Friday, December 20, 2013

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

**Happiness doesn't come from doing just what you like
- it comes from liking what you do.**

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday, 12/19/13 -

Deepest Earthquakes May Be Best at Dissipating Energy - An investigation of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded deep within the Earth suggests deep quakes may be better at dissipating pent-up energy than similar quakes near the surface, researchers say in a new study.
Scientists investigated a magnitude-8.3 earthquake that struck beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, between Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and Japan, on May 24. The Sea of Okhotsk rests above a subduction zone, a place where one of the Earth's tectonic plates slides beneath another. Here, the Pacific Plate dives or subducts beneath the North American Plate. The earthquake ruptured about 380 miles (610 kilometers) below the seafloor, far below the Earth's crust.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Amara. Amara threatens Rodrigues Island. The Mauritius Meteorological Service has already put a cyclone class 2 warning in effect.

- Tropical cyclone Bruce.
Tropical Cyclone Bruce was still maintaining hurricane-force in the Southern Indian Ocean when NASA's Terra satellite passed over the eye of the storm on Thursday. Although Bruce's eye seemed to have some high clouds, the eye was still visible. Also visible were thick bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the storm's northern quadrant. Convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) was seen strengthening around the eyewall.
On December 19 at 1500 UTC, Tropical Cyclone Bruce's maximum sustained winds were near 90 knots/103.6 mph/166.7 kph. Bruce was centered about 330 nautical miles/379.8 miles/611.1 km west of Cocos Island, Australia. It was moving to the west-southwest at 10 knots/11.5 mph/18.5 kph. Bruce is moving along the northern edge of an elongated area of subtropical high pressure and is expected to continue moving to the west-southwest for another three days. (satellite photo)

Australia - Wet Christmas looms as monsoon trough forms in north. A monsoon trough is expected to develop north of Australia over the coming days, increasing the possibility of a cyclone developing next week.

2014 hurricane season - Based on current and projected climate signals, North Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity is forecast to be close to the long-term norm.


Great Britain - More gales and rain set for weekend, as severe weather batters Devon and Cornwall. The Westcountry has been battered by rain and gusts of up to 70mph, in the first of what is expected to be several days of turbulent weather. Shoppers were told to take extra precautions with heavy rainfall and debris causing chaos along most southern routes of the South West.
The Tamar Bridge was closed to high sided vehicles in the afternoon, while in Lyme Regis, the town centre Christmas tree - the tallest in the coastal resort’s history - had to be chopped up after it was toppled in the strong winds. The weather also caused problems along the northern Cornish coastline, which was placed on flood alert in the evening as the gale force winds combined with a tidal surge, almost a metre above high tide levels.
A Met Office spokesman said Devon and Cornwall would remain under a severe weather warning until 11pm, however the wind and rain would continue in to the early hours of this morning. The unpleasant weather is expected to be followed by slightly better weather although there remains a chance of sleet on high ground in Exmoor, South Molton and Dulverton. However, a weather warning is again in place between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon, for rain, although winds will remain strong, with gusts reaching 50 or 60mph.


Canada - Rebound storm wallops parts of Newfoundland. Schools closed, power lines were torn down and some highways became too dangerous for travel in parts of Newfoundland Thursday, as the second storm in just days whipped into the island.
Driving conditions had deteriorated to the point that government officials urged people to stay off the roads in much of western Newfoundland. Gusts hit as high as 129 km/h in some coastal areas with gusts of wind reaching 138 km per hour in Cape Pine on Thursday. The high speed was comparable to the 137 km per hour wind measured at the same location during post-tropical storm Leslie in September 2012.
Visibility was sharply reduced on highways in western Newfoundland, with officials asking motorists to stay off some roads. Power outages were reported in both the southern Avalon and Burin peninsulas, with utilities trying to deal with broken poles and lines in challenging conditions. About 32 cm of snow fell in Stephenvile, with about 20 falling by midday in Gander.
High wind warnings were issued for much of the province, with gusts hitting as much as 129 km/h in coastal areas. Marine Atlantic has tied up its ferries for the time being until conditions improve, affecting plans for pre-Christmas travellers and commercial shipping. Schools in numerous communities were forced to close. Some college campuses also shut down. Newfoundland and Labrador's transportation department advised drivers to stay off several highways in western Newfoundland.
Parts of western Newfoundland got the most snow overnight, which means heavy shovelling on top of a storm that hit Monday. Snow through late Wednesday night had affected visibility across the island, with RCMP reporting that highway driving in the Clarenville area, for instance, had dropped to zero visibility. On the Avalon Peninsula, a light snowfall gave way to rain and high winds, while freezing temperatures caused slippery conditions. Winter storm warnings have ended in western Newfoundland, although wind warnings were still in effect.

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