Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mudslide in western China buries dozens - Flooding in western China, THE WORST IN 50 YEARS for some areas, triggered a landslide Wednesday that buried about 30 people, trapped hundreds in a highway tunnel and destroyed a high-profile memorial to the devastating 2008 earthquake.

**Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting,
it means you choose happiness over hurt.**


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
Cluster of small quakes in Italy

Yesterday -
7/10/13 -

Volcano Webcams

Mexico - Lava dome shows pressure rise at volcano Popocatepetl. The situation is heatting up at the volcano Popocatepetl in Mexico. A lava dome is forming, nestled within the crater walls and hidden by clouds of ash.


In the Atlantic Ocean -
Remnants of Tropical storm Chantal were located 260 mi (415 km) S of the eastern tip of Cuba. There are no coastal tropical storm warnings or watches in effect. Chantal has degenerated into a tropical wave. The remnants of Chantal wee expected to spread over Jamaica and eastern Cuba Wednesday night and Thursday and into the northwestern Bahamas and over or near the Florida Peninsula by Friday. The last advisory has been issued on this system.

In the Western Pacific -
Typhoon Soulik was located approximately 317 nm southeastward of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. Soulik has weakened slightly from its peak winds of 145 mph, but is expected to maintain Category 4 strength into Thursday, then weaken to Category 3 strength under the influence of high wind shear of 20 - 25 knots, before hitting the northern end of Taiwan on Friday. Soulik will then make landfall in China near Fuzhou on Saturday, most likely as a Category 1 typhoon.

Tropical Storm Chantal kills one in Dominican Republic - A fireman was swept away by floodwaters as he tried to clear a storm drain in Maimon.The US National Hurricane Centre said Chantal had "degenerated into a tropical wave" by 21:00 GMT, but was producing heavy rain and gusty winds. It is currently 370km (230 miles) east of Kingston, Jamaica, moving westwards. Elsewhere in the Atlantic, none of the reliable forecast models are predicting formation of a tropical cyclone for the coming seven days.
The remnants of Chantal were expected to spread over Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Wednesday night and Thursday. The National Hurricane Centre warned of the possibility of storm-force winds in Haiti and Cuba, and localised coastal flooding along the southern coast of Hispaniola. Up to 15.2cm (6in) of rain were expected over Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas. The Dominican authorities are evacuating thousands of people from communities considered at high risk of flooding. Many people in rural areas of the Dominican Republic and neighbouring Haiti live in flimsy homes built on land vulnerable to floods and landslides.
An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft criss-crossing Tropical Storm Chantal Wednesday morning was barely able to find a closed circulation, and measured top winds of 45 mph at 10:10 am EDT in a region of heavy thunderstorms just south of the Central Dominican Republic coast. High wind shear of 20 - 30 knots, combined with dry air and the storm's exceptionally fast forward movement of 25 - 30 mph have seriously weakened Chantal, even before it has encountered the high mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba.
Visible satellite loops show that Chantal has a modest area of heavy thunderstorms that are affecting Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Chantal's rains are a serious threat for Haiti, where deforestation of the nation's mountainous hillsides has left the nation highly vulnerable to flooding. In Haiti, in mid-June, heavy rains triggered flash floods that killed at least six people and impacted 7,000 families. In October 2012, flooding from Hurricane Sandy killed 60 people and damaged or destroyed more than 18,000 homes.
Drought conditions this year over the nation have left the soil hard and impervious, increasing the risk of rapid run-off from heavy rains. Approximately 320,000 people live in makeshift tent shelters in Haiti, three years after the devastating January 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000 people.
The high shear, combined with Chantal's expected passage over the high mountains of Cuba and the continued presence of dry air, will likely destroy the storm by Friday. Wind shear will likely fall to the moderate range once Chantal moves north of Cuba, so there will be the possibility of regeneration in the waters off the coast of Florida if Chantal does dissipate.
If Chantal or its remnants brings heavy rains to the Southeast U.S. early next week, as some of the current track models are predicting, the storm could cause major damaging flooding. The soils in the Southeast are saturated and many rivers are already in flood, due to last week's EXTREME JET STREAM PATTERN that set up a fire hose of tropical moisture that streamed inland from the Florida Panhandle through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Soils over large areas of the Southeast U.S. are NEAR THE WETTEST LEVELS EVER OBSERVED FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR - above the 99th percentile in recorded history. It's remarkable that most of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina were in moderate or greater drought at the beginning of the year. Portions of Central Georgia were in exceptional drought - the most extreme category of drought.


Severe rainstorms batter quake-hit SW China - Four people were missing and three bridges had collapsed in southwest China's Sichuan province as of Tuesday afternoon after severe rainstorms battered the region, including some quake-stricken areas on Tuesday.
Latest data from Sichuan's meteorological bureau showed about 880 mm of rain had fallen in Dujiangyan since Sunday. The bureau raised its storm alert to its highest level on Tuesday evening. They have had about 9 inches (22 centimeters) of rain a day for 4 days now with more coming. There is news video with lots of houses being swept away.


Drought dries Texas - An ongoing three-year drought in many parts of Texas has led to perilously low reservoir levels and water restrictions.