2012 Articles of Interest

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Archives 2012 Articles of Interest

Browse these 2012 news articles of interest on current events that range from:

  • Seasonal weather predictions and folklore,
  • Reports of unexplained ecological events,
  • New geological discoveries, to
  • Disaster and economical preparedness.

“Pineapple Express” Storms

Michael Dettinger, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, co-authored a recent Scientific American article which raised the possibility that California might be overdue for what is being called an atmospheric river “megastorm.”

He explained that atmospheric rivers are massive bands of water vapor that form over the ocean and carry water across the tropical Pacific to many places, including the California coast. Some residents may be familiar with “Pineapple Express” storms: one of several different atmospheric river configurations that hit California each year. When the rivers of water vapor hit land, they create big storm events with heavy rainfall. Read more.

Ecuador Volcano Blasts More Hot Rock

Coasta Rica VolcanoThe Tungurahua volcano in central Ecuador keeps spewing gas, ash and red-hot rock, forcing hundreds to evacuate from their homes.

The country's Geophysical Institute says incandescent rock shot from the crater of the 16,479-foot (5,023-meter) high mountain fell about half a mile (a kilometer) down its flanks. Explosions early Wednesday rattled windows 9 miles (14 kilometers) away, while rain-borne ash has been falling to the southwest of the crater. Read more and see amazing photos.


When Ice Melts, Volcanoes Spew Fire

It has long been known that volcanic activity can cause short-term variations in climate. Now, researchers have found evidence that the reverse process also occurs: Climate affects volcanic activity.

In 1991, it was a disaster for the villages nearby the erupting Philippine volcano Pinatubo. But the effects were felt even as far away as Europe. The volcano threw up many tons of ash and other particles into the atmosphere causing less sunlight than usual to reach the Earth’s surface. For the first few years after the eruption, global temperatures dropped by half a degree. In general, volcanic eruptions can have a strong short-term impact on climate. Conversely, the idea that climate may also affect volcanic eruptions on a global scale and over long periods of time is completely new. Read more.

Coming Planetary Alignments

In recent months, UBS's Art Cashin has been warning about increased earthquake activity driven by peculiar planetary and solar angles.

In this morning's "Cashin's Comments," he notes that another planetary alignment could trigger earthquakes during the period when we're supposedly going to experience the Mayan apocalypse. Read more.


Help Seniors Cope with Disasters

Seniors are known to have enduring spirits. Many have an amazing ability to handle hardships, most likely because they have already weathered so many storms in their life. Despite this resiliency, dealing with natural disasters can pose unique challenges for those in the older population who are frail and may struggle with chronic illnesses such as memory loss.

Recent natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast and wildfires on the West Coast, illustrate that these kinds of unexpected situations can happen any time, anywhere. For all seniors, it is critical to prepare them in advance, as well as provide support after the fact. Read more.

Flesh Eating Fungal Infection

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- After a natural disaster, doctors should be on the lookout for outbreaks of a rare but deadly "flesh-eating" fungal infection, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.

That's the lesson, the agency said, from 13 cases of mucormycosis skin infections that struck victims of the Joplin, Mo., tornado last year.

The May 2011 tornado was one of the deadliest in U.S. history, killing almost 160 people and injuring more than 1,000. In the aftermath, doctors found that some victims with serious injuries were developing severe infections that ate away at the skin and underlying soft tissue.

It turned out to be mucormycosis, a fungal infection caused by a group of molds found in soil and decaying matter, such as fallen leaves and rotting wood. The fungus can attack various parts of the body, but skin infections occur when the fungus contaminates a wound. Read more.

10 Most affected by 2011 Natural Disasters

JOHANNESBURG, 27 November 2012 (IRIN) - Many of the worst natural disasters of 2011 were also the most severe the affected countries had ever experienced, revealed the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2013, which was released in Doha today.

Brazil, Cambodia, El Salvador, Laos and Thailand appear in the CRI’s 10 most-affected countries; all recorded their severest natural hazards-related catastrophes in 2011.

Floods and landslides claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people and caused almost US$5 billion in direct losses in Brazil, said the index, which is produced by the NGO Germanwatch.

Thailand is listed as 2011’s most natural disaster-affected country. The country experienced its worst flooding ever that year, triggered by the landfall of Tropical Storm Nock-ten. The flooding led to losses worth $43 billion, making it one of the most costly natural disasters of the world. Read more.

Advances in Influenza Vaccines

Researchers recently found that a single dose of a vaccine being developed by Medicago, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, could protect against not only the avian influenza (H5N1) strain it was designed for, but also another H5N1 strain and a strain of a different flu subtype, called H2N2.

This phenomenon, known as “cross-protection,” is highly desirable in an influenza vaccine, especially when the threat of a pandemic influenza outbreak looms. That’s because influenza strains often mutate, rendering stockpiled vaccines ineffective. Medicago has a special advantage in this regard, because the company can rapidly produce a vaccine in less than a month after the identification of a flu strain. This speed results from Medicago’s use of entities known as virus-like particles (VLPs) to create its vaccines.

Medicago is a worldwide leader in the development of VLP vaccines using a transient expression system, which produces recombinant vaccine antigens in plants. The accelerated production time frame gives the potential to vaccinate the general public before the first wave of a pandemic. Read more.

New Madrid Wake Up Call

Are you prepared for an earthquake? Tuesday evening, two shallow earthquakes, although small, were felt in Mt. Carmel, Ill. as well as five miles outside Edmond, Okla. Illinois had the largest at 3.6 magnitude, leaving Oklahoma with a smaller 2.9 magnitude quake as reported by the USGS.

The fact that both of these quakes were shallow and follow on the heels of Kentucky's 4.3 just 10 days ago makes the questions begin to fly. Is the New Madrid waking up? Is it gearing up for 'the big one'? When Ky. Experienced a 4.3 two weeks ago, it was felt across 10-12 states. Although it didn't knock runners off their feet, it did alarm many. Knoxville was among the cities that felt the quake. The shaking was not minor in many areas, and it scared people as walls shook and many began to pray. Read more.

More on Earthquakes

Fracking Linked to Uptick in Earthquakes

Since 2003, there have been about 953 earthquakes in Northeastern BC. In 2008 alone there were 590. Honn Kao, Ph.D. Research Scientist, Seismology for the Pacific Geoscience Centre explains 2008 was tied to the investigation of fracking and seismic activity near Fort Nelson. From 2003 and the proceeding 17 years there were only about 185 events recorded by Natural Resource Canada (NRC).

Why the increase in earthquakes? Is it a natural occurrence? Could there be a link between an increased frequency of earthquakes and the new source for the natural gas extraction method of hydraulic fracturing aka fracking?

Fracking has been a method of extracting natural gas from the earth since 1958, however in the last five years, the method has taken an unconventional turn by trying to extract the gas from shale rock or sandstone. Hardy Friedrich, communications liaison for the Oil and Gas Commission of BC (OGC) says, “The source is unconventional, the shale and sandstone in the Montney Basin. In the Montney and Horn River basins, the gas is trapped in tight shale formations, not conventional reservoirs where there is kind of a pool of resources in the ground.” Read more.

Map Reading Tips

Orienting a map is a starting point to identify where I am, where I want to go and where I have been. I orient my topographic map (topo) before I leave the trail head and at regular intervals during a hike.

It is a process where I involve both map and compass. Of course, orienting a map can be done without a compass and done visually. I find using a compass takes just a tad more time and the more hands on time with the compass the better.

Correctly orienting my map allows me to get “dialed in” to my surroundings. It is a process where I align the map, compass and GPS to the terrain before me. Read More.


If you are left without power and knowing where you are and what’s around you is critical information. I’d like to take this one step further and say that everyone should play around with Google’s satellite maps and print out a few different views of the location they are most likely to hole up in should a disaster event occur.

I myself have a few printouts that show my entire town, as well as a few that show close up views of my immediate neighborhood. If you’re not already familiar with Google Earth you’ll be amazed to find an interactive tool with actual satellite photos down to amazing detail (zooming in on my house actually reveals my dog sleeping on the back lawn).

Simply put, this is similar to a military style high-tech reconnaissance product that is available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. Read More.

Another Active Volcano for New Zealand

The volcano in the center of New Zealand's North Island is showing signs of a possible imminent eruption, vulcanologists in the country are warning.

The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences said the temperature beneath Ruapehu's Crater Lake was 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit but the lake itself was only 68 degrees F., suggesting a volcanic vent may be partly blocked.

A resulting pressure build-up beneath the Crater Lake would mean a heightened likelihood of eruptions in the near future, experts said.

"We think the pressure beneath Ruapehu Crater Lake has increased and this makes an eruption more likely over the next weeks to months," vulcanologist Steve Sherburn said in a statement. Read more.

Disaster Planning Tips

An article in this week’s Your Money special section takes a look on what residents in Joplin, Missouri learned about disaster-proofing your financial life, from the tornado that devastated their community in May 2011.

Many of the lessons sound simple. Renter’s insurance is a good idea. So is a fireproof box containing important documents and some cash. Prepare a list of your medications and specific dosages, so you can replace them.

To that list, I can add a few of my own. As a journalist, I’ve covered natural disasters, but was never directly affected by one until an ice storm struck my town in January 2009. It can’t compare to the Joplin tornado or Hurricane Sandy, but the ice storm knocked out power for days. My husband was traveling so I was alone with our two young children. I huddled with them under blankets, trying to stay warm while persuading them that we were playing Laura Ingalls Wilder in her book, “The Long Winter.” We cringed at the shotgun-like sound of branches snapping from the weight of the ice. Tree limbs crashed through our roof and through a large plate glass window, terrifying the children and letting in the icy cold. View Tips.

More Disaster Planning Ideas and Tips

The Sleeping Giant

A recent earthquake study conducted by FEMA rated 12 Alabama counties as code critical, with those in northwest Alabama at highest risk of a New Madrid event. Geologists and other earthquake experts assessed the potential impact on Alabama in a WHNT News 19 special report produced by reporter Nick Banaszak.

“I think most people are aware that earthquakes can occur here, but they just can’t remember the last time one shook them,” said Gary Patterson, a geologist with the Center for Earthquake Research and Information in Memphis. “You take the same magnitude earthquake, put one in California, one here. The one here is going to effect ten to twenty times larger an area. That’s incredible…We know that the earthquakes of 1811, 1812 were felt 1,000 to 1,200 miles away.”

The 1812 quake was actually the third and final act in a trilogy of mega-quakes. The final earthquake had its epicenter in New Madrid, Missouri, a tiny town along the Mississippi River that inspired the name for the notorious fault line. Accounts of the 1812 quake vary since there were no measuring instruments at the time, but most geologists say evidence shows it was at least a magnitude 8 earthquake, and possibly a 9 or higher. The shaking was so intense that church bells started ringing as far away as Boston and New York. Chimneys toppled from the Deep South to Canada, and President James Madison was awoken by the violent shaking as he slept in the White House. Eyewitnesses said it even caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a time. Read more and watch video.

Are You Ready for Severe Winter Weather

Research by the Highways Agency shows that 49 per cent of drivers ignore severe weather warnings, while 29 per cent of drivers do not prepare their vehicle for winter – potentially putting themselves and others at risk.

Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Drivers need to make sure they and their vehicles are ready for severe weather. Vehicles are much more prone to break down as temperatures plummet and a routine incident or breakdown can become much more serious in severe weather.

“Any broken down vehicles can have a big impact on our motorways and trunk roads, making it harder for road salting vehicles and snow ploughs to operate. As well as putting the driver and passengers at risk, it takes longer to clear the roads and causes delays for everyone else.

“It’s important drivers take a few minutes to check their vehicles, plan their journeys, check the weather forecast and carry an emergency kit. In the most severe weather, they should even consider whether their journey is really necessary before they set out.”Read More.

Winter Survival Tips

Solar Power Limitations?

The thousands of solar-powered New Jersey homeowners have spent the last week at the mercy of the power grid, just like everyone else.

“I’ve been asked that all week long,” says Jeff Lega, whose home in Brick is covered in rooftop solar panels. “’Why don’t you have power?’”

Understanding the answer requires an understanding of how residential solar panels function. On a sunny day, rooftop panels can produce more electricity than is needed to power a home. But with no way to store it, the excess juice is sent back to the power grid for consumption elsewhere.

During outages, solar panels connected to the grid cut off automatically so they can’t send a wave of electricity through while a utility worker is doing power line repairs. It’s a necessary safety precaution, but for the last week or so it has left in the dark people who have a free supply of electricity right over their heads.

“People are like, ‘You’ve got solar, what’s the big deal?’” Tom Rogers, of Wall Township said. “No, no. You don’t get it. Solar has nothing to do with generating electricity for your house -- it’s about selling it back to the power company.”Read more.

Small Earthquake Rattles Eastern Kentucky

An earthquake in Kentucky on Saturday was felt as far away as the Carolinas, according to the United States Geological Survey. The 4.3 magnitude quake struck at 12:08 p.m. near Whitesburg, KY.

According to the United States Geological Survey, shaking from the tremor was felt as far away as the North Carolina-South Carolina state line. However, some FOX Carolina News Facebook fans in Taylors and Ealsey also reported feeling the ground shake. There were no immediate reports of damage. Read More.

Read more about the New Madrid Fault

Would You Be Ready?

My heart goes out to all the people who are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Watching this tragedy unfold was a stark reminder about the importance of emergency preparedness. And it should be a wake-up call to everyone that we can’t rely on the government to help in an emergency like this. That’s not a knock against the government—it’s a recognition of harsh realities: if tens of thousands of people need help, and basic infrastructure is damaged (roads, bridges, etc.), there is a limit to how fast mere humans can move to help, and there may be limits to what they can do. In a widespread disaster, stores will quickly run out of groceries and batteries; gas stations will quickly run out of fuel.

It pays for every one of us to be thinking of backup plans, and building that kind of thinking into our everyday lives. I’m not talking about the kind of disaster preparedness featured on National Geographic Channel’s “Doomsday Preppers” show, where people are building underground bunkers and stockpiling weapons. None of us can plan for every eventuality, and to focus on all the bad things that could happen to us could have us living in fear. However, there are some things we can do to help us cope when disaster strikes. I recently heard this referred to not as emergency planning, but as “redundancy planning.”

That’s a great way to think about it, because that’s what it’s really what it’s all about. Read More.


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the northeastern United States and especially devastated the New Jersey and New York shores, many people are soberly appraising their preparedness. It’s hard to anticipate everything you might need to deal with a disaster like Sandy. Do you require a generator? Don’t forget batteries, flashlights, candles, canned foods, matches galore, and of course a hand-crank emergency radio so you know what’s happening when all the power goes out.

One aspect of emergency preparedness is first aid. What do you need? For starters, it’s wise to store up on bandages. If you’re fortunate, you may never have to use them. But if you’re not, you’ll be glad you have them on hand. Of the many types of bandages available, I recommend the ones with cloth backing. Plastic bandages may be okay, but they don’t hold up like the ones with fabric. A large pack of assorted bandages gives you options – small, medium and large. Make sure that you have at least one roll of medical tape too, and some larger bandage pads. Alcohol swabs in individual packets can be conveniently stored in a pocket, purse or glove compartment. Read More.

East Coast Earthquakes Travel Farther

Data from the 2011 earthquake centered in Virginia shows East Coast tremors can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday.

The agency estimated about one-third of the U.S. population could have felt the magnitude 5.8 tremor centered about 50 miles northwest of Richmond, which would mean more people were affected than any earthquake in U.S. history. Scientists also found the quake that caused more than $200 million in damage triggered landslides at distances four times farther and over an area 20 times larger than research from previous quakes has shown.

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said in a news release about the findings presented at the Geological Society of America conference in Charlotte, N.C.. Link is no longer available.

Philippines Rocked by a 6.5 Earthquake

Areas of eastern Mindanao felt the jolt of a strong earthquake early Saturday morning, according to a Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Earthquake Bulletin Nov. 3.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the temblor, which hit at 2:17 a.m. local time and was recorded at 6.5-magnitude on the Richter scale.

The U.S. Geologic Survey recorded the quake at 6.1-magnitude. The quake’s epicenter was approximately 20 km northeast of the capital city of Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

Historic Earthquakes

This list is in chronological order and is neither exhaustive nor definitive; it describes events where there is plenty of historic evidence and research rather than for magnitude size or human loss.

Where possible I have used the Moment Magnitude scale (MMS) to give a destructive measure with seismic maps from Wikipedia; where no seismic map is available a general map of the area has been used. I have used various geology resources to update my own knowledge of specifics as it was 10 years out of date.

Historic earthquakes are actually very important to determine the likelihood of a massive natural disaster occurring in the same region again and under what sort of timeframe. Unfortunately it seems that the human mind tends to forget quite quickly about a destructive event such as an earthquake or simply manages to put it out of mind, this will be demonstrated in this and subsequent lists where natural disasters that are still fresh in our minds occurred in the same vicinity on several previous occasions. Even after many years of study I still find it incredulous that we rebuild our cities in seismically active areas after such a destructive event. Click here for the list of the top 10 historic earthquakes.

More on Earthquakes and Earthquake Preparedness

Sandy Caught on Earthquake Monitor

As heavy surf hammered the Northeast Monday afternoon before Hurricane Sandy's landfall, the weather was peaceful in northern Pennsylvania.

At Keystone College, in the small town of La Plume, a seismometer scratched out a warning. Even more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) inland, the instrument picked up the power of waves churned by Sandy's winds.

While seismometers are meant to measure earthquakes, the instruments, which detect very subtle movements in the Earth's crust, also commonly record explosions, trucks on the highway and ocean waves crashing on the beach, said Ian Saginor, a professor and volcanologist at Keystone College who monitors the seismometer. Link no longer available.

Super Storm is ready to Hit East Coast

HurricaneSandy, an ordinary late summer hurricane from the tropics, moving north up the East Coast. Bring in a high pressure ridge of air centered around Greenland that blocks the hurricane's normal out-to-sea path and steers it west toward land.

Add a wintry cold front moving in from the west that helps pull Sandy inland and mix in a blast of Arctic air from the north for one big collision. Add a full moon and its usual effect, driving high tides. Factor in immense waves commonly thrashed up by a huge hurricane plus massive gale-force winds.

Do all that and you get a stitched-together weather monster expected to unleash its power over 800 miles, with predictions in some areas of 12 inches of rain, 2 feet of snow and sustained 40- to 50 mph winds.

"The total is greater than the sum of the individual parts" said Louis Uccellini, the environmental prediction chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologists. "That is exactly what's going on here."

This storm is so dangerous and so unusual because it is coming at the tail end of hurricane season and beginning of winter storm season, "so it's kind of taking something from both — part hurricane, part nor'easter, all trouble," Jeff Masters, director of the private service Weather Underground, said Saturday. Read more.

More about Tsunamis

Iceland Prepares for the Big One

Icelandic authorities warned people in the north of the island on Thursday to prepare for a possible big earthquake after the biggest tremors in the area for 20 years.

The north Atlantic island, where almost 320,000 people live, is a hotspot of volcanic and seismic activity as it straddles a fault in the earth's surface.

The Civil Protection Department said in a statement that recent small quakes in an area under the sea about 20 km (12 miles) off the north of Iceland had prompted it to issue a warning to local people. Read more.

Woolly Warm Predicts Cold and Snowy Winter

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- The word from a woolly worm named Lickety Split is that western North Carolina should break out the winter coats and invest in snow shovels.

Lickety Split beat seven other worms Saturday in the finals at the 35th annual Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. The victory meant the worm would be the official forecaster for the upcoming winter. "It's going to be cold and snowy and a few other things," said Roy Kreger, known as Mr. Woolly Worm.

The caterpillars have black and brown bands, with one color sometimes dominating the other. Folklore says black is associated with snowy weather, while brown is an indicator of mild conditions. The bands called for snow and below average temperatures for the first five weeks of winter. The next six weeks will be average to below normal, with unusual cold in the 12th week and more snow predicted for the final week, according to Burleson's observation. Read more.

Military enforced H1N1 vaccination???

According to CNN, the Pentagon is “to establish regional teams of military personnel to assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, according to Defense Department officials.”

The Pentagon is already planning on the number of troops to be deployed,.
with a view to supporting a mass vaccinaiton program. This decision to mobilise the Armed Forces in the vaccination campaign is taken in anticipation of a national emergency. Although no national emergency has been called, the presumption is that a national public health emergency will occur, using the WHO Level 6 Pandemic as a pretext and a justification.

Other countries, including Canada, the UK and France may follow suit, calling upon their Armed Forces to play a role in support of the H1N1 vaccination program. Read more.

Are Sinkholes and Seismic Activity related?

Starting around 6:00 a.m. Thursday, extra seismic activity occurred, according to two USGS monitors in the area, monitors #LA03 BHZ GS and #LA09 BHZ GS, the same two monitors that have previously recorded sharp seismic activity increases more than the others, according to the helicorder graphs.

At 6:40 a.m. Thursday, parish officials stated, “Hwy. 70 was periodically closed earlier due to an unusual flare at Crosstex. We’ve received inquiries about a well being in fire."Read more.

Oil Spill Cleanup Options

In light of the 2010 BP disaster in Gulf of Mexico and the 2011 Exxon oil spill in Yellowstone river, Mike Chung at Penn State along with colleagues have been working on a solution to recover oil spills by employing polyolefin-based oil super-absorbent polymer (oil-SAP) that exhibits high oil absorption capability (up to 50 times of its weight), fast kinetics, easy recovery from water surface, and no water absorption.

The researchers claim that the new oil-SAP technology will drastically lower the damaging effects of oil spills on the environment, while also providing a cost effective method for retrieving the oil spilled in oceans. Also, the gel can then be shipped to refineries where the oil can be extracted and put to use – around 19 litres of oil can be recovered from a pound of the gel material. Read More.

Learn more about oil & chemical spills

Tips for Creating Budget Friendly Disaster Kits

Think budget constraints will keep you from creating a kit? Think again! I happen to be the sovereign of savings, a dignitary of discounts, rollback royalty, queen of all things clearance and, well, you get the idea.

I don't believe in paying full price for anything if I don’t have to. As a self-proclaimed bargain bounty hunter, I’m going to share a few ideas to make sure that, regardless of your budget, you will be able to prepare an emergency kit that will protect your family as well as your finances. Click here for six budget friendly planning tips.

Buy a kit or make your own

Modern Day Noah's Ark

The main reason guests would flock to the Ark Hotel would be its ability to save them from a natural disaster of Noah proportions. That’s because the futuristic building has been designed to withstand floods caused by rising sea levels.

The floating behemoth is a ‘biosphere’ conceived as a safe, self-contained haven.Branded as a green, self-sustaining environment for guests, the shell-shaped hotel would withstand tidal waves and other natural disasters. Architects say the Ark’s shell-like construction of arches and cables evenly distribute weight so it is also invulnerable to earthquakes. Read more.

Hantavirus in Yosemite - Should we be concerned?

Not really, but the medical victories we've experienced over the past 100 years have made Americans forget that such diseases haven't gone away, says David Dausey, director of the Institute for Public Health at Mercyhurst Universityin Erie, Pa. "It's unsettling to realize that we're not entirely safe from these things."

The rise of hantavirus and West Nile virus, neither even recognized in the United States before 1993, is making people check their window screens, stock up on bug spray and rethink travel plans. In Yosemite this summer, hantavirus has killed three people out of nine sickened. Nationally, West Nile virus is the worst it's been since the disease arrived on our shores in 1999: more than 3,545 illnesses and 147 deaths as of Thursday. Read more.

Here is a sneak peek of 2013 Winter Forecast

After the contiguous United States recorded its fourth warmest winter and as many as 24 states recording below average precipitation, followed by a summer which was the third warmest on record, the Farmers' Almanac is predicting a return to winter for some, but not all this year. The latest and newly released edition of the Farmers' Almanac noted that "the climate this winter will render the nation divided".

According to the Farmers' Almanac, the eastern two-thirds of the nation will be colder than normal while the western United States will be warmer than normal. Furthermore, the eastern two-thirds of the country will be wetter than average with Old Man Winter returning with a vengeance across the Great Lakes and Northeast regions. They are expecting most of the eastern states – as far south as the Gulf Coast – to see snowier than normal conditions and cooler temperatures and are pinpointing February 12–15 and March 20–23 as target dates for a major east coast storm event to take place. Read More.

2013 Winter Weather Map

Farmers Almanac

Do you have a Pet Plan?

A family dog lost seven years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was recently found in North Carolina. WCNC reports a 15-year-old dog named Shorty was found wandering along a road in Cabarrus County over the past week.

In the aftermath of Katrina, approximately 8,000 animals were rescued and brought to temporary shelters, according to the the Humane Society of the United States. An estimated 600,000 pets were killed or left without shelter as a result of the hurricane.

Here are some tips for creating an emergency disaster plan for your pets.

Turning to Twitter during Natural Disasters

Twitter launched a new feature today called Lifeline to help users in Japan access relevant information during an emergency.

Twitter’s new Lifeline feature lets users find and follow local accounts that upload important information during emergencies. All that’s needed is a postal code, typed into the service, and Twitter will create a list of resources for you. As of right now the feature is only available to Twitter users in Japan, but there are plans to expand Lifeline into other countries. Presumably this expansion will rely on government cooperation and will probably focus first on countries prone to natural disasters.

The new feature generates a list of Twitter accounts actively posting emergency information. This curated list could include city, district, or national government accounts being updated with official announcements important to the public. It won’t be restricted to government, however, and will likely bring attention to local media and utility companies so people in Japan will be informed of service disruptions and breaking news surrounding the event. Read More. 

Thousands of Dead Jellyfish

Thousands of big, quivering red jellyfish created a spectacle on Cable Beach yesterday.

Marine scientist James Brown, of Cygnet Bay, arrived with his sons about 6.15am to find the jellyfish, which had washed up overnight.

"They were very fresh, being pushed up by little swells that were rolling in," Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown, who set up the Kimberley Marine Research Institute at his Cygnet Bay pearl farm with fellow scientist Ali McCarthy, felt it important to record the phenomenon for further research.Read more and view photo.

Super Typhoon

Hurricane

Super typhoon Sanba, with peak winds of 155 mph, continues on its collision course with Okinawa and, eventually, South Korea. It’s positioned about 440 miles south of Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa and moving north at about 13 mph. Strong winds could affect Okinawa as soon as Saturday evening local time.

Since yesterday, Sanba has waxed and waned in intensity a bit. At one point, its top winds climbed to an extraordinary 178 mph, the equivalent of powerful category 5 hurricane. Since then, some of the thunderstorms surrounding the storm’s eye have diminished and the maximum winds have dropped some. Read More.

Asteroid to fly by Earth Thursday - Watch online

A newfound asteroid that may be the size of three football fields will whiz by Earth Thursday Sept. 13, and you can watch the close encounter live online.

Asteroid 2012 QG42 is between 625 feet to 1,400 feet wide (190 to 430 meters) and was first spotted by scientists last month. Researchers say the space rock has no chance of hitting Earth this week when it makes its closest approach on Thursday.

Read More and Watch Video

Are We in for an Extreme Winter?

The record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer will echo throughout the weather patterns affecting the U.S. and Europe this winter, climate scientists said on Wednesday, since added heat in the Arctic influences the jet stream and may make extreme weather and climate events more likely.

The “astounding” loss of sea ice this year is adding a huge amount of heat to the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere, said Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “It’s like having a new energy source for the atmosphere.” Francis was one of three scientists on a conference call Wednesday to discuss the ramifications of sea ice loss for areas outside the Arctic.

On August 26, Arctic sea ice extent broke the record low set in 2007, and it has continued to decline since, dropping below 1.5 million square miles. That represents a 45 percent reduction in the area covered by sea ice compared to the 1980s and 1990s, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and may be unprecedented in human history. The extent of sea ice that melted so far this year is equivalent to the size of Canada and Alaska combined. Read More and access links to original study.

Be Prepared for Severe Winters Storms

NASA Seeks Extreme Weather Photographs

NASA has announced a competition to select the best user-submitted pictures of extreme weather to display on its mission websites. The best pictures of thunderstorms, tornadoes and other extreme weather condition will be featured on the NASA Precipitation Measurement Missions websites at pmm.nasa.gov and www.nasa.gov/GPM, the space agency said.

Images should be in JPEG (.jpg) format in as high a resolution as possible with as much accompanying data as the user is comfortable providing, NASA said, including possibly name, affiliation (school, community group, etc.), location where the photo was taken and any other interesting details about the photo. More Details.

5 Costliest Hurricanes In U.S. History

Isaac might be the most destructive storm of the 2012 hurricane season,
but it doesn't compare to the deadliest storms in U.S. history. The National Hurricane Center publishes a record of the costliest hurricanes going back to 1851. Four of the five deadliest storms formed since 2004. Read more to find out which Hurricane ranked as most costiest.

Click here for more on Hurricanes and a Free eBook on Hurricane Preparedenss

Shifting sands from Isaac reveal 1923 shipwreck

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) — The pounding surf and currents from Hurricane Isaac on a remote spit of Alabama shoreline has again revealed the wreckage of a schooner that ran aground in 1923, delighting curious tourists and locals.

The schooner Rachel and her eight-man crew ran aground near historic Fort Morgan on Oct. 17, 1923, during a tropical storm. The men were headed to Mobile after a stop in Cuba. While the men aboard the Rachel survived, others on nearby schooners weren't so lucky. Read More.

This is just Gross!

Officials have begun cleanup efforts on Mississippi beaches littered with thousands of nutria rats, killed and swept onshore by Hurricane Isaac.

Officials with the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency say that parts of Beach Boulevard from Lakeshore Road to Washington Street in Bay St. Louis have been closed while workers in hazardous materials suits try and pick up the carcasses.

Hancock County EMA officials estimate more than 15,000 swamp rats were killed
by Isaac's storm surge and washed up on the beaches. This is a significant increase
from the estimated 5,000 earlier reported. Read more and view photos.

Potential Mississippi Dam Break

The excessive rainfall drenching Mississippi from Tropical Storm Isaac has prompted a flash flood emergency and the evacuation of thousands ahead of a potential dam break.

The river is forecast to rise rapidly to nearly one foot above its record flood stage of 18.7 feet by Friday afternoon. NWS says the river could hit 19.4 feet. Officials believe this will likely cause the 700-acre Lake Tangipahoa earthen dam, also known as the Percy quin dam to break, causing widespread and significant flooding downstream of the river. Read more.

Drought Sunken Mississippi River

The prolonged drought across the Mid-South and Upper Midwest has lowered the Mississippi River to its lowest levels since 1988, halting traffic along an 11-mile stretch of the river near Greenville, Miss.

The Mississippi River at Greenville had fallen to a stage of only 7.75 feet as of early Tuesday. This is the lowest river level here on the river since 1988, when the river dipped to 7.30 feet. It is forecast to continue to fall, reaching the 1988 low mark over the weekend, tying it with 1981 for the 4th lowest river level at Greenville on record. Click here to read more and see photos.

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A steamboat trip for hundreds of passengers from Louisville, Ky. to Vicksburg, Miss. had to be halted at Memphis, Tenn. due to the drought sunken Mississippi River.

Tim Rubacky, senior vice president of the American Queen Steamboat Company, said low water levels and navigation problems mean it wouldn't be wise for the Queen to go any further south than Helena, Ark. Read more and see photos.

PrepFair.org

Emergency management professionals, agencies and volunteers are coming together to help families, neighborhoods, and community prepare for emergency situations. Some of the valuable information will include senior citizen care, financial preparedness, severe weather, emergency essentials for pets, short term food storage, family emergency communication plans and more.

After the huge success of the 2011 Emergency Preparedness Fair, we are excited to present the 2012 East Tennessee VOAD Emergency Preparedness Fair!

September 22nd, 2012
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Cokesbury United Methodist Church, North Campus
9915 Kingston Pike, Knoxville
Admission: FREE

2012 Wildfires

Hundreds of people in two Idaho towns packed their belongings and left Wednesday ahead of a massive blaze expected to hit the area later this week. They joined scores of weary residents across several dry and hot western states that are dealing with one of the worst fire seasons in memory.

Not only are more wildfires flaring up in the West this year than last, but the nation's fires have gotten bigger, said Jennifer Smith, of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. As of Wednesday, nearly 43,000 wildfires had been reported in the U.S. this season, burning a total of 6.4 million acres, or 10,000 square miles. The 10-year average for this period is 52,535 fires but covering only 5 million acres, she said. Read More.

400-foot deep sinkhole in Louisiana

A nearly 400-foot deep sinkhole in Louisiana has swallowed all of the trees in its area and enacted a mandatory evacuation order for about 150 residences for fear of potential radiation and explosions.

The 400-square-foot gaping hole is in Assumption Parish, La., about 50 miles south of Baton Rouge. The sinkhole sits in the middle of a heavily wooded space where it has consumed all of the soaring cypress trees that had been there. Flyover photos show some of the still visible through the mud. Read more and view photo galley.

Celestrial Show

The Perseid shower has it all. It offers a consistently high rate of meteors, it produces more bright, visible meteors than any other shower, it happens in August when many people are on vacation, and it happens at a time when nighttime temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are reasonable and the weather is good.
What more could you ask for?

This year, the shower peaks on the night of August 11/12. You can expect to see somewhere around 80 “shooting stars” per hour between midnight and dawn. Add in the fact that just before dawn, Jupiter and Venus will join in and this promises to be one of the best Perseid showers in memory. Read More.

Will there be a Food Shortage?

Crop prices are shooting upwards in anticipation of scarcity over the winter period with corn already rising 50% since June. These extreme weather patterns being experienced on both sides of the Atlantic are of concern on a number of levels with the spike in the price of grain likely to impact on all parts of the food supply chain. Read more.

Will Earthquakes be Triggered by recent Solar Flares?

 

Targeting an unnumbered Coronal Hole on the solar corona. After analysis i have isolated (43-49°N latitude), this feature may produce a possible 7.4 Magnitude earthquake in one of these listed locations during this watch period:

Off The Coast Of Oregon, Puget Sound Region Washington, Vancouver Islands Canada Region, Italy , Romania , Southwestern Siberia Russia or East Kazakhstan.
Time Frame suggests July 24-27. More Alerts.

Effects of Solar Flares

Dam Failure Anniversary

Dam BreakAn aging dam high in the mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park, at 11,000 feet at Lawn Lake, failed in the early morning hours of July 15, 1982.  

One camper at a backcountry site just below the dam died as the earthen structure gave way and the water behind it roared down the Roaring River drainage into Fall River and through Horseshoe Park before hitting Estes Park. Two more campers died at Aspenglen Campground, just inside the park's Fall River entrance, but early warnings ensured most of the people in harm's way were able to make their way to higher ground before the waters tore through downtown Estes Park and into Lake Estes. Read more.

More on Dam Failures

2012 Drought Impact

Dried up river bank

The US is facing one of the worst droughts in years leading to a spike in prices of corn, wheat, soybean. Dry and hot weather conditions in the US and Russian Federation has fueled global wheat prices by 21 per cent to $347 per tonne in July, the United Nation’s body Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said. Read More.

With the addition of 29 counties in eight states today, there are now 1,297 counties across the nation so stricken by drought and heat that they've been declared natural disaster areas, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack just announced. That's about one-third of all U.S. counties, he said. Read More.

 

It was just one year ago when the Mississippi River rose to historically high levels, after excessive rainfall and flooding across the Ohio River Valley and the Mid-South.Now, the river is near historic lows from the reverse effect of a widespread significant drought. Read More.

Drought Survival Tips

MAJOR X-1.4 SOLAR FLARE AND EARTH DIRECTED CME!

Major X1.4 Solar Flare and Earth Directed CME - Active Region 11520 unleashed a Major X1.4 at 16:47 UTC July 12th. Associated with this blast was a Strong R3 Radio Blackout/Fade out over central America.

As this active region was earth-facing a very strong Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is now Earth-Bound with impact projected late July 14-Earth July 15th where strong Geomagnetic storms will be possible.

 

More on Effects of Solar Flares

35 Million Euros for Disaster Preparedness

Millions of people from the most vulnerable and poorest communities in Central America, Central Asia and the Caucasus region, South-East Asia and Southern Africa will benefit from the European Commission's Disaster-Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO). This year € 35 million has been allocated to help those at risk from natural disasters. DIPECHO funding comes through a dedicated budget line that has grown over the years from € 8 million in 1998 to € 35 million in 2012.

An important pillar of the DIPECHO programme is the people-centred and community-based approach in disaster-prone regions of the world. This has proven to be extremely successful because in addition to their impact on disaster risk reduction they provide a partner base in often remote areas. Read More.

Extreme Weather Of The Week Photo Essay

The first week of July saw extreme weather hit across much of the country, with a heat wave, drought and severe wildfires all leaving their mark. High temperatures in the past week have shattered many records, with 262 daily high records tied or broken nationwide on July 4. According to the Associated Press, at least 46 deaths across the U.S. can be blamed on the recent heat.

Along with the heat, dry and drought conditions exist in much of the U.S. A report released last week found that "just under 56 percent of the contiguous United States is in drought conditions," reported LiveScience. This marks the most extensive drought area since records began 12 years ago. Michael Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said in a statement, "The recent heat and dryness is catching up with us on a national scale."

Click here to see amazing photos.

Animals – Natural Disaster Detectors?

Dog Holding Leash

There will always be those who believe that animals can detect signs of an impending natural disaster and those who shrug it off as pure hogwash.

Conservationist Debbie Martyr when speaking to BBC News about this said, “Wild animals in particular are extremely sensitive. They’ve got extremely good hearing and they [probably] heard this flood coming in from a distance.

There would have been vibration, and there may also have been changes in the air pressure [that would] have alerted them and made them move to wherever they felt safer.” Click here to read more.

Drought Effect Crops & Stocks

More than 1,000 counties in 26 states are being named natural-disaster areas, theStocks Worry Piggy biggest such declaration ever by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as drought grips the Midwest.

Moderate to extreme drought now covers about 53 percent of the Midwest, the country’s main growing region, fueling crop- price gains that are the biggest this year among the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
The rallies are boosting costs for companies from McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and Coca-Cola Co. (KO) to Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD). Read More.

Extreme Heat Wave Hits US

Highways buckled across the country, the waters of Lake Michigan were unusually warm for this time of year and even a minor train derailment outside Washington was blamed on heat as the hot weather gripping much of the country only worsened Saturday.

US Heat  Wave Map

(Credit: NOAA)

A map of projected high temperatures for the United States as a heat wave swamps much of the nation Saturday, July 7, 2012. The National Weather Service says heat warnings and advisories will be continued or expanded Saturday, with the heat largely centered over Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states. Read More.

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The temperature reached 100 degrees in Washington on Friday and that apparently softened the airport paving enough to immobilize the airplane. The small vehicle that usually tows planes away from the gate tugged and pulled, but the plane was stuck. Read more and see a photo of the tires sunk into the pavement.

Click here for Facts and Survival tips for Heat Waves

Another Second added to Our Day

If the day seems a little longer than usual on Saturday, June 30, 2012, that's because it will be. An extra second, or "leap" second, will be added at midnight to account for the fact that it is taking Earth longer and longer to complete one full turn—a day—or, technically, a solar day.

"The solar day is gradually getting longer because Earth's rotation is slowing down ever so slightly," says Daniel MacMillan of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

June 30 will be one second longer than the typical day. Rather than changing from 23:59:59 on June 30 to 00:00:00 on July 1, the official time will get an extra second at 23:59:60. Credit: NASA. Read more.

Volcano / Earthquake Watch

Targeting the leading edge of Coronal Hole (CH521) on the solar corona that is situated at (16-21°N latitude), this feature may be indicative of a possible (7.2-7.5 Magnitude) earthquake in one of these listed locations during this watch period:

Mariana Islands, Mexico, Babuyan Islands, Luzon Philippines or possible volcanic activation in the Islands of Hawaii (Kilauea) Time Frame suggests July 3-5.

Targeting the leading edge of Coronal Hole(CH521) which may represent a potential (6.2 Magnitude) earthquake July 2-3. Deep characteristics with symmetry to the earth indicate an area to (5-9°N) Latitude would be most at risk. Possible locations that may be in line for this earthquake are:

Panama, Costa Rica, Northern Colombia, Mindanao/Moro Gulf Philippines or further possible volcano activity (Nevado del Ruiz) Colombia.
Time Frame July 2-3.

 

http://solarwatcher.net

Solar Watch

Another Impulsive M-Flare from AR 11513 was unleashed at 09:22 UTC yesterday peaking to M 2.2, the resulting blast may have produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) with an earth directed component and could brush the earth's magnetic-field some time during July 3rd. Large Coronal Hole CH521 will be earth facing shortly, a high speed solar wind stream from this Coronal Hole should arrive sometime July 2nd.

 

http://solarwatcher.net

What are the possible effects of Solar Flares?

July 3rd Planetary Alignment

One very strong alignment involving (Jupiter-Earth-Venus) as well as significant astrological aspects involving the Moon which may represent a possible 6.7 Magnitude earthquake on this day.

Lunar modulation indicates the regions across the equator could be the area that receives this event. Best mapped location:

Ecuador or a possible volcanic eruption at Tungurahua.

 

http://solarwatcher.net

Extreme Heat Across Most of the US

The eastern, central and southern U.S., close to half of the nation, faces another day or two of extreme heat and severe weather that may further disrupt power to homes and businesses, meteorologists said today.

The storms followed a day of temperatures reaching triple digits, including a record-setting 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) at Washington’s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, breaking a mark of 101 degrees set in 1934.
At least 10 people have died, including six in Virginia.

276 daily high temperature records were set yesterday, and 1,456 daily high records in the past seven days. Some of those records included 109 degrees in Athens, Georgia, and 106 degrees in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Charlottesville, Virginia, also set a record with 104 degrees. Johnston and Columbia, South Carolina, both recorded 113 degrees yesterday, which would be all-time records for the state, Kines said. Read More.

14.9 million uprooted by natural disasters – Asia worst hit

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) today launched its figures on people internally displaced worldwide by natural disasters at the Rio+20 conference in Brazil.

The report found that in 2011, 14.9 million people were internally displaced throughout the world due to natural disasters, mostly related to weather events such as floods and storms. 89% of the displacement occurred in Asia “The ten largest
disasters in terms of the amount of people displaced all took place in Asia including multiple events in China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Japan” says NRC’s Secretary General Elisabeth Rasmusson.

“The worst were the prolonged flood disasters in China and Thailand which together displaced over 5 million people”. Read more about their findings.

US Disaster Statistics

Top 10 Disaster Films

This group covers a very widespread cross section of possible ways for things to go terribly wrong including natural disasters , man made mistakes, and even a few that have more sinister supernatural undertones.

I hope that you will get as much of a kick out of this jaunt down the apocalypse alley as I did and if anything, it may help you see that our current real life status quo isn't all that bad. Click here to see the list.

Extreme Drought Conditions

Southeast Missouri's drought continues with no substantial relief in sight. On Thursday the latest U.S. Drought Monitor was released, and the severity of drought in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois was changed from "severe" to "extreme,"
indicating worsening conditions.

David Humphrey, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Ky., said the drought continues to worsen as parched crops languish in fields around the country. Click here for more details.

Drought Survival Tips

Independence, MO — The mid-week rain helped – temporarily – but the National Weather Service confirms that the area’s drought is steadily growing more severe.

The Kansas City area has had only about half of the normal amount of rainfall since April, and most of Missouri and Kansas are rated as abnormally dry, if not worse. Read more.

Northern Lights seen in Maryland

Aurora BorealisOn Saturday night, two waves of plasma unleashed by the sun (coronal mass ejections) collided on their flight towards Earth. The result?

A geomagnetic storm that produced eye-popping aurora (northern lights) as far south as the mid-Atlantic.

Extreme weather photographer Jeff Berkes was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of a very rare opportunity to photograph the northern lights in eastern Maryland. Read more and photos of the auroras.

New System of Weather Emergency Alerts

Starting this week, a new system of weather emergency alerts will be rolled out across the country aimed at reaching people, no matter where they are, through their most-used communication device: the cell phone.

Even if you are nowhere near a computer, TV, radio or warning siren, you can now get a text-like message on your cell phone — called Wireless Emergency Alerts — warning of dangerous weather in your specific area. Article was originally published in the Duluth News.

Flood Victums Aided by Military Drones

Taiwan mobilises its drones for the first time - The unmanned aircraft were sent to areas inundated by flash flooding and mudslides sparked by a monsoon last week, the Taipei-based China Times said. Read more.

Disaster Preparedness for those with Special Needs

“As we learned during Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, persons with disabilities need to consider a number of different factors, such as identifying who is in their support system, special transportation needs and what supplies to include in their emergency-preparedness kits,” clinical nurse specialist Lisa Beck said in a Mayo news release.

Beck worked with disabled patients to design patient-education materials, and she offers the following tips for people with disabilities:

• Practice getting out of the house quickly at least twice a year.
• Discuss any special needs with a local emergency-medical-services provider.
• Plan where to go for shelter and how to get there, and who may need to provide you with assistance.
• Compile an emergency-preparedness kit that can last 24 to 48 hours. It should include items such as medication lists, contact numbers, medications, catheter supplies and a first-aid kit.
• Think about shelter and supplies for your service animal. Read More.

Get More Tips on Special Needs Disaster Planning

Can Pets Predict Disasters?

Have you ever noticed your pet acting strangely? Has your pooch ever refused to go outside, or has your cat ever jumped to the highest shelf and refused to come down? Well the next time you do, it would be smart to take note. Your pet might be predicting a natural disaster. Read More.

FireFly Watching

Because of the unseasonably warm spring, the synchronized fireflies in the Great Smokey Mountains are displaying earlier than ever recorded, according to park officials.

Fireflies are in trouble as it is, with habitat loss and artificial night lighting cited as the main threats to their survival by Firefly.org. A rapidly changing climate probably won’t help their chances, as the timing of larval emergence and the blooming of plants the insects depend on changes. Click here for the full article.

Man Made Island for Trash

Planetary Alignment & Solar Storms

Planetary Alignment and Solar activity influence earthquake and volcano possibility:

One very strong alignment involving (Earth-Venus-Sun) as well as significant astrological aspects involving the Moon which may represent a possible 6.9 Magnitude earthquake on one of these days.

Lunar modulation indicates the high latitudes in the southern hemisphere could be the area that receives this event. Jun 4-5 Best mapped location:
South Sandwich Islands Region.


A Huge Coronal Hole about to rotate onto the disk represents a potential 8.2 magnitude earthquake towards the end of this watch. Deep characteristics with symmetry to the earth indicate an area to (11-21°N) Latitude would be most at risk. Possible locations that may be in line for this earthquake are:

Guam, Mariana Islands, Luzon Philippines, Taiwan or the Andaman Islands.
Time Frame Jun 3-5

 

Extreme Weather Stats

The U.S. is being pummeled by a climate system on steroids. For the year to date, new heat records continue to beat cold records by a staggering 14.7 to 1, which trumps the pace of the last decade by a factor of 7!

And the U.S. southeast is being whipsawed from brutal drought to deluge (via tropical storm), which, curiously enough, is just what scientists have said global warming has started to do in the summertime, too.

Check out the Tropical Storm, Heat Wave & Drought Charts.

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Heat can kill. That’s why Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are reminding people of the dangers associated with extreme heat and to promote safety measures. This article was originally reported on www.superiortelegram.com.

Learn More Heat Wave Survival Strategies.

2012 Hurricane Season

Early forecasts anticipate this year’s hurricane season, beginning June 1 and lasting through November 30, will be a less active season compared to last year. Hurricane forecast predictors predict 10 named storms, with four hurricanes and two major hurricanes, meaning a Category 3 storm or higher.

Learn more about hurricane and how to prepare.

MREs

Besides having the MRE for survival after hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, or blizzards, this little food pouch has many other uses. The most common alternative use would be for camping and hiking.

Using the small and lightweight MRE eliminates the need to bring dishes, utensils, and cookware to prepare a meal. This will allow more food to be packed in less space with less weight. Read more.

Other ideas for establishing your emergency food supply?

MicroChips for Your Pets

Santee, Californa Animal Services is offering microchipping, rabies vaccinations and dog licenses from noon to 2 p.m. this Sunday, May 20, at Woodglen Vista Park in Santee. The park is located at 10250 Woodglen Vista Drive and owners who take advantage of the services Sunday will receive free gifts.

“We have rescued hundreds of animals during past fires, and confirming identity and ownership is critical to reuniting lost animals with their owners,” said Dawn Danielson, County Animal Services director. “A microchip will remove any doubt about ownership and helps us reunite animals and their owners after a disaster. We encourage everyone with a dog or cat to be prepared before a disaster hits and take advantage of this offer. It could save your pet’s life!”

Get more tips for preparing your pets before a disaster happens.

IRS Can Help with Disaster Recovery

This article was originally published here: blog.ctaxrelief.com Tax records are some of the most important documents that an individual can be responsible for. Losing your receipts or W-2s can be at the very least a long process to recover and at the worst a financial nightmare.

The IRS offers ways to request past tax records free of charge. By submitting IRS form 4506 or 4506T you can have past tax returns mailed to you without going through any complicated processes. By being aware of all of these measures and actively using them, you can insure that your assets and important records will be safe and if the worst happens, you will be prepared to show your insurance company and the IRS.

More Disaster Recovery Planning ideas.

Solar Eclipses

2012 Solar Eclipse Ring of FireA rare annular eclipse, where a ‘ring of fire’ outlines the moon as it crosses the sun, will greet US viewers Sunday evening. Residents of the US West will have a good shot at seeing the full fire ring.

If Your Are Viewing, Sheild Your Eyes! - Solar eclipses have long been thought to be omens for natural disasters or even the end of the world.

However, the worst actual damage from an eclipse might be to your eyesight if you don’t take proper precautions for viewing the celestial phenomenon, such as the partial eclipse that will be visible in Bozeman on Sunday evening.

Shelter-in-Place?

Volcanic Eruption

Lava FLow
Current activity at Mexico’s Popocatépetl Volcano - CENAPRED reported over 12 explosions in two hours starting at ~5 AM on Friday (April 20).

The steam-and-ash plume from Popocatépetl topped out at ~3 km / 10,000 feet while seismicity remains at elevated levels. CENAPRED currently has the warning level at Yellow Level II with a 12-km exclusion zone around the volcano – in that same report, CENAPRED geologist Roberto Quaas suggests that they are concerned about a potential cycle of dome growth and collapse at Popo, heightening the threat of pyroclastic flows.

Go here to see actual video of the eruption.

Spring Really???

Nor'easter - A powerful spring storm dumped snow across parts of the Northeast overnight -- including around a foot in at least three places -- and cut power to more than 75,000 customers in Pennsylvania and upstate New York, with more snow expected overnight.

X-Class Solar Flare Articles of Interest

Major X 5.4 Solar Flare !! - The second strongest solar flare of Solar Cycle 24 and the Second X-Flare from Active Region 11429. This major event measured X 5.4 at 00:24 UTC and triggered a strong R3 Level Radio Blackout. A coronal mass ejection was captured shortly after and is likely to be headed earths way. more information shortly. Updated 3/7/2012 - See video below.

 

Solar activity is now high. Big Active Region 11429, which emerged on March 2nd,
is crackling with strong flares. The strongest so far, an X1-class eruption, occurred
just this morning, March 5th at 0413 UT. The explosion also hurled a bright coronal
mass ejection (CME) into space. The expanding cloud will probably deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on March 7th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead.

Learn more about Solar Storms and the Effects of Solar Flares. 

2012 Planetary Alignment Articles of Interest

Four strong alignments on this day (Earth-Venus-Saturn), (Venus-Mercury-Sun), (Mars-Earth-Sun), (Earth-Mercury-Uranus) as well as other significant astrological aspects involving the Moon which may represent a possible 7.0 Magnitude earthquake on this day.

 

Two strong alignments involving (Sun-Earth-Mars) and (Venus-Mercury-Sun) as well as significant astrological aspects involving the moon which may represent a
possible 6.8 Magnitude earthquake on one of these days. Lunar modulation indicates the Indian Plate could be the area that receives this event. Best mapped location: Gujarat, India or Pakistan.

Recession Call?

ECRI Reaffirms Recession Call: Data Has Gotten “Worse, Not Better”.

Click here to listen to the most anticipated interview of the past three years, Lakshman spoke with Tom Keene of Bloomberg saying that the well-guarded and highly accurate data they use in forecasting has “gotten worse, not better, despite the consensus view that things have been improving.”

New Madrid Earthquake?

New Madrid Fault LIne MapThe quake, measuring 4.0, struck at 3:58 a.m. CST near East Prairie, Mo., a rural town of some 3,200 people off of Interstate 55, which connects St. Louis with Memphis, Tenn., according to the U.S. Geological Survey web site.

The quake was felt in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee and there were scattered reports from four other states including as far away as Georgia.

Click here to read more about the New Madrid Fault line.

Solar Flare Alert

Jan 22, 2012 - Space weather officials say the strongest solar storm in more than six years is already bombarding Earth with radiation with more to come. The Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado observed a flare Sunday night at 11 p.m. EST. Physicist Doug Biesecker said the biggest concern from the speedy eruption is the radiation, which arrived on Earth an hour later. It will likely continue through Wednesday. It's mostly an issue for astronauts' health and satellite disruptions. It can cause communication problems for airplanes that go over the poles.

Click on these links for more on Solar Storms and Effects of Solar Flares.

Solar flares trigger Earthquake and Volcano Watch - see video below.

 

X-Class Solar Flare - A major geomagnetic storm is in progress following the impact of a CME on August 5th around 1800 UT.

Solar flares may impact communications this weekend - Energy released from solar plasma blasts will reach Earth throughout Friday and Saturday, potentially disrupting communications and electrical grids, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To read more about the possible affects of a X-Class Solar Flare click here.

Unexplained Ecological Events Articles of Interest

Mystery of Dying Animals Worldwide

More Dead Fish - This time its millions of anchovies, sardines and mackerel at King Harbor in Redondo Beach.The link below will take you to the article with pictures. Be aware the pictures can be disturbing for some viewers.

Earth's Magnetic Fields May Be Causing Bird and Fish Die Off - Could the Earth's magnetic fields be causing the recent die-off of thousands of birds and fish? To find out click on the link below.

40,000 crabs join slew of animal-death mysteries - First, it was birds falling from the sky, then thousands of dead fish washing up on shore. Now, more than 40,000 Velvet swimming crabs have wound up dead on England beaches.

Mass Animal Deaths a Worldwide Phenomenon, With New Deaths in Sweden- Around 100 birds were found lying dead on a snow-covered street in southern Sweden’s Falkoping, after a string of unexplained animal deaths hit the U.S. and New Zealand, Swedish.

Solar Storms Articles of Interest

Solar flare warning for SA - The Hermanus Space Weather Warning Centrex (SWWC) on Sunday said a large solar flare was currently being experienced in South Africa.

SWWC’s forecaster Kobus Olckers said people should be careful when they go outside."People must wear high sunscreen factor at the moment or preferably go shopping," he said. Click the link below to read the full article.

Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months
A new study from the National Academy of Sciences outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm. Find out what types of damages to expect by clicking the link below.

This article was originally reported on Boston.com... Solar storm in the forecast; celestial light show expected say the Northern Lights may be visible in areas farther south than they are normally, due to eruptions on the surface of the sun. Follow the link below.

Solar Storm on August 1, 2010 - Spectacular aurora lit the night sky from Europe to North America on August 3, 2010, thanks to a 12-hour long geomagnetic storm.

Learn more about Solar Storms and their impact on us.

Articles of Interest on Geological Discoveries

Super Volcano

Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells - Yellowstone National Park's super volcano just took a deep "breath". To read the full article click in the link below.

Super Volcano Will Challenge Civilization, Geologists Warn - Several volcanoes around the world are capable of gigantic eruptions unlike anything witnessed in recorded history. To find out where, click on the link below.

New Fault Line Discovered

Weather lore

Another Article of Interest for those of you who enjoy folklore. Folklore is different from weather lore, but both are interesting and entertaining, and both have been around for thousands of years. Folklore are beliefs based on fear and superstition. Weather lore is based on observation of the environment and the effects that changes in the weather have on insects, animals, birds and people. Here are a few of the most common sayings:

If ant hills are high in July,
Winter will be snowy.

If the first week in August is unusually warm,
the coming Winter will be snowy and long.

For every fog in August,
There will be a snowfall in Winter.

If a cold August follows a hot July,
It foretells a Winter hard and dry.