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Archive for December 21st, 2013

Multiple Hazard Warnings in Effect Across Much of The U.S.

Posted by feww on December 21, 2013


Severe weather, damaging winds, heavy rain and flooding hit much of the U.S.

Multiple hazard warnings are in effect across much of the United States this weekend. The Warnings, Watches and Advisories issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) include Flash Flood Warning, Ice Storm Warning, Winter Storm Warning, High Wind Warning, Storm Warning, Flood Warning, High Surf Warning, Heavy Freezing Spray Warning, and Gale Warning.

Alerts for poor Air Quality and Hazardous Weather Outlook have also been issued by NWS.

“A mixed bag of hazards will be possible across much of the U.S. on Saturday. Severe weather with damaging winds and tornadoes will be possible from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley. Heavy rainfall could cause flooding from the Ark-La-Tex into the Lower Great Lakes. And winter weather will impact the Northwest as well as locations from the southern Plains to New England.” —NWS

us weather hazmap
U.S. Weather Hazards Map (Hazmap)  for Saturday, December 21, 2013. Source: NWS. Map Enhanced by FIRE-EARTH. UPDATE

U.S. Temperature Range: 103 degrees

High Temperature for Friday, December 20, 2013 (as received by 7 am EST December 21): 86 at Edinburg, TX

Low Temperature for Saturday, December 21, 2013 (as received by 7 am EST December 21):  -17 at Bismarck, ND

Source: National High and Low Temperature (for the contiguous United States), NWS Weather Prediction Center, Issued 7 am EST Saturday, December 21, 2013

Global Temperature Analysis – November 2013

Global November average temperature was highest on record, while year-to-date global average temperature tied for fourth highest on record, reported NCDC/NOAA.

Global Highlights from NCDC Report

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2013 was record highest for the 134-year period of record, at 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 1.43°C (2.57°F) above the 20th century average of 5.9°C (42.6°F), the second highest for November on record, behind 2010. For the global oceans, the November average sea surface temperature was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F), tying with 2009 as the third highest for November.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the September–November period was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F), the second warmest such period on record, behind only 2005.
  • The September–November worldwide land surface temperature was 1.08°C (1.94°F) above the 20th century average, the third warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the same period was 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average, tying with 2009 and 2012 as the fourth warmest September–November on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the year-to-date (January–November) was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.2°F), tying with 2002 as the fourth warmest such period on record.


… precipitation anomalies during November 2013 varied significantly around the globe…  record wetness was observed during November over sections of coastal China, central Japan, north central Australia, and north central Mexico.

Record dryness observed across different parts of the globe, including some small sections of coastal South America, parts of north west Africa, a few regions of central and southern Asia, and parts of far west and southern Australia.

Parts of the United States had below average precipitation during the first 11 months of the year.

  • California experienced a record low during the first 11 months of 2013.

Select National Highlights

  • Russia observed its warmest November since national records began in 1891. Some areas of the Urals, Siberia, south of the Far East region, and on the Arctic islands in the Kara Sea had temperatures that were more than 8°C (14°F) higher than the monthly average.
  • Parts of Southern Australia, southern Pakistan, a section of north east Kazakhstan, and eastern Tanzania were record warm. No region of the world’s land areas was record cold.
    • Australia’s September-November mean average temperature was the warmest such period at 1.57ºC above the 1961-1990 average.

Recent Extreme Weather Events

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Mass Die-off of Manatees in Florida Waters

Posted by feww on December 21, 2013


Record number of manatees die in Florida waters 

Toxic algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico was the leading killer of the endangered manatees in Florida waters this year, says Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Dinoflagellates, the marine plankton responsible for algal bloom (red tide), which produce deadly neurotoxins, settle on the sea grasses that manatees eat, impairing their nervous system and causing them to drown, or so it’s thought.

At least 92 manatee deaths in the Indian River Lagoon, in central Florida, along the Atlantic coast is also thought to have been caused by algal bloom.

See also:  Manatee death toll rising in Florida despite Red Tide ebbing

A large percentage of manatees are also killed by boats.

Some 803 manatee deaths occurred in Florida waters between January 1 and December 13, the largest toll for any year since record-keeping began 40 years ago.

Some 392 manatee died in Florida in 2012 and 453 deaths were recorded in 2011.

“The previous record was 766 manatee deaths and that was in 2010,” said the commission spokesman. “That was a year when cold weather was a major factor.”

As of 2011 about 4,834 manatees were living in Florida’s waters, an aerial survey showed.

WI Manatee
A group of three West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) was photographed feeding on seagrass. Manatees (family Trichechidae, genus Trichechus, order Sirenia ) are large, aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals. Also known as  sea cows, they measure up to 13 feet (4.0 m) long, and weigh as much as 1,300 pounds (590 kg). Photo: NOAA

Florida, USA.The cold December weather caused 35 manatee deaths, adding to what was already a record-breaking annual total of manatee deaths. Last year, 767 manatees died, which was more than double the annual average, said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.”

Cozy Relationship or Federal Felony: Environmental group suing U.S. Govt over oil permits [May 16, 2010]

The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, has filed a notice of intent to sue Ken Salazar the U.S. Interior Secretary, and the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) for failing to get the necessary environmental permits, required by two environmental laws, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act, before approving offshore oil operations.

Note, the key words and phrases here are, “failing to get the necessary environmental permits,” the Endangered Species Act and “the Marine Mammal Protection Act.” and

“The Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act prohibit private entities, such as oil companies, as well as federal agencies, such as the Minerals Management Service — the branch of the Interior Department responsible for managing offshore oil activities — from killing, harming, or harassing marine mammals, unless they have received authorizations and take measures to minimize the impacts of their activities. The Endangered Species Act protects species such as the sperm whale, which is listed as endangered, while the Marine Mammal Protection Act applies to all marine mammals, such as the bottlenose dolphin and the Florida manatee.” The group said in their notice.

Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act

Florida Statute: 370.12 and Florid Administrative Code: Chapter 68C-22

manatee sanctuary map

This act declares Florida a refuge and sanctuary for the manatee, the Florida state marine mammal. The act declares it unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner to intentionally or negligently annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee; injure or harm or attempt to injure or harm any manatee; capture or collect or attempt to capture or collect any manatee; pursue, hunt, wound, or kill or attempt to pursue, hunt, wound, or kill any manatee; or possess, literally or constructively, any manatee or any part of any manatee. The Florida statute provides guidelines for counties to establish manatee speed zones on county waters, as well as manatee protection zones. The Florida Administrative Code sets forth rules by county where manatee protection applies. Source: NOAA/CS

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BRUCE Becomes a Super Cyclonic Storm

Posted by feww on December 21, 2013


BRUCE is now a Super Cyclonic Storm with 0.8 certainty

FIRE-EARTH Models show BRUCE has strengthened to a Super Cyclonic Storm with 80 percent certainty, packing winds of over 255 km/h at about 04:00UTC on December 21, 2013.

FIRE-EARTH Estimates

Position: Near 15.0ºS, 84.3ºE
Maximum Sustained Winds:  255+ km/h
Maximum Wind Gust: 320 km/h
Significant Wave Height:  15m
Movement: WSW (250 degrees) at 25km/h

[Note: FIRE-EARTH Models input data from various sources including ESA, NOAA, JTWC and others.]

bruce 21dec 0430211213
Super Cyclonic Storm BRUCE. VIS/SWIR [FIRE-EARTH Enhancement] Satellite image – recorded at 04:30UTC on December 21, 2013. Original Image Sourced from: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

Point of No Return

In 2004¹,  our team forecast an 80-90 percent increase in the total power dissipated annually by tropical cyclones  in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by 2015.

Storms will continue to get stronger (develop greater average intensities) and survive at high intensity for longer (take more time to dissipate peak energy) resulting in substantial increases in storm-related losses in the near future.

[1. First draft posted by MSRB on Internet on February 26, 2005]

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