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Archive for March 18th, 2010

Flood Disaster Unfolding in Pakistan

Posted by feww on March 18, 2010

Designer Disaster?

River turned lake in Pakistan threatening the homes, livelihood and lives of 25,000

A massive landslide which killed 19 people in Attabad, northern Pakistan early this year, also formed a natural dam blocking the fast flowing Hunza River, and creating a lake that is drowning upstream villages as it expands, AP reported.

People wait for boats at a lake created after a massive landslide block the Hunza River in Attabad, northern Pakistan. The river has now turned into a lake that is consuming upstream as it expands. If dam breaks, a flash flood could threaten downstream villages. Photo dated  Thursday March 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Shabbir Ahmed Mir). Image may be subject to copyright.

“If the dam breaks, a flash flood could threaten downstream villages too. The landslide also has blocked the Karakoram Highway, a vital trade link to China, cutting off 25,000 people in the Upper Hunza Valley.” The report said.

The accidental lake is about 11 kilometer (6.8 miles) long, and 65 meters (215 feet) deep, with the water level rising at a rate of about 0.5 m  a day, said the National Disaster Management Authority.

“At least one major bridge in the area has been submerged.”

More …

Related Links:

Posted in drought and deluge, flood, Upper Hunza Valley | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by feww on March 18, 2010

Image of the day:

Worst drought in a century in Guizhou province, SW China

Southwest China’s Guizhou Province is experiencing its worst drought in a
century, with nearly 90 counties affected. Source: CCTV. Image may be subject to copyright.

The drought has cut drinking water supplies to five million people, and more than two million animals. Sixty percent of agricultural land has been hit, local government said, CCTV reported.

Related Links:

Posted in Drought, drought and deluge | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Imminent Flood Threat in the U.S. Midwest

Posted by feww on March 18, 2010


South and East Also at Risk: NOAA

At least a third of the contiguous United States has an above average flood risk in 2010

The highest flood threats are in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, including along the Red River Valley where crests could approach the record levels set in 2009.

Major flooding has begun and is forecast to continue through spring in parts of the Midwest according to NOAA’s National Weather Service. The South and East are also more susceptible to flooding as an El Niño influenced winter left the area soggier than usual.

US Flood Risk Map. Areas left blank on the map are at “average risk.” Sourec NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

The forecast of imminent Midwest flooding is  supported by a snowpack more extensive than in 2009, which contains more than 10 inches (25cm) of liquid water in some locations. Until early March, consistently cold temperatures limited snow melt and runoff. These conditions exist on top of: above normal streamflows; December precipitation that was up to four times above average; and the ground which is frozen to a depth as much as three feet below the surface, NOAA said. More …

Related Links:

Current NWS Weather Hazard Warnings (U.S.)

Posted in flood, Red River Valley | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

TC ULUI: Mid-air refueling

Posted by feww on March 18, 2010

Image of the Day:

ULUI left its heart above 15ºS

Cyclone ULUI – Visible/IR Image. Source CIMSS. Click Images to enlarge.

Tropical Cyclone ULUI – Visible image – MTSAT 1R – Dated March 18, 2010 at 06:00UTC.   Source: Digital Typhoon.  Click image to enlarge.

How ULUI was born:

For additional images click on the following links:

ULUI History and Related Links:

Posted in cyclone, cyclone photos ului, Cyclone ULUI, storm, TC ULUI | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Unraveling El Niño Mysteries

Posted by feww on March 18, 2010

The following entry is adopted from a NOAA site. They say their researchers have found clues in stratosphere, troposphere and Arctic Vortex that help them unravel El Niño’s ‘mysteries.’

Unraveling El Niño’s Mysteries: New Clues Found in Stratosphere, Troposphere and Arctic Vortex

El Niño’s emergence in the Pacific Ocean creates ripple effects that extend around the globe.

El Niño (Spanish for “the little boy”) is a natural phenomenon that refers to irregular periods of sea surface temperature warming in the tropical Pacific that impacts global weather patterns.

Source NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

El Niño influences our weather:  Ocean temperature, air temperature, ocean currents, winds at various altitudes, air pressure … , and its effects are even more complicated  by human-caused climate change.

El Niño causes weather chaos across the globe:

  • More intense storms in the West Coast of  United States,  but  fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast.
  • India, southeastern Africa, northern Brazil, and Australia usually experience dramatically drier conditions. Shifts in patterns are even stronger in other parts of the world.

Layers of the atmosphere. Source: NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

El Niño creates  highly complex “ripples” that alter atmospheric features from the ocean surface right up to the stratosphere, high above the Earth.

The stratosphere,  a layer of the atmosphere beginning about five miles above sea level, influences weather at ground level. The stratospheric layer of the atmosphere is located above the troposphere.

The troposphere begins at the Earth’s surface and extends up to 6-20 km (4-12 miles) high. We occupy this layer.  The stratosphere begins above the troposphere and extends up to 50 km above the Earth’s surface. This layer holds 19 percent of the atmosphere’s gases but very little water vapor.

Researchers say they have recently found a connection between another atmospheric feature, swirling upper-level winds called the Arctic vortex, and colder than average winters in Europe. They have found links between three factors that also influence the Arctic vortex:

  • El Niño
  • Cooling of the tropical stratosphere
  • Warming of the Arctic stratosphere

More information on El Niño :

Posted in Arctic vortex, atmosphere, Pacific Ocean, stratosphere, Supercell | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cyclone ULUI – UPDATE Mar 18

Posted by feww on March 18, 2010

ULUI Moving!

Having spent 36 hours in a ‘quasistationery state,’ ULUI is finally moving

If you have been monitoring satellite images of cyclone ULUI, you would have probably noticed it wasn’t moving much despite various data indicating an average speed of about 8.8km/hr.

ULUI is now moving at an average speed of about 9 km/hr (5 kt) SSW at sustained wind speeds of about 190 km/hr with gusts of up to 240 km/hr (but weakening).

ULUI is about 1,250 kms ENE of Cairns, Australia, and is expected to come ashore in about three and a half  days and dissipate over eastern Australia within two days thereafter.

The flowing image is a visible/infrared satellite image with all sorts of wacky dynamic model forecasts superimposed.

Cyclone ULUI – Visible/IR Image with Dynamic Model Forecasts Superimposed. Source CIMSS. Click Images to enlarge.

Tropical Cyclone ULUI – Visible image – MTSAT 1R – Dated March 18, 2010 at 00:00UTC.   Source: Digital Typhoon.  Click image to enlarge.

For additional images click on the following links:

ULUI History and Related Links:

Posted in Cairns, Queensland, storm, TC ULUI, tropical cyclone | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »