**I'm not a pessimist.
I'm an optimist with experience.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.2 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
Yesterday, 12/8/13 -
5.9 KURIL ISLANDS
5.0 KURIL ISLANDS
5.0 NEGROS, PHILIPPINES
Indonesia - Mount Marapi erupts, 'caution' alert level unchanged. Mount Marapi, which lies between Tanah Datar and Agam regencies, West Sumatra, erupted at 10:10 a.m., on Sunday. “The volcano's eruption spewed a column of thick, gray ash 350 meters high.”
Mt. Marapi’s alert level has been maintained at waspada or caution (level 2). The PVMBG have said it is not safe to be within 3 kilometers of the activity. Mt. Marapi, which is located near to the twin volcanos of Mount Singgalang and Mount Tandikek, is a popular climbing destination, particularity during December as scores of climbers flock to its accessible peak to see in the New Year.
Klyuchevskoi volcano - Aviation warning issued around the volcano in Russia's Kamchatka region.
TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.
* In the North Indian Ocean -
Tropical cyclone Madi is located approximately 255 nm east of Chennai, India.
Severe cyclonic storm Madi is forecast to strike India as a tropical storm on December 13.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
U.S. - RECORD-BREAKING LOWS in some places overnight. Cold air from Canada and snow on the ground brought subzero temperatures to many places in eastern California and western Nevada.
Snow, ice, deep freeze hit large swath of USA again - A SURPRISING swath of heavy snow and ice hit the eastern USA on Sunday - from West Virginia to Philadelphia - dumping snow on NFL fields and causing highway pileups.
The powerful storm that crept across the US has dumped a mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet on the mid-Atlantic region and headed northeast, threatening as much as a foot of snow in Delaware and New Jersey. The storm on Sunday forced the cancellation of thousands of flights across the US and slowed traffic on roads, leading to a number of accidents, including a fatal crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Morgantown that led to a series of fender-benders involving 50 cars.
What was forecast in the Philadelphia area to be a tame storm system with about an inch of snow followed by rain mushroomed into a full-blown snowstorm that snarled traffic along Interstate 95 in Pennsylvania from the Delaware to New Jersey state lines. The National Weather Service said the low pressure system from North Carolina north to New England was being fed by disturbances from the southwest and moist air off the Atlantic. The forecast called for the wintry mix to continue through Sunday, turning to rain early on Monday.
Philadelphia International Airport had a temporary ground stop on Sunday afternoon with snow totals around four to six inches. Virginia, parts of West Virginia and the metropolitan Washington DC area braced for blackouts under steady freezing rain, wet snow and sleet. Parts of northwest and southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia were getting snow, while sleet and freezing rain prevailed west and north of Richmond.
In Maryland, a chain-reaction accident on Interstate 81 in Washington County involving more than 20 vehicles delayed snow removal efforts for hours. The highway was closed for more than three hours after a tractor-trailer ran into the median to avoid cars that had spun out. It was hit by another tractor-trailer that overturned and spilled its load. Several other tractor-trailers ran off the road and jackknifed as their drivers tried to avoid the crash.
North Texas started to thaw out slightly on Sunday after two days of a near standstill with icy roads and low temperatures. About 400 departures from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were cancelled on Sunday.
But the heavy snow wasn't limited to the East Coast. A snowstorm that hit along the Utah-Arizona border left hundreds of travellers stranded on Interstate 15 overnight into Sunday. The Arizona Highway Patrol said passengers in about 300 vehicles became stranded after up to 10 inches of snow and slick road conditions prompted the closure of part of the highway
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
Drought in Arizona likely to continue in 2014 - Federal forecasters said Friday the state isn't likely to see any respite next year from a longstanding drought.
'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Study Links Arctic Melting, Extreme Weather - As ice at the North Pole disappears at an alarming rate, some researchers are finding a link between that phenomenon and recent bouts of extreme weather.
Alert raised as smog shrouds China - China has raised its extreme weather alert as "disaster movie" smog continues to plague central and eastern regions. On Saturday, the alert was raised from yellow to the second-highest level on China's four-tier warning system for extreme weather.
The smog choking central and eastern China has caused the number of people seeking treatment in hospitals for respiratory problems to jump. The pollution reduced visibility to a soup, disrupted flights and caused many people to stay home. "It stinks like smoke. The air really scratches in your throat. We've never experienced such terrible smog."
Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Henan provinces have suffered smog for six consecutive days, while other central and eastern regions have experienced three to five days. "It is like a disaster movie." Nanjing, Jiangsu's capital, was under a red alert, and Shanghai has been plagued by high levels of air pollution after air masses carried industrial emissions from neighbouring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
Shanghai authorities on Friday halted all construction work and ordered children indoors as the financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of air pollution. Officials also reduced bus services by one-third and cancelled some flights to and from Shanghai airport. The city's concentration of harmful fine particles in the air reached 602 micrograms per cubic metre Friday, 24 TIMES HIGHER than the level considered tolerable by the World Health Organization. By Saturday, the figure had fallen to 484 micrograms and then an "unhealthy" 186 by evening. Beijing's index rose to a "dangerous" 459 by Saturday night.
Medical experts warned that the pollution could increase the risk of stroke and heart disease as well as cause respiratory problems, birth defects and cancer. "Smog and haze are largely attributed to the current development model." Manufacturers are concerned only with the growth of their production and ignore the environment. Meteorologists said the weather was partly responsible for the abysmal air quality and predicted the pollution would likely continue until the end of the week.
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