Friday, July 19, 2013

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and it’s important to start with yourself.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday, 7/18/13 -

Volcano Webcams


In the Western Pacific -
Tropical Storm 08w (Cimaron) was located approximately 176 nm east-northeastward of Hong Kong. The last advisory has been issued on this system.


A lack of co-operation between South Asian countries is preventing timely flood warnings that could save lives and property during the Monsoon season. Erratic and extreme rainfall is causing catastrophic flooding, most recently in northwest India and Nepal following heavy rainfall in June. Some 1,000 people have been confirmed dead in India from June's floods, but thousands more are missing.
But the sharing of hydrological data can be a sensitive issue because of disputes over water use. Officials say a network is required to share data across borders. Countries in the region are doing very little to help each other forecast floods.
The flooding in the Mahakali river that criss-crosses India and Nepal claimed more than 30 lives on the Nepalese side and swept away many buildings at the district headquarters Khalanga. "We [Nepal authorities] are still trying to contact them [the Indian authorities] to know what was the reason behind the floods, but there has been no telephone contact yet."
In western South Asia, the Kabul river that straddles Afghanistan and Pakistan was a major contributor to the massive floods in the Pakistani territory in 2010. But, officials say, there was no communication on flood-forecasting between the two countries then, nor is there any now. "The Kabul river is of course a flood threat to us even today but still we have no hydrological and rainfall data exchange with Afghanistan. It is something we need to do with urgency but this can be done only at the policy-making level."
One of the worst flood-hit countries in the region, Bangladesh, receives relatively little hydrological data from upstream Nepal. Officials at Nepal's Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said they used to send the information to Dhaka by fax before but now staffing constraints have become a problem. Pakistan does have a mechanism to receive limited hydrological data from India but officials say it is quite inadequate for meaningful flood forecasting.
Hydrological data is quite a sensitive issue in India, especially between states that have been at loggerheads over the sharing of water resources for quite some time. "For genuine regional flood forecasting, all countries including India and China will have to actively participate in the exchange of hydrological and meteorological data." (photos & map)


Northern Namibia - WORST DROUGHT IN 30 YEARS. Namibia, sub-Saharan Africa's driest country, is suffering its WORST DROUGHT IN A GENERATION, with more than 100,000 children at risk of malnutrition.

US wilting in a heat wave somehow stuck in reverse - The oppressively hot weather in the Northeast has surprised meteorologists: It's MOVING BACKWARD across America, something that RARELY HAPPENS. Normally U.S. weather systems move west to east.
The western Atlantic high pressure system behind the hot dry weather started moving east to west last week and by Tuesday was centered over lower Michigan. "It's definitely UNUSUAL AND GOING THE WRONG WAY. This is pretty rare."
The high pressure is about to return eastward, extending the Northeastern heat wave an extra day or so until the weekend. And just before the high pressure moved east to west, a rainy and cooler low pressure system moved from the Mid-Atlantic to Texas. That storm system broke off the jet stream, which is parked up in Canada, and made the U-turn first.
The unusual movement wasn't seen in computer models until four or five days in advance, which is relatively late for these models so meteorologists were surprised. This is likely just natural chaos in the atmosphere. A scinetist couldn't say how often these backward weather flows occur, but they are less frequent than once a year.
Thursday, the heat index, which factors in humidity, hit 106 degrees in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia and was in triple digits along much of the Northeast. The air temperature hit a RECORD 100 at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday. The weather service issued heat advisories and warnings Thursday for parts of 23 states. More than 141 million people live in those areas.

California - Video. A fast-growing wildfire in the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California has forced the evacuation of 6000 people and hundreds of homes. No injuries have yet been reported, and authorities say so far only 15% of the blaze has been contained.

US Drought's Shifting Epicenter – It's New Mexico's turn. Reservoirs are nearly empty, wells are being drilled deeper, and litigation abounds. The drought that covered most of the United States last year has relented in the Midwest, where some states saw record rainfall this spring. But the extremely low moisture conditions now grip New Mexico, the new epicenter of intense water scarcity that has shifted across the U.S for several years.
The plains states, Nebraska and Kansas, were hit worst last year. Texas was driest in 2011. The Southwest, in fact, has experienced middling precipitation for more than a decade, conditions that set the stage for New Mexico’s year of terrible dry. Some 90 percent of the state is in extreme or exceptional drought, the harshest categories in the U.S. Drought Monitor. Only a quarter of the state was in such condition a year ago.
Precipitation is also at record lows. The June 2012 to May 2013 period was the DRIEST IN THE STATE'S 118-YEAR RECORD.
outhern Colorado, whose mountains are the source of the Rio Grande River, New Mexico’s principal source of surface fresh water, has not fared much better. Worst of all is the corridor the river traverses in New Mexico. The central valley and the southern deserts have seen roughly a quarter of normal precipitation since Octobe. “We’re breaking the wrong kind of records.”
Years of drought have turned “normal” on its head in New Mexico, with wide-ranging consequences for the state’s economy and natural resources. In the area watered by the Rio Grande Project, a land of alfalfa fields and pecan orchards, a normal irrigation season lasts eight months. The last time that happened, though, was in 2000. The Rio Grande Project, operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, doles out river water to farmers in irrigation districts in southern New Mexico, west Texas, and Mexico, as well as to the city of El Paso, Texas. This year each received only 6 percent of a normal water allocation.
Many farmers, at least those who haven’t given up on a crop, will turn to groundwater to see them through, as will cities. Yet that act of salvation has prompted lawsuits from downstream Texas and warnings from state officials that, in the long term, groundwater pumping is unsustainable.
Drought Turns the Rio Grande Into The “Rio Sand” - Continuing profound drought has left New Mexico so severely parched that the irrigation season along the lower Rio Grande Valley has ended just a month and a half after it started, making it THE SHORTEST ON RECORD.
Drought and insects take toll on cotton acreage - All indications are that cotton growers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley this year will produce one of the area's SMALLEST CROPS ON RECORD.

Oklahoma - Drought-stricken area continues to soak up rain. A third consecutive day of rain and cooler temperatures Tuesday showered much of Southwest Oklahoma with very un-July-like weather. Many areas received moderate to heavy rains, which provided some much-needed relief to drought-stricken locations.


Chinese researchers found a human H7N9 strain to be highly airborne transmissible in ferrets.

Six more MERS cases were reported Thursday, including four in UAE healthcare workers, 2 in Saudi Arabia.

FDA seeks comments on Salmonella risk from tree nuts - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants the public's help in assessing the risk of Salmonella infection from eating tree nuts. Anyone wishing to submit comments, scientific data, or other information for use in the risk assessment should visit the risk and safety assessment Web page .
In recent years the bacterium has been found in almonds, cashews, pistachios, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and walnuts. The FDA said it aims to measure the public health risk associated with eating tree nuts potentially contaminated with Salmonella and to evaluate interventions to prevent or reduce such contamination.
The risk assessment will influence FDA policy and may be useful for owners and operators of nut processing plants and other post-harvest facilities, among other stakeholders. The FDA will present a webinar on the assessment plan and related data needs on Monday, Jul 22, from noon to 1 pm ET. Information on how to participate is included in the first FDA link above. A recording of the webinar will be posted on the FDA's risk and safety assessment Web page after the event.