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Archive for December 22nd, 2009

El Niño Weekly Update [21 Dec 2009]

Posted by feww on December 22, 2009

FEWW Comments on the ongoing El Niño:

  • Pacific Ocean surface temperature anomalies are at their highest in the past 12 years, exceeding the anomalies recorded in the  1997-98 El Niño.
  • The precipitation remains high near the equator, and low in places like Australia.
  • The ongoing drought and deluge would cause substantial damage to crops and infrastructure.
  • Extremes of climate enhanced by El Nino in 2010 could contribute to food shortages in many parts of the world.

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

El Niño Weekly UPDATE prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  21 December 2009


Click image to enlarge. Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.4ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.8ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 1.6ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ -0.2ºC


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

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks
During the last 4-weeks, SSTs were at least 1.0°C above average across much of the equatorial Pacific east of 170ºE, and more than 2.0°C above average across portions of the eastern half of the Pacific.


Click image to enlarge. Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP

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


Click image to enlarge.
Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP

Weekly SST Departures (°C) for the Last Four Weeks

  • During the last four weeks, the largest positive SST anomalies have expanded eastward across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • During the last 30 days, equatorial SST anomalies have increased across much of the across the eastern equatorial Pacific.

Central & Eastern Pacific Upper-Ocean (0-300 m) Weekly Heat Content Anomalies
Since April 2009, the upper-ocean heat content has been above average across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The heat content was previously below-average from mid-August 2008 through March 2009, with a minimum reached in late December 2008.


Click image to enlarge.
Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP


Click image to enlarge. Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP


Click image to enlarge. Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP


Click image to enlarge. Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP


Click image to enlarge. Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP

Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days


During the first half of November, a nearly zonal pattern of above-average heights over the mid-latitudes was observed with anomalous troughing over the higher latitudes. This pattern led to above-average temperatures across much of North America and below-average temperatures in Alaska. From late November to the first half of December, the anomalous zonal pattern of above-average heights at mid-latitudes was replaced by strong anomalous troughs across the N. Pacific and much of N. America and above-average heights near Alaska. This pattern led to below-average temperatures across the U.S. and Canada and above-average temperatures over Alaska. Click image to enlarge. Source: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP

Pacific Niño 3.4 SST Outlook

  • The models continue to disagree on the eventual strength of El Niño, but nearly all indicate at least a moderate strength El Niño (3-month average greater than +1.0°C) through January-February-March 2010.
  • After peaking, the majority of models indicate Niño-3.4 will gradually weaken, but that El Niño will continue into April-May-June 2010. [International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society (updated 17 Dec 2009).]

Summary

  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) are at least 1.0ºC-2.0ºC 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 continue and last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.

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

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Posted in Climate Prediction, El Niño, El Niño 2010, El Niño update, Tropical Pacific SST | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mayon Volcano Update [22 December 2009]

Posted by feww on December 22, 2009

Mayon Volcano (13.2576ºN, 123.6856ºE)

Mt Mayon Eruption: The Human Angle


Filipino children living near the foot of Mt Mayon pray before being evacuated, as an imminent eruption looms. Photo; AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.


Previously:

Mayon Alert Raised to Level 4 and 76% chance Mayon explodes before 2010

Mayon Volcano Update from Phivolcs Bulletin 9 – Issued 22 December 2009 7:00 AM Local Time

  • Intense level of activity detected during the past 24-hour observation period
  • A total of 1,266 volcanic earthquakes were recorded with seismic activity remaining elevated both in frequency and amplitude.
  • “Many of these volcanic earthquakes were recorded at maximum deflection and have continuously occurred since 12:21 PM, 20 December 2009.  Harmonic tremors were still continuously being recorded.” Phivolcs reported.
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate averaged at about 6,529 tons per day (t/d).
  • State vulcanologists were unable to make visual observations due to theavy  clouds that shrouded the upper and middle slopes of mayon for most of the last 25 hours.
  • “However, an intensified crater glow was observed during a short cloud break last night. Audible booming and rumbling sounds were still intermittently heard for the past 24 hours. Red hot lava also continuously flowed down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. The lava front has reached about 5 kilometers downslope from the summit along the Bonga-Buyuan gully.”

Other remarks:

“Alert Level 4 is hoisted over Mayon Volcano, meaning a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Thus, PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8-km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7-km on the northern sector should be free from human activity. Areas just outside of this EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event hazardous explosive eruptions intensify. Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. PHIVOLCS–DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately posted to all concerned.”

Other Reports

As the volcano continued to eject ash into the air early Tuesday morning, eye-witness reports said ashfall had covered parts of three towns in Albay province: Guinobatan, Camalig and Polangui towns in the Mayon’s southern sector.

Some of the residents in the area have been issued with face masks, others including the residents in Daep have been told to cover their faces with handkerchiefs, or pieces of cloth.

Mayon Update [21 December 2009]

Posted by feww on December 21, 2009

Mayon Volcano on Fire

The Final Countdown May Have Begun


Lava cascades down the slopes of Mayon volcano Sunday Dec. 20, 2009 in Legazpi city, Albay province, about 500 kilometers southeast of Manila, Philippines. Tens of thousands residents living around the slopes of Mayon are now housed in evacuation centers and most likely will spend Christmas away from their homes as the country’s most active volcano became restive a week ago. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez). Image may be subject to copyright.


Previously:

Mayon Volcano Bulletin 8 Issued by Phivolcs

Date: 21 December 2009  at 7:00AM Local Time [20-12-09 at 23:00UTC]

Mayon Volcano’s (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) activity escalated during the past 24-hour observation period. Seismic activity dramatically increased in number and size. A total of 1,942 volcanic earthquakes was detected by the seismic network. Many of these volcanic earthquakes were recorded at maximum deflection and continually occurred beginning at 1221H yesterday. Harmonic tremors were also continuously recorded.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate remained very high at 6,089 tonnes per day (t/d). Audible booming and rumbling sounds were first reported in the eastern flank of the volcano at about 1455H then occasionally occurred beginning 2200H last night. Intensified crater glow and rolling down of incandescent lava fragments from the crater was also persistent. Red hot lava also continuously flowed down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. Lava fountains rising approximately 200 meters above the crater were observed at 2007H, 2008H and 2018H. The lava front has now reached about 5 kilometers downslope from the summit along the Bonga-Buyuan gullies.

Alert Level 4 is hoisted over Mayon Volcano, meaning a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Thus, PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8 km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7 km on the northern sector be strictly observed. Areas just outside of this EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event hazardous explosive eruptions intensify. Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. PHIVOLCS–DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately posted to all concerned.

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Mayon Alert Raised to Level 4

Posted by feww on December 20, 2009

Mayon Major Eruption Expected Within Days

Fire Earth Forecast: 76% chance Mayon explodes before 2010

State volcanologist in the Philippines raised the Mayon Volcano (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) alert status  to level on Sunday at 14:30 local time, which means they expect a major eruption within days.

PHIVOLCS reported Sunday that the advancing lava flow had traveled about 4.5 kilometers from the crater along Bonga-Buyuan Gully. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission had increased from 2,034 MT per day (t/d) to 7,024 t/d.

Their seismic network had recorded a total of two hundred twenty two (222) volcanic quakes and tremors in the previous 24 hours, they said.

According to other reports rumbling sounds were heard in Santa Misericordia village near Santo Domingo town, about 8.5 km to the east of Mt Mayon.

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76% chance Mayon explodes before 2010

Posted by feww on December 19, 2009

MAYON MAY EXPLODE BY YEAREND: FEWW

More than 250 tremors recorded at Mt Mayon, a sign that the volcano may be about to explode.

About 4 dozen minor explosions have occurred at the volcano, accompanied by off-white columns of smoke, gasses and ash that were ejected to a height of about 1,000 meters  above the summit,  according to the Phivolcs’ latest bulletin.

Below are some of the highlights of latest reports on Mayon:

  • Mayon’s activity has intensified since Friday.
  • Emissions of sulfur dioxide have exceeded 2,000 tons per day.
  • The lava flow has reached about 4 km from the summit crater along the Bonga Gully, generating secondary pyroclastic flows.
  • As the buildup of new lava on the cone continues to increase, the additional weight would cause the edifice to collapse, while the buildup of pressure inside the volcano would most probably result in a major  explosion.
  • Based on the the available evidence, Fire Earth Moderators believe there’s a 76 percent  chance  that Mt Mayon could explode before the year’s end.
  • If the volcano explodes, more lava would flow out of the crater.
  • Phivolcs officials are contemplating on raising the alert level at Mayon Volcano to  Level 4, which would indicate “hazardous volcanic eruption” is imminent.
  • Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management officials said more than 40,000 people or about 8,500 families from 30 villages had already been evacuated to 24 temporary shelters by noon Saturday.

The regional govt in Albay may evacuate an additional 70,000 villagers, in case heavy rains in the area threaten a repeat  2006 nightmare  in which more than 1,000 perished after typhoon Durian triggered mudslides of volcanic ash on November 30, which buried  several villages near the foot of the mountain.

Many of the villagers who have been evacuated reportedly sneak back into their villages to look after their animals and ready-to-harvest seasonal crops.

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Volcano UPDATE: Mt Mayon Could Explode

Posted by feww on December 17, 2009

Mayon: What might happen next

After an explosive eruption, the “perfect cone” could disappear partially or altogether

A major hazardous eruption could lead to large explosions destroying Mt Mayon. The erupting volcano could empty its magma chamber causing the much-admired “perfect cone” edifice to collapse into its depleted reservoir, and forming a caldera.


BEFORE: Mayon volcano,  located in a coconut-growing region of the central Philippines, is famed for its near-perfect cone shape. Mt Mayon. Credit: Lozaphilippines. Image may be subject to copyright.


AFTER: If Mt Mayon edifice collapses into the magma chamber, the after image may look like the above. [The snow cover is less likely right now.] Photo shows Aniakchak Caldera in the Aleutian Range, Alaska. This 10 km diameter caldera formed about 3,450 years ago. Many smaller cinder cones have formed within the caldera. Credit: USGS

Mayon UPDATE:

As Mayon Volcano continued to eject 500-m plumes of ash into air, spewing lava down its slopes for a third day, and burning rocks, mud and everything else in its path, PHIVOLCS vulcanologists said they expected a major explosive eruption soon.

Up to 50,000 people have been or are about to be evacuated from Mayon’s danger zones and neighboring areas, Philippines Defense Secretary said in a news conference.

Many villagers are reluctant to live because its seasonal harvest time for their crops. They are staying put despite th eregional government threat of martial law.

PHIVOLCS, whose computer network is off the internet when there’s a crisis, as is the case right now,  was reported ass saying it had recorded at least five minor explosions at the volcano on Wednesday, and 80 “high frequency quakes” in the last 24 hours.

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Mayon Lava in Interesting Times!

Posted by feww on December 16, 2009

Mayon Lava Flow Grows

Mayon at a ‘high level of unrest’ may experience  more dangerous explosions


Mt Mayon Spews Lava.
Photo: Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

Mayon 5-level hazard alert raised to level 3 Tuesday after Mayon ejected ash and spewed lava.

According to Phivolcs, “Alert level 3 condition signifies magma is near the top of the crater and incandescent materials are now detaching. Mayon volcano is now at a ‘high level of unrest’ and may have more dangerous explosions.”

Quick fact about the latest episode of activity at Mt Mayon:

  • Phivolcs Level 3 alert means an eruption is expected within days to weeks [Level 4 means an eruption is imminent, while level 5 means eruption is in progress.]
  • Albay Governor Jose Salceda has declared “a state of imminent disaster” throughout the province, to allow the provincial government to access disaster funds needed to evacuate residents in Mayon’s danger zones.
  • Phivolcs scientist, Alex Baloloy,  said, “a full blown eruption is expected to take place within weeks to days.”
  • Baloloy said lava had cascaded down about 3 km from the crater summit of the volcano.
  • By Monday Mayon had emitted about 800 tons of Sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas.
  • The air in the region has been described as “hot and irritable” and “smelly.”
  • After 23 volcanic quakes on Monday, 5 ash explosions occurred at the volcano generating a mix of brownish and grayish ash cloud.
  • Phivolcs said it had recorded 78 volcanic earthquakes in the last 24 hours
  • Philippines disaster management officials have now evacuated about 50,000 people from Tabaco City and the towns of Malipot, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan and Ligao near Mt Mayon, aiming for a “zero-casualty situation.”
  • Schoolrooms within an 8-km radius of Mt Mayon have been suspended and used as evacuation shelters. [Let’s hope the schools are better built in the Philippines than they are in China.]
  • Mayon has experienced more than 50 eruption in 400 years.
  • The first recorded major eruption occurred in 1616.
  • The most voluminous lava flow occurred in the 1766 eruption.
  • Mayon’s most destructive eruption occurred on February 1, 1814. The volcano bombarded the town of Cagsa with tephra, burying all but the bell tower of the town’s church in about 9 m of ash. As many as 2,300 of Albay residents may have perished in the volcano’s deadliest eruption to date.
  • Mayon erupted continuously for 7 days starting June 23, 1897. The village of Bacacay was buried in 15 m of lava. About 500 villagers were killed in the aftermath.

Fire Earth Moderators believe more volcanic activities at other Philippines volcanoes are highly probable in the near future. The volcanoes located on the island on Mindanao are particularly liable to erupt in the next 12 to 36 months.

The moderators also believe a large eruption may occur at Taal volcano. For other related forecast, see links below and search blog contents.

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Mayon Volcano Oozes Lava

Posted by feww on December 15, 2009

Mayon, Philippines most active volcano, oozes lava and ejects plumes of ash into the air

The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, PHIVOLCS, raised the five-step alert to 3 after increased activity at Mayon volcano.

The authorities have evacuated thousands of residents from the 6-km (4 miles) permanent danger zone, which is now declared a prohibited area.

About 50,000 people live in an 8km (5 mile) radius of the mountain.


Lava cascades down the slopes of Mayon volcano in Legazpi city, Albay province, Monday Dec. 14, 2009.  (AP Photo/Nelson Salting). Image may be subject to copyright.


About 30,000 people were evacuated from the foot of Mt Mayon after the volcano spewed ash and lava in Albay province, the Philippines.  Photo:AFP. Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

Magma had been steadily rising at Mayon since late November and finally oozed out of the crater late Monday, and the activity at the volcano is expected to intensify, said PHILVOC.

If magma continues to push up the crater at a steady rate there would be lava flows, and “the possibility of an explosion.” PHILVOC reported.


Major Volcanoes of the Philippines Location Map. Click image to enlarge.

The 2467-meter Mayon Volcano is a stratovolcano [it is renowned for its almost perfectly conical shape] islocated about 15 kilometres northwest of Legazpi City [about 500 kilometers south of the capital, Manila,] in the province of Albay, Bicol Region, on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines.

Mayon is one of the 22 or so active volcanoes in the Philippines, and has caused the deaths of thousands of people and devastated several towns and villages in three major eruptions since its 1814. In 2006, after several eruptions, typhoon Durian triggered mudslides of volcanic ash on November 30, which buried  several villages near the foot of the mountain, killing about 1,000 people.

Fire Earth Moderators believe more volcanic activities at other Philippines volcanoes are highly probable in the near future. The volcanoes located on the island on Mindanao are particularly liable to erupt in the next 12 to 36 months.

The moderators also believe a large eruption may occur at Taal volcano. For other related forecast, see links below and search blog contents.

Related Links:

Posted in mayon rumbling, Mayon Volcano, Mt Mayon, Philippines volcanoes, volcano | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »