Thursday, June 12, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.**
Frank Lloyd Wright

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 6/11/14 -

Scientists Discover That Oahu, Hawaii, Was Made Of Three, Not Two, Volcanoes. It's not often that a new volcano is discovered, especially in the United States.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific Ocean -
- Hurricane Cristina is located approximately about 230 mi. (370 km) SSW of Manzanillo, Mexico. Swells generated by Cristina are affecting portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico. These swells will likely continue today and could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

* In the North Arabian Sea -
- Tropical cyclone Nanauk is located approximately 380 nm east-southeast of Masirah Island.
Cyclone Nanauk may adversely affect monsoons in India - The IMD is yet to make it clear if Nanauk will help the monsoon or further delay it. Presently the cyclone is moving towards Oman and away from India.


Arkansas - Heavy Rain The Last Two Months. It was wet in much of Arkansas the last 60 days (April 11th through June 9th). Rainfall averaged 10 to 15 inches at many locations.
Rain, wind wreaking havoc on Arkansas crops - Steady, heavy rains and high winds have had a negative effect on a major part of Arkansas' economy. Some storms within the last week have wreaked havoc on farm crops in the state. In Northeast Arkansas some corn fields were nearly wiped out by last week's high winds.
"In some cases, [it's] devastating. We were very fortunate to escape the damage that that Northeast Arkansas farmers had. If we get 2 or 3 or 4 more rains we're going to be out of the field for another week to 10 days and we're going to have some sprouting in these crops, especially this wheat and that's going to really drive down the quality and the price a farmer gets for it."
"The dampness, continual dampness, is just keeping us from getting in and doing what we need to do. We have been waiting, trying to get the rice dry enough to put fertilizer on but we can't do that right now because it's too wet."
"We had a storm go through that kind of wiped out some tomatoes," added a farmer who supplies Little Rock Kroger, Whole Foods and Fresh Market stores as well as local restaurants. "We had 60-mph winds and got some tin off of our barn but other than that we're surviving."
"It's hard to access the fields but it's not a total loss. A lot of our city-based gardeners are pulling off a lot of nice crops, a lot of carrots and beats and roots like that and the rain's been really great for that… I guess it depends on the scale of agriculture, some people benefit from these kinds of rains when you're doing things on a small scale."
Farmers were still hopeful that they will be able to salvage at least some of their crop this season, even if the yield and quality are less than they'd like. For farmers the weather has had a domino-effect of sorts because they can't harvest their wheat, which could ruin that crop and also prevent them from planting soy beans in those same fields after the wheat is harvested. "We do what we can and what we can is all we can do."


Icebergs Spotted in Lake Superior - Though it's starting to feel like summer in the Great Lakes region, with temperatures soaring into the 80s (Fahrenheit), icebergs are still loitering in Lake Superior — a reminder of an especially harsh winter.
Last week, a marine warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was patrolling Lake Superior when she spotted seagulls resting on a huge chunk of ice near Madeline Island, off the northern coast of Wisconsin. "Normally the ice is mostly gone by end of April with some bays having some ice chunks floating around. We were doing commercial net checks and had been seeing the ice floating around the area. This one was the biggest we had seen so far."
The iceberg rose 12 to 14 feet (3.5 to 4 meters) above the water and stretched 40 feet (12 m) long and 20 feet (6 m) wide, though much of the block was hidden underwater. "The surface water temperature in this area is only 34 Fahrenheit [1.1 degrees Celsius] so it will be a bit before the ice is actually gone."
The giant ice cubes are lingering after a frigid winter, during which ice covered nearly 100 percent of Lake Superior, the deepest, largest and northernmost of the five Great Lakes. In March, all five of the lakes combined hit 91 percent ice cover, the most ice since the record of 94.7 percent was set in 1979.
At the end of May, Lake Superior surface-water temperatures were about 1 or 2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 or 1 degree Celsius) below their long-term average. However, scientists forecast that surface temperatures over the deepest parts of the lake will still be in the 40s F (about 4 C), at least 6 degrees F below normal by August, because these deeper waters take longer to mix with the surface waters and get thoroughly warm.
Scientists say the winter's deep freeze will have lasting effects beyond persistent icebergs and colder-than-average water for swimming. The Great Lakes will likely have higher water levels and occasional blankets of fog as well. "It's going to be the summer of fog. The water will stay really cold, but summer air tends to be warm and humid. And any time you get that combination, you're going to have condensation and fog - basically evaporation in reverse."
Chilly water will also delay the start of the yearly evaporation season by four to six weeks. Less evaporation could be a good thing for the Great Lakes, which last year experienced record low water levels. Lake Superior could see water-level gains of up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) by next spring, depending on rainfall.


Extreme heat sets RECORD-BREAKING TEMPERATURES in Arizona - Record-breaking heat waves swept through Tucson last week with temperatures as high as 111 degrees.
All of Tucson received excessive heat warnings from the National Weather Service Forecast office. On June 1 and 2, Tucson hit a high of 101 degrees, which broke the 2012 record. On June 3, there was a record high of 108 degrees, and on June 4 was there a tie for the record high temperature of 107, which was last seen in 1996.
Local fire departments are warning residents to take caution when going outside in the heat. “We are telling people to essentially hydrate and limit time outside. If you are outside for an extended period of time, take the necessary precautions such as shade, wearing light cotton clothing, or cool the body off with water.”
A person who is mildly dehydrated will experience a dry mouth, dry skin, headache, constipation or dizziness. If severely dehydrated, a person will experience extreme thirst, extremely dry mouth, little to no urination, dry skin, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat or delirium.
“If people don’t listen to their bodies or ignore heat-related symptoms then they will move down that heat spectrum pretty fast. “If you think you’ve drank enough water, have more water. If you continue to hydrate you will handle the heat better even if you’re not outside.” Residents are specifically recommended to stay inside from noon to 5 p.m. as the temperatures are highest during that time.
Each day, fire departments receive the projected temperatures and relative humidity readings. This helps firefighters not only prepare for calls from residents, but also helps with knowing the risk of fires. High temperatures and winds are the most dangerous as rapid flames will develop more quickly and are more unpredictably. “People calling are primarily doing so because they’re worried about the wildfire danger. That’s the number one concern. We try to take the opportunity to tell them it is absolutely a concern."
“We need to treat these extreme temperatures with the respect that it deserves. It’s a dangerous situation that could lead to illness or fatalities."


Solar mini-max - Years ago, in 2008 and 2009 an eerie quiet descended on the sun. Sunspot counts dropped to historically-low levels and solar flares ceased altogether. As the longest and deepest solar minimum in a century unfolded, bored solar physicists wondered when "Solar Max" would ever return. They can stop wondering. "It's back. Solar Max has arrived." …. Finally.
Although textbooks call it the "11-year solar cycle," the actual cycle can take anywhere from 9 to 14 years to complete. Some Solar Maxes are strong, others weak, and, sometimes, as happened for nearly 70 years in the 17th century, the solar cycle can vanish altogether.
A number of factors that signal Solar Max conditions in 2014: "The sun's magnetic field has flipped; we are starting to see the development of long coronal holes; and, oh yes, sunspot counts are cresting." The sunspot number for Solar Cycle 24 is near its peak right now. But it is not very impressive.
"This solar cycle continues to rank AMONG THE WEAKEST ON RECORD... In the historical record, there are only a few Solar Maxima weaker than this one." As a result, many researchers have started calling the ongoing peak a "Mini-Max."
"Solar Cycle 24, such as it is, will probably start fading by 2015." Ironically, that is when some of the bigger flares and magnetic storms could occur. Most large events such as strong flares and significant geomagnetic storms typically occur in the declining phase of solar cycles — even weak ones.
Indeed, this "Mini-Max" has already UNLEASHED ONE OF THE STRONGEST STORMS IN RECORDED HISTORY. On July 23, 2012, a plasma cloud or "CME" rocketed away from the sun as fast as 3000 km/s, more than four times faster than a typical eruption. The storm tore through Earth orbit, but fortunately Earth wasn't there.
Instead it hit NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft, which recorded the event for analysis. Researchers now believe the eruption was as significant as the iconic Carrington Event of 1859 — a solar storm that set telegraph offices on fire and sparked Northern Lights as far south as Hawaii. If the 2012 "superstorm" had hit Earth, the damage to power grids and satellites would have been significant.
It all adds up to one thing: "We're not out of the woods yet." Even a "Mini-Max" can stir up major space weather - and there's more to come as the cycle declines.

Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook - with breaking news during the day.