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Archive for December 24th, 2009

‘Humongous’ storm spreads across the US

Posted by feww on December 24, 2009

Christmas day could bring 2 ft of snow

Winter storm spreading from the north to Texas and from west Colorado to Illinois

“There’s just a humongous storm moving across the center of the country, basically from the Canadian border to Texas and spreading from west Colorado to Illinois.”  —National Weather Service.

Near Real-Time U.S. Composite Satellite ImageClick image to enlarge.

At least 10 people have been killed most of them in accidents caused by icy roads throughout Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico. Up to 300 flights from Chicago airport have been canceled.

The latest storm closely follows a record snowfall that blanketed the US East Coast last weekend, causing power cuts to at least 100,000 customers in the region. Many in West Virginia and Virginia are still without power, reports said.

The storm system developed in the southwestern US on Tuesday creating large dust storms across the California desert and Arizona.

The system then moved across the country to the Midwest and is currently causing severe blizzards throughout the region covering a large area from Kansas to Minnesota.

“We would recommend that people if at all possible postpone their travel plans just to be on the safe side,” Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the National Weather Service said. “This is not a storm to be messed with.”

Nebraska, and the Upper Mississippi Valley should experience the worst of the snow accumulation, with freezing rain expected across much of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, forecasters said, warning of thunderstorms causing flooding across the Ohio Valley to Texas in the south.

IR Satellite Image. Click image to update.

Weather. Click image to enlarge and update.

Temperature. Click image to enlarge and update.

Predominant Weather.
Click image to enlarge and update.

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Posted in Nebraska snow, thunderstorms causing flooding, Upper Mississippi Valley, US snow storm, US winter storm | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [24 Dec 2009]

Posted by feww on December 24, 2009

VoW: Mayon

Mayon Volcano ejects a column of ash into air December 24, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo). Image may be subject to copyright.

For recent information on Mayon click links below:

SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(17 December – 23 December 2009)

New Activity/Unrest:

Volcano News (Source: GVP)

KVERT reported that a significant thermal anomaly from Bezymianny was detected in satellite imagery on 17 December. A few hours later a large explosive eruption produced ash plumes that were seen drifting as far as 350 km W and NW.

Ash from Bezymianny volcano covers a thick blanket of snow at Kozyrevsk village December 16-17, 2009. Credit: Yu. Demyanchuk/ KVERT.

Ongoing Activity

Chaitén, Southern Chile; Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka; Kilauea, Hawaii; Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia); Sakura-jima, Kyushu (Japan); Sangay, Ecuador;  Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia); Soufrière Hills, Montserrat; Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

Strombolian activity and new lava flow at the eastern flank of Klyuchevskoy volcano on December 21, 2009. Credit: Yu. Demyanchuk/ KVERT.

State of Klyuchevskoy volcano on December 23, 2009.  Credit: Yu. Demyanchuk/ KVERT.

Related Links:

More Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Other Related Links:

Recent Posts on Chaitén:

Posted in Klyuchevskoy, volcano, Volcano Hazard, Volcano Status, Volcano Watch Weekly | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mayon Volcano Update 24 December 2009

Posted by feww on December 24, 2009

Mayon lava fountains shoot up to 500m

Mt Mayon’s Unrest Continues at High Levels of Intensity

Mayon Volcano in Legazpi city shoots up a column of ash into air during a small explosion December 24, 2009. The Philippines’ most active volcano could erupt explosively anytime. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo). Image may be subject to copyright.

State Vulcanologists record 815 volcanic earthquakes and harmonic tremors, many at maximum deflection.

    • Mayon lava fountains shoot up to 500m.
    • Mt Mayon unrest continues at high levels of intensity.
    • Incandescent lava fragments were ejected during several explosions which occurred last night.
    • 20 Ash explosions, observed when visibility was good, ejected columns of “grayish to light brown” ash up to 1500 meters into air.
    • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions  remained high at an average daily rate of about 5,737 metric tons, yesterday.
    • 124 booming and rumbling sounds were heard throughout the past 24 hours.

    The following Bulletin by Phivolcs was released today:

    Mayon Volcano Bulletin 11  released on 24 December 2009

    Mayon Volcano’s (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) intense level of unrest continued to persist during the past observation period.  Seismic activity remained elevated in number and size as the seismic network detected 815 volcanic earthquakes and harmonic tremors. Many of these volcanic earthquakes were recorded at maximum deflection. Twenty (20) ash explosions were observed during times of good visibility. These explosions produced grayish to light brown ash columns that reached height from 100 to 1500 meters above the summit before drifting towards the southwest by the prevailing northeast monsoon. Lava fountaining was observed at 2312 PM, 2314 PM, 2320 PM and 2332 PM with maximum height of 500 meters above the crater. Several explosions with ejected incandescent lava fragments were noted during night observations.

    Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate remained high and was measured at an average of 5,737 tons per day (t/d) yesterday. One hundred twenty four (124) audible booming and rumbling sounds were intermittently heard for the past 24 hours.  Red hot lava also continuously flowed down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies.

    Alert Level 4 remains 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.

    For previous entries, additional information and links to Mayon Volcano see:

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    Posted in Bonga-Buyuan, Mayon Volcano, Mt Mayon, Strombolian Phase, sulfur dioxide | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    AA Boeing 737 Crashes in Kingston, Jamaica

    Posted by feww on December 24, 2009

    American Airlines Boeing 737 overshot the runway in Kingston, Jamaica

    ‘American Airlines Flight 331 had endured the crowded airports and delays of holiday travel, and were moments from their Caribbean destination. Suddenly, everything seemed to spin out of control.’ AP reported.

    Workers and officials sift through debris surrounding the fuselage of American Airlines flight AA331 which crash landed overnight on a flight from Miami to Jamaica, just beyond the runway of Norman Manley International Airport, in Kingston Jamaica, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009. More than 40 people were injured, at least 4 seriously, and there were no fatalities, according to officials, after the plane overshot the runway in Jamaica when it landed in heavy rain. (AP Photo/Lloyd Robinson) JAMAICA OUT. Image may be subject to copyright.

    The Boeing 737-800 slammed into the runway at Kingston International Airport on touchdown, skidded to a halt near the sea and the fuselage broke up into several pieces.

    “I just wanted to get the hell out of there, as far as I could, because I could smell the fumes, and I knew that if it blew, it could be a pretty big fireball,” a passenger said.

    Of the 154 people aboard, 92 were taken to hospitals, more than 40 were admitted, at least 4 seriously, though none with life-threatening injuries,  according to Jamaican Information Minister, with a female victim requiring surgery for a broken nose and lacerations to her face.

    “If the plane was going faster, it would have gone into the sea,” Jamaica’s Transport Minister said, calling the incident a “Christmas miracle.” [A possible conclusion, don’t fly to Jamaica, unless it’s Christmas time.]

    “At this point, it’s now going to be in the hands of the NTSB and the FAA, plus any Jamaican government authorities that may be involved, and to start and sort of backtrack and see what happened and how it can be prevented from happening again,” an AA spokesperson said.

    “All of a sudden, when it hit the ground, the plane was kind of bouncing. Someone said the plane was skidding and there was panic,” a passenger said.

    “Next thing I know, I hear a crashing sound, then the sound of twisting metal. It all happened so fast, but when the plane came to rest, that’s when the screaming and the carrying on started,”  a 37-year-old passenger said.

    “Everybody’s overhead baggage started to fall. Literally, it was like being in a car accident. People were screaming, I was screaming … There was smoke and debris everywhere,” after the plane finally halted, another passenger said.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Airline industry, Boeing 737-800, flight AA331, Jamaica plane crash, Norman Manley International Airport | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Early Impact of El Niño in Australia

    Posted by feww on December 24, 2009

    Will 2010 Be Hotter and Drier Still?

    Weekly highest maximum temperature for Australia

    Source: BOM. Click image to enlarge. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Current month to date rainfall totals for Australia

    Source: BOM. Click image to enlarge. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Australian Region Infrared Satellite Image

    Source: Image from Japan Meteorological Agency satellite MTSAT-1R via Bureau of Meteorology. Click image to enlarge and update. Image may be subject to copyright.

    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.

    Related Links:

    El Niño Updates:

    Posted in Australia rainfall, climate forecast, Dance of Ocean and Atmosphere, El Niño, Satellite Image Australia | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »