Sunday, October 6, 2013

Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook

**Having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting,
it may not be logical but it is often true.**
Mr. Spock

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 10/5/13 -

10/4/13 -

+ Spain - 400 earthquakes in the past month. Some have rattled the Gulf of Valencia, where a depleted oil reservoir is being used as a giant gas storage facility. The activity has frightened residents but so far caused no damage. Spain's government said Friday there is a limited risk of a big earthquake shaking the eastern coast after the string of small tremors was linked to the vast offshore gas storage plant. "There is a high probability of a relationship between the injections of gas into the storage facility between June 13 and September 16 and the seismic movements on the coastal zone facing the facility." Since Friday morning another 15 quakes, the largest measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale, had rattled the zone, which is not normally known for its seismic activity.
The government ordered Spanish firm Escal UGS, which owns and runs the facility, to halt operations on September 26 - 10 days after the company had already stopped pumping in gas. "This halt will continue in force until there is an absolute guarantee of 100 percent safety for the whole population," the industry minister said. The plant is located near a fault line that normally produces very little seismic activity but the gas injections were causing the accumulated energy that exists there to be released.
Known as Project Castor, the scheme aims to store gas in a depleted oil reservoir 1.7 kilometres (1.05 miles) under the Mediterranean Sea and send it via a pipeline to Spain's national grid. Some 100 million cubic metres of gas have been pumped into the reservoir, which has a capacity of 1.3 billion cubic metres, enough to supply Valencia's population of five million for three months.
A commission of experts is studying the quakes, the largest of which hit on Tuesday registering 4.2 on the Richter scale. Valencia and the neighbouring region of Catalonia have activated the lowest level of their earthquake emergency plans so as to reassure the population.


* In the Atlantic Ocean -
- Tropical storm Karen stalls about 130 mi (205 km) SSW of Morgan City, Louisiana. Expected to move near or over portions of southeastern Louisiana last night and today.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Danas is located approximately 678 nm east-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.

- Typhoon Fitow is located about 169 nm east of Taipei, Taiwan.
Tropical Storm Karen weakened to a depression late Saturday, discontinuing previous warnings and worries that it would reach hurricane strength. "All tropical storm warnings have been discontinued. There are no coastal tropical storm warnings or watches in effect."
The storm's center is expected to move near or over portions of extreme southeastern Louisiana today and move just south of the Gulf Coast from Alabama to the Florida panhandle tonight and Monday. Karen's top sustained winds dropped to 35 mph on Saturday night. The storm had been forecast to become a hurricane, and authorities had issued mandatory evacuation orders for low-lying areas south of New Orleans on Friday.
In anticipation of the storm, the White House said Thursday it would recall employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who have been placed on furlough because of the federal government shutdown. Nearly two-thirds of oil output in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico was halted as Karen neared the Louisiana coast earlier this week.
But strong winds blowing in from the west Gulf of Mexico blew over the top half of the storm, weakening its overall impact. Karen is still expected to dump between 1 and 3 inches of rain over parts of the Gulf.

Danas, a tropical cyclone approaching the Philippines from the east, intensified into a typhoon early Sunday. At 4 a.m. the typhoon was estimated at 1,460 km east of extreme northern Luzon. Danas packed maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center, with gustiness of up to 150 kph. It is forecast to move west-northwest at 30 kph.
Danas will enter the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday evening. When it does, it will be locally codenamed Ramil. Meanwhile, the Japan Meteorological Agency's, Sunday update projected Danas approaching the area northeast of extreme northern Luzon.


'Cyclone' hits several U. S. Midwestern states with tornadoes up to two miles wide - A blizzard, thunderstorms and tornadoes were part of a large storm system hitting several Midwestern states Friday, with forecasters expecting a wet, windy weekend.
The thunderstorms and tornadoes centered over western Iowa developed from two opposing forces: a strong, warm jet stream coming off the Plains and a cold front from the West, which spawned a blizzard that had already dumped almost 3 feet of snow in several parts of Wyoming and South Dakota. “It’s a cyclone, essentially,” said a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The western half of Iowa and some counties in southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska remained under a tornado watch until midnight. Tornadoes had already been reported in Nebraska on Thursday. A mile-wide tornado was reported in Moville, Iowa. Thirty miles east in Jefferson, S.D., early reports said a tornado measuring almost one mile across caused extensive damage. Federal officials reported more damage in Quimby, Iowa.
A tornado that witnesses said measured 2 miles across touched down in Wayne, Neb., and destroyed several homes. Several homes lost power in western Iowa, and farms reported damage to corn fields and irrigation systems. Weather service forecasters expected the tornado conditions to continue moving northeast from Sioux City.
Several northern Plains states received a wet, heavy snowfall measuring from a few inches to a few feet. The snowfall and heavy winds downed trees and power lines in South Dakota, and there were numerous road closures between the Mount Rushmore State and Wyoming.
The federal government shutdown is complicating the response to the storm. Although National Weather Service meteorologists were exempt from the furlough, some staffers that had been put on leave on account of the shutdown were called back to work Friday. “When we realized the weather system was turning volatile, we did request that some furlough employees come back. Most of the employees called back are members of the public affairs staff.


+ 4 FEET OF SNOW in South Dakota - Winter Storm Atlas continued to pound the Midwest with a variety of extreme weather Saturday. Blizzard conditions enveloped much of Wyoming and South Dakota on Friday, with an astonishing 48" (4 feet!) of snow falling in Deadwood, South Dakota.
The 43.5" of snow that fell in Lead, South Dakota was that city's fourth heaviest snowfall on record. In Rapid City, South Dakota, the airport recorded thundersnow and sustained winds of 44 mph, gusting to 55 mph at 4 pm Friday, before communication were lost. The snow tally so far in the city is 18.3", making it the sixth largest snowfall in recorded history. Casper, Wyoming received 16.2" of snow, their tenth greatest snow storm in recorded history.
The storm brought a significant outbreak of severe thunderstorms with very large hail and eighteen preliminary reports of tornadoes, with the most damaging tornado hitting Wayne, Nebraska on Friday afternoon near 5:30 pm CDT, causing millions in damage, and injuring fifteen people. The severe weather threat is much less for Saturday and Sunday, with only a "slight" risk of severe weather being predicted by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. [snow photo at link]
RECORD-BREAKING BLIZZARD leaves more than 38,000 homes without power in South Dakota. The record-breaking blizzard dealt the Black Hills a frosty blow on Friday night, crippling the region's power and transportation infrastructure.
21.5 inches of snow fell on Friday night in Rapid City – the HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY SNOWFALL FOR OCTOBER SINCE RECORD KEEPING BEGAN around the 1890s. The National Weather Service has recieved reports of 43 inches of snow in Lead and 48 inches in Deadwood. Emergency services responded to more than 700 calls on Friday night, particularly from people who required emergency medical attention in their homes or drivers who were stranded on streets.
Plows were struggling to restore the streets of Rapid City because of the amount of fallen trees, immobile cars, and the heaviness of the snow. The city says it could take days to clear. Highs of 50 are expected throughout the rest of the week.


+ QUADRUPLE-WHAMMY - FIRST TIME IN MODERN RECORDS, the contiguous U.S. was facing a simultaneous threat from a tropical storm landfall, blizzard, tornado outbreak, and extreme wild fire event. The only months of the year that a ‘quadruple whammy’ of extreme weather events such as this could occur are May, October, and November.


RARE RED AURORAS - On October 2nd, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field, sparking a G2-class geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers on both ends of the Earth saw auroras; many of the lights were rare shades of red. During the storm, even more red auroras were observed over the United States in places like Kansas, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
Auroras are usually green, and sometimes purple, but seldom do sky watchers see this much red. Red auroras occur some 300 to 500 km above Earth's surface and are not yet fully understood. Some researchers believe the red lights are linked to a large influx of electrons. When low-energy electrons recombine with oxygen ions in the upper atmosphere, red photons are emitted. At present, space weather forecasters cannot predict when this will occur.