**If not reason, then the devil.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.1 OFFSHORE O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.5 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
Yesterday, 3/4/15 -
None 5.0 or larger.
5.1 TARAPACA, CHILE
6.2 KEPULAUAN BATU, INDONESIA
5.1 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.3 ATACAMA, CHILE
5.1 PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.5 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.0 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.0 OFFSHORE ATACAMA, CHILE
5.0 NEAR COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU
5.2 MYANMAR-CHINA BORDER REGION
5.4 OFFSHORE GUATEMALA
5.2 KEPULAUAN SANGIHE, INDONESIA
5.4 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.3 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SUMBAWA REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 ALAMAGAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.0 ANATAHAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.0 ALAMAGAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.7 ALAMAGAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.2 FLORES SEA
5.0 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
7.0 FLORES SEA
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
5.2 WEST CHILE RISE
5.1 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
5.5 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.3 OFF E. COAST OF N. ISLAND, N.Z.
5.2 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.9 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.3 MOLUCCA SEA
5.6 SULU SEA
Villarrica, one of South America's most active volcanoes erupted early Tuesday in southern Chile, spewing heavy smoke into the air as lava surged down its slopes, causing thousands to flee from the city of Pucon.
At about 3 a.m., lava started to flow and heavy smoke filled the air, and authorities became worried that mudslides would be caused by melting snow. "It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I've never seen a volcano erupt and it was spewing lava and ash hundreds of meters into the air. Lightning was striking down at the volcano from the ash cloud that formed from the eruption."
As the volcano activity died down, some residents and tourists returned to Pucon, and by the middle of the day stores were open and public transportation was up and running. No injuries were reported.
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical storms.
Australia - Fallen trees cause fire danger after Cyclone Marcia’s fury. Hot, clear days in the wake of Cyclone Marcia's fury have turned fallen trees and vegetation into a tinderbox.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Canada - Massive power outage in Toronto blamed on extreme weather. City officials are blaming extreme weather as the cause behind the city’s fourth massive power outage in just three years.
An extensive blackout in Toronto on Tuesday hit more than 250,000 residents, and left about 4,500 customers remaining without power. They cited Tuesday evening’s freezing rain as the reason behind the blackout, and the weather in general for the frequent outages in recent years. “That’s been a pattern that’s been happening for a number of years, not just in Toronto, but in places all around the world.”
Tuesday night’s outage was caused in large part by the mixture of road salt with ice on the city’s hydro poles, acting as a conductor of electricity. That, in turn, led to more than 50 of the city’s hydro poles catching fire throughout the evening and night. With another deep freeze expected for Wednesday night, they warned of another “difficult night ahead.”
The outage was just the latest in a string of similar incidents in recent years. A summer flood and December ice storm both caused massive blackouts in 2013. And Hurricane Sandy in 2012 also led to power outages for tens of thousands of Toronto residents. “It’s absolutely the new normal … it’s UNPRECEDENTED, these extreme cold weather events."
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
U.S. - A storm stretching from northern Texas to southern New England threatened to bring icy rains, sleet, and snow overnight Wednesday but also hopes it would be the last significant snowfall for the East Coast this winter. Governors in Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Jersey declared states of emergency in advance of the storm, and Congress hurried to finish business amid a snow emergency declaration in Washington. Mississippi counties were advised to open shelters powered by generators to give residents an option beyond cold, dark homes in the event of power outages.
West Virginia, Kentucky and southeastern Ohio were expected to get hit the hardest overnight Wednesday and into Thursday with 8 to 10 inches, while Baltimore and Washington were looking at 6 to 8 inches of snow. Philadelphia, where a snow emergency was in effect Wednesday, could get 6 inches and New York could see more than 4.
Temperatures plummeted as the storm pushed east: The mercury fell from 71 degrees to 52 degrees in Monticello, Arkansas, and from 74 to 48 in Greenville, Mississippi — both within an hour. By Wednesday afternoon, readings were in the mid-20s across Arkansas. Boston is a little more than 2 inches shy of its all-time snowfall record, and meteorologists predicted 1 to 2 inches would fall by storm's end Thursday evening.
Hawaii - Heavy rain and snow on the Big Island and more rain over Maui County prompted flood watches and advisories, and a winter weather warning. A flood watch remained in effect for Maui and the Big Island because of the threat of flash flooding until 6 a.m. Thursday.
Forecasters said the highest threat is on the windward sides of Maui and Hawaii islands, where tradewinds will focus the showers. "Excessive runoff may result in rock and mudslides in steep terrain. Fast-moving waters may create life-threatening situations." The stormy weather could also drop 10 to 15 inches of snow on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa above the 12,000 foot level, where a winter storm warning is posted until 6 a.m. Thursday.
The heavy rains prompted a brown water advisory for Honokahua and Honolua Bay. The state Department of Health said the advisory will likely be expanded to Oneloa Bay and other waters as muddy water from Honokahua Stream spreads along the coast.The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff that could be contaminated from overflowing cesspools, pesticides, dead animals and debris. In the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m., Puu Alii on Molokai received the most rain - more than 8.6 inches.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
South Africa - Firefighters are battling wildfires on the mountains around Cape Town. The fire started on Sunday and was fanned by strong winds, causing it to spread rapidly. Officials say thousands of hectares of vegetation have been destroyed and at least 50 people treated for smoke inhalation. (video at link)
'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Extreme Weather Hits U.S. Hard - “In North America during the winter of 2014, a resilient ridge of high pressure established itself over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, creating unusually warm and dry conditions that extended from California northward to Alaska. However, the ridge also helped to destabilize the arctic polar vortex, Sending frigid air southward over the eastern two-thirds of North America for most of the winter.”
“Insured winter storm losses in the United States in 2014 were the highest in eight years, at $2.3 billion, while insured losses due to severe thunderstorm events exceeded $10 billion for the sixth year in a row.” The scientific community is engaging in intense discussion as to whether climate change and particularly the extremely pronounced warming in the Arctic are responsible for these altered weather patterns. “It is not yet possible to produce causal proof, but there is a logical chain of indices,” according to the head of Geo Risks Research at Munich Re.
New research sees the warming in the Arctic as an important factor in the increasing and persisting cold-air outbreaks towards the south, as over North America and Asia in 2014. A study of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research also establishes a correlation between weather extremes in summer with the accelerated melting of ice in the Arctic. Flooding in Europe (1997, 2002, 2013) or heatwaves in North America (1983, 1984, 2011, 2012) also merit mention.
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