**If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.1 FIJI REGION
Yesterday, 10/31/13 -
5.2 SUMBA REGION, INDONESIA
6.6 COQUIMBO, CHILE
5.2 OFFSHORE ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
5.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 MAURITIUS - REUNION REGION
5.2 JILIN, CHINA
+ A strong 6.3 earthquake struck eastern Taiwan Thursday late in the evening, shaking buildings in the capital and causing tremors across the island. The quake hit at 8:02 pm (1202 GMT) and had its epicenter 53 kilometers southwest of Hualien city at a depth of 19.5 kilometers. The US Geological Survey gave a slightly higher magnitude of 6.6 and a shallower depth of 9 km.
There was no immediate information on any damage or casualties. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no immediate threat of a tsunami. The quake caused the island's high-speed rail to cut its speed. Residents in Taipei took to social media to describe their alarm after the quake hit. “Yikes. Now the sirens are going. Definitely the worst earthquake I’ve felt here.“ "Ohmygod. That was the scariest moment ever! Earthquake in Taipei. I could hear the walls creaking. And felt like I was swaying on a ride.” (map at link)
Chile - Strong 6.6 earthquake strikes off Chilean coast, no damage reported on Thursday.
+ Eruption of Russia's Kliuchevskoi volcano filmed in time lapse - Video (2:17)
TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.
* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Krosa is located approximately 408 nm east-southeast of Hong Kong.
Tropical storm summary -
Typhoon Krosa hits Philippines with another tropical storm due there on Monday, followed by another, potentially stronger storm, arriving on Thursday, November 7. Category 2 Typhoon Krosa is battering the northern end of Luzon, the main Philippines Island, after making landfall in extreme northeast Luzon. The typhoon should be able to re-intensify once it emerges over the South China Sea on Friday, then weaken to Category 1 strength as it encounters higher wind shear and cooler waters before brushing China's Hainan Island on Sunday.
Krosa's formation gives the Western Pacific 27 named storms so far in 2013, which is the average number of named storms for an entire year. The last time there were more than 27 tropical storms or typhoons in the Western Pacific was in 2004, when there were 32.
The Philippines are likely not through with typhoon season; for several days, the GFS model has been predicting that the islands will see two more named storms, with the first one (97W) passing through the central Philippines on Monday, and a second, potentially stronger storm, arriving on Thursday, November 7.
97E in the Eastern Pacific will bring heavy rains to Mexico - In the Eastern Pacific, Invest 97E is spinning 350 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. 97E is moving north-northwest at 5 mph, and will likely move ashore on the Mexican coast near Mazatlan, due east of the tip of the Baja Peninsula, on Sunday night or Monday morning. Heavy rains from 97E will begin affecting the southern Baja Peninsula and portions of Mainland Mexico to its east beginning on Sunday morning. This moisture will spread northeastwards into Southwest Texas by Monday.
There are no tropical cyclone threat areas in the Atlantic, and none of the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming five days.
Typhoon Krosa is beginning to pull away from the Philippines' northern Luzon Island on Friday, local time, as it heads in a westerly direction toward Vietnam this weekend. Damaging winds, flooding rain, and a large storm surge all plagued Luzon Island thanks to the passage of Typhoon Krosa. Aparri, a community along the northern coast of Luzon, recorded a peak wind gust of 107 kph (67 mph) as well as over a foot of rain. The strongest impacts from Krosa remained to the north of the Philippines capitol city of Manila.
Australia - Emergency Management Queensland warns residents to be cyclone season ready. Today marks the official start to the tropical cyclone season in Queensland. The weather bureau is predicting four cyclones to form off the state's coast, with one reaching landfall. The cyclone season ends in March.
Most residents need to take responsibility for their own safety preparations. "It's a lot easier to make a rational decision when you're not under the pump or under pressure. You can do it in your own time rather than being pressured to do things very quickly when perhaps a number of other people in towns or other areas are trying to do the same thing. If it's safe to do so, fit and able-bodied people should be doing those sorts of things rather than the SES [State Emergency Service] coming out and wasting their time to do it on houses where they shouldn't really be required. They should be helping the elderly and people that can't actually do those things themselves."
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
+ Severe storm system looms over wide swath of US as rain, floods lash Texas. A ferocious storm system was hurtling from Texas to the Northeast Thursday, promising to lash a long arm of the U.S. with buckets of rain and high winds, as officials in four states postponed trick-or-treating to Friday.
Meteorologists warned people in the Ohio Valley, the lower Mississippi Valley and western Gulf Coast to brace for harsh gusts of wind, hail and even tornadoes. Trick-or-treating has been pushed to Friday in scores of cities in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee — states expected to bear the brunt of the severe storm system.
Some areas surrounding the city of Austin, Texas, were slammed by as much as 15 inches of rain. Meanwhile, emergency crews staged 15 water rescues across Austin and Travis counties throughout the early morning. As the massive weather system barrels eastward, officials are warning people in the Midwest and Northeast to take precautions ahead of the storm.
Shortly before 4 p.m., the National Weather Service in northern Indiana said that Ft. Wayne and South Bend were already having the second wettest Halloween on record for both locations: Ft. Wayne with .61 inches of rain through 3:50 p.m., and South Bend with one inch.
Heavy rain may pound the Northeast today, with high wind watches posted for the Great Lakes as well as areas of southern New England and Long Island, according to the National Weather Service. Officials have warned coastal residents to brace for possible power outages as well as felled trees and power lines. And the I-95 corridor may be clogged Friday amid hard rain and monster winds from Boston to New York City and Philadelphia.
The storm is partially caused by Hurricane Raymond, which broke up over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday. (videos at link)
Texas flooding has killed two people.
SPACE WEATHER -
Sometime during the next 50 years, a supernova occurring in our home galaxy will be visible from Earth. The odds are nearly 100 percent that such a supernova would be visible to telescopes in the form of infrared radiation. The bad news: the odds are much lower — dipping to 20 percent or less — that the shining stellar spectacle would be visible to the naked eye in the nighttime sky.
Astronomers have a solid chance of doing something that's never been done before: detect a supernova fast enough to witness what happens at the very beginning of a star's demise. A massive star "goes supernova" at the moment when it's used up all its nuclear fuel and its core collapses, just before it explodes violently and throws off most of its mass into space.
"We see all these stars go supernova in other galaxies, and we don't fully understand how it happens. We think we know, we say we know, but that's not actually 100 percent true.Today, technologies have advanced to the point that we can learn enormously more about supernovae if we can catch the next one in our galaxy and study it with all our available tools."
"Every few days, we have the chance to observe supernovae happening outside of our galaxy. But there's only so much you can learn from those, whereas a galactic supernova would show us so much more. Our neutrino detectors and gravitational wave detectors are only sensitive enough to take measurements inside our galaxy, where we believe that a supernova happens only once or twice a century."
"Despite the ease with which astronomers find supernovae occurring outside our galaxy, it wasn't obvious before that it would be possible to get complete observations of a supernova occurring within our galaxy. Soot dims the optical light from stars near the center of the galaxy by a factor of nearly a trillion by the time it gets to us. Fortunately, infrared light is not affected by this soot as much and is only dimmed by a factor of 20."
The astronomers' plan takes advantage of the fact that supernovae issue neutrinos immediately after the explosion starts, but don't brighten in infrared or visible light until minutes, hours, or even days later. So, in the ideal scenario, neutrino detectors such as Super-Kamiokande (Super-K) in Japan would sound the alert the moment they detect neutrinos, and indicate the direction the particles were coming from. Then infrared detectors could target the location almost immediately, thus catching the supernova before the brightening begins. Gravitational wave observatories would do the same.
For those of us who would hope to see a Milky Way supernova with our own eyes, however, the chances are lower and depend on our latitude on Earth. The last time it happened was in 1604, when Johannes Kepler spotted one some 20,000 light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. He was in northern Italy at the time. Could such a sighting happen again in the next half-century?
The probability of a galactic supernova being visible with the unaided eye from somewhere on Earth within the next 50 years is approximately 20-50 percent, with people in the southern hemisphere getting the best of those odds, since they can see more of our galaxy in the night sky. The odds worsen as you go north; in Columbus, Ohio, for example, the chance could dip as low as 10 percent. "The odds of seeing a spectacular display aren't in our favor, but it is still an exciting possibility! With only one or two happening a century, the chance of a Milky Way supernova is small, but it would be a tragedy to miss it, and this work is designed to improve the chances of being ready for the scientific event of a lifetime."
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