**Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you're waiting.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.4 PUEBLA, MEXICO
5.5 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 NEAR COAST OF NICARAGUA
5.7 WEST OF MARIANA ISLANDS
5.0 LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
Yesterday, 3/19/15 -
5.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION
5.2 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.0 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA
5.1 NEAR COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU
5.4 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
6.2 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
6.2 MOLUCCA SEA
5.5 FIJI REGION
Villarrica volcano in southern Chile, which erupted earlier this month before settling down, has entered a more active phase again, expelling gas and ash into the atmosphere, Chilean authorities said on Wednesday. Villarrica, located near the popular tourist resort of Pucon around 750 km (460 miles) south of the capital Santiago, is among the most active in South America. On March 3 a short-lived eruption of ash and rock led to the evacuation of thousands from the nearby area. The volcano was likely become more active in the following hours, with lava expected overnight, but a major event was not expected.
TROPICAL STORMS -
* In the South Pacific -
Tropical cyclone Nathan is located approximately 291 nm east-southeast of Gove Airport, Australia.
Nathan continues to track along the northern periphery of a deep layer sub-tropical ridge located over central Australia. Upon re-emerging over water in the Gulf of Carpentaria, it is expected to reintensify as favorable conditions persist. The system is expected to make a second landfall.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
U.S. Spring Flood Forecast - No Widespread Major Flooding Expected. Rivers in western New York and eastern New England have the greatest risk of spring flooding because of a heavy snowpack of 3 to 9 inches of snow water equivalent, coupled with the potential for heavy spring rain to fall on the snow and cause a sudden melt- water pulse.
Significant river ice across northern New York and northern New England increase the risk of flooding related to ice jams and ice jam breakups if there is a quick warm-up with heavy rainfall. The latest 16-day forecast from the GFS model does not call for any heavy rainfall events capable of triggering widespread moderate flooding through the end of March, though.
Drought a bigger concern than flooding in the U.S. this year - Meanwhile, widespread drought conditions are expected to persist in California, Nevada, and Oregon this spring as the dry season begins. “Periods of record warmth in the West and not enough precipitation during the rainy season cut short drought-relief in California this winter and prospects for above average temperatures this spring may make the situation worse.
El Niño finally arrived in February, but forecasters say it’s too weak and too late in the rainy season to provide much relief for California, which will soon reach its fourth year in drought. Current water supply forecasts and outlooks in the western United States range from near normal in the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, and upper Colorado, to much below normal in the southern Rockies, portions of the Great Basin and in California.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
Spring brings New York snow storm - New York welcomed the first day of spring Friday with a snow storm that could dump up to six inches (15 centimeters) in parts of the northeastern United States. More than 1,150 flights were cancelled within, to or from the United States on Friday, including to and from airports in Washington DC, Boston and Philadelphia.
The rare spring-time snow follows one of the coldest Februaries on record in the northeast. Boston, just over 200 miles (320 kilometers) northeast of New York, broke its record for the most snow in one winter with 108.6 inches (275.8 cm) at the city's Logan airport.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
Hidden paths could be behind Antarctic glacier melt - Scientists have discovered two pathways that are likely channelling warm ocean water under a massive Antarctic glacier, which could contribute to rising global sea levels, a study revealed Tuesday.
The 120-kilometre (75 miles) long Totten Glacier, more than 30 kilometres wide, is the largest in East Antarctica and melting more quickly than others in the area. Research showed that a trough just under five kilometres wide has formed as a gateway deep underneath the glacier, along with another tunnel. These could allow warmer sea water to penetrate the glacier base.
"The Totten Glacier is the most rapidly thinning glacier in East Antarctica and this melt has the potential to drive substantial regional ice loss. The study identifies direct pathways for warm ocean water to reach under the glacier; a likely reason for the observed thinning."
During a voyage to the frozen region during the past southern hemisphere summer, researchers found the waters around Totten Glacier were around 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than other areas. Up until recently the East Antarctica ice sheet was thought to be surrounded by cold waters and therefore very stable and unlikely to change much.
The Australian Antarctic Division said there was enough ice in the Totten Glacier alone to raise global sea levels by at least 3.5 metres, roughly equivalent to the projected contribution of the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet, if it were to completely collapse. "While the Totten melt may take many centuries, once change has begun our analysis reveals it would likely be irreversible."
The study used aerial surveys from Australia's Casey station to detect the deep trenches. Aircraft equipped with radar, laser and other sensors for determining ice thickness and mapping the bedrock and seafloor bathymetry flew over the glacier over five summers from 2008 to 2013. "The findings from this study present a strong case for using aerial surveys in other parts of Antarctica, including the virtually unknown Antarctic inner continental shelf."
'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' -
Huge sinkholes burst open on banks of Dead Sea as water dries up - Environmentalists say mismanagement of water resources around the Dead Sea has produced more than 3,000 sinkholes.
The saline lake — bordered by Jordan, Israel and the West Bank — is evaporating at nearly four feet per year, which leaves behind the salt pockets responsible for the dangerous sinkholes. The first sinkhole appeared in the 1980s, but new ones appear every single day. They grow in groups and collapse into one another to create massive craters.
In 2005, Smithsonian magazine said that roughly 1,000 sinkholes had been reported. The new 3,000-plus figure indicates that they have been appearing at an accelerated rate in recent years. There are fears that an overnight sinkhole might cause Route 90, which runs along the lake, to collapse. “If nothing is done, it’s only a matter of time until someone dies." Israel’s Transportation Ministry closed down a nearly 1,000-foot stretch of the highway in January after several meters on its eastern side sank roughly five centimeters.
SPACE WEATHER -
A severe solar storm struck Earth Tuesday, creating vivid views of auroras — often referred to as the Northern Lights — and potentially affecting power grids and GPS tracking. The storm intensified around 10 a.m. ET Tuesday to G4 status, just one notch below the highest level solar storm.
The geomagnetic storm is the strongest so far of the current solar cycle, which happens every 11 years or so. The event happened in response to a pair of coronal mass ejections that were observed leaving the sun on Sunday. CMEs, which are basically bursts of gas and magnetic field emitted from the sun, can impact power systems, radio transmissions and GPS signals when they interact with the Earth's atmosphere.
Before sunrise, bright auroras were sighted over several northern-tier U.S. states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas and Washington. Space Weather said that if the storm effects continued through Tuesday evening, there was a "very strong possibility" that the northern lights could be seen as far south as the middle United States, even Tennessee and Oklahoma. That also means much of Russia and northern Europe, as far south as central Germany and Poland, had the potential for the sky show.
The current solar cycle is also expected to bring a total solar eclipse Friday, the first of its kind in 16 years. The event is expected to be a serious challenge for Europe, which has the world's largest interconnected grid. As much as 35,000 mega watts of solar energy — the equivalent of nearly 80 medium size conventional power plants — will be pulled from Europe's electrical system. It has the potential to knock out photovoltaic power production.
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