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LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.1 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
6.6 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 OFFSHORE GUATEMALA
5.4 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
Yesterday, 11/4/14 -
5.1 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
Philippines - Mayon Volcano’s current condition remains unstable due to slow but sustained ground deformation of the edifice by subsurface magma since the start of unrest this year. This is indicated by sustained swelling or inflation of the edifice, as measured by precise leveling on October 20-27, relative to both the third week of October 2014 and baseline measurements beginning 2010.
Electronic tilt data from the continuous network on the northwest flank similarly indicate continuing inflation of the edifice since August 2014, succeeding a previous inflation event in June to July 2014. These inflation events correspond to batches of magma (approximately 107 cubic meters) slowly being intruded at depth but that have yet to be erupted at the crater, and therefore posing threat of eventual hazardous eruption at an unknown time in the near future.
Mayon Volcano’s alert status remains at Alert Level 3. At this present stage, potentially eruptible magma has already been intruded and continues to be intruded beneath the edifice. At any given time in the following weeks to months, this magma can eventually be erupted quietly as lava flows or explosively as vertical eruption columns and pyroclastic flows or both.
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical storms.
A RARE "Medicane" - a hybrid storm with characteristics of both a tropical storm and an extratropical storm - formed over the South Central Mediterranean Sea on Friday and moved over the island of Malta, bringing them tropical storm- like conditions.
Winds at the Luqa, Malta Airport looked suspiciously like what one would observe with a tropical storm passing overhead - a double peak with a near-calm in between, with the pressure falling to 984 mb during the calm. Winds peaked in Malta at 47 mph, gusting to 66 mph, at 6:37 pm local time, and the island was lashed with flooding rains. At least one funnel cloud was also observed.
A Personal Weather Station on the north coast of Malta recorded sustained winds of 69 mph, gusting to 96 mph, with a minimum pressure of 979 mb. Lampedusa e Linosa, Italy, an island between Malta and Tunisa: sustained at 53 mph, gusting to 84 mph. A PWS on Linosa Island recorded a minimum pressure of 982 mb and wind gust to 61 mph. As of late Friday night, the storm was moving northwards along the east coast of Sicily, Italy, bringing them heavy rain and strong winds. (photos & video at link)
Much of Italy remains on extreme weather alert - Disruption continues, passer-by hurt as tree falls in Rome. Much of Italy remained on maximum weather alert on Friday as the wave of storms and torrential rain that has caused huge disruption and floods in many areas continued.
Schools in Rome reopened as the level of alert there was lowered from red to orange, but students in other parts of the country, including the city of Frosinone near the capital and Catania in Sicily, had the day off as a precaution with storms forecast to arrive. Disruption also continued in Rome, despite the lowering of the alert, with floods causing one metro station to close on Friday, after four were temporarily shut on Thursday, and a woman passer-by was hurt when a tree fell amid torrential rain. The bad weather also contributed to major traffic congestion in the city, although the mayhem that had been feared due to "water bombs" of torrential rain did not materialise. This led to major controversy as to whether the authorities' decision to close Rome's schools and monuments on Thursday was excessive.
The bad weather system, which hit northern Italy first this week, causing massive damage and flooding in the Tuscan city of Carrara, has extended southwards. Strong winds and rain lashed Calabria and Puglia, while sea connections between Naples and the islands of Capri were suspended.
Alaska storm becomes STRONGEST IN BERING SEA HISTORY - A massive storm in the Bering Sea, off the western Alaska coast and to the east of Russia, strengthened enough to be considered the strongest storm that the turbulent region has ever seen. It may not be an official record, however, as the minimum central pressure of 924 millibars (mb) was estimated by meteorologists, since the storm is over the open ocean off the Kamchatka Peninsula.
The previous record-lowest sea level pressure in a Bering Sea storm was 925 mb, set in October 1977 in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. This storm also likely sets a record for the strongest storm observed in the North Pacific Ocean, although the relatively sparse data for that region makes it possible that there were some stronger systems that were missed by ships or surface observing stations. In general, the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.
The Bering Sea storm, which was accurately predicted by all the major computer models in use by forecasters worldwide, underwent a period of rapid intensification that is known as "bombogenesis," which means its central air pressure dropped by at least 24 mb in 24 hours. In this case, the storm's pressure dropped by far more than that, as it exploded from a 970 mb low pressure area on Thursday to a 924 mb monster by late Friday night, local time.
The storm contains the remnants of Typhoon Nuri, which was once the second-most intense typhoon of the 2014 Northwest Pacific season. Nuri's energy combined with an UNUSUALLY STRONG JET STREAM to create the conditions necessary for a monster storm near Alaska. The typhoon and the ongoing massive storm are going to help usher in a dramatic weather pattern change across North America, pushing unusually mild air into Alaska and northern Canada, while ejecting wave after wave of brutally cold air into much of the eastern U.S.
The closest weather-observing buoy to the storm center, which was still at least 200 miles away from the center, was reporting a pressure of 948 mb just before 5 a.m., Alaska time. In comparison, the lowest air pressure reading during Hurricane Sandy when it made landfall in New Jersey was 940 mb.
The storm has brought hurricane-force winds and extraordinarily high waves to several of the westernmost islands in the Aleutian Island chain. These effects occurred despite that fact that the storm reached its peak intensity hundreds of miles to the northwest of these islands, closer to Russia than Alaska. Shemya, Alaska, has been rocked by more than 24 straight hours of sustained winds greater than 40 miles per hour, with frequent gusts close to 100 miles per hour.
The storm will help reconfigure the jet stream, which is a river of air at high altitudes that blows from west to east across the Northern Hemisphere, from Alaska all the way to Europe in the coming days. A major dip, or trough, in the jet stream is forecast to form over the Midwest and East Coast, allowing a piece of — yes, you guessed it — the polar vortex to slip southward. This will result in UNUSUAL COLD, and potentially snowy conditions in some areas, for at least the next two weeks. (GRAPHICS AT LINK)
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Floods displace at least 6000 after heavy rain in northern Haiti, Dominican Republic - In the Dominican Republic, authorities say more than 2,000 people were displaced by floods and mudslides. The storm is blamed for 12 deaths in the two countries and Puerto Rico.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
Arctic Blast via Polar Vortex to Chill 42 US States - As the polar vortex gets displaced to the south, the door will open for arctic air to plunge over the most of the United States as the new week progresses. Only the Southwest, Hawaii, Alaska and South Florida will escape the grip of the upcoming arctic blast that the polar vortex can be blamed for.
"The polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere, which sits over the polar region. Occasionally, this pocket of very cold air can get dislodged farther south than normal, leading to cold outbreaks in Canada and the U.S."
For this current outbreak, the harshest cold in relation to normal will encompass the northern Rockies and Plains. However, temperatures will also plummet throughout the Northwest and to the Gulf Coast and I-95 corridor. The arctic blast will drop into the northern Rockies on Monday, accompanied by a snowstorm on its leading edge, then will spread across the Northwest and Plains through Wednesday.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
Brazil's biggest city desperate for water as drought causes problems for more than 10 million people in southeast. Sao Paulo is suffering THE WORST DROUGHT TO HIT SOUTHEASTERN BRAZIL IN MORE THAN EIGHT DECADES.
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