Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DELUGE: Drought-Stricken California Welcomes Rain - Braces For Flash Flooding And Landslides!

December 2, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Drenching rain will fall on much of California through Tuesday night, bringing some relief to the ongoing drought and raising the risk of flash flooding.

WATCH: Southwest short-range regional weather forecast.

While a series of storms have brought rain to parts of northern and central California over the past few weeks, Tuesday's storm will bring the first significant rain event for Southern California since the spring.

Some rain moved over part of the state on Sunday ahead of this week's storm, giving a preview of what is to come.

WATCH: California rockslides spill onto Pacific Coast Highway.

Part of the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California was closed on Sunday afternoon due to multiple rockslides, according to Mike Lindbery, public information officer for the Ventury County Fire Department. Several cars were blocked in, but the passengers were able to get out with no reported injuries according to Lindbery.

Rock, Mudslides Close 6-Mile Stretch Of PCH Near In Both Directions http://bit.ly/1zGZZkr 

Events similar to this are likely to occur on Tuesday and Wednesday as the storm ushers a plethora of moisture rich air across the state.

According to the Associated Press, residents in foothill cities northeast of Los Angeles placed sandbags in the days leading up to the storm to protect properties from rain and flooding.

Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno could all receive over an inch of rain from this storm with some locations receiving 4 inches by Wednesday night. The greatest amount of rain will fall on the west- and southwest-facing slopes of the coastal ranges.

Rain flooded several roadways in the San Francisco area Tuesday morning.

The heaviest rain is expected to reach coastal Southern California from Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night.

The rain will taper to showers on Wednesday.

The rain will come down hard enough to cause isolated urban and flash flooding, as well as raise the risk of mudslides. The risk of mudslides will be greatest in recent wildfire burn areas.

Dependent on where the mudslides occur, they can block roadways forcing motorists to find alternate routes to reach their destination.

Snow levels will lower as the storm progresses, but will remain above the passes in Southern California and will barely reach Donner Pass along Interstate-80.

Spotty, less-intense rain will spill well inland, reaching the desert areas of Palm Springs, California and Las Vegas.

During the beginning of the rain, the combination of moisture and oil buildup on roads can make for very slick conditions. Motorists are cautioned to allow extra stopping time at intersections and distance between vehicles while moving at highway speeds.

Travel disruptions are possible on both Tuesday and Wednesday with rain reducing visibility for drivers and causing delays at the airports.

While this single rain event will likely have a small impact on the long-term drought, it will have a higher impact in the short term.

Many cities across California have only received a fraction of the rainfall that they typically see during the month of November.

Rainfall totals are for the month of November through Nov. 28.

This storm could turn out to produce the biggest rain event in Los Angeles since the end of February when a system dumped over 4 inches on the city.

It will take much more rain and high country snow than this storm can produce to alleviate the long-term drought conditions.

Fortunately, this part of the country is beginning to enter their rainy season, meaning that there is a greater change for more storms like this one than have been seen over the past several months.

Drier conditions are forecast to return to much of California by Thursday, making for better conditions for those looking to spend time in the outdoors.

However, a few showers may linger around over northern California and along the state's coast as the storm tracks across the Plains.

The pattern through at least the middle of December is likely to yield additional storms Pacific loaded with moisture taking aim on California. - AccuWeather.

TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines - Professor Stephen Hawking Says "Artificial Intelligence Could Spell The End Of The Human Race"!

December 2, 2014 - TECHNOLOGY
- Professor Stephen Hawking is getting an upgrade to the technology that allows him to communicate. But the legendary physicist is fully aware of the implications of improving his own AI software. 

Earlier this year,
Hawking spelled out the potential dangers of artificial intelligence: If we can make robots smarter than humans, they can out-invent human researchers and out-manipulate human leaders, “developing weapons we cannot even understand,” in Hawking’s words.

He reiterated those claims to the BBC on Tuesday, which had asked about his own AI upgrades: “The development of artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” Hawking said.

That said, Hawking’s AI is very basic. It was partially built by the engineers behind Swiftkey, which creates a smartphone keyboard app with predictive learning; Hawking’s system similarly learns how the professor thinks and suggests his next words.

Hawking also says his computer-generated voice hasn’t changed — “It has become my trademark, and I wouldn’t change it for a more natural voice with a British accent,” he said. “I’m told that children who need a computer voice want one like mine.”

But Hawking reiterated his fears of AI becoming smart and powerful enough to match or surpass humans in almost every perceivable respect.  

“It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate,” he said. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

Interesting to note, Hawking believes the internet will play a major role in how we shape artificial intelligence — how we choose to cultivate it or exploit it over time.

“More must be done by the internet companies to counter the threat, but the difficulty is to do this without sacrificing freedom and privacy.”

- Yahoo.

STORM ALERT: The Philippines On Major Alert For Strengthening Typhoon Hagupit - Storm System Approaching Super Typhoon Intensity And Will Bring Life-Threatening Dangers!

December 2, 2014 - THE PHILIPPINES
- The scenario of strengthening Hagupit bringing life-threatening dangers to the Philippines remains a serious concern.

Hagupit strengthened into a typhoon early Tuesday night PHT (Tuesday morning EST) with maximum sustained winds of 130 kph (80 mph).

Conditions are prime for Hagupit to strengthen further, potentially approaching super typhoon intensity over the waters of the Philippine Sea later this week.

Prior to reaching the Philippine Sea, Hagupit will bear down on the island of Yap during the first part of Wednesday night (local time).

Residents of this island should prepare for torrential rain, damaging winds and dangerously rough surf. The weather will begin deteriorating Wednesday afternoon.

WATCH: Typhoon Hagupit Sets Sights on the Philippines.

Beyond Yap, AccuWeather.com meteorologists have identified two scenarios for Hagupit. Both involve Hagupit becoming a powerful and dangerous typhoon. However, the Philippines will either have to brace for life-threatening impacts or will be spared depending on which track unfolds.

The first scenario would be a more westerly track, bringing the typhoon into the southern or central Philippines this weekend and in contact with a much more significant population.

"If the storm takes the track into the Philippines, the impacts will be potentially very severe with widespread flooding, damaging winds, storm surge and pounding surf," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani.

The danger for flooding would become extreme and more life-threatening if Hagupit slows its forward movement and crawls through the Philippines, unloading inundating amounts of rain. Mudslides would also be a serious concern.

The Philippines would be spared of all but rough surf if the second scenario of Hagupit unfolds. This scenario takes the typhoon northward through the Philippine Sea, then northeastward in the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

Hagupit could stall before making much northward progress, which would keep seas violently stirred up for a prolonged period of time across the Philippine Sea.

The threat of coastal flooding would then increase along the eastern coast of the Philippines, especially central areas.

Depending on how sharp of a northeastward turn Hagupit takes, the Volcano Islands could be threatened or impacts could be felt along the southern coast of Japan next week.

All interests from the Philippines to Japan should closely monitor the progress of what will become a dangerous typhoon. - AccuWeather.

ICE AGE NOW: Increasing Signs Of Magnetic Polar Migration - The Latest Reports Of Global Cooling As Planet Earth Plunges Towards A Mini-Ice Age!

December 2, 2014 - EARTH
- The following reports constitute some of the latest incidents of global cooling, as we continue to track planet Earth's rapid plunge into a new Mini-Ice Age.

Ice, Snow to Impact Travel in U.S. Northeast Tuesday Night Into Wednesday

Snow and ice that developed over interior mid-Atlantic on Tuesday will spread slippery travel northward into early Wednesday over the interior Northeast.

Not enough snow and ice will occur to cause widespread power outages in this situation. Some people in northern New England were still without power on Sunday in the wake of the storm that hit just before Thanksgiving. A few small tree limbs may break, which could cause minor sporadic power disruptions.

The wintry mix is following only about 24 to 36 hours after temperatures climbed into the 50s and 60s on Monday.

A shallow push of cold air moved in on Monday night ahead of the wintry precipitation, slashing temperatures by as much as 30 degrees compared to highs from Monday.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee, "Warm air trying to move up from the south will be forced to ride up over top of the shallow layer of cold air near the ground into Wednesday."

This process caused some sleet and rain to break out from portions of northern Virginia to parts of Ohio and southern Pennsylvania, during Tuesday morning.

Vallee added that wintry travel conditions will spread northward Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s F near the ground will allow some of the rain to freeze on colder surfaces.

Bridges, overpasses and other elevated surfaces will be the first to turn icy.

Along I-95, temperatures are likely to be warm enough to prevent black (clear) ice from forming. However, a mix of sleet and rain will spread northeastward in the swath from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston for a time. Slippery spots may develop in these cities' northern and western suburbs.

As the wintry mix ends in southern areas, some wet snow, sleet and rain will then spread into northern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and New York state Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Metro areas that could experience slippery travel Tuesday night include State College and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Binghamton, Buffalo and Albany, New York; Rutland, Vermont; Worcester, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine.

Just enough of a wintry mix can fall to cause slow and slippery travel along parts of the New York Thruway and Massachusetts Turnpike and portions of the I-80, I-84, I-88, and I-91 corridors during Tuesday night.

The wintry mix will then shift into northern Maine and neighboring Canada on by Wednesday morning.

"As warmth overtakes the region, any wintry mix will end or change to plain rain from south to north later Tuesday into Wednesday,' Vallee said.

Temperatures will continue to bounce around for the remainder of the week and are forecast to rebound into the 40s and 50s over much of the region by Wednesday. - AccuWeather.

Nine Inches of Rain in Florida with No Hurricane

Nine inches of rain fell on central Florida with NO Hurricane as a polar Vortex collapsed on itself in the southern extent. This mimics events experienced in the 1800's and 1600's when two other Grand Solar Minimums were experienced in North America. also accompanying these events were large amounts of volcanic eruptions planet wide. It seems we are repeating both right now. Historical records speak of four seasons in a day as a common occurrence.

WATCH: Nine Inches of Rain in Florida with No Hurricane.

- Adapt 2030.

Freezing rain blankets Budapest causing power outages to 40K homes

The entire forest in the hills at Pilis, south-east of Budapest, was covered in cloud and fog, freezing the rain and fog solid on the branches.

About 40,000 homes on the outskirts of Budapest went without electricity on Tuesday as freezing rain blanketed the area and falling trees cut power lines, Hungary's Disaster Relief Agency said.

Heavy branches fell and entire trees toppled as ice as thick as 10 centimeters (4 inches) coated them, threatening entire forests in altitudes above 400 meters, according to people who ventured to higher-lying areas.

Forestry services closed off large tracts of land located higher than 400 meters above sea level to prevent injuries. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

Ice covered branches in the hills at Pilis, south-east of Budapest.

One forestry worker who visited the Borzsony Mountains north of Budapest said the woods echoed with loud cracks and hissing sounds as branches and trunks gave way under tons of ice.

"We literally had to flee the woods because those trees and branches could come down on you at any moment,
said the forester, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

On Budapest's hilly Buda side, the local mayor asked families not to send their children to school because it was not safe to walk beneath trees that could have tons of ice coating their branches.

Public transit service was disrupted in several places and the ring road around Budapest was closed for several kilometers as a high-voltage power line threatened to collapse, the road maintenance agency Magyar Kozut said.

Hungarian grid operator MAVIR told the state news agency MTI that several high-capacity power lines were disrupted when pylons holding them up fell. Repairs could take months but electricity supply would remain unaffected, MAVIR said. - Reuters.

'Ice Volcano' forms on shore of Green Bay, Wisconsin

When you think of a volcano, you typically think "hot" - molten lava and ash, not ice. But the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has posted a video of a different kind of "volcano," this one made of ice, along the shore of Green Bay.

As the DNR explains, the "ice volcano" is formed when waves hit a shell of ice. At a weak spot in the ice, a hole forms, and water gushes through. The water splashes up and creates a mound with a hole in the middle, just like a volcano. The DNR says the volcano has disappeared naturally since the video was shot.

WATCH: "Ice volcano" forms along Green Bay.

- FOX News 11.

Cold front sweeps China with gales, snow

© Minette Layne via Creative Commons

Cold front started affecting most part of China with gales before dawn, the meteorological authorities said on Sunday.

China's northern areas including Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Hebei and Beijing were the first to experience gales and temperature drops, which will hit most part of China later as cold front moves eastwards, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said.

Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong and Anhui issued cold wave or gale alerts this morning. The center suggested better cold-proof protection and fire prevention in these areas.

WATCH: Varied Thrush.

Smog still lingers in some regions of north China despite that the NMC has canceled the yellow alerts, the third serious in a four-tier warning system, for heavy fog and haze at 6 o'clock this morning.

The NMC forecast that in the next three days, northeast China's Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning will be hit by heavy snow with blizzards in some areas. - Xinhuanet.

Cold weather movement? Southern California invaded by dozens of rare varied thrushes

A rare and striking bird is showing up in large numbers in Southern California.

It's called the varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius) and it has deep yellow and black stripes with patches of white on its underside.

Normally, this species lives in the Pacific Northwest and travels no further south than San Francisco

For some reason, this year is different.

"It's turning up in all these parks and just flying overhead and people are seeing it in all these weird places,"
said Dan Cooper, an L.A. based biologist and birder watcher.

People wear warm clothes as visiting the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 1, 2014. Cold front affected the capital city with gales. (Xinhua/Li Wen)

(Xinhua photo)

In addition to it's eye catching color, the varied thrush also has a distinct bird call that sounds almost like a tea kettle whistling.

Dan Cooper's been carrying his binoculars with him in hopes of spotting the bird during this unusual "invasion," as he called to it.

Kimball Garrett, the ornithology collections manager at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, said in previous years bird watchers would be lucky to see one or two varied thrush around L.A.

This year he says there are dozens.

Garrett isn't sure what's driving them south. It might be due to a lack of food in their native region, or perhaps a varied thrush baby boom is forcing the population to spread out.

Either way, the thrush isn't expected to upset the ecosystem of native birds. And for birders, it's a great chance to see a neat bird without traveling north. - SCPR.

Wheat Kill-Off From Extreme Cold in November

With 130 year cold sweeping across the USA, temperatures -50F below normal is bound to have an effect on winter wheat seedlings that are just a few inches tall. Temperatures dropped to -26F/-32C, which caused an 8% increase in wheat futures.

WATCH: Wheat Kill-Off From Extreme Cold in November.

- Adapt 2030.

Close to 9,000 daily record cold temperatures in November in the United States

8,977 Record Cold temps in November versus 2,022 record warm temps:

47,402 record cold temps this year so far versus 33,013 record warm temps.

Source: NCDC.NOAA.gov

- Ice Age Now.

RATTLE & HUM: Unexplained Loud Boom Shakes Louisiana's Natchitoches Parish - Incident Reportedly Shook Several Residences?!

- A loud boom has Natchitoches Parish sheriff's deputies searching for a source.

Authorities say the boom happened in south Natchitoches Parish just after 5:30 Sunday evening.

The incident reportedly shook several residences.

Deputies checked the area searching for a source but so far, nothing has been found.

Authorities say they also checked with Fort Polk officials and no military training operations were held at Peason Ridge Sunday.

On Monday, authorities contacted the National Weather Service's Shreveport office.

NWS officials claim that no debris field was observed on radar during that time period.

The source of the boom remains under investigation.

No injuries were reported.  - KPTV.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Southwest Of Sangay, Philippines - No Tsunami Threat!

USGS earthquake location map.

December 2, 2014 - THE PHILIPPINES
- A strong earthquake struck west of the Philippines Monday evening, but does not pose a tsunami threat to Hawaii, according to officials at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The preliminary magnitude 6.3 quake struck 63.4 miles west-southwest at at a depth of 384 miles at 7:11 p.m. Hawaii time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS shakemap intensity.

No injuries were immediately reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) issued a “green alert” for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Department of Science and Technology at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued a statement that they are not expecting damage from the earthquake. - Star Advertiser | KHON.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity

The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (Magnitude greater than 7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths. - USGS.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: "This Is Unusual" - Detroit Power Grid Shutdown; Police Stations, Municipal Buildings, Schools, Jails Without Electricity; People Stuck In Elevators; Mass Evacuations Underway!

A view of Downtown Detroit (Bill Pugliano / Getty Images / AFP)

- A massive power outage in Detroit, Michigan on Tuesday morning is leaving much of the Motor City in the dark.

Spokespeople for the city and DTE Energy confirmed at around 11:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday that most of Detroit’s municipal grid is offline, preventing power from being delivered to police stations, schools, traffic lights and other city-run facilities and services.

Municipal buildings were being evacuated, WXYZ Radio anchor Alicia Smith tweeted early Tuesday, although eyewitnesses on the ground told her shortly after 11 a.m. that people were reportedly becoming stuck in elevators.

According to Smith, a spokesperson for the city of Detroit confirmed that most of the municipal power grid was down. Residential structures are apparently unaffected, and some of the emergency facilities — like fire stations — have back-up generators, a local Fox News affiliate reported.

“It looks like the entire Detroit Public Lighting system is down. Affecting about 100 buildings, places like The Joe, Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, fire stations, schools. We were notified about 10:30 a.m. We’re working with them to help resolve the situation. We’ll help investigate the problem and make repairs. It’s too early yet to determine what has caused the shutdown,” Scott Simons of DTE Energy Co. told the Detroit News.

Evacuations happening throughout downtown due to a massive power outage

Detroit Fire Chief Jack Wiley added to Fox 2 that every one of the city’s firehouse was experiencing outages early Tuesday. Around 50 buildings on the local Wayne State University campus were impacted as well, according to the college, and grade schools in the city were shutting down for the day.

“We have crisis plans in place. There are backup generators running in buildings, especially buildings with labs,” Tom Reynolds, associate director of public relations for Wayne State University, told Detroit News journalist Holly Fournier.

According to the paper, a high-profile murder-for-hire trial was interrupted due to the outages.

This is what evacuating 900 student visitors looks like!

"This is unusual ... it's cold. They don't own a generator? They should look into that,”
one attendee at the proceedings told the News. - RT.