Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

No Federal Water for California Farmers

Posted by feww on March 1, 2015

California facing worst drought in  160 years

The Bureau of Reclamation has announced that many California farmers will not receive federal water imports for the second consecutive year because of the persistent drought.

California is experiencing its fourth consecutive year of below-average precipitation, and the Governor’s Emergency Drought Proclamation, issued January 17, 2014, remains in effect. Without unusually heavy precipitation over the next few months, extreme drought conditions are forecasted to persist throughout the Central Valley, said the Bureau of Reclamation in a statement.

The bureau announced Friday the initial 2015 water supply allocation for Central Valley Project agricultural contractors and municipal and industrial contractors. The allocation reflects current reservoir storages, precipitation and snowpack conditions in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada. The California Department of Water Resources reports snowpack is below average for this date with the snow water content statewide currently at 20 percent or less of average for this time of year.

Many agricultural water contractors may face a second year of receiving no water from the project – an unprecedented situation.

In addition, urban uses should expect reduced amounts of water from the CVP, said the statement

Reclamation began Water Year 2015 in October 2014, with only 3.1 million acre-feet of carryover storage in six key CVP reservoirs. This was only 26 percent of capacity and 47 percent of the 15-year average for October 1.

Meantime, January 2015 was the driest January in recorded history for northern California.

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Latest Global Emergencies – February 2015

Posted by feww on February 28, 2015

7 Million Afghans in need of humanitarian aid

Afghanistan: Some 3,700 civilians were killed and 6,850 others wounded in 2014, a 22% increase in casualties on 2013; there were 21% more women and 40% more children casualties (UNAMA/UNHCHR, 18/02/2015).

About 7 million are in need of humanitarian aid in 2015. Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Wardak most need assistance (UNICEF, 21/01/2015, OCHA, 25/11/2014).

  • At least 805,400 IDPs were reported as of January 2015 (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
  • 3.4 million people are severely food insecure, while 5.4 million need access to health services and 1.7 million need protection (IPC, 01/11/2014).
  • 517,600 children under five suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), and eight provinces show Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates above 15%, breaching the emergency threshold. (UNICEF, 21/01/2015, OCHA, 31/07/2014).

Meantime, multiple avalanches in Afghanistan have buried more than a dozen villages killing hundreds of people and leaving many missing. The number is expected to rise, officials said.

Bolivia: Drought and Deluge

Drought has destroyed at least 120,000 hectares of soy crops and affecetd an addition 240,000 hectares in the municipalities of Cuatro Cañadas and Pailón in the eastern department of Santa Cruz, said the Association of Oilseed and Wheat Producers (ANAP), said a report.

Meantime, extreme rain events, severe hailstorms and widespread flooding  have affected 54 municipalities in six other Bolivian departments, 30 of which have declared states of emergency, killing dozens of people, affecting up to 100,000 people and destroying more than 8,000 hectares of crops.

Myanmar: Some 90,000 people have been displaced due to continuing violence between government troops and multiple armed groups in Kokang, Shan state. —ACAS

Kenya: The number of reported cholera cases has risen in the past week to 644, from 186. The outbreak was declared in Homa Bay, Migori, and Nairobi counties on 13 February. at least 17 people have died, most in Migori, and there are fears that the outbreak will spread due to the lack of safe drinking water. —ACAS

Nigeria: At least 564 cholera cases have been reported in Nigeria since January, with a fatality of rate of 8.3%. A resurgence of cases has occurred in Kano and Kaduna states. —ACAS

Mozambique and Malawi: Cholera Outbreak – Feb 2015

A cholera outbreak in Mozambique (started on 25 Dec 2014) has been exacerbated by extensive flooding since January 2015. As of 22 Feb, a total of 3,478 cholera cases had been recorded, with a death toll of 37. New cases continue to be reported in the provinces of Nampula, Niassa and Tete. (OCHA, 23 Feb 2015)

Malawi: On 13 Feb, the first confirmed case of cholera was registered in the country, whci borders Mozambique. To date 34 cases, including two deaths, have been confirmed in Nsanje district (all outside displacement sites), while another five cases were confirmed in Mwanza district. (OCHA, 25 Feb 2015)

Dominican Republic:
Heavy rainfall starting in mid-February 2015 caused flooding and landslides in the Dominican Republic. As of 21 Feb, more than 4,000 houses had been affected and 20,000 people were seeking shelter with family and friends. A red alert was in effect for three provinces. (Govt, 21 Feb 2015/Reliefweb/)

Southeast Europe

Torrential rains have caused major flooding in the southern and south-eastern parts of Albania since the beginning of February 2015. Some 42,000 people have been affected, numerous houses have been damaged, more than 3,500 heads of livestock killed, and 17,000 acres of farm land flooded. The Albanian Government is preparing to declare a state of emergency for the worst affected areas. (IFRC, 6 Feb 2015)

Macedonia: Torrential rains and snow melt have caused severe flooding the eastern region of the country. More than 170,000 people have been affected. (ECHO, 6 Feb 2015)

Bulgaria and Greece have also been affected by flooding.

Peru: Torrential rains and hail have triggered flooding and landslides, affecting several parts of Peru including Arequipa, Loreto, Cusco, Amazonas, and San Martin. Since the beginning of February 2015, various districts of the forest areas were under a state of emergency as a result of weeks of rains. In the departments of Loreto and San Martín, more than 30,000 people have been affected and 2,000 are homeless. An orange alert is active for the Amazon River and a red alert is active for other major rivers at the Peruvian jungle. Authorities are coordinating to provide aid to people affected by the ongoing rains, hail, flooding, and landslides. (OCHA, 9 Feb 2015)

Chile: Thousands of hectares of land stretching from northern to southern Chile have been affected by drought for eight years.

In many parts of Chile, January was one of the driest since records began, exacerbating the ongoing drought that started in 2007, said a Chilean meteorologist.

The drought is also hampering copper production, a water-intensive operation, in the world’s largest producer of the metal, said a report.

 

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Deadly Avalanches Bury Afghan Villages

Posted by feww on February 28, 2015

Hundreds Killed in Afghanistan Avalanches

Hundreds have been killed in recent avalanches in Afghanistan and the number is expected to rise, according to the authorities.

At least a dozen avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall this week, have buried multiple villages across several provinces in Afghanistan.

Panjshir province, north of Kabul, is said to be the worst hit area, with about 200 lives lost.

Hundreds of people remain cut off, with roads buried under heavy snow.

 

 

 

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M7.0 Quake Strikes N of Nebe, Indonesia

Posted by feww on February 27, 2015

Earthquake occurs deep beneath Flores  Sea 

Centered at 7.28°S, 122.53°E the event occurred at a depth of 547.0km, said USGS/EHP.

Tsunami Evaluation: NO tsunami threat due to the depth of this event.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 7.0Mw
Location: 7.277°S 122.534°E depth=547.0 km
Time: 2015-02-27 13:45:05 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 132km (82mi) N of Nebe, Indonesia
  • 152km (94mi) NNE of Maumere, Indonesia
  • 198km (123mi) NNE of Ende, Indonesia
  • 200km (124mi) S of Baubau, Indonesia
  • 363km (226mi) WNW of Dili, East Timor

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Iraq Minorities Face ‘Eradication’ —Report

Posted by feww on February 27, 2015

Iraqi minorities face existential threat

Islamic State terrorists (ISIS) are trying to eradicate minority groups from large parts of Iraq, warns Minority Rights Group International in a report.

The report details war crimes perpetrated by ISIS against Iraq’s Christian, Kaka’i, Shabak, Turkmen and Yazidi populations, including summary executions, abductions, rape and other abuses.

Iraqi minorities face an existential threat, according to the Institute of International Law and Human Rights (IILHR), one of the groups that helped with the report.

“While military action against ISIS dominates the headlines, to date there has been no serious effort to bring the perpetrators of crimes against minorities to justice,” says  Director of IILHR. “Minorities were first caught by wholesale discrimination and violence well before the arrival of ISIS. Now they face a new threat to their existence from ISIS attacks.”

Key Findings

  • Since June 2014, the rapid spread of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham) forces across northern Iraq has triggered a wave of displacement, with more than 2 million people uprooted. Ethnic and religious minorities have been particularly targeted, including Christians, Kaka’i, Shabak, Turkmen and Yezidis, with thousands killed and many more injured or abducted.
  • Summary executions, forced conversion, rape, sexual enslavement, the destruction of places of worship, the abduction of children, the looting of property and other severe human rights abuses and crimes under international law have been committed repeatedly by ISIS. While minorities have long been vulnerable to attacks by extremists, this violence appears to be part of a systematic strategy to remove these communities permanently from areas where they have lived for centuries.
  • The current situation for the millions of displaced persons in Iraq, many of whom belong to minority groups, is characterized by deteriorating humanitarian conditions in camps, abandoned buildings and informal settlements. The lack of an effective response from the government, combined with limited resources from international agencies, has left many without adequate food, water, health care, shelter and other necessities, with women and children especially vulnerable.

See: Between the Millstones: Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul

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Drought Disaster Declared in AZ, CA, NV, TX, UT

Posted by feww on February 26, 2015

UPDATED: February 27, 2015

Crop Disasters Declared for 48 Counties across Five States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 48 additional counties in five states—Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought.

The disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Arizona: Coconino, Mohave, Gila, La Paz, Navajo and Yavapai counties.
  • California: Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt,   Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Trinity, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba counties.
  • Nevada: Clark, Lincoln, Carson City, Douglas and Washoe counties.
  • Texas: Sutton, Crockett, Edwards, Kimble, Menard, Schleicher and Val Verde counties.
  • Utah: Kane, San Juan and Washington counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 794 counties across 16 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

All of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on February 25, 2015.

Related Links

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Global Response to Violence ‘Shameful’ —Amnesty

Posted by feww on February 26, 2015

2014 a “catastrophic” year for millions of people around the world

World governments failed to protect civilians against violence perpetrated by states and armed groups, said Amnesty International, calling the global response “shameful and ineffective.”

The “human rights watchdog” called 2014 a “catastrophic” year for millions of people around the world in its 424-page annual report.

“As people suffered an escalation in barbarous attacks and repression, the international community has been found wanting,” said Amnesty secretary general.

Millions of civilians suffered horrific violence and human rights violations from Syria to Ukraine, Gaza to Nigeria, while the number of displaced people globally  exceeded 50 million last year, for the first time since the end of World War II, said the report.

It criticized the European Union’s response to the world’s worst refugee crisis in Syria. Of the more than 4 million Syrian refugees displaced by conflict only 150,000 were living in EU states as of December 2014.

“It is abhorrent to see how wealthy countries’ efforts to keep people out take precedence over their efforts to keep people alive,” said the secretary general, adding that the United Nations Security Council had “miserably failed” to protect civilians.

Armed groups committed abuses in at least 35 countries—out of 160 surveyed—in 2014, aid the report, raising particular concern about the rise of the Islamic State (formerly ISIL) terrorist group.

The Islamic State terrorists committed wide-scale war crimes, said the report, including mass summary killings and abductions that targeted minorities, and sexual abuse of women and girls.

Massive volumes of arms were delivered to Iraq, Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria in 2014, despite the likelihood of these weapons being used against civilians, it said.

“Violent attacks on grounds of religious and ethnic identity continued on a significant scale. The failure of governments to address rising religious and ethnic intolerance was evident. The Myanmar and Sri Lankan governments failed to address ongoing incitement to violence based on national, racial and religious hatred by Buddhist nationalist groups despite violent incidents.
The government of Myanmar also failed to allow equal access to full citizenship to Rohingyas. In Pakistan, Shi’a Muslims were killed in attacks by armed groups; Ahmadis and Christians were also targeted. Sri Lanka also saw violence against Muslims and Christians carried out by armed groups, and police failed to protect them or to investigate incidents.”

Director of Amnesty International UK said Britain “is going in the wrong direction on rights, protections and fairness.”

She asserted the importance of public safety, but said it should not be achieved at the cost of fundamental civil liberties.

“The UK talks the talk on the global stage on human rights but this year’s summary shows they need to tend to their own garden,” she said.

“Twice this year GCHQ spies have been rumbled breaking the law. We should be concerned about waking up in a surveillance state, without having a proper public debate about it first.”

Amnesty also urged the permanent members of the UN Security Council Britain, China, France, Russia and the US, also known as the Permanent Five, to discard their veto power in cases where atrocities are being committed.

The outlook for 2015 was “bleak,” the group said.

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States of Emergency Declared in SC, NC

Posted by feww on February 26, 2015

North and South Carolina proclaim states of emergency as severe winter storm approaches

Governors in North and South Carolina have declared states of emergency as a severe winter storm approaches.

Gov. Haley proclaimed a State of Emergency for 31 counties in the Upstate, Pee Dee and Midlands of South Carolina.

Gov. McCrory also proclaimed a State Of Emergency for the entire state late Wednesday.
McCrory activated the State Emergency Response Team for the second time in two weeks.
“We are preparing for as much as eight inches of snow across the majority of the state,” he said. “We are anticipating the worst.”

Meantime, the local media reported more than 2,000 crashes on icy roads, throughout the state.

“Between midnight and noon, State Highway Patrol troopers responded to approximately 700 calls for service; of those, 400 were collisions. Yesterday, troopers responded to nearly 3,000 calls for service including 2,300 vehicle crashes. The Highway Patrol typically responds to approximately 1,000 calls in a 24-hour period,” said a report.

States of Emergency Declared in Alabama and Georgia
State of Emergency were proclaimed in Alabama and Georgia as the exceptionally severe weather approached Tuesday.

10th Day of State of Emergency in Tennessee

Salt Shortage in Ohio

Meantime, Ohio reported major salt shortages in many parts of the Buckeye State.

Record Snow in Boston

Boston has shattered several snowfall records, so far, including snowiest February and snowiest month ever. The total amount of snow measured  at Logan International Airport is now 101.8 inches for the season, said The National Weather Service (NWS), which makes the winter the second snowiest on record, so far, less than 6 inches behind the all-time record of 107.6 inches set  during the 1995-96 winter.
[The city has also smashed the record for most sub-freezing days ever recorded in February.]

Historic Cold Causes at lest 74 Fatalities

At least 74 deaths have been attributed to the historic cold and record snowfalls, which have also caused major travel disruptions, and forced schools, businesses and government offices to close repeatedly across most of the U.S.

Lowest Minimum Temp (Daily Records)

Between 1 and 24 February, at least 1,883 new record low temperatures have been set across the United States, and 314 other records tied, said National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

NWS has issued the following forecast

… a fresh batch of Arctic air surges through the central U.S

A fresh batch of Arctic air will continue to plunge through the central U.S. as another strong surface high slides down from Canada. A cold front at the leading edge of the frigid airmass will trigger light snow showers while it presses from the Middle Mississippi Valley to the central Appalachians. Flow into the terrain should force some upslope snow along the Rockies…and weak impulses aloft should help enhance amounts over the central to southern Rockies and adjacent High Plains.

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States of Emergency Declared for Alabama, Georgia

Posted by feww on February 25, 2015

State of Emergency proclaimed for Alabama as exceptionally severe weather approaches

Gov Bentley has declared a State of Emergency for all Alabama counties ahead of severe winter weather that is forecast to move through Alabama.

The potential exists for loss of life, injuries and property damage as severe winter weather moves through the state of Alabama bringing ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain as well as subfreezing temperatures beginning February 25, 2015, said the governor in his State of Emergency Proclamation.

The State of Emergency will become effective at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Bentley, has also mobilized 250 National Guards to respond to emergencies, and  authorized local authorities to shut schools and offices, if necessary.

On Tuesday, snow and ice forced school closures across the south, bringing the traffic on roads and highways into a standstill, and creating havoc for commuters, with record numbers of crashes reported.

Deal declares state of emergency effective 2 p.m. Wednesday

Georgia Gov. Deal has declared a state of emergency for 50 counties effective 2 p.m. Wednesday (February 25, 2015).

“With forecasts showing we could see accumulation by 4 p.m., I want to make sure we get as many commuters home before then as possible,” Deal said. “While current models show that temperatures will remain above freezing, we don’t want to run the risk of having normal rush hour traffic volume if there’s snow or ice on the highways.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning for metro Atlanta and north Georgia, with potential for up to 4 inches of snowfall in the Atlanta area, effective 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Winter Storm Warnings

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for parts of at least 20 states in the South, southeast, Midwest, central and NE US, as of posting.

Record Low Temp Set in N. Virginia

Meantime, at Dulles International Airport, N. Virginia, a new low temperature of -20ºC (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded,  shattering the previous record of -10ºC (14 degrees F)  set in 1967, said NWS.

Lowest Minimum Temp (Daily Records)

Between 1 and 24 February, at least 1,883 new record low temperatures have been set across the United States, said National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

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Who Needs BioChemical Weapons?

Posted by feww on February 24, 2015

Large clouds of yellow sand, smog from China plaguing Korean Peninsula, Japan

Westerly winds are blowing high levels of yellow sand and smog from China across Korean Peninsula and Japan, posing a potential hazard across the region.

Korean Peninsula has received massive levels of yellow sand and smog since Sunday, while much of Japan is experiencing varying degrees of air pollution imports from China.

The smog prompted Korea Meteorological Administration to issue yellow dust warnings and advisories for much of the country, including Seoul, Incheon, Gwangju and several other surrounding cities on Sunday.

The massive clouds of yellow dust, which originate in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China and Kazakhstan, are often laden with potentially deadly cocktails of bacteria and industrial pollutants.

smog map 24feb2015
Air Pollution in Asia: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map. Source: http://aqicn.org/map/ – Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 16:00UTC.

yellow dust buries SK- US Govt
Hwangsa, also known as ‘yellow sand,’ ‘Asian dust,’ or ‘yellow wind,’ originates in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China and Kazakhstan, usually engulfing cities in Korean Peninsula and Japan during early spring. Image source: U.S. Govt.

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Drought Disaster Declared for Counties in Georgia, Florida

Posted by feww on February 24, 2015

Drought destroys or damages crops in 15 counties across two states

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 15 counties in two states—Georgia and Florida—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessively dry weather and drought that occurred from June 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014.

The disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Georgia. Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee,Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Pierce,Telfair and Ware counties.
  • Florida. Baker County.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 746 counties across 16 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

All of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on February 18, 2015.

Related Links

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State of Emergency Declared as Namibia Runs Out of Forage

Posted by feww on February 23, 2015

Drought forces state of emergency declaration in Namibia livestock industry

Namibia has declared a state of emergency, as drought across the country continues to severely impact the livestock industry, affecting  the livelihood of 72 percent of all Namibians who depend on the industry, directly or otherwise.

“The dramatic announcement of an emergency drought strategy follows hot on the heels of the the crop farming industry announcing a dismal total harvest in both the commercial and communal areas during a similar meeting two weeks ago,” said a report.

The worsening crisis will have far worse repercussions than the drought two years ago “as cattle and small stock producers have used up all available grazing with no reserve grazing available.”

Farmers have been urged to sell their animals as prices for cattle have dropped from more than N$19 p/kg to just N$14 p/kg in the past week alone.

“[However,] local abattoirs are struggling to accommodate volumes of livestock delivered to them by desperate farmers who are trying to get rid of their animals.”

 

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Louisiana Declares State of Emergency amid Severe Weather Warning

Posted by feww on February 23, 2015

Jindal declares state of emergency in 24 Louisiana Parishes

In advance of severe winter weather in Northern Louisiana, Governor (No Go Zones) Jindal has issued a statewide emergency declaration.

A statement issued by the governor said:

The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts another very strong cold front and wintry mix, bringing a band of snow, sleet, and freezing rain which is impacting Midwestern and Southern states and will impact this State over the next several days, potentially resulting in accumulations of ice on roadways and hazardous winter weather conditions throughout the northern portion of the State.

NWS has issued a winter weather advisory and freeze warnings for Northern parishes over the next forty-eight hours making driving conditions hazardous;

currently schools have been closed in numerous Northern parishes due to the hazards posed by this extreme winter weather, and these winter weather conditions threaten the lives and property of the citizens of the State of Louisiana.

Meantime, Commissioner of Administration made the following announcement:

State government offices will be closed [Monday through Thursday?] in the following 24 parishes across Louisiana where hazardous driving conditions and scattered power outages are forecast for the morning due to a mix of rain and sleet, as well as snow and ice accumulation:

Avoyelles, Bienville, Catahoula, Caldwell, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Union, West Carroll and Winn.

 

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Strong Earthquake Strikes SW of Tomatlan, Mexico

Posted by feww on February 23, 2015

M 6.2 quake occurs SW of Tomatlan, Mexico

Centered at 18.67°N, 106.84°W, about 218km (135mi) SW of Tomatlan, the event occurred at a depth of 10km, USGS/EHP reported.

At least one significant aftershock, measuring magnitude 4.5Mw, was reported, as of posting.
Tsunami Evaluation: NO tsunami threat.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.2Mw (revised down from 6.6)
Time: 2015-02-22 at 14:23:13 UTC
Location: 18.670°N 106.844°W
Depth: 10.0 km

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States of Emergency Declared in Tennessee, Virginia, Australia

Posted by feww on February 22, 2015

Freezing weather causes a major disaster in Tennessee

The impact of freezing  weather has caused a major disaster in Tennessee, according to a Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Gov. Haslam has therefore elevated the Tennessee State of Emergency into a Level II,  recognizing a major disaster in The Volunteer State.

The Level II – State of Emergency activation is effective as of 3 p.m., CST, on 2/21/15, after being at a Level III – State of Emergency since 9 p.m., CST, on Feb. 16, 2015.

Definition of Level II – State of Emergency
A major disaster as defined by TCA 58-2-101 as an event that will likely exceed local capabilities and require a broad range of state and federal assistance. The TEMP and the SEOC are activated in accordance with TCA 58-2-107(b)(2), and a decision by the Governor or his representative (Director of TEMA) declares a state of emergency. The full staff or most of the staff of the SEOC is activated, typically in a 24-hour continuous operation. This disaster may meet eligibility requirements for a federal disaster declaration under the provisions of the Stafford Act.

Tennessee has 21 confirmed weather-related fatalities since Feb. 16, 2015, said TEMA.

Virgina

Wintery weather from Rockies to Northeast this weekend: NWS

Meantime, the National weather Service (NWS) posted the following forecast on its website, as another arctic boundary slid south from northern Canada reinforcing the frigid temperatures for the north central U.S. through at least Tuesday.

A winter storm will continue to bring snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain to parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast through early Sunday morning. Meanwhile, another winter storm will bring heavy snow to the Rockies and Plains through Sunday.
reinforce the frigid temperatures for the n[Valid 12:00UTC Sun Feb 22 2015 – 12:00UTC Tue Feb 24 2015 ]

  • Active weather pattern across the southern U.S.
  • Cold front brings more frigid temperatures to northern U.S.
  • Significant snow expected for the Rocky Mountains

Tropical Cyclone LAM

The Northern Territory government has declared a state of emergency for parts of the region hardest hit by Tropical Cyclone LAM.

Areas under the declaration include Millingimbi, Ramingining, Galiwinku (Elcho Island), Gapuwiyak (Arnhem Land) and Mapuru Outstation.

More than 5,000 residents in the remote region bore the brunt of the category four cyclone as it tore through the Top End on Thursday night and early Friday morning, with winds gusting to 240 km/h and heavy rainfall.

Tropical Cyclone MARCIA

At least 1,500 homes were damaged and most homes and businesses in the northern Queensland towns of Rockhampton and Yeppoon were left without electricity, after Cyclone MARCIA, a maximum category five storm, raked the area, said reports.

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Another Strong Quake Strikes NE Coast of Honshu, Japan

Posted by feww on February 21, 2015

M6.0 quake occurs E of Iwate, Japan

Centered at 39.846°N, 143.456°E the quake occurred about 130km E of Miyako (568km NE of Tokyo, Japan) at a depth of 10.0km, said USGS/EHP.

At least three significant foreshocks, measuring 4.8Mw, 4.9Mw and 4.7Mw, preceded the event.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.0Mw
Location: 39.846°N 143.456°E Depth=10.0 km
Event Time: 2015-02-21 at 10:13:54 UTC
Tsunami Evaluation: NO tsunami threat.

Other Significant Quakes in Japan Region Today
M5.3 about 50km SSE of Shizunai, Japan
Location: 41.939°N, 142.664°E
Depth: 57.2 km
Time: 2015-02-20 at 19:28:27 UTC

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecasts for California and Japan

FIRE-EARTH Science Team has suspended its research on California seismicity to protest Internet censorship, Google’s manipulation of information, theft of FIRE-EARTH intellectual property and other reasons, as stated earlier on the blog.

The Team has suspended its research also on Japan seismicity due to the resurgence of militarism in that country and other reasons that have been stated previously.

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January 2015 Second Warmest on Record

Posted by feww on February 21, 2015

For the Record:

Arctic sea ice extent for January 6.3 percent below 1981–2010 average

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces last month was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average, the second highest for January since record keeping began in 1880, said the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

[The warmest January on record was in 2007, at 1.55°F (0.86°C) above average.]

Other Global Highlights:

  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.57°F (1.43°C) above the 20th century average, making it also the second highest on record for January. The warmest January was in 2007, at 3.31°F (1.84°C) above average, while sea surface temperature (SST) was 0.95°F (0.53°C) above average— the third highest for January.
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for January was just over 906,000km² (350,000 square miles) or 6.3 percent below the 1981–2010 average, making it the third smallest January extent since records began in 1979.
  • Antarctic sea ice during January was 2,300,000km² (890,000 square miles), or 44.6 percent above the 1981–2010 average, making it the largest January extent on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2008 by 570,000km² (220,000 square miles) or 33 percent.

Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events – January 2015

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for January 2015, published online February 2015, retrieved on February 21, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2015/1.

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“Siberian Express” Plunges Eastern U.S. into a Deep Freeze

Posted by feww on February 21, 2015

Deadly cold returns to eastern half of US

An arctic blast dubbed the “Siberian Express” has plunged the eastern half of the United States, as far south as Florida, into a deep freeze.

Multiple record lows were broken this week, with the Midwest temperatures plunging  to -40ºC (-40ºF), and -45ºC in northern Ontario, Canada

States of emergency declared earlier this week remained in effect across Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, as the deep freeze claimed dozens of lives across the southern and eastern U.S. and Canada, including at least 18 fatalities in Tennessee and six others in Kentucky and North Carolina, according to media reports.

The latest surge of Arctic air could bring some of the coldest weather since the mid-1990s to portions of the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic states, and central Appalachians on Friday, said NWS.

Arctic air entrenched over the eastern half of the Nation will set the stage for a widespread ice and snow event from the Plains into the Northeast this weekend. Moisture return from the Gulf of Mexico will lead to heavy precipitation ahead of a surging warm front. The very cold air already in place will lead to a wide axis of snow, sleet and freezing rain Saturday and Sunday.

us weather hazmap 21feb15
U.S. Weather HazMap. Source: NWS

Multiple severe weather Warnings, Advisories, and Watches have been issued for nearly every state.

Snow blankets the Middle East

Meantime, a rare cold front moving across the middle east, left parts of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria covered with up to 20cm (8 inches) of snow.

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Towns Devastated as MARCIA Tracks along Queensland

Posted by feww on February 20, 2015

TC Marcia leaving a trail of destruction along Queensland: Report

Cat. 5 Tropical Cyclone MARCIA made landfall north of Yeppoon about 8:00am local time carving a path of destruction  towards  Rockhampton as a category three storm, lashing the town of 80,000 with wind gusts up to 205km/h, said a report.

The system was downgraded to a category one storm by about 8:00pm and was bearing down on Biloela, the report said.

“There were reports of extensive damage – houses destroyed or unroofed – but authorities said it was still too early and too dangerous to assess the full damage.”

Tropical Cyclone LAM

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Strong Earthquake Strikes East of Iwate, Japan

Posted by feww on February 20, 2015

M 6.3 strikes 140km E of Miyako, Japan

Centered at 39.85°N, 143.57°E the quake occurred at a depth of 13.5km, said USGS/EHP.

The event, precede by a foreshock measuring 4.3Mw, was the third significant earthquake to strike the region since February 17.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.3Mw
Location: 39.847°N, 143.569°E
Depth: 13.5 km
Time: 2015-02-20 04:25:24 UTC

Tsunami Evaluation: NO tsunami threat.

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecasts for California and Japan

FIRE-EARTH Science Team has suspended its research on California seismicity to protest Internet censorship, Google’s manipulation of information, theft of FIRE-EARTH intellectual property and other reasons, as stated earlier on the blog.

The Team has suspended its research also on Japan seismicity due to the resurgence of militarism in that country and other reasons that have also been stated previously.

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‘Very Destructive’ Storm Hits Queensland, Australia

Posted by feww on February 20, 2015

Category 5 TC MARCIA brings heavy rain, “abnormally high tides”

Cyclone MARCIA, described as a  “very destructive” storm has hit the coast of Queensland, Australia forcing evacuations of more than 1,000 homes, officials said.

MARCIA was upgraded to a Cat. 5 Tropical Cyclone with winds gusting up to 285km/h, before it struck Elcho Island and continued moving southwest, bringing heavy rain and generating “abnormally high tides,” said Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

“Severe tropical cyclone Marcia, Category Five, is currently crossing the coast near Shoalwater Bay north of Yeppoon,” warning that its “destructive winds” threatened communities between St Lawrence and Gladstone, and Capricornia and Burnett later today.

Tens of thousands of residents in the cyclone path have been warned to take shelter where they can!

Storm surges forced authorities to evacuate neraly 900 residences in Yeppoon, while more than 100 people were evacuated from Lady Elliot Island. Hundreds of schools and child care centers along the northern Queensland have so far been ordered shut.

“Over the next 24 hours, Queenslanders are about to go through a harrowing and terrifying experience,” said Queensland Premier Palaszczuk.

“This is going to be a calamity, no doubt about that,” Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said, warning that it was a “desperate situation”.

“Our primary focus from this point on is the safety of all human life in that area.” he said. “You must find shelter.”

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia at 1:00 pm AEST:

Intensity: Category 3, sustained winds near the centre of 150 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 205 kilometres per hour.

Location: within 9 kilometres of 23.2 degrees South 150.5 degrees East, estimated to be 25 kilometres west southwest of Yeppoon and 105 kilometres northwest of Gladstone.

Movement: south at 19 kilometres per hour.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia, category 3, continues to move south over the northern Capricornia district and is expected to impact Rockhampton during the next couple of hours. It is expected to continue a southerly movement through today while slowly weakening. [Issued by BOM]

Meantime, Category 4 Tropical Cyclone LAM struck Australia’s Northern Territory, causing power outages to thousands of customers.

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U.S. Drought Intensifies

Posted by feww on February 19, 2015

U.S. Drought Monitor Weekly Comparison Tables

Contiguous United States

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-02-17 45.26 54.74 32.13 16.44 8.6 3.37
2015-02-10 47.51 52.49 29 16.18 8.49 3.27

West

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-02-17 31.2 68.8 58.53 30.61 17.23 7.21
2015-02-10 30.41 69.59 52.65 30.63 17.1 6.96

California

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-02-17 0.16 99.84 98.1 93.44 67.46 41.2
2015-02-10 0.16 99.84 98.1 93.44 67.46 39.99

South

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-02-17 29.74 70.26 36.69 22.13 10.07 3.02
2015-02-10 42.31 57.69 33.75 20.56 9.71 3.02

High Plains

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-02-17 46.61 53.39 20.18 5.51 0.3 0
2015-02-10 46.61 53.39 12.64 5.51 0.3 0

Intensity:
D0 – Abnormally Dry
D1 – Moderate Drought
D2 – Severe Drought
D3 – Extreme Drought
D4 – Exceptional Drought

Source: The National Drought Mitigation Center, Lincoln, NE

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Strong Earthquake Rattles Vanuatu

Posted by feww on February 19, 2015

M6.4 strikes 83km ESE of Lakatoro, Vanuatu

Centered at 16.44°S, 168.12°E the quake occurred at a depth of 10.0km, reported USGS/EHP.

The event was followed by at least one significant aftershock, measuring 5.1Mw, as of posting.

More aftershocks could follow.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude: 6.4Mw
Location: 16.440°S, 168.119°E depth=10.0 km
Event Time: 2015-02-19 13:18:32 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 83km (52mi) ESE of Lakatoro, Vanuatu
  • 143km (89mi) SE of Luganville, Vanuatu
  • 144km (89mi) N of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
  • 503km (313mi) N of We, New Caledonia

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Historic Cold Continues across Eastern U.S.

Posted by feww on February 19, 2015

Dangerously low temperatures affecting much of the eastern U.S.

Historic cold with dangerously low temperatures impacting much of the eastern half of the U.S., with many locations experiencing temperatures as low as 45 degrees below average, and some records threatened, said the National Weather Service (NWS).

A massive surge of arctic air later this week will impact most of the U.S., as another cold front slides south from Canada, said NWS.

“There are indications that this could be some of the coldest weather since the mid-1990s for some parts of the Southeast U.S., Mid-Atlantic, and central Appalachians. An eddy of the polar vortex will add to the potency of the surface cold front, thus creating a deep layer of bitterly cold air. Highs on Thursday and Friday will struggle to get out of the teens for many of these areas, and overnight lows could reach zero degrees or even lower in some places! Wind chill advisories and warnings are currently in effect. The overnight lows on Thursday night will be the coldest in those areas where the wind goes calm, allowing for additional
radiational cooling.”

  • Historic cold impacting eastern U.S. through Friday.
  • Another storm system developing over the southern U.S.
  • Dangerous wind chills are forecast from the northern Plains to the Gulf Coast.
  • Temperatures will be as low as 45 degrees below average for much of region.
  • Heavy snow is forecast for parts of Northern New England.
  • Rain/freezing rain and sleet could affect parts of the Lower/Middle
    Mississippi Valley/Tennessee Valley.

min temp us 48
Low temperature ending February 19, 2015 (NWS).

National High and Low Temperature (for the contiguous United States)
Issued 7 am EST Thursday, February 19, 2015

High Temperature for Wednesday, February 18, 2015
29.4ºC (85 degrees F) at Thermal, CA

Low Temperature for Thursday, February 19, 2015
-40.5ºC (-41 degrees F) at Embarrass, MN
NWS Weather Prediction Center, College Park, MD

[Temperature spread: 70ºC (126 degrees F), as calculated by FIRE-EARTH]

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M4.4 Quake Strikes NE of Mt Rainier

Posted by feww on February 18, 2015

Earthquake occurs in the Cascade Range

Centered at47.247°N, 120.723°W, about 85km NE of Mount Rainier, the quake occurred at a depth of 5.3km, said USGS/EHP.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 4.4Mw
Location: 47.247°N, 120.723°W
Depth: 5.3km
Event Time: 2015-02-18 09:04:11 (UTC)
Nearby Cities

  • 17km (11mi) ENE of Cle Elum, Washington
  • 30km (19mi) NNW of Ellensburg, Washington
  • 36km (22mi) WSW of Wenatchee, Washington
  • 120km ESE of Seattle, Washington [FEWW]
  • 125km East of Tacoma, Washington [FEWW]
  • 166km (103mi) E of Olympia, Washington

NOTICE of Suspension of Research on Seismicity in US-WA

As of January 23, 2015, FIRE-EARTH Science Team has suspended its research on geophysical activity in the state of Washington until further notice.

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