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Archive for November 21st, 2013

Tropical Cyclone HELEN Striking East India Coast

Posted by feww on November 21, 2013

HELEN packing sustained winds of 115kmph gusting to 145kmph

Tropical Cyclone HELEN (04B) was moving WNW at about 7kmph over warm waters (29ºC) in Bay of Bengal.

At 08:00UTC on November 21, 2013 HELEN wan positioned near 15.9ºN 83.3ºE about 540km ESE (105 degrees) of Hyderabad, India.  [Estimate is based on FIRE-EARTH Models.]

The cyclone was generating significant wave heights of up to 6 meters, as of posting.

TC HELEN IR image -  F-E Enhancement
Tropical Cyclone HELEN. INFRARED [FIRE-EARTH Enhancement] satellite image recorded at 06:30UTC on November 21, 2013. Original image sourced from: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

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NE China Hit by Worst Snowstorm in 50 Years

Posted by feww on November 21, 2013

Heavy Snow Blankets NE China

Blizzard closed expressways and schools bringing traffic to a virtual standstill across northeast China’s Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces.

China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a yellow alert for blizzards Sunday morning for a second consecutive day, said Xinhua.

Blizzard buffeted NE provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, covering the ground with a 20-cm (8 in) layer of snow, the NMC said.

NE China Blizzard
Heavy snow blankets NE China. Image credit: Xinhua.

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Volcano Erupts in Ogasawara Islands

Posted by feww on November 21, 2013

Warning issued to Pacific shipping after volcano erupts, forming a new Island

Authorities have warned shipping in the Pacific Ocean to maintain vigilance for airborne volcanic material after a volcano erupted near one of the Ogasawara Islands, some 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, NHK reported Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) as saying.

Japan Coast Guard has confirmed black smoke spewing out of a new land mass about 500 meters southeast of Nishinoshima island, JMA said

Video footage shows a plume of black and white smoke and steam  rising to a height of more than 600 meters above a new landmass measuring about 200 meters across.

Ogasawara - new island formed from volcanic eruption
Black and white smoke and steam rising to a height of more than 600 meters above a new 200-m long landmass created by volcanic eruption near Nishino shima, Bonin Islands, south of Japan. Screenshot from NHK news video clip.

new volcanic island
Screenshot  from NHK news video clip.

“The agency says multiple clusters of white smoke overhead suggest intermittent explosions,” said the report.

Volcanic activity created a new island which was fused to the uninhabited Nishinoshima between 1973 and 1974, the last time when eruptions occurred near the island.

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

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

In 2010, one of the volcanoes in the region erupted, spewing smoke and ash to a height of about about 100 meters above the sea level. The surrounding sea area changed to a greenish-yellow color with nearby areas turning cloudy.

JMA said the volcano, called Fukutokuokanoba, had 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

Related Links:

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Crop Disaster Areas Declared across 4 States

Posted by feww on November 21, 2013

22 Counties across four states declared crop disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 22  counties in four states as agricultural disaster areas due to losses caused by excessive rains and flooding that began May 5, 2013, and continues.

The disaster areas are

Vermont: Addison, Chittenden, Grand Isle, Rutland, Bennington, Essex, Orange, Caledonia, Franklin, Orleans, Windham, Washington, Windsor and Lamoille counties.

Massachusetts: Berkshire and Franklin counties.

New Hampshire: Cheshire, Coos, Grafton and  Sullivan counties.

New York:  Rensselaer and Washington counties.

Crop Disaster 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared 3,924 county-level agricultural disaster areas across 44 states, so far this year.

The crop disasters for year 2013 include losses and damages caused by

  • Flash flooding
  • Excessive rain, moisture, humidity
  • Severe Storms, thunderstorms
  • Ground Saturation
  • Standing Water
  • Hail
  • Wind, High Winds
  • Fire, Wildfire
  • Heat, Excessive heat
  • High Temp. (incl. low humidity)
  • Winter Storms, Ice Storms, Snow, Blizzard
  • Frost, FREEZE
  • Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tropical Storms
  • Tornadoes
  • Volcano
  • Mudslides, Debris Flows, Landslides
  • Heavy Surf
  • Ice Jams
  • Insects
  • Tidal Surges
  • Cold, wet weather
  • Cool/Cold, Below-normal Temperatures
  • Lightning
  • Disease

1. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

2. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

3. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

4. A number of counties have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

5. The disaster designations were approved by USDA between January 9 and November 20, 2013.

Recent Crop Disaster Designations

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