Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SOLAR WATCH: Sun Unleashes X2-Class Solar Flare And Massive CME - Strong Radio Blackout Over The Pacific Side Of Earth; Minor Geomagnetic Storm In Progress From Previous CME!

May 6, 2015 - SPACE
- The sun is no longer quiet. Emerging sunspot AR2339 unleashed an intense X2-class solar flare on May 5th at 22:11 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash seen in the image above.

A pulse of UV radiation and X-rays from the flare caused a strong radio blackout over the Pacific side of Earth. This map shows the extent of the blackout, which affected frequencies below 20 MHz. Mariners, aviators, and ham radio operators are the type of people who might have noticed the disturbance.

The explosion also hurled a CME into space.

Traveling faster than 1100 km/s (2.5 million mph), the expanding cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth.

WATCH: MAJOR X2.7 Solar Flare - Plus SUNDIVING Comet.

In addition to causing a radio blackout, the flare also caused a radio burst. Immediately after the flare, a roar of static bellowed from the loudspeakers of shortwave receivers on Pacific isles and western parts of North America. Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico recorded the outburst:

"The sound file is in stereo with one channel at 22 MHz and the other at 23 MHz," says Ashcraft. "It is very intricate if listened to with headphones."

What caused this burst of "solar static"? The same magnetic explosion that caused the flare also produced beams of electrons. As the electrons sliced through the sun's atmosphere, they generated a ripple of radio-loud plasma waves. Astronomers classify solar radio bursts into five types; this one was a mixture of Type III and Type V.

Geomagnetic Activity

A minor geomagnetic storm is in progress on May 6th following the arrival of a CME at 01:43 UT. The CME's weak impact did not immediately spark bright auroras. However, storming could intensify as Earth passes through the CME's wake.

- Space Weather.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano Erupts Again - Spews Black Ash Cloud 6,000 Feet Into The Air!

May 6, 2015 - COSTA RICA
- Costa Rica's Turrialba volcano belched a column of gas and ash upwards of 6,000ft into the air on Monday (4 May).

An explosion on Monday afternoon lasting 28 minutes emanated from the volcano in central Costa Rica and ash reached parts of the capital San Jose some 30 miles away.

Costa Rica's international airport was reopened on Tuesday morning after the eruption of the nearby volcano blanketed runways with ash, forcing its closure overnight. Ash can affect the safety of flights during take-off and landing as well as damage engines.

The Turrialba volcano spewed thick black clouds of ash into the sky, a volcanologist for the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Obsivori), Eliecer Duarte, said.

"Yesterday's event at 3.20pm lasted 28 minutes. In 20 minutes the ash spread 6.2 miles and reached the other camera which is in Irazu, towards the south east. It rose vertically more than 6,561ft and spewed different sized material. Some stayed on the summit and other finer material flew distances reaching the central valley."

Last month, the volcano's most powerful eruption in two decades was recorded forcing the evacuation of residents from the surrounding area. - IBT.

 WATCH: Costa Rica Turrialba volcano spews out 2 km-high plume of smoke, ash near capital.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Three Earthquakes In Just 30 Minutes Strike The Concord Fault In California!

USGS earthquake location.

- The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting three earthquakes, two with a 3-plus magnitude, have struck Concord Wednesday morning.

The USGS says the first quake, a magnitude 3.2, was centered east of Highway 242 in Concord and struck at about 7:01 a.m. PDT Wednesday. The second and largest, a 3.6-magnitude, struck at 7:32 a.m. It was later downgraded to a 3.5. The third, a 2.6-magnitude, hit shortly after at 7:35 a.m.

Over 100 people, mostly in Pleasant Hill, reported feeling the earthquakes, according to USGS' online "Did You Feel It" survey.

People chimed in over Twitter after some light shaking.

There have been no reports of injury or damage.

Aftershocks continue to rattle the East Bay after a 3.6-magnitude earthquake struck the same area on Sunday afternoon.

The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.0 hit at 2:13 p.m. Sunday. That quake was later downgraded to a 3.6 by the USGS. It was centered a mile south of Concord, along the Concord fault.

Following the 3.6 quake, at least eight aftershocks were reported as of Wednesday.

1.8 — 05/05 05:51 a.m.
2.8 — 05/04 6:52 p.m.
1.6 — 05/04 1:52 a.m.
1.5 — 05/03 9:30 p.m.
2.3 — 05/03 6:54 p.m.
1.6 — 05/03 3:56 p.m.
2.1 — 05/03 3:28 p.m.
3.0 — 5/03 3:14 p.m.

Scientists says the Concord fault, which runs through Concord to Suisun Bay, has the potential to do major damage in the East Bay.

The Hayward and San Andreas faults steal most of the spotlight, but the Concord fault stretching from the Mount Diablo foothills to the Carquinez Strait could cause major damage due to its location.

"If we saw a 6.0 on Concord, we could see far more damage than we did in Napa," USGS Seismologist Dr. David Schwartz told KCBS news following Sunday's quake.

Even if the Concord Fault only produced a 5.0 quake, it could cause significant damage to refineries in the area.

There was a damaging 5.4-magnitude quake in 1955 that killed one person and caused property damage estimated at $1 million.

The USGS estimates there's a 3 to 4 percent probability of a magnitude-6.7 or higher earthquake striking on the Concord of lower Green Valley Fault in the next 30 years compared with 6.4 percent for the San Andreas and 14.3 percent for the Hayward Fault.

A series of smaller quakes shook the area in the moments before and after the larger one.

Strong earthquakes with an epicenter off the coast can trigger tsunamis, depending on the size and type of the fault movement. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tracks earthquake data for the West Coast. - CBS.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: H5N2 Virus Spreading Rapidly - With Over 17 MILLION Poultry Dead Or Dying Of Bird Flu, Iowa Declares A State Of Emergency!

This Sept. 10, 2008, file photo shows chickens huddling in their cages at an egg processing plant at the Dwight Bell Farm in Atwater, Calif.   © AP /Marcio Jose Sanchez

- A state of emergency was declared yesterday by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad with nearly 17 million chickens and turkeys dead, dying, or scheduled to be euthanized due to a widening bird flu outbreak.

The proclamation activates disaster response and recovery procedures for the state's homeland security and emergency management personnel.

It authorizes use of state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials to track and monitor bird flu, establish restrictions around affected farms, and assist in the rapid detection of cases.

It also allows state agencies to help in the disposal of poultry carcasses, an increasing problem in a state where about 27% of its 60 million egg-laying chickens will be wiped out. Reuters reported last week that this could be the worst bird flu outbreak in US history.

"This is a magnitude much greater than anything we've dealt with in recent modern times," Branstad said. Added Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, "Unfortunately despite the best efforts of everyone to slow the spread of the disease, outbreaks are continuing to appear."

Iowa is the nation's leading egg producer, providing one of every five eggs consumed in the country. The state is ninth in turkey production and has lost well over 110,000 turkeys.

The state now has 21 cases of the H5N2 virus in 10 counties. Overall, the outbreak has led to Midwest chicken and turkey producers losing more than 21 million birds.

Minnesota, which has lost some 4 million birds in 19 counties this spring, declared a state of emergency earlier this week

- Newser.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Another Sinkhole Shuts Down Part Of Street In Allentown, Pennsylvania!

A sinkhole that developed in Allentown just a few days before. © Unknown

- A sinkhole that developed Tuesday evening forced the Allentown Streets Department to close the 200 block of North 30th Street, city police said.

The sinkhole was discovered when a pedestrian noticed a narrow, 3-foot-long crack in the pavement, about 3 to 4 feet deep.

Police said that, just below the pavement, the sinkhole affected an area as wide as 15 feet.

Police Capt. Bill Reinik said the middle of the block was barricaded shut, but residents still can reach their homes. He said the sinkhole probably can be repaired with relatively little bother.

"It's a pretty quiet street, not much traffic, so we don't expect many issues," Reinik said.

The problem was reported about 6:45 p.m., he said. The Streets Department, the Lehigh County Water Authority and UGI were sent to check it out.

Less than 2 hours later, a city streets crew on the scene said the water was running properly, there was no trouble with the gas line, and the sinkhole itself would be repaired Wednesday morning.

- Allentown Morning Call.

EXTREME WEATHER: Wildfires In New York's Hudson Valley Continue To Burn - Over 1,700 Acres Affected!

In this aerial photo, smoke rise from a brush fire along the Shawangunk Ridge northeast of Ellenville, N.Y., Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Officials suspect the blaze, which started
Sunday, was caused by a homeowner burning rubbish outdoors in violation of a statewide burn ban. 
© Jim Sabastian / Times Herald-Record via AP

- A fast-moving wildfire at the southern edge of the Catskill Mountains has forced some homeowners to evacuate.

The fire, which started just before noon on Sunday in the Town of Mamakating, has affected more than 1,700 acres of the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest.

The Ulster County Sheriff's Department asked some residents in the Cragsmoor area to play it safe and leave their homes.

Sullivan County safety officials say more than 20 fire companies are trying to prevent the fire from spreading as they work to extinguish the flames.

Officials say no homes have been damaged yet because the fire has been confined mainly to the forest.

The blaze is believed to have been started by a homeowner burning debris outdoors. - The Citizen.

EXTREME WEATHER: "I Have Never Seen Anything Like This In My Life, It Is COMPLETE MADNESS" - Severe Storms Ravage Hamburg And Buetzow, Germany Leaving Widespread Destruction And 1 Person Dead!

There was also extensive storm damage in Hamburg.  © EPA

May 6, 2015 - GERMANY
- The German town of Buetzow has been left extensively damaged by what residents described as a tornado that tore off roofs, overturned cars and ripped up trees, with more destruction reported in other parts of Germany.

Roof tiles and debris were strewn across the streets and buildings left severely damaged when the storm struck on Tuesday.

The mayor of Buetzow says the town has suffered "massive damage". © EPA

Dozens of cars were destroyed and people injured as trees were upturned and buildings damaged by the winds. One person in the city of Hamburg was killed by falling debris.

There was also extensive storm damage in Hamburg

The extent of the damage was still to be seen as emergency services tried to assess the situation. More storms are expected in Germany over the next days.

WATCH: Tornadoes sweep across north Germany.

Eyewitnesses spoke of a track of devastation across the area caused by a tornado but the German weather service Wetter Online said the winds did not meet the exact definition of a twister.

One Buetzow resident, who described the storm as "insane", said: "I saw that the clouds were very strange ... and it was like a punch in the face, the wind and water and rain.

"I have never seen anything like this in my life, it is complete madness. Hundreds of trees have been overturned, completely uprooted, roofs ripped off. You don't experience something like this every day."

- The Guardian.

DELUGE: Cuba Struck By Second Severe Flood In A Week - 14 Inches Of Rain In Just ONE DAY!

May 6, 2015 - CUBA
- Over 2,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Barocoa, in Guantánamo Province, Cuba, after a storm and severe flooding damaged 100s of homes in the areas, according to Cuba's State News Agency, Granma.

This is the second major flood event to hit Cuba in the last few days.

Wide areas of the capital city of Havana were flooded on 30 April after 188 mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

At least 2 people died and several buildings collapsed. Havana has not been affected by the heavy rain this time around.

Granma say that 350.7 mm of rain fell in Barocoa from 02 to 03 May 2015.

The rain forced rivers to burst their banks and resulting floods damaged homes, roads and crops.

The areas of La Granjita and Horno de Cal were said to be the worst hit. Over 250 homes were damaged either by flooding or strong winds.

At least 4 homes were completely destroyed. Some of those displaced have since started to return to their homes

More Severe Weather Expected

El Instituto de MeteorologĂ­a de Cuba (Insmet) yesterday forecast more severe weather, including heavy rain, over the next few days.

Over the last 24 hours, Puerto Padre, Las Tunas, also on Cuba's northern coast, saw 85 mm of rain.

On the south coast, Santa Cruz Del Sur, Camaguey, saw 53.8 mm of rain. - Floodlist.