Sunday, June 29, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**That which we persist in doing becomes easier,
not that the task itself has become easier,
but that our ability to perform it has improved.**
Ralph Waldo Emerson

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 6/28/14 -
None 5.0 or larger.
[Unusually low number of quakes lately - sometimes this signals that a moderately large one is on the horizon.]

6/27/14 -

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Arizona just before 10 p.m. Saturday. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake's epicenter as 31 miles northwest of Leesburg, N.M., just west of the Arizona-New Mexico border.
"Arizona has experienced earthquakes before. There was a 5.6 magnitude quake near the Utah border in 1959 and a 5.1 magnitude quake near Flagstaff in 2005." A 4.2 magnitude earthquake hit Utah, just south of Mt. Pleasant at 7 p.m. Saturday. The two incidents were unrelated.

Oklahoma nearly doubles earthquake count of California - Oklahoma has had nearly double the number of earthquakes as California, local news reported after five earthquakes rattled residents on Thursday morning.


Typhoon and earthquake connection under study - A report considered the seemingly apparent connection of large earthquakes and typhoon activity on Guam.
The strongest recorded earthquake struck in August 1993. Although no deaths were reported, 48 people were injured and several hotels suffered extensive damage. The southern part of the island experienced numerous landslides and rockslides, and more than $112 million in structural and property damage was sustained to roads, homes, buildings and cars. The earthquake was closely associated with Typhoon Steve.
Perhaps, the authors suggest, the winds generated from typhoons, along with appropriate high stresses in earthquake regions, can trigger an earthquake. Or, pressure changes from the extreme low pressures associated with typhoons can hypothetically cause the land to rise under a reduced load and result in an earthquake.
The model for this seems to work for an earthquake that occurs under land, but for an earthquake under the ocean, there may be another mechanism involved. In the case of the August 1993 quake, the eye of Typhoon Steve, an area of relative calm, passed 80 km north of the island, with winds pushing Guam and the Philippine plate to the northwest. This movement, the study asserts, may have reduced the friction between the Pacific and Philippine plates which resulted in the strong earthquake.
Furthermore, in a look at the history of earthquakes and typhoons on Guam, they observed that far more earthquakes occur within one day of the arrival of typhoons, than any other day in the 10 days before or 10 days after a typhoon has passed Guam at its nearest approach to the island.
Based on historic accounts, they determined that Guam has had only three tsunamis that were large enough to cause damage — in 1849, 1892 and, most recently, in 1993. Another two to six events may have been recorded, but are not verifiable as true tsunamis. Waves originating from further away include those produced during the 1952 Kamatchka, Russia, and the 1960 Chile earthquakes.
In 1819 - “An earthquake made itself felt, on May 7 at 1:30 pm. With surprise and fright together, we saw the earth itself undulating form north to south for a period of perhaps thirty seconds. The residence cracked in every part, tiles came hurtling down and one would have thought that the entire structure was about to collapse around our heads. All inhabitants fled, some into the streets, others into gardens. No further disaster befell us all, however. Passed on from the land to the sea, the upheaval was felt aboard in the guise of violent shakes.”
In late 1837 a series of strong earthquakes coincided with a strong storm causing major flooding, landslides and damage. Four of the Caroline Islands were submerged, forcing residents to migrate to Guam and eventually settle in Saipan.
Twelve years later, another devastating tremor struck the island. The earthquake and tsunami of 1849 - “On 25 January last, at 2:49 in the afternoon, there was a great temblor, or earthquake, on this island that lasted one and a half minutes…The shocks continued all afternoon at very short intervals of approximately four, six and eight minutes. At eleven o’clock that night, they ceased until 2:30 in the morning, then continued on the following days…In addition to the repeated shocks, we felt something like a subterranean boiling, and we thought we were atop a volcano that would send us flying though space when it exploded. After nine days, the continual boiling-like rumbling stopped, but the tremors continued…A pilot and several seamen who were on the beach reported and swore they had seen two flashes of fire leap from the surf as it crashed on the reef off this port. The flashes were preceded by two sharp cannon-like reports.
The earth opened in several places. Large fissures appeared in the center of the city; fourteen walls opened, gushing water, sand and fish… That afternoon, in my presence, the wells were sounded with a rod and found to have a depth of from one to six varas (one varas is 33 inches). On the following day I had them filled to obliterate the horrible sight, also because four of them were beneath houses, causing some to tumble, others to tilt. Many boulders have tumbled along the shore and from the interior hillsides. The shaking was so severe that bottles and other small receptacles on floors and shelves fell. The fissures were even more frightening because of the release of fumes.
“The sole tragedy involving loss of life was the death of a woman, who was at her ranch near the beach and was swept away by one of three tidal waves. The two-year old niece who was with her received bruises on her face when the sea carried her forty yards before depositing her among the rocks.”
The vertical run-up of the tsunami was about 11.5 feet (3.5 meters). So far-reaching were the effects that, the captain of a whaling frigate informed the Governor that he felt the quake a thousand miles east of Guam. In the Caroline Islands, it was reported that some of the atolls were actually submerged for several hours by the tsunami caused by the earthquake. Several survivors from the islands of Satawal and Lamotrek managed to escape, migrating to Saipan in the northern Marianas some two months later.
In May 1892 a tsunami in Hagåtña was recorded from an earthquake that struck Guam, although no measurements of its height or damage were available. A drop in water level was reported and damage occurred in the old San Antonio district (near the current Chamorro Village).

Massive Ocean Whirlpools Are Affecting the Weather - Huge ocean whirlpools, some hundreds of miles across, are affecting Earth's climate in ways that scientists can't yet predict. Called mesoscale eddies, the 60- to 300-mile (100-500 kilometer) wide whirlpools move as much water as ocean currents, say researchers who reviewed satellite data from 1992 to 2010.
The eddies form as ocean currents are disrupted by ocean features like islands. As they move west due to the Earth's rotation, they can drive 30 tons of water every second to the east coast of continents. The eddies may grow and become more frequent as the world warms.
"The amount of water they can carry westward was a huge surpris." Eddy-driven currents are likely making extreme weather across Japan worse. The Kuroshio current's warm waters cause extreme weather, and the eddies hold more warm water.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific Ocean -
- Tropical depression 4-E is moving quickly west-northwestward away from Mexico.

A area of disturbed weather over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream current off the Southeast U.S. coast has been designated Invest 91L. Satellite loops on Saturday morning showed 91L with only a small amount of heavy thunderstorm activity that was poorly organized. There was no hint of a surface circulation trying to form.
Long-range radar howed a few modest areas of rainfall over the ocean about 50 - 150 miles east of the Central Florida coast. Sea surface temperatures in this region were about 1°C above average, 27 - 28°C -- plenty of heat energy for a developing tropical cyclone.
Wind shear was moderate, 10 - 15 knots. The shear was due to strong upper-level winds out of the north, which were keeping any heavy thunderstorms from developing on the north side of 91L. Water vapor satellite loops showed that the atmosphere was moderately moist off the Southeast U.S. coast, and dry air should not be a significant impediment to development. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 91L on Sunday afternoon.
Forecast for 91L - With the disturbance parked over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, organization into a tropical depression is a good possibility. NHC gave 91L 2-day and 5-day development odds of 30% and 50%, respectively.
Steering currents are weak off of the Southeast U.S. coast, and the uncertainty in the track of 91L is higher than usual. The 00Z Saturday run of the UKMET and European models predicted a slow motion to the northeast, with the European model showing a POTENTIAL THREAT TO THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST BY THURSDAY. The 00Z and 06Z Saturday runs of the GFS model PREDICT THE OPPOSITE MOTION, a slow track southwestwards with a LANDFALL IN FLORIDA ON TUESDAY.
None of these models showed 91L reaching tropical storm strength. The UKMET and European model have been pretty consistent with their recent runs, so that may favor the more northeasterly motion for 91L over the next five days.


Heavy Rains Flood U. S. Season With Extreme Weather - The threat of flooding, hail and tornadoes is expected in regions throughout the nation and June has proven to be a month of weather extremes.

Minnesota - More rain, more wind threaten flood-weary residents in the Twin Citie. Braced for more storms overnight and into Sunday. The National Weather Service said the Twin Cities and south-central Minnesota could get 1 inch to 2 inches of rain by the end of Sunday, with heavier rain and chances of hail and tornadoes from Mankato to Albert Lea.
By Saturday afternoon, heavy rains and strong winds had already moved into the metro. In flooded Prior Lake, the Mayor said he was “absolutely relieved” that Saturday afternoon rains raised the water levels by only a quarter-inch. But “they are still forecasting another one to two inches tonight and that would create additional problems for us. The waters are rising” and 40 homes are already flooded. More rain could be “catastrophic.”
This is THE WETTEST YEAR ON RECORD for the Twin Cities, with more than 25 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1 — nearly 12 inches above normal. It’s the second wettest June on record.
But while the rain may feel repetitive, experts said that it shouldn’t send rivers and creeks rising again, but rather, would slow receding floodwaters. They were concerned, however, that the weekend storms could pack powerful winds. With the ground already saturated, trees can easily be uprooted by high wind. Similar conditions brought down dozens of trees across the metro two weeks ago.
Flooding continues throughout the state.

The weather service is keeping a close eye on northwestern Iowa. The area could be at risk for flooding after 3 to 5 inches of rain fell Thursday. Residents throughout much of the waterlogged Dakotas are on alert for flash flooding as a storm system sweeps in from the Rockies.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch through Friday night for western and north central South Dakota, and for western and central North Dakota. Forecasters said the storm system moving from west to east could drop as much as 6 inches of rain. “Everyone is going to have to keep an eye on the weather."
Many areas in the Dakotas already have saturated soils from recent heavy rains that led to earlier flooding. The problem has been most acute in southeastern South Dakota, where floodwaters in recent weeks have damaged hundreds of homes.
In Canton, a homeowner e said that water inundated her basement last week for the first time in the 18 years she has lived there. The family lost their furnace, washer, dryer, water heater, freezer, snowmobile, lawn mower, power tools and photographs to water damage, and doesn’t have insurance to cover the loss. “I never had such a disaster in my life."


Arizona wildfire doesn't grow but evacuations remain. Fire officials say a fire that's charred nearly 8 square miles in eastern Arizona's White Mountains has held steady, though the human-caused blaze has not been brought under control at all.

Drought tightens grip on Nevadans' daily lives - Extended drought has dried forests in western Nevada and the Sierra, leading to mounting concern that destructive wildfires are likely to erupt at any time.

The continuing drought in Texas has taken on historic proportions because it has had an UNUSUALLY BROAD EFFECT on the state.
Recent rains improve drought, lake levels in Texas - Pentiful rainfall this past week improved conditions across Texas, although 69 percent of the state remained in some drought stage.

Drought, wildfires may strain Southern California's power grid this summer. State energy officials say wildfires, the drought and high temperatures could strain Southern California's power supply thissummer. The Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency for California on Jan. 17.

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