstorm was also reported in Oamaru late on Thursday afternoon. The snow came after heavy rain and gales disrupted travellers on the West Coast of the South Island from Wednesday but the MetService says a ridge of high pressure will bring fine weather on Friday. "The weekend is likely to be warm just about everywhere." Unseasonably hot temperatures are predicted for Saturday.


Tasmania - A bushfire threatening the historic southern Tasmanian town of Richmond has been brought within containment lines, but crews are wary of an imminent heatwave throughout the state. Dozens of people were evacuated from the town after the fire breached containment lines and put properties under direct threat around 2pm (AEDT) on Thursday.
The fire was back within the containment lines by Thursday evening. "The last operational information received was that the fire was holding within containment lines, and crews are working on a number of flanks to bring the fire to a central area." There were no reports of property damage. One of the town's main access routes, Middle Tea Tree Road, was closed to all traffic for several kilometres.
Elsewhere, a large number of crews battled hard to bring a blaze at Forcett under control, while campers were moved on from Lake Repulse because of a nearby bushfire. Firefighters were working hard in the cooler evening conditions ahead of another predicted scorcher on Friday. "We are expecting worse fire behaviour tomorrow, with poorer weather indicators." Hobart is tipped to reach 39C on Friday, with strong northwesterly winds forecast. A total fire ban has been declared for the state.

Weather all over the shop in 2012 in Australia - It might seem bleeding obvious to those people about to endure a week of scorching weather, but new data shows the past decade was one of the hottest on record in Australia.
The Bureau of Meteorology's climate snapshot of 2012, released on Thursday, found days were hot and nights were cool last year, with daytime maximum averages half a degree higher than usual. Tasmania, the mainland's southern coast and the southwestern half of Western Australia experienced above-average temperatures. But it was cooler than average in eastern Australia, while the Northern Territory - where temperatures normally soar - experienced it's COLDEST WINTER ON RECORD. Balmy Darwin shivered through its CHILLIEST AUGUST NIGHT EVER. While it wasn't Thredbo, the mercury fell to a respectable 13.1C.
The first half of 2012 was cooler and wetter than average, with an ongoing La Nina event in the tropical Pacific dumping rain across most of the country, causing some flooding. Australia had its third wettest March on record, while in late February and early March southeast Australia experienced ONE OF ITS MOST EXTREME RAINFALL EVENTS ON RECORD. For the Murray-Darling Basin, this event across a broad part of northern Victoria, southern NSW and eastern South Australia was the WETTEST SEVEN-DAY PERIOD ON RECORD SINCE AT LEAST 1900.
The cooler daytime temperatures, widespread cloud cover and rain associated with La Nina gave way during winter and spring to the drier El Nino weather system, which caused rainfall to drop 25 per cent below average. By the end of 2012, despite January to March being the seventh wettest on record, Australia had experienced rainfall just a touch above average. The bureau also found NUMEROUS WINTER AND SPRING HEAT RECORDS WERE BROKEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY from August onwards as maximum temperatures peaked above average.
Much of eastern Australia was hit by ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SPRING HEATWAVES ON RECORD at the end of November, with Oodnadatta smashing South Australia's RECORD FOR THE WARMEST OVERNIGHT NOVEMBER TEMPERATURE with a minimum of 32.3C. No stranger to hot weather, Roxby Downs and Oodnadatta in SA's outback are about to sizzle again with six days in a row above 45C. Overall, the 10 years to 2012 was the fifth-warmest decade in Australia's history, while, globally, last year was the ninth hottest on record.