Monday, November 18, 2013

Global Disaster Watch - the latest earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms, wildfires and record-breaking weather.

No update on Tuesday this week.

**We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.**
Vince Lombardi

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 11/17/13 -

Mount Etna eruption video - Italy (1:01)

Volcano under Antarctic ice may erupt, accelerate glacier melting - A newly discovered volcano rumbling beneath nearly a mile of ice in Antarctica will almost certainly erupt at some point in the future, according to a new study.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.
No current tropical storms.

Flooding in Vietnam has killed at least 28 - Nine others missing. Flooding from the tropical storm in Vietnam has killed at least 28 people since Friday, with nearly 80,000 displaced.


Powerful tornadoes hit the US states of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, killing at least five people, levelling houses and overturning vehicles. It is feared that several hundred people may have been injured in the fast-moving storms. A number of people were said to be trapped inside buildings.
Forecasters say up to 53 million people could be affected. Hailstones the size of tennis balls have been reported. The rapid-moving storm - with winds of up to 111km/h (68mph) - is continuing its way east.
November is ordinarily one of the quietest months in the tornado calendar, meaning these storms are unusually destructive for this time of year. All the fatalities were reported in Illinois, which was the hardest hit state. Eyewitnesses described how large parts of Washington had been levelled by the tornadoes. "Telephone wires [are] down everywhere, live wires are still down. I'm pretty traumatised from what I saw. I actually saw a vehicle in the middle of the road, their left signal light turned on, like they were getting ready to turn, all the windows were out of it, blood was in the back seat. Pandemonium. It looks like a war zone."
"From the window I saw this huge tornado, tons of debris flying through the air. I took shelter in the basement. The area that was hit, it's just absolutely devastated - entire blocks where homes stood this morning right now are just rubble." The National Weather Service had warned of a "particularly dangerous situation" for parts of the central US. "Several rapidly moving, intense tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, large hail events and damaging winds are expected in these watch areas." (video & photos)
In the RARE and very dangerous late-season severe weather outbreak over the Midwest U.S., NOAA's Storm Prediction Center was predicting a "High Risk" of severe weather - their highest level of alert - over most of Indiana and Illinois, plus portions of Southern Lower Michigan and Western Ohio.
This was just the second "High Risk" forecast for 2013, and the area at risk of severe weather was UNUSUALLY LARGE. The High Risk area was THE FARTHEST NORTH EVER ISSUED SO LATE IN THE YEAR FOR SUCH A FORECAST. A 992 mb low pressure system that was over Northern Illinois on Sunday morning will move northeast and rapidly intensify to 965 mb by Monday morning, dragging a strong cold front across the "High Risk" area on Sunday afternoon.
Isolated supercell thunderstorms - the kind most likely to produce strong and violent tornadoes - were expected to form ahead of the front, and the SPC was expecting multiple long-track strong tornadoes to form during the early afternoon. Any tornadoes that form would be moving at highway speed - 50 to 60 mph - and would be under low cloud bases around 2,000 feet, making these storms difficult to see and react to, particularly in wooded or hilly areas.
Most of Illinois, including Chicago, was placed under a special "PDS" Tornado Watch: a "Particularly Dangerous Situation." Severe thunderstorms spawning tornado warnings had already erupted over Southern Wisconsin and Western Illinois as of 10:15 am CST.
It's been an UNUSUALLY SLOW SEVERE WEATHER SEASON, with the 2013 preliminary tally of 818 tornadoes the lowest year-to-date count since the extreme drought year of 1988. However, when severe weather outbreaks have come, they have been UNUSUALLY DESTRUCTIVE.
There have been five severe weather outbreaks topping $1 billion in damages this year. This is the third highest number of such disasters on record, going back to 1980. The record is shared by 2011 and 2012, with seven billion-dollar-plus severe weather outbreaks. The total damage from 2013's five billion-dollar severe weather outbreaks is $14 billion, which is the third highest on record, behind 2011 ($29.6 billion) and 2010 ($16.3 billion.) The most expensive and deadliest severe weather outbreak of 2013 hit on May 20, when Moore, Oklahoma was devastated by an Ef-5 tornado that killed 23 people and did $2 billion in damage.
November is a HIGHLY UNUSUAL TIME to be getting a dangerous severe weather outbreak. The four previous November "High Risk" events (1989, 1994, 2002, and 2005) have resulted in a total of 148 tornadoes and 62 fatalities. [Preliminary count of tornadoes that formed on Sunday was 77.]
Tornado video - Illinois (1:39)
Today's forecast - The storms are heading for the East Coast.

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