Friday, July 11, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**The spirit, the will to win,
and the will to excel are the things that endure.
These qualities are so much more important
than the events that occur.**
Vince Lombardi

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday, 7/10/14 -

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Neoguri is located approximately 131 nm southwest of Camp Fuji, Japan. The final advisory has been issued on this system. The system will be closely monitored for signs of regeneration.

- Tropical storm Nine is located approximately 224 nm east-southeast of andersen AFB, Guam.
Tropical Storm Neoguri made landfall in Japan near the city of Akune in southwest Japan's Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyushu just before 7 a.m. Japanese time Thursday (6 p.m. Wednesday Eastern time in the U.S.). Once a mighty super typhoon with 155 mph winds, the Japan Meteorological Agency estimated that Neoguri weakened to maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 60 mph at landfall (equivalent to maximum winds of about 65 to 70 mph using the U.S. 1-minute sustained wind standard.)
Neoguri tracked along the east coast of Japan on Thursday, and Japan Meteorological Agency radar showed very heavy rains in excess of one inch (25.4 mm) per hour were affecting portions of the country. On Kyushu, Ebino reported 13.20 inches (335.5 mm) of rain in the 24 hours ending at 8 a.m. Japanese time Thursday, and a 72-hour rainfall total of 398 mm (15.67 inches) was recorded at Ushibuka.
Parts of central Japan, including Nagoya, could see up to 16 inches (400 mm) of rain by Friday morning. Neoguri killed two people and injured 32 in Japan's Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa. The islands may have another typhoon to worry about next week - recent runs of the GFS model have been predicting that tropical disturbance 92W will develop into a tropical cyclone and potentially affect the Ryukyu Islands by the middle of next week.

Quiet in the Atlantic - None of the reliable models for predicting genesis of Atlantic tropical cyclones is predicting development over the next five days. The tropical Atlantic is dominated by dry air and high wind shear. If we get another tropical storm this month, the most likely area for formation would be off the Southeast U.S. coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA Holds El Niño Odds at 70% for this Summer - NOAA's monthly El Niño discussion continues to project a 70% chance of El Niño forming this summer, and an 80% chance by fall. The forecasters anticipate El Niño will peak at weak-to-moderate strength during the late fall and early winter. However, the atmosphere has not been behaving like it should during an El Niño event.
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) - the difference in surface pressure between Darwin, Australia and the island of Tahiti - tends to drop to negative values during the presence of an El Niño atmosphere. The SOI has been trending downwards the past 50 days, but was still positive in June. Heavy thunderstorm activity over Indonesia and near the International Date Line is typically enhanced during an El Niño event, and has been picking up over the past month, but must increase more before we can say the atmosphere is responding in an El Niño-like fashion.


U. S. - Violent Storms Killed 5, Left Thousands Without Power in 7 States. Extreme heat and humidity, combined with strong winds aloft to spark a deadly round of widespread severe thunderstorms in the eastern U.S. on Tuesday. The storms left five dead, and nearly 200,000 people remained without power on Wednesday.
Four of the deaths occurred in the rural New York town of Smithfield, which is located between Syracuse and Utica. At least four homes were flattened, and one was reportedly thrown into another home, while many others were damaged. There was also widespread damage in the towns of Sullivan and Lenox, New York. A severe thunderstorm warning was in effect at the time of the possible tornado, but not a tornado warning.
The severe storms were not limited to New York state. At one point, severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings stretched for about 500 miles, from south of Washington, D.C. to the New York-Canadian border. The storms turned deadly in Maryland as well, where a child at a summer camp was killed by a falling tree as campers sought shelter from the fast-moving storms. Six other children were injured.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, had highlighted the elevated storm risk across Pennsylvania and New York State early on Tuesday, with forecasters predicting that a strong squall line of storms would form, capable of producing widespread damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. That is exactly what took place, except the storms were more widespread than initially suggested, as the squall line struck heavily populated areas in the New York to Washington corridor, as well as northern New England, with damage reported in northern Vermont. Several tornado reports were also noted in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

RECORD FLOODS in Brazil bring chaos to Amazon towns - For more than a month, Careiro da Varzea in the Brazilian state of Amazonas has been under water in ONE OF THE WORST FLOODS ON RECORD.
It is one of almost 40 areas in Amazonas in an emergency situation or a state of calamity affecting more than 300,000 people. Water pours through wooden bungalows in river communities, standing stagnant on the floors of their homes, bringing waterborne diseases and making access difficult without a boat. Since the end of last year, heavy rains have pushed the Rio Negro, which flows into the Amazon, to emergency levels.
Meanwhile, the biggest tributary of the Amazon, the Rio Madeira, reached RECORD HEIGHTS and caused the WORST FLOODING FOR A CENTURY across more remote parts of north-west Brazil and northern Bolivia. Experts say the water is expected to remain until the middle of July before eventually subsiding, leaving those who live on the river to rebuild their vulnerable homes.
"In this year's floods, the river reached emergency levels on 22 May. We have spent practically the whole of June above the emergency level. It's likely that this year, the time that the water has remained high and inside the homes of some of the poorest in Manaus will surpass 50 days." The flooding of the Rio Negro has caused losses of more than $200 million real ($91m; £53m) so far - worse even than during the record floods of 2012.
From the air, it is possible to see whole swathes of towns on the banks of the Rio Negro marooned by the river. And by boat, the damage to the homes is clear to spot. Many communities living on the edge of Manaus, where streams known as igarapes weave their way from the river through the city, have been affected.
"It started six months ago and it will take another six months for it to go down. The water is very close. There's a lot of debris and we don't have any sanitation. The children who study on the other side [of the igarape] have to do a big detour to get to school. The federal government should do something. The promise was that people would be moved from here before the World Cup started. Many people are suffering."
A state initiative to re-home those living in houses built on stilts has resettled several thousand families since 2003. But for those who remain, it is a matter of waiting until the water subsides before rebuilding their homes once again. "Wood is expensive to buy but we're surviving. It's worse than usual." Flooding in urban areas where the streams are contaminated brings not only economic damage but also social problems including disease.
More than 60 people have died in Bolivia as a result of the floods, and in Brazil there have been deaths from bacterial infections such as leptospirosis. "The population lives with polluted water for more than 30, 40 days inside their home and this has serious consequences for their health, especially for children." Residents improvise by laying down wooden planks as make-shift bridges, but the elderly struggle.
There is debate over what has caused this year's flooding to be so severe. Experts say extreme flooding normally happens in 10-year cycles but rivers have overflowed significantly every year for the last three years. An unexpected change in weather systems means more water vapour and consequently more rain have stayed in the Amazon, causing river levels to rise.
"Science says that one of the clearest indicators as well as one of the clearest consequences of climate change is an increase in frequency of extreme weather events. And that's what we're seeing in the Amazon. We're having record floods almost every year and when we don't have a record flood, we have a record drought." A change in attitude is required and that the changes should be seen as "a warning sign from nature that we're not doing a good job".
The annual floods are quickly becoming a nightmare for residents. "When the floods come, it's difficult. It's hard to leave for work. You wait for the bus and the bus can't pass. And when it rains in the night, it's hard to sleep."


Mid-July Is Looking More Like Mid-September - Remember the polar vortex? Weather so cold that boiling water froze in midair? Well buckle up, America. We’re getting another dose of polar air next week, and just in time for what is normally the hottest week of the year.
While next week’s mid-summer cold snap won’t send you rushing for the nearest space heater, its origins are similar to the cold snaps that defined the brutal winter just past. The same basic large-scale weather pattern has been settled in over North America for months now, and it even has a name: the ridiculously resilient ridge.
Coupled with the occasional cut-off low pressure center dawdling over the Great Lakes region (next week’s will camp out over Quebec), it’s been a recipe for extreme warmth on the West Coast and colder than average weather out East. On the west side of the Rockies, tropical Pacific air gets funneled northward from around Hawaii toward Alaska while California dries out and roasts; on the other side, cold air from the Yukon cascades southward toward the Midwest and East Coast.
North America’s polar vortex-filled winter was almost certainly overhyped. The polar vortex isn’t a new phenomenon, nor was it behind every cold snap of the past six months. According to NOAA, while last winter was below average (by one degree Fahrenheit), winters are warming for virtually every corner of the continental United States (save one corner of southwest Louisiana).
As for next week’s weather, polar air will again be spilling southward from the Arctic Ocean. That’ll be good enough to convert what’s typically Chicago’s hottest week of the year to an unseasonably pleasant early Autumn-style respite. Chicago’s forecast high of 72 degrees Fahrenheit next Wednesday is historically much more likely to happen on September 16th than July 16th.
Cooler than normal weather is expected across much of the eastern two-thirds of the country as well, with mild temperatures from Boston to New York City to Washington, though not nearly as dramatic as in the Midwest. (maps)

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