Extreme Temperatures/ Weather / Forest Fires / Drought
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|09.07.2012||Heat Wave||USA||MultiStates, [States of Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Missouri, Indiana, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, South Dakota and Kentucky]|
|Updated:||Monday, 09 July, 2012 at 05:01 UTC|
|The Cook County medical examiner’s today determined eight more people died from heat-related causes following the heat wave that ended Saturday. That brings the total number of confirmed heat-related deaths to 18 in Cook County. Lucille Griffith, 100, of the 7300 block of South Peoria, Street, died from heart disease, with heat stress as a secondary cause. Griffith was declared dead a little before 10 a.m. at St. Bernard Hospital, after being found and home with a body temperature of more than 107 degrees, according to the medical examiner’s office. Irene Moriarty, 89, of West 60th Place in Summit died from heart disease, with heat stress as a secondardy cause. Moriary was found Saturday in her apartment, where investigators measured the temperature at 100 degrees. Mary Williams, 56, of East 122nd Place, was declared dead at 1:07 p.m. Saturday at Roseland Community Hospital. Williams died from heart disease, with secondary causes of obesity and heat stress. Sherry Garrett, 53, of the 1400 block of South Hamlin Avenue, was declared dead at 4:28 p.m. Saturday at her home. She also died from heart disease, with secondary causes of diabets, obesity and heat stress. Investigators measured the temperature in her apartment at 110 degrees when she was found. Ann Narcisse, 78, of the 9200 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue, was found dead Saturday. She died of heart disease, with heat stress a secondary cause.John Stacey, 81, of the 1800 block of South Cuyler, was declared dead on the scene at 5:45 p.m. Saturday. He died from heart disease, with heat stress and obesity secondary causes. Levon Calhoun, 54, of the 8100 block of South Saginaw Avenue, was found dead at home Saturday. He died from heart disease, with obesity and heat stress as secondary causes. Anthony Thomas, 48, also died from heart disease, with heat stress as a secondary cause. Details about where and when he was declared dead were not immediately available. Those confirmed to have died from heat-related causes were among at least seven people whose deaths the medical examiner’s office was investigating as possibly heat-related. In one case, that of a 43-year-old man found dead Saturday at his home in the 2800 block of North Maplewood Avenue, the medical examiner’s office did not determine a cause of death, pending further studies. In another case, that of a 67-year-old woman who lvied in the 6200 block of South St. Louis Avenue, the medical examiner’s office determined the woman died solely from heart disease and not from any heat-related causes.|
Finally some relief! Temperatures cool after record breaking heatwave leaves 46 dead in scorching weather that saw planes MELT into the tarmac
- Monday’s temperatures in central and east states dropping to the early 90s and 80s
- More than 4,500 record highs broken in one week
- 3-month-old girl died and another baby hospitalised in Indianapolis after being left in baking car on Saturday
- 100 degree heat caused jet-plane at Washington airport to melt into runway
- Drought conditions present in 56 per cent of the country
- Farmers struggling to maintain crops as fields battered by dry conditions
The heat that blanketed much of the U.S. will begin easing up this week as temperatures approach normal from the Midwest to the East Coast.
Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Camp Springs, Md., said Sunday night that a cold front through the South and the mid-Atlantic will bring thunderstorms and showers.
It ‘will break the heat wave we’ve had,’ he said, dropping temperatures there to a more normal range of mid- to upper-80s. The Southeast and Tennessee Valley will be in the low 90s, ‘still fairly warm,’ Orrison said, but not as hot as it has been.
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The Midwest can expect cooler weather, as well, with temperatures in the 80s.
The cooler air began sweeping southward Sunday in the eastern half of the country, bringing down some temperatures by 15 or more degrees from Saturday’s highs, which topped 100 in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky.
The heat of the past several days has been blamed for at least 46 deaths across the country.
The welcome relief from the blistering heat comes after a weekend during which an airliner in Washington sank onto a melted runway on Friday evening.
The scorching 100 degree temperature caused the tarmac runway at the Reagan National Airport to melt – delaying the flight to Charleston for three hours after the plane became stuck in the ground.
Thankfully the record-breaking hot weather across the central and eastern states is cooling off slightly today, after already claiming the lives of 36 people.
Yet for many, Sunday’s cooler temperatures won’t exactly be comfortable, falling only into the 90s.
Cooler air is sweeping southward in the eastern half of the country, bringing down some temperatures by 15 or more degrees from Saturday’s record-breaking highs.
Maryland and Virginia each reported 10 deaths so far, there have been six deaths in Chicago, three in Wisconsin, two in Tennessee and three in Pennsylvania. In St. Louis three people have died and six other deaths were still under investigation.
A 3-month-old girl died and a 16-month-old girl was hospitalized Saturday in separate incidents in suburban Indianapolis when both were found trapped in cars during near-record 105-degree heat.
In St. Louis, the 13-degree drop from Saturday’s high still will leave residents baking in 93-degree weather — the high Saturday was a record 106.
Temperatures in Philadelphia, Washington, and Indianapolis will fall to the low 90s or upper 80s on Sunday after crossing the 100 mark on Saturday.
The top temperature in Manhattan’s Central Park was expected to be 91, according to the National Weather Service. That’s down several degrees from Saturday, when it came close to hitting 100 degrees, capping several days of heat hovering around triple digits that drew warnings from the weather service.
Sunday was likely to be the last day in the 90s for now in New York. Relief was on the way, with the weather service forecasting a week of daytime temperatures in the low 80s.
Weather service meteorologist John Cristantello said the extreme heat was due to what was happening thousands of feet up in the atmosphere. He said high pressure building up there ‘translates to the surface, warming it up.’
The quick shift to a week of temperatures plummeting by almost 20 degrees is nothing unusual, he said.
Residents in Louisville, Ky., can expect a high of 95 today, one day after 105-degree temperatures.
For many areas, the cooler temperatures were ushered in by thunderstorms that knocked out power to thousands.
In New Jersey, a line of strong, fast-moving storms knocked out power to nearly 70,000 in Ocean and Monmouth counties on Saturday night. By Sunday morning, Jersey Central Power & Light’s website reports that more than 23,000 customers were still without electricity.
Residents from Iowa to New Jersey spent the trying to stay cool. They dipped into the water, went to the movies and rode the subway just to be in air conditioning.
If people ventured outside to do anything, they did it early. But even then, the heat was stifling.
‘It was baking on the 18th green,’ said golfer Zeb Rogerson, who teed off at 6 a.m. at an Alexandria, Va., golf course but was sweltering by the end of his round.
Officials said the heat caused highways to buckle in Illinois and Wisconsin. In Maryland, investigators said heat likely caused rails to kink and led a Metro train to partially derail in Prince George’s County on Friday afternoon. No one was injured, and 55 passengers were safely evacuated.
Micah Straight, 36, brought his three daughters to dance in jets of water spurting from a ‘sprayground’ near Philadelphia’s Logan Square fountain to cool off.
‘We got here early, because I don’t think we’ll be out this afternoon — we’ll be in the air conditioning,’ he said. ‘So I wanted to get them out, get some sunshine, get tired.’
In South Bend, Ind., serious kayakers took to the East Race Waterway, a 1,900-foot long manmade whitewater course near downtown.
‘A lot of times I’ll roll over just to cool off,’ said Robert Henry of Carmel, just north of Indianapolis. ‘The biggest challenge is walking coming back up carrying a kayak three-eighths of a mile in this heat.’
In Manhattan, customers who stepped in to see ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ at an IFC movie theater were there for more than entertainment.
‘Of course we came to cool off!’ said John Villanova, a writer who was on his second sweaty T-shirt of the day — expecting to change again by evening.
He said that earlier, he rode a Manhattan subway back and forth for a half an hour, with no destination in mind, ‘because it really keeps you cool.
One man figured out a way to beat the heat: stay in the car.
That was the plan for 60-year-old Roger Sinclair of Batavia, Ill., who was headed home Saturday from Detroit, where he’d spent a few days visiting an old friend and catching Friday night’s Tigers game.
While he enjoyed the game, a 4-2 Tigers win, the conditions were less than ideal.
‘It was 97 at the first pitch and still in the 80s at the time of the last out,’ he said. ‘It was tough. There was no breeze.’
Before heading home, though, Sinclair wanted to see a Great Lakes ore carrier make its way through the city’s waterways. So, he tracked one down the Detroit River, driving ahead of it and parking on Belle Isle, which sits in the middle of the river between the city and Windsor, Ontario.
Feeling the heat: Wyatt Young, 5, cools off in a fountain set up outside Busch Stadium in St. Louis,
Sweltering: A boy cools off under a sprinkler at the National Zoo in Washington, left, and World War II veteran James Wakefield, 89, sips water in the shade during his first visit to the National World War II Memorial
Sinclair, standing along the riverbank and shielding his eyes from the sun, watched the Algomarine slowly head west.
‘You just don’t see this in Chicago,’ said Sinclair, a dispatcher at a plumbing company’s call center.
As the vessel traveled out of sight, he walked to his car.
‘This is how I’ve dealt with it the last couple of days,’ he said. ‘A lot of time in the car.’
The expected rain should help dry spells in many places. Much of Arkansas is enduring brown grass and seeing trees lose their green, and farmers in Ohio are growing concerned about the dry conditions, considered among the worst of the past decade.
In Chicago, perspiration beaded on the face of street magician Jeremy Pitt-Payne, whose black top hat and Union Jack leather vest weighed heavily as he waited to board a Chicago River water taxi that would take him to his sidewalk stage downtown.
‘This is part of the character. I’m a magician from Britain,’ Pitt-Payne said in a British accent. ‘I may lose the vest by the end of the day.’
Pitt-Payne worked throughout Chicago’s three-day stretch of triple-digit temperatures. His shows have been shorter and crowds have dwindled from his usual of 50 to about 20 people.
His trick for beating the heat? He starts his shows at about 2 p.m. ‘when the Trump Tower is gracious enough to block out the sun’ along his stretch of sidewalk. ‘That’s when I start.’
According to the national Drought Monitor, a staggering 56 per cent of the entire country matches the qualifying factors and is considered to be in a drought.
This is the highest percentage in the 12 years that the data have been compiled, topping the previous record of 55 per cent from August 26, 2003.
It also smashed data from the previous week by a massive five percentage points.
‘This year the high temperatures have certainly played into this drought,’ he said. ‘There’s a lot more evaporation and crop demands for water.’
The Drought Monitor added that the weather is starting to ‘take a significant toll’ on food supplies as the area of abnormally dry and drought conditions expands across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri.
‘In the primary growing states for corn and soybeans, 22 per cent of the crop is in poor or very poor condition, as are 43 per cent of the nation’s pastures and rangelands and 24 percent of the sorghum crop,’ it noted.
As the heat scorched crops across the country, corn and soybean prices jumped to new highs in the week.
Dried out: In Indiana where the drought has scorched thousands of acres of cropland, dead corn stalks lay in fields (left) and fish bones lie in the dried lake bed south of Dewey Point (right)
‘It’s not only abnormally dry, but now you have 100 degree heat combined with the ongoing drought and it’s too much for the crop,’ Accuweather.com senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
In Tennessee, county farm agents have reported the extreme conditions to the National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Nashville.
‘Crops have really begun to suffer and go backwards this week. Rain is needed yesterday,’ wrote agent Richard Buntin in Crockett County.
Crops and pastureland are ‘burnt to a crispy crunch,’ wrote Kim Frady of Bradley County.
‘Need rain,’ in Loudon County, added John Goddard. ‘Saw a farmer digging a waterline about 4-5′ deep. Nothing but powder!’
The weather service added that although some areas can expect cooler temperatures in mid-July, ‘drought is likely to develop, persist or intensify’ across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, the Corn Belt region, the Mississippi Valley and much of the Great Plains.
In Alabama, abnormally dry conditions and droughts are parching 91 per cent of the state, with many city areas more than a foot below normal rainfall totals for the year.
‘It’s a long-term drought, in that they never came out of it from last year. It’s going to take not just one hurricane but three months of above-average rainfall to end that,’ said John Christy, from the University of Alabama.
Forestry officials in the state said there’s an increased threat of wildfires because of the dry conditions, and farmers are relying on irrigation to sustain crops in some areas.
‘We’re really needing water right now,’ Brandon Dillard, an agronomist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, told the AP.
FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
POCATELLO ID BILLINGS MT GLASGOW MT RAPID CITY SD CHEYENNE WY RIVERTON WY
|A wildfire in the Mendocino National Forest has led to the closure of campgrounds and the evacuation of a handful of homes. The fire was estimated at around 2,500 acres on Monday morning, two days after it began. It was 10 percent contained. Fire information officer Adrienne Freeman says it is burning in steep terrain and has been aided by high temperatures and dry conditions. More than 300 firefighters are working on the blaze. The cause has not been determined. Crews are also battling a separate blaze several miles to the east in Colusa County.|
|With raindrops in southern Wisconsin as rare and precious as diamonds, Gov. Scott Walker on Monday declared a state of emergency in 42 bone-dry counties. The state of emergency will streamline farmers’ efforts to temporarily use stream or lake water to irrigate arid fields. Most farmers with crops in the ground, whether it’s corn, soybeans or alfalfa, are looking glumly at the weather forecast, which shows unrelenting sunshine and warm weather for at least a week and a slim chance for precipitation next week in Wisconsin’s breadbasket. That’s great for sunbathers, Little League teams and picnickers. But it could be devastating to much of Wisconsin’s corn crop, which is now in its make-or-break stage. Plants need moisture in the next seven to 10 days to pollinate. “Rain would be priceless for us right now,” said George Koepp, University of Wisconsin Extension agriculture agent in Columbia County. Weeks of way-below average rainfall plus recent triple-digit temperatures that baked much of the state have stressed farmers, their crops and animals. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook shows the drought in southern Wisconsin is expected to persist or intensify throughout the rest of the summer. Madison has received only 0.31 of an inch of rain since June 1, almost 5.5 inches below normal, while a scant 0.97 of an inch has fallen in Milwaukee during the same time period, almost 4 inches below average, according to the National Weather Service.Officially, the southern third of Wisconsin is in a moderate drought while a broad swath across the central part of the state is considered abnormally dry. The affected area is roughly south of a line from Jackson County in western Wisconsin to Oshkosh. But no rain has fallen since the U.S. Drought Monitor issued that report July 3, and conditions are expected to worsen when the next drought report is issued Thursday. But farmers don’t need meteorologists to tell them that. “We’re at a critical juncture with tasseling and pollination. If the silks of the ear are not pollinated, the corn kernels won’t develop,” said Matt Hanson, UW-Extension southern regional director. “If we don’t have rain within two weeks, it’s about over.” Koepp’s phone has been ringing off the hook at his UW Extension office in Portage. It’s the same for other agriculture agents in counties in southern Wisconsin. Farmers are worried and nervous because their corn looks like tiny pineapples. “What they want to know is what do they do with this corn if they don’t get any ears,” Koepp said. “Some talk about chopping it up and feeding it to their cattle right away or putting it in a silo. But it has to dry down before it can be put in a silo.” Columbia County has 1,500 farmers plus 125,000 acres of corn, 46,000 acres of soybeans, 26,000 acres of alfalfa and 17,000 acres of corn silage.
“I just got off the phone with a dairy farmer who is looking for an idea on what to do to salvage some feed value out of his corn crop. That’s all he’s looking for – salvage value,” said David Laatsch, UW Extension agriculture agent in Dodge County. Parched conditions also have affected hay crops. Farmers will get fewer cuttings of alfalfa, and that will mean either buying hay or selling some animals to avoid feeding them, or both. “It might put livestock farmers in the southern part of the state in a bind if they can’t get adequate amounts of hay this year,” said Casey Langan, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spokesman. A Dodge County dairy farmer told Laatsch that he recently harvested his hay fields where he expected to get 600 big bales, weighing 800 to 900 pounds each. He got only 60 large bales. “So now he’s looking at his corn crop, seeing it’s only 3 to 4 feet tall, and asking where can I maximize my feed value? He’s got 300 dairy cows,” said Laatsch, adding that some farmers in Dodge County – where more than 220,000 acres are farmed – have contracted to buy hay from out-of-state. Soybeans are stunted from the lack of rain, but the outlook isn’t as bleak compared with corn because soybeans flower longer, Hanson said.
The problem, meteorologically speaking, is that the weather has been too stable. A high pressure system locked above Wisconsin is acting as a stabling influence, preventing rain from forming. “It suppresses vertical motion in the atmosphere, which you need for rainfall. It doesn’t lend itself to a lot of good chances for rain,” said Paul Collar, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Sullivan. The forecast for southeastern Wisconsin calls for sunny skies this week with gradually increasing high temperatures from 82 on Tuesday, 86 on Wednesday and 89 on Thursday before highs expected in the low to mid-90s Friday through Monday. The governor’s state of emergency declaration means the state Department of Natural Resources can expedite requests from farmers to divert water from streams and lakes for irrigation. The DNR must inspect the water bodies within 72 hours of the request, instead of the normal 30 days, to ensure fish and aquatic wildlife would not be harmed. But relatively few farmers have the irrigation equipment to divert water from lakes and streams. The last time the state allowed that – in August 2009 – only five applications were received, said Donna Gilson, spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Walker encouraged farmers to report crop conditions to their local U.S. Farm Service Agency office, which compiles information that could be used by the governor to request a federal disaster declaration. That could pave the way for Wisconsin farmers to get low-cost emergency loans and other assistance.
Crops on July 1 were in the worst condition since 1988, and a Midwest heat wave last week set or tied 1,067 temperature records, government data show. Prices surged 37 percent in three weeks, and Rabobank International said June 28 that corn may rise 9.9 percent more by December to near a record $8 a bushel. The gain is threatening to boost food costs the United Nations says fell 15 percent from a record in February 2011 and feed prices for meat producers including Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD)
“The drought is much worse than last year and approaching the 1988 disaster,” said John Cory, the chief executive officer of Rochester, Indiana-based grain processor Prairie Mills Products LLC. “There are crops that won’t make it. The dairy and livestock industries are going to get hit very hard. People are just beginning to realize the depth of the problem.”
Corn rallied 18 percent in the month through July 6 on the Chicago Board of Trade to $6.93, trailing only wheat among 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index, which rose 2 percent. The MSCI All-Country World Index of equities advanced 4 percent, and the dollar gained 1.3 percent against a basket of six currencies in the period. Treasuries returned 0.5 percent, a Bank of America Corp. index shows. Corn for December delivery in Chicago extended the rally today, jumping 5.3 percent to settle at $7.30.
About 53 percent of the Midwest, where farmers harvested 60 percent of last year’s U.S. crop, had moderate to extreme drought conditions as of July 3, the highest since the government-funded U.S. Drought Monitor in Lincoln, Nebraska, began tracking the data in 2000. In the seven days ended July 6, temperatures in the region averaged as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Soil moisture in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky is so low that it ranks in the 10th percentile among all other years since 1895.
Fields are parched just as corn plants began to pollinate, a critical period for determining kernel development and final yields. About 48 percent of the crop in the U.S., the world’s largest grower and exporter, was in good or excellent condition as of July 1, the lowest for that date since 1988 and down from 77 percent on May 18, government data show.
The USDA may cut its production forecast by 8.5 percent, the biggest July reduction since a drought in 1988 led the government to cut its estimate by 29 percent, a separate Bloomberg survey of 14 analysts showed. Farmers probably will collect 13.534 billion bushels, compared with the USDA’s June forecast for a record 14.79 billion, based on the average of estimates in the survey.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said July 2 that yields will reach 153.5 bushels an acre, below the USDA estimate for an all-time high of 166.
“Corn yields were falling five bushels a day during the past week” in the driest parts of the Midwest, said Fred Below, a plant biologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana. “You couldn’t choreograph worse weather conditions for pollination. It’s like farming in hell.”
Even with the drought, U.S. production in 2012 is expected to rise 9.5 percent from last year to a record after farmers sowed the most acres since 1937, the survey showed. Higher output would help boost inventories before next year’s harvest, up from what analysts said will be a 16-year low on Sept. 1 of 837 million bushels.
Futures fell 2.2 percent on July 6, the most in two weeks, after the USDA reported a 90 percent drop in export sales in the week ended June 28. U.S. refiners curbed output of corn-based ethanol last week to the lowest since September as gasoline demand weakened, government data show.
Corn’s rally also may stall if Europe’s widening debt crisis and a faltering global economy erode record demand for the grain. The International Monetary Fund will reduce its estimate for growth this year because of weakness in investment, employment and manufacturing in Europe, the U.S., Brazil, India and China, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said July 6.
Voice of America
The ground is cracked at the edge of a corn field near England, Arkansas, where oppressive heat is affecting the crop.
World food prices are likely to rise in the coming months in the wake of record-breaking temperatures and drought in the major maize and soybean producing regions of the United States, economists say.
It would be the third spike in food prices in the past five years.
Previous hikes – during 2007 and 2008, and again in 2010 and 2011 – triggered riots and social instability in dozens of countries around the world.
Whether rising food prices will again trigger unrest is unclear, especially since different crops are affected.
Despite early predictions of a record maize crop, estimates have plummeted after a string of record-high temperature days and dry conditions stretching across the farm states of the U.S. Midwest.
“We need rain, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get it,” says Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.
“Bread prices in North Africa will go up, and chicken prices in China, pork prices in China, et cetera,” he says. “And there are going to be some very unhappy people.”
Bread will go up in North Africa because wheat prices follow maize prices.
Meat prices to rise
Pork and chicken prices will go up, as well as beef, milk and eggs, because maize and soybeans are key ingredients in animal feed.
Countries that import substantial amounts of animal feed will feel the impacts the most, according to economist Maximo Torero with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
“That’s China, India, and most of the Latin American countries, which are growing a lot and are starting to consume a lot more meat,” Torero says. “So it could affect them substantially.”
However, Torero expects the world’s poor to be hit less severely than in the previous two price spikes.
“I don’t see the issue of meat and milk as a huge problem for the poorest countries,” where consumption of animal products is much lower than in industrialized nations, he says.
“A different kind of maize”
Cornell University economist Chris Barrett agrees. “The poor who consume maize in large quantities are disproportionately in areas where they consume either a different kind of maize, or they’re in relatively remote regions where they are likewise buffered from the global markets.”
In much of sub-Saharan Africa, Barrett notes, consumers prefer white maize over the yellow varieties grown in the United States.
Also, the fact that the most-affected crops are primarily used as animal feed and not crops such as rice or wheat, which are consumed directly, mitigates the impact on the poor, says IFPRI’s Maximo Torero.
“If the case was rice, like what we had in 2007-2008, then the situation would be different because those commodities are really imported in most of sub-Saharan Africa. And also in the case of wheat that happened in 2010, it affected Northern Africa – Cairo and so on – because they are net importers.”
Lower standard of living
But while rising prices may threaten food security for the poor, experts note they can create unrest among consumers whose standard of living had been rising.
Iowa State University’s Dermot Hayes says it could be an irritant in China, a country with a growing middle class but significant social inequality.
“It’s a tinderbox over there,” he says. “It’s not a real homogenous or pleasant society the way it’s structured right now. So there could be some issues.”
But Cornell University’s Chris Barrett says Beijing would keep a lid on prices for the sake of stability.
“The Chinese government isn’t going to be the least bit shy about buffering its own domestic markets,” he says. And with $3 trillion in foreign currency reserves, he adds, “they have the wherewithal to do that.”
But other countries without China’s fiscal wherewithal may feel the impacts more strongly.
Demand outstripping supply
The fundamental problem is that world production has not been keeping up with growing demand for food corps, says IFPRI’s Maximo Torero.
“There is a lot of talk about what to do and how to improve, but nothing is happening and we have not been able to change the scenario.”
Torero cautions the world will continue under the same scenario until serious efforts are made to meet the growing demands.
by KHOU.com Staff and Dan Bewley
HOUSTON—The extreme heat and drought conditions in the Midwest is going to affect the price of food here in Houston.
From corn flakes to corn syrup—even corn-fed chicken, pork and beef—grocery prices are expected to rise.
J.D. Denton has raised cattle in southeast Oklahoma since the 1960s. Now, his part of the state is in the middle of a drought.
Normally, 16 inches of rain falls in the spring. This year, there have been four inches.
Denton’s ranch in Corrine shows the fallout—a brown pasture would typically be a lush green, trees are slowly dying and ponds hold barely six inches of water.
“Well, I’m glad they have that much,” said Denton.
Denton says the drought has forced him to use feeding troughs in the summer, something he’s hardly had to do in the past and that’s just the beginning.
“It means that have had to sell part of my capital assets to stay in business. I don’t like to do that. It’s either that or watch the animals die,” said Denton.
“It hurts everybody in this area. With less beef, beef prices are going to be higher,” said Tom Smith with the OSU extension office in Pushmataha County.
He says the drought is taking its toll on farmers and ranchers.
“That means less forage production, thinner cows, less grass for them to eat, lower reproduction from those cows, less hay produced in this area,” said Smith.
This is the driest southeast Oklahoma has been since they started keeping records in 1921 and Smith says the closer you get to Texas and Arkansas the worse it gets.
Smith says ranchers like Denton have tried everything and all that’s left to do now is hope for rain.
“They’re predicting rain for early next week. We’re praying it comes. Just as simple as that, hoping and hanging on and praying for rain,” said Smith.
|Active tropical storm system(s)|
|Name of storm system||Location||Formed||Last update||Last category||Course||Wind Speed||Gust||Wave||Source||Details|
|Daniel (04E)||Pacific Ocean – East||04.07.2012||10.07.2012||Tropical Storm||270 °||102 km/h||120 km/h||5.49 m||NHC|
|Emilia (05E)||Pacific Ocean – East||07.07.2012||10.07.2012||Hurricane IV.||285 °||213 km/h||259 km/h||4.88 m||NHC|
Emilia has strengthened to a Category Two hurricane in the Pacific far off the coast of Mexico but is not posing a threat to land.
The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds Monday were near 100 mph (160 kph) with additional strengthening expected.
Emilia is centered about 710 miles (1,145 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California and is moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).
Meanwhile, farther west over the Pacific, Hurricane Daniel had maximum sustained winds near 85 mph (140 kph). The hurricane is expected to weaken slowly during the next 48 hours and was moving west at 15 mph (24 kph).
HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX RALEIGH NC
|10.07.2012||Flash Flood||China||Province of Shandong, [Cangshan County]|
|Torrential rains since last Saturday have lashed east and northwest China, drenching towns, causing landslides and halting traffics. Another round of heavy rainfall following the previous one ended last Friday has struck most regions of east China’s Shandong Province. Rainfall caused severe flood in Cangshan County of the province, drenching residences and halting local traffics. Flood has immersed many streets of the county, including one of the major roads, which has been inundated completely. A nearby residential quarter has also been flooded. A resident said usually he spent three to five minutes to get home. But now it takes him 20 minutes to stumble in water. Waterlogging is a long-time issue that troubling the residential quarter due to its obsolete sewage system. Local authority dispatched workers to drain the floodwater of the waterlogged area on Sunday. So far they are making progresses gradually, but it still needs time to dry the streets completely. The flood also caused severe losses to the mink farmers in rural areas. In Jinling Township of the Canshan County, rainfall has accumulated to 282 millimeters, immersing dozens of local mink farms. At one of the biggest farms, which raises 1,100 minks and sables, piles of drowned animals can be seen lying on ground. “At that time the water was about this high. When my fellow-townsmen learned my situation, they came to help me lifting the cages up above the water. But it was too late. The water rose too fast and many minks were drowned,” said Guo Defeng, owner of the farm. Although lots of villagers came to help Guo to hang up the cages, which was the only way to save the animal, floodwater still inundated the cages and half of Guo’s 700 minks were dead. Compared with the loss in mink, Guo’s loss in sable is even more worse, only 60 out of 400 sables survived. Guo said the flood has caused him 200,000 yuan (31,000 U.S. dollars) of losses.|
|10.07.2012||Flash Flood||USA||State of North Carolina, Greensboro|
|Strong storms have brought heavy rains and flash flooding to the Triad and Charlotte regions while knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses. The News & Record of Greensboro reported Monday night ( http://bit.ly/OrD2cl) that the National Weather Service said 2.7 inches of rain had fallen in less than two hours at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The newspaper reported that Greensboro police had closed off some streets. The weather service said flash flooding had closed Interstate 40 westbound at Highway 68 in Greensboro. Forecasters warned motorists not to drive into flooded roadways. Some flights were also diverted from Piedmont Triad airport. As temperatures plunged to around 70 degrees Monday night, Greensboro and Guilford County were under a flash-flood warning until 1:45 a.m. EDT, the weather service said. At 10:45 p.m., Duke Energy was reporting 9,400 outages in the Carolinas, mostly in Guilford County, N.C., but also in Mecklenburg County, N.C. and Lancaster, S.C.. The Charlotte Observer was reporting downed trees in Mecklenburg and Union counties. The storms follow five days of record-setting heat in North Carolina. On Sunday, the Raleigh-Durham area set a record when temperatures reached 100 degrees or more for the sixth straight day. That marked the first such streak since the weather service began keeping records in 1944 and broke the record set in July of last year. The high of 105 tied the all-time record just set June 29 and tied again June 30 of this year Forecasters said a cold front will ease temperatures, with highs of mid-80s expected the rest of the week. The tradeoff is a forecast for severe storms, which could include strong lightning and damaging winds.|
DULUTH MN JACKSONVILLE FL SPOKANE, WA
HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX MIAMI FL CORPUS CHRISTI TX FAIRBANKS AK
Russian Railways said it had halted rail traffic to the port of Novorossiisk to repair a bridge southwest of Krymsk, the town hardest hit when floodwaters came crashing down suddenly in the early hours of Saturday, killing at least 171 people.
The state rail operator said the rail bed also was washed out in places. Later in the day it said traffic had resumed between Krymsk and Novorossiisk, but only southbound trains were moving and passenger trains had priority.
The Russian government has an ambitious target for grain exports to rise to 40 million tonnes a year. Russia emerged from a catastrophic drought in the 2010/11 crop year to export a record 28 million tonnes in the year to June 2012, IKAR analysts said on Monday.
The biggest obstacle to export growth is infrastructure. Novorossiisk, the main grain export port, has two terminals that are linked to the wheat fields north of the Caucasus mountain foothills by a single rail link and by mountain roads.
Even in good weather, rail backlogs outside the port are chronic.
On Monday, freight traffic up and down the coast was limited largely to food and petroleum products designated for the domestic market.
A trader with a Russian grain exporter said lorry traffic was held up at a mountain crossing north of Novorossiisk and cited estimates from grain forwarders that washed-out roads could take around seven days to repair.
An immediate reduction in the loading of grain for export is unlikely, however. Novorossiisk resumed full operation on Sunday after the weather had forced a temporary halt to loadings.
Elevators at Novorossiisk’s two grain terminals were full and stopped intake of grain last week, so they can run down their stocks to sustain current loadings, trade and port sources said.
“They just won’t be replenished quickly,” the trader said, adding that the impact on exports would emerge once port stocks are exhausted.
Transport may be functioning by then.
“As per shipments, looks like everything is going to be back to normal within the current week,” Andrei Sizov, Jr., managing director of the SovEcon agricultural consultancy, said by email.
The Novorossiisk Grain Terminal, controlled by port operator Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port has elevator capacity of 120,000 tonnes.
It was not immediately clear how much current capacity was at the nearby terminal controlled by state-owned United Grain Co, which features a seven-storey brick elevator built in 1893.
UGC, which recently agreed to sell a stake to Russia’s largest port investor, Summa Capital, has an ambitions investment programme to facilitate an increase in exports and plans to build new elevators that can hold 100,000 tonnes.
No damage to Russia’s grain and oilseed harvest was expected, because the flooding passed by key arable regions.
“The Krymsk area has never been distinguished by grain or oilseed production,” said Dmitry Rylko, managing director of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies. “They grow vegetables there.”
Sizov, citing trader estimates, said around 10,000-20,000 hectares sown with wheat, sunseeds and other crops were likely to be damaged.
“It looks like the flood hasn’t affected any significant acreage,” Sizov said.
Rylko added that he was considering a downgrade to his harvest forecast because of protracted rain in Russia’s south, which began in late May and could result in decreased yields.
Farmers in Russia’s south have faced a long spell of extreme weather, starting with an unusually warm start to the winter, during which some of the winter crop failed to go dormant, only to be hit by a fierce cold snap that caught them with no snow cover.
Spring brought a drought, which was relieved in late May by the onset of rains, which have been falling for much of the past six weeks.
Late last month, the Agriculture Ministry cut its forecast for wheat production and exports in the forthcoming 2012/13 crop season as a result of winterkill and spring drought.
For the new season, the ministry cut its wheat crop forecast to 46 million to 49 million tonnes from 57 million expected earlier, with the export forecast cut to 16 million to 18 million tonnes from 20 million. A Reuters poll in late June showed Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan’s combined wheat crop would fall 22 percent to 78.9 million tonnes this year from 2011, with the biggest impact on yields from winterkill and spring drought in Russia and Ukraine.
* Russian Railways halts traffic on Novorossiisk line
* Rail bed, roads to grain export terminals washed away
* Port elevators full, immediate impact on loadings unlikely
* No crop damage seen but prolonged rain could hit yields (Recasts, adds estimate on damaged acreage, capacity of port elevators)
Epidemic Hazards / Diseases
|10.07.2012||Epidemic Hazard||Cuba||Multiple areas, [Manzanillo (Departmento de Granma), Capital City, Havanna]|
|Updated:||Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 at 04:35 UTC|
|The number of cholera cases confirmed in eastern Cuba jumped from 30 to 85 over the weekend but the death toll remained at three, one government official said, although independent reports put the deaths at anywhere from five to 15. Up to five other cases of cholera also were unofficially reported in Havana and dissidents in Guantánamo near the eastern tip of the island reported a handful of cholera-like cases in Caimanera, a village on the edge of the U.S. navy base. The state-owned TV station in Granma province, where the outbreak hit hardest, suggested residents avoid travelling outside the area while trucks with loudspeakers urged them to boil water and wash their hands often, two residents said. Public Health officials in the British-run Cayman Islands, just south of Granma, issued a caution against travel to Cuba and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen warned potential travelers that visiting the island “may put them at risk of becoming ill with cholera.” The U.S. Center for Disease Control in Atlanta had not issued any special travel notices on Cuba as of Monday evening. Its Web page recommends only general vaccinations, like those for Hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever and rabies.Government epidemiologist Ana Maria Batista González told Granma’s Telecentro TV station Saturday that 30 cholera cases had been confirmed in the province, then upped the number to 85 when she appeared again on the station Sunday, said Santiago Marquez, a doctor in the Granma town of Manzanillo. A Cuban government statement July 3 – the only other official word on the outbreak – said 53 cholera cases had been confirmed and that the outbreak was “under control.” There was no explanation for the conflicting numbers, although it’s possible the 53 may have referred to cases in the southeastern region, not just Granma. Batista also noted the number of suspected cases in Granma rose from 332 to 346 and more general cases of diarrhea and vomiting rose from 3,422 to 3,998 and that 110 persons have been hospitalized, Marquez added by phone to El Nuevo Herald. Most of the cases have been recorded in Manzanillo and the provincial capital, Bayamo, as well as nearby municipalities of Niquero, Yara and Bartolome Masó, Batista added. All are along Cuba’s southern coast, about 415 miles east of Havana.
Batista said the death toll remained at three – the same number the government reported on July 3. Bayamo dissident Yoandris Montoya said he had heard reports of five deaths and Marquez put it at about 10. Havana dissident Calixto Martínez has reported about 15. Batista’s TV appearances seemed to mark the start of a government effort to step up its public information on the outbreak, and she was expected to appear on Telecentro again late Monday. But police kept up a heavy security presence at area hospitals and relatives were not allowed to visit patients with cholera, said Marquez. He was fired from his public health job after his wife, Tania de la Torre, became a human rights activist. Cholera was declared to have been eradicated in Cuba no later than the early 1900s, but an ongoing outbreak in neighboring Haiti has killed more than 7,400 people and scores of Cuban doctors have worked there. A Florida woman and others in the Dominican Republic who visited Haiti came down with cholera in 2010 but survived. Cholera is generally not fatal but can kill in a matter of hours when the diarrhea and vomiting cause dehydration, especially among the elderly. The three dead confirmed by the Cuban government were 60 or older.
Cuba once boasted one of the best and broadest public health systems in the Western Hemisphere. It remains capable, but it has been going downhill since the end of the Soviet Union’s massive subsidies in the early 1990s. The government announcement last week said the cholera was spreading through contaminated water wells, but gave no explanation of how the bacteria entered the wells or the water pipes. A Cuban television report last month noted that up to 58 percent of the water pumped nationally is wasted because of breaks in the pipes. Cuban authorities also have not commented on unofficial reports that dengue fever, which is carried by mosquitoes, is spreading rapidly through a dozen Cuban cities and has killed at least five people in Havana.
State rushes closure of its only TB hospital in Lantana
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The CDC officer had a serious warning for Florida health officials in April: A tuberculosis outbreak in Jacksonville was one of the worst his group had investigated in 20 years. Linked to 13 deaths and 99 illnesses, including six children, it would require concerted action to stop.
That report had been penned on April 5, exactly nine days after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that shrank the Department of Health and required the closure of the A.G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana, where tough tuberculosis cases have been treated for more than 60 years.
As health officials in Tallahassee turned their focus to restructuring, Dr. Robert Luo’s 25-page report describing Jacksonville’s outbreak — and the measures needed to contain it – went unseen by key decision makers around the state. At the health agency, an order went out that the TB hospital must be closed six months ahead of schedule.
Had they seen the letter, decision makers would have learned that 3,000 people in the past two years may have had close contact with contagious people at Jacksonville’s homeless shelters, an outpatient mental health clinic and area jails. Yet only 253 people had been found and evaluated for TB infection, meaning Florida’s outbreak was, and is, far from contained.
The public was not to learn anything until early June, even though the same strain was appearing in other parts of the state, including Miami.
Tuberculosis is a lung disease more associated with the 18th century than the 21st, referred to as “consumption” in Dickensian times because its victims would grow gaunt and wan as their lungs disintigrated and they slowly died. The CDC investigator described a similar fate for 10 of the 13 people who died in Jacksonville.
They wasted away before ever getting treatment, or were too far gone by the time it began. Most of the sick were poor black men.
“The high number of deaths in this outbreak emphasizes the need for vigilant active case finding, improved education about TB, and ongoing screening at all sites with outbreak cases,” Luo’s report states.
Today, three months after it was sent to Tallahassee, the CDC report still has not been widely circulated.
Backer of closing hospital didn’t know
Meanwhile the champion of the health agency consolidation, Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, said he had not been informed of the Jacksonville outbreak and the CDC’s role as of Friday.
Told the details, the chairman of the House Health Care Appropriations Committee vowed that there would be money for TB treatment.
“There is every bit of understanding that we cannot not take care of people who have a difficult case of TB,” Hudson said.
The governor’s office asked a reporter to foward a copy of the CDC letter on Saturday, but did not comment by press time.
Treatment for TB can be an ordeal. A person with an uncomplicated, active case of TB must take a cocktail of three to four antibiotics — dozens of pills a day — for six months or more. The drugs can cause serious side effects — stomach and liver problems chief among them. But failure to stay on the drugs for the entire treatment period can and often does cause drug resistance.
At that point, a disease that can cost $500 to overcome grows exponentially more costly. The average cost to treat a drug-resistant strain is more than $275,000, requiring up to two years on medications. For this reason, the state pays for public health nurses to go to the home of a person with TB every day to observe them taking their medications.
However, the itinerant homeless, drug-addicted, mentally ill people at the core of the Jacksonville TB cluster are almost impossible to keep on their medications. Last year, Duval County sent 11 patients to A.G. Holley under court order. Last week, with A.G. Holley now closed, one was sent to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The ones who will stay put in Jacksonville are being put up in motels, to make it easier for public health nurses to find them, Duval County health officials said.
They spoke about CDC’s report Friday, only after weeks of records requests from The Palm Beach Post. The report was released late last week only after a reporter traveled to Tallahassee to demand records in person. The records should be open to inspection to anyone upon request under Florida Statute 119, known as the Government in the Sunshine law.
TB strain spreads beyond homeless
In his report, the CDC’s Luo makes it clear that other health officials throughout the state and nation have reason to be concerned: Of the fraction of the sick people’s contacts reached, one-third tested positive for TB exposure in areas like the homeless shelter.
Furthermore, only two-thirds of the active cases could be traced to people and places in Jacksonville where the homeless and mentally ill had congregated. That suggested the TB strain had spread beyond the city’s underclass and into the general population. The Palm Beach Post requested a database showing where every related case has appeared. That database has not been released.
It was early February when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.
“What you don’t want is for anyone to have another reason why people should turn their backs on the homeless,” said Charles Griggs, the public information officer for the Duval County Health Department.
Even the CDC was not forthcoming about the outbreak. An agency spokesperson declined requests from The Post when asked to make an expert available to discuss a CDC-authored scholarly paper on the possible origins of the Jacksonville outbreak, offering only general fact sheets on TB.
“After checking in with the Division of TB Elimination about your specific questions, they have suggested that you reach out to your health department,” wrote Salina Cranor of the CDC’s TB prevention office. . “They are really the best source for your questions.”
“With TB it’s a judgment call,” said Duval County Health Director Dr. Bob Harmon in a telephone interview Friday, after the state’s new surgeon general referred questions back to him.
“There have been TB outbreaks where we do alert the public, such as a school or a college,” Harmon added.
For weeks, there had been a dissonant message coming from the Department of Health press office in Tallahassee. It released overall numbers of Florida tuberculosis cases showing a marked decline statewide, supporting the argument that A.G. Holley had become irrelevant. Asked whether she had been aware of the severity of Jacksonville’s outbreak while delivering that message, she did not answer.
“Florida experienced a 10 percent decrease in cases for 2011 compared to 2010. For the period 2007—2011, there was a 24 percent decrease in cases,” wrote agency spokeswoman Jessica Hammonds in an emailed response to written questions on May 18. She declined, at the time, to make agency experts available for interview.
In an article published in June’s American Journal of Psychiatry, CDC experts Dr. Joseph Cavanaugh, Dr. Kiren Mitruka and colleagues described the apparent origins of the current outbreak, when a TB strain called FL 046 came to claim two lives and sicken at least 15 mentally ill residents of one assisted living facility in 2008.
A single schizophrenic patient had circulated from hospital to jail to homeless shelter to assisted living facility, living in dorm housing in many locations. Over and over, the patient’s cough was documented in his chart, but not treated. It continued for eight months, until he finally was sent under court order to A.G. Holley. That year, 2008-2009, a total of 18 people in that community developed active tuberculosis from the strain called FL 046 and two died. The CDC sent a $275,000 grant to help pay for the staff needed to contain it.
After the money ran out, Harmon said, staff were redeployed to other needs. But in 2011, suddenly, the number of active cases of FL 046 spiked, rising 16 percent to 30 cases of a specific genotype, the one seen in 2008.
“We thought after 2008 that we had it contained,” Harmon said. “It was not contained. In retrospect, it would have been better to inform the general population then.”
Harmon said the Duval County Health Department will need more resources if it is to contain the current TB outbreak. In 2008, when the TB outbreak hit, his department employed 946 staff with revenues of $61 million. “Now we’re down to 700 staff and revenue is down to $46 million,” Harmon said. “It has affected most areas of the organization.”
If he can raise at least $300,000, he will use the money to hire teams of experts — epidemiologists, nurses, outreach workers, to look under bridges, in fields — in all the places where Jacksonville’s estimated 4,000 homeless congregate, to track down the people who may still be infected unknowingly. Fortunately, only a few of the cases have developed drug resistance so far. The vast majority respond to the first-line antibiotics.
In downtown Jacksonville, in the homeless shelters and soup kitchens, the TB strain called FL 046 continues to spread.
On a recent June morning, 60-year-old Lilla Charline Burkhalter joined about 100 other poor and homeless guests being served a free hot meal of scrambled eggs, grapes, potatoes and butterless bread by a local church youth group.
The youth group was volunteering at the Clara White Mission, where a man with active tuberculosis had been identified just three weeks earlier.
Looking weary but friendly, Burkhalter described her life of late, sleeping in grassy fields and in shelter dormitories. She lived on a small Social Security disability check, she said. It had enabled her to pay for a room in an apartment, for a while. But her roommate had kicked her out for making his girlfriend jealous, she said, and she hadn’t been able to find any other accommodations. It had been a rough few months, she acknowledged. But she had been through tough times before.
As she spoke, she coughed often. It was her emphysema acting up, she explained.
Asked if she was fearful about the TB in the community, she shrugged.
“The health department tests me for TB once a year, so I know I don’t have it,” she said. “I’m not worried.”
The Clara White Mission is now playing a key role in helping Jacksonville fight TB. Its housing case manager, Ken Covington, had spent most of his career helping bank branches assimilate after mergers. Two months ago, he joined Clara White, charged with placing homeless veterans and recently released jail inmates into homes. But the job has became much larger.
Today, Covington is the new chairman of the Duval County TB Coalition. In his hands he holds a massive binder with the intimidating title, “Core Curriculum in Tuberculosis: What the Clinician Should Know.” It was given to him by Vernard Green, the CDC’s visiting TB liaison.
Covington said he was a banker, not a clinician. But he had learned what to watch for with TB – coughing up blood, night sweats, sudden weight loss. The coalition members were looking at buying air filtration equipment, drafting intake protocols, getting to know the TB experts in the community, and educating shelter staff on what to watch for and what to do if a client appeared ill.
“We’re trying to do what we can to rein it in, and stay in front of it, and not let it get any worse,” Covington said. “I take it as a very important role for the community.”
WHAT THE POST UNCOVERED
In 2008, a schizophrenic patient contracted TB but went untreated for eight months, wandering among many places where the homeless congregate, infecting at least 17 others.
In 2012, the CDC was invited to help with a sudden spike in cases of the same rare strain the schizophrenic patient had. What they found is the worst outbreak they have investigated in 20 years, and it is not contained.
ON THE TRAIL OF TB
Hard to track: Homeless and mentally ill people and those they have come in contact with are especially hard to treat.
Long, tough treatment: Several pills a day of several virulent antibiotics for a minimum of six months, often up to two years.
What’s at stake: If treatment regimen isn’t strictly followed, antibiotic resistent strains emerge.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
How TB Spreads
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. TB is NOT spread by
- shaking someone’s hand
- sharing food or drink
- touching bed linens or toilet seats
- sharing toothbrushes
Symptoms of TB disease include:
- a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- pain in the chest
- coughing up blood or sputum
- weakness or fatigue
- weight loss
- no appetite
- sweating at night
TB Risk Factors
Once a person is infected with TB bacteria, the chance of developing TB disease is higher if the person:
- Has HIV infection;
- Has been recently infected with TB bacteria (in the last 2 years);
- Has other health problems, like diabetes, that make it hard for the body to fight bacteria;
- Abuses alcohol or uses illegal drugs; or
- Was not treated correctly for TB infection in the past
Rogue waves sweep teen kayakers into Pacific Ocean
(CNN) — A day of kayaking and backpacking on Hawaii’s Big Island changed in an instant as the might of the Pacific Ocean swept six teenagers into the surf.
One remains missing.
The group of 12 students and their guides, who were on their way to a waterfall, were taking a break at a tide pool 15 feet above the swirling ocean and 50 feet inland when rogue waves hit.
“(T)he waves were totally unexpected,” Abbott Wallis, founder and executive director of tour operator Bold Earth Teen Adventures, said Sunday.
The surf sucked two of the teenagers into the sea Wednesday and left four others clinging for their lives along the cliff and rocky shoals.
Kayak guides “immediately dived into the water at risk to their own lives” and rescued five of the teens, said Bari Sims of Hawaii Pack and Paddle. The sixth, 15-year-old Tyler Madoff of White Plains, New York, has not been found. Authorities suspended search operations for his rescue Thursday evening.
The other student swept out to sea remains hospitalized after his rescue, but is expected to recover. One of the kayak guides resuscitated him at the scene.
“I can’t convey my shock and sorrow,” Wallis said. “We’re doing all we can to support the families and students. As a parent myself, I can only imagine what the families are feeling right now.”
Tyler’s father, Michael Madoff, strongly criticized Bold Earth, but said the family would not seek legal action against the tour operator.
“People of Bold Earth Expeditions have shown poor judgment and extremely poor character,” Madoff said Sunday. “None of the Bold Earth people stayed on site to continue the search for our son Tyler.”
“We’re devastated by this,” Wallis said in response. “There’s nothing Mr. Madoff can say that we disagree with.”
A statement from the company says Bold Earth has served nearly 12,000 students on six continents since it was founded in 1976. Wallis said last week’s accident was the first significant incident in the company’s history.
Crews were able to fix the leak early Monday morning, but they are still working to repair the road. Officials said Langdon Street will be shut down all day Monday.
A 45-foot hole under the highway between Red Cliff and Leadville will keep US 24 closed indefinitely.
A 45-foot hole under the highway between Red Cliff and Leadville will keep road closed indefinitely
Leadville – A 20-by-30-foot round sinkhole that is at least 45 feet deep is keeping U.S. Highway 24 north of Leadville closed indefinitely.
Forty-five feet is as deep as Colorado Department of Transportation crews could measure Monday afternoon before engineers and geologists arrived, said Ashley Mohr, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
After about 45 feet deep, the hole starts to curl back under the highway, sort of like an asphalt-eating serpent. They’re not entirely certain how far it curls under the highway, Mohr said, they’re just certain that it does.
The hole puts the highway, and motorists, in danger. CDOT closed the highway Monday afternoon to traffic in both directions.
It’ll stay closed until they can figure out what happened and how they might fix it.
“Safety is our first concern. We know this is an inconvenience for people,” Mohr said.
Motorists should use state Highway 91 as an alternative route, she said.
“Our engineers determined it would be unsafe to allow motor vehicles on the road,” Mohr said.
That means Leadville commuters – many of whom drive from Leadville to work places in Eagle County – get a yellow flag for the foreseeable future because the road is wrecked.
The sinkhole is almost exactly halfway between Red Cliff and Leadville, on the north side of Tennessee Pass. It’s south of Homestake Lake and Blodgett campground.
Geologists rolled in Monday afternoon from Denver to take a look, Mohr said.
“Our engineering crews are having a look at it,” Mohr said.
Sinkholes are caused by fragile land. That land moves around and hollows out at a faster pace in some places than in others, Mohr said.
Heavy rains over the past few days, after months of dry weather, could have triggered the land, Mohr said.
“It could be caused by running water, and we’ve had some of that. It could be a mine under there. It could be just about anything,” Mohr said.
For those curious about this sort of thing, it’s our second swing at a sinkhole in recent years.
In June 2003, a huge sinkhole collapsed the westbound lane of Interstate 70 above East Vail. Hundreds were evacuated from their homes overnight.
That one was caused by pretty much the same thing this one was: lots of water rushing into a small space. Heavy runoff washed out a culvert and opened a 20-foot-wide sinkhole.
It shut down a 24-mile stretch of I-70 between Copper Mountain and Vail.
2MIN News July 10, 2012: Records Falling
Published on Jul 10, 2012 by Suspicious0bservers
Warmest on Record: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/09/us/extreme-heat/index.html
Spaceweather: http://spaceweather.com/ [Look on the left at the X-ray Flux and Solar Wind Speed/Density]
HAARP: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/data.html [Click online data, and have a little fun]
SDO: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ [Place to find Solar Images and Videos - as seen from earth]
SOHO: http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater [SOHO; Lasco and EIT - as seen from earth]
Stereo: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/images [Stereo; Cor, EUVI, HI - as seen from the side]
SunAEON:http://www.sunaeon.com/#/solarsystem/ [Just click it... trust me]
SOLARIMG: http://solarimg.org/artis/ [All purpose data viewing site]
iSWA: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/iswa/iSWA.html [Free Application; for advanced sun watchers]
NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/cme-based/ [CME Evolution]
NOAA Bouys: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/
RSOE: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php [That cool alert map I use]
JAPAN Radiation Map: http://jciv.iidj.net/map/
Gamma Ray Bursts: http://grb.sonoma.edu/ [Really? You can't figure out what this one is for?]
BARTOL Cosmic Rays: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//spaceweather/welcome.html [Top left box, look for BIG blue circles]
TORCON: http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index [Tornado Forecast for the day]
GOES Weather: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/ [Clouds over America]
INTELLICAST: http://www.intellicast.com/ [Weather site used by many youtubers]
PHYSORG: http://phys.org/ [GREAT News Site!]
|Object Name||Apporach Date||Left||AU Distance||LD Distance||Estimated Diameter*||Relative Velocity|
|(2008 NP3)||12th July 2012||1 day(s)||0.1572||61.2||57 m – 130 m||6.08 km/s||21888 km/h|
|(2006 BV39)||12th July 2012||1 day(s)||0.1132||44.1||4.2 m – 9.5 m||11.11 km/s||39996 km/h|
|(2005 NE21)||15th July 2012||4 day(s)||0.1555||60.5||140 m – 320 m||10.77 km/s||38772 km/h|
|(2003 KU2)||15th July 2012||4 day(s)||0.1034||40.2||770 m – 1.7 km||17.12 km/s||61632 km/h|
|(2007 TN74)||16th July 2012||5 day(s)||0.1718||66.9||20 m – 45 m||7.36 km/s||26496 km/h|
|(2007 DD)||16th July 2012||5 day(s)||0.1101||42.8||19 m – 42 m||6.47 km/s||23292 km/h|
|(2006 BC8)||16th July 2012||5 day(s)||0.1584||61.6||25 m – 56 m||17.71 km/s||63756 km/h|
|144411 (2004 EW9)||16th July 2012||5 day(s)||0.1202||46.8||1.3 km – 2.9 km||10.90 km/s||39240 km/h|
|(2012 BV26)||18th July 2012||7 day(s)||0.1759||68.4||94 m – 210 m||10.88 km/s||39168 km/h|
|(2010 OB101)||19th July 2012||8 day(s)||0.1196||46.6||200 m – 450 m||13.34 km/s||48024 km/h|
|(2008 OX1)||20th July 2012||9 day(s)||0.1873||72.9||130 m – 300 m||15.35 km/s||55260 km/h|
|(2010 GK65)||21st July 2012||10 day(s)||0.1696||66.0||34 m – 75 m||17.80 km/s||64080 km/h|
|(2011 OJ45)||21st July 2012||10 day(s)||0.1367||53.2||18 m – 39 m||3.79 km/s||13644 km/h|
|153958 (2002 AM31)||22nd July 2012||11 day(s)||0.0351||13.7||630 m – 1.4 km||9.55 km/s||34380 km/h|
|(2011 CA7)||23rd July 2012||12 day(s)||0.1492||58.1||2.3 m – 5.1 m||5.43 km/s||19548 km/h|
|(2012 BB124)||24th July 2012||13 day(s)||0.1610||62.7||170 m – 380 m||8.78 km/s||31608 km/h|
|(2009 PC)||28th July 2012||17 day(s)||0.1772||68.9||61 m – 140 m||7.34 km/s||26424 km/h|
|217013 (2001 AA50)||31st July 2012||20 day(s)||0.1355||52.7||580 m – 1.3 km||22.15 km/s||79740 km/h|
|(2012 DS30)||02nd August 2012||22 day(s)||0.1224||47.6||18 m – 39 m||5.39 km/s||19404 km/h|
|(2000 RN77)||03rd August 2012||23 day(s)||0.1955||76.1||410 m – 920 m||9.87 km/s||35532 km/h|
|(2004 SB56)||04th August 2012||24 day(s)||0.1393||54.2||380 m – 840 m||13.72 km/s||49392 km/h|
|(2000 SD8)||04th August 2012||24 day(s)||0.1675||65.2||180 m – 400 m||5.82 km/s||20952 km/h|
|(2006 EC)||06th August 2012||26 day(s)||0.0932||36.3||13 m – 28 m||6.13 km/s||22068 km/h|
|(2006 MV1)||07th August 2012||27 day(s)||0.0612||23.8||12 m – 28 m||4.79 km/s||17244 km/h|
|(2005 RK3)||08th August 2012||28 day(s)||0.1843||71.7||52 m – 120 m||8.27 km/s||29772 km/h|
|(2009 BW2)||09th August 2012||29 day(s)||0.0337||13.1||25 m – 56 m||5.27 km/s||18972 km/h|
|277475 (2005 WK4)||09th August 2012||29 day(s)||0.1283||49.9||260 m – 580 m||6.18 km/s||22248 km/h|
|(2004 SC56)||09th August 2012||29 day(s)||0.0811||31.6||74 m – 170 m||10.57 km/s||38052 km/h|
“The shower peaked about an hour after the moon had set, at about 2 a.m. EDT,” Fusco told SPACE.com in an email. “Overall, it was a beautiful night for stargazing.”
June’s Bootid meteor shower is created by the remains of the Comet 7P/Pons Winnecke, according to the International Meteor Organisation.
The Bootid shower is classified as a variable meteor shower by the American Meteor Society because its annual displays are often dim, but can sometimes be impressive to lucky stargazers. Variable meteor showers typically only “produce strong activity on rare occasions,” the society explains in an overview. “Most of the time, only a few scattered remnants of these showers are observered with rates of one shower member per night.”
The Bootid meteor shower is one of several meteor showers to light up the night skies in the next few months.
The annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to hit its peak on July 29, but will likely be washed out by the nearly full moon, according to a NASA alert.
Next up is the annual Perseid meteor shower, which will peak on Aug. 12 and is typically one of the year’s dependable shooting star displays. At its peak, the 2012 Perseid meteor shower could produce up to 100 meteors per hour for stargazers observing the night sky from a dark location, well away from city lights, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time, NASA officials said.
July 9th began with a brief but beautiful display of auroras over North America. “I had gone out to search for noctilucent clouds, but instead I found these Northern Lights,” says Robert Snache of Rama First Nation, Ontario:
The source of the display was not an explosion on the sun, but rather a fluctuation in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The IMF near Earth tipped south, briefly opening a crack in our planet’s magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and ignited the lights.
More auroras could be in the offing. A CME that left the sun on July 6th might deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field on July 9-10. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% to 30% chance of polar geomagnetic storms if and when the cloud arrives.
Cbet 3166, issued on 2012 July 07, reports the discovery by Koichi Nishiyama and Fujio Kabashima (Japan) of a possible nova (mag 7.8) on two 40-s unfiltered CCD frames (limiting magnitude 13.7) taken around July 7.4986 UT using a 105-mm f/4 camera lens (+ SBIG STL6303E camera). The variable was designated PNV J18202726-2744263 when it was posted at the Central Bureau’s TOCP webpage.
The nova has been designated NOVA SAGITTARII 2012 No. 4.
We performed some follow-up of this object remotely through the 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD of “Faulkes Telescope South” (MPC Code – E10). On our images taken on July 09.4, 2012 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with R-filtered CCD magnitude 8.7 at coordinates:
R.A. = 18 20 27.20, Decl.= -27 44 26.2
(equinox 2000.0; CMC-14 catalogue reference stars).
Our annotated confirmation image.
An animation showing a comparison between our confirmation image and the archive POSS2/UKSTU plate (R Filter – 1996) can be viewed here.
Biological Hazards / Wildlife / Hazmat
|10.07.2012||Biological Hazard||Gibraltar||[Catalan Bay]|
|Hundreds of jellyfish have hauled up the red flag at Gibraltar’s beaches and provided Tara Bossano-Anes a bit of shoreline fishing activity. Hundreds of jellyfish have accumulated in Catalan Bay and nearby areas, over the weekend. Red flags flew at both Eastern Beach and Catalan Bay on Saturday, however, only Catalan Bay had the red flag flying yesterday. Unable to swim in amongst the jellyfish, children collected the jellyfish into their nets and proceeded to pile them on the beach, where they will dry out and break down quickly as they are mostly water. Caution needs to still be taken around jellyfish on the beach, in or out of water, any jellyfish you see has the potential to sting if touched. The species of jellyfish that have arrived have the Latin name Pelagia Noctiluca, commonly called luminous jellyfish or mauve stinger. Known for their colour, they can change from pale red to mauve-brown, they may grow up to 10cm in diameter and the exumbrella surface (the outer, convex surface of the umbrella of jellyfishes), is covered in pink or mauve nematocyst bearing warts.Shaped like a mushroom, it has 16 marginal lobes, eight marginal sense organs and eight, hair-like marginal tentacles. Jellyfish are widely known for their sting, and very much like a bee, it leaves its stinger embedded in the person. Treatment of a sting is done in two stages, the first step is to deactivate any stingers, remove stingers by applying shaving foam to the sting area and scraping the skin closely with a razor, knife blade, or credit card, or rub sand over it to dislodge the stingers. The second step is to remove the stingers from the person’s skin, you can do this by blotting or pouring 3-10% percent acetic acid solution (white vinegar) on the sting with a clean cloth. Protective clothing needs to be worn by the person removing the stings. If the sting occurred in salt water, using fresh water can cause the stingers to inject more venom, and therefore become more painful. Urinating on it does not help, that is an urban legend. Arriving into Gibraltar via the tides it is uncertain at present as to when they will leave. The annual Argus endurance swim that was due to take place on Sunday, July 8, was postponed due to the presence of the jellyfish in the reclamation area. The swim is now provisionally due to take place this Sunday, July 15, weather and jellyfish permitting. Registration for the event takes place at the far end of eastern beach next to the lifeguard post and starts at 2.15pm till 2.45pm.|
|Biohazard name:||Jellyfish invasion|
|Biohazard level:||0/4 —|
|Biohazard desc.:||This does not included biological hazard category.|
|10.07.2012||Biological Hazard||Denmark||Capital City, Copenhagen|
|Danish authorities say an intravenous drug user who injected heroin and died has tested positive for anthrax. The Health Ministry suspects the drug was contaminated with the bacillus anthracis strain of anthrax. The 55-year-old addict died Sunday. Terrorism is not suspected, and the health ministry says there is no risk of contagion because the bacteria cannot be passed from person to person. Anthrax is a deadly disease that can be treated with antibiotics if caught early. Officials said Monday they will compare the case to two similar deaths in Germany in June. Last week, German officials said there may be a link between contaminated heroin found in Germany and an anthrax outbreak in Scotland in 2009 and 2010, which left 10 people dead.|
|Biohazard name:||Anthrax contained heroin|
|Biohazard level:||4/4 Hazardous|
|Biohazard desc.:||Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.|
|10.07.2012||HAZMAT||United Kingdom||England, Highwoods [The Crescent, Essex]|
|Fire crews investigating the cause of a suspected chemical leak at a council office that left nine people needing medical treatment have found no trace of any chemicals that could have caused the problem. The Essex County Council building in The Crescent, Colchester, was evacuated this morning after reports of around a dozen people feeling ill. It is the second time in less than a fortnight that the building has had a suspected chemical leak – it was first cleared by authorities on June 29 after reports of people falling unwell and reporting a strange smell. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said that shortly after the incident this morning nine people were given oxygen therapy and all other persons were accounted for. Crews entered the building this afternoon to try and find the reason for the problem but have said there is no definitive cause. A statement from the Fire Service said: “Crews have now conducted their final tests inside the building with the air-conditioning system running and found no sign of any chemical which could have caused the problem. “The building remains empty and staff will not return for at least 48 hours. “Fire officers are now leaving the scene in the hands of the Health Protection Agency.”A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said the building would now be closed until it was found to be safe and a review would be carried out. She said: “Essex County Fire & Rescue Service has confirmed there is no indication of what the cause of today’s incident might have been. “Despite the building being handed back to us we see the health and safety of our staff as paramount and have taken the decision to close the building until we can reassure our staff that it is a safe place to work. “A complete and independent review will now be undertaken. “To minimise disruption to our customer’s telephone calls, and as part of our business continuity plans, an alternative contact centre will be in place tomorrow from 9am to 5pm. “Residents should check our website for up to date information about the contact centre opening times.” A specialist Detection Identification and Monitoring (Dim) vehicle from Epping – on its first emergency incident – was sent to the scene to assist in identifying the chemical involved. Ambulance crews, specialist officers and the trusts hazardous area response team (Hart) were sent to the council office to deal with the incident after being alerted to a report of several people taken unwell at 10.40am, the East of England Ambulance Service said.
Assistant Divisional Officer Steve Foster said earlier: “Our crews treated nine people, all of whom were complaining of a bad smell, a feeling of nausea and metallic taste in their mouth. We gave all of them oxygen therapy.” A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said the cause of the incident last month was unknown and the building was declared safe 48 hours after it happened. She said: “We can confirm that Essex House has been evacuated today following reports of employees feeling unwell. “Emergency services are on the scene and responsible for leading initial investigations into this incident. We are aware of 11 members of staff currently being assessed. “We are committed to making sure that our staff work in a safe and healthy environment and when emergency services dealt with the last incident, along with a specialist detection team, there was no indication of what the cause might have been – the building was handed back to Essex County Council by the emergency services 48 hours later, and was declared safe for employees to enter. “We recognise this is the second incident that has occurred at Essex House in the last month and would like to reiterate that the health and safety of our staff is paramount at all times. “We are taking necessary measures to ensure minimal disruption to our customers’ telephone calls, with business continuity procedures currently in place. “We would ask that emergency services as well as our own ECC teams are allowed to assess the situation and we will, of course update with further information and advice as soon as it is available.”
Articles of Interest
|10.07.2012||Power Outage||USA||State of Virginia, [Virginia-wide]|
|Nearly 17,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers lost electricity after an afternoon thunderstorm swept through the region. The largest outage was in South Norfolk, where more than 3,800 customers were in the dark, according to the Dominion website. About 2,000 customers north of Norfolk State University also lost power. Shortly after 10 p.m. there were still about 1,000 customers without electricity. The company said on its website restoration should be completed overnight. Calls to the media representative and a media line were not returned. The storm moved into the region shortly before 3 p.m. with winds of about 40 mph and lightning strikes throughout the area, said John Billet, a National Weather Service meteorologist. As much as 2.5 inches of rain reportedly fell in the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake. More storms moved through northeastern North Carolina, prompting severe thunderstorm warnings in Chowan, Gates, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties. Those warnings expired, but a new batch of short-lived warnings came shortly before 9 p.m. Suffolk, Franklin and Isle of Wight in Virginia, as well as Gates County in North Carolina had severe thunderstorm warnings in effect until 9:15 p.m. A severe thunderstorm watch in effect for most of South Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina until 10 p.m., also expired. A watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms. Thunderstorms that do develop are capable of producing wind gusts as high as 70 mph, hail as large as 1.5 inches in diameter and brief, heavy rainfalls, according to the National Weather Service. A weak, slow-moving cold front was moving into the area today before stalling over the border with North Carolina. The cold front was bringing some relief from last week’s record-setting high temperatures. Temperatures should stay in the mid-80s the rest of this week.|
For the first time, researchers at Aalto University in Finland have located where the sounds associated with the northern lights are created. The auroral sounds that have been described in folktales and by wilderness wanderers are formed about 70 meters above the ground level in the measured case.
Researchers located the sound sources by installing three separate microphones in an observation site where the auroral sounds were recorded. They then compared sounds captured by the microphones and determined the location of the sound source. The aurora borealis was seen at the observation site. The simultaneous measurements of the geomagnetic disturbances, made by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, showed a typical pattern of the northern lights episodes.
“Our research proved that, during the occurrence of the northern lights, people can hear natural auroral sounds related to what they see. In the past, researchers thought that the aurora borealis was too far away for people to hear the sounds it made. This is true. However, our research proves that the source of the sounds that are associated with the aurora borealis we see is likely caused by the same energetic particles from the sun that create the northern lights far away in the sky. These particles or the geomagnetic disturbance produced by them seem to create sound much closer to the ground,” said Professor Unto K. Laine from Aalto University.
Details about how the auroral sounds are created are still a mystery. The sounds do not occur regularly when the northern lights are seen. The recorded, unamplified sounds can be similar to crackles or muffled bangs which last for only a short period of time. Other people who have heard the auroral sounds have described them as distant noise and sputter.
Because of these different descriptions, researchers suspect that there are several mechanisms behind the formation of these auroral sounds. These sounds are so soft that one has to listen very carefully to hear them and to distinguish them from the ambient noise.
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