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Archive for June 5th, 2009

El Niño could develop June – August 2009

Posted by feww on June 5, 2009


NOAA scientists today [July 9, 2009] announced the arrival of El Niño, a climate phenomenon with a significant influence on global weather, ocean conditions and marine fisheries. El Niño, the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters, occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months. See NOAA Press Release

The El Niño weather pattern can cause global weather chaos by exacerbating droughts and floods.

Conditions are favorable for a transition from ENSO-neutral to El Niño conditions during June – August 2009, US Climate Prediction Center says.

During El Nino, rainfall and thunderstorm activity diminishes over the western equatorial Pacific, and increases over the eastern half of the tropical Pacific. This area of increased rainfall occurs where the exceptionally warm ocean waters have reached about 28°C or 82°F. This overall pattern of rainfall departures spans nearly one-half the distance around the globe, and is responsible for many of the global weather impacts caused by El Niño.

El Niño occurs when the eastern Pacific temperatures rise above average, and the forecast says conditions are now favorable for a switch from ENSO-neutarl to El Niño conditions between June and  August 2009. The forecast warns that by end May 2009 sea surface temperatures (SST) had increased for the fifth consecutive month, rising to “above-average” in the  equatorial Pacific Ocean.

The 1997-98 El Niño/Southern Oscillation was one of the most severe ENSO events in history. It caused widespread drought in Australia and Indonesia and floods in S. America, especially Ecuador and Peru.

FEWW Moderators estimate that a new episode of El Niño, which would have devastating impact globally, could cause up to $500 billion in damages.

Graphical depiction of the four Niño regions. [Source: NOAA/  National Weather Service National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Prediction Center]


For regular updates see comments section below.

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Posted in El Niño damage estimate, equatorial Pacific Ocean, sea surface temps, Southern Oscillation Index, subsurface temps | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [4 June 2009]

Posted by feww on June 5, 2009

FEWW ‘EarthModel’ Correctly forecast renewed enhanced activity at Mt Etna

See FEWW forecast: Earthquake Forecast: Southern Italy, Sicily

See GVP Report: ETNA Sicily (Italy) 37.734°N, 15.004°E; summit elev. 3330 m

INGV-CT reported that during 25-31 May the NW-SE-trending fissure E of the Etna summit craters continued (since 13 May 2008) to produce active lava flows to the N of the SE end of the fissure, along the W wall of the Valle del Bove. At least three lava flows were active. Elsewhere on the volcano, activity was restricted to degassing from the Northeast Crater, from the NW and SE Bocca Nuova vents, from the E flank of the Southeast Crater, and along summit fumarolic fields. The activity was observed directly and by utilizing surveillance cameras in Milo (about 11 km ESE).

Volcanic Activity Report:  27 May – 2 June 2009

Source: Global Volcanism program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast:

FEWW Moderators forecast  new volcanic activity/ unrest at 50 or more volcanoes throughout the rest of 2009.

List of the volcanoes to watch this year [and in 2010] includes:

Barcena (0.8), Socorro (0.8), Curacoa (0.99), Atitlán (0.65), Vesuvius (>0.6), Bazman (0.6), Mount Shasta (>0.5), Kaba (>0.5), Bandai (>0.5), Eastern Gemini Seamount or Mathew Island volcano (0.65), Fonualei (0.65), Mount Rainier (>0.5), Jan Mayen (>0.6), Thule (0.4), Sibayak (>0.5), Volcán Guallatiri (0.65), Taveuni (>0.4),  two or more volcanoes on the island of Hokkaido (0.65), E-san (0.7), Oshima-Oshima (0.7), Komaga-take (0.65)

Continued …

Figure in the brackets indicate probability of activity/unrest.

For other forecasts see also:

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Thursday, Jun 4, 2009 at 23:33:10 PDT

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Mauna Loa Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

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Posted in earthquake forecast, Etna, Hokkaido Volcanoes, Makian, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Magnitude 6.3 Quake Strikes Hokkaido Japan

Posted by feww on June 5, 2009

Strong earthquake strikes Hokkaido, Japan

The earthquake measuring 6.3 MW in line with FEWW forecast

Hokkaido us2009hmai

Earthquake Location. 10-degree Map Centered at 40°N,145°E – USGS

Earthquake details:

  • Magnitude 6.3
  • Date-Time: Friday, June 05, 2009 at 03:30:34 UTC [Friday, June 05, 2009 at 12:30:34 PM at epicenter]
  • Location:  41.858°N, 143.399°E
  • Depth 41.6 km (25.9 miles)
  • Distances
    • 150 km (90 miles) SW of Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan
    • 215 km (135 miles) SE of Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
    • 220 km (135 miles) NE of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
    • 755 km (470 miles) NNE of TOKYO, Japan
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 5.3 km (3.3 miles); depth +/- 7.1 km (4.4 miles)
  • Parameters: NST=185, Nph=185, Dmin=26.6 km, Rmss=0.81 sec, Gp= 36°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009hmai

Hokkaido us2009hmai pop shake

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. A magnitude 6.9 earthquake and tsunami occurred in the Japan region 92 km northwest of the location of this earthquake on March 21, 1982 (UTC), with estimated population exposures of 48,000 at intensity VIII and 170,000 at intensity VII, with no reported fatalities. On July 12, 1993 (UTC), a magnitude 7.7 earthquake and tsunami occurred near the Hokkaido Nansei-Oki, Japan, region 360 km west of the location of this earthquake, with estimated population exposures of 4,000 at intensity VIII and 84,000 at intensity VII, resulting in an estimated 230 fatalities. Recent earthquakes in this area have caused, landslides and fires that may have contributed to losses. USGS.

NO tsunami warning has been issued.

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Posted in Kushiro, Sapporo, Tokyo, tokyo quake | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »