Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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

**Forgive your enemies,
but never forget their names.**
John F. Kennedy

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 11/4/13 -

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical depression Thirty is located 737 nm east of Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.

- Typhoon Haiyan is located approximately 499 nm east-southeast of Yap.
Tropical storm summary -
In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Sonia, the eighteenth named storm of the 2013 Eastern Pacific hurricane season, made landfall near midnight EST on Sunday near El Dorado, Mexico, as a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds. Heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches were expected in Mainland Mexico along the path of Sonia on Monday, potentially triggering flash floods and mudslides. Moisture from Sonia is being drawn to the northeast, where it will contribute to rains over the Central U.S. later in the week.
There are currently no threat areas in the Eastern Pacific, and the GFS and European models are not predicting development of anything over the coming seven days. The last named storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season typically forms on November 5, so there is a good chance that Sonia will be the last storm of the year. There were no November Eastern Pacific named storms in 2012, but 2011 featured the 2nd strongest storm of the entire Eastern Pacific hurricane season in November, Category 4 Hurricane Kenneth (145 mph winds.).
Sonia's formation brings the 2013 Eastern Pacific hurricane season numbers to 18 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 1 major hurricane. The 1981 - 2010 averages for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season are 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. NOAA's pre-season prediction for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, issued on May 23, was not far from the mark. It called for a below-average season, with 11 - 16 named storms, 5 - 8 hurricanes, 1 - 4 major hurricanes.
While the raw numbers show a quiet Eastern Pacific hurricane season, one bad storm - Hurricane Manuel - made the 2013 season one of the worst in Mexico's history. Manuel made landfall on September 15 near Manzanillo as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds, and brought devastating flooding to the coast near Acapulco. Manuel was the most expensive Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone in history, with damage estimated at $4.2 billion.

More trouble in the Western Pacific - Tropical cyclone activity in the Western Pacific over the past month has been very high, with seven typhoons in the month of October alone. This would appear to be a NEW RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF TYPHOONS IN ANY OCTOBER, breaking the previous record of six typhoons during October 1989.
The latest system of concern is Tropical Storm Haiyan, which is gathering strength over the warm tropical waters east of the Philippines. Haiyan's formation brings the tally of named storms in the Western Pacific in 2013 to 28, making it the busiest season in that ocean basin since the 32 named storms of 2004.
Haiyan is a large tropical storm with plenty of intense thunderstorms that are steadily growing more organized. Haiyan is expected to take advantage of warm waters and low wind shear and intensify into a major Category 4 typhoon by Thursday. Both the GFS and European models predict that Haiyan will pass through the central Philippines near 6 UTC on Friday. If this prediction holds true, Haiyan could be the most dangerous tropical cyclone to affect the Philippines this year -- particularly since Tropical Depression Thirty was dumping heavy rains of up to one inch per hour over the central Philippines Monday, which will saturate the soil and make extreme flooding more likely late this week when Haiyan arrives.

Quiet in the Atlantic - An area of low pressure over the Central Caribbean is bringing disorganized heavy rain showers to the region. None of the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming five days.

Tropical Storm Haiyan lashing Micronesia and warnings and watches are in effect today. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has forecast newborn Tropical Storm Haiyan to strengthen to a powerful typhoon before making landfall in the Philippines.
Micronesia consists of a group of islands in the western Pacific Ocean that include the Marshall Islands, the Gilbert Islands including Kiribati, the Caroline Islands, Nauru, Wake Island and the Mariana Islands. The area contains thousands of small islands and is part of the larger Oceana. A Typhoon Warning is in effect for Woleai in Yap State. A Typhoon Watch is in effect for Koror and Kayangel, Republic of Palau; for Satawal in Yap State; and for Faraulep, Fais, Ulithi, Yap Island and Ngulu in Yap State. A Tropical Storm Warning has been posted for Puluwat in Chuuk State as well as for Satawal in Yap State, and a tropical storm Watch is up for Ulul and Fananu in Chuuk State.
On Nov. 5 at 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EDT Haiyan's maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots/51.7 mph/83.3 kph and it is moving through an area of warm waters and low wind shear which is expected to help the storm strengthen. Haiyan is moving west-northwest through Micronesia. It is expected to pass between Yap and Palau on Nov. 6 before making landfall in the central Philippines. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Haiyan to intensify to 120 knots/138.1 mph/222.2 kph as it approaches the central Philippines on Nov. 8. That strength is equal to a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Philippines - Tropical cyclone Wilma weakens, Yolanda follows. After making a landfall on Mindanao, Tropical Depression "Wilma" weakened into a low-pressure area (LPA) Monday afternoon. People should always be careful and should remain vigilant especially since another weather disturbance will probably hit the region by Thursday or Friday this week. Once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility, it will be named "Yolanda". Yolanda has a wider coverage compared with Wilma.
The residents in hinterland villages were warned of possible threats of landslide due to Wilma. Pagasa also warned of possible flooding in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous places in Southern Leyte, Leyte and Bohol due to heavy rains. The Philippine Coast Guard placed all its units on alert and ordered the cancellation of sea travel in the provinces in Northern Mindanao, affecting at least 4,000 passengers. A total of 4,707 passengers are currently stranded in the ports of Manila, Cebu and various roll-on-roll vessel terminals in Southern Negros and Bohol after most of the shipping passengers decided to suspend the operations of their vessels that will sail on areas affected by Wilma.

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