Friday, May 8, 2015

MAJOR STORM ALERT: Strengthening Typhoon Noul Targets Philippines; Taiwan And Japan On Alert - Mass Evacuation Underway! [MAPS + FORECAST]

May 8, 2015 - PHILIPPINES
- Residents of the Philippines should continue to monitor Typhoon Noul closely as it approaches and makes landfall in the northeast on Sunday. Noul is expected to be the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane with peak winds near 220 km/h (140 mph) when it makes landfall.

The Philippines is preparing to evacuate thousands of residents along its northeastern coast.

While Noul was still strengthening, Yap took the brunt of the storm on Wednesday, local time, as torrential rain and strong winds battered the island. Rainfall totaled more than 300 mm (12 inches) before rainfall tapered off Wednesday night.

Yap was struck by Super Typhoon Maysak at the end of March and early April. Major damage ensued across parts of the island.

Although impacts were not as extreme from Noul, the combination of heavy rain and strong winds caused a new round of damage.

Philippine authorities have been preparing food rations for those affected by the typhoon [Reuters]

Noul is currently moving toward the northwest, but an eventual turn more to the north is expected as it moves past the northern Philippines.

Latest indications point toward Noul tracking over the northeast coast of Luzon, before moving north and northeast. This track will take Noul to the east of Taiwan, though some rain and wind is possible in eastern parts of the island.

Anyone with interests in the northern Philippines should continue to check back with for the latest updates as Noul move past the country.

Confidence remains high that Manila will escape the worst impacts from Noul; however, a couple of gusty showers and thunderstorms are still expected through Sunday.

Any widespread damage will be limited to northern Luzon, especially areas near the northeast coast where the central core of Noul will pass over.

These areas can expect 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain, with localized amounts up to 300 mm (12 inches). This rainfall will lead to flooding and the threat for mudslides in mountains terrain.

As Noul moves through the Philippine Sea, seas will be extremely dangerous with rough surf continuing along the eastern beaches of the Philippines into the start of the week.

Based on the current forecast track, the most hazardous and life-threatening conditions for boaters and swimmers will be along the eastern coast of Luzon. However, residents along the eastern coast as far south as Mindanao will still notice an increase in seas and the rip current threat. meteorologists will also keep a close eye on any potential impacts Noul will pose to Japan, especially the Ryukyu Islands, early next week.

Noul is expected to begin weakening after interacting with Luzon, but the storm could still bring heavy rainfall and locally strong winds as it accelerates to the northeast. Noul will eventually become non-tropical is the circulation is absorbed into a cold front.

 WATCH: Typhoon Noul Gains Power - Nears Philippines.

The moisture from Noul can enhance rainfall across Japan during the first half of next week with the potential for some flooding in Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu. This is especially true along the southern-facing sides of the islands.

Another tropical system has joined Noul in the western Pacific, as Tropical Storm Dolphin developed to the southeast of Guam. Residents of Guam should monitor this storm for any impacts during the middle of next week as the eventual track will bring the strengthening storm near the island. - AccuWeather.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Sinkhole Swallows Car In Liberty, Missouri!

- A vehicle sank into a hole created by a burst water pipe under a hydrant in Liberty on Wednesday afternoon.

Police said the water pipe broke after a vehicle involved in a crash hit the fire hydrant at South Withers and South Wales before 5 p.m. Wednesday, releasing about 7,000 gallons of water and eroding the street.

It appeared the silver sedan sunk several feet into the ground.

Liberty North High School senior Austin Oard said he swerved to avoid hitting another car and crashed into the hydrant. He said he and his 15-year-old sister got out of the car before the hole opened up.

"Instantly, yeah. You couldn't see the street because there was so much water covering it," Oard said.

While they weren't hurt, the car got the worst of it.

"My first car. It's my baby, and it's completely totaled," Oard said.

The crash and the recovery effort drew the attention of fans watching a soccer game at nearby Liberty Middle School.

WATCH: Car stuck in sinkhole after crash into hydrant.

"I was going to say, that is some fancy parking they did," said fan Jeff Niemann.

"My baby sister wanted to come see it, too," said spectator Conner Joseph.

Homes in the area were without water and power for a short time, drawing more people out to see the city crews working at the scene. Neighbors said it's the biggest thing to happen at the intersection in 20 years.

Firefighters said the hydrant won't be fully repaired until Thursday at the earliest, but they're not concerned because two other hydrants are nearby. - KMBC News.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Indonesia’s Karangetang Volcano Violently Erupts In Northern Sulawesi - Several Houses FLATTENED; Hundreds Evacuated!

- At least 465 people were evacuated from their houses in Siau Tagulandang Biaro district in North Sulawesi province on Friday following eruption of Karangetang volcano, a senior official at Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said here.

Impact of the active volcano's eruption has flattened several houses in Kora village in the region, BNPB Spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, adding that in the afternoon the volcano was still erupting lava, rocks and hot materials as far as several kilometers from the crater of the volcano.

"No death toll was recorded from the eruption. 465 people were sheltered in three sites located around 5 kilometers from the crater," Sutopo told Xinhua by phone.

Sutopo said that hot clouds were seen engulfing the eastern and southern side of the volcano slopes.

He added that the displaced people did not bring any of their belongings as they have been getting used to Karangetang's volcanic activities in the last few years.

"Today's eruption was different from the previous ones as the hot cloud emitted from the eruption was the largest one by far, which made people have to evacuate," Sutopo added.

Sutopo said that the regional disaster mitigation agency has provided necessities for the refugees in the camps comprising of respirators, food supplies, cloths, blankets, baby foods and sleeping mats.

He said that the latest eruption did not change the volcano's eruption which initially stated at level III, or stage of alert. - Shanghai Daily.

EXTREME WEATHER: Massive Tornado Hits The Town Of Rhome, Texas - Many Homes Ripped Apart; Some Residents Waking Up Homeless!

Tornado damage in Rhome, Texas (WFAA). © KYTX19 Images

- A trail of damage was left behind by tornadoes in Wise County. The town of Rhome was hit hard, with some residents waking up homeless.

The EF-1 twister tore Greg and Nanette Pickenpaws' home apart, but they say they feel lucky to have their lives.

Twisted metal, broken wood, even a refrigerator, were found toppled on the ground. Personal belongings were left out in the open, spread across the grass.

WATCH: Massive tornado hits Rhome.

The Pickenpaws say they've never experienced a storm like this in the 20 years they've lived in Rhome.

The community says it will now work to pick up the pieces.

"Where do we start, you know?" Greg Pickenpaw said. "Where do you start cleaning up at? You know... We'll figure it all out."

The NWS sent out teams to Wise County, as well as Northwest Denton County, to survey the damage Friday morning. - KYTX.

EXTREME WEATHER: Waterspout And Tornado Threatens Bahamas!

© Jenneva Russell

May 8, 2015 - BAHAMAS
- A huge waterspout was seen off Grand Bahama this morning after 9am.

The first photo above was taken by Jenneva Russell off of William's Town.

In the second photo it that the waterspout has strengthened into a tornado.

This photo was taken in downtown Freeport by Celia Mackey of The Bahamas Weekly's News Team. The Casa Bahamas building can be seen in the photo below.

© Celia Mackey

Waterspout over Freeport, Grand Bahama. © Stacy Seiler

Government schools closed around noon today, and a severe weather warning was issued by the Meteorology Department this morning.

A whatsapp message has been circulating on social media which depicts a radio report for the 'client: Royal Bahamas Police Report", but the Grand Bahama police have clarified that it was not generated by them. - The Bahamas Weekly.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Subtropical Storm Ana Forms Off The Coast Of The Carolinas - The EARLIEST Subtropical Or Tropical Cyclone To Produce Direct Effects In The United States!

Infrared Satellite: Subtropical Storm Ana

May 8, 2015 - ATLANTIC OCEAN
- Late Thursday night, the National Hurricane Center officially deemed the low off the coast of the Carolinas Subtropical Storm Ana, the first named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

For more on what a "subtropical" cyclone is, scroll down the page a bit.

U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters reconnaissance missions measured surface winds from 40-45 mph, justifying going straight to "storm", rather than "depression" status. Once convection became sufficiently organized and persistent within the circulation, the system was named.

Bands of rain already begun to wrap into parts of the coastal Carolinas Thursday. However, rainbands Friday morning appear less concentrated, as the circulation is wrapping some drier air around its eastern flank.

Winds gusted above 30 mph Thursday in Wilmington, North Carolina, and a few coastal Carolina locations experienced gusts over 20 mph.

Where's Ana Headed?

Ana's center of circulation is expected to drift toward the northwest and finally crossing the northern coast of South Carolina by Sunday.

The reason for this slow forward speed is the steering flow in the upper atmosphere will be very weak through early Monday. The northern, or polar jet stream will remain far to the north, while any upper-level high pressure will remain rather weak and centered far to the east.

Bands of rain and some strong wind gusts will pester parts of the Carolinas through the weekend.

Ana remains over the Gulf Stream, and still has a potential to sprout more convection and transition to a fully tropical storm, as was the case with Subtropical, then Tropical Storm Beryl in May 2012. However, due to dry air being pulled into the circulation, we think the chance of this happening with Ana is small.

Ana's landfall won't be that noteworthy Sunday, compared to a hurricane landfall with intense eyewall winds and storm surge, with little intensification expected until that point.

While slowly weakening after landfall later Sunday into Monday, onshore gusty winds will continue along the southern coast of North Carolina, spreading northward into the Outer Banks and Virginia Tidewater Monday.

By Monday night, a southward dip in the polar jet stream will catch hold of what's left of Ana and finally whisk it away into the Atlantic.

Incidentally, Ana has become the earliest subtropical or tropical cyclone to produce direct effects in the United States (excluding a tropical storm that made landfall in Florida on Groundhog Day in 1952), according to Ostro.

Potential Impacts

- Rain/flood threat: Bands of rain continue to move into parts of eastern Carolinas. Areas of rain may linger in the eastern Carolinas through Monday, eventually spreading into parts of Virginia through Monday. The greatest potential for locally heavy rain and flash flooding is in southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina.

Winds: Gusty winds pick up in coastal North Carolina (especially south of Hatteras) and coastal South Carolina Saturday, continuing Sunday, before spreading from coastal North Carolina to southeast Virginia Monday. Some gusts over 40 mph are likely, at times. Some downed tree limbs and sporadic power outages are possible, but the threat of widespread damaging winds and numerous power outages appears low.

- High Surf/Rip Currents/Coastal flooding: High surf, rip currents, some coastal flooding and beach erosion from the northern South Carolina coast to the southern North Carolina coast (Hatteras south) continues possibly through Monday, particularly in areas where onshore flow persists the longest (southern North Carolina coast). High surf, rip currents may also persist along parts of the Georgia and northeast Florida coasts the next day or so.

If you have plans or live in the coastal Carolinas, keep checking back with us at and The Weather Channel for the latest.

Tropical or Not?

This low started out not as a typical low-pressure system with fronts you may see over, say, the Plains states. Nor was it a tropical depression or storm like you see in the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans in summer. It was a combination of those, called a subtropical cyclone.

Our friends at Weather Underground have a full explanation of subtropical cyclones. Basically, a subtropical depression or storm exhibits features of both tropical and non-tropical systems, with a broad wind field, no cold or warm fronts, and generally low-topped thunderstorms spaced some distance from the center.

Subtropical cyclones typically are associated with upper-level lows and have colder temperatures aloft, whereas tropical cyclones are fully warm-core, and upper-level high-pressure systems overhead help facilitate their intensification.

Because of this hybrid nature, the National Hurricane Center still issues advisories and forecasts (i.e. projected path) for subtropical depressions and storms and assigns a number or name much like a regular tropical depression or tropical storm.

Rainfall Potential Ana

Occasionally, if thunderstorms cluster close enough and persist near the center, latent heat given off aloft from the thunderstorms can warm the air enough to make the storm a fully tropical storm.

When that happens, the wind field will tighten closer to the center. Of course, this would also open the door to further intensification.

It's Happened Recently

Some recent Atlantic hurricane seasons have jumped the June 1 starting gun.

Most recently, in May 2012, a pair of tropical storms, Alberto and Beryl, both formed off the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia and north Florida.

Beryl washed out the Memorial Day weekend, and was the strongest tropical cyclone to make a U.S. landfall before June 1 on record, with 70 mph maximum sustained winds.

In fact, Beryl made the transition from a subtropical to tropical storm prior to landfall, exhibiting an eye and eyewall on radar, according to Ostro.

Five years earlier, a cut-off low-pressure system off the Southeast coast morphed into Subtropical Storm Andrea. Before officially gaining the subtropical designation, the wrapped-up low was responsible for a 2-3 foot storm surge in St. Johns and Flagler Counties in Florida. A surfer and four crew members of a sailing vessel lost their lives in high surf from Andrea.

There was even an Atlantic tropical storm in late April 2003, ironically also named Ana.

Since 1950, eight subtropical depressions or storms have formed before May 7th, according to Dr. Matt Sitkowski, science and weather content coordinator.

In all, there have been 39 Atlantic tropical or subtropical cyclones that have formed before June 1 since 1851, according to hurricane specialist Michael Lowry. Thus, you can expect one of these pre-June 1 systems once every four years, or so, on average.

More importantly, there's no link between an early start and an active season. Lowry says only 38 percent of early-starting Atlantic hurricane seasons ended up with above-average numbers of named storms. - Weather.

MAJOR GLOBAL VOLCANISM AND STORM ALERT: Increasing Earth Changes As The Black Celestial Event Nears - Approaching Typhoon And Active Volcano Force Mass Evacuations In The Philipines!

A handout photograph provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Typhoon Noul over the West Pacific, east of the Philippines on
May 6, 2015. The Philippines is preparing to evacuate residents along its northeastern coast as a typhoon approaches, as well as those near a rumbling volcano
that has been spewing steam and ash over a central province, officials said on Friday. © EPA
May 8, 2015 - PHILIPPINES - The Philippines is preparing to evacuate residents along its northeastern coast as a typhoon approaches, as well as those near a rumbling volcano that has been spewing steam and ash over a central province, officials said on Friday.

Typhoon Noul was about 480 km (300 miles) northeast of the town of Borongan in Eastern Samar province early on Friday, with wind gusts of up to 185 km per hour (115 mph), and was expected to make landfall as a category four storm at the weekend.

Thousands of passengers have already been stranded in seaports along the central and eastern Philippines after authorities stopped vessels from sailing because of rough seas.

The typhoon, the fourth to hit the Southeast Asian country this year, was expected to bring heavy to intense rainfall when it makes landfall in the northeast, the weather bureau said. It was then expected to weaken as it swung northeast towards the Japanese island of Okinawa by Tuesday.

Officials warned that heavy rain from the typhoon could cause "lahar", or flows of mud and debris, around Mount Bulusan, a volcano that has been spewing ash this week.

"There could be lahar flow, mudslides, that could sweep away houses in the area if there is heavy rain ... that is the danger," Esperanza Cayanan, division head at the weather bureau, told a briefing at the national disaster agency.

Fritzie Michelena, a disaster official in Irosin in central Sorsogon province where the volcano is located, said the municipality was getting ready to evacuate residents.

Bulusan volcano as seen from a highway in Irosin town, Sorsogon province, south of Manila today, two days after it spewed ash. – AFP pic, May 8, 2015.

Bulusan volcano as seen from a highway in Irosin town, Sorsogon province, south of Manila today, two days after it spewed ash. – AFP pic, May 8, 2015.

"We will do pre-emptive evacuations because it might be difficult to get people out if we do it later," she said in an interview with the ANC news network.

Officials have designated schools and gymnasiums as possible shelters.

Typhoon Noul was also expected to trigger landslides and flash floods, with government officials alerting regional offices along the storm's projected path by text, email and phone calls.

Richard Gordon, chairman of Philippine Red Cross, said responders had learned a lot from Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the central Philippines in 2013, leaving more than 8,000 people dead or injured and about a million homeless.

"We have learned to prepare better, pre-positioning relief goods and emergency equipment to respond faster," he said.

An average of 20 typhoons cross the Philippines annually. - Reuters.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Rare 4.0 Earthquake Rocks North Texas Amid Fracking Debate!

May 8, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - A magnitude-4.0 earthquake rattled residents in northern Texas on Thursday evening. One of the most powerful quakes ever recorded in the region has fueled speculation that fracking is responsible for this seismic activity.

The earthquake, which struck near Venus, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Dallas, at 5:58 p.m., was the most powerful to strike the region since seismic activity began in November 2013. Since then, more than 50 tremors have rattled the region, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Earthquake clusters began to strike northern Texas in 2008. Since then, over 120 quakes have been reported in the region. Prior to that year, researchers say, a felt earthquake had not been reported in the area in nearly 60 years.

SMU researchers currently studying the shaking in North Texas echo the sentiments of the U.S. Geological Survey seismologist.

The latest earthquake to hit north Texas was felt from southern Fort Worth and Arlington south to Hillsboro, AP reported.

Although no serious damage or personal injury was reported, the Texas Railroad Commission conducted an inspection of all oil and gas infrastructure within a 10-mile radius of the earthquake's epicenter for cracks or leaks, Johnson County emergency management coordinator Jamie Moore told the Arlington Star-Telegram.

Meanwhile, Mansfield Fire Chief Barry Bondurant said he learned about the quake from social media.

"I didn't feel it, and I was standing right here at Fire Station No. 1," Bondurant told the Texas newspaper.

From Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton’s Twitter account:
“Out w/ our inspectors in Mansfield this morning checking
pressures and well integrity.”
Marilyn Gerloff, a resident of Johnson County, described the earthquake as a "sonic boom."

"We've had several mini ones" in the past, Gerloff said. "The little ones feel like somebody ran a pickup into the side of the house. This one sounded like a sonic boom."

"I've looked around downstairs and everything is OK," Gerloff said. "I'm kind of afraid to go upstairs."

The earthquake struck in just weeks after researchers from Southern Methodist University in Dallas testified before a state House committee that, according to their research, 27 earthquakes that occurred northwest of Fort Worth from November 2013 to January 2014 are linked to the drilling for oil and natural gas.

Last month, Southern Methodist partnered with the USGS and the University of Texas to study the rash of earthquakes in the 2013-2014 period, near the city of Azle, to determine if man-made activity - specifically fracking - was responsible for triggering the seismic events.

The study proved that fracking was capable of triggering earthquakes.

"The model shows that a pressure differential develops along one of the faults as a combined result of high fluid injection rates to the west and high water removal rates to the east," said Matthew Hornbach, associate professor of geophysics at SMU. "When we ran the model over a 10-year period through a wide range of parameters, it predicted pressure changes significant enough to trigger earthquakes on faults that are already stressed."
"While some uncertainties remain, it is unlikely that natural increases to tectonic stresses led to these events," added Heather DeShon, SMU associate professor of geophysics.

The largest quake ever to strike Texas occurred in 1931 in the western part of the state, which was a 5.8-magnitude event, according to the USGS. - RT.

DELUGE: Nebraska Hit By Widespread Flooding And Storm Damage - State Of Emergency Declared!

Deshler, Nebraska, flood damage 07 May 2015. © Nebraska Governor’s Office

- Parts of Nebraska saw over 8 inches (200 mm) of rain in 24 hours yesterday, 07 May 2015. Storm and flood damage has been so severe that Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts declared a State of Emergency for the affected areas.

The Governor surveyed storm damage and flooding in Hebron, Deshler, Roseland, and near Lincoln via helicopter. Following the flight he said, "I have authorized an emergency declaration. At this time the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is in contact with other state agencies and they are actively monitoring the situation and will provide assistance as needed."
"The good news is nobody was hurt and everybody is safe. Utility crews are out there working. We did have a power outage last night in about a third of the town. As we flew over the state, we saw more utility crews continuing to work to restore power to folks in Roseland."
Other affected areas include the town of DeWitt and the city of Fairbury, where 100s of people have been evacuated. The town of Crete saw 8.10 inches of rain fall in 24 hours. Salt Creek and Little Blue River are reported to be at flood stage at several points in the area.

Lincoln Evacuations

Heavy rainfall cause severe flooding in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. As much as 6.65 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Lincoln Airport between 06 and 07 May 2015.

The mayor's office of Lincoln issued a statement last night encouraging residents to evacuate flood-hit areas of the city. The statement said:

"Public safety officials are advising residents in the North and South Bottoms neighborhoods to voluntarily evacuate as soon as possible. The affected area is bordered by Folsom, 8th, Van Dorn and Cornhusker. Salt Creek is getting close to topping the levee as other creeks drain into it".

WATCH: Widespread flooding in Nebraska.

The American Red Cross set up two shelters in Lincoln to house those evacuated. The mayor's office warned that mandatory evacuations may follow, depending on the flood situation.

"The Salt Creek levee has not been topped. The next 24 hours will be critical. If the creek tops the levee, a mandatory evacuation may be necessary."

Several people had to be rescued from flood waters. There were also reports of cars floating along roads and highways. No deaths have been reported.

Nebraska Rainfall

Below is a map showing official rainfall figures from NOAA / NWS for the area.


Rainfall figures from CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network) for a 24 hour period to 07 May 2015 show further extreme levels of rainfall. These figures are considered supplemental and are not official NWS figures.

Fairbury 10.47″
Wilber 9.85″
Daykin 9.60″
Hallam 8.10″
Tobias 8.02″
Lincoln 7.71″

Oklahoma Flood Death

Severe thunderstorms, floods and early 40 tornadoes have been reported in the Plains from Texas to Nebraska. Oklahoma suffered record rain and flash floods earlier this week. Since then it has been reported that a woman has drowned in flooding in her home in the Oklahoma City metro area. - Floodlist.