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Archive for October 14th, 2009

El Niño Update [13 Oct 2009]

Posted by feww on October 14, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP – 13 October 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~ 1.0ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~ 0.7ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.7ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ (-0.7)ºC

El Niño Map. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks
WeeksDuring the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were at least1.0°C above average across parts of the central and eastern Pacific.

Global SST Departures (°C)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also, above-average SSTs covered large areas of the Northern Hemisphere subtropics.

Weekly SST Departures (°C) for the Last Four Weeks
During the last four weeks, SST anomalies remained positive across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, except in the far eastern Pacific, which have become negative. •During the last month, equatorial SST anomalies decreased over much of the eastern Pacific and increased over the central Pacific.

Sub-Surface Temperature Departures (°C) in the Equatorial Pacific

SSTD - Eq Pac sml

Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days
During mid August through September, an anomalous trough was prevalent in the North Pacific Ocean/Gulf of Alaska. During September, an anomalous ridge was present downstream, focused over Canada and the northern United States. The pattern also featured a weak trough over the central U.S., which contributed to below-average temperatures in the region, while the northern U.S. and Canada remained warmer-than-average. Recently, an anomalous ridge has dominated the Gulf of Alaska, and a downstream trough has led tobelow-average temperatures across much of the western and northern U.S.

Pacific Niño 3.4 SST Outlook

Most ENSO models indicate El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

The models disagree on the eventual strength of El Niño (SST anomalies ranging from +0.5ºC to +2.0ºC), but a majority indicate at least a moderate strength El Niño (greater than +1.0°C) during November-December-January 2009-10.


  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) were at least 1.0ºC above-average across much of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific.
  • Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Information and images on this page are sourced from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA.

Related Links:

El Niño Updates:

Posted in El Niño, ENSO, Indian Ocean, Ocean SST, Pacific Ocean, Positive SST, wind anomaly | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Australia Fails to Plug Oil Leak in Timor Sea

Posted by feww on October 14, 2009

UPDATE: Australia Oil Well on Fire

Australia’s Disastrous Oil Spill in Timor Sea Grows in Magnitude

PTTEP, the company responsible for the disaster, said they would plug the well and stop the leak by mid-October. They Lied.

PTTEP failed for the second time to stop the oil leak from the West Atlas rig which has been leaking for nearly two months. They don’t know when a third attempt to stop the leak could be made, if any.

Environmentalists have been calling for the company to reveal how much oil has leaked out so far and what actually caused the damage in the first place.

The rig’s operators now say that plugging the leak is an “extraordinarily complex” task, a statement which a far cry from their earlier assurances.

Sources say up to 500 barrels of oil a day have been leaking into the Timor Sea since the leak was first discovered on August 21.

The West Atlas Oil Spill.
Oil leak from West Atlas oil rig into Timor Sea. Photo: Chris Twomey/WAToday. Image may be subject to copyright. More Images …

Indonesian fishermen have reportedly found “thousands of dead fish.”

John Carey, a spokesman for the Pew Environment Group in Kimberley, Australia was quoted as saying that there was still too much mystery surrounding the cause of the leak.

“We are deeply concerned,” he said.

“We have been given repeated assurances that the oil spill will be under control. The Australian public has been given repeated assurances and none of those assurances have been met.

“It’s now seven weeks on. Two attempts. We’ve seen delay after delay. So clearly we are very concerned about when this is actually going to get under control.”

Mr Carey acknowledges that the operation to plug the well is technical and complex one, targeting a small hole about 2.6 kilometres under the seabed.

“But what we’re calling for is some clarity on what’s actually happened,” he said.

“It is still unclear exactly what went wrong. Now surely after seven weeks the company should be able to tell us what happened.

“What was the scenario that caused this to happen. Was it purely a technical fault? Was it a lapse in practice? But we just don’t know.

“Part of the problem for the environment sector and for a range of other stakeholders is the lack of information from both the company and the Government.”

Another widespread concern echoed by Mr Carey is the extent of the spill. Just exactly how much oil has been spilled?

“There have been some suggestions that we look at, you know, near production wells that were already under operation,” he said.

“But again it’s based on estimates. We are now, the conservation sector, looking at seeing if we can get in our consultant, industry consultant to try to provide us [with a] better estimate.

“But this is a ridiculous scenario and it’s a really unfortunate scenario.

“We are all grasping at straws, wanting information, basic information that the company should be able to provide.”

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Posted in Australian Disaster, Australian Oil Disaster, critical migration routes, harm to wildlife, Major Ecological Disaster, oil pollution, Oil Slick in the Timor Sea, oil spill, PTTEP Australasia, Timor Sea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Parma Hampers Recovery Efforts in Vietnam

Posted by feww on October 14, 2009

Parma: The Storm that Never Left

For two weeks Parma has behaved as if programmed to cause maximum rainfall in specific regions

And all other weather systems and atmospheric phenomena have worked to ensure Parma carries out its ‘intended tasks!’

As a new tropical depression the Philippines shrouds southern portion of Luzon and central islands of the Philippines,  TS Parma drifts slowly towards  the Vietnamese coast at a forward speed of about 6 km/h towards  expecting to make landfall  1at about 6:00UTC/GMT today (October 15,  2009), near coastal line provinces from Quang Ninh to Ha Tinh.

After leaving Hainan Island, Parma redeveloped quite rapidly regaining intensity, and featuring a new eye with deep convection.

Northwest Pacific – Visible Image. (MTSAT/NOAA/SSD) – Still frame – Click image to  update and enlarge.

Best Track Map. Source: ‘Digital Typhoon’

  • Heavy rainfall is expected in Cao Bang, Thanh Hoa and Lang Son from about 01:00UTC, October 15, 2009.
  • Tidal waves of up to 5 meters at coastal provinces from Quang Ninh to Nghe An should be expected.
  • The provinces from Thanh Hoa to Quang Binh should anticipate heavy rainfall.
  • Flash floods and landslides in the mountainous areas, and intense flooding in lower lands present real life threats to humans and animals.

The latest stats issued at 01:05 UTC, 14 October 2009 (JMA/JTC) are as follows:

  • Center position: N20°20′(20.3°), E107°20′(107.3°)
  • Direction and speed of movement: STR [Low- to mid-level Subtropical Ridge (STR) is located to the north of Parma. FEWW]
  • Central pressure:  748.87 mm Hg  (996hPa) – [Standard pressure is 761.84 mm Hg. FEWW]
  • Maximum wind speed near the center: 65km/h [18m/s, 35kt]
  • Maximum wind gust speed: 90km/h [25m/s, 50kt] – [reaching as high as 117km/h before landfall. FEWW]
  • Area of 30kt winds or more: Wide 190km (100NM)

Parma is expected to pass directly over Hanoi at about 00:30UTC on October 15, 2009, dissipating as a significant tropical cyclone shortly thereafter.

Parma may still have a few surprises tucked deep inside its gusty ‘algorithm!’

The Philippines Islands shrouded again. MTSAT Still frame. Click image to enlarge and update.


Satellite Imagery (Constant Illumination)
Satellite Imagery (Sun Illumination)

Related Links:

Posted in Ha Tinh, Nghe An, parma forecast path, parma forecast track, Quang Ninh, Thanh Hoa, tropical cyclone Parma, TROPICAL STORM 19W, Typhoon Parma | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Two Powerful Quakes Strike Fox Islands, Alaska

Posted by feww on October 14, 2009

Two powerful Earthquakes Measuring 6.5 and 6.6 Mw Strike Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

The first earthquake a magnitude 6.5 quake struck on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 05:37:21 UTC at a depth of 18 km, followed by a swarm of smaller aftershocks and a second powerful shock measuring 6.6Mw, which struck some 15 hours later.

An earlier quake, also measuring M 6.6, struck the same region about 250km WNW of the recent cluster on October 2, 2009.
Two Powerful Quakes Strike Fox Islands, Alaska

FEWW Moderators have forecast a large earthquake for Kenai Peninsula, Southern Alaska. See links below

Based on the pattern in which the recent quakes are occurring, the Moderators believe a prolonged period of powerful seismic activity in the region may have begun.

This Earthquake:

10-degree Map Centered at 55°N,170°W

2009 October 13 20 -21- 54 UTC
Earthquake Location Map.
Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

  • Magnitude: 6.6  [maximum quake magnitude estimated by FEWW]
  • Date-Time:
    • Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 20:21:54 UTC
    • Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 12:21:54 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 52.634°N, 167.149°W
  • Depth: 13.7 km (8.5 miles) (poorly constrained)
  • Distances:
    • 120 km (75 miles) ESE (106°) from Nikolski, AK
    • 146 km (90 miles) SSW (197°) from Unalaska, AK
    • 190 km (118 miles) SSW (209°) from Akutan, AK
    • 1413 km (878 miles) SW (236°) from Anchorage, AK
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 8 km (5.0 miles); depth +/- 27.6 km (17.1 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009mscj

Related Links:

Posted in Akutan quake, Earthquakes, feww earthquake forecast, North American plate, Pacific Plate, Plate Tectonics, seismic event report | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »