Thursday, May 31, 2012

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report - New Activities and Unrest From May 23rd - 29th, For Fuego, Galunggung, Nevado del Ruiz, Sirung and Soputan!

The following constitutes the new activity and unrest report from the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program.

FUEGO Guatemala 14.473°N, 90.880°W; summit elev. 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 22-23 May explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 700 m above the crater and drifted W and SW. Explosions produced shock waves and rumbling noises, and avalanches descended the SW flank towards the Ceniza drainage. Seismic data suggested that on 25 May lava was emitted in the crater, although lava flows were not observed the previous few days. Plumes rose 2 km above the crater and drifted SE, SW, and W. Ashfall was reported in Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Yepocapa (8 km WNW), and in the department of Chimaltenango (21 km NNE). A pyroclastic flow traveled SW down the Las Lajas drainage. During 26-29 May explosions produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the crater and drifted N, NE, S, and SE. A lava flow traveled 200 m SW and avalanches from the lava-flow front traveled 300 m during 26-27 May. Pulses of incandescence 100 m high were observed during 28-29 May. Map.

GALUNGGUNG Western Java (Indonesia) 7.25°S, 108.058°E; summit elev. 2168 m
CVGHM reported that, since the Alert Level was raised on 12 February, seismic activity at Galunggung had drastically decreased through 27 May. During 27 April-27 May plants around the crater area looked green and lush, small fish were swimming in the water, and insects around the crater were active. Based on seismic data, crater lake water temperature and pH data, and visual observations, CVGHM lowered the Alert Level from 2 to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 28 May. Map.

NEVADO DEL RUIZ Colombia 4.895°N, 75.322°W; summit elev. 5321 m
According to INGEOMINAS, the Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that on 22 May a seismic signal possibly indicated an ash emission from Nevado del Ruiz, though it was not confirmed due to poor weather conditions. On 29 May activity significantly increased; at 0307 seismic signals indicated ash emissions that were confirmed by officials and residents near the volcano as well as with a web camera. The Alert Level was raised to II (Orange; "eruption likely within days or weeks"). A gas-and-ash plume rose 1 km above the crater and ashfall was reported in Anserma (65 km NW), Aranzazu (45 km NNW), Chinchiná (30 km WNW), Dosquebradas (40 km W), Filadelfia, La Merced (60 km NNW), Manizales (30 km NW), Marmato (70 km NNW), Neira (37 km NW), Palestina (40 km WNW), Pereira (40 km WSW), Risaralda (78 km WNW), Salamina (60 km NNW), San José (56 km NW), Santagueda (40 km NW), Santa Rosa de Cabal (33 km W), Supia (72 km NNW), Villamaria (28 km NW), and Viterbo (65 km WNW). Ash also fell in all municipalities in the department of Risaralda (76 km WNW) and El Aguila (85 km W, N of Valle del Cauca). Sulfur dioxide plumes were detected by satellite and a sulfur dioxide odor was reported in multiple towns. Later that day ash emissions rose 600 m above the crater. Map.

SIRUNG Pantar Island (Indonesia) 8.508°S, 124.13°E; summit elev. 862 m
CVGHM reported that during 13-18 May diffuse white plumes from Sirung rose 10-50 m above the crater. Seismicity was elevated during 12-17 May then decreased through 23 May, although levels remained above background. On 25 May the Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Map.

SOPUTAN Sulawesi 1.108°N, 124.73°E; summit elev. 1784 m
CVGHM reported that observers in the village of Maliku noted that during 21-27 May white plumes rose 50-150 m above the crater of Soputan. Seismicity increased significantly on 25 May. CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 28 May based on visual observations and increased seismicity. Map.

 For the complete list of ongoing volcanic activity and additional geological summary, click HERE or select the specific volcano name below for additional details:

ONGOING ACTIVITY: Bagana, Bougainville | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island | Dukono, Halmahera | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Popocatépetl, México | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Sangay, Ecuador | Santa María, Guatemala | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Tungurahua, Ecuador

TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise of the Machines - First Integrated Chemical Circuit Made of Ions Could Bring Computing Into Your Cells?!

The human body isn't a metal machine, but it's still plenty complicated, and regulating it like a machine is tough to pull off. That's why a new discovery by Klas Tybrandt, a doctoral student in Organic Electronics at Linköping University, Sweden, is exciting: he's developed the first integrated chemical chip, similar to silicon-based electronics, but for biologic material.

Chemical Circuit: A chemical chip can deliver a neurotransmitter like acetylcholine,
which enables chemical control of muscles.
Linköping University, Sweden
A chemical circuit made from it lets chemical substances—different types with different purposes—travel through the body, but still keeps them under control. Send a certain chemical to muscle synapses that aren't signaling, for example, and guide it via the circuit. (The big chemical contender in this seems to be the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which enables control of muscles.)
Scene from the movie Terminator.
Before this, the Organic Electronics research group at Linköping University had already developed transistors for transporting molecules, but this circuit offers a lot more flexibility—what was once delivery to single cells is now entire pathways. Researchers are hoping this opens the gate for a whole new field of circuit technology based on ions and molecules instead of electrons and holes. - POPSCI.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Chile Mudslide Leaves 3,000 People Stranded - Bad Weather Kills 2 With Over 3,500 Property Damage!

Some 3,000 people living in the towns of Palena and Futaleufu, in the southern Chilean region of Los Lagos, on Wendesday remained isolated because of a mudslide that buried the road leading to the area, authorities said. 

The mudslide, about 120 meters (390 feet) long and 20 meters (65 feet) deep, occurred late Tuesday during a storm that affected the area, in the vicinity of Villa Santa Lucia, some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) south of Santiago.  That is what Andres Ibaceta, the regional head of the National Emergency Management Office, or Onemi, told local media, adding that although the road link for the affected communities with the rest of Chile had been interrupted, the border pass to Argentina is open. 

"You can't get to Palena from the Chilean side, although it is possible from the Argentine side," said Ibaceta, while the Highway Department said that the effort to clear the road could take between two and three days.  Ibaceta emphasized that the weather conditions had improved in recent hours, something that he said will enable work crews to accelerate the clearing of mud, rocks and other debris from the road.  The storm also resulted in power outages and the loss of telephone communications, a situation that authorities said they had resolved over the past few hours.  The front of bad weather that affected several regions of Chile over the past few days left two people dead and 3,542 with some sort of property damage, according to figures compiled by Onemi. - LA Herald Tribune.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Extreme Weather - New Mexico Fire Shatters Record for the Largest Fire, as Southwest Wildfires Rage – Over 265 Square Miles Burned; 170,000 Acres, 0% Contained!

While dry and hot conditions continue to fuel wildfires across the Southwest, one state is now fighting the largest fire in its history.   In southwestern New Mexico, a massive wildfire that has burned more than 265 square miles in the Gila National Forest has become the largest fire in New Mexico history, fire officials confirmed Wednesday. 

This image provided by the U.S. Forest Service shows a May 29, 2012 photo, of the massive blaze in the Gila
National Forest is seen from Cliff, N.M. Fire officials said Wednesday the wildfire has burned more than 265
square miles has become the largest fire in New Mexico history.
The erratic blaze grew overnight to more than 170,000 acres, surpassing a blaze last year that burned 156,593 acres in Los Conchas and threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the nation's premier nuclear facility.  And experts says the mammoth fire may be just a preview of what's to come in part of the western United States after months of drought and dry conditions.  “It hasn’t rained on the fire zone in over two weeks, and humidity levels fell below 5 percent on Wednesday," said meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "Enough moist air may arrive to trigger an isolated shower or thunderstorm Friday, but the danger of lightning strikes will more than offset the meager benefits of any scant rainfall.”   Fire officials say about 1,200 firefighters from around the state were battling the growing blaze, but that they continue to face low humidity and shifting winds in their effort. 

“The weather will offer no help to firefighters any time soon,” says Wiltgen. “Shifting wind directions will pose additional problems as this weather system moves through.”  The Gila forest fire also is the largest burning in the country. It formed last week when two lightning-sparked blazes merged in an isolated mountainous area in southwestern New Mexico, where it has destroyed about a dozen homes and prompted evacuations of nearby towns and health alerts for some of the state's largest cities. The fire has not been contained, and officials worry that shifting winds and dryness related to the state's record drought may cause the blaze to grow even more. The blaze so far has threatened few communities and was burning away from many of New Mexico's largest towns and cities. But state officials issued air quality alerts for cities as far as Albuquerque, nearly 170 miles away, and Santa Fe last weekend, and Perry said parts of southern New Mexico could expect to see smoke from the fire. Wiltgen said another prolonged period of windy weather will follow for the weekend and early next week across the Southwest.
Here's a roundup of other fires burning across the nation: Colorado: Hundreds of firefighters are at an 8-square-mile fire in western Colorado near that state's border with Utah, and at a separate 4-square-mile blaze about 200 miles southwest of Denver. Michigan: Crews are working to ensure that no more structures are damaged by a wildfire burning across more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula as high winds in the forecast threatened to test firefighting efforts, an official said. The Department of Natural Resources said 97 structures have been destroyed, including 34 homes or cabins. No injuries have been reported. Some progress was marked by the reopening of part of a state park that's popular with tourists and campers that had to close because of smoke and ash problems. Vermont: Fire broke out in three houses in Barre within an hour Tuesday after severe thunderstorms rolled through the state. Lightning strikes are suspected, but the exact cause of each fire hasn't been determined. Sixteen fire departments from central Vermont helped battle the blazes in hot, humid weather. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion; no one else was hurt. - The Weather Channel.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: State of Emergency Declared in An Giang, Vietnam Over Massive Landslide - Dozens of Houses Falling Into the River; Many 20-Meter Sized Holes on the River Bottom!

On May 26-27, a landslide occurred along the 120m section of the Hau Riverbank, in Binh Khanh ward in Long Xuyen city. Six houses and an ice making factory fell into the river. 

On May 28, four more houses began to sink and crack while 20 others were in danger. All people were excavated urgently.  The Provincial Authorities declared a state of emergency in this area. All families were removed in the dangerous area. Families who live along the riverside have been WARNED of the danger. The riverside is now guarded 24/7. 

Mr. Tran Anh Thu, deputy director of the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that there are many holes of at least 20 meters deep on the river-bottom, the section crossing Duc Binh ward, which can cause landslide for 4.3km of riverbank.
If these holes are not handled, landslide area will expand.  An Giang Authorities have gán the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to deal with these holes.  While landslides along the Hau River has not been solved, a landslide has been reported along the Tien River, with 19 houses fell into the water on May 29. - Vietnam Net [Translated].

WORLD WAR III: The Syrian Passage to Iran and the Countdown to Armageddon - Israel and Iran Prepare For Clash Amid High Anticipation of U.S. Intervention in Syria!

Addressing the Iranian threat, Northern Command Chief Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said, “Iran is here, we fight an indirect war against Iran on a daily basis – against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The negative influence of Iran is extremely significant in our region as well as its involvement both here and in Syria.” 

Maj. Gen. Golan spoke on Wednesday at the Bar-Ilan University Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, addressing the current security conditions at Israel’s northern border in the face of terrorist organizations operating against Israel at the various fronts.  “The IDF has the capability to take over in a relatively short period of time the launching sites which threaten Israel’s home front, and defeat Hezbollah terrorists at these sites,” emphasized Maj. Gen. Golan. “In all my years in the IDF, I fought against Hezbollah, I know their fighting techniques and can confidently say they are capable of interrupting but not stopping the IDF.”  Also on Wednesday, acting Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said that any crisis caused by a military intervention in Syria would definitely engulf Israel.  “U.S. military officials probably have a poor understanding of themselves and regional issues because Syria is in no way similar to Libya, and (the effects of) creating another Benghazi in Syria would spread to Palestine, and ash rising from the flames would definitely envelop the Zionist regime,” Larijani stated. 
Northern Command Chief Maj. Gen. Yair Golan.
“It seems that the United States and the West are seeking to pave the way for a new crisis,” he added.  For his part, Maj. Gen. Golan warned that “al-Qaeda terrorists located in Syria today and operating against the Syrian regime might in time attack Israel.” He estimated that “the Syrian threat against Israel demands our attention,” suggesting a clash with the Syrians “will not happen tomorrow morning, but it might happen in the coming months.”  The Northern Command Chief said that the arsenal of weapons at the Syrian regime’s disposal poses another threat to Israel. “Syria has mass-destruction weapons alongside a large, advanced arsenal that includes surface-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, and nuclear weapons. The fact that Syria is a weapon storage facility that supplies terrorist organizations in the region – bothers us a great deal.”  Israel has been warning for years now that Syria provides Hezbollah with advanced weapons systems. Hezbollah operates training bases in Syria and keeps its own arsenals of weapons there. Recently Syria was reported to have moved Scud missiles to Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, and set up advanced SA missiles on the mountains of Lebanon.  With the Syrian regime nearing collapse, terrorist elements could be in position to acquire Syria’s cache of weapons. - Jewish Press.
WATCH: 'Rebels behind Houla massacre, US plan to destabilize and save Syria in full swing'.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Italian Earthquake - Over 800 Aftershocks in the Emilia-Romagna Region and "More to Come"!

Emilia Romagna, the Italian region that has some of the country's finest culture and produces what many consider Italy's best food, was coming to terms on Tuesdaywith the idea that it could be shaking violently for years to come.  Residents were told by experts that there was no telling when the spate of earthquakes would subside.  "It is likely they could continue for years," said Giuliano Panza, professor of seismology at the University of Trieste. 

An earthquake on 29 May in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, leaves a building shattered and collapsed in a
Cavezzo street. Photograph: Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/EPA
Since they were first thrown out of bed in the early hours of 20 May by a 6.0-magnitude quake, residents' nerves have been jarred by 800 aftershocks. But Tuesday's 5.8 jolt was nothing less than an entirely new earthquake, said Italy's civil protection chief, Franco Gabrielli.  According to Giulio Selvaggi, the director of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, the two quakes originated from two entirely different faults deep below the surface. But he said they were caused by the same phenomenon.  "It is down to the pressure caused as the Apennine mountains push slowly north under the Po valley," he explained. "The whole area has been shaking for a year, with shocks above 4.5, and we just cannot say if we have reached the climax yet."  Selvaggi said that nearby Ferrara was hit by a quake in 1570, only to be struck again four years later. "History teaches us everything and I cannot rule out a repeat of that," he said.  Experts point out that Italy is, and always has been, a seismic hotspot, most recently seen in L'Aquila, where 300 died in 2009.  "Calabria has been shaking for two years, with a 4.3 registered two days ago, and that is nothing to do with what  is happening in Emilia Romagna," said Selvaggi. 

Panza was part of a team who used algorithms to identify a swath of northern Italy and the Apennines where there was increased probability of an earthquake measuring over 5.4 between March and September.  "We will be doing another calculation in July to see if the prediction is still valid to September," he said.  The current anti-quake building in Emilia Romagna was too soft, he warned. "Our findings suggest the area should be moved up from third level danger to second level," he said.  Local campaigners claimed they were right to contest the planned building of a massive gas storage container deep underground in the province of Modena, where Tuesday's quake struck, fearing it could make the risk of future earthquakes worse.  The Italian firm ERG is in partnership with the UK company Independent Resources concerning a proposal to dig a tank measuring six hectares, more than two miles underground and capable of holding 3.7m cubic metres of compressed gas. "The process is still under evaluation," a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.  Maurizio Melucci, a tourism assessor with the regional government of Emilia Romagna, said that it would be business as usual this summer at the coastal resort of Rimini, which had escaped the quake.  The region is famous for its cheese, prosciutto ham and Ferraris. - Guardian.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Scientific Study - Super-Volcanoes Can Form and Erupt in Hundreds of Years, Not Thousands?!

The largest volcanoes on our planet may take as little as a few hundred years to form and erupt.  These "supervolcanoes" were thought to exist for as much as 200,000 years before releasing their vast underground pools of molten rock.  Researchers reporting in Plos One have sampled the rock at the supervolcano site of Long Valley in California.
Long Valley is the site of one of the world's "supervolcanoes"
Their findings suggest that the magma pool beneath it erupted within as little as hundreds of years of forming.  That eruption is estimated to have happened about 760,000 years ago, and would have covered half of North America in its ash.  Such super-eruptions can release thousands of cubic kilometres of debris - hundreds of times larger than any eruption seen in the history of humanity.  Eruptions on this scale could release enough ash to influence the global weather for years, and one theory holds that the Lake Toba eruption in Indonesia about 70,000 years ago had long-term effects that nearly wiped out humans altogether.  What little is known about the formation of these supervolcanoes is largely based on the study of crystals of a material called zircon, which contains small amounts of radioactive elements whose age can be estimated using the same techniques used to date archaeological artefacts and dinosaur bones.  Zircon studies to date have suggested that the time between the formation of the enormous magma pools and the eventual super-eruptions can be measured in the hundreds of thousands of years. 

Now, Guilherme Gualda of Vanderbilt University and his colleagues present several lines of evidence from the Bishop Tuff deposit at Long Valley, suggesting that the pools are "ephemeral" - lasting as little as 500 years before eruption.  Initially, the magma pools are nearly purely liquid rock, with few bubbles or re-crystallised minerals.  Over time, crystals develop, but the process stops at the point of the eruption. As a result, the characteristic development time of these crystals can also give an estimate of how long a magma pool existed before erupting.  Rather than zircon, the team's target was crystals of the common mineral quartz.  Because the processes and timescales of quartz formation in the extraordinary underground conditions of a magma pool are well-known, the team was able to determine how long the crystals were forming within Long Valley's supervolcano before being spewed out in the eruption.  Their estimates suggest the quartz formed over a range of time between 500 and 3,000 years.  "Our study suggests that when these exceptionally large magma pools form they are ephemeral and cannot exist very long without erupting," said Dr Gualda.  "The fact that the process of magma body formation occurs in historical time, instead of geological time, completely changes the nature of the problem."  At present, geologists do not believe that any of Earth's known giant magma pools are in imminent danger of eruption, but the results suggest future work to better understand how the pools develop, and aim ultimately to predict devastating super-eruptions. - BBC.

GLOBAL SEISMIC ALERT: The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan - Expect a Massive Earthquake Off the Boso Peninsula Soon!

Japanese researchers say a massive earthquake could occur off a peninsula to the east of Tokyo, in an area separate from the one that triggered the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan reported to a government panel on Wednesday that analysis of global positioning system data shows that the tip of the Boso Peninsula has been moving about 3 centimeters north each year since 1997.

The authority says quake-causing strain may be building up in the area, where a marine tectonic plate slides under a continental plate.

The situation is similar around the Miura Peninsula to the south of Tokyo, near Yokohama.

Pressure there was released in the 1923 earthquake, but the area off Boso Peninsula has not had a major quake for at least 300 years.

Researcher Takuya Nishimura says an earthquake occurring in this zone could have a magnitude of around 8. He says the authority will continue its analysis to increase the accuracy of its estimations. - NHK.
WATCH: Massive quake expected off Boso Peninsula.

MYSTERY: The Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?!

Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

Blue Springs, Missouri, United States - May, 2012.

Seneffe and Nivelles, Belgium - 28th of May, 2012.

San Antonio, Texas, United States - 27th of May, 2012.

Tlalpan, Mexico - 29th May 2012.

International Space Station - 29th of May, 2012.

EXTREME WEATHER: Massive Michigan Wildfire Still Going Despite Rains - 97 Structures, Including 34 Homes Destroyed; Nearly 22,000 Acres Burned; 47% Contained!

The wildfire in Michigan's Upper Peninsula was 47% contained Tuesday, slightly worse than the prior day's 51% containment, as the conflagration has destroyed 97 structures, including 34 homes and cabins, a motel, and a store, authorities said. 

The Duck Lake Fire has burned 21,694 acres and is still going despite recent rains, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported on its website.  The other structures lost in the fire are 22 garages, 22 sheds and outbuildings, and 17 campers, the agency said. Crews have about 40 miles of fire lines set up to try to control the situation, including six miles along the shore of Lake Superior, but 21 miles are uncontained, the agency said.  A lack of roads in the area has complicated efforts. 

The fire's south end is about 14 miles north of Newberry and seven miles west of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park campgrounds.  Lightning sparked the wildfire last Wednesday afternoon, leaving firefighters little time to contain it before dark. The flames picked up significantly the next day, fanned by strong winds and high temperatures.  Dry conditions have exacerbated the fire danger throughout the region, but one-quarter inch to three-quarters of an inch of rain fell on the first late Monday, with more rain falling on the southern end of the wildfire, authorities said.  On Friday, Gov. Rick Snyder banned outdoor burning in 49 counties in northern Michigan in hopes of preventing wildfires. - CNN.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Land Subsidence Continues in China - 3 Dead, 1 Missing in Chongqing Rain-Triggered Landslide!

Three people have died and one remains missing since torrential rain began to hit southwest China's Chongqing municipality on Monday, local authorities said Wednesday.

The victims included one farmer who was killed in a house collapse and two construction workers who died in a rain-triggered landslide, according to a statement from the municipal flood control and drought relief headquarters.

A total of 37,100 local people were affected in 19 towns among five counties and districts in the municipality. Direct economic loss is estimated at 11 million yuan (1.74 million U.S. dollars), the statement said.

Chongqing is expected to encounter another round of thunderstorms on Thursday. - CRI.

PLANETARY TREMORS: New Evidence Suggests That the Seattle Fault Zone Poses Seismic Threat to the Puget Sound Region - 900-930 AD Quake Was Large Than Previously Thought!

A fresh look at sedimentary evidence suggests the 900-930 AD rupture of the Seattle fault possibly produced a larger earthquake than previously recognized. The Seattle fault zone, a series of active-east-west trending thrust faults, poses seismic threat to the Puget Sound region.

The 900-930 AD rupture is the only known large earthquake along the Seattle Fault, making geological records of prehistoric events the only clues to the earthquake potential of the fault. While a graduate student at the University of Washington, Maria Arcos looked at tsunami and debris flow deposits – both evidence of a paleo-quake – in the coastal marsh at Gorst, Washington. She also identified evidence of at least three meters of uplift that preceded a , which was followed by a sandy debris flow from Gorst Creek, and suggests that the 900-930 AD quake covered a greater geographic area than previous fault interpretations.

The revised height and width of deformation caused by the quake may influence current interpretations of the Seattle fault's structure. This study found a minimum of three meters of uplift at Gorst, which is double the amount of previous fault models for the same location. A broader zone of deformation, says Arcos, may indicate either a wider zone of slip along the dip of the , a shallower dip or splay faults farther to the south.

More information:
"The A.D. 900 – 930 Seattle Fault Zone Earthquake with a Wider Coseismic Rupture Patch and Postseismic Submergence: Inferences from New Sedimentary Evidence," published in
BSSA, Vol 102:3; DOI:10.1785/0120110123.PHYSORG.

EXTREME WEATHER ALERT USA: Severe Thunderstorms Forecast for the Ohio Valley, Texas and East Coast Thursday to Friday - Widespread Threat of Strong Winds, Large Hail and a Few Tornadoes!

A broad zone of severe thunderstorms is expected Thursday ahead of a cold front and strong upper-level dip in the jet stream.

Today's Severe Weather Threat.
While damaging straight-line winds and large hail will be the primary threats from the Ohio Valley to Texas Thursday, a threat of a few tornadoes exists in the Ohio Valley during the late afternoon and early evening hours. (MORE: TOR:CON tornado risk forecast)

Friday, the cold front sweeps into the East, with a widespread threat of damaging straight-line winds.  Large hail and a few tornadoes are also possible in this swath from eastern Georgia and the Carolinas to the Middle Atlantic states, including Charlotte, Raleigh, and Washington, D.C.   - The Weather Channel.

SEASON OF THE WINDS: Deadly Tornado Spins Off From Tropical Storm Beryl Remnants on NC Coast - 3 Homes Destroyed; 40 to 50 Others Damaged!

The remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl spun off a tornado that destroyed three homes and damaged dozens of others near the North Carolina coast Wednesday as the system sped toward the Atlantic, authorities said.  Between 40 and 50 homes were damaged near Peletier in the western part of Carteret County, said county Emergency Services Director Jo Ann Smith.

Tropical storm Beryl caused minimal damage overnight to roofing of Waccamaw High School, knocked down tree
limbs and blew off a 10-foot swath of shingles from a portable classroom there according to principal Dr. David
Hammel on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. The remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl spun off a tornado that destroyed
three homes and damaged dozens of others near the North Carolina coast Wednesday as the system sped toward
the Atlantic, authorities said. (AP Photo/The Sun News, Steve Jessmore) / Steve Jessmore/AP
She said there were no reports of injuries.  Many homes suffered only minor damage, but three were destroyed when the winds came through shortly before noon, she said.  Casey Dail, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morehead City, said investigators confirmed it was a tornado that caused the damage but said the strength of the twister had not yet been determined.  The remnants of the storm were skimming the North Carolina coast and prompting flood watches in eastern North Carolina. Beryl was expected to gain strength even as it loses its tropical characteristics.  Heavy rains from the storm caused some scattered street and lowland flooding near Wilmington, N.C., as the system approached. Loris., S.C., near the border of the two Carolinas, received more than 3 inches of rain, and radar showed heavy showers along the Interstate 95 corridor in the two states. 

The tropical depression gained some strength overnight and winds increased to near 35 mph (56 kph)  At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said the storm was losing its characteristics as a warm core weather system as it interacted with a weather front. The center was located 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of Wilmington and was moving northeast at 20 mph (32 kph).  Forecasters said Beryl was expected to become a post-tropical storm by late Wednesday and could strengthen to maximum 50 mph (80 kph) winds well out in the Atlantic by Saturday. Tropical storm force winds of more than 39 mph (63 kph) were expected to stay off the North Carolina coast Wednesday, so no coastal warnings had been posted.  Reid Hawkins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, said the storm had picked up speed and was expected to dump between 1 and 3 inches of rain in eastern North Carolina. Earlier forecasts had called for upward of 8 inches in areas. He said Wilmington had received about 2.5 inches of rain by late Wednesday morning. - Citizen Times.

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Storms and Softball-size Hail Hammer Oklahoma for 2 Days - Leaving Over 100,000 People in the Dark!

Severe storms left evidence of their wrath across Oklahoma on Monday and Tuesday, with property damage stretching from Lawton to Grove and hailstones leaving at least three people reporting injuries.

A power line was downed by storms Tuesday at NW 164 near Western Avenue in northwest Oklahoma City.
Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Tuesday night, nearly 100,000 people lost power in the metro area. Downed power lines caused traffic snags, and high water trapped some people in vehicles.  Bethany, Edmond, Nichols Hills, Piedmont, The Village and Warr Acres were in the path of the storm, according to the National Weather Service. Some hailstones larger than softballs were reported in the Piedmont and north Oklahoma City areas. Large hail fell across the Oklahoma City metro area and Canadian County.  A gust of 76 mph was recorded at Will Rogers World Airport about 10 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, and the Oklahoma Mesonet recorded a 70 mph wind gust four miles west-southwest of Guthrie in Logan County about 9 p.m.  A large metal roof was torn off a building in downtown Holdenville, according to a Hughes County emergency manager. 

Two people reported being hit by hailstones and one was hit by debris Tuesday evening, EMSA officials said.  EMSA field supervisor Tony McCarty said one person was hit by a flying sign near Interstate 40 and Robinson Ave.  Of the two people hit by hailstones, one was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury. One of the victims was injured at NW 103 and Pennsylvania Avenue. The other hail injury location was not available Tuesday night.  Medics also responded to 14 wrecks directly attributable to the storms, “whether by low visibility, sliding through pooled water or disregarding traffic laws at intersections where power was off to traffic lights,” McCarty said.  About 500 people went to Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City to take cover, spokeswoman Rachel Wright said. She said there was no structural damage reported at the hospital.  Oklahoma City police Lt. Don Holland and Oklahoma City Fire Department Deputy Chief Marc Woodard confirmed downed power lines and report. - NewsOK.