Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Report - Expect More Storms & Tornadoes!

Recent reports from scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDD), indicated that the United States of America experienced an extreme climate month in April 2011, of historic flooding, record-breaking tornado outbreak and devastating wildfire activities. States like Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia had the wettest April in nearly 200 years, while places like Texas had the driest April on record. Based on other studies, these conditions are expected to get worse in the coming months and years, with more severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

As with any major weather disaster these days -- from floods and hurricanes to wildfires and this week's tornado outbreak in the South -- people ask questions about its relation to the huge elephant that's lurking in the corner, global climate change. Two separate studies in 2007 reported that global warming could bring a dramatic increase in the frequency of weather conditions that feed severe thunderstorms and tornadoes by the end of the 21st century. One study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that locations could see as much as a 100% increase in the number of days that favor severe thunderstorms. "The densely populated regions of the South and East, including New York City and Atlanta, could be especially hard-hit," reported study lead author Jeff Trapp of Purdue University. The fuel for the more intense storms would be the predicted warming of the Earth caused by the burning of fossil fuels that release greenhouse gases. Although the typically stormy spring could see more storms, "summer should have the highest increases in severe weather," said Trapp. His team reported that by the end of the century, the number of spring days with severe thunderstorm conditions would increase mostly over the Southern Plains and Florida. But in the summer, almost the entire eastern half of the country might see an increase in days conducive to more severe storms, with the largest increases likely near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast. - USAToday.

EARTH CHANGES: New Report Confirms Arctic Melt Acceleration!

In April, the National Geographic in an online article, pointed to the stripping of the protective ozone from the Arctic atmosphere and the catastrophic repercussions that could result if the low-ozone air drifted south. Several days later, the United Nations published a report, indicating that the the ozone depletion had reached a record 40 percent, an unprecedented thinning of the ozone layer over the Arctic region. Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), indicated that the Earth experienced the 13th warmest March since record keeping began in 1880, as the climate phenomenon La Niña continued to be a significant factor and that the annual maximum Arctic sea ice extent was reached on March 7, tied with 2006 as the smallest annual maximum extent since record keeping began in 1979.

Today, a new report provides further evidence of the acceleration of the Arctic melt.
Prominent U.S. climate scientist Robert Corell said researchers must try to reach out to all parts of society to spread awareness of the global implications of the Arctic melt... Arctic ice is melting faster than expected and could raise the average global sea level by as much as five feet, an authoritative new report suggests. The study by the international Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, or AMAP, is one of the most comprehensive updates on climate change in the Arctic, and builds on a similar assessment in 2005. The full report will be delivered to foreign ministers of the eight Arctic nations next week, but an executive summary including the key findings was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday. It says that Arctic temperatures in the past six years were the highest since measurements began in 1880, and that feedback mechanisms believed to accelerate warming in the climate system have now started kicking in. - Associated Press.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 7.1 Quake - Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia!

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a magnitude 7.1 earthquake has hit in the South Pacific off the French territory of New Caledonia. No injuries or damage were immediately reported. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there was no threat of a widespread tsunami based on historical earthquake and tsunami data. The USGS and the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake hit at 08:55am GMT on Tuesday, some 26.5 kilometres (km) or 16.5 miles deep beneath the ocean and was located at 20.252°S, 168.273°E. The epicenter was about 92 miles (149 kilometers) off Ile Tadine in New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands chain, and more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from Brisbane, Australia. The earthquake was later downgraded to a 6.8 by the USGS, and was followed by three other 5+ earthquakes in the same area, a 5.7 at 10:24am, a 5.2 at 10.37am and a 5.5 at 10:44am.

THE GREAT DELUGE: "I've Never Seen It That Bad In 62 Years!"

“In 62 years, I’ve never seen it that bad.”

Army engineers today dramatically opened the floodgates at a huge spillway on the bank of the Mississippi River in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the devastation of record-breaking floods.

Workers pulled restraining devices off 28 gates at the Bonnet Carre spillway, upriver from New Orleans, sending waves of flood water rushing away from the city. It came as the mighty Mississippi River swelled to its crest, threatening thousands of homes, as residents braced themselves for the worst floods the region has seen since 1927. Army engineers said they would continue to monitor the situation before deciding whether or not to release the rest of the spillway's 350 gates. The flood control system, which was built in 1929, two years after the historic 1927 flood, is designed to slow the flow of the water and divert it away from low-lying New Orleans. But as troops desperately worked to control the rising river, officials warned residents that the measure would only delay, not cease, the inevitable. Locals could expect water from five to 25 feet deep over parts of seven parishes and some of Louisiana's most valuable farmland is expected to be inundated, they said. - Daily Mail.

The Mississippi River was approaching levels it has not reached in over 70 years as it rolled through here on Monday, attracting a festive crowd of spectators to its banks but also sending residents out of their homes in some parts of the city as the river shoved its tributaries aside to make way.
By Tuesday morning, the river is expected to reach 48 feet, 14 feet above flood stage, said Susan Buchanan of the National Weather Service. It is expected stay at or near that level for several days before receding as the crest moves downriver. Despite the parade-like atmosphere along the Memphis riverfront, county officials urged residents to take caution, offering the same advice one might give in the presence of a mad dog: keep your distance until it moves on. “There is a lot of fascination with the mighty Mississippi, but it’s a river in rage right now,” Bob Nations, the director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness, said at a Monday afternoon briefing. “It’s a love-hate relationship we have with it.” Mr. Nations emphasized that the real flooding concern was not necessarily with the Mississippi itself but with tributaries like the Wolf and Loosahatchie Rivers that feed into it. The levees along the river itself were holding up, officials from the Army Corps of Engineers said on Monday. But the tributaries and creeks, deluged with backwater flowing from the Mississippi, are escaping their banks in suburbs and mobile home parks in Memphis and surrounding Shelby County. Using maps and modeling, county emergency officials estimated that roughly 3,000 properties were likely to be affected by the flooding. And 2,000 more could be affected if the river rises another few feet, city officials said. The authorities in Memphis have been going door to door for days in flood-prone parts of Shelby County, urging hundreds of residents to move to higher ground. By Monday, about 400 people were staying in three shelters in the area, though others have also left their homes. “I couldn’t see myself being rescued from a rooftop,” said Lanette Coleman, who left her home in north Memphis on Friday and was staying in a hotel... In Arkansas, where the crest of the White River is slowly moving south, 16 towns have been affected by flooding, said Renee Preslar, a spokeswoman for the state emergency management agency.  The recent flooding has been responsible for at least three deaths in Arkansas, bringing to 18 the toll of people who have died in the state since a wave of heavy rains and storms came through on April 23. Downriver, anxiety and preparations continued to mount. As some state prisoners were filling sand bags in Mississippi and Louisiana, about 200 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, which is bordered on three sides by the Mississippi, have been evacuated and more will move soon. On Monday morning, before a crowd of onlookers, the Corps of Engineers partly opened the Bonnet Carré spillway, allowing some of the river to flow into Lake Pontchartrain and thus relieving pressure as the Mississippi approaches New Orleans. But with that not likely to be enough, corps officials have requested permission from the Mississippi River Commission, a federal advisory agency, to open the Morganza spillway in Louisiana. That spillway has been opened only once, in 1973, and even a partial opening would result in widespread flooding that would affect thousands of people in parts of southern Louisiana... Cornelius Holliday, 62, who still lives in the house on North Stonewall Street where he was born and raised, said he was not about to move out now. The Wolf River has settled into his backyard, where it has swallowed an old Chevy Corsica and the makeshift kennel for his hunting dogs. Two beagles, a coon hound and two 8-month-old pups have been evacuated, Mr. Holliday said, and if the Wolf makes a move toward the house, he will box things up and wait it out with his wife in the attic. “When that water started to come, I put spikes in the ground,” he said. “I did my own measurement.” It was, he discovered, as high as forecasters were saying. “In 62 years,” he said, “I’ve never seen it that bad.” - NYTimes.
The Mississippi flooding is also threatening nearby oil refineries.
The devastation of Gulf Coast refineries caused by hurricanes surging in from the Gulf of Mexico is well documented. A lesser known fact is that about 14% of the national refining capacity is potentially at risk from a worse-case scenario of the Mississippi River flooding and inundating the low-lying facilities. Ten refineries (nine in Louisiana and one in Tennessee) are in the immediate floodplain of the Mississippi, protected only by levees. To date (as the Mississippi gets set to crest in Memphis tonight) Valero Energy reportsthat its 180,000-barrels-per-day Memphis plant is secure, as is its 185,000-barrel-per-day St Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana. Norco is also where Motiva Enterprises has a refinery. Motiva’s joint venture partner Royal Dutch Shell has a facility further west along the Mississippi at Convent, Louisiana... West of New Orleans, Marathon Oil reported some minor flooding at its 436,000-barrels-per-day Clarksville, Louisiana refinery, causing minor supply problems. Other refineries east of New Orleans and in Baton Rouge, belonging to Exxon Mobil and Murphy Oil, are reporting that they are monitoring for possible flooding but that all is normal. Hopefully the careful management of levees and slipways will mean that this critical refining infrastructure will be protected from severe flooding. But if the levees are overwhelmed the nation faces the prospects of one or several refineries being shut down. And we all know what that means — a tighter supply and higher gasoline prices. - BullFax.
The situation has gotten so bad, that there is even a warning out for venomous snakes.
Residents around the swollen Mississippi river are being warned to watch out for venomous Cottonmouth snakes displaced during the flooding. After dealing with chemical spills, electrical currents and raw sewage, the latest warning adds further misery to the people of Tennessee as they face the worst flooding in 84 years. According to wildlife experts, the semi aquatic snake - also known as a water moccasin - can become aggressive when agitated with a bite that can cause severe swelling. Cottonmouth Water snakes have been spotted around the Mississippi river's burst banks, threatening residents. Speaking to ABC news, Dr. James Murphy of Smithsonian National Zoo said: 'They can cause a fairly serious bite. 'It's normally not fatal, but there's an enormous amount of tissue damage. 'In fact, I've seen photographs of bites and it looks like somebody's arm has been put in a drill.' - Daily Mail.
In Thailand, flooding in Lampang continue to persists with levels reaching as high as 1 metre.

All-day rain deluge water to flood into people's homes in the Municipality of broader scope and more. Some flood levels as high as 1 meter. News reports from Lampang says today (May 9th) from the rain continues to fall throughout the day. In addition to the deluge of water flooded several streets, water lines and drainage behind. Community Phrabat Airport Lampang Province at the home of Mr. Gen. infinite happiness, which is a two-story cement house in the metropolitan area airports, T. King, A. Muang, Lampang water flow Ah flooded with a deluge into another house. any more than 10 houses, some as high as the waist level. Or greater than 1 m. In addition to flood some of the antique shop to purchase a deluge of water to flood a result, many of the stored water to float and spread widely throughout the area. In addition, the community forest Kham nearby water also flooded as well. Villagers gradually accelerate up to a high of Euebkhgry ago. Recent rain fell continuously. For the cause of the flooding in the Municipality of Lampang Not due to river overflow Wang at all. However, due to heavy rain lasting for several hours straight. The water flow and drainage behind deluge overflow from sewer flooding to homes and people that. - Manager.

In Vietnam, following heavy rains and flooding, land subsidence caused dozens of people to fall into the river Cam.

5am this morning, 40 m at the junction of the river Cam laceration (area of Binh Duong, Binh Thuy, Can Tho) and crack speed quickly slumped to a dozen people fell into a river. Avalanche occurred at many sales people are present and some visitors still eat and drink. Of those who fell into the river with five seriously injured were taken to save the hospital. 2 person (including a woman about 30 years old vegetarian and a lady selling fruit) missing. 12 stalls selling food of local residents and sink the riverbed. At the scene, location landslide lasted about 40 m, next to the shore than 3 m deep and revealing hoam palate at the junction of the market area Rach Cam. Talking to VnExpress.net, Tran Thi Ngoc Anh - Long Hoa ward police chief - said the region is a checkpoint of the city's security force and workplace management board market. Thankfully, the morning people out possible consequences if not heavier. Immediately after the incident, said Nguyen Thanh Son - Can Tho City People's Committee Chairman was present to mobilize nearly 200 police, soldiers, militia ... taken to emergency victims. All vessels are also set to participate in salvage and rescue victims. Le Hoang Nam, secretary of Party Committee of Binh Thuy District, said county directing the immediate relocation of all of the booths near the landslide area to protect people's lives and serve the work of investigation and remedy incidents. "Most important priority is to save the victims. District branches will function in the morning emergency meeting to discuss how to support families in distress, "said Nam. Existing landslide areas still appear a number of concrete cracks and large arrays can be collapsed into the river at any time. Functional branches blocked the entire scene, limiting trade, as well as people crossing in dangerous areas. More than 8 hours this morning, the two victims still missing were found. - DZ08
In Indonesia, the deluge continues.

About eleven hectares of rice fields in the region and the surrounding New Beast in the Village Mekarharja, District Purwaharja, Banjar flooded due to overflow of irrigation channels Citapen. Some plants that lived about a month already confirmed dead due to floods submerged more than a week. Heavy rains a few days continue flushed Banjar causing dozens of hectares of rice cultivation in the district and surrounding Purwaharja inundated. As a result many new rice plants and newly planted a month old, were destroyed. Even some of them certainly rot because it was more than a week inundated. The area worst affected was the Environment New Demon located around the area previously called the Ranch EBA is still an area with Pamodasan Ranch, Bibul and Blengbeng. The location was relatively lower compared with Citapen irrigation canal. Flooded rice fields that are not in one stretch, but divided into two broad expanse that are not far apart. Contour low soil causes water longer receding. The situation is not much difference with the existing flooding in the Village area in District Tunggilis Kalipucang, Ciamis.Di district where rice cultivation is often invaded by floods caused by overflow of the waters of Citanduy. "Some submerged about two weeks ago, but the big senbagian been longer. There are already planted with rice planting month old and new. To which are located rather high, can still be planted," said Empah (38), when met after the rice fields, Monday (5/09). Together with Kusnadi (38) and Taryo (57), he added that the greatest flood occurred about two weeks ago, due to very heavy rain and overflowing irrigation channel Citapen. Head of Department of Agriculture Banjar Tutun Rachmawati revealed until now has not received reports of a puso rice. He revealed that the actual area of wetland that is currently flooded, there will always be flooded if heavy rains. That's because previously the swamp area or there, so it is a water storage area. - Pikiran
In areas like Pamrihan, the land continues to break from subsidence.
One of the houses owned by citizens of Hamlet Guyon, Tengklik Village, District Tawangmangu, Karanganyar, had to be dismantled because the land surrounding the house were cracked and sinkhole. The house was owned by Sumanto which also Kadus Guyon. If not dismantled, it is feared endangering residents. Espos observation at the scene, the land located just west of the house cracked Sumanto. Cracks are more or less as long as 20 meters. Meanwhile, land subsidence is more or less to six meters. Since late 2007, land in the hamlet of Guyon sinkhole. After heavy rains, the soil can be sure there fell a few inches. "On Thursday (5 /05) then it is heavy rain since morning till noon and evenly in every region. Then on Friday night, there were cracks but still a little land, "said Sumanto reporters when met at his home on Monday (5/09) afternoon. Although the land is broken a little but not so strong today that the cracks widened. Movement cracks are also very slow. Over time, the path to the west of his house ambrol. Sumanto family finally decided to move home. Fortunately, soil cracks was not up to tear down the walls of his house. He could not estimate the value of its loss. New Sumanto decided to move home, Monday. Local people share work helped move furniture, break down the plasterboard, roof and so forth. While the walls of houses made of planks, just transferred the next day. "For a while I moved to Ngemplak, still in the hamlet of Guyon. More secure place and away from the zone of land subsidence, "he said. Soil cracks caused by land subsidence is not the only place near home Sumanto. Several other homes are also threatened the same. Even among those who feel anxious and can not stay quiet if there continues. "Want to sleep I was so uneasy. Just heard something at night, I was so awakened. Lest there is a cracked soil, "said Karto, one of the other residents. - Solopos.
In Bogota, Colombia, several roads will be closed for the next couple days as a result of mysterious ground movements following widespread flooding.

The director of the Highway Police General Rodolfo Palomino said that the Bogota - Girardot is presenting a ground movement similar to that in the municipality of Gramalote so the track, in the area of Devil's Nose, is closed for several days. Palomino said that the authorities have evacuated 12 homes in the sector have been affected by the earthworks. The senior officer said a group of geologists and engineers were transferred to the industry as to what actions to take. In addition, it was observed continuing to occur earthworks. Also found cracks on the track 70 and 80 cm long and 2 meters deep. - WRadio.
Stay tuned. More anon.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Record Wildlife Deaths in Northern Rockies!

According to state wildlife managers, a record number of big-game animals perished this winter in parts of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming from a harsh season of unusually heavy snows and sustained cold in the Northern Rockies.

"Elk, deer and moose -- those animals are having a pretty tough time," said Wyoming Game and Fish biologist Doug Brimeyer. Snow and frigid temperatures in pockets of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming arrived earlier and lingered longer than usual, extending the time that wildlife were forced to forage on low reserves for scarce food, leading more of them to starve. Based on aerial surveys of big-game herds and signals from radio-collared animals, experts are documenting high mortality among offspring of mule deer, white-tailed deer and pronghorn antelope. This comes as big-game animals enter the last stretch of a period from mid-March through early May that is considered critical for survival. Wildlife managers estimate die-offs in the tens of thousands across thousands of square miles that span prairie in northeastern Montana, the upper Snake River basin in Idaho near Yellowstone National Park and the high country of northwestern Wyoming near the exclusive resort of Jackson. Brimeyer said the estimated death rate doubled among deer fawns in the Jackson area this year, rising to 60 percent or more from 30 percent. He said many thousands more elk have crowded the feeding grounds of the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, yet another sign of the toll winter is exacting. The trend also is pronounced in a wildlife management area near McCall in the mountains of central Idaho, where the estimated mortality rate among mule deer fawns is 90 percent this winter, compared with an average annual rate of 20 percent. Mike Scott, regional wildlife biologist in McCall for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said how animals fare during the lean months of winter -- when snow blankets the woody shrubs and wild plants they favor -- is tied to fattening in fall. "Deer are mostly living on body fat through the winter. If it goes on too long, they run out of gas," he said. Fawns born in early June are more resilient than fawns born as late as July since older offspring have more time to add to their body mass. Pronghorn antelope have been hit hard in eastern and northeastern Montana, where wildlife managers say nothing akin to this season's die-offs has been seen in 30-plus years. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Howard Burt said pronghorn in winter seek to migrate to areas of less snow. This season, that migration turned deadly for 700 or more antelope in northeastern Montana after the animals traveled along plowed railroad corridors and were killed by trains. Scientists said their aim is to mitigate the effects of the die-offs by reducing pressure placed on herds by such activities as hunting and by delaying opening of wildlife habitat areas to people and vehicles. As Idaho wildlife biologist Bret Stansberry put it: "We can't do anything about the weather, we can only deal with the aftermath." - MSNBC.

SIGNS & SYMBOLS: Crop Circle in Hannington, Cricklade, Wiltshire!

The latest entry in the 2011 crop circle season comes out of Hannington, near Cricklade, in Wiltshire. According to Crop Circle Connector, the international crop circle online database, the pattern was found by Anthony Andrews, photographed by Steve Alexander and reported on the 7th of May.

Andrews explains his first encounter with the pattern:
I was out walking with my wife during the late morning near Hannington (Wilts) and there is almost certainly a crop marking immediately to the north of Ashmead Brake woodland and the footpath that passes it. I have found a map reference on Streetmap: More exact co-ordinates are on http://www.streetmap.com. I did not wish to venture into the field at chance of agitating the land owner but it almost certainly not an agricultural marking. There appear to be three curved triangles flattened with a smaller one in the centre. I am not too good with measurements but it is sizeable. This has made my day and is very exciting. Aliens or humans?

Click HERE or more aerial shots, ground shots, field reports, diagrams and articles.