Thursday, October 3, 2013

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**Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.**
Hugh Miller

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 10/2/13 -

+ Pakistan - Balochistan quake toll jumps to 825. Conditions are desperate among the survivors and many are going without food, water and shelter, having lost everything in the quake. More than 30 villages, containing some 20,000 homes, were flattened across 15,400 square miles of the remote Balochistan region. Dozens of bodies are being recovered every day from mud homes whose walls and beams have been reduced to dust and rubble.
The quake was Pakistan s deadliest since the Kashmir tremor of 2005 which killed 73,000. The toll is expected to rise further as rescue teams dig through the rubble of countless flattened mud-brick homes.


* In the Atlantic Ocean -
- Tropical depression Jerry is located about 1080 mi (1735 km) WSW of the Azores.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical storm Fitow is located approximately 432 nm south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.
Tropical storm could form in Gulf of Mexico - On Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center upped chances of a possible tropical depression or storm forming within the next two days to 70 percent.
An area of low pressure, Invest 97L, located over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, is becoming better organized and the system has the potential to develop into a tropical depression anytime within the next couple of days. The low is expected to move northwestward toward the Yucatan Peninsula l and into the southern Gulf of Mexico by today. The disturbance is expected to encounter strong upper-level winds limiting development as the storm moves into the northern Gulf of Mexico this weekend. The NHC maintains odds of 70 percent that the low will become a tropical cyclone over the next five days. If it does become a tropical storm, its name would be Karen.
In Florida, Pinellas County Emergency Management cautioned residents to stay prepared for possible tropical weather in October, which is the third busiest month for hurricane development. More than 16 percent of all storms have formed in October. “When cold fronts blow out of Canada, bringing cooler air to our neighbors up north, the winds they generate tend to pick gulf storms up and push them from west to east making Florida’s west coast particularly vulnerable.”
Hurricane Wilma, which make landfall on Oct. 24, 2005, broke several records, eventually becoming the most intense hurricane recorded in the Atlantic Basin. Since October storms form much closer to the country, the warning time could be considerably shorter than storms forming in August and September. While it is still too soon to tell with any certainty, computer-generated tracking maps of potential paths for Invest 97L, should it develop, show it making landfall anywhere from the coast of Louisiana to the west coast of Florida.
Renowned hurricane forecasters with the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, released their latest forecast Sept. 27 for a period lasting through Oct. 10. The forecast is for below-average amounts of hurricane activity through the period. “The most recent seasonal forecast called for an above-normal season. Obviously, at this point, we realize that the seasonal forecast was a significant over-prediction, and we therefore do not expect to see the levels of activity this year that we earlier anticipated.”
But, it only takes one – that’s the anthem emergency management personnel and meteorologists sing ever hurricane season, which is June 1 to Nov. 30 for the Atlantic basin. Residents who live in areas vulnerable to hurricanes are urged to stay ready and be ready to put emergency plans into action if necessary. The Atlantic basin includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Atlantic Hurricane Season summary -
As of Sept. 13, nine named storms have formed. Andrea was the season’s first tropical storm. It formed June 5 in the east-central Gulf of Mexico. Andrea had winds of about 65 mph when it made landfall in Dixie County about 10 miles south of Steinhatchee about 5:40 p.m. June 7. Rain bands from the storm spawned a tornado that touched down in Gulfport the morning of June 6.
Tropical Storm Barry started as a tropical depression on Monday, June 17, as it approached the coast of Belize on the northeastern coast of Central America. It strengthened into a tropical storm June 19 in the southern Gulf of Mexico and made landfall along the coast of Mexico June 20.
The third tropical storm was short-lived. Chantal formed July 7 over the central tropical Atlantic Ocean and degenerated into a tropical wave July 10.
Dorian was the fourth tropical storm of 2013. It formed the morning of July 24 in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. It was downgraded to a tropical depression July 27.
Erin brought the count to five. It started as a depression on Aug. 15 and strengthened into a tropical storm the same day. Erin was downgraded back to a depression on Aug. 16, strengthened into a storm again on Aug. 17 before wind speeds decreased and Erin’s status returned to a depression.
Tropical Storm Fernand began as tropical depression six on Aug. 25 in the southwest Gulf of Mexico and strengthened into a named storm that same day. It made landfall Aug. 26 along the coast of Mexico.
Gabrielle was another short-lived storm, forming Sept. 5 and dissipating the next day. However, the storm regenerated Sept. 10, taking aim at Bermuda. The storm was downgraded to a depression on Sept. 13.
2013 is the first year since 2002 that no hurricane formed through the month of August. Records show that on average at least one hurricane forms in a season by Aug. 10. It was Sept. 11 before the first hurricane of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season formed. Three days later, a second hurricane formed about 195 miles east of Tuxpan Mexico.
The first hurricane of the season, Humberto, had become a post-tropical cyclone as of Sept. 14. It became a tropical storm again on Sept. 16 and maintained its strength until Sept. 19 when it was downgraded into a tropical depression. Humberto remained over open water for its entire life cycle.
Ingrid formed as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph on Sept. 14. It made landfall on the Mexican coast Sept. 16.
The peak months of the Atlantic basin hurricane season are August through October, and about 55 percent of tropical storms and hurricanes form during the months of September and October. Strong and destructive storms such as last year’s Hurricane Sandy, 2005s Wilma and the 1921 Tampa Bay Hurricane all made landfall in October. “Now is not the time to let our guard down."


+ Flooding risk as heavy rain sweeps across west of Scotland - Tropical air moving from the Canary Islands to Scotland throughout Wednesday afternoon is expected to bring downpours on Wednesday night and in to Thursday. Forecasters say up to 80mm of rain will falls in just 24 hours, with the risk of flooding in areas of the west of Scotland and the central belt.
“Some forecast models are pointing to rainfall accumulations totalling around 80mm during the 24 hours from 6am on Thursday for some western parts of the country. There will also be short sharp burst of rain which will lead to several millimetres of rain in the space of an hour...At this time of year the leaves can help lead to flooding by blocking up our drains. A lot of leaves have fallen off the trees this week in the strong winds. The wet conditions should ease during Thursday night."

Australia - Strong winds have left a trail of destruction. Trees toppled and roofs were blown off homes as winds reaching more than 140km/h hit Victoria between Monday and Wednesday. Much of the damage was in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
After the worst of the winds hit on Monday, causing tens of thousands of people to lose power, further strong winds hit on Wednesday sending trees falling and roof tiles flying. While there were still some strong wind warnings for costal areas, nothing was expected to hit land areas and there were no further extreme winds forecast. "Normally we have a couple of these events every spring, but we did saw four or five days within a week where we have seen really strong winds. We have seen fronts coming through every day or second day and there has been no reprieve to those strong winds."