**Knowing what you don't want is all you need to start an adventure of a lifetime.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.3 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR
5.0 BANDA SEA
5.6 CERAM SEA, INDONESIA
5.2 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
Yesterday, 4/3/15 -
5.5 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.3 FIJI REGION
5.3 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.3 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.2 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.4 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.9 FIJI REGION
5.3 NEAR COAST OF CENTRAL PERU
5.3 OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILE
5.5 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.7 KEP. TANIMBAR REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
6.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.7 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.7 SAMOA ISLANDS
6.4 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.0 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.9 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.3 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.3 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.4 GUIZHOU, CHINA
5.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.5 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
7.5 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 SOUTHERN IRAN
TROPICAL STORMS -
* In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical storm Maysak is located approximately 139 nm northeast of Manila, Philippines.
- Tropical storm Haishen is located approximately 99 nm north-northwest of Chuuk, Micronesia.
A RARE Easter Typhoon for the Philippines - Typhoon Maysak will be a rare and unwelcome Easter visitor this weekend in the Philippines' Luzon Island. The people of the Philippines are used to seeing tropical cyclones, but not during Easter! Only seven tropical storms or typhoons have hit Luzon between January and April since 1945, an average of one such storm every ten years.
At 2 pm EDT Friday the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) put Maysak's top sustained winds at 90 mph, and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) put Maysak's central pressure at 975 mb. Satellite loops on Friday afternoon showed the storm's heavy thunderstorms have shrunk greatly in areal coverage and intensity since the storm's Category 5 days, and an eye is no longer distinct.
Maysak was under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and there is some dry air surrounding the storm that will get driven into the core by the wind shear, further weakening the storm before landfall. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is predicting that Maysak will be a Category 1 typhoon with 75 mph winds when it hits Luzon this weekend, and the main threat from the storm will be heavy rains causing flash floods.
The 12 UTC Friday runs of the GFS and European models predicted that the center of Maysak would come ashore in Luzon near 20 UTC (4 pm EDT) Saturday. The 06 UTC Friday run of the GFDL model predicted that Maysak would bring a modest area of 4 - 8" of rain to northern Luzon, which is less than the typical tropical storm brings to the Philippines, and should not result in catastrophic flooding.
Maysak is responsible for widespread destruction and at least nine deaths in the Federated States of Micronesia. Estimates from The Red Cross suggested that there were at least 5,000 people who were in desperate need of food, water and shelter, and needed emergency assistance.
Maysak passed through the Chuuk State of Micronesia over the weekend as a Category 1 typhoon, and Maysak's southern eyewall passed over the sparsely populated islands of Fais and Ulithi in the Yap State of Micronesia while the storm was at Category 5 strength. Most structures on Ulithi not made of concrete were damaged or destroyed by Maysak's powerful winds. The entirety of the island's crop were ruined by the typhoon's storm surge, with early estimates indicating that it would be a full year before crops could be planted again, due to salt water intrusion.
Typhoon Maysak melts away as it hits Philippines - The super typhoon dissolved into a tropical depression and made landfall in the Philippines Sunday, forecasters said, easing fears after thousands of residents fled remote coastal villages to avoid potential giant waves. The government had evacuated more than 25,000 people from coastal villages in the region, while police drove away thousands of tourists from beaches on nearby Aurora province as a precaution against potential tsunami-like waves known as storm surges.
The super typhoon met unfavourable atmospheric conditions as it approached land, causing the storm system to dissipate dramatically overnight Saturday. At its current strength, Maysak can break tree branches and may take the roofs off houses made of light materials, while sea travel remains risky for small boats, the state weather service said in its latest bulletin. "We expect this system to melt away as it crosses the mountains, although there is a small possibility it could survive by the time it hits the water (South China Sea) tomorrow."
About 20 typhoons and storms hit the Philippines each year, many of them deadly, but rarely hit in April. Storm surges caused many of the fatalities when Super Typhoon Haiyan smashed onto the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,350 people dead or missing.
Category 5 Super Typhoon Maysak set records in Western Pacific - The typhoon is the third of the year so far, which sets a record for the most typhoons so early in the Western Pacific typhoon season. The storm is rarer still when looking only at the record of typhoons that reached an intensity of Category 3 or stronger before April 1. Such typhoons are known as major typhoons.
Super Typhoon Maysak marks the first time two major typhoons have occurred in the Western Pacific before April (the other was Typhoon Higos). The storm is even rivaling the strongest storms on record for so early in the year, which were Super Typhoon Ophelia in 1958 and Super Typhoon Mitag, which occurred in March 2002. The typical Western Pacific typhoon season runs from April through October.
Unusually mild ocean temperatures associated with a burgeoning El Niño event are a key factor in triggering the early start to the Western Pacific typhoon season. Water temperatures in the areas that typically give rise to menacing Western Pacific typhoons are up to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above average for this time of year. With no signs that these ocean conditions will change appreciably anytime soon, it's becoming clear that this may be another destructive storm season in this disaster-prone region.
Another factor assisting storm development during the early part of the season in this region is a historically intense Madden-Julian Oscillation event that occurred in mid-March. The Madden-Julian Oscillation, or MJO, helped generate storms just north of the equator and near the International Dateline, in part by generating what meteorologists call a "westerly wind burst" that pulsed from west-to-east like a line of dominoes, eventually crossing into the Central Pacific Ocean.
These winds, which were the opposite of the typical trade winds in this area, helped generate atmospheric spin, while other aspects of the MJO encouraged rising air motion that helps generate thunderstorm activity. Combine the thunderstorms with enhanced spin, and you get a recipe for tropical storm or typhoon activity.
Think of the MJO as a helping hand that likely aided this storm's rapid intensification, as well as the intensification of Cyclone Pam, which devastated Vanuatu in mid-March. That storm was not in the Western Pacific Ocean Basin, but it too felt the effects of the rare MJO event.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Chile flood toll rises amid growing fears for missing - Rescue workers in Chile say the death toll from last week's floods has risen to 25 and could increase further. There is growing concern for the 101 people still missing after last week's flash floods and mudslides in the Atacama region, which includes the world's driest desert.
Chile's emergency services say about 2,700 survivors are now homeless. Sniffer dogs are being used to try to find people who may be trapped under the mud, which swept down from the Andes mountains in torrents and is now hardening under the desert sun. About 30,000 people have been affected by the floods - the WORST IN 80 YEARS in the Atacama region. With much of the area caked in thick brown mud, and littered with rocks and trees washed down from the mountains, it will be weeks - if not months- before the region recovers.
Chile flood - severe flooding hit March 23 - 26. This would rank as Chile's 4th deadliest flood in recorded history. Although rainfall amounts were generally less than 2" (50.8 mm), the rains fell on Northern Chile's Atacama Desert region - the driest place on the planet.
Antofagasta, which averaged just 3.8 mm of precipitation per year between 1970 - 2000, and has a long-term average of 1.7 mm of precipitation per year, received a deluge of 24.4 mm (0.96 inches) during the 24 hour period ending at 8 am EDT March 26. That's over fourteen years of rain in one day! Some areas in the Atacama Desert saw the equivalent of a century or so of rain in few hours.
The 4 mm of rain that fell on the driest place on Earth - Quillagua, Chile - on March 23 - 25, was THE FIRST RAIN THERE IN 223 YEARS, and the amount that fell was about the same amount that had fallen in the previous FIFTY years. The rains triggered flooding that damaged some houses in the town. Apparently, the previous rain episode in Quillagua before 2015 was in 1918 or in 1919. All other precipition events were from blowing drizzle.
Chile's heavy rains were due to an unusually strong and persistent "cut-off" low pressure system that was trapped along the coast by an exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure, which also brought about another remarkable weather event - the warmest temperatures ever recorded in Antarctica (63.5°F).
A cold front associated with the cut-off low hit the Andes Mountains, dumping rains over soils with very little vegetation (due to the dry climate.) Unusually warm ocean temperatures approximately 1°C (1.8°F) above average off of the coast meant that high amounts of water vapor were available to fuel the storm and generate exceptionally heavy rains. Heavy precipitation events are common in Chile during El Niño events, like we are experiencing now. El Niño brings warmer than average waters to the Pacific coast of South America where Chile lies.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
Major sandstorm hit UAE, blotting out Dubai sky - A major sandstorm hit the United Arab Emirates, blotting out Dubai's famous skyline. High winds have whipped up desert sands, severely reducing visibility and causing residents to suffer breathing difficulties. The storm has led to flight diversions from Dubai's International Airport, leaving many passengers stranded. Abu Dhabi police say the storm has caused a serious traffic accident and forecasters predicted it COULD LAST DAYS.
Although sandstorms are not unusual in the region, the extreme weather has shocked some locals. "Last time, I have seen [a storm], it was not up to this." A 24-year-old has been airlifted to hospital after being seriously injured in a traffic accident caused by the reduced visibility. The United Arab Emirates' National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology warned of reduced visibility of as little as 500 meters. (photos at link)
'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Ancient Sea Rise Tale Told Accurately for 10,000 Years - Aboriginal stories of lost islands match up with underwater finds in Australia. To most of us, the rush of the oceans that followed the last ice age seems like a prehistoric epoch. But the historic occasion was dutifully recorded—coast to coast—by the original inhabitants of the land Down Under.
Without using written languages, Australian tribes passed memories of life before, and during, post-glacial shoreline inundations through hundreds of generations as high-fidelity oral history. Some tribes can still point to islands that no longer exist — and provide their original names. That’s the conclusion of linguists and a geographer, who have together identified 18 Aboriginal stories — many of which were transcribed by early settlers before the tribes that told them succumbed to murderous and disease-spreading immigrants from afar — that they say accurately described geographical features that predated the last post-ice age rising of the seas.
“It’s quite gobsmacking to think that a story could be told for 10,000 years. It’s almost unimaginable that people would transmit stories about things like islands that are currently underwater accurately across 400 generations....There's a comparably old tradition among the Klamath of Oregon that must be at least 7,700 years old — it refers to the last eruption of Mount Mazama, which formed Crater Lake. I’m also working on ancient inundation stories and myths from India, and I’ve been trying to stimulate some interest among Asian scholars.”
Ancient Australian stories describe permanent coastal flooding. In some cases, they describe times when dry land occupied space now submerged by water. In others, they tell of wading out to islands that can now only be reached by boat. "Endangered Indigenous languages can be repositories for factual knowledge across time depths far greater than previously imagined, forcing a rethink of the ways in which such traditions have been dismissed.”
SPACE WEATHER -
Earth’s Impending Magnetic Flip - A geomagnetic reversal may happen sooner than expected. Earth's magnetic north and south poles have flip-flopped many times in our planet's history — most recently, around 780,000 years ago. Geophysicists who study the magnetic field have long thought that the poles may be getting ready to switch again, and based on new data, it might happen earlier than anyone anticipated.
The European Space Agency's satellite array dubbed “Swarm” revealed that Earth's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than previously thought, decreasing in strength about 5 percent a decade rather than 5 percent a century. A weakening magnetic field may indicate an impending reversal, which scientists predict could begin in less than 2,000 years. Magnetic north itself appears to be moving toward Siberia.
The flipping takes an average of 5,000 years; it can happen as quickly as 1,000 years or as slowly as 20,000 years. There is a good chance the weakening magnetic field that the Swarm satellites observed will not lead to a full flip. Indeed, there have been several false starts over geologic history. The intensity of Earth's magnetic field, though waning, now equals its average strength over millions of years. The field would need to weaken at its current rate for around 2,000 years before the reversal process actually begins.
It is hard to know how a geomagnetic reversal would impact our modern-day civilization, but it is unlikely to spell disaster. Although the field provides essential protection from the sun's powerful radiation, fossil records reveal no mass extinctions or increased radiation damage during past reversals. A flip could possibly interfere with power grids and communications systems — external magnetic field disturbances have burned out transformers and caused blackouts in the past. “A thousand years from now we probably won't have power lines. We'll have advanced so much that we'll almost certainly have the technology to cope with a magnetic-field reversal.”
HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS
1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA - An eye salve from Anglo-Saxon manuscript Bald's Leechbook was found to kill MRSA. The 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections could hold the key to killing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, experts have said.
Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow's stomach. They were "astonished" to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin- resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. The remedy killed up to 90% of MRSA bacteria and researchers believe it is the effect of the recipe rather than one single ingredient.
The team thought the eye salve might show a "small amount of antibiotic activity. But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was." There are many similar medieval books with treatments for what appear to be bacterial infections. This could suggest people were carrying out detailed scientific studies centuries before bacteria were discovered.
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