Tuesday, January 7, 2014

SOLAR WATCH: Giant Sunspot Targets Planet Earth With X1.2 Solar Flare And Coronal Mass Ejection - Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted, As Tracking Model Predicts Impact On Our Magnetic Field Early January 9th!

January 07, 2014 - SUN - Giant sunspot AR1944 with interaction with region 1943, erupted on Jan 7th at approximately 1832 UT, producing a powerful X1-class solar flare. The blast site is in a great geoeffective position for Earth-directed eruptions.


Attached is a closeup image by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel
capturing a wave of plasma leaving the blast site following a major X1.2 solar flare.

For ham radio operators listening on either the HF and VHF radio spectrum during the X1.2 event, you may
have noticed a big burst of noise if you were located on the sunlit side of Earth. The flare was indeed
very noisy and generated a 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) measuring
8300 solar flux units and lasting almost an hour.

X-FLARE: First-look coronagraph images from the STEREO-Ahead spacecraft appear to show a coronal mass ejection (CME) emerging from the blast site. If so, the CME is almost certainly heading for Earth.   An early tracking model is calling for an impact to our geomagnetic field early January 9th UTC time.


An early CME prediction model has been released following the X1.2 solar flare event on Tuesday afternoon.
The model is predicting the fast moving CME to deliver an almost direct blow to our geomagnetic field
late on January 8th (Wednesday), early January 9th (Thursday) UTC time. Keep in mind these models
are estimated and may be updated once more data becomes available. Nonetheless,
geomagnetic storming will be possible in the days ahead.

As expected, a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) was generated by the major X1.2 solar flare this afternoon.
Because the source region is in a near perfect geoeffective positon, this bodes well for an Earth directed
component. A Type II Radio Emission (Sweep Frequency Event) with an estimated
velocity of over 1000 km/s was detected.

Low and high energy proton levels streaming past Earth are again on the rise. Minor radiation storming
will be prolonged due to X1.2 solar flare. Moderate S2 level storming may be possible.

Attached is an updated aurora model provided by OVATION. The weak CME impact from earlier today
did not generate widespread geomagnetic activity. Things could change late tomorrow night (or early
Thursday) when a fast moving plasma cloud from this afternoon sweeps past our planet.

WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted
Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Jan 08: None (Below G1) Jan 09: G2 (Moderate) Jan 10: G1 (Minor)

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Jan 07 1817 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 1064 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.

WATCH: X1.2 Solar Flare and Coronal Mass Ejection - January 7, 2014.




HUGE SUNSPOT TARGETS EARTH: One of the biggest sunspots in years is crossing the center of the solar disk, putting Earth in the way of potential eruptions. Rocky Raybell photographed the active region named "AR1944" yesterday from his backyard in Keller, Washington:


Raybell used an SX40 digital camera on a tripod whole holding a Baader solar filer over the lens to capture his image.

The sprawling sunspot contains dozens of dark cores, the largest big enough to swallow Earth three times over. This makes it an easy target for amateur solar telescopes -- or even regular cameras.


 A 4-day movie of AR1944 from the Solar Dynamics Observatory.


Prior to today's X-Flare, solar activity reached high levels earlier with two M-Class solar flares detected within the past 24 hours. The first, a low level M1.0 flare, was observed around sunspot 1946 at 03:55 UTC. The active region located in the northern hemisphere showed gradual spot growth, especially within the center of the group. The second event, a fairly impulsive M7.2 flare, was centered around sunspot 1944 at 10:13 UTC Tuesday morning.


Updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday morning.


The quick release of energy was associated with a 10cm Radio Burst (Ten Flare) measuring 409 sfu and lasting 5 minutes. A coronal mass ejection (CME) was produced. The active region remains fairly complex (Beta-Gamma-Delta), and will remain a threat for further isolated moderate to strong solar flares. All other visible regions were either stable or in a state of decay.


WATCH: M7.2 Solar Flare and Huge CME  - January 7, 2014.




A coronal mass ejection (CME) from this event is expected to deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field today. EPAM proton levels as measured by the ACE Spacecraft continue to trend higher, indicating that the plasma cloud shock front may still be approaching. Minor Geomagnetic Storming will be possible at high latitudes.

Sky-watchers should note that sunspot 1944 has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that could erupt again at any time.


SOURCES: Space Weather | Solar Ham | Solar Watcher.



MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Ice Age Now - Huge Polar Vortex Puts 187 MILLION Americans In A Deep Freeze; 90% Of The United States Is Now Frozen; New York Declares State Of Emergency; Temperatures Plunge 50 Degrees Below Normal, Mirroring Those In Siberia; Thousands Without Heat During Historic, Life-Threatening Cold; Water Fountains Freeze Instantly; Even Polar Bears Can't Withstand Cold Snap!

January 07, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Blame it on the Polar Vortex. A large pool of frigid air that governs the north pole during the winter.

90% OF USA FROZEN.


The Polar Vortex has dropped unusually far south, keeping the Contiguous United States below freezing overnight, and 90-percent of the country below freezing Tuesday!

Temperatures in Philadelphia will bottom out in the single digits by daybreak. Daytime temperatures will struggle to get into the low teens Tuesday afternoon.




Dangerous wind chills are expected through Tuesday. Sustained winds of 20-25 mph with gusts to 40 mph will bring wind chill values down to -10 to -15 degrees by Tuesday morning and will remain below zero through the day.  Wind chill values in the Lehigh Valley & Poconos could reach -20 to -30 degrees Tuesday morning.

With temperatures dropping into the single digits Tuesday, some record lows will be challenged or broken. Here are some record lows for Tuesday:

Allentown: -4 (1942)
Atlantic City: 4 (1884)
Mt. Pocono: -5 (1988)
Philadelphia: 7 (1988)
Reading: 6 (1998)
Trenton: 6 (1912)
Wilmington: 10 (1988)

- CBS Philadelphia.


Even Polar Bears Can't Withstand The Polar Vortex.
Polar bears snuggling for warmth. (Credit: Flickr/Sue Hasker)

Today's coldest measurement in the U.S. was -36 (that's without wind chill) in Crane Lake, Minn. It is not a good idea for any mammal to be outside in those temps - even at zoos. Many zoos closed today and kept their animals indoors. Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo was open, as it is every day, but the -40 F wind chill was too much for the polar bear and Bactrian camels, according to public relations director Sharon Dewar. - AccuWeather.



New York Declares State Of Emergency.
Pedestrians cross Woodward Avenue as it snows as the area deals with record breaking
freezing weather January 6, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images/AFP)

NY governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency ahead of a major winter storm triggered by the “polar vortex,” now sweeping into the eastern US. The state could see as much as 36 inches of snow and wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero. Road closures and a health advisory were issued by the state of New York in preparation for what are being described as “life threatening” weather conditions.

“As this new winter storm develops, bringing heavy snow and high winds, I strongly urge all citizens in these regions to exercise caution, avoid travel, and stay indoors,” Governor Cuomo said. The state was mobilizing 300 members of the NY Army and Air National Guard to assist as the storm moved through the region, along with 3,800 field workers available to respond in the event of power failures caused by the icy conditions. - RT.



Temperatures Plunge 50 Degrees Below Normal Mirroring Those In Siberia.
Commuters exit Union Station with AccuWeather RealFeels® below 30 degrees below zero F on Tuesday,
Jan. 7, 2014, in downtown Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

A blast of Arctic air gripped the mid-section of the United States, bringing the coldest temperatures in two decades, forcing businesses and schools to close and causing widespread airline delays and hazardous driving conditions. Meteorologists said temperatures were dangerously cold and life-threatening in some places, with 0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) recorded in Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The chill was set to bear down on eastern and southern states as the day wore on. The frigid temperatures in the United States mirrored or outdid those in such parts of the world as Almaty, Kazakhstan where it was minus 2 degrees F (minus 19 C); Mongolia, where temperatures reached minus 10 degrees F (minus 23 C) and Irkutsk, in Siberia, where it was minus 24 degrees F (minus 31 C). In the United States, temperatures were 20 to 40 degrees below average in parts of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. It issued warnings for life-threatening wind chills in western and central North Dakota, with temperatures as low as minus 60 F (minus 51 C).

"Cold temperatures and gusty winds associated with an arctic airmass will continue dangerously cold wind chills as far south as Brownsville, Texas and central Florida," the National Weather Service said.  The last time Chicago was this cold was February 1996, according to Accuweather.com.  "The Arctic cold front responsible for the frigid blast will move through the East Coast Monday into Monday night and bring the coldest temperatures some have experienced in twenty years," said Accuweather.com weather writer Mark Leberfinger.  Oklahoma City and Tulsa schools were closed because of the extreme temperatures.  "It's a far cry from the days when our parents used to say 'I used to walk uphill both ways in a snow storm to get to school,'" said Oklahoma City filmmaker Cacky Poarch, 45, the mother of two children.  "Now, we just say, 'It's cold. No school today,'" Poarch said.  The Arctic airmass will slam the eastern two-thirds of the country through mid-week, the National Weather Service said.

Indiana was particularly hard hit. Offices and schools were closed in Indianapolis and businesses were asked to close at least until noon, if not all day, due to temperatures and wind chill conditions. Widespread wind chill warnings and advisories were issued from eastern Montana and Wyoming through Minneapolis, Chicago and St. Louis to the Atlantic seaboard. The extreme cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia in people and in pets in as little as five or 10 minutes, according to meteorologist Fred Allen in a report for WeatherBug. Excessive delays were reported at airports in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland and St. Louis.  Farmers in the Plains states of Nebraska and Kansas were worried that the subzero temperatures would kill off part of the new winter wheat crop which, while typically hardy, cannot always tolerate extremely low temperatures.  Ranchers in South Dakota were keeping an eye on cattle herds, as hundreds of calves were being born in the life-threatening cold.  In Kansas City, where wind chills were forecast at -20 to -40 degrees F (minus 29 C to minus 40 C), schools were closed. Some roadways were shut down after slick conditions triggered multiple early-morning collisions.  Lake-effect snow was set to barrel in off the Great Lakes, dumping two to three feet of snow to the east and southeast through Wednesday, meteorologists said. - BAH.


187 MILLION IN DEEP FREEZE!
Average temperature across the United States was 28.8°F (-1.7°C)


Frigid air that snapped decades-old records will make venturing outside dangerous for a second straight day Tuesday, this time spreading to southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and keeping many schools and businesses shuttered. Residents driven from their homes by power outages in the Midwest longed to return to their own beds.  Monday's subzero temperatures broke records for the date in Chicago, at minus 16, and Fort Wayne, Ind., where the mercury fell to 13 below. Records also fell in Oklahoma and Texas, and wind chills across the region were 40 below and colder. Officials in Indiana, already struggling with high winds and more than a foot of snow, urged residents to stay home.  "The cold is the real killer here," Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said Monday as he asked schools and businesses to remain closed for another day. "In 10 minutes you could be dead without the proper clothes."  The polar air started to invade the East and South on Tuesday.  A blizzard smothered western New York with up to 18 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 50 mph in places. As much as 3 feet of snow could fall there by the time the storm eases Wednesday.

Temperatures meanwhile plunged to 8 degrees in Atlanta and 6 degrees below zero at a remote weather station in the north Georgia mountains — the coldest it has been there for decades. Temperatures hit lows in parts of West Virginia not felt for 25 years, while the extreme cold in Virginia beat records that had stood since the late 1950s. The National Weather Service said the mercury bottomed out at 3 degrees before sunrise at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshal International Airport, with a wind chill of minus 16.  Highs in the single digits were expected in Georgia and Alabama, and wind chill warnings stretched as far south as Florida with dangerous winds as low as 40 below expected in Ohio.  Jeffery Oldham Jr., a mechanic at a truck stop on I-70 near Hagerstown, Md., wore a camouflage cap, hunting gloves, double layers of clothing and a heavy parka. He said he was trying to go inside every 15 minutes to warm up, and that mending a fuel pump took seven or eight minutes.  "Long enough to feel like my face was going to freeze," Oldham said, adding "It wouldn't be too bad out if it wasn't for the wind."  Lynn Palmer, of Alexandria, Va., was commuting by Metro bus and train Tuesday to reach her job as an administrative officer at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. She said she bundled up in layers but still faced extreme cold while waiting for a bus.  "I could barely walk," the lifelong Alexandria native said, describing the temperatures as the coldest she had ever experienced. 


WATCH: Polar vortex freezes most of the United States.




Forecasters said some 187 million people in all could feel the effects of the "polar vortex" — a dangerous blast of polar air — by the time it spreads across the country. Tennessee utility officials braced for near-record power demand, while Ohio prepared for its coldest temperatures in decades.  PJM Interconnection, which operates the power grid supplying energy to more than 61 million people in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South, asked users to conserve electricity Tuesday because of the cold, especially in the morning and late afternoon.  Meanwhile, recovery was the focus in several Midwestern states. The subzero cold followed inches of snow and high winds that made traveling treacherous and was blamed in numerous deaths in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence issued disaster declarations, paving the way to request federal aid.  At least 15,000 customers in Indiana were without power early Tuesday. Utility crews worked to restore service as temperatures plunged into the negative teens, but officials warned that some customers could be in the cold and dark for days.  "My kids are ready to go home, and I'm ready too," said 41-year-old Timolyn Johnson-Fitzgerald, of Indianapolis, who faced a second night sleeping on cots at a Red Cross shelter with her three children, ages 11, 15, and 18. 

More than 500 Amtrak passengers spent the night on three trains headed for Chicago that were stranded because of blowing and drifting snow in north-central Illinois. Spokesman Marc Magliari said all the passengers, traveling from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Quincy, Ill., would reach Chicago either by train or bus later Tuesday.  JetBlue Airways, which stopped all scheduled flights to and from New York and Boston on Monday, planned to resume some flights Tuesday morning, and some Southwest Airlines operations in Chicago resumed Monday night.  The Minnesota Zoo announced it would reopen to the public Tuesday. State lawmakers in Indiana planned to kick off their 2014 legislative session after a day's postponement.  And warmer temperatures — at least, near or above freezing — were forecast for the Midwest. Indianapolis should reach 27 degrees on Wednesday, and other cities in the region could climb above freezing later in the week.  Even International Falls, Minn., had something to look forward to. Wind chills dropped as low as -55 Monday, but were expected to rebound to 25 below Tuesday. By Friday, the low was expected to be 5 to 10 above zero, Oravec said.  Until then, take advice for dealing with frostbite- and hypothermia-inducing cold from Anthony Bickham in St. Paul, Minn., who jumped around while waiting for the bus Monday.  "You gotta keep it moving," Bickham said. "Stay warm at ... all costs. - Huffington Post.



Thousands Without Heat During Historic, Life-Threatening Cold.
Multiple slide-offs and vehicle crashes were reported due to winter conditions across the Midwest
and Northeast on Sunday. (Twitter Photo/Indiana State Police)

Thousands remain without power Tuesday morning after a snowstorm stretched from the Midwest to the Northeast amid bitter cold temperatures and wind chills as low as minus 45 F in some places.  Many locations in the eastern portion of the country are still under a wind chill advisory or warning as of early Tuesday morning with wind chill values as low as 30 to 50 below zero.  Wind chills lower than minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit can cause exposed flesh to freeze in only five minutes.  The National Weather Service has referred to the cold outbreak as 'historic and life-threatening', as temperatures near all-time cold records highs.  Thousands remain without power in the areas hit hardest by the storm.  In Indianapolis, more than 12,000 customers remained without power prior to sunrise Tuesday morning.  A press conference was held at 11:15 a.m. EST Monday, by the Indiana State Police, Department of Transportation, Governor Mike Pence and Indiana National Guard to address the winter conditions.  More than 27 counties in Indiana were declared under a state of emergency Monday afternoon.  Meanwhile, emergency response continues in Illinois, where RealFeel® temperatures are hovering between minus 20 and minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit.  In anticipation of the winter weather in Illinois, the state has extended hours of operation for more than 100 warming centers, six of which are located in Chicago. The centers are open to anyone in need of refuge from the frigid weather.  Over the weekend, more than 11 inches of snow fell in Chicago, slowing road travel, and canceling thousands of flights.  The severe winter conditions prompted a press release from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Monday.  "As we continue to monitor weather conditions and work nonstop to respond to this winter storm, we will ensure that critical state services continue," said Governor Quinn.  "To protect the safety of our employees and the people they serve, I am directing state employees whose duties are not critical to state services to stay home and off the roads on Monday."  Though the snow has stopped in Illinois, the state continues to face "a dangerous combination of low temps, black ice, & drifting snow," Quinn tweeted.  - AccuWeather.



GLOBAL COASTAL EVENT: Freak Tsunami-Like Wave Hits Portugal Coast - At Least Four Injured As Enormous Wave Engulfs Onlookers And Swept Cars Away! [STUNNING PHOTOS + VIDEO]

January 07, 2014 - PORTUGAL - Dramatic amateur video captures the moment an enormous wave engulfs onlookers, injuring at least four, as it crashes onto shore in Portugal




At least four people were injured and cars were swept away by an enormous wave that crashed onto the coast of Porto in Portugal.




Spectators were caught off guard as they filmed dramatic waves crashing against a lighthouse at the mouth of the Douro river in Porto.

As a huge wave unexpectedly came crashing over the seafront wall, bystanders and their cars were suddenly engulfed in the swell.





The amateur footage shows panicked onlookers running from the sea, shouting "keep running!", as water continues to flood in over the street.


WATCH: Freak wave hits Portugal coast.



Cars were dragged and damaged and according to local media four people suffered abrasions as a result of the wave. - Telegraph.



EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Chaotic Earth Changes - As Polar Vortex And Deadly Winter Storms Grip The Northern Hemisphere, Australia Experiences Its Hottest Year On Record And New Zealand Has Its Second Hottest Year On Record?!

January 07, 2014 - AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND - As the most intense cold wave to envelop a large portion of the U.S. since 1996 unfolds, record warmth has been the story for much of the rest of the world, including California, but especially in Australia and New Zealand, where 2013 has been determined to be the continent’s warmest calendar year on record. This year has begun with yet more records. Here are some details.


Australia Experiences Its Hottest Year On Record In 2013.
Australia experienced its hottest year on record in 2013, the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed, with temperatures 1.2C above the long-term average.


Many towns across southern Queensland and northern NSW set temperature records on Friday. Source: BoM.


The bureau said the new high, which breaks the record set in 2005 by 0.17C, “continues the trend” of steadily rising temperatures in Australia, which has seen the country warm by about 1C since 1950.

The year saw a number of individual records fall, including: The warmest summer and spring seasons ever recorded.
  • 7 January was the hottest summer day ever recorded, at a national average maximum of 40.3C.
  • January’s heatwave set records for the hottest day, week and month on record, as well as a new record for the number of consecutive days the national average temperature exceeded 39C – seven days between 2 and 8 January.
  • The highest temperature recorded in 2013 was in Moomba in South Australia, where the mercury rose to 49.6C – the highest in Australia since 1998.
  • 31 August was the warmest-ever winter day at 29.9C.
  • South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory all broke their annual average temperature records, while all other states ranked in their top four years.
  • Overall, 2013 was 1.2C above the long-term average of 21.8C set between 1961 and 1990. The 10-year mean temperature for 2004 to 2013 was 0.5C above this average, with just one year in the past decade, 2011, cooler than average.

Wet in the north west in 2013, mostly dry or average rain elsewhere. Source: BoM.

Every state averaged above normal in 2013 with at least portions of every state observing their warmest year
on record with the exception of Tasmania. Map courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The daily national temperature anomalies for Australia as a whole in 2013. September was the most anomalous month
every recorded on the continent (see list of superlatives below). Table from Australian Bureau of Meteorology.


In its annual climate statement report, the bureau highlighted the influence of carbon emissions upon the warming trend, stating: “The Australian region warming is very similar to that seen at the global scale and the past year emphasises that the warming trend continues.

“As summarised in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, recent warming trends have been dominated by the influence of increasing greenhouse gases and the enhanced greenhouse effect.”

The bureau said sea surface temperatures were “unusually warm” in 2013, with preliminary data placing the year at 0.51C above the long-term average. Warming oceans pose a serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef, with coral bleaching contributing to the ecosystem losing half of its coral cover in the past 30 years.
Nationally, rainfall was 37mm below the long-term average in 2013, ranking it as the 52nd driest year on record. Rainfall was below average in Queensland, Victoria and parts of NSW and South Australia. Sydney and parts of Western Australia experienced higher rainfall than average.

The bureau noted a number of extreme weather events, including the heavy rain and flooding caused by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in January, flooding in the Pilbara caused by tropical cyclone Rusty in February and bushfires in NSW, Tasmania and Victoria at various times during the year.

Dr David Jones, the manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the bureau, told Guardian Australia that the warming trend in Australia “is very clear”.

“We have had warm excursions before but if you look at the warm and cool anomalies, we’re now on a higher trend with higher benchmarks,” he said.


One of the reasons for the unusual warmth in 2013 was very high sea surface temperatures (SST),
the third warmest on record according to preliminary data.

More alarming is the long-term trend of the SST’s over Australia’s period of record since 1910
that have roughly followed the temperature trend as well.

The unusual heat contributed to a number of destructive wild fires (or bush fires as they are called in Australia).
One of the worst, in terms of damage, was that which scorched southeastern Tasmania during the early January
heat wave of 2013. A total of 25,500 hectares (62,000 acres) burned with 193 homes destroyed along with an
additional 186 other buildings. Even larger and more destructive wild fires occurred during the early spring
heat waves of September and October when 50,000 hectares (124,000 acres) were scorched and 193
homes lost in the Blue Mountain area west of Sydney.

“We are now seeing temperatures unprecedented in our records. It was the warmest-ever year last year by some degree.”

Jones said the warmest trend was strongest in the interior of Australia, with the ocean helping coastal areas stay slightly cooler.

“In the last decade we’ve only seen one cooler-than-average year, so unless there’s a strong La Nina event it’s unlikely we’ll see cooler temperatures again in the near future,” he said.

“This year will probably be warmer than average. We’re not expecting it to be a record hot year again, but with a warming planet you can’t rule it out.”

David Karoly, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne's school of earth sciences, said nine different climate models showed it was impossible for the warming record to occur without human influence.

"These indicate that greenhouse climate change vastly increased the odds of setting a new temperature record," he said. "In the model experiments it is not possible to reach such a temperature record due to natural climate variations alone.

"In simulations with no increases in greenhouse gases, none of the more than 13,000 model years analysed reach the record temperature observed in 2013. Conversely, in simulations for the period of 2006 to 2020 with natural variability and human influences, including increases in greenhouse gases, such records occur approximately once every ten years.

"Hence, this record could not occur due to natural variability alone and is only possible due to the combination of greenhouse climate change and natural variability on Australian average temperature." - Guardian.




2013 Is New Zealand's Second Hottest Year On Record.


Last year was New Zealand's second warmest on record, says climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger.

After compiling data from 22 land stations and three islands, Dr Salinger said that he found the annual mean temperature was nearly one degree higher than average.

The Auckland-based weather expert also found that mean temperatures were well above average in the months of March, July, August and November and record mean temperatures were noted in Masterton, Omarama, Timaru, Invercargill and the Chatham Islands.

Further, Dr Salinger found that temperatures during the winter months last year were nearly 1.3 degrees above the long-term average, which made it the warmest winter since records were first kept 150 years ago.

The New Zealand region had only two cooler than average years - 2004 and 2009 - in the past decade, he said.

The 10-year mean temperature for 2004-2013 was 0.26 degrees above average, the highest on record.

Dr Salinger's findings follow the release of a report which claims 2013 was Australia's warmest year on record.

Last week, a report released by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that area-averaged mean temperature for the nation last year was 1.2 degrees Celsius above average.

While preliminary data for the January-November period from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) indicates that the estimated global mean temperature for 2013 is 0.49 degrees Celsius above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14 degrees Celsius.

Dr Salinger said 2013 ranks as the sixth-warmest year since global records commenced in 1880.

He said no year since 1985 has recorded a below-average global mean temperature and nine of the ten warmest years have occurred in the past 12 years (2002-2013).

In New Zealand, he said the warmer weather could be put down to a neutral El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Dr Salinger also said that the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) was negative, which favours more easterlies and north easterlies at times with above average temperatures.

"At the same time sea surface temperatures were above average by around one degree Celcius, especially surrounding the South Island and to the east," he said.

Further, Dr Salinger said ENSO neutral conditions are expected to persist at least until winter 2014, and negative IPO conditions are very likely to persist for the remainder of 2014.

"These conditions are presaged to bring above average temperatures of 0.2 to 0.6 degrees Celsius above average for the New Zealand region," he said.

Dr Salinger claimed New Zealand regional temperatures have warmed by 0.5 degrees Celsius since 1950 and over one degree overall.

"This is similar to what has occurred globally, and the general trend is expected to continue," he said.

Meanwhile, figures from the UK Met Office predict that the global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 degrees Celsius and 0.59 degrees Celsius above the long-term (1971-2000) average during the period 2013-2017. - TVNZ.



GLOBAL COASTAL EVENT: Winter Storm Hercules Brings 27 FOOT HIGH Tsunami-Like Waves To The United Kingdom - Severe Rainfall And Flood Warnings Extended! [STUNNING PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

January 07, 2014 - UNITED KINGDOM - The UK was today warned to expect at least three more days of heavy rain and flooding as the west coast counted its losses following the arrival of "Winter Storm Hercules", the system which has left behind a record-breaking deep freeze in the US.


Met Office severe weather warnings now in place for Thursday morning.

Last night a flood siren warning of extreme danger to people and property was sounded in Dorset, as gales and tidal surges battered the coast.

The Environment Agency raised the alarm after its sea defences were breached at Chiswell Beach in Portland last night, following on from a severe flood warning in the area.


WATCH:  Help arrives for cut off island village of Muchelney.




Dorset Police told families to move to an upstairs room facing away from the sea and arm themselves with flood kits.

While evacuated residents in Aberystwyth were told they could return to their homes today, flood warnings remained in place across every region of England and Wales.

The Met Office said a further band of heavy showers was passing northeastwards across the country, and extended its severe weather warnings for rain into Thursday morning.


A surfer off the coast of Mullaghmore, County Sligo yesterday (Brian Lawless/PA)

This was reflected by the Environment Agency's flooding forecast, which said 45 counties would still be at risk as we head into the end of the week.

In addition to the severe flood warning at Chiswell, two others remained in place today - meaning there is also a real "danger to life and property" at nearby Preston Beach and the Lower Stour in Dorset.

Around 105 less serious flood warnings are in place across the country, including in Dorset, Oxfordshire, south Wiltshire, Hampshire and along the river Thames, while the number of low-level "flooding is possible" alerts dropped just under 200.


WATCH:  Aberystwyth seafront Waves punched holes in sea wall.





WATCH: UK's worst hit flooded spots.


Environment Secretary Owen Paterson urged to come clean on how cuts will hit UK's flood defences
Owen Paterson's climate change scepticism 'has blinded him to future flooding risks'

Yesterday waves were recorded as high as 27ft at Land's End, and reports on surfing forecast websites suggested scores of professional "big wave chasers" had followed Hercules' movements across the Atlantic.

The British big wave surfer Andrew Cotton wrote on his official Facebook page on Monday: "With the 'biggest swell ever' on the charts for Europe I'm packing all my equipment and hitting the road."

He told the action sports news outlet Grind TV: "We left for Ireland on Saturday, getting on the last ferry before they were all cancelled."


Waves crash onto the promenade between Fleetwood and Blackpool, as high tides and
huge waves hit the North West England John Giles/PA

A man tries start a Mercedes car left stricken in flood water on the road leading to the village of Muchelney
which has been cut off by flooding, near Langport in SomersetMatt Cardy/Getty Images

High tide waves break along the seafront at Porthcawl in Mid Glamorgon, Wales. After a period of recent
storms and heavy rain, forecasters are warning that there is still more bad weather to come
over the next few daysMatt Cardy/Getty Images


The Met Office's chief forecaster said a "large, deep depression" was whipping up waves out to sea as a system of low pressures moved northeastwards across the Atlantic.

Nicola Maxey, a spokesperson for the Met Office, confirmed that Britain was feeling the effects of the same system that had led to such extraordinary conditions in the US over the past week.

She told The Independent the storm was "a different beast" after moving across the ocean, picking up water but also gaining heat. It passed to the west of Scotland later on Monday, but left behind a trail of devastation and took visible chunks out of much of the coastline.

Meanwhile, the transport networks were still reeling from the widespread disruption yesterday as commuters tried to return to work after the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The storms were believed to have claimed three lives over the course of the past week. In Oxford, a 47-year-old man died when his mobility scooter fell from a flooded path into a river.

A 27-year-old man from Surrey was found on Porthleven Sands beach in Cornwall after he was swept out to sea on New Year's Eve night and a woman died after being rescued from the sea in Croyde Bay, north Devon.


WATCH:  Counting the cost of flood defences.




Searches were still going on over the weekend in south Devon for missing 18-year-old university student Harry Martin, who was last seen leaving his home to take photographs of the weather - with more than 100 people volunteering to look for him.

Devon and Cornwall Police said a 20-mile stretch of coastline - 10 miles either side of the 18-year-old's home at Newton Ferrers - has been extensively searched as well as inland areas with the help of a range of groups and emergency services.

Jonathan Day, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, warned at the weekend that the risk of flooding could continue throughout this week.

He said: "Although high tides are now falling, there remains a risk of coastal flooding, especially on the south and west coasts.

"In addition, wet conditions have left the ground saturated in many areas, increasing the risk of river and surface water flooding.

"We would urge people to be prepared by checking their flood risk, signing up to free flood warnings and keeping an eye on the latest flood updates," Mr Day said. - Independent.





PLAGUES & PESTILENCS: Mutant Super Rats IMMUNE To Poison Invade British Homes - Bringing Misery To Residents, As They Try To Escape Flooded Sewers And Underground Burrows!

January 07, 2014 - UNITED KINGDOM - Flood ravaged homes across England have a new threat to contend with: a plague of mutant 'super' rats.


The 'super rat' is immune to normal rat poison which has led to a fear that it may be unstoppable in
spreading life-threatening diseases to humans and farm animals.


The disease-carrying rodents have been emerging from their traditional lairs in sewers and burrows, fleeing the rising flood waters.

Hordes of the brown rats have escaped flooded drains across the south of England after storms unleashed torrential downpours on vast swathes of the country.

The rodents are seeking refuge in homes where there is a ready supply of food and warm shelter to be found in lofts.

Pest control firms have reportedly been in high demand in the worst hit areas, as terrified families face another problem to contend with.

In 2012 councils in the south asked the Health and Safety Executive to consider allowing the use of stronger strains of poison to contend with the rising population of mutant rats.

West Berkshire Council called for the rule change after householders in the county reported increasing cases of the super rodents invading their homes.

The rats are resistant to normal poisons and can transmit life-threatening diseases to humans and farm animals.


A plague of mutant rats are invading the homes of those affected by flooding across vast swathes of England.
Violent storms have battered southern and western areas, including Somerset, pictured, since Christmas.

The rats carry illnesses such as Weil’s disease, which can be passed on to humans. It has flu-like symptoms initially but can lead to jaundice in the kidneys.

A study by University of Reading’s Rodenticide Resistance Action Group involving testing the tails of hundreds of rats killed in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, found that many of the rodents were resistant to common forms of poison used by local authorities and professional pest controllers, farmers and gamekeepers.

Other EU countries allow the use of potent poisons, brodifacoum and flocoumafen outside. But in the UK fears over the effect the poisons will have on other wildlife, including owls who feed on rats, has prompted widespread studies by experts. - Daily Mail.



FUK-U-SHIMA: Japan's Nuclear Radiation Crisis Is Now Firmly Impacting North America - Missouri Snow Found To Contain Radiation DOUBLE Normal Amount!

January 07, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Readings taken from snow blanketing St. Louis, Missouri contains double the normal radiation amount, once again stoking concerns that the ongoing Fukushima crisis is now firmly impacting areas of America.




“The radiation return from the snow precipitation is returning DOUBLE the normal background amounts. Normal background in this area is approximately 30CPM,” writes YouTube user DutchSinse, alongside a video documenting the readings.


WATCH:  Elevated levels of radiation in Missouri.




“This means small particles of radioactive material are indeed coming down in the precipitation. Past tests show around 30CPM in the same spot on a nice day with no precipitation,” he adds, noting that snowstorms in 2012 also showed alert level radiation readings.


Dangerous: A beach in San Francisco contains five times the safe levels of radiation. In this picture the
radiation device is in the foreground with the beach in the background. Higher near the water: Once
the man approaches the water itself, the radiation spikes to at least 500 per cent safe levels

As we reported earlier, Geiger counter readings taken on a beach in San Francisco returned results five times the safe level of normal background radiation, prompting federal officials to launch an investigation.

Whether such readings are linked to the ongoing Fukushima crisis is unknown, but the fact that officials in Japan have been duplicitous in downplaying the true scale of radiation releases at almost every turn has understandably fanned the flames of suspicion.

Source: Could Fukushima's ongoing crisis be the reason the US is experiencing abnormally high radiation levels?

Lying: In September last year radiation readings around the Fukushima power plant were 18 times
higher than previously reported by the plant's officials.


Last week it was reported that new plumes of radioactive steam were emerging from the crippled reactor number 3 at the plant, but TEPCO representatives refused to explain the cause.


WATCH: More results of radiation test in Missouri.



A former Fukushima worker also recently revealed that duct tape and wire nets were used to “repair” leaking radioactive water tanks in 2012 as a cost cutting measure.

Preparing for...? The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide,
which protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents

The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, but a DHHS official denied that the purchase was connected to the Fukushima crisis. - Info Wars.




PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: H7N9 Outbreak - Four More H7N9 Cases Reported In China As Study Finds That Some People Are Less Susceptible To H7N9 Influenza Virus!

January 07, 2014 - CHINA - Chinese health authorities have reported four more H7N9 infections in three different areas of eastern China over the past 3 days, including the first detection in Shanghai since last April.




Also, animal health officials in China have reported more positive H7N9 findings in environmental samples from a live poultry market, supporting the suspicion that such markets are fueling the outbreak in humans.

The patient from Shanghai is an 86-year-old man whose H7N9 illness was confirmed Jan 3, according to a statement yesterday from Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP). Few details about his illness were available in official and media reports, other than that he is hospitalized.

Meanwhile, a 34-year-old woman from Zhejiang province is hospitalized in critical condition with an H7N9 infection, according to a separate CHP statement. Her symptoms began on Dec 29 and she was hospitalized on Jan 2; the virus was confirmed in her respiratory samples 2 days later. She is in critical condition.

The woman is from the city of Zhuji, and her illness is the first H7N9 case reported in Zhejiang province this year, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported yesterday. In the middle of December the province reported two cases, in a 57-year-old man and his 30-year-old son-in-law.

More Guangdong cases

The other two cases are both in southern China’s Guangdong province, where most of China’s most recent cases were detected. The CHP said today that one of the patients is a 47-year-old man who is a poultry worker from Foshan and became ill on Dec 25. He was hospitalized in Guangzhou on Jan 3 and is in critical condition. Provincial health officials are monitoring 60 of the man’s close contacts, but no far no other H7N9 infections have been detected.

Guangdong province’s other new case involves a 71-year-old man from Yangjiang who got sick on Jan 1 and was admitted to a hospital on Jan 4 where he is in critical condition, according to the CHP. He had no history of recent contact with poultry. Authorities have 65 of his close contacts under medical surveillance, but so far no other cases have been found.

In a related development, the World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed two earlier reported H7N9 infections in Guangdong province.

One of them is in a 62-year-old man with a history of exposure to live poultry who started having symptoms on Dec 11, was admitted to a hospital on Dec 16, and remains in critical condition. The other patient is a 38-year-old man who got sick on Dec 9 and was hospitalized on Dec 18, according to the WHO. He is still in critical condition.

The four new cases push the number of H7N9 cases on China’s mainland to 148, according to the CHP. Additionally, four cases with ties to the mainland have been reported elsewhere—two in Hong Kong and two in Taiwan.

The WHO also acknowledged the previously reported Dec 26 death of an 80-year-old man who had the second of two imported H7N9 cases recently reported in Hong Kong. Both of Hong Kong’s patients had been in the nearby mainland city of Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, before their infections were detected.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a Dec 20 risk assessment update that the pace of H7N9 detections started increasing in early October along with the arrival of cooler weather in China and that the cases aren’t unexpected. It noted that some of the patients had contact with poultry and lived in areas where the virus had been detected earlier.

H7N9 illnesses are still showing a sporadic pattern and there is no sign of sustained human-to-human transmission, the CDC said.

Poultry market positives

In other developments, authorities in Guangdong province announced that environmental samples from a wet market in Zengcheng, a suburb of Guangzhou, tested positive for the H7N9 virus, according to a translation of a Xinhua report provided by Flu in China.

The samples that tested positive were two from a goose cage and one sewage water sample. Flu in China is a Web-based information network of flu researchers, public health professionals, and other experts based in and outside of China.

Guangdong province reported its first H7N9 poultry market positive samples in May, well before it reported its first human case. The new H7N9 detections in a poultry market follow virus detections in a Shenzhen market in December during the investigation of the two imported human H7N9 infections that occurred in Hong Kong.

The H7N9 detections in Shenzhen prompted temporary market closures to curb the spread of the virus in one of the city’s districts. In December, Shanghai announced it would temporarily close live poultry markets on Jan 31, the first day of the Lunar New Year, to prevent the spread of H7N9, according to earlier reports. - CIDRAP.



Study: Some People Less Susceptible to H7N9 Influenza Virus
Influenza A (H7N9) as viewed through an electron microscope.
Both filaments and spheres are observed in this photo. Credit: CDC

An international team of researchers working at the University of Melbourne in Australia has found that genetic differences in people result in different degrees of ability to fight the H7N9 influenza virus. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team reports that their study of immune response observed in blood samples indicates that some people may be far better equipped to fight off the new flu strain than others.

After observing differing degrees of in obtained from 52 human donors, the researchers looked a little closer to discover why it occurred and whether something could be done about it. In so doing, they discovered that a difference in a protein complex that is part of the immune response was responsible for the different immune response levels.

The H7N9 first appeared in China, in February of last year (likely after jumping from domestic fowl—137 were infected, 45 died) and as such, has never before been seen in humans. Because of that, people have no antibodies ready to go to war upon recognition of the virus. Some people, however, have a type of lymphocyte (CD8+ T) that serves in its stead—they generally come to exist after battling some other type of flu strain. Often, the result is some degree of immune response, which aids in fighting off the virus. Those that don't have the lymphocyte are left to fight the virus as an unknown foreign entity, which means a broad response –one that is far less effective in overcoming the virus.

The team notes that there appears to be a regional factor involved—those people native to Alaska and Australia, for example, tend to not have the lymphocyte and are thus much more susceptible to the symptoms of the .

More specifically, the researchers found that 16 to 57 percent of people in the study (which they believe corresponds roughly to the general population) had some degree of immune response due to CD8+ T—some of which appeared to respond to any that was introduced. That of course leaves a large portion of the public at risk.

To counter the , researchers are working on a universal T-cell vaccine that would supplement the normal flu vaccine that people already have access to—the hope is that it can be developed before late winter in the northern hemisphere—the time when the virus would become most prevalent.
More information: Preexisting CD8+ T-cell immunity to the H7N9 influenza A virus varies across ethnicities, PNAS, www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/01/03/1322229111

Abstract

The absence of preexisting neutralizing antibodies specific for the novel A (H7N9) influenza virus indicates a lack of prior human exposure. As influenza A virus–specific CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs) can be broadly cross-reactive, we tested whether immunogenic peptides derived from H7N9 might be recognized by memory CTLs established following infection with other influenza strains. Probing across multiple ethnicities, we identified 32 conserved epitopes derived from the nucleoprotein (NP) and matrix-1 (M1) proteins. These NP and M1 peptides are presented by HLAs prevalent in 16–57% of individuals. Remarkably, some HLA alleles (A*0201, A*0301, B*5701, B*1801, and B*0801) elicit robust CTL responses against any human influenza A virus, including H7N9, whereas ethnicities where HLA-A*0101, A*6801, B*1501, and A*2402 are prominent, show limited CTL response profiles. By this criterion, some groups, especially the Alaskan and Australian Indigenous peoples, would be particularly vulnerable to H7N9 infection. This dissection of CTL-mediated immunity to H7N9 thus suggests strategies for both vaccine delivery and development. - Medical Xpress.



MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Active Lava Flows Continue To Enlarge New Island Created By Volcanic Eruption In Japan; Merged Island Now Has A "Butterfly" Shape?!

January 07, 2014 - JAPAN - The new island that had "touched" Nishino-Shima has continued to grow and the two islands form now a coherent single one, with a interesting "butterfly" shape.


Comparison of Nishino-shima between the December 28 and January 6.
(Japanese Coast Guard).

This might of course change quickly again as well. There are now no traces left of the beach and the little colored lake that existed a week ago when the two islands started to merge.

The image shows a comparison of two aerial photographs taken on December 28 and January 6 by the Japanese Coast Guard.

Most of the island's growth during the past days was by lava flows that formed and enlarged the lava delta to the SW, the currently lowest-lying area (which is the most natural place for new lava flows to head to). It can also be seen that the two vents first observed on the 26th of December are still active. At the moment, it is unclear whether strombolian activity is still occurring, but this seems likely. - Volcano Discovery.



SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Astronomers Observe Striking And Stunning Developments From The SN 1987A Supernova In Dwarf Galaxy Orbiting The Milky Way - Reveals Molecules And Dust That Did Not Exist A Few Decades Ago?!

January 07, 2014 - SPACE - "SN 1987A is a special place since it hasn't mixed with the surrounding environment, so what we see there was made there," said Remy Indebetouw, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the University of Virginia. "The new ALMA results, which are the first of their kind, reveal a supernova remnant chock full of material that simply did not exist a few decades ago."




Striking new observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope capture, for the first time, the remains of 1987A brimming with freshly formed dust. If enough of this dust makes the perilous transition into interstellar space, it could explain how many galaxies acquired their dusty, dusky appearance.

Galaxies can be remarkably dusty places and supernovae are thought to be a primary source of that dust, especially in the early Universe. But direct evidence of a supernova's dust‐making capabilities has been slim up to now, and could not account for the copious amount of dust detected in young, distant galaxies. But now observations with ALMA are changing that.

"We have found a remarkably large dust mass concentrated in the central part of the ejecta from a relatively young and nearby supernova," said Indebetouw. "This is the first time we've been able to really image where the dust has formed, which is important in understanding the evolution of galaxies."




An international team of astronomers used ALMA to observe the glowing remains of 1987A , which is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way about 160 000 light‐years from Earth. SN 1987A is the closest observed supernova explosion since Johannes Kepler's observation of a supernova inside the Milky Way in 1604.

Astronomers predicted that as the gas cooled after the explosion, large amounts of dust would form as atoms of oxygen, carbon, and silicon bonded together in the cold central regions of the remnant. However, earlier observations of SN 1987A with infrared telescopes, made during the first 500 days after the explosion, detected only a small amount of hot dust.

With ALMA's unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, the research team was able to image the far more abundant cold dust, which glows brightly in millimetre and submillimetre light. The astronomers estimate that the remnant now contains about 25 percent the mass of the Sun in newly formed dust. They also found that significant amounts of carbon monoxide and silicon monoxide have formed.

As the shockwave from the initial explosion radiated out into space, it produced bright glowing rings of material, as seen in earlier observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. After hitting this envelope of gas, which was sloughed off by the progenitor red giant star as it neared the end of its life, a portion of this powerful explosion rebounded back towards the centre of the remnant. "At some point, this rebound shockwave will slam into these billowing clumps of freshly minted dust," said Indebetouw. "It's likely that some fraction of the dust will be blasted apart at that point. It's hard to predict exactly how much — maybe only a little, possibly a half or two thirds." If a good fraction survives and makes it into interstellar space, it could account for the copious dust astronomers detect in the early Universe.

"Really early galaxies are incredibly dusty and this dust plays a major role in the evolution of galaxies," said Mikako Matsuura of University College London, UK. "Today we know dust can be created in several ways, but in the early Universe most of it must have come from supernovae. We finally have direct evidence to support that theory." - Daily Galaxy.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For January 7, 2014 - Updates On Etna, Sinabung, Kilauea, Shiveluch, Sakurajima, Suwanose-jima, Raung And Cleveland!

January 07, 2014 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of  Volcano Discovery.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): This morning, the North-East Crater appeared to be covered by ash deposits and strong, pulsating degassing activity continued from it. The volcanic tremor signal is still low.


Pulsating degassing at the North-East crater view from Bove Valley
(Photo: Emaunela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)


Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia):  Today, January 7, the activity of the volcano has remained similar with frequent, fortunately only small to medium sized pyroclastic flows and associated ash plumes.


Ash plume from a pyroclastic flow this morning and the delta of the fresh
pyroclastic deposits at th SE foot of Sinabung


January 6: Activity has remained high, with reported 60 explosions/pyroclastic flows today, according to Karo News. The size of the flows continues to increase gradually and approaches 5 km distance.


The flat, cake-like lava dome of Sinabung (Photo: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB)

The largest pyroclastic flow day today at 16:49 p.m. (local time) reached 4.5 km and seems to have involved the whole southeastern slope.


Kilauea (Hawai'i): Over past 31 yrs, lava has buried 48 sq mi of land, 214 structures, 9 mi of highway and vast tracts of native forest. -USGS-HVO (January 7)


31 years of lava on this map. It's Volcano Awareness Month in Hawai'i!
10 informational events island-wide by HVO over the next 30 days: hvo.wr.usgs.gov


Shiveluch (Kamchatka): The volcano continues to extrude a viscous lava dome on the NW part of the older dome. Glow from the dome and hot rockfalls can be seen at night. Small to moderate ash explosions likely accompany this activity but are often undetected due to frequent cloud cover.


Glow from Shiveluch's lava dome at night (KVERT webcam)

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): No significant discrete explosions have been reported since 26 Dec, which is one of the longest periods without vulcanian explosions in recent years.


Sakurajima venting ash yesterday (Tarumizu webcam)

The volcano, however, is still erupting. It produces low-level ash plumes, in an often near-continuous fashion. This could suggest that the conduit is currently relatively open and allows magma to rise and degas efficiently without building up large pressure, during deep-seated strombolian activity (webcam images show no or very little glowing material reaching the rim of Showa crater).

Suwanose-jima (Tokara Islands, Japan): Intense (likely strombolian) activity continues at the remote volcano in Japan's Tokara islands.


Glow from the crater area of Suwanose-jima.


WATCH:  Activity on Suwanose-jima - January 6, 2014.




Raung (East Java): VSI raised the alert status from 1 (normal) to 2 ("Waspada", "watch") yesterday. The decision followed an increase in degassing as well as detected earthquakes and volcanic tremor observed during the past days.

The last confirmed eruptive activity of the volcano (which is one of Java's most active ones) was a phase of strombolian eruptions from the central crater during the past summer.

Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): Although no new eruptions were detected during the past days, the volcano remains at orange alert, as new explosions (potentially dangerous for aviation) could occur with little warning (in particular because there is no monitoring on the remote island).



Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for January 7, 2014.

- Volcano Discovery.