Thursday, July 18, 2013

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: From Boston To Chicago, More Than 100 Million Feel Stifling Heat - Oppressively Hot Weather Moves Backward Across United States, Surprising Meteorologists; Doctors Warn Tri-State Area Residents About Falling Victim To ‘Heat Rage’!

July 18, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Plain and simple, this week may feel the worst of any week for this summer in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. The region will be a virtual sauna bath.

Boston To Chicago: More Than 100 Million Feel Stifling Heat.

High daytime and nighttime temperatures, high humidity, intense sunshine and lack of wind will make the area seem like the middle of the tropics.

The pattern will pose health risks ranging from poor air quality to a dangerous buildup of heat in urban areas to risk of heat stroke for those physically very active.

Officials are asking people to conserve electricity, when possible, to lower the chance of brown-outs and power failures. Approximately 130 million people were experiencing the heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast this week.

Actual high temperatures in many of the major cities will reach well into the 90s through at least Friday.

According to Paul Pastelok, head of the Long Range Team, "The extreme part of the heat is not forecast to ease until over the coming weekend, when thunderstorms may return to many areas."

Although actual temperatures will stop short of record levels during this week's heat wave, when combined with the humidity and other factors, RealFeel® temperatures will surge well past 100 degrees during the late morning and afternoon hours.

The table below shows high temperatures forecast through Saturday for selected cities:

RealFeel temperatures can run 20 degrees higher than actual temperatures during several hours each day of this heat wave.

A lack of a breeze in the humid conditions at night will make it very rough in urban areas without air conditioning or a fan.

The light winds, high humidity and heat will lead to a build-up of pollutants. Folks with respiratory problems are advised to remain in an air-conditioned environment and avoid strenuous activity.

This is the type of heat that can kill, especially the elderly and those physically overdoing it at any age.

Be sure to look after your pets. Do not leave kids or pets unattended in the car for any length of time.

With the return of thunderstorms toward the weekend on the coast, there will be a risk of severe weather and perhaps a return of the "atmosphere with an attitude" and tropical rainforest downpours.

"It appears the pattern of frequent showers and thunderstorms will return to the East Coast and Appalachians late in July and much of August," Pastelok said.

With temperatures and humidity as high as they are, widely separated thunderstorms can drench a few communities over the Appalachians during the week. Most of these storms would occur between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Beat the heat by heading to the pool, beach or an air conditioning location for a few hours to give your body a break. (Surf temperatures range from the upper 60s to near 80 degrees.)

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Wear light-weight, light-colored clothing.

If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks and try to do the most physical part of the job during the morning or evening, when the RealFeel temperatures are not as extreme.

Remember to turn off lights when not in use. Turn off the air conditioner when not at home. If using air conditioning, keep windows and doors closed, to not only keep the heat out, but also to keep the humidity lower within your home. By doing so you may be able to keep the thermostat higher and still be comfortable at the same time. - AccuWeather.

July Heat Wave 2013 Somehow Stuck In Reverse.
Dressed in a wool uniform Binyah Howard, 14, with the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps takes a drink near Independence Hall, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in Philadelphia. An excessive heat warning is in effect in Philadelphia and surrounding counties as temperatures are expected to reach into the 90s. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The oppressively hot weather in the Northeast has surprised meteorologists: It's moving backward across America, something that rarely happens.

Normally U.S. weather systems move west to east. The western Atlantic high pressure system behind the hot dry weather started moving east to west last week and by Tuesday was centered over lower Michigan, said Jon Gottschalck, the operations chief at the National Weather Service's prediction branch.

"It's definitely unusual and going the wrong way," Gottschalck said Thursday. "This is pretty rare."

He said the high pressure is about to return eastward, extending the Northeastern heat wave an extra day or so until the weekend.

Wesley Traeger, 3, left, and his brother Alex, 5, right, both from Washington DC, run through the water fountains to cool off at the Yards Park, near the Washington Nationals baseball stadium, where temperatures were in the mid-90s on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

And just before the high pressure moved east to west, a rainy and cooler low pressure system moved from the Mid-Atlantic to Texas, he said. That storm system broke off the jet stream, which is parked up in Canada, and made the U-turn first.

The unusual movement wasn't seen in computer models until four or five days in advance, which is relatively late for these models so meteorologists were surprised, he said.

Gottschalck said there's no evidence pointing at man-made climate change, but this is likely just natural chaos in the atmosphere. He couldn't say how often these backward weather flows occur, but they are less frequent than once a year.

Alisha Bennett and her daughter Chloe, 2, cool off by walking through a waterfall at the Yards Park, near the Washington Nationals baseball stadium, where temperatures were in the mid-90s on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Thursday, the heat index, which factors in humidity, hit 106 degrees in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia and was in triple digits along much of the Northeast. The air temperature hit a record 100 at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service issued heat advisories and warnings Thursday for parts of 23 states. More than 141 million people live in those areas. - Huffington Post.

Doctors Warn Tri-State Area Residents About Falling Victim To ‘Heat Rage’.
The temperature isn’t the only thing getting hot these days. If you’ve been outside, you may have noticed tempers are flaring.

As CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Thursday, the hot weather does a lot to our behavior.

There’s road rage, air rage, fan rage at sporting events, and now we have heat rage. It’s not new. It’s actually part of our language. Tempers flare, anger simmers and boils over, and of course there’s the proverbial hothead.

Gomez took to the 98-degree streets Thursday to measure the mood of New Yorkers.

WATCH: Heat Rage - New Yorkers Lose Their Cool During Heat Wave.

“I’m agitated right now! I’m trying to go and bumping into people. I can’t do it! Y’all can have the heat! I’m staying indoors,’ said Teirra Francis of Manhattan.

“Oh yeah, I’ve seen people get irritated. Of course! Everyone gets a little cranky in the heat sometimes,’ added Kate Johnson of upstate New York.

New Yorkers can be a, shall we say, prickly group. But a five-day heat wave has left some nerves a bit frayed. Scientific studies on the effect of heat on behavior have been mixed, but ask anyone on the hot streets and they know what it does to people.

“Dealing with other people’s crankiness was the challenge,” said Steven Adams of Queens.

“She gets cranky, I get happy,” Scott Paul of Florida said.

It’s not surprising that we get cranky in the heat. Dehydration affects the brain and disrupts our sleep, both of which darken our mood. And when you’re uncomfortable for any reason, be it heat, cold, getting soaked in the rain, back pain; we tend to perceive things in a more negative way.

“The combination of those biological factors and psychological factors mean that if an environmental, kind of an ordinary event like waiting outside online or getting stuck in a traffic jam or having to change your tire, it can fill your capacity and you can erupt. And so people have frayed nerves and shortened tempers and that’s why someone can just bump you walking along the streets and all of a sudden you’re overreacting,” said Dr. Alan Manevitz of New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Manevitz said the same things you do to keep from overheating will also help you keep your cool: Stay in air conditioning, drink plenty of water and, “avoid situations that generally irritate you and these types of situations might make your blow your cool.”

And recognize that people around you may also be a bit testy. Heat also increases testosterone production, which can increase aggression, Gomez reported. - CBS New York.

WAR DRUMS: Game-Changer - United States Considering Military Force In Syria?!

July 18, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he has provided President Barack Obama with options for military strikes in Syria, where the civil war has cost at least 93,000 lives.

He told a Senate hearing that under current conditions, he believed Syrian dictator President Bashar Assad would still be in power in a year's time. "Currently the tide seems to have shifted in his favour," he said.

The Obama administration has said that it will supply small arms to Syrian rebels, but has so far resisted calls from some leading Senators to intervene with US military forces or implement a no-fly zone.

Gen Dempsey said that Mr Obama had asked him whether the US "could", but not whether it "should", stage a military intervention. The "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government," the general said.

But in a testy exchange with John McCain, the Republican Senator who is a leading advocate for US intervention, he refused to go into further details or give his opinion.

Gen Dempsey has previously expressed scepticism about deploying US force.

"The decision on whether to use force is the decision of our elected officials," he said.

His deputy, Admiral James Winnefeld, said: "There are a whole range of options that are out there. We are ready to act if we're called on to act."

Gen Dempsey said that options presented to Mr Obama include "kinetic strikes" – military language for actions involving lethal force.

The Pentagon constantly updates military options for the White House. But Gen Dempsey's comments were the clearest yet that it is deliberating a direct intervention into the bloody conflict.

Those options would include missile strikes on key regime infrastructure, including chemical weapons sites, imposing no-fly zones or a ground invasion. Another course of action would be drone attacks against rebels linked to al-Qaeda if the administration decided to strike on both sides of the conflict.

But a president who has ended the war in Iraq and is winding down the US military role in Afghanistan has made clear to aides that he does not want to involve American forces in another military quagmire.

There is particular concern that radical Islamists are gaining ground among the opposition.

 Gen Dempsey has previously expressed scepticism about deploying US force Photo: AP

Gen Dempsey's comments come the day after his British counterpart told The Daily Telegraph that Britain must be prepared to "go to war" if it wishes to restrain the Syrian regime by implementing no-fly zones and arming the rebels.

"If you want to have the material impact on the Syrian regime's calculations that some people seek" then "ground targets" would have to be "hit", said General Sir David Richards, the outgoing head of armed forces. - Telegraph.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Recent Earthquakes In Peru's Arequipa Region, Caused By Sabancaya Volcano!

July 18, 2013 - PERU - The man in charge of monitoring the Sabancaya confirmed to the Peruvian daily, El Comercio, that the recent wave of earthquakes in the Arequipa region were caused by the volcano.

Expert says there is not threat of eruption. Image: El Comercio.

“We´re in the sphere of influence of the Sabancaya Volcano, so all of the earthquakes we´ve experienced in the last few days were in fact caused by the volcano,” Domingo Ramos Palomino told the daily.

He went on to explain that though there has been increased activity around the Sabancaya, there is not enough evidence to predict an eruption in the near future.

“We will likely continue to feel more of these earthquakes, but it takes years of activity for them to produce an eruption,” Ramos said.

Ramos said that the volcano only presented alteration in physical activity, not more variations in other monitoring parameters, such as the structure's deformation.

Therefore, he believes there is no great change from the crisis of fumaroles that he observed in February, because they continue at an altitude of between 400 and a thousand meters.

In that sense, he said that the recent earthquakes are not “a detonator that indicate that the volcano will erupt”. - Peru This Week.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: MERS Contagion - Six New MERS Coronavirus Cases Reported In The United Arab Emirates And Saudi Arabia!

July 18, 2013 - MIDDLE EAST - Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have reported six new cases of the SARS-like coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

A colorized image of the MERS coronavirus as seen through an electron micrograph. 

The latest infections of four women and two men aged between 26 and 42 bring the global total to 88 cases, including 45 deaths, the United Nations agency said in a statement. Five of the six new cases were health workers and the other was a man who came in close contact with someone who had been infected with the disease, which is known as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, WHO said.

Millions are expected to travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia in October for the haj pilgrimage. Saudi authorities have cut the number of visas this year, citing safety concerns over expansion work at the main mosque site.

The WHO is drawing up advice on travel in relation to coronavirus, to be issued in coming days. It urged health care providers to be vigilant for severe acute respiratory infections and test any recent travelers from the Middle East suffering from such infections for MERS.

WATCH: Newly discovered virus kills 45 worldwide.

The global health body has set up an emergency committee of independent experts on MERS, who said on Wednesday it was not a “public health emergency of international concern” for the time being. The committee can make recommendations on travel and trade restrictions, increased disease surveillance and exchange of data.

Two of the new coronavirus cases in Abu Dhabi and both cases in Saudi Arabia displayed mild symptoms. The other two in Abu Dhabi had no symptoms of the disease. Cases have also been found in Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Britain, France, Italy and Germany. - VOA News.