Thursday, March 7, 2013

Will a comet hit Mars? - According to analysts at NASA, newly discovered Comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass very close to Mars in October 2014. Observations through March 1, suggest a flyby only 31,000 miles from the red planet's surface, and NASA cannot yet rule out an impact.

**Problems are pushy. They are very aggresive,
forcing themselves upon us.
Possibilities are shy,
and they must be sought out.**
Thomas Thiss

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
3/6/13 -

Volcano Webcams

Indonesia - Warning as Indonesian volcano spews ash. Indonesian scientists are closely monitoring a smoking volcano popular with tourists on Java island and are urging everyone to stay off the mountain's slope. Mount Tangkuban Perahu in West Java province has spewed smoke and ash nearly 500 metres into the air since Monday. Scientists have put it on the second-highest alert level. Debris and lava have not tumbled far, and nearby towns and villages remain safe. Authorities are warning tourists to stay at least 1.5km away from the crater because of the poisonous gas inside. The volcano last erupted in 1983. Visitors ordinarily can hike to the crater's edge to view boiling mud up close.

Guatemala - Small strombolian explosions continued at the summit of Fuego volcano Wednesday. Periodic jet-like roars are also reported coming from the vent, along with occasional moderate-sized hot avalanches/pyroclastic flows. (Video)

No tropical storms.

Cyclone Sandra has experts baffled as to where it may land - Cyclone Sandra, forming off Townsville, Australia, could go out to sea but it could also head for the Queensland coast as it gathers strength Thursday.
The low threatening the Queensland coast is forecast to form into a cyclone in the next 12 to 24 hours. Weather Bureau forecasters say it is 1050km east of Cairns (500km east of Townsville) and intensifying. It is expected to move southeast over the weekend and will not effect Queensland in this period. The best take on the big storm was that it would develop into a cyclone and then drift north-west away from the coast next week. "But two models have it drifting back towards the coast about Wednesday. We think that is a less likely scenario but it does raise a red flag. We've got to keep a close eye on it because of the doubt in the forecasts."
All coastal catchments were soaked to the extent that just 50mm of rain could cause flash flooding. "Who needs a cyclone now?" "It's likely to become a category 1 cyclone tonight or tomorrow and looks like it will continue intensifying. It'll drift southeast but it's uncertain what it will do next week. Given some models say it will come back toward the coast, we need to keep an eye on it." For the “short to medium term” they are confident the cyclone would remain in the Coral Sea but the long-term was still uncertain. “Whether it will develop a westward track back to Queensland, we’re unsure. There is a fair degree of uncertainty there.”
Over the weekend the cyclone is expected to move eastwards. But computer models cannot agree if it will merely head to sea or whether New Caledonia, Fiji or Australia will feel its brunt. Two major weather systems are steering the big storm but it is not clear which will be the major player in its course. If a strong northwest monsoon flow prevails over a southeasterly high, the storm will be pushed away from Australia. If the position is reversed it could head towards the coast.
Coral Sea cyclones have a reputation for erratic patterns. "Some behave. Yasi did. It had a reasonably consistent track but some you see have really erratic paths. They do all sorts of things. They go north, go south, do loops and this one might live up to the reputation." The Early Warning Network, a commercial organisation that sends out severe weather alerts, has produced a map showing computer modelling tracks. It's a confusing array of directions.
Major US, European and Australian models differ, showing just how difficult it is to forecast Coral Sea cyclones. "Everyone's got a different outcome. Some have it coming down near Brisbane, others have it crossing the coast in the north and others have it going away completely. "Things should crystallise over the next 48 to 72 hours. I hope it doesn't come this way. We've had enough." "Queensland has been hard hit yet again by Mother Nature, with very heavy rain causing flooding throughout the southwest." A high is producing gale force winds and a big swell, with waves to 7m recorded by an Environment Department buoy off North Stradbroke Island yesterday.
Whichever way it moves, the cyclone is expected to whip up big seas which will batter Queensland's already eroded beaches. Cyclone Sandra could reach a category 3 in strength. (updated satellite map and historical path map)
If Cyclone Sandra hits Queensland early next week, it will create the "unprecedented" situation of four major flood events in five weeks.

Cyclone Rusty sparks massive North West algal bloom - The residents of Port Hedland may have been largely spared the wrath of Rusty as the category four cyclone crossed the northwest coast of Australia last week but the surrounding environment has been severely affected.


More bad news about 'nightmare bacteria', CDC says - There's more evidence that untreatable or tough-to-treat infections from a rare but deadly superbug are on the rise in U.S.

More cases in multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to chicken - Four more illnesses have been reported in a multistate Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to a brand of retail chicken, and lab testing in Washington has detected the outbreak strain on products from patients' homes.


Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, has issued a voluntary recall on specific codes of 5-ounce Chunk White Albacore and Chunk Light Tuna products. The recall has been issued because the products do not meet the company's standards for seal tightness.