Sunday, July 21, 2013

**Stop looking at what you have lost,
so you can see what you have found.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
5.0 CENTRAL ITALY (with many aftershocks, largest 4.0)

Yesterday, 7/20/13 -

7/19/13 -

New Zealand - A magnitude 6.5 earthquake. Geonet reported a "severe" earthquake centered 20 kilometres east of Seddon, at a depth of 19km at 5.09pm.Civil Defence said there was no risk of a tsunami.
The earthquake was felt as far north as Auckland. There has been some damage inside parliament with cracking on the walls and plaster falling off. A reporter who survived the Christchurch earthquake in 2011 said that this quake "felt as bad as the Christchurch earthquake...It's scary.. there's not a lot of damage but it was terrifying." There are also reports of power outages in parts of Wellington.
Central New Zealand was shaken awake with a swarm of quakes including a large 5.8 event Saturday morning. The majority of the quakes were centred in the same area off Seddon in Marlborough that was hit on Friday by a 5.7. A magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck at 3.20pm (1320 AEST) on Friday, 35km east of Seddon and 15km (10 miles) deep. It followed the 5.7 quake which hit around the same area just after 9am, at a depth of 16km. Police said there had been no reports of damage.

Volcano Webcams


No current tropical storms.

Philippines - Potential cyclone nears Mindanao. Three days after tropical storm Isang left the country, another potential cyclone has formed within the Philippine Area of Responsibility. Rain was expected over several parts of the country Saturday even as the potential cyclone, a low-pressure area, moved closer to Mindanao. The LPA is embedded along the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), a region where most cyclones are formed. The LPA was estimated at 330 km east of Mindanao as of 4 a.m.
Size-challenged storm: Midget typhoon in West Pacific? The Joint Typhoon Warning Center defines a “midget” typhoon (or tropical cyclone) as one whose discernible low pressure area spans no more than two degrees latitude which is about 140 miles across, or roughly the distance from D.C. to Philadelphia.
The possible midget cycling across western Pacific certainly meets that criteria as its core is probably no more wider than half a degree of latitude and its overall circulation might span one degree. It’s not clear if this little swirl meets the other criteria of a typhoon: 74 mph sustained winds. This storm, so small it’s hard to even detect at times on satellite imagery, is currently somewhere east of Taiwan and the northern Philippines.
A quick Google search yields little information on these midget storms. The American Meteorological Society definition suggests they’re efficient: they can pack stronger winds with higher pressures than larger storms.
But these tiny storms may not deliver the punch of larger storms with the same strength: A large, lumbering cyclone with winds of equal intensity can still exact a much higher destructive toll upon landfall. That’s because it will blast a much larger area with high winds and for a longer duration. Also, because its winds cover a much broader swath of ocean, its “fetch” is greater, and this typically results in more intense storm surge. Cyclone Tracy from 1974 was a midget storm (gale force winds extended just 30 miles from the center) that struck Darwin, Australia on Christmas Day, 1974 and was extremely destructive. It killed 71 people and 70 percent of the buildings in Darwin.

Tropical storm Cimaron brought downpours to Eastern China. Many parts of the city of Xiamen, especially the old town area, were heavily flooded as the city received up to 200 mm of rainfall Thursday night after tropical storm Cimaron landed in nearby Zhangzhou city at 8:30 p.m., packing a wind speed of 72 km per hour. Rainstorms swept east China's Fujian Province on Friday. Some neighborhoods and villages in southern Fujian were flooded, and houses collapsed and power was out.
Tropical storm Cimaron, locally known as Isang, killed two children and injured two adults before it left the Philippines' area of responsibility.

'Brown Oceans' Known to Fuel Tropical Systems Over Land - A handful of tropical storms and hurricanes have defied the odds and strengthened over land. Now researchers believe they have a better understanding why this occurs.
Tropical systems are expected to weaken while interacting with land, but if conditions are ideal, a land mass can feed these entities and act as a "brown ocean." Abundant soil moisture can continue to feed a tropical storm or hurricane long after it has left the warm waters of an ocean.
227 of the 3,254 storms from 1979 to 2008 met the criteria for landfalling tropical systems globally. Of those 227, 182 storms weakened after moving over land, but 45 maintained or increased in strength. Those 45 storms -- roughly 20 percent of all landfalling storms in the study -- became the subject of the team's investigation. "This is particularly critical since a study...found that 59 percent of fatalities in landfalling tropical cyclones are from inland freshwater flooding."
Tropical Storm Erin was one of those such storms in 2007. As it moved over moisture-rich Oklahoma, Erin picked up steam, forming an eye-like feature over the Plains. "Erin's remnant in 2007 is forever burned in my mind. I had never seen a tropical cyclone remnant that far inland behave like that." During Erin, Watonga, Oklahoma recorded more than three consecutive hours of high winds, with a peak gust to 82 mph, during the overnight hours of Aug. 19, 2007.
In retrospect, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel wrote that the storm should have been reclassified by the National Hurricane Center as a tropical cyclone as it passed over Oklahoma. These inland tropical cyclone maintenance and intensification events (TCMI) have been observed in the U.S. and China, but occur in Australia most frequently. As hurricane season ramps up, researchers will be closely watching these "brown oceans" to see if they revive more tropical cyclones passing over our heads. (photos)


Ohio - A tornado hit northern Ohio and tore through the Ursuline College campus early Saturday, demolishing the gymnasium, damaging at least three other buildings, uprooting and snapping trees and strewing debris over a wide area.
"We feel blessed that no one was killed, no one was hurt." The weather service said the tornado, classified as an EF 1 on a 0-to-5 scale and packing winds of 110 miles per hour, developed northwest of the school about 3:30 a.m. It downed trees at the Landerbrook complex off Interstate 271 and along Cedar Road, swirled through the Ursuline quad and ripped southeast along Lander Road to Shaker Boulevard, damaging roofs and leaving a trail of limbs.
Worst damage was to Ursuline's O'Brien Athletic Center. The storm lifted the roof, and a wall collapsed in the gym, and leaving bricks and heavy support beams dangling. Structural engineers will determine if the building can be salvaged. (photos)

Florida - July looking to be WETTEST IN 5 YEARS. The frequent heavy rains occurring this week are due to a slow-moving tropical storm that began Saturday, but should end by Monday. But all the wet weather is putting July on course to be the wettest July in five years.
The heavy rains stem from an area of pressure in the upper atmosphere over the Bahamas has drifted west and is now over the Gulf of Mexico. “What happens with the upper-lows is the temperatures are pretty cold up there and it allows these thunderstorms to be vented. They get a whole lot taller in the atmosphere. The bigger the storm, the more water they’re going to hold.”
The thunderstorms are slow-moving, the ground is saturated and water has no place to go but up. But the pattern is changing and there will be a brief respite, with rains ending by Monday. However, rains likely will return midweek. That’s because the heat is strongest and the sun is highest in the sky in the deep tropics. “A lot of thunderstorms are feeding off the moisture.”
Rains were heaviest three years ago in Picayune, which tallied 13.47 inches, but Golden Gate’s record was set in 2009, at 11.67 inches. It appears this month’s heavy rains could set a five-year record for July.
RECORD-BREAKING RAINFALL soaks Miami Beach. On Thursday, Miami Beach saw the worst of the weather with relentless storms leading to a 24-HOUR RECORD RAINFALL total of 6.78 inches. That amount shatters the previous record for the date of 1.42 inches, set in 1985.


U.S. - Drought Conditions Expand Across Inland Northwest. Federal agencies have expanded how much of the Northwest they think is suffering from drought. An updated map released Thursday shows 88 percent of Idaho's territory is now categorized in moderate to severe drought. Just over half of Oregon is similarly parched. Washington state is faring better.
Montana - Drought conditions still a risk in most of the state. Montanans can expect a mixed bag of water supply and moisture conditions as summer wears on, according to the 2013 Governor's Report on the Potential for Drought and Flooding, released Thursday.
Drought Deepens in Arkansas - The drought is worsening in parts of Arkansas, including counties in the northern part of the state, considered to be under moderate to severe drought.
'Drought-ocalypse' rages in the Southwest - While the country's drought conditions are significantly better than last year, the latest “Drought Monitor” shows that drought is tightening its grip in parched states, especially the dry Southwest.

California wildfire - 49% contained, 42 square miles burned, evacuation orders remain. Firefighters worked Saturday to get the upper hand on a mountain wildfire in Southern California that forced the evacuation of thousands and destroyed a number of homes and vehicles. Thunderstorms pose a threat in battling the blaze.


Cyclospora cases exceed 230; source still unknown. Cyclospora cases in the Midwest and Texas reached at least 235, but it's not known whether the two outbreaks are related.