Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Posts Tagged ‘rainfall’

Major Winter Storm Hits U.S. Midwest, Targeting New England

Posted by feww on February 22, 2013

Weather Hazards forecast for Friday across the U.S.

‘Snow, heavy at times, will impact the Upper Great Lakes, Washington and Oregon Cascades, and northern Rockies on Friday. Meanwhile, significant ice accumulations are possible for the central Appalachians. Further south, severe thunderstorms may develop along the central Gulf Coast, with heavy rainfall capable of river and/or flash flooding from southern Mississippi to the eastern Carolinas.’ NOAA forecasters reported.

The storm brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to the U.S. Midwest on Thursday, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations.

  • The system is forecast to hit the East Coast, dumping heavy snow on parts of New England for a third consecutive weekend.
  • Earlier, NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of Kansas, nearly all of Missouri, as well as most of Nebraska and Iowa. Advisories were also issued for parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, northern Texas and Arkansas.
  • Kansas Governor  has already signed an emergency declaration for all 105 Kansans counties yesterday, shutting down all state offices in the Executive Branch.

US WHM 2-22-2013
US weather hazards Map, Feb 22, 2013 . Source: NWS

State of Emergency Declared in Missouri

A state of emergency has been declared in Missouri in response to the severe winter storm.

  • “A severe winter storm continues to bear down on communities across the state,” said Gov. Jay Nixon. “Missouri stands ready to help communities in need and to deploy the resources to keep folks safe. I urge all Missourians to keep a close eye on the weather and avoid unnecessary travel.”

Tornadoes Strike MS and LA

SPC received 18 storm reports including 3 tornadoes in Mississippi and Louisiana on Thursday.

  • Moderate to heavy damage reported in counties Jefferson Davis (MS), as well as Concordia and Vernon (LA).

spc storm reports-21feb2013
SPC filtered storm reports- 21 Feb 2013.

US Drought Monitor

As of February 19, 2013 more than two-thirds of Continental U.S. was experiencing drought or was abnormally dry. The U.S. Drought Monitor reported. The report was prepared before the current winter storm, which may have alleviated the drought conditions in parts of the High Plains.

us drought map 19feb2013
US Drought Map for February 19, 2013, Released by the U.S. Drought Monitor on February 21, 2013. The map was prepared before the current winter storm.

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February 22, 2013 – DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,114 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,114 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global delta flooding, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, global drought, global Precipitation, global precipitation patterns | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Earth’s water cycle has accelerated: Researcher

Posted by feww on April 17, 2010

Ocean salinities show an intensified water cycle

Public Release: CSIRO Australia

Evidence that the world’s water cycle has already intensified is contained in new research to be published in the American Journal of Climate.

The stronger water cycle means arid regions have become drier and high rainfall regions wetter as atmospheric temperature increases.

The study, co-authored by CSIRO scientists Paul Durack and Dr Susan Wijffels, shows the surface ocean beneath rainfall-dominated regions has freshened, whereas ocean regions dominated by evaporation are saltier. The paper also confirms that surface warming of the world’s oceans over the past 50 years has penetrated into the oceans’ interior changing deep-ocean salinity patterns.

“This is further confirmation from the global ocean that the Earth’s water cycle has accelerated,” says Mr Durack – a PhD student at the joint CSIRO/University of Tasmania, Quantitative Marine Science program.

“These broad-scale patterns of change are qualitatively consistent with simulations reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“While such changes in salinity would be expected at the ocean surface (where about 80 per cent of surface water exchange occurs), sub-surface measurements indicate much broader, warming-driven changes are extending into the deep ocean,” Mr Durack said.

The study finds a clear link between salinity changes at the surface driven by ocean warming and changes in the ocean subsurface which follow the trajectories along which surface water travels into the ocean interior.

The ocean’s average surface temperature has risen around 0.4ºC since 1950. As the near surface atmosphere warms it can evaporate more water from the surface ocean and move it to new regions to release it as rain and snow. Salinity patterns reflect the contrasts between ocean regions where the oceans lose water to the atmosphere and the others where it is re-deposited on the surface as salt-free rainwater.

“Observations of rainfall and evaporation over the oceans in the 20th century are very scarce. These new estimates of ocean salinity changes provide a rigorous benchmark to better validate global climate models and start to narrow the wide uncertainties associated with water cycle changes and oceanic processes both in the past and the future – we can use ocean salinity changes as a rain-gauge,” Mr Durack said.

Based on historical records and data provided by the Argo Program’s world-wide network of ocean profilers – robotic submersible buoys which record and report ocean salinity levels and temperatures to depths of two kilometres – the research was conducted by CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship and partially funded by the Australian Climate Change Science Program. Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System is a significant contributor to the global Argo Program.

Contact: Craig Macaulay
Craig.Macaulay@csiro.au
CSIRO Australia

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Serial No 1,583. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in Climate Change, ocean surface, Ocean Warming, water cycle | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Impact of El Niño and La Niña on Rainfall

Posted by feww on October 24, 2009

How El Niño and La Niña affect Rainfall

El Niño 1997
ENSO_sst_rainfall_anomalies_198812

La Niña, 1988
ENSO_sst_rainfall_anomalies_199712

El Niño and its counterpart La Niña alter weather patterns across the world. These images show the strongest El Niño and La Niña events of the past twenty years and their impact on rainfall over North and South America.

The top image pair shows the El Niño event of 1997, and the direct correlation between warm surface waters and rainfall. The 1997 El Niño was unusually strong and brought heavy rain to northwest South America and the southern United States. Cooler ocean temperatures caused drought in Australia and Indonesia, as shown in the 1997 rainfall anomaly image.

The lower image pair shows La Niña in 1988 . La Niña occurs when the eastern Pacific off the coast of South America cools. The unusually cold ocean cools the atmosphere above it. The cool, dense air means less  rain falls over the cold waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Image reveals that the drought reached Peru and Ecuador in northwest South America. Globally, La Niña causes unusually heavy rain in India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and southeastern Africa.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Rob Simmon and Jesse Allen, based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer and the Global Precipitation Climatology Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Holli Riebeek. [Edited for brevity by FEWW]

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Posted in Australian drought, rain in India, South America weather, Southeast Asia rain, southeastern Africa | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Killer Drought in Africa

Posted by feww on July 15, 2009

Drought is the biggest environmental catastrophe facing Africa

A weak rainy season lead to water food shortages in most parts of Africa, especially Kenya, which entered a state of emergency with about a third of the country’s 32 million population requiring food aid.

The drought also meant low water levels in reservoirs, water rationing and power cuts. The Masinga hydroelectric dam was closed down after low water levels in the reservoir could not sustain power generation.

The following images show how plants responded to the poor rainfall during the rainy season in 2009.

Drought in Africa

africandvia_avh_200906 -s

africandvia_avh_200906_palette

Rainfall Anomaly (2009 season)

africaprecip_rfe_200906

africaprecip_rfe_200906_palette

Cumulative Rainfall, Masinga Dam, Kenya

masingadam_arc_chart -o
Africa’s Sahel region,
a belt of fertile grassland, thrives or fails depending on seasonal rainfall. In dry years, little grows, and those who depend on rain to grow crops in the Sahel may face hunger.

Above images show rainfall during the long rainy season in 2009.  The top image, made from data collected by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) flying on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite NOAA-17, shows the condition of plants in June 2009 compared to previous Junes. In areas that are brown, plants were growing less then the  2003 and 2008 average. Green areas indicate better-than-average growth, while cream-colored areas indicate about average growth.

The poor growth in June 2009 is a result of the weak rainy season. Low seasonal rains, which usually come between March and June, resulted in drought this year. Made from a combination of satellite and rain gauge measurements, the middle image shows the extent of the rainfall deficit between March and June. Areas in brown received less rain than average, while blue areas received more rain. The average was calculated from rainfall observed between March and June from 1995 through 2008. The northern Sahel and East Africa were drier than normal throughout the 2009 rainy season.

The graph illustrates why water levels were so low at Masinga Dam in 2009 compared to the long-term average and other recent years. Each line shows how the rainy season developed between March and June. 1997 was an unusually wet year, with about 75 millimeters more rain than average by the end of June. The last year when rainfall reached normal levels was 2006. In 2009, the rainy season didn’t start until late March and less rain fell throughout the season. By the end of June, Masinga Dam had only received about 100 millimeters of rain, about 125 mm less than average and 200 mm less than in 1997. If conditions improve, Kenya’s next rainy season will likely begin in September or October and will last through November or December.

Images created by Jesse Allen, using GIMMS NOAA-17 AVHRR and Africa Rainfall Estimate data provided by Ed Pak, Jennifer Small and Assaf Anyamba, NASA GIMMS Group at Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Holli Riebeek with information from Assaf Anyamba. Images acquired March 1, 2009 – June 30, 2009. [Caption edited for brevity by FEWW. ]

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Posted in Climate Change, hydroelectric power, Rainfall Anomaly, rainy season, water shortages | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hurricane Gustav to Feed on Warm Waters

Posted by feww on August 27, 2008

Latest Update: Gustav Now a Category Four Hurricane, as Forecast

Warm Waters in the S and SW Coast of Cuba Await Gustav

Real Time POES Composite Imagery Atlantic/East Pacific
(Daily Sea Surface Temperatures)


Image Source: NOAA

Warm waters in the 30-35ºC temp. range (shown in firebrick red) surrounding the south and southwestern coast of Cuba await hurricane Gustave as it leaves Haiti. Gustav may strengthen into a cat. three/four hurricane.

NHC Hurricane GUSTAV Forecast Discussion (No. 7):

Center of Gustav made landfall around 17:30 UTC.  A minimum pressure of 992 mb was reported just as the center moved inland. As the center is moving over the mountainous terrain of the southwest peninsula of Haiti, Gustav is likely losing strength.  The eye is no longer evident on satellite images, and the system could weaken below hurricane intensity tonight.  However, the upper-level environment remains favorable for intensification with only a little north-northeasterly shear, and therefore Gustav is likely to regain strength as it approaches the Windward Passage and eastern Cuba tomorrow.


Gustav - GOES Infrared Image – University of Wisconsin – Madison – CIMSS Tropical Cyclones page

Latest News Update:

“Given the current track for Gustav and the expectation that it might enter the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, we are making logistical arrangements to evacuate staff who are not essential to production or drilling operations,” Shell said in a statement.

“Evacuations could begin as early as Wednesday. There is no impact on production at this time.” (Source: AFP)


An oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Source: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Hurricane Gustav slammed into flood-prone Haiti on Tuesday, killing at least two people.


The only reliable mode of transport!
Joggers run through flooded streets after torrential rains hit Havana August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Claudia Daut. Image may be subject to copyright.

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) — Hurricane Gustav slammed into Haiti, killing at least five as it lashed the desperately poor Caribbean nation with powerful winds and heavy rain, just days behind deadly Tropical Storm Fay.


People, carrying belongings, crosses a street flooded by rain caused by Hurricane Gustav in Port-au-Prince,Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008. Gustav barreled into Haiti on Tuesday, toppling trees, dumping rain and sending fuel prices soaring on fears the storm could become “extremely dangerous” when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos).
Image may be subject to copyright.

Posted in Asia trading, Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, New York Mercantile Exchange, politics, Singapore market, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hurricane Gustav [VII]

Posted by feww on August 26, 2008

Latest Update: Gustav Now a Category Four Hurricane, as Forecast

Aug 29 – 03:00 UTC: TS Gustav Latest Update

Aug 27 Update: Hurricane Gustav to Feed on Warm Waters

Hurricane Gustav VII [the seventh storm of the Atlantic hurricane season] is Heading Toward Haiti

With powerful winds of 140 km/h (85mph), Gustav is churning through Caribbeans heading toward south-west Haiti, likely to wreak havoc and cause much devastation in the region.


Hurricane Gustav is seen in this satellite image dated August 26, 2008. REUTERS/NOAA/Handout

Coastal Watches/Warnings and 5-Day Track Forecast Cone – NOAA/NWS


This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical and will be white with a black outline if the cyclone is forecast to be extratropical. If only an L is displayed, then the system is forecast to be a remnant low. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time. NOAA-NWS

These graphics show probabilities of sustained (1-minute average) surface wind speeds equal to or exceeding 64 kt…74 mph (hurricane force). These wind speed probability graphics are based on the official National Hurricane Center (NHC) track, intensity, and wind radii forecasts, and on NHC forecast error statistics for those forecast variables during recent years. Each graphic provides cumulative probabilities that wind speeds of at least 74 mph will occur during cumulative time periods at each specific point on the map. The cumulative periods begin at the start of the forecast period and extend through the entire 5-day forecast period at cumulative 12-hour intervals (i.e., 0-12 h, 0-24 h, 0-36 h, … , 0-120 h). An individual graphic is produced for each cumulative interval, and the capability to zoom and animate through the periods is provided. To assess the overall risk of experiencing winds of at least 74 mph at any location, the 120-h graphics are recommended. NOAA-NWS

Gustav Could Become a Cat. Two Hurricane Before Landfall in Haiti

Gustav became stronger as it neared the south coast of Haiti, NHC reported.  Here’re the highlights of NHC Hurricane Advisory:

  • A hurricane warning remains in effect from Barahona in the Dominican Republic westward to Le Mole St Nicholas Haiti.
  • A hurricane watch is also in effect for the Cuban provinces of Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.  A hurricane watch is also in effect for Jamaica.
  • At 8:00 am EDT the center of hurricane Gustav was located near latitude 17.5 north, longitude 72.0 west or about 125 km south-southeast of Port Au Prince Haiti and about 425 km southeast of Guantanamo Cuba.
  • Gustav continues moving toward the northwest at 15 km/hr today with a turn toward the west-northwest and a decrease in forward speed forecast on Wednesday.  On this track this hurricane should move over Southwestern Haiti later today and near or just south of  Eastern Cuba on Wednesday.
  • Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 150 Km/hr with higher gusts.  Gustav is a category one hurricane on The Saffir-Simpson scale.  The hurricane could become a category Two hurricane before landfall in Haiti later today.
  • Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 km from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 110 km.
  • The latest minimum central pressure is 981 mb (28.97 inches).


Hurricane Gustav
- GOES Infrared AVN Color Floater Imagery – 30 minute updates

Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 7 inches over southern Hispaniola and Jamaica with isolated maximum amounts of up to 15 inches are possible.  These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides. — Forecaster Brown/Pasch

“Oil prices in Asia rose Tuesday on concerns Hurricane Gustav may disrupt oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico.” AP reported.

“It’s hard to predict where Gustav will strike,” an analyst in Singapore reported. “But the market is reacting to it and edging up some.”

“Light, sweet crude for October delivery was up 58 cents at $115.69 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midafternoon in Singapore. The contract rose 52 cents overnight to settle at $115.11 a barrel.”

On its forecast track and anticipated strength, Gustav could cause significant disruptions to offshore oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

REM: You read it hear first! ;)

Latest Update: Gustav Now a Category Four Hurricane, as Forecast

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, Gustav, gustav computer models, health, Hurricane Gustav, hurricane gustav path, hurricane gustav projected path, hurricane gustav tracking, hurricane gustave, politics, projected path of hurricane gustav, Tourism, Travel, tropical storm gustav | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fay: TS with an Attitude

Posted by feww on August 22, 2008

Will she go north? Will she go west? Will she settle for west-northwest?

Fay is drifting toward the west near 2 mph (4 km/hr). Fay is forecast to move westward or west-northwestward with some increase in forward speed during the next 48 hours.

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/hr) with higher gusts are expected.

Fay is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches (25.4cm), across

  • Central to northern portion of the Florida peninsula
  • Florida Panhandle
  • Southern Georgia
  • Southeastern Alabama

Isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible!

Tropical Storm FAY QuickLook – Posted: 18:00 EDT 08/21/2008


Tropical Storm FAY beginning to make landfall on Florida’s East Coast near Flagler Beach. As of 08/21/2008 18:00 EDT, water levels from northeastern Florida to South Carolina are elevated about 1.25 to 2.40 feet above predicted. (NOAA-NOS)

  • Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are possible across the coastal areas of southern South Carolina.
  • Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible over southwest and southern Florida.
  • Isolated storm total accumulations of 20 to 30 inches have been observed with this system over the east central coastal areas of Florida.
  • Storm surge flooding of 1 to 3 feet above normal tides is possible along the east coast of Florida and Georgia
  • Isolated tornadoes are possible tonight over portions of northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia. (Forecaster: Brown/Knabb. NOAA-NHC)

Melbourne Florida: Roads Double as Rivers


Photograph: John Raoux/AP. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

See previous entries for more updated images:

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lightning Safety Awareness Week: June 22-28

Posted by feww on June 29, 2008

Unable to speak to “He,”Bush declares emergency for fires in N. California


More than 8,000 lightning strikes and record-low rainfall led to an estimated 1088 fires which charred up to 400,000 acres in 30 counties throughout California. Image Credit: NOAA

California’s Last Chance: Do a U-Turn, or Turn to Desert!

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Image of the Day: Southern Spain

Posted by feww on June 15, 2008

Desertification of Southern Spain


The land of southern Spain has dried, leading to rationing and disputes over water. Photo: Monica Gumm for The International Herald Tribune. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The average surface temperature in Spain has risen 2.7 degrees compared with about 1.4 degrees globally since 1880, records show. (Source)

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Italy: Submerged in Floodwaters, Sinking in Garbage

Posted by feww on May 31, 2008

A Shrinking World Series

How Much More Floodwaters, Trash Before the Truth Sinks In?

As the Campania region in southwest italy is buried deeper in trash, the northwestern region of Piedmont, another of the country’s 20 regions, is submerged in floodwaters. The authorities declared a state of emergency in Turin and Val d’Aosta.


[Darn, I wonder what caused that!] A man surveys the damage caused by a landslide caused in Turin. (Photo: AFP) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Eyewitnesses reported a five-meter high wall of mud engulfing houses in an Alpine village near the French border. A landslide caused by heavy rainfall has killed at least three people; a 3-year old girl was reported missing.

The floods also pose a serious risk to crops in the area. “The torrential rain and the Po [Italy’s longest river] and the Dora breaking their banks have meant many wheat fields are flooded and the harvest could be lost,” the Italian Farmers Confederation said in a statement.

The Po valley, Italy’s most fertile farming area, is also its most industrially developed. “There has been too much building, concreting-over and canalization along our rivers with devastating consequences that happen as soon as rains start,” said Michele Candotti of the Environmental group WWF Italia. (Source)

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