Monday, February 16, 2015

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Strong 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Northeast Of Miyako, Japan - Tsunami And Evacuation Warnings Issued By Japan Meteorological Survey! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location map.

February 16, 2015 - JAPAN
- An earthquake measuring at 6.8 magnitude has struck off Honshu island in northern Japan, the US Geological Survey (USGS)said.

There are local media reports that a tsunami warning has been issued for Iwate Prefecture, although the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center declares that there is no tsunami threat from the tremor.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity map.

Japan Meteorological Survey has issued a tsunami advisory for the Iwate Prefecture, warning that the waves may reach 1m in height.

Meanwhile, an evacuation order has been issued for coastal towns in Iwate prefecture. Thousands of people are reportedly leaving their homes while boats are sailing out of the harbor. People in some coastal areas have been advised to leave their homes due to anticipated waves of up to 1m in height.

Small tsunamis of some 10 centimeters have now reached the shore some 45 minutes after the initial reports, with people being advised to stay away from the coastal area. There were no immediate indications of damage or injuries.

“We are using the emergency broadcast to advise people to keep away from the sea ... the quake was pretty strong and lasted a long time so I thought there would be a tsunami warning," Kozo Hirano, an Otsuchi Town official in Iwate, told NHK.

This is the second major earthquake to strike the planet today. Earlier a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Visokoi Island, in the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands region. That temblor has since been downgraded to a magnitude of 6.2 by the USGS.

The quake that struck Japan was recorded at around 8 am local time at a depth of approximately 10 kilometers and was located at 39.848°N 142.813°E. The epicenter was located off the Sanriku Coast, extending from southern Aomori prefecture, through Iwate prefecture and northern Miyagi prefecture.

There are no initial reports of any shaking or damage to Fukushima where the crippled nuclear power plants are located.

USGS historical seismicity for the region.

A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power, which owns the nuclear plants, said no irregularities have been found as yet at its Fukushkma Daiichi or Daini plants.

There were no irregularities reported at the Onagawa and Higashidori nuclear plants in nearby Miyagi and Aomori prefectures, the facilities’ operator Tohoku Electric Power Co. said.

Japan lies along the western edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and is one of the most tectonically active places on Earth. The Ring of Fire is a narrow zone around the Pacific Ocean where a large chunk of Earth's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

About 1,500 earthquakes strike the island nation every year. Minor tremors occur on a nearly daily basis. Deadly quakes are a tragic part of the nation's past.

On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck by the shockwaves of a 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake originating less than 50 miles off its eastern coastline. The most powerful earthquake to have hit Japan in recorded history, it produced a devastating tsunami with waves reaching heights of over 130 feet that in turn caused an unprecedented multireactor meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This triple catastrophe claimed almost 20,000 lives, destroyed whole towns, and will ultimately cost hundreds of billions of dollars for reconstruction.

Today's earthquake struck in the same region hit by the devastating 9.0 quake. Japan is still battling the consequences of the three meltdowns and struggling with the clean-up of the nuclear catastrophe aftermath.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of Japan and Vicinity

Japan and the surrounding islands straddle four major tectonic plates: Pacific plate; North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, beneath Hokkaido and northern Honshu, along the eastern margin of the Okhotsk microplate, a proposed subdivision of the North America plate. Farther south, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath volcanic islands along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This 2,200 km-long zone of subduction of the Pacific plate is responsible for the creation of the deep offshore Ogasawara and Japan trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of Circumpacific island arcs. Similarly, the Philippine Sea plate is itself subducting under the Eurasia plate along a zone, extending from Taiwan to southern Honshu that comprises the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto trench.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Subduction zones at the Japanese island arcs are geologically complex and produce numerous earthquakes from multiple sources. Deformation of the overriding plates generates shallow crustal earthquakes, whereas slip at the interface of the plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. At greater depths, Japanese arc earthquakes occur within the subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and can reach depths of nearly 700 km. Since 1900, three great earthquakes occurred off Japan and three north of Hokkaido. They are the M8.4 1933 Sanriku-oki earthquake, the M8.3 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, the M9.0 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the M8.4 1958 Etorofu earthquake, the M8.5 1963 Kuril earthquake, and the M8.3 1994 Shikotan earthquake.

- RT | USGS.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Strong 6.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Northwest Of Visokoi Island, The South Sandwich Islands Region - No Tsunami Warning!

USGS earthquake location map.

- A very strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake has just struck 91 miles northwest of Visokoi Island, in the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The quake hit out in the sea, far from Argentina's and South Africa's coastline, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

The tremor erupted at 22:00:53 UTC and was located at 55.524°S 28.252°W with a shallow depth of 10 km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirm that no tsunami threat is in place. Therefore, no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data. No word of damage or expanded threat has been issued at this time.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity map.

USGS earthquake population exposure map.

However, earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers of the earthquake epicenter. Authorities in the region of the epicenter should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action.

The South Sandwich region is bounded by the South American American Plate and the Antarctic Plate.

USGS historical seismicity for the region.

The islands comprise 11 mostly volcanic islands (excluding tiny satellite islands and offshore rocks), with some active volcanoes. They form an island arc running north-south in the region 56°18′–59°27′S, 26°23′–28°08′W, between about 350 miles (560 km) and 500 miles (800 km) southeast of South Georgia.

The northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands form the Traversay Islands and Candlemas Islands groups, while the southernmost make up Southern Thule. The three largest islands – Saunders, Montagu and Bristol – lie between the two. The Islands’ highest point is Mount Belinda (1,370 m/4,495 ft) on Montagu Island.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – February 16, 2015!

February 16, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): Following the large pyroclastic flow on 9 Feb, several smaller to medium ones have occurred over the past days.

Pyroclastic flow at Sinabung this morning (image: @BeidarSinabung / twitter)

It is difficult to be sure, but it suggests that lava effusion to the steep viscous lobe on the upper steep flank is currently at a higher rate than during most of the past months.

Bardarbunga (Central Iceland)
: The eruption at Holuhraun continues at similar levels as lately, the Icelandic Met Office reports in its updates.

Photo of the lava lake at Holuhraun on 12 Feb (photo: Ármann Höskuldsson / Univ. Iceland)

The decreasing trend, however, is becoming visible in a significant drop of the lava lake level inside the Baugur crater above the main vents, seen in the photo above.

"From the field 12 Feb 2015; view from the rim of the southern crater into the lava lake of Baugur. In the foreground, 400m away from the rim, is the southern magma vent. Beyond that there is the northern magma vent, boiling. The lava lake in the foreground is not only glowing; the blackish cover next to the rim indicates some cold crust on its surface, whereas the orange colour reveals liquid magma. Photo: Ármann Höskuldsson. See more photos in a field report from the Institute of Earth Sciences" (Icelandic Met Office).

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): A stronger phase in the ongoing eruption produced an ash plume that rose to 23,000 ft (7 km) last night (Tokyo VAAC).

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Kamchatka's most active volcano continues to produce ash plumes as well, generated by explosions at the dome as well as avalanches from it - Tokyo VAAC reported ash to 19,000 ft (5.4 km) altitude yesterday.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Intermittent explosions and ash emissions continue. Last night Tokyo VAAC reported a plume to 20,000 ft (6 km) altitude drifting west.

Chikurachki (Paramushir Island): A strong explosive eruption occurred from the volcano on Paramushir island last evening, producing an ash plume that rose to 25,000 ft (7.5 km) altitude and drifted quickly west, already more than 200 km distance. The Aviation Color Code was raised to red.

Ash plume from Chikurachki volcano this morning

Smaller ash emissions have been following, visible in a hole of clouds over the northern and central Kuriles on NASA's Terra satellite images. KVERT warns that a larger explosion, with ash plumes of 10 km or more, could occur.

After Klyuchevskoy, Shiveluch, Zhupanovsky and Karymski volcanoes on Kamchatka, it is the fith Russian volcano currently erupting in the region, posing danger to aviation.

Aso (Kyushu): No significant changes in the ongoing mild eruption have occurred over the past weeks.

Ash plume from Aso's Nakadake crater this morning

Small ash emissions from strombolian activity inside Nakadake crater are near continuous.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): Strombolian activity from On-take's crater continues to be on the higher end of the average scale and produces small ash plumes.

Glow from strombolian activty at Suwanose-jima volcano

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The volcano's activity remains more or less unchanged with fluctuating levels as to the number of emissions and explosions and seismic activity.

Ash eruption from Popocatépetl last evening

After a peak in early February with up to 60 events, the recorded number of daily explosions has stabilized to about 10 during the past few days. Ash plumes rose 1-2 km above the crater. Bright glow is visible from the crater at night, indicating arriving fresh magma in the inner crater where a new lava dome is forming.

Seismic activity is low, although a peak in volcanic tremor occurred on 13 Feb with 600 minutes of weak volcanic tremor recorded.

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): After 10 days of relatively stable, mild effusive lava flow activity, the eruption seems to have ended last night.

Map of the erupted lava flows as of 8 Feb (little changes since) (OVPF)

OVPF reported that tremor disappeared Sunday evening 22:30 local time. No visible activity could be seen any more afterwards.

Alert level was lowered to vigilance, but access to the Enclos remains still limited for now, in case of a sudden re-activation, which is always a possibility.

- Volcano Discovery.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Train With Crude Oil Derails In West Virginia - Mass Evacuation Ordered For Two Towns; One Tank Car Ends Up In Local River And Another Slams Into A House, Bursting Into Flames!

BREAKING: Train with chemicals derails in West Virginia, evacuations underway - local media report (pic @arothfield)

- Two West Virginia towns are being evacuated after a train carrying crude oil derailed nearby, local media report.

Emergency officials said that people from towns of Adena Village and Boomer Bottom are being evacuated.

Google Maps

At least one tank car ended up in a local river, while another slammed into a house and burst into flames.

Several fire departments are working to contain the flames and the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Department of Environmental Protection have been notified of the accident, the Charleston Gazette reports.

At least one, possibly more, rail cars have gone into the Kanawha River,” spokesperson for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Lawrence Messina said. “A house fire occurred as a result of the derailment. We’re told that emergency responders are having a hard time reaching the house fire because of the derailment.

Kanawha County Emergency Management agency confirmed that several tank cars and houses have exploded as a result of the derailment. In a Facebook post, the agency wrote that water systems downstream from the accident have been notified to close their intakes.

Locals are being advised to avoid the area. A makeshift shelter for evacuees has been set up at a local high school. - RT.

CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS & NEW WORLD DISORDER: Religious Warfare, Societal Collapse, And Civilizations Unraveling - Egypt's SISI Strikes ISIS, Launches Airstrikes On Targets In Libya After The Terrorists Behead 21 Coptic Christians!

An Egyptian Air Force F-16 fighter jet.(Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)

February 16, 2015 - LIBYA
- Egypt’s Air Force has hit Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) positions in Derna, Libya, after the execution of 21 Christian Egyptians by the terrorist group. Libyan forces loyal to the authorities have also targeted the IS in the country, a commander said.

WATCH: Egypt bombs ISIS in Libya after 21 Copts killed by terrorists.

Up to 50 militants have been killed in the airstrikes on Libya, Egyptian state TV reported.

Egypt’s military has issued a televised statement, confirming the dawn strikes and stating that the attacks targeted IS camps, training sites and weapons storage locations in Libya, Reuters reported.

In a televised address, President Abdel Fattah Sisi said Egypt "reserves the right to respond in a suitable way and time." He also declared seven days of national mourning.

Mohamed Eljarh, a journalist on the ground, has reported on his Twitter that there have been at least eight airstrikes on IS positions, and that Egypt’s military has stated it is only the beginning of its response to the Copts’ killings.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement, calling “for the international coalition against the Da'esh terrorist organization [Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL] ... to take the necessary measures to confront the terrorist Da'esh organization and other similar terrorist organizations on Libyan territories.”

Also, Egyptian security officials have said that the country’s air forces have launched a second wave of strikes on IS positions In Libya, AP reported, citing anonymous sources.

Libya's top army General Khalifa Haftar said in a phone interview with Egyptian TV channel Dream that the military “strongly support Egyptian military intervention to strike Daaesh [IS] and other terrorist groups.”

Libyan warplanes also bombed targets in the central Libyan cities of Sirte and Ben Jawad, according to the country’s air force commander. Earlier, Libyan forces joined Egyptian planes in Derna to assist in the strikes.
France and Egypt have called for a UN Security Council meeting, urging "new measures" against the IS.

The five-minute video released on Sunday demonstrated the Coptic Christians being walked in orange jumpsuits, with the terrorists forcing them to kneel and then behead them. The caption on the video read, "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian Church."

The Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry prohibited entry to Libya for the Egyptian citizens following the appearance of the video.

The images of the killings first emerged on Thursday, in the IS magazine Dabiq.

The men were allegedly kidnapped from the Libyan city of Sirte on two occasions: December 31 and January 3.

This is the first airstrike carried out on the IS positions by Egypt – at least the government previously denied any involvement. It joins its Middle East and North African allies Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

So far, apart from the US, which leads the Western military drive against the IS, the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands have participated in the operation.

Iran and Turkey have also intervened with their troops on the ground over the past year.

Syrian and Iraqi Kurds are taking part in the operation, mainly with the help of Turkish and Iranian forces.

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church said it was sure that those who beheaded the Egyptians will be punished.

“The Orthodox Church ... is confident its homeland would not rest until the evil perpetrators get their fair retribution for their wicked crime,”
the Coptic Church said in a statement on its Facebook page. - RT.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - David Stockman Declares That The Global Economy Has Entered The CRACK-UP PHASE!

February 16, 2015 - GLOBAL ECONOMY
- Few people understand the global economy and its (mis)management better than David Stockman -- former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, best-selling author of The Great Deformation, and veteran financier.

David is now loudly warning that events have entered the crack-up phase, which he predicts will be defined by the following 4 developments:
  • Increasingly desperate moves by the world's central banks
  • Increased market volatility and losses
  • Deflation in industrial and commodity prices
  • Decreasing demand due to Peak Debt
As the crack-up phase gains momentum, he predicts an increasing number of "financial breaks" that will add to the unpredictability and instability of the environment for investors. Even 'dancing close to the door' sounds excessively risky at this point.
We’re in the crack-up phase. I think there are four big characteristics of that which are going to shape the way the economy and the markets unfold as we go forward.

You’re going to see increasing desperation and extreme central bank financial repression because they have gotten themselves painted so deep into the corner that they're lost and desperate. Almost week by week, we have another central bank – this week, it was Sweden – lowering their money market rates into negative territory. The Swiss Bank is already there, the Denmark Bank is there, the ECB is there on the deposit rate, the Bank of Japan’s there. All of the central banks of the world now are desperately driving interest rates into negative territory. I believe that they’re lost; they're in a race to the bottom whether they acknowledge it or not. The central bank of China can’t sit still much longer when the reminbi has appreciated something like 30% against the Japanese yet because of the massive bubble of monetary expansion that’s being created there. So that’s the first thing going on. Central banks out of control in a race to the bottom, sliding by the seat of their pants, making up really incoherent theories as they go.

The second thing is increasing market disorder and volatility. In the last three months, the stock market has behaved like a drunken sailor. But it’s really just a bunch of robots and day traders that have traded chart points until somebody can figure out what is happening directionally in the world. It has nothing to do with information or incoming data about the real world. We have today the 10-year German bond trading at 29.5 basis points. Well, the German economy’s been reasonably strong, fueling the Chinese boom. That export boom is over. The Chinese economy is faltering. Germany is going to have its own problems. But clearly, 29 basis points on a 10-year is irrational, even in the case of Germany, to say nothing of the 160 available today on the 10-year for Spain and Italy.

Both of those countries are in deep, deep fiscal decline. There is no obvious way for them to dig out of the debt trap that they’re in. It’s going to get worse over time. There’s huge risk in those bonds, especially because there’s no guarantee that the EU will remain intact or the euro will survive. Why in the world would anybody in their right mind be owning Italian debt at 160 other than the fact that they’re front-running the massive purchases that Draghi has promised and the Germans have acquiesced to over the next year or two. But that only kicks the can down the road. One of these days, the central banks are going to falter and the market is going to reset violently to prices that reflect the true risk on all this sovereign debt and the pretty cloudy outlook that’s ahead for the world market.

We now have something like four trillion worth of sovereign debt spread over Japanese issues, the major European countries that are trading at negative yields. Obviously, that is one, irrational and second, completely unsustainable. And yet, it’s another characteristic of what I call these disorderly markets. Investment is now coming home to roost. It will be driving a huge deflation of commodity and industrial prices worldwide. You can see that in iron ore, now barely holding $60 from a peak of $200. Obviously, it’s seen in the whole oil patch. Look at the Baltic Dry Index. That is a measure, one, of faltering demand for shipments and, two, massive overbuilding of bulk carrier capacity as a result of this central bank driven boom that we’ve had in the last 10 to 20 years. So that is going to be ripping through the financial system, the global economy, in ways that we’ve never before experienced. And so therefore, in ways that are hard to predict what all, you know, the ramifications and cascading effects will be. But clearly, it’s something that we haven’t seen in modern times or ever before – the degree of over investment, excess capacity, and everything from iron ore mines to dry vault carriers, aluminum plants, steel mills, and on down the line.

And then, finally, clearly, demand has run smack up against peak debt -- I think that’s the right word for it. We had a tremendous study come out in the last week or so from McKinsey, who do a pretty good job of trying to calculate, track and total up the amount of credit outstanding, public and private, in the world. We’re now at the $200 Trillion threshold. That’s up from only about $140 Trillion at the time of the crisis. So we’ve had a $60 Trillion expansion worldwide of debt just since 2008. During that same period, though, the GDP of the world saw a little more than $15 trillion from $55 or mid-$50s, roughly, to $70 Trillion. So we’ve generated, because of central bank money printing and all of this unprecedented monetary stimulus, we’ve generated something like $60 Trillion of new debt in the world and have barely gotten $15-17 billion of new GDP for all of that effort. And I think that is a measure of why the fundamental era is changing. That the boom is over and the crackup is under way when you see that kind of minimal yield from the vast amount of new debt that has been generated.

Now I’d only wrap this up by calling attention to the fact that within that global total of $200 billion, the numbers from China are even more startling. At the time of the crisis, let’s go back to 2000, China had $2 Trillion of credit outstanding. It’s now $28 Trillion. So we’ve had just massive 14X growth in 14 years. There’s nothing like that in recorded history, nor is there any plausible reason to believe that an economy, which is basically under a command-and-control system that is run from the top down to the party cadres, could possibly create $26 Trillion in new debt in that period of time without massive inefficiencies in waste and mistakes everywhere within the systems, especially since they have no markets. They have no feedback mechanisms. It all comes cascading down from the top and everybody lies to the next party above them. And I think the system is irrationally out of control.

In any event, my point was that at the time of the 2008 crisis, China had allegedly – if you believe their numbers, which no one really should – but as reported, they had $5 Trillion worth of GDP. It’s now $10. So they’ve gained $5 Trillion of GDP. Their debt at the time of the crisis was $7 Trillion, now it’s $28. So the debt is up more than $20 Trillion while the GDP is up just $5 Trillion. These are extreme unsustainable deformations, if I can use that word, that just scream out, “Danger ahead. Mayhem has happened.” And the unwinding of this and the resolution of this is not going to be pretty.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Stockman (54m:29s)

LISTEN: David Stockman - The Global Economy Has Entered The Crack-Up Phase.

- Zero Hedge.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "It Was Amazing" - Massive Fireball Seen Over Los Angeles, California!

NM State All Sky Camera Network.

- A meteor-fireball may have been spotted in Southern California skies Sunday morning.

Visitors to the American Meteor Society flooded the report logs with eye-witness testimony of reported sightings of a meteor that "exploded" and looked like a "fireball" from as far away as Los Angeles.

Elena of Dana Point, stated that, "It was amazing, simply breathtaking green, slow, very slow. I had a companion , two of us observed the phenomenon."

Carol of Carlsbad shared a similar story, "My husband also saw this as we were driving west. [It was] bright green with a long red tail then it exploded and became red particles then disappeared"

The long-duration meteor was described as either green or blue and was spotted by many people during the early morning hours of February 15, 2015 between 5:15am and 6:00am PST.

Several people noted that fragmentation was seen during the meteor's passage.

"Main object broke off about ten smaller pieces which quickly burned out," Richard of Camarillo reported via AMS. 

Over a dozen witnesses reported the fireball to the American Meteor Society.

Witness reports also were received from Oregon, Arizona, and Washington.

YouTuber and avid sky-watcher MrMBB333 posted the following video of the event:

WATCH: Huge fireball lights up skies over Los Angeles.


FIRE IN THE SKY: "30 Times The Speed Of A High Velocity Bullet" - Low-Flying Meteor Explodes Over New Zealand, Illuminating Night Sky!

File illustration

February 16, 2015 - NEW ZEALAND
- An explosion of orange, blue and white lit up the skies over New Zealand Wednesday night, followed by a series of sonic booms.

Local experts agree that the blinding explosion was probably a low-flying meteor, according to The New Zealand Herald.

YouTube user Josh Sherbone captured the stunning flash on his car's dash cam in Tauranga, New Zealand. In the video below, the explosion illuminates the night sky.

Shortly after the explosion, hundreds of eyewitness accounts of the blinding light began flooding news stations and social media. WeatherWatch in New Zealand said that they were receiving reports of the flash from around the island country.

WATCH: Meteor over Tauranga, New Zealand caught on dash cam.

Auckland's Civil Defense sent out a tweet saying the flash was "definitely not lightning, most likely a meteor."
Fletcher Hodge was in the car with a friend in the city of Rotorua when they noticed the sky turning a bright blue, he told The New Zealand Herald. "The next minute it was practically at the right-hand side.

Like only 200 to 300 meters away. It came in slow and then sped up. There were big bright blue flashes and then it went straight down into a gully ... It was like looking out at a street light from your house and it looked closer than a street light."

Noel Manford of the Palmerston North Astronomical Society told the Herald he estimated that the meteor would have been the size of a cricket ball that was traveling at about 89,477 miles per hour.

"This thing probably broke off from some impact collision between a couple of asteroids a few million years ago," he said, "and it has been wandering around the solar system until it happened to put on its display for people over New Zealand last night."

Seismologist Lara Bland of the research institute GNS Science told local news site Stuff that the meteor appeared to shake the ground for about 14 to 15 seconds. At around 9:59 p.m. she recorded a "small increase in higher frequency energy," she said.

Astronomer Grant Christie -- who, according to Stuff saw the meteor while driving home from an observatory -- estimated that the meteor could have detonated up to 30 kilometers (18 miles) above Earth and traveled about "30 times the speed of a high velocity bullet."

WATCH: Another dash cam recording filmed from a car driving in Auckland.

- Huffington Post.

ICE AGE NOW: "It's Historic,... It's BIBLICAL,... I Think We're In Uncharted Territory,..." - Coldest Temperatures Of The Season Break Records In The U.S. Northeast; Latest Blizzard Puts Boston At THIRD-SNOWIEST WINTER EVER!

Mauricio Siba clears snow from a driveway Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Framingham, Mass. A long duration winter storm that began
Saturday night remains in effect for a large swath of southern New England until the early morning hours Tuesday. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

February 16, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Since late last week, two surges of arctic air have kept the central and eastern United States shivering.

Some locations saw their coldest temperatures so far this winter with the second surge of arctic air on Sunday. On Monday morning, the bitter cold air mass will threaten many daily record lows in the Northeast and Great Lakes. Wind chills will also be dangerously cold into Monday, dipping into the teens, 20s and 30s below zero at times.

The latest forecast details on this cold blast are below.

Second Bitter Blast: Into Monday

Sunday morning, widespread subzero lows were observed in much of the Great Lakes region.

 reached its lowest temperature of the winter so far, dipping to 9 degrees below zero. Pittsburgh also saw its coldest low temperature of the season at minus 4 degrees.

Buffalo, New York
 recorded a low of 7 degrees below zero at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, making it the coldest low temperature there since January 2011. In addition, the high temperature in Buffalo of 2 degrees at midnight on Sunday was the coldest high temperature in the city since January of 1994.

Workers shovel snow in downtown Boston on February 9, 2015, in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston was hit with a third major snowstorm in three weeks, with
the latest storm starting on Saturday evening and expected to continue through Tuesday morning, bringing another 8 - 16 inches of accumulation.
(Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images) 

Monday morning now looks to be the coldest morning for the Northeast Corridor, with lows in the single digits from Washington, D.C. to Boston. At this time, temperatures Monday morning are forecast to be the coldest so far this winter in New York City and Philadelphia. Our forecast low of 2 degrees in New York City would be the coldest low temperature there since January 2004.

Daily record lows will also be threatened Monday morning in about 30 locations across the Northeast and Great Lakes. Below are a few of the cities where our current forecast low is close to the daily record shown in parenthesis.

Monday: Baltimore (5) | New York City (1) | Toledo, Ohio (-8) | Syracuse, New York (-10)

Wind chills will also be a major concern in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Wind chill warnings and advisories have been posted for much of the Northeast into Monday. Wind chill values, or what the temperatures feels like, will be in the teens, 20s and 30s below zero at times into Monday, and that could make frostbite a concern.

Temperatures Monday afternoon will remain below average from the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Mississippi Valley to the Northeast. Highs are likely to be 20 or more degrees below average from parts of Missouri to Maine.

Signs are also pointing to yet another blast of bitterly cold air for the Midwest, Northeast and South in the new week ahead.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast Highs/Lows)

First Bitter Blast: Recap Through Friday

The first arctic plunge began to ooze into the northern Plains on Wednesday, where daytime highs did not rise out of the single digits in parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota. In fact, Garrison, North Dakota's high on Wednesday only reached 9 degrees, and gusty northwesterly winds made the temperature feel as cold as 20 degrees below zero.

On Thursday morning, parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest saw subzero low temperatures. International Falls, Minnesota recorded a low temperature of 28 degrees below zero, which equals the coldest low temperature so far this winter in the city. Minneapolis dipped to three degrees below zero with a wind chill near 20 degrees below zero.

Current Wind Chills

Wind Chill Alerts

Monday AM Forecast Lows and Departure From Average
Numbers beside the blue triangles indicate how far below average are the forecast low temperatures.

Monday Forecast Highs and Departure From Average
Numbers beside the blue triangles indicate how far below average are the forecast high temperatures.

The cold continued in the Midwest and Great Lakes on Thursday, when thermometers failed to top 17 degrees in Chicago. This is a full 17 degrees below the average high for February 12.

The bitterly cold temperatures spread south and east on Friday. Watertown, New York dropped to 32 degrees below zero on Friday morning, setting a daily record low.

Highs were at least 10 degrees below average almost everywhere east of the Mississippi River on Friday, with highs 20 to 30 degrees below average over upstate New York and adjacent parts of neighboring states. High temperatures were only in the single digits and teens from the northern and eastern Great Lakes region to New England and areas in between, including much of northern Pennsylvania.

If you are hoping to escape the cold by heading to Florida on vacation this holiday weekend, unfortunately you will find chilly low temperatures, but at least it will be warmer than the Northeast.

On Friday morning even the Deep South felt the chill, as readings sank into the low 30s as far south as the Florida Panhandle and northern parts of the Florida Peninsula. Freeze warnings and hard freeze warnings were posted for northern portions of the Florida Peninsula and southeastern Georgia.

Although most of the Southeast saw a temperature rebound Saturday afternoon, a fast moving cold front ushered in a reinforcing blast of cold air Saturday night.  - Weather.

Weekend Blizzard: Stay Off Massachusetts Roads, Baker Says

Gov. Charlie Baker asked Bay Staters to stay off the roads on Sunday as another powerful winter storm pounded the region.

“Driving conditions will be very difficult and we continue to urge everyone to stay off the roads for the entire day,” Baker said in a morning news conference.

More than 10 inches of snow was measured in Boston by 7 a.m, making this winter the city’s third-snowiest on record. Blizzard conditions were verified in Chatham, Plymouth, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard and Falmouth, where visibility was one-quarter of a mile or less with 35 mph-plus winds for three hours or more.

“There’s a little bit of déjà vu all over again,” Baker said.

Snow Totals: Feb. 14-15 Storm

The snow was expected to stop by midday, but the central and eastern parts of the state are under a blizzard warning through Monday morning because high winds will blow snow and reduce visibility.

WATCH: Governor Baker press conference.

With the storm falling on a weekend and students set to start February vacation on Monday, no travel ban was issued.

“The most important thing people need to do today is stay safe and take care of themselves,” Baker said. “Someone who gets trapped out there. . . it’s just going to be a very bad day to be on the roads.”

MBTA service was suspended for the entire day on Sunday, and a decision will be made in the afternoon on Monday’ service. Flights are not expected to leave or arrive at Logan Airport before mid-afternoon.

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said more than 3,000 pieces of equipment are treating the roads.

“We’re going to need time,” she said. “Just because it stops snowing in your area does not mean you should clear your car out and get out there right away.”

Following the same protocol from January’s blizzard, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station was in “cold shutdown mode” Sunday morning in case of a power outage, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matt Beaton said.
“There is no fear of any public safety issues whatsoever,” Beaton said.
The National Guard is also assisting during the blizzard, and said it has shifted its focus from snow removal to emergency response due to the intensity of the storm. - CBS.

Latest storm blows out of New England; frigid cold follows

Allen Millette adds to the growing pile of snow in his yard in New Bedford, Mass., Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. The National Weather Service is reporting snowfall
over a foot across eastern Massachusetts, with pockets near 2 feet. (AP Photo/Standard Times, David W. Oliveira)

Another weekend, another major snowstorm: The latest system to sweep the Northeast brought another foot to Boston - on top of 6 feet that has fallen over the last month - and tested New Englanders who say the winter is beginning to feel like one without end.

Even after the storm, forecasters warned of exceptionally cold air, perhaps the coldest in years. Strong winds that were expected to continue into Monday reduced visibility, created drifts and complicated an ongoing cleanup effort.

"It's historic. It's biblical," attorney Frank Libby said he walked down a deserted street in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. "I think we're in uncharted territory. People just don't know how to deal with the logistics of it."

He had one message for Mother Nature: "Give us a break."

Meanwhile, forecasters were talking about another storm on the horizon for midweek.

A bone-chilling blast of cold blew into New England as the last snowflakes fell Sunday, meaning the Northeast could see the lowest temperatures in years.

"The big story is subzero air temperatures with wind chills as low as 20 to 40 below zero," Matthew Belk of the National Weather Service said, adding that exposed skin could start to develop frostbite in "a matter of minutes."

"The big thing is to dress in layers and don't go outside if you don't have to."

The Arctic cold front already had frozen the upper Midwest, with temperatures in Michigan plunging to minus-27 in the Upper Peninsula.

Allan Tufankjian of Scituate, Massachusetts, said it's discouraging every time he looks at the forecast.

"If saw one day that was above freezing, I'd be very happy," he said. "I looked seven days ahead and every single day, the highest temperature I could see is 26 degrees."



Some areas of New England reported nearly 2 feet of snow from the storm including Acushnet, Massachusetts, with 22 inches, and Salisbury with 20.5 inches. Boston recorded 13 inches of new snow. At the easternmost tip of Maine, Lubechad had 2 feet.

With many intersections already clogged by soaring snow banks, forces mobilized before the storm to remove piles of snow. Massachusetts called up the National Guard troops to help and Hanscom Air Force base outside Boston became a staging area for heavy equipment pouring in from eight other Northeast states.



Although the storm did not bring the eye-popping snow totals of others this season, it made its presence felt with lightning strikes and strong winds that left visibility close to zero for stretches along the coast.

"Oh my goodness, it's a whiteout!" said Sue Baker of Lubec, Maine, observing the wind blowing outside her bed and breakfast, the Peacock House.

The Coast Guard said it rescued an Australian father-son sailing team whose boat lost power and had its sails torn in 60 mph winds about 140 miles southeast of Nantucket.

In Vermont, the wind was enough to force shut-down of the Lake Champlain ferry cross between Charlotte and Essex, New York.

On Cape Ann north of Boston, Patrick McGehee said he was awed by lightning strikes early Sunday morning when he took out his dog.

"I wasn't sure what was going on, if it was some kind of spiritual event or what," said McGehee, the owner of the Mary's by the Sea summer rental business in Rockport. "The whole sky lit up like somebody lit up a lightbulb."



The Klose family - Clint, Sue and daughters Caitlin and Kiersten - attacked a mountain of snow in front of their Concord, New Hampshire, house Sunday morning. Just last week, Clint Klose booked a trip for the girls and him to Orlando, Florida.

"You just need a break!" he said. "We need some Vitamin D that we've been deprived of."

Klose said the family wouldn't forget this winter.

"I would say it's been the harshest winter in the shortest amount of time," he said. "In the past five weeks, it's just been a slamming event and a slamming event and a slamming event one after the other."



New Englanders won't be the only ones with the winter blues, forecasters say. A snowstorm could bring 6 to 9 inches to parts of Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Freezing rain was forecast for northern Mississippi and 2 to 4 inches of snow and sleet will be possible in north Georgia.

The storm also threatened Atlanta, where just over a year ago an ice storm trapped commuters for hours on the region's freeways.

Belk said that once this storm heads out to sea, it may turn north and drop a fresh round of snow on the Northeast on Tuesday, though it's unclear how much.

"The question is whether it grazes by southern New England on its way out to the North Atlantic," he said. - AP.