Sunday, March 17, 2013

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To The Total Collapse Of The White Supremacy Paradigm - The Euro-Zone Orders Cyprus To Seize 10% Of Bank Accounts; Panicked Europeans Rush ATMs As Leaders Move To Seize Funds In The Great EU Bank Robbery; British Taxpayers To Bail Out Victims Of Outrageous Raid; Europe Braces For Fresh Turmoil With Cyprus Deposit Levy; Deutsche Bank Says "Only Jesus Can Save The Euro-Zone"; Cyprus Woes Spark Asia Sell-Off, Stocks Take A Hit!

March 17, 2013 - EUROPE - In a move that could set off new fears of contagion across the eurozone, anxious depositors drained cash from ATMs in Cyprus on Saturday, hours after European officials in Brussels required that part of a new €10 billion ($12.6 billion) bailout must be paid for directly from the bank accounts of savers. The move - a first in the three-year-old European financial crisis - raised questions over whether bank runs could be set off elsewhere. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the group of euro-area ministers, on Saturday declined to rule out taxes on depositors in countries beyond Cyprus, although he said such a measure was not currently being considered. Although banks placed withdrawal limits of €400 on ATMs, most of them had run out of cash by early evening. People around the country reacted with disbelief and anger.

Lining up: People withdraw money from a cash-point machine in the Cypriot capital Nicosia. Photo: AFP

Panicked Europeans Rush ATMs As Leaders Move To Seize Funds.
''This is a clear-cut robbery,'' said Andreas Moyseos, a former electrician who is a pensioner in Nicosia, the capital. Iliana Andreadakis, a book critic, added: ''This issue doesn't only affect the people's deposits, but also the prospect of the Cyprus economy. The EU has diminished its credibility.'' In Nicosia, about 150 demonstrators massed in front of the presidential palace late in the afternoon after calls went out on social media to protest the decision, which came with almost no warning at the beginning of a three-day religious holiday.

Under an emergency deal reached early on Saturday in Brussels, a one-time tax of 9.9 per cent is to be levied on Cypriot bank deposits of more than €100,000 effective on Tuesday, hitting wealthy depositors - mostly Russians who have put vast sums into Cyprus's banks in recent years. But even deposits under that amount would be taxed at 6.75 per cent, meaning that Cyprus's creditors will be confiscating money directly from pensioners, workers and regular depositors to pay off the bailout tab.

Cyprus's newly elected President Nicos Anastasiades said taxing depositors would allow Cyprus to avoid implementing harsher austerity measures, including pension cuts and tax increases, of the type that has wreaked havoc in neighbouring Greece. That thinking appealed to some Cypriots, including Stala Georgoudi, 56. ''A one-time thing would be better than worse measures,'' she said.

But Sharon Bowles, a British member of the European parliament who is the head of the body's economic and monetary affairs committee, said the accord amounted to a ''grabbing of ordinary depositors' money'' billed as a tax. The surprise policy by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission is the first to take money from ordinary savers. - The Age.

WATCH: ATMs drained as bailout tax triggers run on bank deposits.

Euro-Zone Orders Cyprus To Seize 10% Of Bank Accounts.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L) and European President Martin Schulz give statements to the media at the European Parliament in Brussels March 14, 2013.
Credit: REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Cyprus was working on a last-minute proposal to soften the impact on smaller savers of a bank deposit levy after a parliamentary vote on the measure central to a bailout was postponed until Monday, a government source said.  In a radical departure from previous aid packages, euro zone finance ministers want Cyprus savers to forfeit a portion of their deposits in return for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout for the island, which has been financially crippled by its exposure to neighboring Greece.  The decision, announced on Saturday morning, stunned Cypriots and caused a run on cash points, most of which were depleted within hours. Electronic transfers were stopped.  The originally proposed levies on deposits are 9.9 percent for those exceeding 100,000 euros and 6.7 percent on anything below that. 

The Cypriot government on Sunday discussed with lenders the possibility of changing the levy to 3.0 percent for deposits below 100,000 euros, and to 12.5 percent for above that sum, a source close to the consultations told Reuters on condition of anonymity.  The source said the discussions had the "blessing" of a troika of lenders from the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank.  In Brussels, a spokesman for Olli Rehn, the European commissioner in charge of economic affairs, said discussions were still under way in Cyprus.  "If the Cypriot leaders agree on a more progressive scale for the one-off levy, in view of making it fairer for smaller savers and provided this would have the same financial impact, the Commission would be ready to recommend that the Eurogroup endorse such an agreement," the spokesman said. 

The move to take a percentage of deposits, which could raise almost 6 billion euros, must be ratified by parliament, where no party has a majority. If it fails to do so, President Nicos Anastasiades has warned, Cyprus's two largest banks will collapse.  One bank, the Cyprus Popular Bank, could have its emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) funding from the European Central Bank cut by March 21.  A default in Cyprus could unravel investor confidence in the euro zone, undoing the improvements fostered by the European Central Bank's promise last year to do whatever it takes to shore up the currency bloc.  A meeting of parliament scheduled for Sunday was postponed for a day to give more time for consultations and broker a deal, political sources said. The levy was scheduled to come into force on Tuesday, after a bank holiday on Monday. - Reuters.

The Great EU Bank Robbery As British Taxpayers To Bail Out Victims Of Outrageous Raid.
A gathering storm: Banker Sebastien Galy said the move could be the 'trigger' for a new eurozone crisis.
UK taxpayers will have to compensate thousands of Britons hit by a shock raid on bank accounts in Cyprus.  The debt-stricken island, which is home to around 3,000 British military personnel and civil servants, is being given an £8.7billion EU rescue package.  But – in a move condemned as ‘robbery’ – Germany says it will not fund the emergency deal unless every saver with a deposit account contributes via a bank tax.  Account holders will lose 9.9 per cent of all deposits over 100,000 euros (£85,000), with a 6.75 per cent levy on smaller amounts.      George Osborne said last night the Treasury will help out military staff and officials. But it is thought 60,000 other Britons, including holiday homeowners and expats, will lose out.  They are thought to have about £1.7billion in Cyprus’s banks – exposing them to a potential levy of at least £115million – or an average of £1,900 each. In yet another eurozone crisis:
  • Cypriot banks banned online transfers and emptied cashpoints to stop withdrawals;
  • The levy could be automatically taken from accounts as early as Wednesday;
  • British tourists were told to ensure they had multiple sources of money;
  • The chief minister of the euro area refused to rule out similar levies elsewhere;
  • Analysts said the raid could fall foul of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • Traders are braced for turbulence on international stock markets today.
Exposure: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Cypriot
banks must help pay for the bail out, but Britons have an
estimated £1.7billion in Cyprus's banks, exposing
them to a potential levy of at least £115million.
In response to cries of outrage, Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades was last night trying to amend the bailout tax to limit the pain for small depositors. But Angela Merkel insisted it was right that all depositors in Cypriot banks should share the responsibility of bailing out the state. Addressing an election rally, the German chancellor insisted: ‘Anyone having their money in Cypriot banks must contribute in the Cypriot bailout. That way those responsible will contribute in it, not only the taxpayers of other countries, and that is what’s right.’

But economists warned the move would fatally undermine confidence in the safety of money being held in banks in other countries, risking bank runs across the eurozone. Fiona Mullen, a British economist living on Cyprus, said: ‘We knew there was a possibility they would take the deposits above the insured threshold – so above 100,000 euros – but nobody thought they would take it down to someone with five euros in the bank. ‘I was trying to take money out of the ATM but I couldn’t.’ David Symonds, another expat, predicted violence when banks reopened: ‘Tempers could get frayed. Those frayed tempers could well lead to violence.’ - Daily Mail.

Europe Braces For Fresh Turmoil With Cyprus Deposit Levy.
Cyprus's President Nicos Anastasiades delayed a
parliamentary vote to pass the measure by a day.
Photographer: Thierry Charlier/AFP via Getty Images.
Europe braced for renewed turmoil as outrage in Cyprus over an unprecedented levy on bank deposits threatened to derail the nation’s bailout. The euro tumbled.  Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who bowed to demands by euro-area finance ministers to raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.6 billion) by taking a piece of every bank account in Cyprus, appealed to lawmakers in Nicosia to ratify the levy today. The vote was delayed from yesterday over the opposition of the European Central Bank amid talks to restructure the levy.  While Cyprus accounts for less than half a percent of the 17-nation euro economy, the raid on bank accounts risks triggering new convulsions in the financial crisis that began in 2009 in Greece. The tax is “a worrying precedent with potentially systemic consequences if depositors in other periphery countries fear a similar treatment in the future,” Joachim Fels, chief economist at Morgan Stanley in London, wrote in a client note.  Scenes of Cypriots lining up at cash machines raised the specter of capital flight elsewhere and threatened to disrupt a market calm since the ECB’s pledge in September to backstop troubled nations’ debt. With no government in Italy, Spain in the throes of a political scandal and Greece struggling to meet the terms of its own bailout, more turmoil could hamper efforts to end the crisis.

‘Sell Euro’ 
The euro fell below $1.30, sliding 1.5 percent to $1.2926 at 10:48 p.m. in Frankfurt. Anticipating gains in haven markets, Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, said on Twitter that the concern in Cyprus “moves risk-on trade to backseat.” He added: “Sell euro as well.”  Anastasiades exhorted political factions to support the deposit levy, which he pledged is a one-off measure that will avert a collapse of the financial system that in turn would have led to the country’s exit from the euro.  “A bank collapse would cause indescribable misery,” Anastasiades said in the televised address. He called the crisis the country’s worst moment since the 1974 Turkish invasion that has left the country divided.

‘Uncharted Territory’ 
The ECB’s pledge to buy bonds should prevail over market panic, though the tax on deposits brings the euro area into “uncharted territory again,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London, wrote in a note.  “Given the fragile state of the banking systems, especially in Greece and Spain, anything that can impede the needed rebuilding of confidence in these banking systems can potentially cause financial and economic damage,” he said. - Bloomberg.

Deutsche Bank Says "Only Jesus Can Save The Euro-Zone".
Deutsche Bank‘s global head of FX strategy, Bilal Hafeez, recently gave a speech at the annual Deutsche Bank Mittelstand (small and medium-sized enterprises) FX conference in Hamburg, Germany.  The bank’s research department transcribed Hafeez’s speech and sent it out to clients in a note.  The speech focuses on the euro area’s economic woes and the need for the currency bloc to move forward with further integration in order to be economically successful.  Hafeez opens the speech with a reflection on parenting and a child’s years as a “terrible teen.”  Then, he makes an interesting comparison to the euro area, complete with a religious allegory.  Who else has entered the terrible teens? The Euro-Area! It was born in 1999, and so is currently fourteen years old. It has all the hallmarks of teenage angst. It is ridden with internal conflicts, it is groping around for structure, and it is suspicious of authority. So who can be a positive role model for the Euro-Area? Well it cannot be the “fathers”: Germany or France.     It has to be an external figure that all Europeans respect, and whose motives and character are beyond dispute. That rules out anyone living as even the most competent person will make missteps or have something from their past dredged up to undermine them. That leaves us with historical figures whose lives have been laid bare by history. I can only think of one figure that is respected by most Europeans and has never sinned, Jesus! - MINA.

Cyprus Woes Spark Asia Sell-Off, Stocks Take A Hit.
Asian markets saw a massive sell-off across risk assets on Monday after a weekend decision by the euro zone to force depositors in Cyprus to contribute towards a bailout sparked concerns of contagion across other peripheral countries. The Nikkei 225 retreated from last week's fresh four-and-a-half-year high, Australia's benchmark lost over 1 percent and Seoul's Kospi hit a fresh one-month low. The euro zone's decision to implement a levy on bank deposits of all sizes in return for financial aid marks a radical departure from previous euro zone aid packages. Lawmakers in Cyprus are currently in the midst of working on a last-minute proposal to soften the impact on smaller savers to get the measures passed ahead of a parliament vote on Monday.

Investors are concerned that taxing depositors will set a dangerous precedent for the euro zone and ultimately risk runs on regional banks. The strategy may also provoke depositors in other debt-ridden nations to shift their money to 'safer' European banks. "It will create disintermediation in the banking sector. Trusts and banks will collapse...I think unsecured bond holders should be the first people to take hair cuts, depositors should be protected at all costs," said Peter Redward, principal at economic advisory firm Redward Associates on CNBC's 'Asia Squawk Box'. - CNBC.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown To Armageddon - North Korea Warns Border Residents To Flee Ahead Of “Thunderous Attacks”; Kim Jong Un Targeted In Assassination Attempt, South Korean Intelligence Says; North Korea Threatens Japan With Attack!

March 17, 2013 - KOREAN PENINSULA - Residents of a South Korean island closest to the tense sea border with North Korea have shrugged off a warning from Pyongyang urging them to flee ahead of "thunderous attacks", an official said on Sunday. The North's official website, Uriminzokkiri, told residents of five islands south of the border to leave, warning of "devastating consequences" if recent cross-border tension escalates into a full-scale conflict.

North Korea Warns Border Residents To Flee Ahead Of “Thunderous Attacks”.
"The wisest choice when the fire of thunder rains down on you is running afar," it said in an editorial published late Friday. It repeated criticism of an ongoing South Korea-US joint military drill, calling it a rehearsal for war that may prompt counter-attacks from the North. "At a time like this... it will be the best for the residents at the five border islands like Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong, the biggest flashpoint area between two Koreas... to evacuate as soon as possible," it said.

A North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong island, in the Yellow Sea, in 2010 killed four South Koreans. Young North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un recently threatened to "wipe out" the neighbouring island of Baengnyeong.

The latest threat however had caused little panic among the 5,000 residents of Baengnyeong, the closest island to the border, said an administrative official on the island. "There's no visible sign of panic or mass exodus... people appeared to be accustomed to it to some degree," the official, who declined to be named, told AFP by telephone.

File photo of Yeonpyeong residents returning to the S.Korea-controlled island, on December 21, 2010
(AFP/File, Kim Jae-Hwan)

"They are less worried about the situation than people outside believe," she said, adding the authorities however had stocked up underground shelters and been holding daily drills to prepare in the event of a bombardment.

The disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea has seen bloody naval clashes in the past and, with military tensions at their highest levels for years, is seen as the prime location for another confrontation. - AFP.

WATCH: North Korea warns citizens to evacuate border region.

Kim Jong Un Targeted In Assassination Attempt, South Korean Intelligence Says.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a live ammunition
firing drill by the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment and the Mu
Islet Hero Defense Detachment deployed in the southwestern
sector of North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was recently the target of an assassination attempt, South Korean intelligence has said.

The London Telegraph reported that the alleged murder plot may have been the work of a faction loyal to Kim Yong Chol, a four-star general demoted last year before being restored to his previous rank and rehabilitated.

The Telegraph cited the Joong Ang Ilbo newspaper as reporting that an exchange of gunfire in Pyongyang last November may have signaled the attempt.

The Express, meantime, quoted a source as saying:
"It appeared that disgruntled people inside the North moved before the time of the demotion of Kim Yong Chol."

Until recently, Gen. Kim — who was behind the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in March 2010 and the deadly bombing of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island later that same year — was considered one of the closest allies of Kim Jong Un.

A power struggle between the intelligence department of the ruling Workers' Party and a division of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces resulted in his demotion.

However, since the suspected assassination attempt, the general appeared to have been accepted back into Kim Jong Un’s inner fold, being promoted back to his original rank and even appeared alongside the young leader at a recent musical recital. - ODD.

North Korea Threatens Japan With Attack.
North Korean students attend a contest of singing wartime songs in
chorus while marching in array, at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang in
this picture released by the North's KCNA news agency March 17, 2013.
North Korea has lashed out at Japan for calling for "independent additional sanctions" against Pyongyang.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency carried a statement from the Foreign Ministry Sunday saying that it would be a fatal mistake for Japan if it thinks it will be safe when a war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula.

The statement warned that the Japanese would face a horrible strike if they collude with the United States.

The article appeared days after U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said Washington is willing to hold "authentic negotiations" with the North if it changes its behavior.

North Korea is furious about new U.N. sanctions imposed after it conducted its third nuclear test last month.

The new round of sanctions and an ongoing U.S. - South Korea military exercise sparked an angry response from Pyongyang, which said it is abandoning the armistice that ended the Korean War and is ending non-aggression pacts with South Korea. - VOA News.

SOLAR WATCH: Strong CME Impact Hits The Earth - G2 Geomagnetic Storm In Progress!

March 17, 2013 - THE SUN - A fast moving Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that left the Sun on Friday morning swept past Earth early Sunday morning. The ACE Spacecraft detected a solar wind increase to near 700 km/s.

An aurora opening is currently taking place on 6 meters (50mhz). Several stations are being worked via the aurora.
Moderate G2 Level Geomagnetic Storming continues.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM CONTINUES: A geomagnetic sudden impulse measuring 48 nT was detected by the Boulder, Colorado magnetometer at 06:01 UTC and this signalled the moment of Earth impact. A moderate G2 Level Geomagnetic Storm (KP=6) is now in progress following the impact. Be on the lookout for aurora at very high latitudes.

UPDATE: Geomagnetic Storming continues on Sunday at minor to moderate levels. The solar wind remains above 600 km/s and the Bz component has been mostly tipped south during the past several hours.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6
Threshold Reached: 2013 Mar 17 1700 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1500-1800 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate

Aurora over Minnesota courtesy of Brennan Joseph Jontz.
More great images by Gary Kallberg in Fox, Alaska, Cole Clark in Minnesota,
Allen Snowdon VE7OKO in British Columbia, Canada.

Visible Aurora over Yellowknife, NWT, Canada.

Here is a fine panoramic view of the Aurora by Cole Clark who is located in Minnesota.

As predicted, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field at 0600 UT on March 17th. The impact lifted the solar wind speed from 300 km/s to 700 km/s and sparked a moderately strong (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm. Northern Lights spilled across the Canadian border into the United States as far south as Colorado:

"Just after 4 am local time, the skies turned green and red behind the twin stone monoliths of Rabbit Ears Peak near Steamboat Springs, Colorado," reports photographer and astronomy professsor Jimmy Westlake.
In the contiguous United States, auroras also appeared above New York, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Michigan and the Dakotas. Scan the realtime photo gallery and count the states.
The show's not over. Geomagnetic storming is underway as Earth passes thrugh the wake of the CME. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) most likely the result of a filament eruption is seen in the latest STEREO Ahead COR2 imagery. 

WATCH: New video by SDO/AIA showing a filament eruption in the southeast quadrant.

Attached is an updated image of the visible solar disk on Sunday. Solar activity is currently low with only minor C-Class flares detected within the past 24 hours. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Class event. Sunspot AR1696 has a beta-gamma magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares.

Credit: SDO/HMI.
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on March 19-20.

Credit: SDO/AIA.

SOURCES: Space Weather | Solar Ham | NOAA/SWPC.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Is Comet Pan-STARRS Fragmenting?

March 17, 2013 - SPACE - Veteran astrophotographer Peter Rosen has been monitoring Comet Pan-STARRS, and his latest images obtained on March 15th seem to show a fragment emerging from the nucleus. It is the speck just below and to the right of the comet's head:

"It is visible also in two or three other image stacks," says Rosen. He notes how the stars in the image are trailed, but the apparent fragment is not. "It seems to follow the comet, not the stars. A plane passed through the field of view during the exposure, making a red streak through the comet's tail."

"The colorful image is a frequency modulation that increases the contrast and clearly shows the fragment as a dark dot below the nucleus," he continues. "I hope this splitting can be confirmed or refuted soon by other observers."

Taken by Richard Fleet on March 17, 2013 @ Pewsey Vale, Wiltshire, England.

Taken by Grant Privett on March 17, 2013 @ Fovant, Wiltshire, UK.

For casual sky watchers:
A growing number of people are reporting that they can see Comet Pan-STARRS with the naked eye. Best estimates place the magnitude of the comet at +0.2, about twice as bright as a 1st magnitude star.

As the comet moves away from the sun, its visibility is improving, which means you might be able to see it in the nights ahead. Step outside about an hour after sunset and look west: sky map. - Space Weather.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Officials Report "Burp" Event At The Sinkhole, Could Lead To Large Gas Outburst!

March 17, 2013 - UNITED STATES -  The following constitutes the latest information on the giant Louisiana sinkhole from the Assumption Parish Police Jury.

The red line in the photo attached depicts the area of swampland that sloughed in when the “burp” in the sinkhole happened early this morning.
Photo: Assumption Parish Police Jury.

Officials Report ‘Burp’ At The Sinkhole.
A burp occurred in the sinkhole this morning. Hydrocarbon and debris are on the surface.

The Office of Conservation is advising the public that a large “burp” event was recorded at the sinkhole shortly after 3 a.m on the morning of Sunday, March 17, related to the recent period of elevated deep seismic activity around the failed Oxy 3 cavern and the sinkhole.

As has happened in past events, such as the period of elevated seismic activity that preceded the Jan. 19 “burp” event, the recent period of elevated activity was observed for several days prior to a sinkhole event. Though the deep subsurface activity appears to have calmed significantly.

Conservation’s contracted experts continue to note shallower seismic activity likely related to slumping of the sinkhole sides and water movement in the sinkhole and immediately below it. Monitoring is constantly ongoing in the area and Conservation will advise the public of significant changes in subsurface conditions.

3D Seismic Signals For The Survey Of The Bayou Corne/Napoleonville Salt Dome.
The Office of Conservation is advising the public that 3D seismic signals (active seismic) for the survey of the Bayou Corne/Napoleonville Salt Dome area is scheduled to begin as early as Sunday, March 17. The 3D seismic signals will be picked up by the CERI helicorders used to monitor the area for subsurface movement in the area of the salt dome.

Seismic experts contracted by Conservation, including Dr. Steve Horton with USGS and Dr. Will Pettitt with Itasca Group, will be analyzing the monitoring data to separate out seismic events associated with subsurface movement from the 3D seismic active signals.

Drs. Horton and Pettitt are assuring the public that the 3D seismic active signals will not in any way diminish the effectiveness of the seismic monitoring at the site, and have advised that they can readily separate out subsurface movement events from the 3D seismic active signals. The 3D seismic work will involve generating up to 300 active seismic signal events per day, and will be generating those active signals only during daylight hours.

Highway 70 Will Be Closed For Road Work.
Highway 70 will be closed periodically throughout the night, tonight so that Vibe work may be completed on the roadway. The section that will be closed is between Highway 69 and Lee Drive.  The periodic road closures mentioned in the previous blog posts are scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m.

Follow the latest updates on the sinkhole from the Assumption Parish Police Jury HERE.

Latest seismographs from Bayou Corne:

See more seismographs HERE.

WATCH: Flyover of the sinkhole - March 8, 2013.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Discovery Report For March 17, 2013 - Updates On Stromboli, Etna, Marapi, Fuego, Popocatépetl, Pacaya, Telica, San Cristobal, Masaya, Turrialba, Nevado del Ruiz, Reventador And Tungurahua!

March 17, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing report from the Volcano Discovery Group.

Thermal webcam image of the crater area of Stromboli (INGV).

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): No lasting new larger lava flows have occurred over the past days, but it is obvious that the craters, in particular the NE vents, are literally "filled to the rim", and often produce small overflows from the crater. A strong tremor signal accompanies this process.

Strombolian explosions in turn occur as well, but are comparably weak (in contrast to the elevated phase of activity in early Jan).

Thermal webcam image at 04:51 showing an ash plume from Etna's Voragine.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): A pronounced tremor spike showed up this morning, leading perhaps to the suspicion of a follow-up paroxysm (as Etna has sometimes done in the past). However, looking at webcam images from that time, it seems that an explosion and/or a collapse event (more likely) occurred from Voragine crater and produced a marked tremor spike. An ash plume and minor amounts of hot material can be seen rising a few 100 meters at around 04:51 local time...16 Mar:

Typical for Etna's paroxysms, activity has ended quickly after reaching an impressive climax with lava fountains around and perhaps even above 1 km in height.

Marapi (Western Sumatra, Indonesia): A small explosive eruption occurred this morning at around 08:05 local time, generating a small ash plume rising a few hundred meters above the crater. Marapi volcano, one of Sumatra's most active, has been producing intermittent explosions with ash plumes up to 1 km high frequently since August 2011.

For Indonesian standards, this is no big activity, and Indonesia's Volcanological Survey maintains alert level II only.

Popocatépetl today.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Snow-covered Popo is taking a probably short rest with only 5 weak emissions of gas and steam and probably no ash having been observed during 24 hours since yesterday.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): The rate of explosions seems to have increased,- INSIVUMEH mentions "abundant" small and moderate explosions with ash plumes rising up to about 1 km above the dome and drifting 13 km to the west. Effusive activity continues as well, with moderate near constant block avalanches from the several active flows on the dome's flanks.

Current seismogram from Pacaya (PCG station, INSIVUMEH).

Pacaya (Guatemala): The volcano continues to wake up. Small gas and ash emissions were observed from the crater yesterday. The seismic signal shows volcanic tremor and volcanic quakes related to internal fluid movements and the degassing/ash venting at the surface.

Current seismic signal from Fuego (FG3 station, INSIVUMEH).

Fuego (Guatemala): Compared to the previous days, activity has a bit decreased. INSIVUMEH reports few weak to moderate explosions, and small glowing avalanches from the crater towards the Ceniza drainage visible at night. A new lava flow is predicted to re-appear in the coming days.

The seismic signal showed relatively strong degassing tremor yesterday that decreased again. There are now discrete explosion signals mixed with some periods of weak volcanic tremor.

Last night's seismogram from Telica (TELN station, INETER).

Telica (Nicaragua): An earthquake swarm has occurred last night at the volcano.

Current seismic recording from San Cristobal volcano (CRIN station, INETER).

San Cristobal (Nicaragua): Banded volcanic tremor and some higher magnitude volcanic earthquakes have returned to show up on the seismic records.

Masaya (Nicaragua): A phase of increased tremor occurred yesterday. Today, it has eased again to normal levels.

Turrialba (Costa Rica): Increased degassing appears to have occurred yesterday. A weak SO2 plume is visible on yesterday's NOAA satellite image, and the seismic signal shows a phase of weakly increased tremor.

Steaming Nevado del Ruiz yesterday (INGEOMINAS).

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): Seismic activity has been generally low. INGEOMINAS published some photos showing strong degassing from the volcano.

The seismic recordings show small clusters of higher amplitude volcano-tectonic and volcanic earthquakes as well as continuous low-level tremor during the recent days.

Reventador (Ecuador): A thermal anomaly at the summit and continuing explosion earthquakes mixed with low-level volcanic tremor suggest that lava extrusion at the summit crater has resumed (or rather continues more vigorously) these days.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): The volcano alternates between strong activity with ash emissions and explosions and pauses. The corresponding seismic signal shows this with phases of frequent earthquakes and explosion signals merging into strong eruption tremor followed by rather quiet periods.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for March 17, 2013

Photo of the Day:
Cinder cone in the mountain region of Mauna Kea volcano, Big Island, Hawaii (Photo: Janka)

- Volcano Discovery.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Bat-Killing Disease Continues Deadly Spread In America - The Mysterious White Nose Syndrome Threatens The Entire Species And Everyone Else!

March 17, 2013 - UNITED STATES - We know what it is. We know what it does. We have an idea of how it's being spread. Despite a large number of concerned scientists focused on white nose syndrome (WNS), the bat fungus that is spreading rapidly and that has a 95% mortality rate, we still don't know how it started, how to slow its spread, and how to cure it.

Bats are not normally considered essential parts of the ecosystem, but they are an integral part in balancing the natural infrastructure of the world, particularly in insect population control. Areas where the bats have been hit by WNS have noted a measurable increase in insects, including those that are damaging to crops.

Here's what we know. A white fungus grows on the face and wings of bats as they hibernate in lower temperatures. This stirs the bats and makes them active prematurely.

As a result of increased activity during times of limited food supply, they die. Estimates are conservative placing the deaths of bats in North America at around 6 million since it was first noted in 2006.

The spread is continuing. It starts in caves and spreads throughout them where tens of thousands of bats may be hibernating. It then spreads bat to bat, infecting other caves as a result. From Canada to Alabama and from the east coast to the Mississippi river, more bat caves are being infected every month.

Map shows the extent of the pandemic.

There is a distinct potential for an ecological collapse that could affect other animals, plants, and even humans. Bats are the primary control animal that keep insect populations at a proper level. Reducing bats without a reduction in insects can cause a exponential increase in the population; fewer bats means more insects living longer to reproduce.

It isn't just that fewer insects are being eaten. It's that more of them are then able to make even more. In other words, it's not a 1:1 ratio. The increasing imbalance of the insect population can have catastrophic effects on food supplies.

Today, it's present in 22 states and Canada.

"We have been expecting WNS in South Carolina," said Mary Bunch, wildlife biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

"We have watched the roll call of states and counties and Canadian provinces grow each year since the first bat deaths were noted in New York in 2007."

Map of White Nose Syndrome in the United States. © Cal Butchkovski.

The scale and implications of this phenomenon are having an effect on those who understand them. Dr Scott McBurney of Atlantic Veterinary College says this is the worst epidemic he's ever seen.

"I'm saddened and I'm depressed, to be perfectly honest with you, because this is the most catastrophic wildlife disease that's affected a wildlife population, at least in my lifetime," McBurney said.

"It's catastrophic because it's affecting so many species of bats, and because of the level of mortality associated with the infection, so it's just horrible."

Here is a map from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. If the spread continues and no solution is found, this could dramatically affect everyone in North America and as a result everywhere in the world. - Techi.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Rare Earthquakes Rattle Auckland, New Zealand?!

March 17, 2013 - NEW ZEALAND - A "moderate" 3.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Auckland today was the biggest in the city since February 2007, GeoNet says.

The tremor, which struck at 4.05pm, was five kilometres deep and was centred near Motatapu Island, 15 kms north-east of the city.

GeoNet described its intensity as "moderate".

"It's quite rare to get any felt events in Auckland, but occasionally we do have some like this," said duty officer Nico Fournier.

Driveway cracks after the earthquake in Unsworth Heights North Shore.  © Tamaryn Peddie.

He said the earthquake did not indicate an increase in volcanic activity under New Zealand's biggest city, which is dotted with volcanoes.

"Because we have volcanoes in Auckland and then we had this earthquake it doesn't mean the two are related. There is no indication of that."

Further earthquakes were possible, he said.

"Usually when you get earthquakes there are aftershocks, so certainly in the next hours or days there is a possibility of further small earthquakes, but right now it's looking pretty calm.

"There's no indication that it will be the case, but we can't exclude it."

Fire Service spokesman Jaron Phillips said the northern communications centre fielded calls about the quake from across Auckland.

"We've had quite a few calls actually. No actual damage reported, it's really just people after a bit of advice, confirming whether it was an earthquake, a little bit of panic," he said.

"We're just out of the city in Grey Lynn, and it certainly rocked the building here."

Mr Phillips said the earthquake had triggered an alarm at a rest home in Howick, but no damage was reported.

He urged people not to clog up emergency lines if they did not need to, but they could call if they had damage to report or needed assistance.

Many people in central Auckland felt the quake.

Blues captain Ali Williams tweeted "That was an earthquake. Yes in Auckland" and Comedian Rhys Darby tweeted "Yip, just felt an earthquake in AKL".

Around five minutes earlier GeoNet detected another quake, measuring 3.3. It was centred 25 kms north-east of Auckland at a depth of 23 kilometres.

Many Aucklanders said they barley felt the first earthquake, but the second quake was much stronger.

Readers who emailed the Herald described it as being like a large truck going past, a gust of wind or a truck colliding with the house.

Bev Hooper of Stanmore Bay said she though the first quake was "a bit odd" but the second quake came as a bigger jolt.

"It felt like a truck had hit the side of the house. Just a hard jolt."

Paremoremo resident Catherine Casey said she and her husband heard a "massive rumble" about 4.05pm.

"My husband thought it was a gust of wind but we had no wind. I said I think it was an earthquake ... I am deaf in one ear but it was loud and I felt the vibration. I thought it was a tornado."

A resident of Rothesay Bay on the North Shore said the second quake lasted from 30 seconds to a minute.

The walls of her lounge moved, shifting a painting, and the cups in front of her rattled loudly.

The earthquake was a first for Glenfield resident Maree Lawson, who has lived on the North Shore her whole life.

"Never experienced anything like that. I was watching a DVD on my bed, then the bed starts shaking like someone was underneath it ... very freaky."

Sunnynook resident Val said the quakes felt like "a very strong gust of wind shaking the house". The floor moved rapidly for a few seconds and the cat fled as the house shuddered.

A Torbay resident said her whole room started shaking during the first quake.

"I thought someone just crashed into the house! It lasted for 10 seconds and when I looked outside everything was fine ... About four minutes later, my whole house started shaking and I heard my siblings scream and I ran to their aid."

Kim said she thought she'd had "one wine too many" until her neighbour confirmed her shock that there had been an earthquake.

"I believed my neighbour before I believed my husband. My chair shook and my glasses rattled. My neighbour's whole house shook along with his blinds."

The tremors have encouraged some Aucklanders to stock up on Civil Defence emergency supplies.

Glendowie woman Caroline Wood, who saw the walls of her house shake, said she would take the quake as a warning to be prepared.

That sentiment was echoed by Lisa West in Birkenhead, who felt a jolt and the kitchen rattled.

"Quite frankly it freaked me out, enough to shake me out of apathy with regard to sorting out a household plan for a civil defence emergency. I'm getting onto it first thing Monday!"

The earthquake has already prompted a Facebook page called "I survived the Auckland Earthquake", where users are sharing humorous memes.

Within an hour of the quakes the page had more than 2000 likes on Facebook.

Auckland Civil Defence said small earthquakes are not unusual for Auckland. A similar swarm occurred over an evening in February 2007.

People who felt the earthquake are being urged to register it on GeoNet's website by clicking the 'Felt it?' button. - NZ Herald.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found In Stansbury Park Lake, Utah?!

March 17, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Hundreds of dead fish have been found in the Stansbury Park Lake; the carp were killed when the water froze over.

High levels of ammonia, which is harder on the larger fish, have been found in portions of the lake where the water had recently thawed.

Tooele County, Utah State Fish and Wildlife Service, scouts and residents have all teamed up to haul the piles of fish to dumpsters. They are asking for the public’s help to return the lake to normal.

Jaden Sutherland lives near the lake, and he said the task is not a savory one.

“Dead fish, half as tall as I am,” he said. “Yeah, it’s just disgusting. Rotting dead fish in dumpsters, not the best thing to look at.”

Ryan McCarty also lives near the lake, and he said the masses of dead fish might be a blessing in disguise.

“They tell us to get rid of the carp anyway,” he said. “I guess we needed to clean up anyway, so I guess naturally is the way to do it.”

There are no plans to replace the fish. The mass of fish deaths is normal during cold winters. - FOX13.

WATCH: Hundreds of dead fish found in Utah lake.

ICE AGE NOW: The New Mini Ice Age Is Upon Us - Record "Winter Storm" Pounds Europe; The Worst "Winter" Storm In 150 Years Grinds Belarus To A Halt Belarus; The Huge Storm System Brings Record Snow, Flooding And Arctic Cold To Spain; 100km/h Winds, Snowdrifts Over 3 Metres High And 10,000 Motorway Stranded In Hungary Alone; Record Low Temperatures Disrupt Spring Breakers In Florida; Record Breaking March Snow In Georgia!

March 17, 2013 - EARTH - Large parts of Belarus and the Belarusian capital Minsk have spent this weekend under exceptional circumstances. The cyclone Javier has paralysed large parts of the country for almost two days.  While similar weather conditions in the USA would make it to the top news in Europe, there has been no mentioning of the storm in Belarus in Western media.   It started as simple snow fall on Friday morning, but approximately 20 cm of snow fell in the following 24 hours. The wind was 22 metres per second according to the Belarusian hydro-meteorological centre. Sight was limited to 100 metres in the Minsk region on Friday afternoon because of the heavy snow falls. Although the country is used to severe winters and well equipped to deal with large amount of snow, public life has come to a halt at this weekend.

The Worst "Winter" Storm In 150 Years Grinds Belarus To A Halt Belarus.
By the time most Belarusians were trying to go home, the situation was at it worst. This led to a chaos that is extraordinary for Belarus. “The last time I have seen something similar was in the 1980s” says Sasha, who has reached home by walking from the metro station to his homes. Buses stopped running during the afternoon and have not re-started until Saturday evening.  Getting home during rush hour was very difficult for all people and impossible for many. “My colleague left the office at lunch time and got home at 4a.m.”, says Vasili. Indeed, circulation on the Minsk beltway came to a still stand during rush hour. Thousands of cars were stuck in traffic jams. More than 650 traffic jams were registered in Belarus on Friday evening according to Nasha Niva. This is twice more than on a usual day, according to the road police. 3 people died in accidents. In several cases, more than 20 cars were involved in mass accidents.  For some time, the roads out of Minsk were completely closed. It was impossible to get from towns to the periphery of the capital such Dziarzhinsk and Fanipol’ to Minsk or back. Circulation on the main street in Minsk, the prospect, came to a complete still-stand during the rush hour.  Many people had to sleep at work or were forced to stay overnight with friends in the centre. As there were no buses running, the metro had to be temporary closed because it was so overcrowded. Those who could, left their cars at works and tried to get home by public transport. This turned out to be difficult, however, when only metro and regional trains could operate.

Thousands forced to spend the night in their cars 
The roof of a car park near Hotel Minsk in the very centre of the capital fell down on account of the masses of snow covering it. The plastic roof buried around 30 cars but fortunately did not hurt a single person.  While in Minsk, inconveniences consisted mainly in perturbed traffic and the impossibility to reach home, by Friday evening more than 530 villages and towns in Belarus were left without electricity. Up to Saturday evening, 26 villages are still without electricity in Brest region. This region suffered especially from heavy snow falls and wind: 82 cars were freed from snow drifts. 320 persons, among them 37 children were in the cars. None of them was injured. On Saturday, although the snow fall had stopped, Minsk was quieter than ever before. Around 20 000 employees and parts of the army that were called to support the city administration to clean the roads. The news agency BelTA informs that more than 900 snow clearing vehicles were employed to clear the capital.  Most people had to stay at home in the "sleeping districts" during the day. While even the courtyards and central parks had been cleaned from snow during the day, there were still no buses running or streets cleared in the suburbs.    Some shops stayed closed, as for example the Central Fashion Market. However, fresh bread and meat was delivered to the shops in the centre of Minsk.  Public life had to be postponed as well. All Maslenica events (Maslenica is the holiday of winter farewell) as well as football, hockey and basketball matches are to take place on Sunday instead of Saturday. The soccer team of the “Football Club Homel” had to spend 28 hours on the way to the quarter finals of the cup of Belarus that was supposed to take place in Minsk on Saturday. The players spent the night in their coach and finished their journey by regional train on Saturday morning.

International airport closed on Friday 
While international airport Minsk II was closed for several hours on Friday, all passengers that were supposed to land in Minsk on Friday arrived there on Saturday morning. As planes could not touch down in Minsk, they had to be directed to Homel or Kyiv.    700 passengers had to to spend the night at the airport in Minsk. During the day, around 2,000 people were waiting for being flown to their destinations. Unfortunately, the Belarusian national carrier Belavia did not accept that flying would not be possible on Friday and refused to inform passengers about what was going to happen according to a news report on According to the Minsk city executive committee, the roads leading out of Minsk were opened only for a limited circulation in order to allow the vehicles to clear away the snow. This is also true for the majority of roads in the Minsk region. On the M4 from Minsk to Mogilev, there were still more than 30 km of traffic jam on Saturday evening.  For the upcoming days, the weather forecast promises less snow fall but still icy temperatures. The Minsk city administration did a remarkable job in clearing the centre from snow. But next time they should clean the roads on the outskirts of Minsk before clearing the parks and courtyards of privileged houses in the centre. - Belarus Digest.

Huge Storm System Brings Record Snow, Flooding And Arctic Cold To Spain; 100km/h Winds, Snowdrifts Over 3 Metres High And 10,000 Motorway Stranded In Hungary Alone.
Tanks have been deployed to reach snowbound motorists in Hungary as cold weather causes transport chaos across central Europe. T-72 battle tanks trundled along icy roads, while thousands of people waited in cars on the M1 motorway from Budapest to Vienna. Many had been stuck on the road since Thursday evening. - BBC.

WATCH: Hungary snow strands 10,000 motorway drivers.

Icy roads are disrupting transport as north-western Europe remains in the grip of unseasonable weather.  The snowstorm on Monday and Tuesday, a few days before the official start of spring on March 20, caused widespread travel chaos with the cancellation of hundreds of flights and the suspension of train services including cross-Channel Eurostar trains.  The Eurostar link between London and Paris, the Thalys line between Paris and Brussels and other high-speed connections in northern France resumed running early on Wednesday, though there were delays.  After being forced to close briefly, Frankfurt Airport, Europe's third-busiest, said it expected services to progressively return to normal after 812 flights were cancelled on Tuesday.  France was the worst affected by the snowstorm but Belgium, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands also reported major disruptions.  Services were returning to normal in France, with the Paris Metro and suburban train services running, though buses were cancelled because of icy road conditions. 

The sun was shining in Paris, where buildings were covered in a picturesque blanket of snow and a lone cross-country skier was seen on the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower. The temperature was -5 degrees Celsius, well below seasonal averages.  The icy conditions were causing road closures and slowdowns, in particular in the north of France, but highways were gradually opening as snowdrifts were cleared and vehicles stranded during the snowstorm were recovered.  Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warned disruptions could continue for another 48 hours.  "I think that things should be better by Friday, at least on the weather front," he said.  "The situation is under control, the organisation is at the necessary level."  About 69,000 homes were without power in France on Wednesday, including about 30,000 that lost electricity after the snowstorm moved south into the Alps.  Temperatures hovered close to freezing in Britain, with snow expected in parts of Scotland and eastern England. Motorways in the south of the country were blocked as lorries were backed up following delays to freight and passenger services through the Channel Tunnel.  Belgium was also seeing a return to normal with train and public transport services improving, though icy roads were causing some disruptions. - Adelaide Now.

WATCH: BBC Weather's Tomasz Schafernaker has more on the recent snowy weather in central and northern parts of Spain.

Snowbound Drivers Rescued After Winter Storm Chaos Recedes.
An abandoned caravan on the South Downs near Brighton. © Luke Macgregor/Reuters.
The last of hundreds of tired and cold drivers were rescued from stranded cars on Tuesday after winter's late revival brought chaos to both sides of the Channel.  Major roads were blocked in southern England, northern France and Belgium, and Eurostar trains were halted by bad weather on the European mainland.  A man was taken in a critically ill condition to St George's hospital in Tooting, south London, after being hit by a telegraph pole that fell in high winds. The 27-year-old suffered head injuries and a cardiac arrest.  Two other people were freed with minor injuries from the debris of fallen trees, and a 19-year-old woman was treated for head injuries after a three-car pile-up on the M23 in Sussex. There were 771 road accidents, but no fatal injuries, in the county, which took the brunt of blizzards with neighbouring Kent on Monday night.  Skidding and sliding vehicles were central to hundreds of blockages in the two counties, where queues of jammed traffic stretched up to 30 miles and motorists suffered delays of more than 10 hours. Local council and Highways Agency gritters and snow ploughs were unable to reach many areas because of stranded cars and lorries. Stretches of road that had been cleared very quickly vanished under snow again as the blizzards kept coming.  Snow problems stretched as far north as Cumbria and down into south Wales and Somerset, but much of the country enjoyed bright sunshine, albeit with very low temperatures. The freeze is expected to ease gradually on Wednesday and towards the end of the week, but the country remains sandwiched by yellow "be aware" weather warnings from the Meteorological Office up the east and west coasts.  Southern trains made short-notice cancellations for much of the day, playing havoc with commuter schedules, and the busy London-Brighton line was down to an hourly service for much of the day.  Failed attempts by the Irish Ferries vessel Oscar Wilde to dock at Cherbourg, France, ended with the ship riding out the night offshore with 500 passengers on board.

Further delays followed when hydraulic locks on the bow doors failed and the ferry was unable to sail back out and come in stern-first because of high seas. Passengers were consoled for having to stay on board by warnings that roads round the French port were in the grip of snow and dangerously icy conditions.  Air travel was also disrupted, with Frankfurt airport closing its runways for a time and serious disruption at Charles de Gaulle and Orly in Paris.  Gatwick warned travellers to allow extra time and Jersey airport was shut on the Channel Islands, which have had their worst March weather for two decades.  Volunteers were praised for rallying to the aid of stranded drivers in Kent and Sussex, with farmers and builders mobilising tractors and diggers to clear minor roads and 30 members of a Plymouth Brethren church working shifts with seven 4x4s to bring medical supplies, hot drinks and reassurance to travellers stuck on the A23.  Police community support officer Christopher Kingswood, a former soldier, had to use his survival training when he became stranded himself after hours of helping drivers. He managed to sleep in a cramped police box, curled up but still squashed between its sides.  The biggest daffodil festival in the UK, held every March at Thriplow in Hertfordshire, will go ahead this weekend, 16-17 March, but with earlier spring flowers replacing the daffs. Next year's event will be held later in the year, after four meagre crops in succession, following cold winters.  Cornwall's Eden Project, safe under its vast glass dome, reported a boom in visitors fed up with the great outdoors and pleased to see 43 varieties of tulips blooming in their prime. - Guardian.

Record Low Temperatures Disrupts Spring Breakers In Florida.
It's cold in Florida this March. © SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images.
Spring Breakers flocking south to Florida's typically warm and sunny beaches are bringing along a very unwelcome guest this year - Old Man Winter.   Temperatures averaging 10 to 20 degrees below normal have taken a southward dip into the southeastern portion of the U.S., with temperature highs sitting unseasonably low in the 50 and 60 degree range.  "Bathers may need a wet suit instead of a bathing suit for a couple of days," senior AccuWeather Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski joked in his report. CapitalClimate reports that record low temperatures were set in Florida on Wednesday: Naples hit 36 degrees, Tallahassee hit 18 degrees and pockets of Florida saw it get even colder with the Gainesville area dropping to 10.7 degrees in northern Florida and the Lake Okeechobee area in southern Florida dipping down to 15.3 degrees. Florida's chill will be accompanied by wind from the unseasonably cold jet stream, and snow showers are even threatening visitors to the Sunshine State.

"I'm supposed to be on Spring Break, getting a tan and that's not really going over too well, it's a little bit windy and cold," Ohio spring-breaker Elizabeth Young told Central Florida News. According to AccWeather, Florida temperatures are forecast to bounce back to more seasonable levels later next week as some spring breakers head back home and a fresh new batch of northerners make the trip down South.  "I came from the cold to end up in the cold," Boston spring-breaker Ron Nadeau told Central Florida News.  Although temperatures will still sit above those in the north, much of Florida will remain in cold shock following the higher-than-average temperatures the Sunshine State has felt since Dec. 1 of last year. - CBS Tampa Bay.

Record Breaking March Snow In Georgia.
Rain will return Tuesday, but only briefly before moving out Wednesday. Our weekend brush with snow wasn't much to write home about, but it did break a record for March 3 - but that record previously stood at zero snowfall. Around here, we got a dusting, but some parts of northern Georgia got an inch of snow, maybe more in the mountains. It all melted pretty quickly.

Tuesday will be warmer, with the high expected to reach about 63, according to the National Weather Service forecast. Rain is expected to return, with showers and thunderstorms before 4 p.m., then showers likely. But the rain should move out by Wednesday, when the day's high will approach the low 50s, with the nighttime low dipping to about 31. The daytime temps are set to make a return to the 60s headed into the weekend. Westcobb Patch.

The New Mini Ice Age Is Upon Us.
"The CO2 story is over. It has been pointing the world in the wrong direction for too long. MIA (Mini Ice Age) fingerprint now overwhelming," says astrophysicist Piers Corbyn of "March 10th 1947 was the day of the thaw ending the late snowy cold winter of 1947 in Britain & Europe and there was a giant sunspot group at the centre of the solar disc," says Corbyn.   "This year, three magnetic (22yr) solar cycles later, solar activity has been generally very low and this day marked deep cold " - heralding more snow, on 12th, when snow blizzards hit S/E England (Pic Folkstone) as WeatherAction forecasted in detail 25 days ahead.

"This is further evidence of the inevitable plunge from now into the new Mini-Ice Age we warned of some years ago", said Corbyn just last week (March 10th). "The CO2 story is over. It has been pointing the world in the wrong direction for too long. The serious implications of the developing MIA to agriculture and the world economy through the next 25 to 35 years must be addressed. Warmists have been fiddling ("selecting") data for years. But whatever they do, even with "new" data, the world is cooling while CO2 continues to rise.

Source: Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn of (PDF)

- Ice Age Now.