LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)
This morning -
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.6 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.2 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
6.5 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
7.1 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.6 NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
6.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
TROPICAL STORMS -
In the Western Pacific -
Super typhoon 19w (Vongfong) is located approximately 384 nm south-southeast of Kadena Air Base.
In the North Indian Ocean -
Tropical cyclone 03b (Hudhud) is located approximately 516 nm south of kolkata, India.
Super Typhoon Vongfong Headed Towards Okinawa; 99L May Affect Bermuda. The winds are rising on Japan's Okinawa Island as Earth's most powerful tropical cyclone of 2014, Super Typhoon Vongfong, steams north-northwest at 8 mph. Vongfong peaked in intensity Tuesday with top sustained winds of 180 mph, and had weakened below Category 5 strength with 150 mph winds as of 11 am EDT Thursday.
Satellite loops show that Vongfong is still an impressive storm with a large area of heavy thunderstorms and a prominent 30-mile diameter eye, but the cloud tops have warmed since Wednesday, and the area covered by the typhoon's heaviest thunderstorms has shrunk. Vongfong has two concentric eyewalls, and it is likely that the typhoon is undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle, where the inner eyewall will collapse and be replaced by the outer eyewall. This process should cause further weakening today.
Okinawa at risk of a direct hit from Vongfong - Vongfong began a turn to the north on Wednesday morning, and is likely to pass over or just to the north of Japan's Okinawa Island near 18 UTC (2 pm EDT) Saturday. With the typhoon moving over waters that will gradually cool, and with wind shear expected to rise to the moderate range, weakening to Category 3 status is likely before Vongfong makes its closest pass by Okinawa.
Rapid weakening should ensue as Vongfong approaches the main Japanese island of Kyushu this weekend, with Category 1 strength likely at landfall. In their 00Z Thursday runs, the European and GFS models predicted landfall would occur on Kyushu between 5 pm - 11 pm U.S. EDT time Sunday evening (21 UTC Sunday - 03 UTC Monday.) Heavy rains from Typhoon Vongfong are expected to fall on soils already saturated by Typhoon Phanfone's rains last week, which could lead to much more severe flooding than was observed for Phanfone. Vongfong will also be moving slower than Phanfone was, potentially leading to higher rainfall amounts.
Dangerous Tropical Cyclone Hudhud a threat to India - intensification into at least a Category 2 cyclone appears likely before Hudhud hits the coast of northern Andhra Pradesh and southern Odisha between Visakhapatnam and Gopalpur on Sunday, October 12, between 00 - 06 UTC. Odisha was struck in 2013 by Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Phailin, which killed 45 people and did $700 million in damage. This death toll was extremely low, considering this is a region where 10,000 people died in a similar-strength cyclone in 1999.
The India Meteorological Department provided excellent early warning information for Phailin. On Thursday morning, IMD was forecasting that Hudhud would have sustained winds of 130 - 140 kph (81 - 87 mph) at landfall, making it a strong Category 1 storm. JTWC was forecasting a stronger storm - Category 3 with 120 mph winds. IMD predicted a storm surge of 1 - 2 meters (3.3 - 6.6 feet) would occur near and to the right of where the center makes landfall.
Invest 99L in the Atlantic a possible threat to Bermuda - An area of disturbed weather associated with an upper-level cold-cored low pressure system, located a few hundred miles northeast of Puerto Rico on Thursday morning, was designated Invest 99L by the National Hurricane Center on Thursday morning. Invest 99L was headed northwest to north-northwest at about 10 mph.
Satellite loops showed plenty of spin, since 99L was associated with a non-tropical low pressure system that had already established a vigorous circulation. 99L's heavy thunderstorms were poorly organized and limited to the east side of the center, due to strong upper-level winds from the west pushing dry air into the system. Conditions are favorable for development, but disturbances getting their start from a cold-cored upper level low like 99L have plenty of cold, dry air aloft, which retards development into a tropical system. The 8 am Thursday run of the SHIPS model predicted that conditions would remain favorable for slow development through Saturday.
SPACE WEATHER -
LESS QUIET, MORE FLARES - Sunspot AR2181 is growing and beginning to crackle with impulsive M-class solar flares. This development could break several days of quiet on the sun and lead to a more active weekend.
The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) around Earth was tipping south on Oct. 8th, an arrangement that opens a crack in Earth magnetosphere. Solar wind pouring through the gap will likely spark more auroras around the Arctic Circle.
On Oct. 9, the All Sky Fireball Network reported 53 fireballs. (53 sporadics)