**A bend in the road is not the end of the road,
unless you fail to make the turn.
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.5 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.9 NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN
6.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
Yesterday, 8/27/13 -
5.0 CENTRAL IRAN
5.3 KURIL ISLANDS
Nevada - 4.2 magnitude quake connected to October 2012 swarm. On Monday, across northern Nevada, and even into parts of California, residents were shaken just before 6 o'clock when a 4.2 magnitude earthquake hit outside of Spanish Springs near Reno. Over the weekend there were a few minor quakes, but the activity behind Monday's quake actually goes back almost 11 months to a swarm of more than 100 small earthquakes. "It's in exactly the same place, same depth."
In October, a news station talked to a scientist about the swarm and he said because of the unpredictable nature of earhquakes there was no way to tell if a bigger quake would come. It's too soon to say if it will be the last. "I wouldn't consider this whole sequence to be over. Let's give it a few days and people still should be on guard about larger, potentially larger, events happening." Because we can't predict when another earthquake will hit, people should be prepared just in case.
Italy - new fumarole near Fiumicino airport. What appears to be a new fumarole appeared near Rome's International Fiumicino airport Saturday morning. A vent producing small geyser-like fountains of steam, water and mud was suddenly opened in the ground near a road crossing near Fiumicino.
Geologists are currently examining the phenomenon. It is still a bit unclear whether it is not a man-made accident caused by a broken pipe or similar (which might well be the case). First inspections however indicate that it is in fact a new natural vent. Obviously, there are also already some speculations whether it could be related to volcanic activity.
The nearest possibly still active volcanic system in the area is the Monti Albani, an old but possibly not yet extinct volcanic complex located 20 km SE of the capital. Its last known activity there took place about 20,000 years ago. New volcanic activity in the suburban area of Rome itself is certainly not a completely impossible, but quite unlikely scenario. More data will be needed to shed light on this.
Russia - Eruption begins at Klyuchevskoi, on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East. Last time the volcano erupted was in 2010, but its most powerful eruption in the recent years was registered between January and May of 2005.
TROPICAL STORMS -
In the Western Pacific -
Tropical storm Kong-rey is located approximately 275 nm south-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Forecast to turn and reach Japan on Friday.
Philippines - 'Nando' [Kong-rey] won't make landfall here. The cyclone will continue to move upward via the eastern side of the country and head towards Taiwan by Thursday. Public storm warning signal number 1 has been raised over the Batanes Group of Islands. The cyclone will enhance the southwest monsoon and bring light to moderate rains and thunderstorms over Southern Luzon, Metro Manila and Western Visayas.
"Sea travel is risky over the eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon." The tropical storm rains will not be as heavy as Maring's, which swamped Metro Manila and parts of Luzon last week, leaving at least 25 people dead and thousands displaced.
Drought in South China eases following typhoons - As of Monday, the drought affected 1.7 million hectares of farmland. The drought will further ease as more rain is forecast for the southern regions.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
+ China - WORST FLOODS IN A CENTURY - Video.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
+ "Farmers' Almanac" predicts a "bitterly cold" U.S. winter - The Farmers' Almanac is using words like "piercing cold," "bitterly cold" and "biting cold" to describe the upcoming winter.
The 197-year-old publication that hit newsstands Monday predicts a winter storm will hit the Northeast around the time the Super Bowl is played in New Jersey. It also predicts a colder-than-normal winter for two-thirds of the country and heavy snowfall in the Midwest, Great Lakes and New England. "We're using a very strong four-letter word to describe this winter, which is C-O-L-D. It's going to be very cold."
Based on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles, the almanac's secret formula is largely unchanged since the first almanac in 1818. Modern scientists don't put much stock in sunspots or tidal action, but the almanac says its forecasts used by readers to plan weddings and plant gardens are correct about 80 percent of the time.
Last year, the forecast called for cold weather for the eastern and central U.S. with milder temperatures west of the Great Lakes. It started just the opposite, but ended up that way. The publication's elusive prognosticator said he was off by only a couple of days on two of the season's biggest storms: a February blizzard that paralyzed the Northeast with 3 feet of snow in some places and a sloppy storm the day before spring's arrival that buried parts of New England.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
An UNUSUAL, late-summer heat wave has enveloped much of the Midwest, putting schools and sports events on hold. Schools in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Illinois let out early on Monday as temperatures crept toward the mid-90s - beyond in some places. After-school sports practices and evening games were canceled in St. Paul, Minnesota, and misting stations kept people cool at the Minnesota State Fair, where about 90 fairgoers had been treated for heat-related illnesses over the weekend.
The heat wave is supposed to last through much of the week. Heat of this magnitude is UNUSUAL for this time of year, but not unprecedented. In Des Moines, Iowa, temperatures on Aug. 26 have reached 100 degrees at least six times since 1881. South Dakota is experiencing its HOTTEST FINAL WEEK OF AUGUST ON RECORD.
Drought making comeback in Minnesota - As drought conditions return to Minnesota, authorities warned Thursday that the wildfire danger is rising throughout much of the state.
Extreme heat, little rainfall for Missouri in coming weeks .
'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -
+ Unprecedented U.S. natural disaster is likely coming - The outgoing Homeland Security Secretary has a warning for her successor: A massive and “serious” cyber attack on the U.S. homeland is coming, and a natural disaster - the likes of which the nation has never seen - is also likely on its way. So prepare, and bring “a large bottle of Advil,” she told her yet-to-be-named replacement in a farewell address Tuesday morning. “Many things still need tending, and my successor will most certainly have a full plate on his or her hands."
She leaves her post next week after more than four years at the helm of the Department of Homeland Security. She faced “many challenges” during her tenure at DHS, from the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. During her tenure, her department managed 325 federally declared disasters, and issued more than 60 emergency declarations.
Among her pieces of advice for her successor: “You ... will have to prepare for the increasing likelihood of more weather-related events of a more severe nature as a result of climate change, and continue to build the capacity to respond to potential disasters in far-flung regions of the country occurring at the same time."
HEALTH THREATS -
Broccoli slows arthritis - Eating lots of broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis, UK researchers believe. Tests on cells and rats showed that a broccoli compound - which humans can also get from Brussels sprouts and cabbage - blocked a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage.
A special cruciferous vegetable has been bred to be extra rich in nutrients - it is a cross between standard broccoli and a wild relative from Sicily. Our body takes this glucoraphanin compound and turns it into another, called sulforaphane, which appears to protect the joints.
Volunteers will have two weeks on the diet before going under the knife to have their badly arthritic knees repaired by surgeons. A medical team will look at the tissue that has been removed to see what impact, if any, the broccoli has had. "We're asking patients to eat 100g (3.5oz) every day for two weeks. That's a normal, good-sized serving - about a handful - and it's an amount that most people should be happy to eat every day...I can't imagine it would repair or reverse arthritis... but it might be a way to prevent it."
"Until now research has failed to show that food or diet can play any part in reducing the progression of osteoarthritis, so if these findings can be replicated in humans, it would be quite a breakthrough. We know that exercise and keeping to a healthy weight can improve people's symptoms and reduce the chances of the disease progressing, but this adds another layer in our understanding of how diet could play its part." More than 8.5 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease affecting in particular the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees.
+ Die-off of bottlenose dolphins is THE WORST IN 25 YEARS. The widespread die-off of bottlenose dolphins off the mid-Atlantic Coast is almost certainly the work of a virus that killed more than 740 dolphins in the same region in 1987 and 1988, marine scientists said Tuesday.
Since the beginning of July, 357 dead or dying dolphins have washed ashore from New York to North Carolina — 186 of them in Virginia. Authorities have received numerous additional reports of carcasses floating in the ocean. The actual number of deaths is certainly even greater.
The cause is believed to be cetacean morbillivirus, which has been confirmed or is suspected in 32 of 33 dolphins tested so far. Marine officials are looking at the possibility of other factors, including high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls and other chemicals in the water, but have not linked the die-off to anything else.
From 2007 to 2012, the average number of yearly strandings — when dead or dying dolphins wash ashore — in the same states was 36. “If, indeed, this plays out the way that die-off occurred, we’re looking at the die-off being higher and the morbillivirus spreading southward." The 1987-88 episode affected 50 percent of the coastal migratory bottlenose dolphins, leading them to be classified as “depleted.”
The virus poses no threat to people, though it is related to the virus that causes measles in humans and distemper in canines. So far, there is no evidence of the virus jumping to other species, but other animals that have washed ashore are being tested. Secondary infections could be dangerous. Authorities urged people to stay away from stranded dolphins. “For people not trained in working with these animals and who don’t understand the risk, it’s much better to stay away from them, particularly if you have open wounds."
It is not clear what started the most recent problem, but a virologist said enough time had probably passed since the last mass die-off that herds of dolphins now lack natural immunity to morbillivirus. It is spread by direct contact between the animals or inhalation of droplets exhaled by infected dolphins above the water’s surface. “When the collective immunity drops below a certain, critical point, which we don’t really know for marine mammals, then the whole population becomes susceptible." Generally the virus causes death by suppressing the immune system, leaving the dolphin vulnerable to pneumonia and other lethal infections. The large number of deaths in Virginia “is really not surprising if you understand how the population of dolphins works."