Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Hurricane Marie forecast: Rapid intensification expected off Pacific Coast of Mexico - Category 4 expected

Marie strengthened into the eighth hurricane of the eastern Pacific hurricane season on Saturday morning. Tropical Storm Marie became the 13th named storm in a busy eastern Pacific hurricane season on Friday morning after organizing into a tropical depression on Thursday night.

Located about 345 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, Marie is expected to maintain a west-northwest heading over the next five days, remaining a safe distance from the Mexican Pacific coast. Only the tiny offshore islands of Socorro and Clarion are in its path.

Marie is expected to continue to strengthen in a favorable environment and there is an above-average likelihood of rapid intensification with this system, which could make it a major hurricane this weekend or early next week.

Marie is expected to be a large hurricane. While not directly affecting land, large swells should begin propagating to the Mexican Pacific coast this weekend, including the southern Baja Peninsula continuing into next week, then to the Southern California coast by mid-late next week, bringing a danger of rip currents to area beaches.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 5.3 - 113km WNW of Hofn, Iceland

Event Time
2014-08-24 00:09:53 UTC
2014-08-24 00:09:53 UTC+00:00 at epicenter

64.686°N 17.351°W depth=5.4km (3.4mi)

Nearby Cities
113km (70mi) WNW of Hofn, Iceland
116km (72mi) SSE of Akureyri, Iceland
227km (141mi) ENE of Reykjavik, Iceland
229km (142mi) ENE of Kopavogur, Iceland
231km (144mi) ENE of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland

Comment: This year has seen a sharp rise in the number of earthquakes reported across the globe compared to 2012 and 2013, see chart below -

Bizarro Earth

6.6 Magnitude earthquake shakes Valparaiso, Chile

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake rocked the region around Valparaiso, Chile on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.No injuries or serious damage from the strong quake that occurred at 7:23 p.m. ET were reported, but electricity and telephone service was interrupted in some areas.Earthquakes in the range of 6.1 to 6.9 happen about 100 times a year, according to the Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Technological University. But they can cause a lot of damage in populated areas and can be felt hundreds of miles from the epicenter.

The seismological service said a preliminary report showed the quake was centered about 11 miles west-northwest of a community called Hacienda La Calera, about 67 miles northwest of the capital of Santiago. It had a depth of about 19 miles.

The largest recorded earthquake was the Great Chilean Earthquake of May 22, 1960, which had a magnitude of 9.5. Each whole-number increase on the Richter scale represents a tenfold increase in an earthquake's strength.

USGS data
Cloud Precipitation

Southeast U.S. on alert for Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to take shape later this weekend, then impact the Atlantic beaches and potentially other parts of the southeastern United States next week.

All interests across the southeastern U.S., the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands should be keeping a close eye on the area of disturbed weather in the southwestern Atlantic.

The development of a tropical depression or storm has failed to occur yet due to the obstacles of dusty air, disruptive wind shear and, more recently, interaction with the Caribbean Islands.

As conditions become more conducive, the disturbed area should organize into Tropical Storm Cristobal later in the weekend.

Regardless of when Cristobal takes shape, torrential downpours, gusty squalls and rough surf will continue to spread from Hispaniola and Puerto Rico to the Turks and Caicos and southern and central Bahamas this weekend. Some drenching showers and thunderstorms will even reach eastern Cuba.
Bizarro Earth

Icelandic Bárðarbunga volcanic eruption begins

From the Icelandic Met Office

It is believed that a small subglacial lava-eruption has begun under the Dyngjujökull glacier. The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red. Image follows.

Volcanic Eruption
© Icelandic Met Office
Arrow Up

Huge water loss in Western U.S. causes Earth's crust to rise

Western US crust uplift
© Shawn Lawrence, UNAVCO
Plate Boundary Observatory GPS station P466, located in the Inyo Mountains near Lone Pine, California. P466 is mounted on a deep-drilled braced monument, and its displacement data were used in the determination of water loading changes in the western U.S.
About 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost to drought in the western United States, enough to blanket the region with 4 inches of water, according to a study published Thursday.

Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, arrived at the conclusion by measuring the level of the earth's crust with a network of GPS stations that is normally used to predict earthquakes.

When water is lost because of a lack of rain and snow, the earth's crust rises. The sensors show that the earth's crust has risen an average of 4 millimeters in the western United States since last year and as much as 15 millimeters in the California mountains.

The earth's crust typically sags in the winter and spring, weighed down by water, and it rises during the dry season in summer and fall, said co-author Adrian Borsa. The authors removed those seasonal factors when analyzing about a decade of data from GPS stations within the National Science Foundation's Plate Boundary Observatory.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 4.7 - 104km SSE of Akureyri, Iceland

Event Time
2014-08-23 18:33:06 UTC
2014-08-23 18:33:06 UTC+00:00 at epicenter


64.792°N 17.380°W depth=2.5km (1.5mi)

Nearby Cities
104km (65mi) SSE of Akureyri, Iceland
229km (142mi) ENE of Reykjavik, Iceland
230km (143mi) ENE of Kopavogur, Iceland
233km (145mi) ENE of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
613km (381mi) NW of Torshavn, Faroe Islands
Ice Cube

U.S. daily record minimums outnumbering record maximums 3 to 1 in the last 30 days - and almost unheard of new snowfall records

See the table:

Daily records Tmax=368 Tmin =1072
Monthly records Tmax=6 Tmin= 17
3 new snow records.

I had noted earlier this year that the data feed from NCDC that allowed independent plotting of high/low temperature records has suddenly disappeared. HAMweather has been running this map of record events for several years, and I have used it frequently in WUWT reports.

Ice Cube

Surprised? Australian Bureau of Meteorology accused of manipulating historic temperature records to fit a predetermined view of global warming

There's quite a row developing after a scathing article in the Australian, some news clips follow. h/t to Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPF
The [Australian] Bureau of Meteorology has been accused of manipulating historic temperature records to fit a predetermined view of global warming. Researcher Jennifer Marohasy claims the adjusted records resemble "propaganda" rather than science. Dr Marohasy has analysed the raw data from dozens of locations across Australia and matched it against the new data used by BOM showing that temperatures were progressively warming. In many cases, Dr Marohasy said, temperature trends had changed from slight cooling to dramatic warming over 100 years. - Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 23 August 2014

The escalating row goes to heart of the climate change debate - in particular, whether computer models are better than real data and whether temperature records are being manipulated in a bid to make each year hotter than the last. Marohasy's research has put her in dispute with BoM over a paper she published with John Abbot at Central Queensland University in the journal Atmospheric Research concerning the best data to use for rainfall forecasting. BoM challenged the findings of the Marohasy-Abbot paper, but the international journal rejected the BoM rebuttal, which had been prepared by some of the bureau's top scientists. This has led to an escalating dispute over the way in which ­Australia's historical temperature records are "improved" through homogenisation, which is proving more difficult to resolve. - Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 23 August 2014

When I first sent Graham Lloyd some examples of the remodeling of the temperature series I think he may have been somewhat skeptical. I know he on-forwarded this information to the Bureau for comment, including three charts showing the homogenization of the minimum temperature series for Amberley. Mr Lloyd is the Environment Editor for The Australian newspaper and he may have been concerned I got the numbers wrong. He sought comment and clarification from the Bureau. I understand that by way of response to Mr Lloyd, the Bureau has not disputed these calculations. What the Bureau has done, however, is try and justify the changes. In particular, for Amberley the Bureau is claiming to Mr Lloyd that there is very little available documentation for Amberley before 1990 and that information before this time may be "classified": as in top secret. - Jennifer Marohasy, 23 August 2014

Congratulations to The Australian again for taking the hard road and reporting controversial, hot, documented problems, that few in the Australian media dare to investigate.
Ice Cube

Four 'distinct weather events' causes Nebraska grape growers to lose most of their crops

© Jessica Kokesh, Kearney Hub
This won't be remembered as a good year for Nebraska's grape industry. The last few weeks of August are usually harvest season for Nebraska grape growers, but vineyards across the state have been affected by severe weather in the last fews months, losing crops to everything from late freezes in May to high winds and hailstorms in June and July.

Typically, grape growers have at least one severe weather event to contend with during the growing season, said Jennifer Montgomery, executive director of the Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Association. But this year, there were at least four distinct weather events that damaged crops throughout the state.

"It's been a very interesting year," Montgomery said. "It depends on where you were. Maybe you were OK after winter, but then the wind damage did you in. (The damage) is pretty widespread. It's pretty much all over the board." Stefan Kegley, owner of George Spencer Tasting Room in Gibbon and president of NWGGA, said only 10 percent of his grape crop will be harvested this year. Kegley owns 16 acres of grapes around Gibbon and Kearney. He usually sells grapes to Miletta Vista Winery in St. Paul.

A vineyard he owns north of Kearney was ruined by the late frost and a good portion of the rest was wiped out by the July 9 storm that rolled through the Gibbon and pelted the area with large hail. "The vines were completely stripped off," Kegley said. "It looked like winter the next morning."