Sunday, May 17, 2015

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes In San Antonio, Texas - Family Of Four Killed!

Moments after the plane crashed. (Photo: KENS 5 viewer - Giovanna taliaferro)
May 17, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - A family of four was killed on Saturday in a plane crash north of San Antonio, according to the authorities.

Capt. Tommy Ward, a spokesman for the Comal County Sheriff’s Department, said that local residents began calling 911 to report a crash in Spring Branch, Tex., at 12:32 p.m.

Captain Ward identified the passengers as Michael Galloway, 38, the pilot of the aircraft; his wife, Heather Galloway, 32; and their two children, Clayton, 10, and Cheyenne, 8.

“Deputies arrived on the scene and found the plane on the ground totally engulfed in flames,” he said. “The passengers all perished in the crash. They were dead on impact.”

Spring Branch crash site (Photo: KENS 5)

The plane crashed into an area of fields and woods next to a feed store and along a major road, Captain Ward said. There was no damage or injuries on the ground.

Captain Ward said that the family lived in Spring Branch and described them as very involved in the community. The children attended school in the Comal County Independent School District, he said, where their mother was employed as a bus driver.

WATCH: Plane crash kills 4 people in Spring Branch.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was a single-engine Piper PA-24 that took off from nearby Kestrel Airpark, a residential community that includes a 3,000-foot runway.

Captain Ward said that the neighborhood was less than two miles from where the plane went down.

The F.A.A. and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, spokesmen for each agency said. - NY Times.


EXTREME WEATHER: Tornadoes Reported In At Least Nine American States - 28 Reports Of Twisters; Severe Weather Continues Sunday!

May 17, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts, large hail and a few tornadoes will flare up once again in the central states on Sunday. The threat area includes a swath from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois to portions of Missouri, Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma and east Texas.

WATCH: Tornado outbreak across the United States.

Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning, there were 28 reports of tornadoes across nine states, including Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Iowa and Louisiana.

Sunday's Forecast - Severe weather is possible on Sunday in the red shaded areas.

Current Radar with Watches and Warning.

Current Radar with Watches and Warnings.

Below are the most notable storm reports so far from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.

Sunday's Reports:
  • Johnson County, Texas, EMA reported multiple swift water rescues Sunday morning from homes and vehicles in the Alvarado and Lillian areas. This is just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.
  • A tornado was reported near Ogden, Iowa at 4:01 a.m. CDT.
  • Several mobile homes were damaged near Independence, Louisiana at 3:46 a.m. CDT. This was due to a possible tornado.
  • 80 train cars were knocked over near Osceola, Iowa at 2:10 a.m. CDT.
Saturday's Reports:
  • A tornado struck Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, around 11:30 p.m. CDT Saturday. There are reports of structural damage and power outages in the area. The storm also damaged homes near Inola, Oklahoma, and that damage may also have been from a tornado.
  • The same circulation that affected Broken Arrow later produced a reported tornado near Fairland in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, damaging homes. There are early reports of damage from the same storm just to the east in Newton County, Missouri.
  • Earlier, a large tornado was reported in southwest Oklahoma around 6 p.m. CDT on Saturday. It tracked from south of Elmer to near Tipton to north of Manitou; it briefly crossed a bend in the Red River into extreme northern Texas along its path. Sporadic damage was reported along its path, though the twister did not hit any towns directly.
  • Police in Lyon County, Kansas, report storm damage across the county, including a stopped train that was blown over. Homes and barns were also damaged by the suspected tornado. The National Weather Service in Topeka plans to survey the damage Sunday.
  • Elsewhere in Oklahoma, tornadoes were reported 9 miles south of Anadarko; near Meers; and near Elk City along Interstate 80.
  • A multi-vortex tornado was reported 3 miles west-southwest of Murdock in west-central Minnesota at 5:51 p.m. CDT. Another brief tornado was reported northwest of Murdock Saturday afternoon.
  • A brief tornado touchdown was reported near Rosen, Minnesota, around 4:25 p.m. CDT. Ten minutes later, a tornado hit a farmstead north of Montevideo in Chippewa County, taking part of the roof off a building. Both locations are in west-central Minnesota.
  • A tornado was reported in the Texas Panhandle just after 2:30 p.m. CDT. Reports say it crossed U.S. Highway 287 near Lelia Lake, according to storm chasers in the area. Earlier, the day's first tornado report came in about 10 miles north of Silverton, Texas, at 1:12 p.m. CDT.
  • Law enforcement reported a tornado near Highway 14/16/20 in eastern Park County of northwest Wyoming around 1:30 p.m. MDT.
  • Baseball-size hail was reported just south of Goodlett, Texas, at 4:47 p.m. CDT. The same cell dropped baseball-size hail in Quanah, Texas, a few minutes later. Baseball-size hail also fell in Castle, Oklahoma, around 10 p.m. CDT.
Residents survey damage near an elementary school, caused by severe weather, Monday, May 11, 2015, in Van, Texas. (AP Photo/Todd Yates) 

Residents survey damage to an elementary school caused by severe weather, Monday, May 11, 2015, in Van, Texas. (AP Photo/Todd Yates) 

A home is seen after suffering major damage from a tornado in Van, Texas, in this image taken on Monday, May 11, 2015. (The Weather Channel)

Tornado damage is seen in Delmont, South Dakota, on Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Anthony Quintano/NBC News) 

Tornado damage is seen in Delmont, South Dakota, on Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Anthony Quintano/NBC News) 

Tornado damage is seen in Delmont, South Dakota, on Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Anthony Quintano/NBC News) 

- The Weather Channel.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Seismic Unrest - Earthquakes On Hawaii Volcano Could Signal New Eruption!

In this May 3, 2015 photo provided by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, smoke and lava explode from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Molten lava and rocks went flying through the air after part of the crater wall collapsed and caused the explosion. (USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory via AP)
May 17, 2015 - HAWAII - A series of earthquakes and shifting ground on the slopes of Kilauea have scientists wondering what will happen next at one of the world's most active volcanoes.

A lake of lava near the summit of Kilauea on Hawaii's Big Island had risen to a record-high level after a recent explosion. But in the past few days, the pool of molten rock began sinking, and the surface of the lava lake fell nearly 500 feet.

Meanwhile, a rash of earthquakes rattled the volcano with as many as 20 to 25 quakes per hour, and scientists' tilt meters detected that the ground was deforming.

"Clearly the lava, by dropping out of sight, it has to be going somewhere," said Steven Brantley, deputy scientist in charge of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of the U.S. Geological Survey.

One possibility is that a new lava eruption could break through the surface of the mountain, Brantley said.

Right now, there are two active eruptions on Kilauea. One is the eruption spewing into the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater, which is visible in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The other is Puu Oo vent, in Kilauea's east rift zone, which sent fingers of lava toward the town of Pahoa before stopping outside a shopping center last year.

The flurry of earthquakes that peaked in intensity Friday have been rattling Kilauea's southwest rift zone, so it's possible that a new eruption could occur southwest of the Halemaumau Crater, or even in the crater itself, Brentley said. Or, the tilting, shifting ground could lead to nothing.

"We don't know what the outcome of this activity might be," Brantley said. "That is the challenge, is trying to interpret what this activity really means in terms of the next step for Kilauea."

An eruption on the southwest side wouldn't pose a threat to the population, because the area is generally closed to the public and there aren't any structures.

The earthquake activity had slowed Saturday morning, and scientists were continuing to watch the volcano closely, Brantley said. - Yahoo.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: Waterspout Seen Nearl Melbourne Beach, Florida!

Waterspout near Melbourne Beach today.  © Adam Charette

- According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), waterspouts fall into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.

Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water.

They have the same characteristics as a land tornado. They are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.

Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds.

This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward.

By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity.

Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little. - Space Coast Daily.


EXTREME WEATHER: Lightning Sparks New Wildfires In British Columbia - As Massive Little Bobtail Lake Blaze Continues; 17,000 HECTARES Already Destroyed!

Efforts are underway to battle the wildfires in B.C., which has claimed roughly 17,000 hectares, west of Prince George. © BCFS photo

- Crews are responding to five new wildfires in British Columbia's Central Interior, as a massive blaze continues to burn about 70 kilometres southwest of Prince George.

B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch says all of the new fires were sparked by Friday's lightning activity in the Cariboo region.

The largest fire is raging four hectares west of Anahim Lake, where a three-person attack crew, airtankers and a helicopter are on site with 16 additional firefighters on the way.

The branch says crews are also working on three small fires in the Big Bar area and one small fire southwest of Quesnel.

Meanwhile, the aggressive Little Bobtail Lake blaze has destroyed about 17,000 hectares since it was first discovered last Saturday.

Some 240 firefighters, 11 helicopters, eight air tankers and 23 pieces of heavy machinery have been brought in and 20 per cent of the fire has been contained.

Jill Kelsh with the Prince George Fire Centre says crews have been working around the clock since last Sunday.

"It's not very often that we have crews working day and night. They have been working as hard with all of the resources they have to get this fire under containment," she says.

"It was our first and only extremely large fire burning in the province so it was definitely a high priority for us."

She says an evacuation order remains in place for about 80 people and it's too soon to say when they could return to their homes.

Kelsh says the area is finally seeing cooler temperatures and although winds have picked up, they are currently in crews' favour as they are moving away from larger communities.

Officials are hoping the gusty winds will not cause any immediate threat to structures, she says.

Unseasonably dry, hot weather has brought wildfire season early in B.C.

One wildfire that destroyed about 83 hectares near Clearwater was 100 per cent contained as of Saturday morning.

Another blaze near Pelican Lake was about 164 hectares in size and only 50 per cent contained. - CTV News.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: "Circumhorizontal Arc" - Rare Rainbow Phenomenon Appears In Tennessee Sky?!


- As you look up into the sky, you will see a different view each day.

Many saw a fairly rare weather phenomenon Thursday called a circumhorizontal arc, which may look similar to a sun halo, but it's not the same thing.

A number of viewers sent in photos of the circumhorizontal arc, but many didn't understand what exactly was in the sky.




The sun refracts off of ice crystals in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds to form a spectrum-colored band.

The arc was either in full or close to that Thursday, resulting in a well-defined spectrum-colored band running parallel to the horizon below the sun.

We also need a high sun angle, so the sunlight can hit the ice crystals at the needed angle or 58 degrees or more.

Since our days are getting longer, we met that requirement and most of the viewer pictures were taken around midday.

In some cases, the arc may appear as a fire rainbow, but that is not the correct way to identify what happened. - WATE.

EXTREME WEATHER: Pacific Typhoon Dolphin Strikes Guam - Thousands Without And Power!

Typhoon Dolphin batters Guam.  © AAP

May 17, 2015 - GUAM
- Many Guam residents were left without power or water yesterday while hundreds remained in island storm shelters.

More than 3,300 Guam Waterworks Authority subscribers experienced water outages and 40 percent of Guam Power Authority customers experienced power outages that lasted through yesterday, according to GPA and GWA spokeswoman Heidi Ballendorf.

Ballendorf said more than five of the emergency generators used to power water wells experienced malfunctions, which left about 8.2 percent of the agency's 41,000 customers without water.

According to Ballendorf, crews installed the emergency generators before Dolphin's approach when they discovered more than five generators would not start.

In response, GWA electricians were deployed yesterday while the island was still in Condition of Readiness 1 to fix the downed generators.

GWA and Guam EPA lab technicians also were out yesterday at some of the 400 points along a 700-mile-long GWA water line to test water quality.

All residents, particularly those who lost water, are being advised to boil tap water used for cooking and drinking.

WATCH: Typhoon Dolphin strikes Guam.

At 3 a.m. yesterday, GPA crews were deployed to restore power to scattered areas.

"Our crews are working in 12-to-14-hour shifts day and night to solve the outages," Ballendorf said.

Ballendorf said the crews' priorities were "feeder" lines, which she said service the most customers.

Prior to the storm hitting the island, Ballendorf said GPA is able to detect the locations of outages as they occur and the moment they happen through smart grids and a remote operating system called SCADA.

"We know where the outages are and we're working diligently to get those back up," Ballendorf said.

Deanne Criswell, a senior federal official from Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters said the agency didn't receive any reports of fatalities or injuries on Guam or in the CNMI.

Criswell said, once the team from Region 9 and the 35-person Incident Management Assistance Team finish their assessments, FEMA will know what types of assistance will need to be provided. FEMA's Region 9 serves Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Pacific islands.

More than 100 people were moved yesterday from the Maria Ulloa Elementary School shelter to the Astumbo shelter, which housed about 336 residents. The Machananao Elementary School shelter, which housed 199 residents, also remained open.

The other six shelters used during the typhoon were closed.

Once people are situated, officials will work out the next plan of action, governor's spokesman Julius Santos said. Priorities are set on trying to find solutions for these residents, and opening schools by Monday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Chip Guard said Guam was well prepared for Dolphin.

"It was unusual to see a small storm like that expand at the last minute," Guard said. "Regardless, I think the island got by really well because of the preparations people made."

Guard added: "This was probably the strongest storm we've had in 10 years."

- Pacific Sunday News.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Era Of Great Quakes And Eruptions Begin In Japan - Ground Swells Near Mount Hakone Volcano!

May 17, 2015 - JAPAN
- Japanese experts say they have confirmed ground swelling in the no-entry zone on Mount Hakone since an increase of volcanic activity last month.

Officials at the Geospatial Information Authority released findings from data collected by a ground observation satellite.

The experts compared measurements taken on Friday with those from April 17th, before intensified volcanic activity.

They found an upthrust of up to 12 centimeters. The swelling is in the southwestern part of a 100-meter radius in the Owakudani valley.

The experts say that ground around the center of the no-go area has also swollen by up to 10 centimeters.

Officials have prohibited anyone from going into an area around the valley after an increase in the number of minor earthquakes on the volcano.

Kojin Wada of the Geospatial Information Authority said he believes local swelling is continuously taking place at shallow depths in Owakudani.

The Meteorological Agency has warned of possible small eruptions and falling rocks in the Owakudani area.

WATCH: Ground swells near Mount Hakone.

- NHK.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Giant Sinkhole Opens Up In A Field In Southern Turkey - Measured 33 FEET WIDE And 295 FEET DEEP!

Giant sinkhole appears in Turkey

May 17, 2015 - TURKEY
- Residents of Konya Province in southern Turkey have spoken of their terror when a giant sinkhole suddenly appeared in a local field.

"We are very afraid (for) our lives. It is luck that no one fell into it," said one local farmer.

Measuring 10 metres wide (33 feet) and 90 metres deep (295 feet), the crater is thought to have formed in the space of 24 hours.

No one was injured as a result of the ground caving in.

WATCH: Locals in Turkey are terrified as giant sinkhole appears.

- Euronews.