Friday, June 21, 2013

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Weather Risk From The U.S. Dakotas To The Great Lakes - Complexes Of Thunderstorms, Near Hurricane-Force Winds, Torrential Rainfall And Flash Flooding!

June 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The northern fringe of a surge of heat over the North Central states will be the focus for complexes of thunderstorms Friday night, some of which will have dangerous and damaging consequences.

The strongest storms have the potential to down trees and power lines. Some areas will be hit with wind-driven, torrential rain and flash flooding.

The storms are capable of tracking for hundreds of miles, producing frequent lightning strikes, wind gusts to near hurricane force and heavy rainfall.

Storms firing over the Dakotas and Nebraska bring an elevated risk of producing very large hail and a few tornadoes.

Rounds of thunderstorms will continue to fire over from northern Plains to the Great Lakes region during the balance of the weekend. A few locally severe thunderstorms can reach farther to the east over Michigan, southern Ontario, northern upstate New York and northern New England as well.

Some cities that will be in the path of the storms into Friday night include Bismarck and Fargo, N.D., Rapid City and Sioux Falls, S.D., Minneapolis, Minn., Eau Claire and Milwaukee, Wis., Sioux City and Des Moines, Iowa, Valentine and Omaha, Neb., and Chicago, Ill.

When a large area of hot, humid air develops, thunderstorms sometimes fire on the periphery of the heat as this is often the region where air is cooler aloft. Hence the term "ring of fire." When strong winds are present aloft over this fringe area, the storms can be severe and organize into complexes or lines.

A strong thunderstorm complex is called a mesoscale convective system and a line of strong thunderstorms is called a squall line. The most intense and longest-lasting version of these is called a derecho. - AccuWeather.

SOLAR WATCH: Massive Coronal Hole Opens Up As The Sun Unleashes M2.9 Summer Solstice Solar Flare - Coronal Mass Ejection Generated, Plasma Not Earth-Directed, Possible Glancing Blow On June 22!

June 21, 2013 - SUN - Today is the first day of northern summer. At 1:04 a.m. EDT on June 21st, the sun reached its highest point on the celestial sphere (declination = +23.5o) marking the start of summer in the northern hemisphere, and winter in the south. 

SOLSTICE SOLAR FLARE: This morning, June 21st at 03:16 UT, the sun itself marked the solstice with an M2-class solar flare from sunspot AR1777. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the extreme ultraviolet flash and a plume of material flying out of the blast site:

The image below by SDO captures the beautiful eruption using the 304 angstrom channel. Because of the location
near the southeast limb, any possible CME should be directed mostly away from Earth.

As sunspots go, AR1777 is neither large nor apparently menacing, yet it has been crackling with flares for days. Before it rotated over the sun's eastern limb on June 20th, it unleashed a series of farside flares and CMEs.

The M2.9 event around 1777 did generate a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). As expected, most
of the plasma appears to be headed away from Earth.

Today's explosion was not Earth directed, but future explosions could be as the sun's rotation continues to turn AR1777 toward our planet. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of M-flares and a 5% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. 

Image by Lasco.

WATCH: M2.9 Solar Flare & CME - June 21, 2013.

The eruption late last night generated a bright CME that was mostly directed away from Earth. The newly released CME model by The Goddard Space Flight Center shows a possible glancing blow impact on June 22nd. Widespread geomagnetic disturbances is not expected at this time.

SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2013 Jun 21 0308 UTC
Maximum Time: 2013 Jun 21 0322 UTC
End Time: 2013 Jun 21 0330 UTC
Duration: 22 minutes
Peak Flux: 6000 sfu

ALERT: Type IV Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2013 Jun 21 0256 UTC
Description: Type IV emissions occur in association with major eruptions on the sun and are typically associated with strong coronal mass ejections and solar radiation storms.

SUNSPOTS: Most of the C-Class X-Ray activity this morning also originated around 1777. Sunspot 1775 produced a low level C-Class flare as well. All other regions remain stable for now. There will remain a chance for C-Class flares and perhaps another isolated M-Class event.

Credit: SDO/AIA.

Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole could brush against Earth's magnetic field on June 22-24.

Credit: SDO/AIA.

SOURCES: Space Weather | Solar Ham.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Celestial Convergence - The Most "Super" Supermoon Of 2013 On June 22-23!

June 21, 2013 - SPACE - Full moon falls on June 23, 2013 at 11:32 UTC (6:32 a.m. CDT in the U.S.). Thus, for many, the moon appears about as full in the June 22 evening sky as it does on the evening of June 23. This full moon is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013. The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014. In other words, it’s not just a supermoon. It’s the closest supermoon of 2013.

At United States’ time zones, the moon will turn full on June 23 at 7:32 a.m. EDT, 6:32 a.m. CDT, 5:32 a.m. MDT and 4:32 a.m. PDT.

We astronomers call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. Two years ago, when the closest and largest full moon fell on March 19, 2011, many used the term supermoon, which we’d never heard before. Last year, we heard this term again to describe the year’s closest full moon on May 6, 2012. Now the term supermoon is being used a lot. Last month’s full moon – May 24-25, 2013 – was also a supermoon. But the June full moon is even more super! In other words, the time of full moon falls even closer to the time of perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth. The crest of the moon’s full phase in June 2013, and perigee, fall within an hour of each other.

What does supermoon mean exactly? And how special is the June 23, 2013 supermoon?

Astronomers say it’s tough to notice the difference in size between a supermoon and any other full moon. But photographs show it. Check out this size comparison from our friend Alec Jones in the UK.

The supermoon of March 19, 2011 (right), compared to an average moon of December 20, 2010 (left). Note the size difference. Image via Marco Langbroek, the Netherlands, via Wikimedia Commons.

What is a supermoon? The word supermoon didn’t come from astronomy. Instead, it came from astrology. Astrologer Richard Nolle of the website takes credit for coining the term supermoon. In 1979, he defined it as:
…a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, moon and sun are all in a line, with moon in its nearest approach to Earth.
By this definition, according to Nolle:
There are 4-6 supermoons a year on average.
That doesn’t sound very special, does it? In fact, the June 2013 full moon lines up much more closely with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth – than Nolle’s original definition. According to Guy Ottewell’s Astronomical Calendar 2013, the 2013 June full moon falls only 22 minutes after the moon reaches perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth for this month and year. At perigee, the moon lies only 356,991 kilometers (221,824 miles) away. Two weeks later, on July 7, the moon will swing out to apogee – its farthest point for the month and year – at 406,490 kilometers (252,581 miles) distant.

Day and night sides of Earth at instant of June 22-23 full moon

Day and night sides of Earth at instant of full moon (2013 June 23 at 11:32 Universal Time). In North America, the full moon is setting in the west at sunrise on June 23. From eastern Asia, it’s rising in the east at sunset. The full moon resides close to zenith – straight overhead – as seen from the Samoan islands in the central South Pacific Ocean.
Image credit: Earth and Moon Viewer

How super is this supermoon? June 2013 presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth until August 10, 2014, at which time the moon will be a scant 5 kilometers closer to Earth. The full moon will come even closer to Earth on September 28, 2015 (356,877 kilometers) and closer yet on November 14, 2016 (356,509 kilometers). November 2016 will feature the closest full moon until November 25, 2034! Maybe this helps you see that supermoons – while interesting – are fairly routine astronomical events.

Even the proximity of full moon with perigee isn’t all that rare. The extra-close moon in all of these years – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – finds the full moon taking place at or nearly the same hour as lunar perigee. More often than not, the closest perigee of the year comes on the one day of the year that the full moon and perigee most closely coincide. (See table below.)

How often is moon both full and closest to Earth? Closest full moons recur in cycles of 14 lunar (synodic) months, because 14 lunar months almost exactly equal 15 returns to perigee (moon’s closest point to Earth). A lunar month refers to the time period between successive full moons, a mean period of 29.53059 days. An anomalistic month refers to successive returns to perigee, a period of 27.55455 days.

Hence: 14 x 29.53059 days = 413.428 days

15 x 27.55455 days = 413.318 days

This time period is equal to about 1 year, 1 month, and 18 days. The full moon and perigee will realign again on August 10, 2014, because the 14th full moon after the 2013 June 23 full moon will fall on that date.
Looking further into the future, the perigee full moon will come closer than 356,500 kilometers for the first time in the 21st century on November 25, 2034 (356,446 km). The closest full moon of the 21st century will fall on December 6, 2052 (356,425 km).

For the moon to come closer than 356,400 kilometers (221,457 miles) is quite a feat. In fact, this won’t happen at all in the 21st century (2001-2100) or the 22nd century (2101-2200). The last time the full moon perigee swung this close to Earth was on January 14, 1930 (356,397 km), and the next time won’t be till January 1, 2257 (356,371 km).

Will the tides be higher than usual? Yes, all full moons bring higher-than-usual tides, and perigee full moons bring the highest (and lowest) tides of all. Each month, on the day of the full moon, the moon, Earth and sun are aligned, with Earth in between. This line up creates wide-ranging tides, known as spring tides.

High spring tides climb up especially high, and on the same day low tides plunge especially low.

Today’s extra-close full moon accentuates these monthly (full moon) spring tides all the more.

If you live along a coastline, watch for high tides caused by the June 23 perigee full moon – or supermoon – over the next several days. Will the high tides cause flooding? Probably not, unless a strong weather system moves into the coastline where you are. Still, keep an eye on the weather, because storms do have a large potential to accentuate high spring tides.

As a result, if you live near a coast, you’ll want to be on the lookout for higher-than-usual tides.

Because the moon – as always – shines opposite the sun in our sky at full moon, you’ll see the moon beaming all night tonight from dusk until dawn. This extra-close full moon is likely to usher in large tides along the ocean shorelines for the next several days, especially if these high tides are accompanied by strong onshore winds.

Bottom line: The full moon of June 22-23, 2013 is the closest and largest full moon of this year. By a new definition – one that has just entered the world of astronomy from astrology – many will call it a supermoon. There are three full moons in 2013 that meet the definition of a supermoon – May, June and July. But this June 22-23 full moon is the most super of the supermoons! A super-duper moon! - Earth Sky.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: Massive Waterspout Dances Just Off The Coast Of Grand Isle, Louisiana!

June 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - For the second day in a row, a tornado made a very public appearance. This time it was a big waterspout that formed just off Grand Isle, Louisiana, making for some dramatic photos and videos.

This photo provided by "Buggie" Vegas, owner of Bridge Side Cabins and Marina in Grand Isle, La., shows
a waterspout Wednesday, June 19, 2013, on Grand Isle, La. (AP Photo/Buggie Vegas)

The National Weather Service said the funnel eventually moved on shore (turning it from being called a waterspout to a tornado -- they're the same thing, just one's over water; the other over land) and partially damaging a camp roof.

Waterspout near Grand Isle... NWS confirms some minor damage.
Pic sent in from Eyewitness viewer Adam Frey

Another Grand Isle water spout picture

There were no reports of anyone hurt.

WATCH: Videos of the waterspout.

- KOMO News.

ICE AGE NOW: A Year Without Summer - Largest Iceberg Cluster In Five Years Sighted Off Labrador?!

June 21, 2013 - CANADA - The largest iceberg cluster seen in recent years is drifting south off Labrador near the Strait of Belle Isle through transatlantic shipping routes, says the coast guard.

Peter Veber, Atlantic superintendent of ice operations, said there are about 250 icebergs within a 100 kilometre radius of Belle Isle off Labrador.

“The shipping that is going through there are reporting numerous bergs,” he said Thursday in an interview. “We have a ship operating up on the Labrador coast and likewise our own people are saying that they’re seeing more now than we’ve seen for years up there.”

An iceberg cluster surrounds the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Ann Harvey on Saturday, June 8, 2013 about 60 nautical miles east of Makkovik, Labrador. The coast guard says the largest iceberg cluster it has seen in recent years is drifting south off Labrador near the Strait of Belle Isle. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

In all, the coast guard reports that the numbers are three to four times what has been recorded in the last five years.

Mr. Veber said the icy concentration includes everything from smaller “growlers” that hiss and groan as they melt, to bergy bits and towering white-blue sculptures carved by the sea. He traces it to glaciers that creep over the surface of Greenland and eventually snap into the sea.

“The lower, flatter ones that are large, they typically indicate they could have come from the Petermann Glacier on the Greenland coast. There was a significant calving that took place in 2010 and 2012.

“It’s very likely that the number of bergs we’re seeing now are attributed to those couple of events.”

But Mr. Veber said the icebergs are unusually far north this year and it’s not clear how many will eventually be seen off Newfoundland.

Typically by late June, at least some icebergs have made it about 500 kilometres south of St. John’s.

This year, Mr. Veber said the most southerly drift is still about 100 kilometres north of Fogo Island.

It often takes three years or more for an iceberg to travel from Greenland to Newfoundland’s coast, said Cecil Stockley, a lifelong iceberg watcher and tour guide in Twillingate, Nfld.

Mr. Stockley is captain of the 20-person M.V. Iceberg Alley and is known as the “Iceberg Man.” He said it’s a great business but there has been just a trickle of mostly smaller, older icebergs since he got out on the water in early May.

“You’ve got to understand, there’s a lot of people out there looking for icebergs,” he said from Twillingate.

Mr. Stockley said most visitors from across Canada and around the world understand that seeing an iceberg is not a sure thing and every trip out is different. Still, there are some people who think “it’s going to be absolute” and are then bitterly disappointed, he said.

“I do an iceberg interpretation in my building to bring the point across but I think we’re getting outside of ourselves. We need to really pull back and do a good education on how icebergs move.”

Mr. Veber said the sea currents, the warmth of the air and water, all help to determine where big ice moves and how fast.

Northeastern Newfoundland around St. Anthony down to Twillingate could still have a good, although late, iceberg season, he said.

“Notre Dame Bay, I’d say they’re going to see their share of icebergs up there. But how far they’re going to make their way toward the east coast [of Newfoundland] is yet to be seen.” - Globe and Mail.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Italy - Minor Damage In Rural Areas; Strong Aftershocks!

June 21, 2013 - ITALY - A magnitude 5.2 earthquake was felt across central and northern Italy on Friday, causing some minor damage in rural areas but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The epicentre of the quake, which hit at about 12:33 p.m. (6.33 a.m. EDT) was between the towns of Massa and Lucca in Tuscany and La Spezia in the Liguria region, the national geophysics institute said.

USGS earthquake location.

The tremor was felt in Milan, the largest city in northern Italy, and as far north as the Friuli region near the border with Slovenia.

The mayor of Casola in Lunigiana, a small town in the Tuscan countryside, told Italian television the quake had caused cracks in some old buildings and minor collapses but there were no reports of injuries.

Aftershocks continued to rock the area, some as strong as magnitude 4.0, officials said, adding that residents in some rural areas were advised to stay out of their homes for the time being.

The last major earthquake to hit Italy struck in May, 2012 in the central Emilia Romagna region. That quake measured 6.0 magnitude and killed more than 20 people, destroyed historic buildings and caused widespread damage to local industries. - Reuters.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity.
The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy. Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey's most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa's largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily's east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. - USGS.

PLANETARY TREMORS: The Cascadia Fault Line In North America - A Now And Still Subduction Zone Where Disaster Awaits!

June 21, 2013 - NORTH AMERICA - On a dark winter's night in January 1700 a tsunami struck Japan. It flooded fields, swept away villages for miles inland and cost many lives. Even as far back as 1700 the Japanese had made the connection between earthquakes and Tsunami, but this time there was no earthquake, no warning to allow the people time to evacuate to higher ground. The tsunami was called the 'orphan tsunami' because it had no 'parent' earthquake. For more than 300 years the origin of the orphan tsunami remained a mystery.

In the 1980s Hiroo Kanamori and Tom Heaton published a paper that said the 1700 tsunami was caused by a massive rupture of the Cascadia fault line that runs off the west coast of the United States from California to Vancouver. In 1987 Brian Atwater studied soil samples far inland across the length of the fault and discovered that the United States had also suffered a tsunami at the same time as the Japanese. He concluded that Kanamori and Heaton were correct, a massive earthquake had sent a tsunami out from the source of the quake inundating the coasts on both sides of the Pacific.

Recent studies by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has concurred on the findings of previous studies.

The Cascadia Fault is a subduction zone, an area where one of the tectonic plates is forced underneath the plate it collides into. In the case of Cascadia the Juan de Fuca Plate is moving under the North American Plate. These plates have been locked together since 1700, 313 years. A particular feature of the Cascadia Fault is that it doesn't produce small quakes, it remains still and silent until the pressure gets too much and one of the plates rise to a mega-thrust earthquake of massive force. These quakes can be compared to the Indonesian quake of 2004 and the Japanese quake of 2011.

The Cascadia fault is long, very long, just over 800 miles (1300km) in length. Based on the findings of the scientists the tsunami caused by the 1700 event moved inland for more than 60 miles, wiping out everything in its path. Of course in 1700 Seattle wasn't there, neither was Vancouver, San Francisco, Portland or any of the other cities and metropolitan areas currently occupied by millions of people.

The Cascadia, courtesy of its length will give rise to a long quake if the whole fault 'unzips' at the same time, as it's believed to have done in 1700. The first P waves will travel the length of the fracture in a minute or two; the S waves that follow, the ones that cause the real damage are slower and will cause shaking and movement for about five minutes though their speed can vary depending on the rock they are traveling through.

Any buildings not built to withstand earthquakes will collapse. Depending on the duration and magnitude of the quake it cannot be assumed that even 'hardened' buildings will remain standing. Many areas have sedimentary basins under urban sprawl and this amplifies the waves and the damage they cause.

Within approximately 20-30 minutes the tsunami will roll in. Unlike normal waves which have a few yards between them the tsunami waves can have hundreds of miles between them. The entire wall of water displaced when the plates slip hurtles outwards in all directions from the epicentre of the quake. As the waves approach the continental shelf the water at the back of the wave starts to catch up with the water at the front of the wave, which has slowed down as it moves up the incline that marks the start of the continental land mass. Its this that allows the water to build up and give the tsunami its characteristic 'wall of water' appearance.

The water will just keep on coming, flowing forward taking almost everything in its path with it. It may or may not be followed by more waves, there is no way to know if it will be a solo wave or a series until it happens. There is also no way to know in advance how deep the water will be. The tsunami caused by an earthquake in Lituya Bay Alaska in 1958 reached 1720 feet.

Lituya Bay is an extreme example, an un-survivable example unless you happen to be Howard G Ulrich or his son. The Indonesia earthquake on boxing day 2004 has been estimated to have had a wave height of between 30-50 feet.

So what do you do with your 20-30 minute warning? Obviously you want to get as high as possible. This is often easier said than done. In a city littered with debris, the dead and dying and glass falling from skyscrapers without warning getting out is going to pose many problems. Highways will be buckled and impassable and there is a great danger from gas main explosions and fires.

Some countries are investing in vertical evacuation centres. High platforms/shelters on stilts that allow the water to pass through the base of the structure without putting extra stresses on masonry that maybe already damaged from the earthquake. FEMA have issued a community guide detailing where such structures will be built / are being built along the West Coast of the United States.

If you don't have access to a vertical evacuation shelter, or you prefer not to be at the mercy of FEMA, multi-story parking lots with open sides can offer some possibility of escape. The water is able to flow through the building and out the other side, reducing the chances of collapse due to the weight of the water pressing against it. Be prepared to stay in such a place for a considerable time, help and/or escape is not going to be coming fast. Carry as much food, water and emergency equipment as you can without the weight slowing you down. Think Katrina multiplied by 1000.

It can take anything from a few hours to many days for the floodwaters to subside and even when it does the emergency is far from over. Disease and death with be rife and you should head out of the area as soon as is humanly possible to give yourself the best chance of survival.

Cascadia is locked, loaded and ready to fire; it's not a case of if, but a case of when. Sadly with so many variables, an earthquake tsunami combination is almost impossible to prepare for adequately. The only sure-fire way to survive is not to be in the area in the first place. - The Activist Post.

THE COLOR REVOLUTIONS: Precursors To The Complete Destruction Of The FAILED White Supremacy Paradigm - One Dead As Brazilian Police Clash With MILLIONS OF PROTESTERS!

"All these wars, protests and color revolutions,... are all in divine order,... all connected to the rise of the Moors." - Aseer, The Duke of Tiers.

June 21, 2013 - BRAZIL
Police and protesters fought in the streets into the early hours Friday as an estimated 1 million Brazilians swarmed through more than 80 Brazilian cities in the biggest demonstrations yet against a government viewed as corrupt at all levels and unresponsive to its people.

President Dilma Rousseff called an emergency meeting of her top Cabinet members for Friday morning, more than a week after the protests began. Rousseff, who has a standoffish governing style, has been almost entirely absent from the public eye, making only one statement earlier in the week that peaceful protests are part of the democratic process.

Protesters stand next to a fire during a protest in Rio de Janeiro.

But the protests that raged across Brazil late Thursday and into Friday were spiked with violence as people vented anger over a litany of complaints, from high taxes to corruption to rising prices.

 At least one protester was killed in Sao Paulo state when a car rammed into a crowd of demonstrators, after the driver apparently became enraged about being unable to drive along a street.

In Rio de Janeiro, where an estimated 300,000 demonstrators poured into the seaside city’s central area, running clashes played out between riot police and clusters of mostly young men with T-shirts wrapped around their faces. But peaceful protesters were caught up in the fray, too, as police fired tear gas canisters into their midst and at times indiscriminately used pepper spray.

Thundering booms echoed off stately colonial buildings as rubber bullets and gas were fired at fleeing crowds.

At least 40 people were injured in Rio, including protesters like Michele Menezes, a wisp of a woman whose youthful face and braces belie her 26 years. Bleeding and with her hair singed from the explosion of a tear gas canister, she said she and others took refuge from the violence in an open bar, only to have a police officer toss the canister inside.

The blast ripped through Menezes’ jeans, tearing two coin-sized holes on the back of her thighs, and peppered her upper arm with a rash of small holes.

“I was leaving a peaceful protest and it’s not the thugs that attack me but the police themselves,” said Menezes, removing her wire-rim glasses to wipe her bloodshot eyes.

Thousands of people march in the center of Recife, state of Pernambuco, Brazil, on Thursday. 

A demonstrator is shot by rubber bullets as anti riot police officers charge after clashes erupted during a
protest against corruption and price hikes on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro.

Thousands of students shout slogans during a protest of what is now called the 'Tropical Spring'
against corruption and price hikes, at National Congress in Brasilia, on Thursday.

 She later took refuge in a hotel, along with about two dozen youths, families and others who said they had been repeatedly hit with pepper spray by motorcycle police as they also sheltered inside a bar.

Protesters said they would not back down.

“I saw some pretty scary things, but they’re not going to shake me. There’s another march on the 22nd and I’m going to be there,” said 19-year-old university student Fernanda Szuster.

  Asked if her parents knew she was joining in the protests, Szuster said: “They know and they’re proud. They also protested when they were young. So they think it’s great.”

She added, though, that she wouldn’t tell her father the details of the police violence. “If he knew, he would never let me leave the house again.”

In Brasilia, the national capital, police struggled to keep hundreds of protesters from invading the Foreign Ministry, while the crowd set a small fire outside. Other government buildings were attacked around the city’s central esplanade. There, too, police used tear gas and rubber bullets trying to scatter demonstrators.

 Clashes were also reported in the Amazon jungle city of Belem, Porto Alegre in the south, the university town Campinas north of Sao Paulo and the northeastern city of Salvador.

“This was meant to be a peaceful demonstration and it is,” artist Wanderlei Costa, 33, said in Brasilia. “It’s a shame some people cause trouble when there is a much bigger message behind this movement. Brazil needs to change, not only on the government level, but also on the grass-roots level. We have to learn to demonstrate without violence.”

People march in downtown Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

A protester with a sign reading 'put our 0.20 R$ in the health system' takes part in roadblock
while protesting against corruption and price hikes in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

A demonstrator displays a banner against PEC37, a draft bill limiting the prosecutor's capacity
of investigation in cases of corruption as anti-riot police officers fire rubber bullets.

The protests took place one week after a violent police crackdown on a much smaller demonstration complaining about an increase in bus and subway fares in Sao Paulo galvanized Brazilians to take their grievances to the streets.

 The unrest is hitting the nation as it hosts the Confederations Cup soccer tournament with tens of thousands of foreign visitors in attendance. It also comes one month before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Brazil, and ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, raising concerns about how Brazilian officials will provide security.

Mass protests have been rare in this country of 190 million people in recent years, and the mushrooming demonstrations of the past week caught Brazilian government officials by surprise while delighting many citizens.

“I think we desperately need this, that we’ve been needing this for a very, very long time,” said Paulo Roberto Rodrigues da Cunha, a 63-year-old clothing store salesman in Rio.

WATCH: Million-strong anti-govt protests sweep Brazil, 1 killed.

WATCH: Brazil protesters teargassed during brutal clashes with police.

Despite the energy on the street, many protesters said they were unsure how the movement would win real political concessions. People in the protests have held up signs asking for everything from education reforms to free bus fares while denouncing the billions of public dollars spent on stadiums in advance of the World Cup and the Olympics.

“We pay a lot of money in taxes, for electricity, for services, and we want to know where that money is,” said Italo Santos, a 25-year old student who joined a rally by 5,000 protesters at Salvador’s Campo Grand Square.

But many believe the protests are no longer just about bus fares and have become larger cries for systemic changes.

“This is the start of a structural change in Brazil,” said Aline Campos, a 29-year-old publicist in Brasilia. “People now want to make sure their money is well spent, that it’s not wasted through corruption.” - NY Daily News.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 20, 2013 - Updates On Paluweh, Popocatépetl, Pacaya, Fuego, Machin, Nevado del Ruiz, Galeras And Sotará!

June 21, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Paluweh (off Flores Island, Indonesia)
: Activity from the lava dome continues with occasional explosions and / or collapse events, but has been decreasing over the past weeks. An ash plume at about 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude was observed on satellite data yesterday (VAAC Darwin).

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico)
: Activity has decreased to about 2 weak emissions of steam and gas, sometimes some ash per hour.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Weak strombolian activity has resumed, with small explosions about every 10 minutes that produce small ash puffs. Some of the explosions are audible, but most are only inferred from the seismic signal. Volcanic tremor accompanies this process.

Fuego (Guatemala)
: Activity both effusive and explosive has remained relatively unchanged and weak. Ash plumes rose 200-500 m above the crater and eject incandescent material to up to 100 m. The lava flow towards the Ceniza drainage was 250 m long this morning and produced occasional small avalanches.

Machin (Colombia)
: INGEOMINAS reports no significant changes - weak seismic activity continues SE of the principal dome at depths between 6-7.5 km and maintains alert level yellow.

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia)
: Activity over the past days has been characterized by continuing strong degassing (elevated SO2 emissions), at times creating a steam and gas plume rising up to 1600 m.

SO2 plume from Nevado del Ruiz 18 June (NOAA).

Seismic activity has remained elevated and dominated by shallow volcano-tectonic quakes in areas SW, NW and N of the Arenas crater.

Galeras (Colombia): Seismic activity has been lower during the past week. No recent ash explosions have occurred.

The other volcano at yellow alert monitored by Pasto Observatory, Cumbal, continued to show fluctuating, weakly elevated seismic activity.

Sotará (Colombia)
: INGEOMINAS - Popayan volcano observatory reports no significant changes. Occasional small earthquakes continue to show the volcano is at unrest.

Nevado del Huila's degassing and seismic activity have remained stable at low levels.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for June 20, 2013.

- Volcano Discovery.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found In Hirsch Lake, Runnemede, New Jersey?!

June 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The Department of Environmental Protection says a biologist was sent out to Hirsch Lake in Runnemede, Camden County this morning after hundreds of fish were found dead.

The lake, which is called both Hirsch Lake and Runnemede Lake, is located along Singley Avenue.

Between 300 and 500 carp were found dead in the lake Thursday morning.

It appears that only the carp are being killed - no other plant or wildlife in or around the lake seem to be affected. Officials suspect a pathogen specifically affecting the carp may be responsible for the sudden fish kill.

WATCH: Hundreds of dead fish in Hirsch Lake in Runnemede.

Biologists are hoping to test the tissue of a living but sickly carp to determine if their speculation of a pathogen being the cause is correct. - 6ABC.

DELUGE & GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Canadian Forces Are Called In As Raging Floodwaters Lay Waste To South Alberta - As Many As 100,000 Could Be Evacuated As Rainfall Reach Record Levels; Mudslides Force The Closure Of The Trans-Canada Highway!

June 21, 2013 - CANADA - In B.C., flood watches have been issued for rivers and creeks in the province's west and east Kootenay region and smaller waterways in the upper and lower Columbia regions.

Torrential rains and widespread flooding throughout southern Alberta on Thursday washed out roads and bridges, sent residents scurrying for safety, and delivered up surreal scenes of cars, couches and refrigerators just floating away.

Kevan Yaets swims after his cat Momo to safety as the flood waters sweep him downstream and submerge the cab in High River, Alberta on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks. Hundreds of people have been evacuated with volunteers and emergency crews helping to aid stranded residents.© Jordan Verlage, The Canadian Press

The RCMP put out a call for help to the Canadian Armed Forces, which sent in two helicopters and a Hercules aircraft to help extract people stranded by water.

Officials with the City of Calgary said as many as 100,000 people in low-lying neighbourhoods could be forced from their homes due to heavy flooding, an evacuation that would take place in stages over the next few days.

Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said water levels on the Bow River aren't expected to subside until Saturday afternoon.

"Depending on the extent of flooding we experience overnight, there may be areas of the city where people are not going to be able to get into until the weekend," he told a news conference.

Burrell said they suggested that workers in downtown Calgary, which borders on the river, leave work early Thursday if they live in threatened areas, so they could prepare to evacuate.

Other workers were advised to consider staying late so as to lighten the rush-hour load on roads that might be needed for evacuations.

Evacuees were being asked to stay with friends or relatives, though recreation centres were being set up to accommodate those who had no place to go.

The Calgary Zoo, located on St. George's Island, shut down in the afternoon and said it would also be closed Friday.

"Rest assured Animal Care are working closely with our facilities team to ensure the safety of all of our animals during this period of flood risk and are following our established emergency protocols," the zoo said on its website.

The Bow River Basin was battered with up to 100 mm of rain.

There were flashpoints of chaos from Banff and Canmore and Crowsnest Pass in the Rockies, to Calgary and beyond in the north and south to Lethbridge.

"I woke up at about three o'clock in morning to the sound of this kind of rumbling and it was the creek," said Wade Graham, a resident of the mountain town of Canmore, west of Calgary.

"At first it was just intense, pretty powerful, amazing thing to watch. As daylight came, it just got bigger and bigger and wider and wider, and it's still getting bigger and bigger and wider and wider.

"All you can hear is like boulders and trees. I watched a refrigerator go by, I watched a shed go by, I watched couches go by. It's insane."

The flooding was particularly destructive in communities just south of Calgary such as High River, Turner Valley and Black Diamond, where the Highwood River swept away two people.

"One female adult had been stranded on a trailer and also a second adult male had been stranded on a nearby flatbed," said Cam Heke of STARS air ambulance.

"We did respond to the area. The female adult was no longer on the trailer and was missing. We did conduct a search along the river and we were unable to locate that missing person.

"However, the male adult was on the trailer and local emergency services with another helicopter organization ... were able to rescue that man."

In High River, the water trapped residents in their cars and forced others to flee to the rooftops of their homes.

Streets became tributaries, swamping vehicles.

Randy Livie said he came into town to help a friend and almost didn't get out.

"It was over my hood," he said. "There was a jeep in front of me and he stalled out.

"There was a minivan that went in front of me. He stalled out. This other car he came in and he started floating away - he bailed out. He had crutches. A truck pulled up and helped him out. It's just wild down there."

The river carried boats and trees into bridge abutments, he said.

High River Mounties were asking that people with motorboats help rescue at least a dozen stranded homeowners.

"We have people on their rooftops who were unable to evacuate fast enough," said RCMP Sgt. Patricia Neely.

Town spokesperson Joan Botkin said the rescue boats were struggling with a strong current, but added, "that's our priority. Right now it is 'Save the people. Get the residents out of there."'

Danielle Smith, a Highwood resident and Wildrose Opposition leader in the legislature, said she and other residents frantically sandbagged around the hospital, but could not keep water from rushing past the doors, forcing patients to higher floors.

"I've been talking to people who have been here for 35 years or more who saw the 2005 flood, who saw the 1995 flood, and say this is way worse," Smith told CHQR radio station in Calgary.

Canmore residents captured this image of homes along the banks of the dangerously swollen Cougar Creek.© Lauren Wheeler

Alberta Health Services said the emergency department in High River had been closed, though patients already in the hospital were safe and being cared for.

Residents in a seniors care facility were told to leave. Even the original evacuation centre had to be moved as floodwaters threatened.

The province reported that 12 communities were under states of emergency.

Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for the affected areas, estimating as much as 100 millimetres more rain could fall in the next two days.
The Alberta Energy Regulator reported flooding may have caused a sour gas leak near Turner Valley. The flow of the toxic gas was turned off, but late Thursday a small amount was still seeping into floodwaters submerging the line. The Alberta Energy Regulator said public safety was not threatened.

In the mountain parks, mudslides forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway, isolating Banff and Canmore. Campers at Two Jack Lakeside campground were moved to higher ground.

Highways north and south of Banff were also shut down. Later in the evening, the Trans-Canada at the Norquay interchange was opened to single-lane westbound traffic to Lake Louise as well as Field and Golden in B.C.

In Canmore, some homeowners saw the raging Cougar Creek eat away half their backyards, leaving behind crumbling wooden stairwells and twisted fences jutting out over torrents of water. Power and gas were out in some parts of town.

Parks Canada spokeswoman Michelle Macullo said people caught inside the park didn't really have many options.

"Right now, if people are in Canmore, they can get to Banff. People from Banff can get to Canmore," she said. "We just have to wait to see what the weather presents."

A mandatory evacuation order was in effect for Bragg Creek.

In Lethbridge, a few neighbourhoods were evacuated and city officials urged parents to pick up their children early from school. They expected the Oldman River would rise and cut off travel across the city.

In Crowsnest Pass and Okotoks, some residents were ordered out. In Sundre, 80 km northwest of Calgary, dozens of homes were under mandatory evacuation
order along both sides of the swollen Red Deer River.

Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths said the province was responding to requests as they came in.

"The municipalities have asked for no extra equipment or resources except in relation to some evacuations, which we've managed to acquire a few helicopters to help with those isolated evacuations," he said.

Premier Alison Redford was returning home to Alberta from a conference in New York.

"I plan to visit the affected areas as soon as possible on Friday to see the situation firsthand and to thank those who have been working so hard at keeping everyone safe," she said in a news release.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying the federal government would offer "any and all possible assistance to the Province of Alberta in response to the situation." - Ottawa Citizen.