Tuesday, June 11, 2013

THE GREAT DELUGE: Swollen River Elbe Breaches Levee, Creating The Underwater Village Of Fischbeck - Burst Dyke Leaves Entire German Town Submerged As Aerial Shots Reveal Devastation Of Recent Heavy Rains; 10 VILLAGES Evacuated; Extensive Damage In Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia And Hungary; 22 DEAD In Europe; TENS OF BILLIONS In Damages!

June 11, 2013 - GERMANY - As cars and homes lie abandoned, this was the scene of devastation today at Fischbeck in central Germany after the entire village became submerged when a dyke burst.  Unable to withstand pressure from the swollen river Elbe after weeks of heavy rain, the levee was breached overnight, prompting officials to evacuate ten villages in the area.  The torrential weather this spring has sent the Elbe, the Danube and other rivers such as the Vltava and the Saale overflowing their banks, causing extensive damage in central and southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. 

This aerial view shows floodwater gushing through the burst dyke in Fischbeck today.

This was the scene today at Fischbeck in central Germany after the entire village became submerged when a dyke burst (seen on the left).

Unable to withstand pressure from the swollen river Elbe after weeks of heavy rain, the levee was breached overnight - prompting officials to evacuate ten villages in the area.

Germany's national railway said it had to close a bridge near Fischbeck that is used by trains linking Berlin to Cologne, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.  Some trains were being diverted via other bridges to the north and south, causing significant delays, and others were cancelled.   

Cars lie abandoned in the central German village. The national railway said it had to close a bridge near Fischbeck that is used by trains linking Berlin to Cologne, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

Thousands of homes have been evacuated along the Elbe after waters threatened to break through levees protecting several other towns, as well as Fischbeck (above).

Military personnel, firefighters and volunteers have frantically been trying to build up flood defences along the Elbe with sandbags. Pictured above, the Fischbeck breach.

Thousands of homes have been evacuated along the Elbe after waters threatened to break through levees protecting several other towns.  A few miles upstream from Fischbeck, west of Berlin, around 8,000 people left their houses in the Saxony-Anhalt town of Stendal.  

Talstrasse in Halle, southern Germany, after the city was flooded by water from the river Saale today.

... and how the street looked five days ago.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (second right) visited Wittenberge, on the Elbe, yesterday to get first-hand information of the flood situation and to thank the volunteers who are helping to battle the floods.

In neighboring Schleswig-Holstein state, the old quarter of Lauenburg near Hamburg was evacuated due to the rising waters of the Elbe.  And in southern Germany, waters were receding and authorities began debating how to pay for the flood damage, estimated at more than 11billion euros (£9.4billion).  So far, the flooding in Europe has claimed at least 22 lives.  As the surge from the Elbe pushes into rural eastern Germany, there was some relief further upstream as the river slipped back from record levels in Magdeburg, the capital of Saxony-Anhalt state.  

The flood damage in Germany has been estimated at more than 11billion euros (£9.4billion).

A hovercraft boat drives in a flooded area by the river Elbe near Fischbeck today.

Clouds reflect in the floods by the river Elbe near Tangermuende.

To the south, the Danube hit a record high on Sunday evening in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, but then began to ease back yesterday.  Officials said the city escaped significant damage, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban said soldiers and rescue workers would shift their focus further south.  The German city of Magdeburg grappled over the weekend with water levels more than 16ft (5m) above normal, but the Elbe retreated by about a foot yesterday.  More than 23,000 residents had to leave their homes on Sunday. Officials said an electricity substation in the city was no longer in danger of flooding - which would have made the situation worse by cutting off power to the drainage pumps.  The low-lying old district of Lauenburg, a riverside town east of Hamburg, was evacuated as authorities prepared for floodwaters to peak there later this week.  

WATCH: Dyke bursts in Germany - submerging entire village of Fischbeck.

Soldiers and volunteers have worked frantically over the past week to fill sandbags and reinforce flood defenses across central Europe.  Even with all those efforts, 'we should accept that we humans should be humble, that even in the 21st century we don't completely control nature - that is one lesson from this situation,' Saxony-Anhalt's interior minister, Holger Stahlknecht, told ZDF television.  He said it was too early to analyse what, if anything, might have been done to prepare better for flooding.  In Budapest, the Danube peaked late Sunday at about a foot above the previous record, set in 2006.  The Danube widens noticeably below Budapest, reducing the threat of flooding, although Orban said flood walls and other defences were being strengthened in several locations downriver.  River levels across the Czech Republic were falling yesterday, although thunderstorms during the night caused some local flash floods.  The national police chief, Martin Stovicek, said the country's death toll reached 11 after a Slovak man drowned in a river near the southwestern town of Susice. - Daily Mail.

EXTREME WEATHER: United States Midweek Severe Storm Risk Includes Possible Derecho - Large Complexes Of Strong, Drenching And Locally Severe Thunderstorms To Hit South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania And Virginia!

June 11, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Complexes of strong, drenching and locally severe thunderstorms will reach from parts of South Dakota and Nebraska to Illinois, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and the Virginias during the middle of this week.

Part of this area could be hit by an intense thunderstorm complex, known as a derecho.

The pattern of thunderstorm complexes has the potential to bring localized incidents of flash flooding, damaging wind gusts, hail and frequent lightning strikes along a 1,000-mile swath spanning Tuesday, Wednesday and perhaps Thursday.

Travel delays caused by thunderstorms, poor visibility and flooded roadways are possible in some locations. There is a risk of downed trees, property damage and power outages and in a few neighborhoods.

The storms will affect areas on the Plains bound roughly by I-80 and I-90 Tuesday. During Wednesday, assuming the storms begin to turn to the right as they often do in these situations, the risk will shift to the Midwest and central Appalachians in areas approximately from I-64 to I-80.

Cities in the path of the storms include Sioux Falls, S.D., Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati , Pittsburgh and Charleston, W.Va.

Some locations could be hit by more than one thunderstorm complex. In parts of the East, the storms will hit in the wake of Andrea's rainfall and additional storms early this week. In these areas the risk of flooding will be multiplied.

Just southwest of the track of the thunderstorm complexes, there will be a higher risk for individual thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes. This area could reach from portions of Nebraska to Missouri and Kentucky.

The storms will be riding along the northern edge of a rim of heat building over the southern and central Plains this week.

When this happens in the presence of a strong jet stream, complexes of severe thunderstorms, known as mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs) or mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) can occur affecting multiple parts of multiple states.

The most intense, fastest-moving and longest-distance version of these is known as a derecho. These most severe thunderstorm complexes can bring wind damage to a large area, along a path covering hundreds of miles.

There is a possibility of a derecho forming in the thunderstorm pattern this week.

Depending on exactly where the parent complex of storms forms, the derecho could then track from the Midwest into part of the central Appalachians and the coastal mid-Atlantic given the steering winds and building heat to the south expected later this week.

The pattern of building heat over the West and southern High Plains, as well as complexes of thunderstorms riding southeastward over the Midwest and into part of the mid-Atlantic was discussed in AccuWeather.com's Summer 2013 Forecast.

More details on the thunderstorm complexes and potential derecho will be covered on AccuWeather.com by way of additional news stories, expert videos and forecasts this week. - FOX News.

EXTREME WEATHER: Record-Challenging Heat To Scorch The United States Southern Plains This Week - Temperatures To Climb Into The 100s; First Major Heat Wave Of The Year For The Region; Nearly 20 Degrees Above Normal!

June 11, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Record-challenging heat will continue in the southern Plains Tuesday and will persist through much of the week.

Temperatures will once again climb into the 100s across the region with some areas nearing 110.
This is shaping up to be the first major heat wave of the year for the region with highs forecast to climb into the lower to mid-100s every day through the middle of the week, nearly 20 degrees above normal.

The primary focus of the heat will be the Texas Panhandle, western Oklahoma and Kansas, as well as eastern Colorado. However, heat will surge eastward as well extending beyond the Mississippi River.

Denver is among the major cities that will be gripped by the heat wave. Highs will soar well into the 90s and near 100 degrees each day through Thursday. The last time the high hit 100 degrees in Denver was July 23, 2012.

Temperatures will climb into the 90s in Dallas through midweek. A 100-degree high may be recorded in Dallas by Thursday. This would be the first time that the city has hit 100 degrees since Sept. 7, 2012.

This caliber of heat is dangerous, especially since people have not endured this level of heat for many months. People are urged to stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible. It is important to drink plenty of water, and if you have to be outdoors, it is best to wear loose-fitted, light-colored clothing and make sure to bring sunscreen.

This intense heat is being caused by a strong upper-level ridge that is building over the region, the same ridge that brought record-challenging heat to the Southwest over the weekend.

This pattern will remain firmly in place heading into the second part of the week, continuing the stretch of 100-degree days.

In addition to the scorching heat, this strong ridge will keep the southern Plains mainly dry through the week as well.

Dry conditions will not help the region, which is currently in extreme drought.

The next sign of relief appears to be next weekend when the main axis of the ridge shifts to the east. - AccuWeather.

WAR DRUMS: "Iran's Close Now To The Red Line" - Israeli Intelligence Minister Says Iran Eyes 30 Nuclear Bombs A Year!

June 11, 2013 - ISRAEL - Iran is working round the clock to enlarge its nuclear infrastructure with the eventual aim of developing an industry capable of building up to 30 bombs a year, an Israeli minister charged on Monday.

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tehran was "very close" to crossing the red line laid out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.

But he said it was biding its time and building uranium-enrichment facilities before making the final push for weapons-grade material.

"The Iranians are getting very close now to the red line... They have close to 200 kilos -- 190 kilos (418 pounds) -- of 20 percent enriched uranium," Steinitz said.

"Once they have 250 kilos, this is enough to make the final rush to 90 percent," the level of enrichment required for a nuclear warhead, he said in a presentation to the Foreign Press Association.

"It is a matter of weeks or maybe two months to jump from 20 percent to 90 percent with so many centrifuges," he said.

"What they are doing now -- instead of crossing the red line, they are widening and enlarging their capacity by putting in more centrifuges, faster centrifuges."

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz is pictured on December 6, 2012.
Iran is working round the clock to enlarge its nuclear infrastructure with the
eventual aim of developing an industry capable of building up to 30
bombs a year, an Israeli minister charged on Monday.
Iran's aim, he charged, was to build a nuclear arsenal, not just a single bomb.

"Many people are saying it's a question of the Iranian bomb - whether they will have it or not. No. We are speaking about an Iranian arsenal."

Tehran's big fear was that a Western military strike could wipe out their nuclear facilities "within a few hours," he said.

"The Iranians feel very vulnerable, especially from American air operations. This is their main concern -- that if the West, if NATO, if America decide to attack them, a few hours of accurate air raids might destroy their nuclear facilities."

Israel and many Western governments suspect Iran is using its civilian nuclear programme as cover for developing a weapons capability, a charge denied by Tehran.

But the Jewish state, the Middle East's sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, has refused to rule out a pre-emptive military strike to prevent it.

Steinitz also ruled out any change in policy that might result from the Iranian presidential elections which are to take place on Friday, saying the result was already known.

"Nothing is going to change. There will be, unfortunately, no significant changes because of these so-called elections because (supreme leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei has already won," he said.

"He is the leader and he makes the decisions and he already made his decision to spend many billions of dollars on building this nuclear industry with only one aim," he charged.

"The decision was already made to get nuclear weapons -- you don't spent so much money and you don't suffer $70 billion of losses (due to international sanctions) in one year only to show that you can spin some centrifuges," he concluded. - France 24.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 11, 2013 - New Ash Emissions Reach 300 Metres At Alaska's Veniaminof Volcano And Seismic Unrest Continues At Peru's Sabancaya Volcano!

June 11, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Sabancaya volcano (Peru): Seismic unrest continues. Earthquake numbers have shown a light increase since May, the latest report of IGP from 5 June shows.

Seismicity (number of quakes) during the past months (IGP).

In particular, the number of volcanic-tectonic earthquakes (related to rock fracturing) has risen. The location of most quakes,- the area where magma possibly is intruding at depth,- remained the same as during the previous months, about 8 km NE of the volcano, near the village of Hornillo.

Veniaminof volcano (Alaska): A weak eruptive activity has started from the volcano. Since last night, weak ash emissions have appeared from the central cone of the caldera of the volcano.

Weak ash plume from Veniaminof (FAA webcam, annotated by Blog Culture Volcan).

The new activity is accompanied by a persistent steam plume and increasing volcanic tremor. So far there seem to be no lava flows or other significant eruptive processes.

Current seismic recording from Veniaminof (VNHG station, AVO).

The new ash emissions are very diluted and reach about 200-300 m height. They were first observed on the Aciation camera of Perryville from last night at around 17-18h local time. AVO who has not yet reported about the ash confirmed to Blog Culture Volcan that the plume indeed contains very small amounts of ash, which pose no problems to aviation (for now).

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for June 11, 2013.

- Volcano Discovery.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: 20 Peacocks Have Died From A Viral Disease In Sindh Province, Pakistan?!

June 11, 2013 - PAKISTANA viral disease code named 'Ranikhat' has killed about 20 peacocks in Pakistan's Sindh province, wildlife officials said today.

The peacocks died in the Tharparkar district, which is famous for its desert area and is inhabited by the highest number of Hindus in the province. The area has been hit by extremely hot weather this year.

"Last year also this disease code named 'Ranikhat' had killed around 170 beautiful peacocks before the monsoon season," an official of the Sindh wildlilfe department said.

"This year it has killed around 20 peacocks and we are trying to ascertain how to stop this disease from spreading further in the province," he said.

The official said so far the peacocks had died in the Hothi Kharch, Motatio, Aarokhi, Sajaee and villages of Deeplo Tehsil.

"We also have reports that they are several peacocks suffering from this disease in Singalo village," he added.

The villagers fear that the disease could spread and infect peacocks in neighbouring areas, claiming that no team from the wildlife department had visited the affected areas so far. - ZEENEWS.

EXTREME WEATHER: Remnants Of Tropical Storm Andrea Threatens North Carolina Residents With Heavy Rain And Tornadoes!

June 11, 2013 - UNITED STATES - As rain swelled the banks of local rivers, creeks, and streams over the latter half of this past week, residents of North Carolina looked to dry out this weekend from the persistent rains and threats of severe weather brought along by the first named storm of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Tropical Storm Andrea.

Tropical Storm Andrea positioned over the Mid-Atlantic region.© Yahoo! News

Tropical Storm Andrea was a quick-forming storm, pulling itself together in the eastern half of the Gulf of Mexico midway through the week and moving to assault the residents of the eastern seaboard as it moved northward. After soaking rains, heavy winds, and tornadoes battered parts of Florida, Andrea quickly picked up ground speed and moved quickly across the eastern coast of Georgia late Thursday evening, moving north to flood the Carolinas with a light, consistent rain, intermixed with bouts of absolute downpours.

The effects of Andrea in North Carolina were sweeping, but not as severe as they could have been.Dave Malkoff of The Weather Channel reported that with tornado warnings spotting various areas in the eastern half of the state, school districts cancelled the last day of school and even cancelled graduation for some. However, according to the AP: Mike Sprayberry of North Carolina Emergency Management told the Weather Channel that there had been some flash flooding and local road closures in the state, but nothing as severe as some storms in the past.

The vulnerable Outer Banks were spared any major damage or flooding. In Chapel Hill, rains led to the postponement of NCAA baseball super regionals between North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as N.C. State and Rice. Elsewhere, flooding seemed to cause minor incidents, but nothing life-threatening.

In an interesting note, Michael Lowry, Hurricane Expert at The Weather Channel, notes that this is the first time that the National Hurricane Center has chosen to issue tropical storm advisories for a post-tropical system, a direct response from the new rules put in place after the confusion and devastation left behind by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy.

Residents of the East Coast will be happy to hear that the days of overcast skies and rain-soaked shoes look to have abated for now, as Andrea speeds to the north. As a warm front pushes eastward, Andrea picked up speed and rocketed to the Northeast at 39 mph. The storm will more than likely continue to pick up speed and was expected to be a non-threat to the United States by early Sunday morning. - Yahoo.

MONUMENTAL WEATHER ANOMALIES: Noctilucent Clouds Get An Early Start - The Glowing, Unexpected Electric-Blue Apparition At The Edge Of Space Surprises Researchers; Hints At A Change In The "Teleconnections" Of Earth's Atmosphere!

June 11, 2013 - NORTH POLE - Every summer, something strange and wonderful happens high above the north pole. Ice crystals begin to cling to the smoky remains of meteors, forming electric-blue clouds with tendrils that ripple hypnotically against the sunset sky. Noctilucent clouds—a.k.a. "NLCs"--are a delight for high-latitude sky watchers, and around the Arctic Circle their season of visibility is always eagerly anticipated.

Satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).

News flash: This year, NLCs are getting an early start. NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is orbiting Earth on a mission to study noctilucent clouds, started seeing them on May 13th.

"The 2013 season is remarkable because it started in the northern hemisphere a week earlier than any other season that AIM has observed," reports Cora Randall of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado. "This is quite possibly earlier than ever before."

The early start is extra-puzzling because of the solar cycle. Researchers have long known that NLCs tend to peak during solar minimum and bottom-out during solar maximum—a fairly strong anti-correlation. "If anything, we would have expected a later start this year because the solar cycle is near its maximum," Randall says. "So much for expectations."

For sky watchers, this means it's time to pay attention to the sunset sky, where NLCs are most often seen. An early start could herald brighter clouds and wider visibility than ever before.

On Sunday, June 9th, Alan Dyer of Gleichen, Alberta, Canada, went outside to see the colors of the sunset. He got more than he bargained for. Stacked atop the rosy glow of twilight were dual bands of electric-blue noctilucent clouds and green auroras.  "At times the auroral curtains appeared superimposed on the noctilucent clouds," says Dyer. "It isn't often we see the two phenomena together."

Noctilucent clouds were first noticed in the mid-19th century after the eruption of super-volcano Krakatoa. Volcanic ash spread through the atmosphere, painting vivid sunsets that mesmerized observers all around the world. That was when the NLCs appeared. At first people thought they must be some side-effect of the volcano, but long after Krakatoa's ash settled the noctilucent clouds remained.

"They've been with us ever since," says Randall. "Not only that, they are spreading."

When AIM was launched in 2007, the underlying cause of NLCs was still unknown. Researchers knew they formed 83 km above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets the vacuum of space--but that's about all. AIM quickly filled in the gaps.

Astronomers in the Netherlands have discovered a world where the sun is square. It is Earth. On June 6th Jan Koeman was watching the sunset from Lauwersoog, and this is what he saw. "The sunset was a very weird one," says Koeman. "Inversions in the atmosphere gave it some very odd shapes."

"It turns out that meteoroids play an important role in the formation of NLCs," explains Hampton University Professor James Russell, the principal investigator of AIM. "Specks of debris from disintegrating meteors act as nucleating points where water molecules can gather and crystallize."

Early NLCs (geometry, med) NLCs appear during summer because that is when water molecules are wafted up from the lower atmosphere to mix with the "meteor smoke." That is also the time when the upper atmosphere is ironically coldest.

Back in the 19th century, NLCs were confined to high latitudes. You had to go to Alaska or Scandinavia to see them. In recent years, however, they have been sighted as far south as Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. Some researchers believe that the spread of NLCs is a sign of climate change.

This diagram shows why NLCs are best seen at sunset or sunrise. Glowing electric-blue at the edge of space, noctilucent clouds have surprised researchers by appearing early this year. The unexpected apparition hints at a change in the "teleconnections" of Earth's atmosphere. Credit: Science@NASA

One of the greenhouse gases that has become more abundant in Earth's atmosphere since the 19th century is methane. "When methane makes its way into the upper atmosphere, it is oxidized by a complex series of reactions to form water vapor," says Russell. "This extra water vapor is then available to grow ice crystals for NLCs."

The early start of the 2013 season appears to be caused by a change in atmospheric “teleconnections.”

WATCH: NASA's ScienceCasts - An Early Start for Noctilucent Clouds.

“Half-a-world away from where the northern NLCs are forming, strong winds in the southern stratosphere are altering global circulation patterns,” explains Randall. "This year more water vapor is being pushed into the high atmosphere where NLCs love to form, and the air there is getting colder."

"All of this has come as an interesting surprise for us," notes Russell. "When we launched AIM, our interest was in the clouds themselves. But now NLCs are teaching us about connections between different layers of the atmosphere that operate over great distances. Our ability to study these connections will surely lead to new understanding about how our atmosphere works."

For more information about NASA’s AIM mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/aim. - NASA.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Rare Meteor Shower May "Outburst" On June 11 - Earth Passes Through The Gamma Delphinids Stream Of Cometary Debris, Last Seen In 1930!

June 11, 2013 - SPACE - Sky watchers in North America might see an outburst of meteors during the early hours of June 11th when Earth passes through a stream of cometary debris last seen in 1930. Forecasters Peter Jenniskens (SETI Institute) and Esko Lyytinen (Helsinki, Finland) predict the return of the gamma Delphinid meteor shower this Tuesday morning around 08:30 UT (04:30 am EDT). The shower is expected to last no more than about 30 minutes with an unknown number of bright, fast meteors. [Meteor radar]

The rare and rarely heard of meteor shower called the Gamma Delphinids will appear to radiate from the
constellation Delphinus (del-FINE-us) the Dolphin high in the southern sky shortly before dawn tomorrow
morning June 11. This map shows the sky facing south at 3:30 a.m. local time. Delphinus is near the
bottom of the bright 3-star figure the Summer Triangle.
© Stellarium

Back on June 11, 1930 three members of the American Meteor Society (AMS) in Maryland saw a half-hour-long bright outburst of meteors from the little constellation Delphinus the Dolphin. No one had predicted the shower, but it came out of nowhere and hasn't been seen since. Attempts to catch a repeat performance in subsequent years met with no success.

That may change tomorrow morning, June 11, 2013. Peter Jenniskins, research scientist with the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center, has examined dust outbursts from long-period comets and suggests the Gamma Delphinids may return for a brief moment of splendor, as Earth passes through this stream of cometary debris not seen since 1930.

Bright meteors photographed in Ohio during the Eta Aquarid meteor shower in 2012. The Gamma Delphinids
may send similar bright meteors our way tomorrow morning.
© John Chumack

The expected time of maximum activity is 4:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:30 a.m. Central, 2:30 a.m. Mountain and 1:30 a.m. Pacific. These times are ideal for the Americas where Delphinus is high in southern sky at the peak time. Robert Lunsford of the AMS recommends starting your Gamma Delphinid vigil 2 hours ahead of time in case the shower's early. If these meteors really do happen, you'll see them anywhere in the sky, but they'll all trace back to a point near the star Gamma Delphini in the dolphin's nose.

No one knows how strong the shower might be or even the duration though it's likely to be brief. Time estimate range from one hour to 15 minutes. Lunsford expects bright meteors to appear a minute or two apart. If you're game, split the difference and set up in a comfy lawn chair facing south an hour before the expected maximum. Should you see any of these rare dolphin tears, consider e-mailing a report to: lunro.imo.usa@cox.net

The map above shows the worldwide possible visibility for the gamma Delphinid shower. Visibility will be
best in the bright green areas, which have the highest radiant elevation. Unshaded areas on the map
will not have a view of the shower.

Tonight June 10-11 from 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. CDT, Dr. Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office will take your questions via live web chat. He'll offer viewing tips about the shower and include a live Ustream telescope view of the skies over Huntsville, Ala.

If you shoot video or images and want to help improve our understanding of this elusive meteor shower, you can upload them to the Office's Flickr group and also to Universe Today's Flickr group. We'll post images if this meteor shower proves to show up! - Universe Today.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across America - 30-Foot Sinkhole Revealed Along I-69 Route, Indiana!

June 11, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Indiana Department of Transportation officials say they anticipated sinkholes along I-69 and are working to fill them.

Tom Tokarski (right) stands next to a sinkhole in southwestern Monroe County.© Brian Garvey / Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads

As I-69 construction continues in Monroe County, crews are encountering a number of sinkholes.

The state department of transportation says it is not unexpected given all the karst features in the area. But residents are worried about the impact of the construction on the environment.

Bulldozers and land movers are working to clear a path through southern Monroe County that will eventually become part of I-69.

This phase of the construction is the most challenging because of the karst topography. The construction is exposing large caverns, some 30 feet deep and 15 feet across.

I-69 opponent Thomas Tokarski says building the interstate over these sinkholes poses a threat to the groundwater because pollutants and runoff can seep through openings and into the water table.

"There is a real risk to the environment in that regard too," he says. "Plus we're not sure about the impacts of all this digging on personal wells. We're on a water well and what is this going to do to our well? We have excellent water now. Is that going to contaminate our well? We just have to wait and see."

INDOT spokesperson Will Wingfield says while these karst features are common throughout the area, the department's planners have taken necessary precautions to prevent impacts to the water table and environment in general.

WATCH: 30-Foot Sinkhole Revealed Along I-69 Route.

"Known karst features are identified on the site," he says. "There's measures being taken to filter and minimize runoff going into those features. Then as part of the construction process they'll be managed and may be capped in order to minimize impact. It's something that we knew about as we were developing the project and have added that into our schedule to make sure that we're delivering the project on a timely manner."

The section of I-69 from Crane to State Road 37 just south of Bloomington is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

A 67-mile stretch of the road from Evansville to Crane opened in November. - Indiana Public Media.

STORM ALERT: Tropical Storm Yagi Nears Southern Coast Of Japan - Potential For Excessive Rain And Flooding!

June 11, 2013 - JAPAN - Tropical Storm Yagi is tracking north toward the southern coast of Japan and will continue to do so for the next few days.

No widespread adverse rain or wind impacts are expected at this time, although Yagi's progress may bear watching for those with interests in Japan.

By Thursday, the center of the early season tropical storm could approach and even reach the coast between Tokyo and the island of Shikoku, potentially giving localized excessive rain and flooding.

Multispectral satellite image of TS Yagi (Credit. JTWC/SATOPS).

However, the latest forecast tools available to AccuWeather.com indicate weakening of the storm before any approach to land. The presence of relatively cool surface water spread southward from the Japan mainland should argue for Yagi to weaken well south of land.

As of Monday morning, EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Yagi was located about 850 miles south-southwest of Tokyo. Storm movement was toward the northeast at 12 knots.

TC Yagi forecast track (Credit: JTWC).

Forecasters with the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) expected a northward turn through Wednesday, when weakening and slowing at sea well south of Osaka was forecast.

Featured image: MODIS satellite view of TS Yagi on June 11, 2013.

The latest widely recognized tropical storm to bear a name in the Pacific Ocean tropical basin was Sonamu, which plied seas from near Guam to eastern Malaysia during the first ten days of 2013. - AccuWeather.