Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Rachel is dwarfed by developing system 90E

NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of the smaller, fading Tropical Storm Rachel and the large developing System 90E in the Eastern Pacific on Sept. 30 at 8 a.m. EDT.
Tropical Storm Rachel is spinning down west of Mexico's Baja California, and another tropical low pressure area developing off the coast of southwestern Mexico dwarfs the tropical storm. NOAA's GOES-West satellite showed the size difference between the two tropical low pressure areas.

NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of the Eastern Pacific Ocean on Sept. 30 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT). In the infrared image, Tropical Storm Rachel appeared small in comparison to the low pressure area called System 90E, coming together hundreds of miles south. As Rachel spins down over cool waters west of Baja California, Mexico, southwesterly wind shear was obvious in the GOES-West image because the bulk of Rachel's clouds had been pushed to the north. The image was created by NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that Rachel was still maintaining tropical storm strength on Sept. 30 at 5 a.m. EDT, when maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (65 kph). Rachel was centered near 23.3 north latitude and 117.5 west longitude, about 485 miles (780 km) west of the southern tip of Baja California. Rachel was stationary at the time.
Cloud Precipitation

Typhoon Phanfone poised to become powerful typhoon heading for Japan

Typhoon Phanfone has pushed past the Mariana Islands and is poised to become a powerful typhoon in the days ahead, posing a threat to Japan this weekend.

Phanfone pushed through the northern Mariana Islands north of Guam Tuesday night as a tropical storm. High surf advisories continue for Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan through Friday night, where 7 to 9 foot surf is expected, particularly on west and south-facing reefs.

Typhoon Phanfone is now in a favorable environment of low wind shear and high sea-surface temperatures as it continues to track toward the northwest.

This should allow it to strengthen into a powerful typhoon later this week. A cycle of rapid intensification could occur, given the favorable environmental conditions. As a result, the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Phanfone to become the equivalent of a Category 4 tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale later this week.
Cloud Lightning

Newly born Tropical Storm Phanfone triggers warnings in Northwestern Pacific

© NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite took this visible image of Tropical Storm Phanfone in the Northwestern Pacific, on track for the Northern Marianas Islands.
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over newborn Tropical Storm Phanfone on Sept. 29 and captured a picture of the storm that showed thunderstorms wrapped tightly around the storm's center, and a large band of thunderstorms spiraling into the center from the east. Phanfone is now a threat to various islands and warnings are in effect.

A tropical storm Warning is in effect for Saipan, Tinian, Pagan and Alamagan. In addition, a typhoon watch is in effect for the northern Marianas Islands, including Pagan and Alamagan.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard Aqua provides visible and infrared images of storms, oceans and land features.

On Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Phanfone had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was centered near 13.8 north latitude and 149.6 east longitude, about 270 nautical miles east-southeast of Saipan. Phanfone is moving to the west-northwest at 11 knots (12.6 mph/20.3 kph).

Two powerful storms to lash Central U.S.

With the autumn season now here, the strength and number of powerful storm systems will be on the increase.

This week will feature two powerful autumn storm systems, one through the middle of the week and another towards the end of the week.

As the jet stream strengthens and dips farther south, the clashes between warm and cold air become more frequent. As a result, the potency of low pressure systems increase.

Tens of millions will be impacted by these storm systems this week, with the risks ranging a wide spectrum.

First Storm System Targets Central U.S.

The first storm will take shape across the High Plains and into the central portion of the United States as the energy that brought flooding downpours and severe weather to the Southwest shifts to the northeast.

Folks from eastern Montana to Wisconsin and south to Oklahoma will be impacted by this storm as it passes through the Plains.
Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain, flooding to target Deep South to Carolinas

Umbrellas and rain jackets will be put to good use over the next couple of days in the Deep South to the Carolinas.

An upper-level disturbance, aided by abundant gulf moisture, will slowly pass over the region through Tuesday.

According to Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck, the weather set-up will feature a rather wet couple of days.

"Deep tropical moisture will fuel a developing low pressure system over the Deep South, resulting in heavy rain across the region," said Smerbeck.

Rain and thunderstorms will spread along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida and eventually to the Carolinas Monday into Tuesday.

Some of the rain could turn rather heavy at times, with rainfall rates approaching an inch per hour in some spots.

"The rain will be heavy enough to cause flash flooding in some locations," added Smerbeck.

Southern France put on maximum storm alert, risk of flash-flooding

south france storms
© Agence France-Presse/Philippe Huguen
Nasty storms in southern France have prompted the country's top weather warning
Residents in the Hérault department on the Mediterranean coast were under a red alert on Monday because of storms heavy rain just two weeks after four people were killed by raging flood waters in the area.

Downpours since midday on Monday left local authorities concerned enough about the risk of flash flooding that they put out the red alert, which warns people they are facing an exceptional danger.

They are concerned the river Lez, the main waterway in the Hérault department will burst its banks.

According to reports 95mm of rain fell between midday and 4pm in parts of Hérault on Monday.

The rains have forced officials to shut down trams in Montpellier and certain sections of roads and motorways are blocked due to flooding.

Comment: Montpellier today:


Tropical Storm Kammuri to batter Japan with rain, rough surf, wind

Tropical Storm Kammuri has gradually become more organized during the past several days. The system began early this past week as a weak area of low pressure that produced showers and thunderstorms near the Mariana Islands.

Kammuri is now located to the southeast of Japan and is generally moving to the north. A turn to the northeast is expected Sunday into Monday which will cause the storm to miss Japan. However, Kammuri will still pass close enough to bring a few impacts to the country.

The key factor in the movement of the tropical storm is a fast-moving trough of low pressure that meteorologists have been tracking since it was located over 1,000 miles away across Siberia.

Now that this trough is located across eastern Asia, Tropical Storm Kammuri is feeling the effects as the storm is being pulled to the north and eventually the northeast.

As the trough of low pressure continues to interact with Kammuri, effects will become even greater which will cause Kammuri to accelerate to the northeast across the northern Pacific early this coming week.
Cloud Lightning

Wild weather: Rare lightning, hail strike Napa Valley in California

Napa Valley hail 1
One month after an earthquake struck the Napa area, the region was pounded by an incredibly rare hailstorm Friday afternoon. Heavy rainfall and lightning were also reported throughout the North Bay.

A viewer in the Napa County community of Browns Valley took video of hail covering the ground like snow.

KPIX 5 meteorologist Paul Deanno reported six inches of hail in the Napa area. Children were seen making snow angels and had snow fights with the hail.

"It was nothing but rain, then all of a sudden it comes down. It was complete hail for a good to 20 to 25 minutes," said Paul Frommelt of Napa. "In the 49 years I've lived here, I've never seen anything like this ever."
Cloud Lightning

Ups and downs: 2013's natural disasters in review

earth changes
According to the "Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2013" published this month by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), 2013 is a year with 330 registered natural disasters. This is less than the average annual disaster frequency observed from 2003 to 2012 which is 388, and represents a decrease in associated human impacts of disasters which were, in 2013, at their lowest level in last 16 years.

The death toll of natural disasters still killed a significant number of people totaling to 21,610 but this is largely below the annual average between 2003-2012 which is 106,654.

96.5 million people became victims worldwide, which was also below the 2003-2012 annual average of 216 million. On the side of the economy, economic damages from natural disasters shows, in 2013, a decrease to average levels, 2013 US$ 156.7billion, with estimates placing the costs at US$ 118.6 billion.

Trends in occurrence and victims (deaths and affected)
For the last decade, China, the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines and India constitute together the top 5 countries that are most frequently hit by natural disasters.

In 2013, China experienced its highest number of natural disasters of the last decade. The country was affected by a variety of disaster types, including 17 floods and landslides, 15 storms, 7 earthquakes and one mass movement of geological origin, one drought and one period of extreme temperature.

Comment: In sum, 2013 saw fewer disasters, deaths, victims and economic damages on the whole. However, it saw isolated instances of record-breaking disasters, while floods and storms were responsible for the worst damage in terms of people affected. China and the U.S. continue to be hit the hardest, with China enduring its highest number of disasters in the last decade.

As Pierre Lescaudron describes in his book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, this apparent decrease in disasters is probably due to an overall decrease in the Earth's electric field (due to a solar-companion-induced drop in the Sun's activity) and an increase in the conductivity of that field (due to the increase in comet dust entering our atmosphere). The result: more frequent, smaller storms (hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, etc.). This will show up in the statistics as a drop in major natural disasters, but as we can see around us, it doesn't say much about the continued crazy weather the planet has been experiencing the last couple years.

It's the time for floods and storms to do their damage, while cosmically-induced processes perhaps build up for some future, major disasters. Think Chelyabinsk. Think Ebola.

Cloud Precipitation

Tropical Storm Rachel upgraded to Hurricane Rachel

NHC has upgraded Tropical Storm Rachel to a hurricane - the twelfth hurricane of this active 2014 eastern North Pacific hurricane season. Maximum sustained winds are 75 mph - a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in strength is expected tonight, with weakening forecast to begin on Sunday.

Rachel is centered about 460 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, moving toward the north-northwest. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Get the latest on this tropical cyclone tonight by visiting the NHC website.