|Today||Volcano Eruption||Colombia||Departments of Caldas and Tolima, [Nevado del Ruiz Volcano]|
|Colombia evacuated people from communities close to the Nevado del Ruiz volcano after an eruption on Saturday that spewed smoke and ash from its crater, bringing back memories of avalanches that in 1985 buried tens of thousands under rocks. President Juan Manuel Santos said on his Twitter account that the area around the Nevado del Ruiz, in the central spine of Colombia’s Andean mountain range, had been put on red alert and people should leave the area. Even as volcanic activity began to subside, emergency services urged 4,800 residents in Caldas and nearby Tolima province to get to safety, according to Carlos Ivan Marquez, who heads the security effort. The volcano is about 110 miles west of the capital Bogota.|
Extreme Temperatures/ Weather /Drought
By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
High temperature records have been falling by the wayside so far this year, and the current heat wave now has more, including all-time records in jeopardy.
Never mind highs near 100 degrees. The current heat wave has temperatures pushing 102, 105 even 108 degrees in portions of the Plains, Midwest, South and East.
All-Time Record Highs Set Saturday
–Columbus, GA set an all time record of 106, breaking the previous all-time record of 105 which was set on Friday. The daily record high was 100 set in 1959.
–Macon, GA tied the all-time record high of 108, which was last set in 1980. The record high for the day was 103 set in 1959.
–Knoxville, TN set an all-time record high of 105, breaking the previous all-time record high of 104 set on July 12th, 1930. The previous record high for the day was 100, set in 1952.
–Tri-cities, TN set an all-time record high of 103 degrees, breaking the previous all-time record of 102 set on June 29, 2012 and July 29, 1952. The previous daily record high was only 95, set in 1959.
–Chattanooga, TN set an all-time record high of 107 degrees, breaking the previous all-time record of 106 set on June 29, 2012 and July 28, 1952. The previous daily record was 103 degrees set in 1952.
–Charlotte, NC tied an all-time record high of 104 degrees, last set on August 10, 2007. The record high for the day was 102 set in 1959.
–Atlanta, GA set an all-time record of 106 degrees, breaking the previous all-time record of 105 set in 1980. The previous daily record was 98 degrees set in 1936, broken by a whopping 8 degrees!
–Columbia, SC tied the all-time record high of 109 which was set on Friday. The record for the day was 103, set in 1959.
–Raleigh, NC tied the all-time record high temperature of 105 which was last set on Friday and set before that on July 23, 1952. The record for the day was 102 set in 1959.
Meteorologist DJ Hoffman pointed out that as of Thursday, June 28, 2012, more than 20,900 record highs have been broken to date this year.
“We have had over 7,700 more record highs this year, compared to last year, despite 2011′s South Central states heat and drought,” Hoffman said.
The temperature pattern this year got a jump start from way back at the tail end of the winter. Multiple days of record highs were set from the central Plains and Rockies to the Great Lakes during March. Chicago had nine days in a row of record highs spanning March 14 to 22.
Indianapolis came within 3 degrees of tying their all-time record high of 107 degrees during Thursday with a high of 104 degrees.
A “sea of heat” covers much of the Central states and the South. This National Weather Service map shows high temperatures from Thursday, June 28, 2012.
Meanwhile, about 130 miles away in the Hoosier State, in Fort Wayne, the temperature tied their all-time record high set during the dust bowl era in 1936 and 1934, as well as during the blistering summer of 1988.
According to Climatologist Jim Rourke, “Other vicious extreme high temperatures Thursday included Russell, Kan., with 110 degrees; St. Louis, Mo., with 108 degrees; Little Rock, Ark., with 107 degrees; Kansas City, Mo., with 106 degrees; Nashville, Tenn., with 105 degrees and Dayton, Ohio, with 102 degrees.”
Earlier in the week, all-time records were reached in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska.
“All of these locations and many others not only broke or tied daily record highs for the date, but also set June all-time record highs during the current heat wave,” Rourke said.
During the next couple of days, temperatures are forecast to reach 100 degrees or higher once again in the central and southern Plains to the Ohio Valley. However, even areas in the central and southern Appalachians and the coastal plain in the South and mid-Atlantic will do the same.
Columbia, S.C. has broken their all-time record high of 107 degrees set on multiple dates. During Friday afternoon, temperatures reached 109 degrees.
During Friday afternoon, Nashville broke its all-time record high of 107 degrees set in 1952 by reaching 109 degrees.
Atlanta is on pace to reach or exceed its all-time record high of 105 degrees set on July 17, 1980, before the weekend is over.
Charlotte, N.C., tied its all-time record high of 104 degrees set in 1954 and tied in 2007.
Washington, D.C., broke its June record of 102 set in 2011, when the temperature reached 104 degrees Friday afternoon. The all-time record high is 106 degrees set on July 20, 1930.
Temperatures Friday afternoon inched close to the all-time record of 108 degrees at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with a high of 106 degrees.
According to Long Range Expert Paul Pastelok, “Given the persistence of the large high pressure area producing the heat and dry conditions thus far, this will not be the last of widespread triple-digit readings this summer.”
“While the heat will tend to be intermittent from the northern Plains to the Northeast, indications are that more of this sort of thing can continue from the southern and central Plains to the interior South in the coming weeks,” Pastelok said.
When a temperature has reached or surpassed the highest temperature on “record” for a particular location, it is considered to be an “all-time record high.
In many cases, temperature records have been kept for 120 years or more in major cities, while some temperature records in smaller cities and towns may only be in the books for a few decades.
Current, official temperature readings are taken at height of about 6 feet off the ground with no direct exposure to the sun or reflection from the sun or warm surfaces.
Many temperature and weather observation sites are located at airfields.
Before the arrival of airfields during the early 1900s, most observations were taken in inner cities, and while they were accurate to where they were located, they would give higher readings than say in a countryside or suburban location, where most airfields exist, due to the heat island effect.
The heat wave is also playing interesting tricks with nighttime temperatures.
Near the outer edge of the heat wave, where a breeze stays up at night and the humidity is elevated, temperatures barely dipped below average daytime highs for the date.
According to Senior Meteorologists Rob Miller, “In Pittsburgh, the temperature never fell below 80 degrees last night. If it fails to do so before midnight, it will be the warmest night in the Steel City since July 21, 1930.
In Des Moines, Iowa, the low temperature on Thursday was a mere 81 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, it was only the second time in 75 years in which the low temperature was 81 degrees or higher. The last time this occurred was on July 12, 1966.
Meanwhile, in the middle of building drought areas of Arkansas, near the center of the high pressure area and a pocket of dry air, the atmosphere is behaving like a desert. At North Little Rock Airport, the temperature began Thursday at 63 degrees, then reached 107 degrees the same afternoon.
|Today||Extreme Weather||USA||State of Maryland, Baltimore|
|Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has declared a state of emergency in Baltimore due the amount of people still without power following a round of severe storms. The mayor signed the declaration because there are still about 90,000 people without power in the city after strong storms swept through the area on Friday night, according to a news release. Declaring the emergency allows the city to put emergency plans in place, and is an important step in allowing the city to apply for reimbursement from the federal and state governments for some expenses associated with storm recovery.|
|01.07.2012||Extreme Weather||China||MultiProvinces, [Provinces of Zhejiang, Guangxi, Hunan, Fujian, Anhui, Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou ]|
|Several parts of China have been hit by torrential rains over the last few days, resulting in the evacuation of millions of people and property damage. In east China’s Zhejiang province, heavy rains have forced 17,000 people to relocate and affected the lives of more than 350,000 others since June 22. A 12-year-old girl was killed when her house was buried in a landslide on Saturday in Zhejiang’s Songyang county. Rains have battered central China’s Hunan province since June 21, killing one person, leaving another missing and affecting the lives of 138,000 others. A landslide was triggered in Hunan’s city of Chenzhou, blocking roads and rivers and stranding 130 tourists, the report said. South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region has been reeling under heavy downpours since June 21. In the hard-hit city of Hezhou, over 10,000 people have been evacuated and economic losses of 200 million yuan ($31.4 million) have been incurred, according to officials. One resident of Hezhou died in hospital after suffering serious injuries during a landslide, while another was crushed to death during a house collapse. More rain and storms are expected to hit Zhejiang, Fujian and Anhui provinces in south China, as well as Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces in the south-west over the next three days, the weather office said.|
|Today||Extreme Weather||USA||State of West Virginia, [WA-wide]|
|President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for West Virginia on Saturday following violent storms that downed trees and power lines across the state, leaving more than 680,000 without electricity as temperatures in the 90s continued. The emergency declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide help and coordinate relief efforts. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency early Saturday morning after the storms swept across the state Friday night.|
|01.07.2012||Forest / Wild Fire||USA||State of Colorado, [Waldo Canyon]|
|Firefighters battling the 2,000-acre Waldo Canyon fire that erupted west of Colorado Springs Saturday are preparing for the worst Sunday, a perfect storm of hot weather, rugged terrain, and aggressive flames. “Tomorrow could be very explosive,” said Mike Smith, the fire information officer for the U.S. Forest Service, said Saturday after the fire had exploded over 1,000 acres and appeared headed in all directions. Another forest service spokesman, Greg Heule, said he expected the dry winds and scorching Saturday temperatures would keep the Waldo Canyon blaze burning throughout the night. Heule wouldn’t predict flare-ups on Sunday, but suspected that hot, dry conditions would make Sunday another challenging day for firefighting. As the sun set on the billowing smoke Saturday evening, trees continued to torch, bursting into flames that could be seen across Colorado Springs. “We saw what the fire behavior was like. We see what it’s like now—we have trees that are torching off,” Heule said just before 9 p.m. Saturday. “What that indicates to me is that conditions are ripe for aggressive fire behavior. I’m not Mother Nature. I don’t make predictions,” he added.
Erratic winds, steep terrain, tinder-dry trees, and near-record high temperatures have made fighting the Waldo Canyon fire a challenge for the 350 firefighters from across the Pikes Peak region and beyond who raced to battle the blaze after it started just after noon with a towering column of black smoke. The 2,000-acre fire burned with multiple heads as it moved across the hillsides, stretching to the north and northwest, and as well as making an unusual run to the southwest — downhill and against the prevailing winds. The cause of the fire was unknown. Two single engine air tankers, two heavy air tankers, and one massive helicopter flew over the blaze Saturday, under the watchful-eye of one air attack plane, an airborne command center, said Heule. More than 1,000 homes and as many as 2,300 people were evacuated from Colorado Springs and portions of El Paso County, said El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. An unknown number of people were also evacuated from the Ute Pass area, near Cascade, said El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark. All recreational areas on the hills west of Col.orado Springs were shut down Saturday afternoon, including the Garden of the Gods Park, the Pikes Peak Highway, Waldo Canyon trail, and the Cog Railway, said Sunny Smaldino, spokeswoman for the Colorado Springs Fire Department. Sections of Rampart Range Road, which was initially the only point of access for firefighters trying to reach fire, burned, said Sheriff Maketa.
A Type 1 incident command team, the highest classification for fire-disasters, was requested by local fire officials and was expected to take the lead Sunday morning to take charge on Monday, said Maketa. As the fire burned through dense trees and fallen logs — what firefighters call heavy fuels — it sent up thick columns of jet-black smoke Saturday. There are more of these fuels to burn in the hills, Smith said, and Sunday’s possibility for more near-record highs, between 95 and 100 degrees, could add to the conflagration. Within minutes after the fire was first spotted the white smoke it spewed turned black, bursting into a tall column that could be seen from across the region. Firefighters were quickly amassed from Colorado Springs, Green Mountain Falls, and Woodland Park. Two Forest Service Hotshot crews came down from Lake George, where they were fighting the 1,145-acre Springer fire. An incident command post was set up at a Safeway parking lot on West Colorado Avenue, where the city officials and some residents gathered to glean the latest news. Mandatory evacuations were issued for the 200 homes Cedar Heights neighborhood, an exclusive gated community west of the Garden of the Gods. An additional 850 homes were evacuated in the Garden of the Gods Park and parts of the nearby Mountain Shadows neighborhood. Colorado Springs police were sent to make door-to-door calls to drive those residents in the evacuation zones out of their homes.
The evacuation alerts confused several residents on the Westside Saturday afternoon. Some voluntary evacuations for the northern section of the Mountain Shadows neighborhood were issued and then rescinded. One Manitou Springs woman, who asked not to be named, said she received a reverse 911 call and knock on her door telling her to leave Saturday, although her neighborhood was not evacuated. Despite its fury, the Waldo canyon fire hadn’t damaged structures Saturday. By 9 p.m. Saturday, a command team, consisting of Forest Service officials, the Colorado Springs Fire Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, had not decidedwhether firefighetrs would do battle with the Waldo Canyon fire until dawn. Firefighters are also worried about more blazes igniting in the dry hills and plains. The fire department and sheriff’s office called in off-duty firefighters and deputies to bolster forces in the city and county. Thirty-two deputies were called in to monitor evacuation zones, and 12 off-duty firefighters were brought in to staff three engines in the city. The fire department also called on fire crews from the Cheyenne Mountain, Cimarron, and Stratmoor Hills fire department to help bolster Colorado Springs fire stations exmptied when firefighters deployed to Waldo Canyon. As for what the Waldo Canyon fire will cost the city of Colorado Springs, already under budget constraints, fire Chief Rich Brown said it is too early to tell.
|Today||Forest / Wild Fire||USA||State of Montana, [Ash Creek (Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation)]|
|Authorities in eastern Montana ordered the evacuation of several communities Saturday as the Ash Creek Complex fires consumed another 72 square miles and pushed the number of structures destroyed past 30. The Powder River County Sheriff’s office ordered Wilbur, Whitetail, Beaver Creek and East Fork of Otter Creek residents out after the fire swelled to 244 square miles overnight. Fire spokesman Pat McKelvey said one home and five outbuildings were destroyed overnight but no injuries were reported due to the lightning-caused fire that started Monday. The fire had destroyed at least 26 structures previously. “We did have significant movement to the east,” he said, noting embers were causing spot fires a mile ahead of the main fire that’s burning in timber, juniper, pine, sage and grass. He said officials were looking at Saturday as a chance to possibly strengthen fire lines before Sunday when high winds and lower humidity are predicted. The fire is about 25 percent contained. “We are figuring today will be a lull day, if you can call 90 degree temperatures a lull,” he said. Nearly 450 firefighters are at the blaze with more being called in, McKelvey said, adding that two helicopters are working the fire and fixed-wing retardant bombers are also available.|
|Today||Forest / Wild Fire||USA||State of California, [San Gabriel Mountains]|
|Firefighters moved quickly to get a handle on a wildfire that has burned 96 acres of dry brush in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher Andre Gougis says the fire north of Wrightwood near the San Bernardino County line is 80 percent contained Saturday night. Crews got help from water-dropping aircraft as they worked to keep the flames from moving east into the Pinyon Hills area. Gougis says there has been no damage or injuries. Route 138 near Route 18 was briefly closed in both directions. The fire was reported just before noon. The cause is under investigation.|
by Staff Writers
Reno NV (SPX)
University of Nevada, Reno, researchers were joined by a Scripps Institution of Oceanography research team, spending many days on Fallen Leaf Lake to gather sonar and side-scan radar data to study earthquake faults and paleoshorelines. The low-tech boat was adorned with high-tech hardware, such as gyroscopes used on rockets, to gather high-resolution images of the lake bottom. Using standing trees they found submerged under 130 feet of water, the team confirmed and reported in their paper, a culmination of a comprehensive high-tech assessment of Fallen Leaf Lake – a small moraine-bound lake at the south end of the Lake Tahoe Basin – that stands of pre-Medieval trees in the lake suggest the region experienced severe drought at least every 650 to 1,150 years during the mid- and late-Holocene period. Credit: Photo by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno.
The erratic year-to-year swings in precipitation totals in the Reno-Tahoe area conjures up the word “drought” every couple of years, and this year is no exception. The Nevada State Climate Office at the University of Nevada, Reno, in conjunction with the Nevada Drought Response Committee, just announced a Stage 1 drought (moderate) for six counties and a Stage 2 drought (severe) for 11 counties.
Reno, Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada are no strangers to drought, the most famous being the Medieval megadrought lasting from 800 to 1250 A.D. when annual precipitation was less than 60 percent of normal. The Reno-Tahoe region is now about 65 percent of annual normal precipitation for the year, which doesn’t seem like much, but imagine if this were the “norm” each and every year for the next 200 years.
Research by scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno and their partners at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego indicates that there are other instances of such long-lasting, severe droughts in the western United States throughout history.
Their recent paper, a culmination of a comprehensive high-tech assessment of Fallen Leaf Lake – a small moraine-bound lake at the south end of the Lake Tahoe Basin – reports that stands of pre-Medieval trees in the lake suggest the region experienced severe drought at least every 650 to 1,150 years during the mid- and late-Holocene period.
“Using an arsenal of cutting edge sonar tools, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and a manned submersible, we’ve obtained potentially the most accurate record thus far on the instances of 200-year-long droughts in the Sierra,” Graham Kent, director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory said.
“The record from Fallen Leaf Lake confirms what was expected and is likely the most accurate record, in terms of precipitation, than obtained previously from a variety of methods throughout the Sierra.”
Kent is part of the University of Nevada, Reno and Scripps research team that traced the megadroughts and dry spells of the region using tree-ring analysis, shoreline records and sediment deposition in Fallen Leaf Lake.
Using side-scan and multibeam sonar technology developed to map underwater earthquake fault lines such as the West Tahoe fault beneath Fallen Leaf Lake, the team also imaged standing trees up to 130 feet beneath the lake surface as well as submerged ancient shoreline structure and development.
The trees matured while the lake level was 130 to 200 feet below its modern elevation and were not deposited by a landslide as was suspected.
The team, led by John Kleppe, University of Nevada, Reno engineering professor emeritus, published a paper on this research and is presenting its findings in seminars and workshops.
“The lake is like a ‘canary in a coal mine’ for the Sierra, telling the story of precipitation very clearly,” Kent said.
“Fallen Leaf Lake elevations change rapidly due to its unique ratio between catchment basin and lake surface of about 8 to 1. With analysis of the standing trees submerged in the lake, sediment cores and our sonar scanning of ancient shorelines, we can more accurately and easily trace the precipitation history of the region.”
Water balance calculations and analysis of tree-ring samples undertaken by Kleppe, Kent and Scripps scientists Danny Brothers and Neal Driscoll, along with Professor Franco Biondi of the University’s College of Science, suggest annual precipitation was less than 60 percent of normal from the late 10th century to the early 13th century.
Their research was documented in a scientific paper, Duration and severity of Medieval drought in the Lake Tahoe Basin, published in the Quaternary Science Reviews in November 2011.
Tree-ring records and submerged paleoshoreline geomorphology suggest a Medieval low-lake level of Fallen Leaf Lake lasted more than 220 years. More than 80 trees were found lying on the lake floor at various elevations above the paleoshoreline.
“Although the ancient cycle of megadroughts seems to occur every 650 to 1150 years and the last one was 750 years ago, it is uncertain when the next megadrought will occur. With climate change upon us, it will be interesting to see how carbon dioxide loading in the atmosphere will affect this cycle,” Kent said.
Professor Paula Noble, in the University’s College of Science’s Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, is expanding this research to include the fine-scale study of climate change through out the Holocene (about 12,000 years) using recently collected 40-foot-long sediment cores in Fallen Leaf Lake.
University of Nevada, Reno
Climate Science News – Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
By Samantha Kramer, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
For ice cream vendors selling frozen treats and cold water on the beaches near Atlantic City, N.J., it’s a great day for business.
Thousands flocked to the beach Saturday to escape the heat after a super derecho knocked out the power of more than three million people across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions.
James Diecidue, who sells ice cream along the beach in Margate City, N.J., said the beaches are extremely crowded. Many of his customers keep asking him if the city has regained power yet.
“A lot of people are buying water and ice cream here because a lot of people still don’t have power at home,” he said.
While those affected by the storm along the coast have the option to cool down with an ocean minutes away, other areas aren’t so lucky.
Authorities in non-coastal regions have had to think of other ways to keep their community cool in this weekend’s scorching temperatures.
Prince George’s County in Maryland opened cooling centers where local residents without power can refuge from the 100-degree weather that plagued their area today.
Scott Peterson, the county’s deputy manager of communications, said they’ve provided information about where to locate cooling centers through social media and online press releases that people can view with their smart phones if they don’t have power.
“We’ve been going through every means necessary to make sure they know we have places they can go to cool down,” Peterson said. “We’re highlighting what’s still open with power in the region like malls and hotels. Everyone’s working together.”
Emergency Management Coordinator Emily Ashley of Chesterfield County, Va., said the town’s local libraries will keep their doors open past normal hours, and though usually closed on Sundays, will also open tomorrow until 6 p.m.
Ashley said dealing with the significant power outages has been difficult because critical buildings that would normally act as a refuge are the ones that are without power.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management also created a Tumblr blog that lists open cooling centers by county, damage reports and power restoration updates.
According to electric companies, it could be a week before power is restored in some areas, especially major cities like Washington, D.C.
Violent Storms rip through Eastern US leaving 10 dead & 2 Million without power in mist of heat wave
Published on Jun 30, 2012 by adrinilinjunky
UPDATE/ 3 STATES DECLARE EMERGENCY-
Wettest June on record comes to a fitting close
Ireland has been hit by torrential rain as the summer disappears again – with parts of Cork and Belfast flooded.
Emergency services are struggling to cope with the flash floods across the country as homes are left without electricity.
The towns of Douglas, Bandon and Clonakilty in Cork are badly flooded with some areas under three feet of water.
Residents were evacuated from the Ballyvolane area of Cork city while there is no access in or out of Clonakilty.
The Irish Independent reports that up to 15,000 homes in Cork are currently without electricity after the overnight storms which saw 70mm of rain fall in a few hours.
Flooding has also been reported in parts of Sligo and Tipperary and motorists have been warned to take extreme care.
Cork County Council has confirmed that it activated a flood response plan after the torrential rain.
Ireland’s weather service Met Eireann issued a flood alert to more than a dozen county councils with 70mm of rain forecast to fall in parts of Munster, Connacht, south Leinster and the midlands.
Despite warm temperatures, there could be torrential downpours due to heavy thunderstorms according to Met Eireann.
“The worst of the rain is over but it has been the wettest June on record,” said forecaster Evelyn Cusack.
Belfast has also been badly hit by the torrential rain. A police spokeswoman said: “Most of the main arterial routes in east and south Belfast are impassable due to flooding, abandoned cars and debris.”
Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency Saturday after a powerful storm killed six people in the state and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands, leaving them without air-conditioning in the middle of a blistering heat wave.
“This is a very dangerous situation for Virginia,” McDonnell said at a news conference at the state’s Emergency Operations Center. He said the threat of more storms, continued extreme heat and the largest non-hurricane power outage in state history — and fifth largest ever — could mean a few more days of misery.
McDonnell urged Virginians to look out for their neighbors, especially elderly people who are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.
“Be your neighbor’s keeper,” he said.
The governor’s emergency declaration activated 300 National Guard troops to help the state recover from straight-line winds of up to 80 miles an hour that felled trees and power lines and closed about 250 secondary roads.
Fairfax County police said trees blown down by heavy winds killed one person in a car and a 90-year-old woman sleeping in her bed. In Albemarle County, police said 64-year-old John Porter was killed by a falling tree outside his house and Catherine Ford was killed when she got out of her car, which was blocked by fallen trees, and was hit by another toppled tree.
The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office said an elderly couple died in a fire that appears to have been caused by the storm.
About 769,500 customers of Appalachian Power and Dominion remained without service late Saturday afternoon. That was down from a peak of more than 1.2 million earlier in the day.
In South Hampton Roads, the storm knocked out power and brought down tree limbs, but no major damage was reported, according to police dispatchers in the five cities.
The Newport News Fire Department responded to about 27 calls for service overnight, according to a city news release. Crews responded to four separate calls for trees that fell onto structures and onto boats in distress, the release said.
Nearly 5,200 Dominion Virginia Power customers in Southeastern Virginia, which includes South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula, were out of power as of 7:15 p.m., according to the company’s website.
Wind gusts topped 74 mph at the Franklin Airport in Isle of Wight Co. late Friday night, according to the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Va. In Portsmouth, wind gusts topped 61 mph at early Saturday morning, the service said.
Rodney Blevins of utility giant Dominion said it was unclear how long it will take to get power fully restored but added that Virginians should “anticipate long outages.”
Tracey Phalen of Richmond could relate to that advice. After enduring six days without electricity because of Hurricane Irene last summer, she was bracing for another uncomfortable stretch because of the latest storm-related outage.
“I think it’s going to get bad,” she said as she and her teenage son relaxed under the shade of a coffee-house umbrella. “But I always tend to think there are a lot of people who have it worse.”
She said her family would find someplace cool to get through the day.
“We’ll probably go to a movie theater at the top of the day,” she said.
Dozens of schools, fire stations and community centers were opened across the state as cooling centers, but many Virginians found other ways to avoid the heat.
Brett Shiflett of Richmond said she would be staying with various family members in the area after the storm sent a tree crashing into the apartment above hers, cutting off power and leaving her kitchen a soggy shambles.
“I’m going to be house-hopping for a while,” she said.
The huge tree wiped out the rear portion of the upstairs apartment. A bed with a broken headboard was covered with debris was a tangled mess of bricks and lumber from what used to be a deck.
Had the storm hit later, David Fetchko’s girlfriend might have been sleeping in that bed.
“She probably would have been killed,” said Fetchko, who relayed a message from his girlfriend that she was still too shaken to talk about the ordeal.
Shiflett was home when the tree fell.
“It sounded like an earthquake and like someone upstairs fell really hard,” she said. Then it started raining in her kitchen, which is directly below her neighbor’s demolished bedroom.
“It’s a little traumatizing,” she said.
Others in the city also were cleaning up after the storm and contemplating how they were going to cope with the relentless heat.
“I’m heading to the river to sit in the water with the dog,” Tricia Pearsall said as she swept up fallen tree branches in front of her 170-year-old home downtown. “We’re lucky to have air-conditioning, but I’d rather be in the river.”
Ramel Lloyd was waiting for a friend to come over with a nail gun to reattach four sections of privacy fencing that were flattened at the home he just bought three weeks ago. The storm also ripped off a small section of siding, and a power surge apparently caused a ceiling fan to catch fire.
“Luckily, everyone is safe,” he said. “It was an eventful 12 hours, to say the least.”
Around the corner from Lloyd’s house, a large tree crushed two cars, including Greg Hough’s compact wagon.
“It’s totaled,” Hough said. “The golf clubs are OK though.”
Pilot staffers Jennifer Jiggetts and Sarah Hutchins contributed to this report.
|Gauhati Raging floodwaters fed by monsoon rains have inundated more than 2,000 villages in northeast India, killing at least 27 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more marooned Friday. The Indian air force was delivering food packages to people huddled on patches of dry land along with cattle and wild elephants. Rescuers were being dropped by helicopter into affected areas to help the stranded. About one million people have been forced to evacuate as the floods from the swollen Brahmaputra River – one of Asia’s largest – swamped 2,084 villages across most of Assam state, officials said. Officials have counted 27 people dead so far, but the toll is expected to be much higher as unconfirmed casualty reports mount. Telephone lines were knocked out and some train services were cancelled after their tracks were swamped by mud. As the floods soaked the Kaziranga game reserve east of Assam’s capital of Gauhati, motorists reported seeing a one-horned rhino fleeing along a busy highway. “We never thought the situation would turn this grim when the monsoon-fed rivers swelled a week ago,” said Nilomoni Sen Deka, an Assam government minister. Residents of Majuli – an 800-square-kilometre island in the middle of the Brahmaputra River – watched helplessly as the swirling, grey waters swallowed 50 villages and swept away their homes. “We are left with only the clothes we are wearing,” said 60-year-old Puniram Hazarika, one of about 75,000 island residents now camping in makeshift shelters of bamboo sticks and plastic tarps on top of a mud embankment. A herd of 70 endangered Asiatic elephants, which usually avoid humans, were grouped together nearby, Majuli island wildlife official Atul Das said. “The jumbos have not caused any harm, but we are keeping a close watch,” he said.|
Epidemic Hazards / Diseases
|Today||Epidemic Hazard||India||State of Karnataka, Bangalore|
|Five people have lost their lives to dengue in Karntaka since January 2012, but none in Bangalore. The city has reported 45 positive cases of dengue as per the recent report given out by BBMP. In the last 14 days, there have been 13 positive cases reported in the city. There were ten cases reported in the month of May. On Tuesday, Bangalore Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy had a meeting with the health officers of the Palike and instructed them to submit a report everyday on the about the dengue cases reported across the city.|
|Biohazard name:||Dengue Fever|
|Biohazard level:||3/4 Hight|
|Biohazard desc.:||Bacteria and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans, but for which vaccines or other treatments exist, such as anthrax, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, SARS virus, variola virus (smallpox), tuberculosis, typhus, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, yellow fever, and malaria. Among parasites Plasmodium falciparum, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes trypanosomiasis, also come under this level.|
by Staff Writers
New Haven CT (SPX)
“In effect,” Kahan said, “ordinary members of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information strengthens or weakens their ties to others who share their values. At least among ordinary members of the public, individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments.”
Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don’t understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? A study published online in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the answer to both questions is no.
Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults.
“The aim of the study was to test two hypotheses,” said Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School and a member of the study team.
“The first attributes political controversy over climate change to the public’s limited ability to comprehend science, and the second, to opposing sets of cultural values. The findings supported the second hypothesis and not the first,” he said.
“Cultural cognition” is the term used to describe the process by which individuals’ group values shape their perceptions of societal risks. It refers to the unconscious tendency of people to fit evidence of risk to positions that predominate in groups to which they belong.
The results of the study were consistent with previous studies that show that individuals with more egalitarian values disagree sharply with individuals who have more individualistic ones on the risks associated with nuclear power, gun possession, and the HPV vaccine for school girls.
In this study, researchers measured “science literacy” with test items developed by the National Science Foundation. They also measured their subjects’ “numeracy”-that is, their ability and disposition to understand quantitative information.
“In effect,” Kahan said, “ordinary members of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information strengthens or weakens their ties to others who share their values. At least among ordinary members of the public, individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments.”
Kahan said that the study supports no inferences about the reasoning of scientific experts in climate change.
Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University said that people who are higher in numeracy and science literacy usually make better decisions in complex technical situations, but the study clearly casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you’ll make in complex and technical situations.
“What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”
According to Kahan, the study suggests the need for science communication strategies that reflect a more sophisticated understanding of cultural values.
“More information can help solve the climate change conflict,” Kahan said, “but that information has to do more than communicate the scientific evidence. It also has to create a climate of deliberations in which no group perceives that accepting any piece of evidence is akin to betrayal of their cultural group.”
In addition to Dan Kahan and Ellen Peters, other study researchers were Maggie Wittlin of the Cultural Cognition Project, Paul Slovic of Decision Research, Lisa Larrimore Ouellette of the Cultural Cognition Project, Donald Braman of George Washington University, and Gregory Mandel of Temple University. The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks, Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1547.
2MIN News June 30, 2012: FML
Published on Jun 30, 2012 by Suspicious0bservers
[Look on the left at the X-ray Flux and Solar Wind Speed/Density]
[Click online data, and have a little fun]
[Place to find Solar Images and Videos - as seen from earth]
[SOHO; Lasco and EIT - as seen from earth]
[Stereo; Cor, EUVI, HI - as seen from the side]
[Just click it... trust me]
[All purpose data viewing site]
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NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL:
[That cool alert map I use]
JAPAN Radiation Map:
Gamma Ray Bursts:
[Really? You can't figure out what this one is for?]
BARTOL Cosmic Rays:
[Top left box, look for BIG blue circles]
[Tornado Forecast for the day]
[Clouds over America]
[Weather site used by many youtubers]
[GREAT News Site!]
Jun 29, 2012; 8:07 AM ET
For years, scientists have struggled to determine why the sun’s atmosphere is more than 300 times hotter than its surface. But a new study has found a possible answer: giant super-tornadoes on the sun that may be injecting heat into the outer layers of our star.
Visualisation of a close-up region in our advanced 3D numerical simulations of a magnetic tornado in the solar atmosphere. The spiral lines represent the velocity field in the tornado vortex. The images contain the observed swirl signature (top, bluish) and the Sun’s surface (bottom, reddish). Image released June 27, 2012. CREDIT: Wedemeyer-Bohm et al./Image produced with VAPOR
While comparing images from the Swedish Solar Telescope with others taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, an international team of scientists noticed bright points on the sun’s surface and atmosphere that corresponded with swirls in the so-called chromospheres, a region that is sandwiched between the two layers. The finding indicates that the solar tornadoes stretched through all three layers of the sun.
The scientists went on to identify 14 solar super-tornadoes occurring within an hour of each other. By using a three dimensional simulation, the team then found that the swirls could play a role in elevating the sun’s outer layer.
A sun ‘super-tornado’ is born
Unlike tornadoes on Earth, which are powered by differences in temperature and humidity, the twisters on the sun are a combination of hot flowing gas and tangled magnetic field lines, ultimately driven by nuclear reactions in the solar core. [How Sun Tornadoes Work (Infographic)]
At the surface, or photosphere, cooled plasma sinks toward the interior like water running down the bathtub drain, creating vortexes that magnetic field lines are forced to follow. The lines stretch upward into the chromosphere, where they continue to spiral.
But while the hot gas at the surface drives the movement of the magnetic field, in the chromosphere it is the field lines that force the hot gas to spiral, creating the swirls that appear similar to tornadoes on Earth.
“The resulting funnel is narrow at the bottom and widens with height in the atmosphere,” lead scientist Sven Wedemeyer-Böhm, of the University of Oslo in Norway, told SPACE.com by email.
Spinning at thousands of miles per hour, the tornadoes vary in size, with diameters ranging from 930 to 3,500 miles (1,500 to 5,550 kilometers). Some of these giant solar twisters extend all the up in to the lower portion of the sun’s upper atmosphere (called the corona, the researchers said.
“Based on the detected events, we estimate that at least 11,000 swirls are present on the sun at all times,” Wedemeyer-Böhm said.
Towering solar twisters
Although the twisters are enormous by Earth’s scale, they are tiny on the surface of the sun. They were first detected in 2008 by Wedemeyer-Böhm and another researcher, but it wasn’t until images of super-tornadoes were compared with those from the corona and photosphere that scientists realized how high the writhing gas extended — or the influence they could have on the sun’s temperature.
The surface temperature of the sun is 9,980 Fahrenheit (5,526 degrees Celsius or about 5,800 Kelvin), while the corona peaks at 3.5 million Fahrenheit (2 million degrees Celsius or nearly 2 million Kelvin), a fact that seems counterintuitive.
Schematic view of the atmospheric layers of the Sun, the extent of simulated magnetic tornado, and the resulting net energy transport. Image released June 27, 2012. CREDIT: Wedemeyer-B�hm/Parts of the image produced with VAPOR
After observing the sun, the international team created computer models in an attempt to determine how much energy — and thus heat — could be effectively transported by the twisters. They concluded that solar tornadoes could help to explain how the outer layer stays so hot, although Wedemeyer-Böhm notes that it is likely only one of a number of different processes powering the temperature of the sun’s corona.
“The magnetic tornadoes offer a potential, alternative and widespread way to transport energy from the solar surface into the corona,” Wedemeyer-Böhm said.
The tornadoes differ from those spotted earlier this year. Those much larger events were formed by twisting solar prominences, and were likely connected to mass ejected from the sun. The smaller tornadoes are more abundant, and make a more significant contribution to the corona’s temperature.
The research was published in today’s (June 27) issue of the journal Nature.
|Object Name||Apporach Date||Left||AU Distance||LD Distance||Estimated Diameter*||Relative Velocity|
|(2008 YQ2)||03rd July 2012||2 day(s)||0.1057||41.1||29 m – 65 m||15.60 km/s||56160 km/h|
|(2005 QQ30)||06th July 2012||5 day(s)||0.1765||68.7||280 m – 620 m||13.13 km/s||47268 km/h|
|(2011 YJ28)||06th July 2012||5 day(s)||0.1383||53.8||150 m – 330 m||14.19 km/s||51084 km/h|
|276392 (2002 XH4)||07th July 2012||6 day(s)||0.1851||72.0||370 m – 840 m||7.76 km/s||27936 km/h|
|(2003 MK4)||08th July 2012||7 day(s)||0.1673||65.1||180 m – 410 m||14.35 km/s||51660 km/h|
|(1999 NW2)||08th July 2012||7 day(s)||0.0853||33.2||62 m – 140 m||6.66 km/s||23976 km/h|
|189P/NEAT||09th July 2012||8 day(s)||0.1720||66.9||n/a||12.47 km/s||44892 km/h|
|(2000 JB6)||10th July 2012||9 day(s)||0.1780||69.3||490 m – 1.1 km||6.42 km/s||23112 km/h|
|(2010 MJ1)||10th July 2012||9 day(s)||0.1533||59.7||52 m – 120 m||10.35 km/s||37260 km/h|
|(2008 NP3)||12th July 2012||11 day(s)||0.1572||61.2||57 m – 130 m||6.08 km/s||21888 km/h|
|(2006 BV39)||12th July 2012||11 day(s)||0.1132||44.1||4.2 m – 9.5 m||11.11 km/s||39996 km/h|
|(2005 NE21)||15th July 2012||14 day(s)||0.1555||60.5||140 m – 320 m||10.77 km/s||38772 km/h|
|(2003 KU2)||15th July 2012||14 day(s)||0.1034||40.2||770 m – 1.7 km||17.12 km/s||61632 km/h|
|(2007 TN74)||16th July 2012||15 day(s)||0.1718||66.9||20 m – 45 m||7.36 km/s||26496 km/h|
|(2007 DD)||16th July 2012||15 day(s)||0.1101||42.8||19 m – 42 m||6.47 km/s||23292 km/h|
|(2006 BC8)||16th July 2012||15 day(s)||0.1584||61.6||25 m – 56 m||17.71 km/s||63756 km/h|
|144411 (2004 EW9)||16th July 2012||15 day(s)||0.1202||46.8||1.3 km – 2.9 km||10.90 km/s||39240 km/h|
|(2012 BV26)||18th July 2012||17 day(s)||0.1759||68.4||94 m – 210 m||10.88 km/s||39168 km/h|
|(2010 OB101)||19th July 2012||18 day(s)||0.1196||46.6||200 m – 450 m||13.34 km/s||48024 km/h|
|(2008 OX1)||20th July 2012||19 day(s)||0.1873||72.9||130 m – 300 m||15.35 km/s||55260 km/h|
|(2010 GK65)||21st July 2012||20 day(s)||0.1696||66.0||34 m – 75 m||17.80 km/s||64080 km/h|
|(2011 OJ45)||21st July 2012||20 day(s)||0.1367||53.2||18 m – 39 m||3.79 km/s||13644 km/h|
|153958 (2002 AM31)||22nd July 2012||21 day(s)||0.0351||13.7||630 m – 1.4 km||9.55 km/s||34380 km/h|
|(2011 CA7)||23rd July 2012||22 day(s)||0.1492||58.1||2.3 m – 5.1 m||5.43 km/s||19548 km/h|
|(2012 BB124)||24th July 2012||23 day(s)||0.1610||62.7||170 m – 380 m||8.78 km/s||31608 km/h|
|(2009 PC)||28th July 2012||27 day(s)||0.1772||68.9||61 m – 140 m||7.34 km/s||26424 km/h|
Biological Hazards / Wildlife / Hazmat
|Philippines||Central Visayas, [Tagbilaran Strait]|
|Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-Bohol) raised an alarm against gathering and eating shellfish from the tide flats of Tagbilaran City bay following a suspected case of red tide. BFAR-Bohol head Cresencio Pahamutang explained the alarm is based on an algal bloom, which is what caused the red coloration in the waters (red tide) that witnesses observed on the sea below Matig-a Lodge along Burgos Street, Tagbilaran City. Pahamutang said BFAR confirmed the reports based on the latest results from the 10 monitoring stations set up at specific points between Dauis Bridge in Junction Mansasa to Maribojoc Bay. According to Pahamutang, a worker at the Matig-a Lodge reported the unusual discoloration in the waters, prompting the BFAR to investigate by going to their monitoring stations. From their tests, Pahamutang shared that from the usual three cells per liter average yield in the collecting stations, they noticed around 1,475 to 1,365 cells per liter. A total ban and alarm against shellfish gathering and eating was issued when the mirco-organisms monitored reach 10,000 units per liter, he explained. With the noticed unusually high concentration of algal micro-organisms in the Tagbilaran Strait, the BFAR said they have coordinated with the Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council as well as Poblacion 1 Barangay Chairman Arlene Karaan to advise people to stop harvesting shellfish from the mentioned areas. Pahamutang said these algae, also called dinoflagellates have toxins that are usually absorbed by bottom feeding shellfish, making them unfit for human consumption. For fishes from the area, the BFAR chief said as long as the fish is properly prepared before cooking, it may not be affected as much.|
|Biohazard name:||Red Tide|
|Biohazard level:||0/4 —|
|Biohazard desc.:||This does not included biological hazard category.|
|Symptoms:||Algal bloom happens when an unusually large concentration of aquatic micro-organisms amass in a coastal area, often causing discoloration. When the algae is present in high concentrations, water can be discolored from murky, to purple to pink or red, thus, its common name the red tide.|
|Today||Biological Hazard||Canada||Province of Alberta, [Baptiste Lake, Athabasca County]|
|A blue-green algae that is toxic to people and animals has been discovered in an Alberta lake. Alberta Health Services issued an advisory Saturday, warning people not to drink the water in Baptiste Lake, 167 kilometres north of Edmonton in Athabasca County. AHS said people and pets should not swim or wade in the lake, and should not consume fish from the lake. Avoid contact with blue-green algae along the shoreline, as well, as animals or humans who drink or have skin contact with contaminated water may experience serious illness. Symptoms of contact with the algae include skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting or diarrhea, AHS said.|
|Biohazard name:||Blue-Green (cyanobacteria) Algae bloom|
|Biohazard level:||0/4 —|
|Biohazard desc.:||This does not included biological hazard category.|
|Today||HAZMAT||USA||State of New Jersey, West Deptford [Green Fields Swim Club]|
|At least four people have been taken to area hospitals sickened by a chlorine release at a Gloucester County swimming pool. Officials say the incident was reported around 3:00pm at the Green Fields Swim Club at 989 Jessup Road in West Deptford, N.J. The injured were transported by ambulances to Underwood and Kennedy Hospitals. There is no word on conditions. he incident is under investigation. And in Philadelphia, five people, including two children hospitalized in a similar incident at a pool in Northeast Philadelphia. The incident was reported around 9:00am in the 8200 block of Bustleton Avenue. Two children and three adults were taken to Hahnemann Hospital. They are listed in stable condition. Officials say initial investigation revealed the incident occurred at a private pool where someone had mixed pool chemicals together causing hazardous material to be released. The investigation continues.|
Articles of Interest
by Staff Writers
Bristol, UK (SPX)
File image: Mount St. Helens.
A forensic approach that links changes deep below a volcano to signals at the surface is described by scientists from the University of Bristol in a paper published in Science. The research could ultimately help to predict future volcanic eruptions with greater accuracy.
Using forensic-style chemical analysis, Dr Kate Saunders and colleagues directly linked seismic observations of the deadly 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption to crystal growth within the magma chamber, the large underground pool of liquid rock beneath the volcano.
Over 500 million people live close to volcanoes which may erupt with little or no clear warning, causing widespread devastation, disruption to aviation and even global effects on climate. Many of the world’s volcanoes are monitored for changes such as increases in seismicity or ground deformation.
However, an on-going problem for volcanologists is directly linking observations at the surface to processes occurring underground.
Dr Saunders and colleagues studied zoned crystals, which grow concentrically like tree rings within the magma body. Individual zones have subtly different chemical compositions, reflecting the changes in physical conditions within the magma chamber and thus giving an indication of volcanic processes and the timescales over which they occur.
Chemical analysis of the crystals revealed evidence of pulses of magma into a growing chamber within the volcano. Peaks in crystal growth were found to correlate with increased seismicity and gas emissions in the months prior to the eruption.
Dr Saunders said: “Such a correlation between crystal growth and volcanic seismicity has been long anticipated, but to see such clear evidence of this relationship is remarkable.”
This forensic approach can be applied to other active volcanoes to shed new light upon the nature and timescale of pre-eruptive activity. This will help scientists to evaluate monitoring signals at restless volcanoes and improve forecasting of future eruptions.
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