Thursday, June 13, 2013

U.S. Midwest Pelted With Rain, Wind, Hail, Tornadoes - A massive line of storms packing hail, lightning and tree-toppling winds rolled through the Midwest Wednesday evening driving people into basements for shelter, tearing down power lines and causing flooding in low-lying areas. Forecasters predicted that by the time the storms were done, they could AFFECT MORE THAN ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS from Iowa to Maryland.
Small tornadoes were reported in parts of Iowa and in Illinois. In Iowa, at least two businesses and a home were "completely damaged," authorities said. A storm ripped through a farm in rural Alexander, destroying a motor home. Tens of thousands of people across the Upper Midwest lost power. "We're just happy that we don't have reports of injuries or fatalities," said the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "We just hope the extent of the damage is minimal."
In addition to tornadoes, lightning and large hail, meteorologists warned about the possibility of a weather event called a derecho, which is a storm of strong straight-line winds spanning at least 240 miles. By late Wednesday, a derecho hadn't developed, but conditions were still ripe for one, with more storms expected overnight. "With each hour that goes by, it's less likely." Derechoes, with winds of at least 58 mph, occur about once a year in the Midwest. Rarer than tornadoes but with weaker winds, derechoes produce damage over a much wider area. Tornadoes and a derecho can happen at the same time. Straight-line winds lack the rotation that twisters have, but they can still cause considerable damage as they blow down trees and other objects.
In Wisconsin, authorities said thunderstorms packing heavy rain and high winds caused a Walmart roof to partially collapse. Two employees had minor injuries, but no customers were hurt. Street flooding was reported in parts of the village of Boscobel in Grant County. In Illinois, the commuter rail system temporarily halted all inbound and outbound trains, and Northwestern University canceled classes and finals at its campuses in Chicago and suburban Evanston. Airlines canceled more than 120 flights at O'Hare International Airport.
In Indiana, the warnings prompted the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. to increase staff at its customer call center and to schedule extra work crews for any power outages. Golf-ball sized hail damaged some cars.
Last year, a derecho caused at least $1 billion in damage from Chicago to Washington, killing 13 people and leaving more than 4 million people without power, according to the weather service. Winds reached nearly 100 mph in some places and in addition to the 13 people who died from downed trees, an additional 34 people died from the heat wave that followed in areas without power.
The structure of a derecho-producing storm looks distinctive in radar and satellite imagery. "The systems are very large and have signatures that are very extreme. You get large areas of very cold cloud tops that you typically wouldn't see with an ordinary thunderstorm complex. The storms take on a comma or a bow shape that's very distinctive."
For Washington, Philadelphia and parts of the Mid-Atlantic the big storm risk continues and even increases a bit today, according to the weather service.
State-by-state look at Iowa to Mid-Atlantic storm

**Like it or not, time passes,
and that's why nothing
will ever be the same as it used to be.
Things are meant to change...**
Jaqueline Echeverria


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
6/12/13 -
5.1 NORTH OF ASCENSION ISLAND (906 km SW of Liberia)

Volcano Webcams


In the Western Pacific -
Tropical depression Yagi was located about 243 nm southward of Camp Fuji, Japan. Tropical Storm Yagi was not expected to make landfall in Japan, but NASA satellite imagery showed that the storm was just south of the big island on Tuesday. The heaviest rain was falling around the center of circulation at as much as 1.2 inches per hour. The last warning has been issued on this system.


Floods in Central Europe were caused by a stationary cyclone - The floods that occurred in Central Europe were due to a situation created by cyclone of stationary type. It stayed over Central Europe for a long time without being expected, which created conditions for continuing rainfalls.
"Crises and critical situations occurred when there are continuous heavy rains. I do not know whether situation there was one of the most severe or not, but it was severe for sure, because these heavy rainfalls caused rising of water level of rivers. This is not unusual situation for that part of Europe. It is created when there is a cyclone over the Central Europe, which doesn’t move anywhere and stays for long. Respectively - it is usually linked with an anticyclone formed over Eastern Europe, which is also stationery. The weather there is dry and warm."

Britain wheat crop 'to fall by a third after extreme weather' - Britain's wheat harvest this year could be almost 30% smaller than it was last year due to extreme weather, the National Farmers' Union has warned.

Delaware - June has stormed into the Delaware Valley with a Tropical Storm, RECORD RAINFALL and a tornado which touched down in Newark. Since the beginning of the month, the region has experienced its most extreme weather since Hurricane Sandy slammed into their coastline last October.

UN Warns Of Severe Hunger In Haiti Following Weather Shocks - The United Nations food relief agency said on Tuesday that it remained extremely concerned by the plight of 1.5 million people in Haiti who need food assistance, following extreme weather conditions and poor harvests.


Fires destroy 92 homes in southwestern US - More than 7000 residents in the US state of Colorado have fled their homes as a major fire destroys 92 homes.


UK Honey bee losses double in a year due to poor winter - This winter's losses of honey bee colonies were THE WORST SINCE RECORDS BEGAN six years ago. More than a third of hives did not survive the cold, wet conditions. All regions of England saw dramatic declines with the numbers lost more than double the previous 12 months.
This year's poor winter, following on from a disastrous summer, is said to be the main reason for the losses. British beekeepers have been surveyed at the end of March for the last six years. They are asked to compare the number of colonies that are still alive compared to the numbers they had back in October. With overall losses at 33.8%, this year's figures are the worst yet recorded.
The hardest hit region was the South West where over half of the hives were lost. "It is desperate; it is a huge loss of bees. The weather last summer and this winter, the two combined meant there was virtually a whole year when bees were confined and stressed just because of the environmental conditions." The bad weather meant that honey bees were unable to get out and forage. There was a scarcity of pollen and nectar throughout the season.
Some beekeepers believe that the increased number of infections and disease that bees are subject to may have made them weaker and unable to cope with the colder conditions. "We are in a different era; quite frankly the bees haven't got the resistance and reserves that they once did because of various illnesses and viruses." Finding pollen and nectar has been extremely difficult for bees. The weather also posed problems for newly emerged queen bees - "virgin queens". The growth of colonies depends on these bees being able to mate properly so they can lay fertilised eggs. But the poor weather hampered these activities as well.
If the weather is changeable, a queen may not execute her mating flight properly. "If she doesn't get properly mated she can only lay drones, and if she is doing that, that's the death knell for the hive." A colony that has only drones and no workers will not survive. Another weather-related factor that has worked against the bees is what is called isolation starvation. Because of the cold, the bees cluster very closely together to maintain hive temperature and consume the stores of honey closest to them. If the weather is so cold that they can't actually move, the bees will starve - although there may be plenty of food sources nearby.
Beekeepers say that is very bad news for honey supplies in the coming months. Late last year, the British Beekeepers' Association reported that the HONEY CROP WAS DOWN BY OVER 70% compared to 2011. They do not have great hopes for a recovery this year. "It's disastrous for honey production. There is a cumulative effect because you have got to replace those hives. That is something the beekeeper now has to do. This loss of bees was in effect far more dramatic than foot-and-mouth was on the national beef herd. It means a great deal of work ahead for beekeepers to get back to where they were."