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Archive for May 20th, 2015

Major Disaster Declared for West Virginia (third in two months)

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

West Virginia Declared Federal Disaster Area

West Virginia Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides (DR-4220)

The disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of April 8-11, 2015.

The areas worst affected by the disasters include the counties of Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Lewis, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, and Wetzel.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments, said the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations.

This is the THIRD Major Disaster Declaration proclaimed for W. Virginia since end of March this year.

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January–April Global Temperature Highest Ever Recorded

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

Global temperature rises to a new record across land and ocean surfaces: Report

During January–April 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.80°C (1.44°F) above the 20th century average—the highest for the period since 1880, NCDC reported.

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January–April 2015)

  • The January–April globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.48°C  (2.66°F) above the 20th century average—the highest for the period since records began in 1880.
  • The globally-averaged sea surface temperature for the period was 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 20th century average, tying  with 2010 as the second highest for January–April on record, trailing 1998 by 0.04°F (0.02°C).

Global highlights: April 2015

  • The April globally-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average—the highest for April ever recorded, said NCDC.
  • April’s average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average, making it the fourth highest for April on record.
  • The April globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.11°C (2.00°F) above the 20th century average, making it the 10th highest for April in the 1880–2015 record.

Polar Icecaps

  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for April was more than 800,000 square kilometers ( 310,000 square miles) about 5.5 percent below the 1981–2010 average, or the second smallest April extent since records began in 1979, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported. The 2007 April extent was 78,000 square kilometers (30,000 square miles) smaller.
  • Antarctic sea ice in April was 1,657,000 square kilometers (640,000 square miles) about 22.4 percent above the 1981–2010 average, making it the largest April Antarctic sea ice extent on record, surpassing the previous record of 2014 by 26,000 square kilometers (10,000 square miles).

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for April 2015, published online May 2015, retrieved on May 20, 2015 from

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – May 20, 2015

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

Another ruptured pipeline in California spills 21,000 gallons of oil into ocean, onto beaches

On May 19, 2015 the NOAA was notified of a 24-inch pipeline rupture that occurred earlier today near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, CA [34°27.74′N, 120° 5.21′W.] An estimated 500 barrels (21,000 gallons, or 79,500 liters) of crude oil was released on the shoreside of Hwy 101 which then flowed into the Pacific Ocean. The source has since been secured. USCG personnel estimated the size of the sheen to be 3.5 NM [6.5km] along the beach and 50-100 yards into the water. Oil Spill Recovery Organizations are on-scene to conduct cleanup operations. California Department of Fish and Wildlife has ordered beach closures. [NOAA]

Japan’s Takata Recalls 33.8 Million Vehicles Worldwide Over Deadly Air Bags

More than 33.8 million cars and trucks have been recalled by Takata Corp., the largest recall in history, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday.

“This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The Japanese air bag manufacturer had previously refused to admit its air bag inflaters are defective and the air bags can explode violently, sending lethal metal fragments flying into the passenger compartment.

At least 10 major automakers—BMW, Fiat, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota—have already issued recalls for about 17 million vehicles in the U.S. and more than 36 million globally.

The defect has reportedly caused at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries, including loss of sight.


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Significant Quakes Strike Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, Tonga, Tajikistan

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

M6.7 quake strikes Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Centered at 54.359°S, 132.158°W the quake occurred at a depth of 10.2 km (6.3 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.7Mw
Location: 54.359°S, 132.158°W depth=10.2 km (6.3 mi)
Time: 2015-05-19 15:25:21 (UTC)

Other Significant Quakes

  • M5.5, 28km ESE of Roghun, Tajikistan 2015-05-20 03:31:42 UTC depth=11.2 km
  • M6.0, 128km WNW of Pangai, Tonga 2015-05-20 00:30:51 UTC depth=180.3 km
  • M5.8, 100km SSE of Port-Vila, Vanuatu 2015-05-19 13:54:55 UTC depth=50.0 km

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