Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Storm Erika is located about 75 mi…125 km S of Guantanamo Cuba with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 20 mph…31 km/h.

Erika has devastated Dominica where nine inches of rain fell late on Wednesday, and six more early on Thursday, causing floods and landslides. At least 20 people have died with Katy least 31 more still missing.

Hurricane Ignacio is located about 660 mi…1060 km ESE of Hilo Hawaii and about 870 mi…1400 km ESE of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…90 mph…150 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.

Hurricane Kilo is located about 260 mi…420 km WNW of Johnston Island and about 765 mi…1230 km SSE of Midway Island with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 285 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.

Hurricane Jimena is located about 1220 mi…1965 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…150 mph…240 km/h. Present movement…W or 270 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.

Invest 99L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for tropical development.

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Global Warming

Thousands of walruses wash ashore as global warming devastates Alaskan Arctic

The extreme loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is forcing thousands of walruses to crowd ashore on a remote barrier island off Alaska, and threatening their survival.

The first reported sighting of animals forced to come ashore in the Chukchi Sea was by a photographer on 23 August, and confirmed by villagers in the remote hamlet of Point Lay late on Thursday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Such landings, forced by the absence of sea ice on which to rest and feed, put the animals at risk of stampede in the limited space of the barrier island.

The animals are easily spooked by aircraft or onlookers, government scientists warned. Trampling deaths are one of the biggest natural risks.

Sea ice cover in the winter months fell to a new low this year because of climate change and abnormal weather patterns.

Some scientists believe the Arctic could be entirely ice-free in the summer months by the 2030s – with profound effects for local indigenous communities that rely on the ice, as well as wildlife that depend on extreme conditions.

Since 2000, the forced migration of walruses and their young to barrier islands such as Point Lay — known as a “haul out” — has become an increasingly regular occurrence, according to US government scientists.

Last year, as many as 40,000 animals, mainly females and their young, were forced ashore. It was the biggest known haul-out of its kind in the US Arctic, according to government scientists. The Federal Aviation Authority re-routed flights and bush pilots were told to keep their distance to avoid a stampede.

Walruses YouTube 800x430

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Wildfires destroy forest around the world’s oldest and deepest fresh-water lake, Lake Baikal in Russia. By Thursday over 25,000 hectares of forest had been scorched.

Wildfires – DR Congo

At least three people have been killed and thousands left homeless by bush fires raging in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Alamagan region in the North Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Storm Erika is located about 155 mi…250 km ESE of Santo Domingo Dominican Republic and about 430 mi…690 km ESE of Great Inagua Island with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Tropical Storm Erika lashed Puerto Rico early Friday with heavy rains and wind after killing four people and causing devastating floods in the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, where several people remained missing.

The storm was expected to dump up to 12 inches (31 centimetres) of rain across portions of the drought-stricken northern Caribbean as it carved a path toward the U.S. Forecasters said Erika might fall apart over Hispaniola or Puerto Rico or possibly strengthen into a hurricane as it nears South Florida early next week.

Hurricane Ignacio is located about 890 mi…1430 km ESE of Hilo Hawaii and about 1100 mi…1770 km ESE of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…90 mph…150 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

Tropical Storm Kilo is located about 35 mi…55 km NW of Johnston Island and about 905 mi…1460 km se of Midway Island with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…WSW or 255 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

Hurricane Jimena is located about 1045 mi…1680 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…80 mph…130 km/h, Present movement…W or 270 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h

NewsBytes:

Nepal – A heavy downpour in Bhaktapur on Thursday inundated at least 60 houses. The flooding caused by the swollen Hanumante river has flooded temporary shelters for earthquake survivors in the district.

Bhaktapur earthquake survivors flood

Wildlife

Birds Sing Louder, Lower to Be Heard Over Human Noise

The din of modern life has gotten so loud that male bluebirds have learned to “shout” louder when the human-generated noise becomes too blaring.

Researcher Caitlin Kight of the U.K.’s University of Exeter and colleagues made the discovery after recording songs produced by 32 male bluebirds.

Writing in the journal Integrative and Comparative Biology, Kight says they found the male bluebirds were able to make real-time adjustments to be heard over noise by producing songs that are both louder and lower-pitched.

The finding suggests the birds are able to perceive the louder background noise and alter their songs accordingly to be heard by potential mates or rivals.

Co-author John Swaddle, from the college of William and Mary, cautions against interpreting the findings as proof that noise pollution has no adverse impacts on wildlife.

“Unfortunately, the world is getting so noisy that even the most flexible of species will eventually reach a threshold beyond which they will have difficulty communicating, which will impact their ability to breed successfully,” said Swaddle.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 122.0 degrees Fahrenheit (50.0 degrees Celsius) at Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 111.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 79.9 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 22 and 23 August 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 13 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. Twelve (12) of these reported cases are associated with a MERS-CoV outbreak currently occurring in a hospital in Riyadh city.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits Norfolk Island, Australia.

5.2 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.1 Earthquake hits northern Xinjiang, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

Fracking in British Columbia

Fracking triggered a 4.4-magnitude earthquake in northeastern B.C. last year, making it one of world’s largest earthquakes ever triggered by the controversial process.

B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission confirmed the cause of the earthquake in an email statement this week, saying it was “triggered by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing.”

The 4.4-magnitude quake was felt in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson in August 2014. It was preceded by a 3.8-magnitude earthquake in late July, also caused by fracking.

B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission said that several companies were doing hydraulic fracturing in the area at the time, and several more were disposing of fracking waste.

Hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, is the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure deep underground to break rock and free gas.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical Storm Erika is located about 35 mi…55 km N of Guadeloupe and about 30 mi…45 km se of Antigua with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 16 mph…26 km/h.

Hurricane Ignacio is located about 1205 mi…1940 km ESE of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

Tropical Storm Kilo is located about 125 mi…200 km NE of Johnston Island and about 610 mi…985 km WSW of Barking Sands Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…WSW or 245 degrees at 1 mph…2 km/h.

Tropical Storm Jimena is located about 845 mi…1365 km SSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 285 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

NewsBytes:

North Korea – Heavy rain in North Korea killed 40 people, stranded thousands in flash floods and caused “massive” damage on the weekend after 250 mm (9.5 inches) of rain fell over the weekend. About 155mm (6 inches) fell in just three hours on Saturday. More than 11,000 people were forced from their homes or otherwise affected by the floods, which hit the northeastern city of Rajin, near the border with Russia and China, on Saturday and Sunday.

Disease

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 18 and 21 August 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 29 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 6 deaths.

Twenty-four (24) of these reported cases are associated with a MERS-CoV outbreak currently occurring in a hospital in Riyadh city.

First Native Case Of Mosquito-Borne Tropical Disease Chinkungunya Confirmed In Spain

The European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDC) confirmed the first case of the tropical disease chinkungunya to be transmitted in Spain on August 21.

“This is the first chikungunya case reported from Spain without travel history to endemic areas,˝ said the ECDC report.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Lava extrusion into the volcano’s lava dome continues at moderate intensity. Small incandescent avalanches are sometimes visible on night-time webcam images. Steaming and weak to moderate ash emissions accompany this activity.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Ash emissions occurred Tuesday (25th), producing a plume at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude that extended 100 km to the west. (Darwin VAAC)

Raung (East Java): A few days ago, the official alert level of the volcano has been lowered to 2 (out of 4). It seems that no, or almost no eruptive activity has taken place at the volcano over the past days. What probably was the volcano’s most significant eruption in at least 100 years, is probably over.

Dukono (Halmahera): Activity remains intense. Darwin VAAC spotted ash emissions that rose 1-2 km above the volcano and drifted up to 100 km to the west.

Colima (Western Mexico): Activity seems to have decreased over the past days. Explosions have been much weaker and almost absent recently.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador): No significant changes have occurred. The volcano continues to produce near-continuous ash plumes that rise 1-2 km above the summit and drift into westerly directions. Volcanic tremor is continuous at the moment.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): Activity at the volcano increased since Tuesday (25 Aug), the volcano observatory reported. From 03:05 local time, seismic activity increased with the appearance of tremor accompanying ash emissions. Black, hence likely juvenile (from fresh magma) ash fell on Chontapamba Pillate, Bilbao and Juive Grande is recorded. Subsequently, 5 explosions were recorded starting at 05:57. The intensity of these increased progressively, the strongest occurring at 08:05.

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): The eruption that began last Monday continues. Lava output is much lower now (approx 10 cubic meters / second) than in the beginning (30 cu m/s), but more or less stable. Bad weather during the past two days prevented more detailed observations. A heavy cloud of volcanic fog (SO2 droplets) encompasses most of the Enclos and parts of the southern La Réunion island.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical Storm Erika is located about 390 mi…630 km E of Antigua with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 18 mph…30 km/h. Hazards affecting land: wind: tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area in the Leeward Islands tonight, and reach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area tonight and early Thursday. Rainfall: Erika is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with maximum amounts of 8 inches across portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico through Friday morning.

Tropical Storm Ignacio is located about 1485 mi…2385 km ESE of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…W or 260 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

Tropical Depression Kilo is located about 160 mi…255 km NE of Johnston Island and about 585 mi…940 km WSW of Barking Sands Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…WSW or 240 degrees at 5 mph…7 km/h.

Tropical Storm Loke is located about 370 mi…595 km NNE of Midway Island with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…NW or 325 degrees at 21 mph…33 km/h.

Invest 96E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Alaska – Searchers in Alaska on Tuesday recovered the third and last body of three people who went missing after a landslide last week on Aug. 18. The landslide that carried mud and trees sweeping down a road occurred after 24 hours of heavy rain in the mountainous community in Alaska’s southeastern tip.