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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for February 6th, 2010

Submarine Volcano Erupts Near Japan

Posted by feww on February 6, 2010

Fukutokuokanoba submarine volcano erupts

White smoke was observed rising from the sea about five kilometers north-northeast of the Minami-Iwoto island in Ogasawara Islands, a Japanese coast guard patrol vessel reported, Yomiuri Shimbun said.

Smoke believed to be emanating from an underwater volcano was previously detected in the area, about 1,200 kilometers south of central Tokyo, in July 2005.

Tokyo Institute of Technology geoscience Professor, Kenji Nogami, reportedly said: “In the 1986 eruption, a new island appeared after lava accumulated. The island was washed away by waves, but seabed upheaval reduced the water depth to 22 meters in 1999. It’s possible that this [recent] volcanic activity could form a permanent island.”

Location Map, Volcano Islands, Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Image credit: Lim Tor

Bonin Islands (aka, Ogasawara Group, in Japan).  Click Image to Enlarge.

The volcano reportedly ejected  smoke and ash to a height of about about 100 meters above the sea level. The surrounding sea area was reported as changing to a greenish yellow color with other nearby areas turning cloudy.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the volcano, called Fukutokuokanoba, has erupted seven times since 1904, forming ephemeral islands (temporary land masses) on three occasions, all of which later sank below the ocean surface.

The first known ephemeral island called Shin-Iwo-jima (New Sulfur Island) was formed in 1904, and the most recent in 1986.

What the Volcano Islands Look Like

North Iwo Jima Island (Official Japanese name Kita-iōtō, but commonly known as Kita-iōjima, meaning “north sulfur island”) is the northernmost island of the Volcano Islands cluster of the Ogasawara Islands, about 1175 km south of Tokyo. Image Credit: Chisatos

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Posted in Japan Volcano, New Sulfur Island, Ogasawaramura, Tokyo Prefecture, volcanism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Humongous Snowstorm Paralyzes Eastern U.S.

Posted by feww on February 6, 2010

Snow Forecast: Record 76 cm (30 in)

Snowfall totals of up to 76 cm are forecast from Virginia to southern New Jersey

Virginia, Maryland and Delaware  declare states of emergency amid “snowpocalypse,” and put the National Guard on alert

Real-Time U.S. Composite Satellite Image.
Click Image to enlarge (24-Hr FE ED). Source: UW-SSEC

A ferocious blizzard caused by at least 12 inches of snow, as of posting (and mounting),  and 64 km/h  (40 mph)  winds in what is dubbed as “snowmageddon” is pummeling the US mid-Atlantic.

The authorities canceled all flights at Washington’s Reagan National airport, allowing only a few international flights to operate at Dulles International, news reports said.

The blizzard forced the U.S. govt offices in the Washington area to close after lunch yesterday.

Virginia Department of Transportation, VDOT said it had less than 6% of the state’s snow removal budget left, with the lion’s share already spent during the earlier blizzard in December.

About 20,000 homes have lost power in the Washington area as power lines and tree branches snapped under heavy snow.

The blizzard is the second to strike the area since December, when another storm dumped about 41 cm (16in) of snow in the Washington area.

Forecasters have predicted more than 76 cm (30 inches) of snow, for the area, some 5 cm (2 in) more than the all time record of 28 inches set in 1922.

GOES East – Eastern U.S. Imagery

An aviation color enhancement of a satellite image. GEOS Eastern U.S. Imagery

Weather Map – Click Image to Enlarge

The National Weather Service Snow Stats:

More than 30.5cm (12in, 1ft) of snowfall:  13 times since records began in 1870

Heaviest snowfall on record:  71cm (28in) in January 1922

Worst snowfall ever: about 91.5cm (3ft)  hit the area  in 1772 (100 years before records began)

National Snow Analysis:

February 5, 2010 (Metric Units)

Area Covered By Snow: 62.3%
Area Covered Last Month: 59.0%
Snow Depth
Average: 17.0 cm
Minimum: 0.0 cm
Maximum: 2340.7 cm
Std. Dev.: 27.6 cm
Snow Water Equivalent
Average: 3.7 cm
Minimum: 0.0 cm
Maximum: 1158.5 cm
Std. Dev.: 7.1 cm

February 5, 2010 (English Units)

Area Covered By Snow: 62.3%
Area Covered Last Month: 59.0%
Snow Depth
Average: 6.7 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 921.5 in
Std. Dev.: 10.9 in
Snow Water Equivalent
Average: 1.5 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 456.1 in
Std. Dev.: 2.8 in

Other NOHRSC Links:

Snow Cover Animations:

Snow Reports

Top Ten: Metric Units…
Station ID Name Elev
35.1322_082.9342 LAKE TOXAWAY (278LAK) 3061 5.000 6 2010-02-05 04
0724H_MADIS CLOUDCROFT 0.4 ESE, NM 8940 12.000 24 2010-02-04 14
0730H_MADIS CLOUDCROFT 2.3 S, NM 8684 12.000 24 2010-02-04 14
35.1906_083.3639 EAST FRANKLIN (840685EA) 2087 3.000 6 2010-02-05 03
35.3186_082.4611 HENDERSONVILLE (932HEND) 2188 3.000 6 2010-02-05 05
2199C_MADIS TIJERAS 5.0 E, NM 7113 11.200 24 2010-02-04 14
0722H_MADIS CLOUDCROFT 4.9 NE, NM 8294 10.700 24 2010-02-04 14
MTRN5 MOUNTAINAIR 8NW 6634 10.500 24 2010-02-04 14
2395C_MADIS CLOUDCROFT 16 ESE, NM 6621 10.000 24 2010-02-04 14
3705S_MADIS NORTH LOGAN 0.8 ESE, UT 4757 10.000 24 2010-02-04 15

Doppler Radar National Mosaic
NWS Radar Mosaic. Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

Hazards. Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

Snow Accumulation.   Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

Weather Forecast.  Click Image to enlarge and update.
(24-Hr FE ED).

Predominant Weather. Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

IR Satellite Image. Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

Water Vapor Satellite Image. Click Image to enlarge and update.
(24-Hr FE ED).

Max Temps. Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

Min Temps.
Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

Temp – Real Time Mesoscale Analysis.
Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

6-Hr Precipitation amount.  (24-Hr FE ED). Click Image to enlarge and update.

12-Hr Probability Precipitation (%).   Click Image to enlarge and update. (24-Hr FE ED).

Wind Speed.  Click Image to enlarge and update. (24hr- FE ED).

Wind Gusts.  Click Image to enlarge and update. (24hr- FE ED)

Sky Cover.
Click Image to enlarge and update. (24hr- FE ED)

River and Lake Levels. Click Image to Enter Portal.

US Seasonal Drought Outlook.
Click Image to enlarge.

Surface Weather Charts.
Click image to enter portal.

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Posted in mid-atlantic blizzard, National Guard, snowstorm, state of emergency, US weather | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hurricane OLI Update 4 – February 6

Posted by feww on February 6, 2010

Tropical Cyclone OLI (P12) now a Cat 2B Hurricane Heads Toward the Town of Ahurei, Rapa, Bass Islands, FP

TC OLI – Multispectral Satellite Image. Source: JTWC – Date/Time: Feb 05, 2010, at 23:30UTC


Hurricane OLI Details

  • Time/Date: 6 February 2010 –  03:00 UTC
  • Position:  Near 26.3ºS, 147.3ºW
  • Sustained Movement: 150  degrees
  • Forward speed: 33 km/hr (~ 18 kt)
  • Tropical Cyclone OLI has been tracking  southeast over the past 6 hours.

Current Wind Distribution:

  • Maximum Sustained winds: ~ 169 Km (~ 91 kt)
  • Maximum Gusts:  ~ 204 km/hr (~ 110 kt)
  • Cyclone OLI is currently a Category 2B Hurricane

Wave Height and Location:

  • Maximum significant wave height: ~ 7 m (20 ft)
  • Location: OLI was located about about 890 km (~ 480 NM) south of Tahiti
  • Sources: JTWC and Others

Other Comments:

The storm eye is no longer visible. The system will continue to weaken due to decreasing sea surface temperatures and increasing vertical wind shear, and is expected to become fully extratropical in the next 36 hours.

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Posted in extratropical, hurricane, Hurricane OLI, storm, Tropical Cyclone OLI | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top 10 Messages from Pluto

Posted by feww on February 6, 2010

Keep Your Paws Off PLUTO!

10 Messages From Plutonians Might Send NASA

10. Keep your paws OFF Pluto.
9. This is a decent planet inhabited by intelligent folks.
You call it Solar System; we call it home!
7. Pluto’s moons are unlike your moon, but you wouldn’t know the difference, would you.
6. We deal severely with junk dumpers in the space.
We don’t wish to pass your fertility test.
There’s more water on your moon than on Pluto’s moons [and we didn’t have to rape our moons to find out, you Neanderthals.]
3. Think universal;
stay local!
2. You can’t go to Mars via Pluto, or by way of your moon for that mater.
1. We have landed on
Charon, our largest moon; what’s taking you guys so long?

Pluto and her moons.
Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (JHU/APL), A. Stern (SwRI), and the HST Pluto Companion Search Team

‘Pluto has become significantly redder, while its illuminated northern hemisphere is getting brighter.’ NASA

Images below are purported to be NASA’s most detailed images of planet Pluto. ‘Hubble Space Telescope show an icy, mottled, dark molasses-colored world undergoing seasonal surface color and brightness changes.’ NASA said.

‘These changes are most likely consequences of surface ice melting on the sunlit pole and then refreezing on the other pole, as the dwarf planet heads into the next phase of its 248-year-long seasonal cycle. Analysis shows the dramatic change in color took place from 2000 to 2002.’

The distant dwarf, Pluto, was discovered in 1930, but had to wait until NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope could map it in detail more than 6 decades later.

But does NASA’s account of ‘seasonal surface color and brightness changes’ correctly explain the image differences? When is Hubble due in for another service?

[February 4, 2010.] New Hubble Maps of Pluto Show Surface Changes. Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has been a speck of light in the largest ground-based telescopes. But NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has now mapped the dwarf planet in never-before-seen detail. The new map is so good, astronomers have even been able to detect changes on the dwarf planet’s surface by comparing Hubble images taken in 1994 with the newer images taken in 2002-2003. The task is as challenging as trying to see the markings on a soccer ball 40 miles away.

Hubble’s view isn’t sharp enough to see craters or mountains, if they exist on the surface, but Hubble reveals a complex-looking and variegated world with white, dark-orange, and charcoal-black terrain. The overall color is believed to be a result of ultraviolet radiation from the distant Sun breaking up methane that is present on Pluto’s surface, leaving behind a dark, molasses-colored, carbon-rich residue. Astronomers were very surprised to see that Pluto’s brightness has changed — the northern pole is brighter and the southern hemisphere is darker and redder. Summer is approaching Pluto’s north pole, and this may cause surface ices to melt and refreeze in the colder shadowed portion of the planet. The Hubble pictures underscore that Pluto is not simply a ball of ice and rock but a dynamic world that undergoes dramatic atmospheric changes. Source: Hubble/NASA Press Release

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some of the ideas for this post were submitted by readers

Posted in charon, hydra, nix, PLUTO, solar system | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »