A new study reveals correlations between plentiful sunspots and periods of heavy rain in East Africa. Intense rainfall in the region often leads to flooding and disease outbreaks.
The analysis by a team of U.S. and British researchers shows that unusually heavy rainfalls in East Africa over the past century preceded peak sunspot activity by about one year. Because periods of peak sunspot activity, known as solar maxima, are predictable, so too are the associated heavy rains that precede them, the researchers propose.
"With the help of these findings, we can now say when especially rainy seasons are likely to occur, several years in advance," says paleoclimatologist and study leader Curt Stager of Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, New York. Forewarned by such predictions, public health officials could ramp up prevention measures against insect-borne diseases long before epidemics begin, he adds.
The sunspot-rainfall analysis is scheduled to appear on 7 August in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.
PARADOX, Colo. - No damages or injuries were reported after a minor earthquake rattled the small town of Paradox, near the Colorado-Utah border.
Flash floods triggered by a tropical storm have killed eight people in Vietnam, while 14 others remain missing and another was killed by a falling tree.
In the Central Highland province of Daklak, four people were killed on Sunday and 14 others are still missing, including a family of five whose house was washed away by flash floods, said provincial disasters official Phan Thi Thu Hien.
A state of emergency has been declared in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, whose suburbs are threatened by a major forest fire.
The mayor of the medieval port city said emergency services were ready to evacuate residents from the hillside districts above the city centre.
HELENA, Mont. - A state of emergency was declared in Montana on Sunday because of wildfires, including one northeast of Missoula that crept to within a mile of some of the 200 nearby homes that were evacuated.
Sun, 05 Aug 2007 13:22 UTC
The United States' leading storm forecaster has slightly lowered the number of hurricanes expected to form in the Atlantic basin this year.
Colorado State University Professor William Gray is still predicting an above-average hurricane season but he expects only four storms to be classified as major or intense, the Orlando Sentinel reported Friday.
His latest prediction of major or intense storms is one less than Gray and his team forecast in late May.
At that time, Gray predicted a 2007 hurricane season with 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, five of which would be intense, Category 3 or above.
Death toll could hit thousands as abnormal rain swamps Bangladesh, Nepal and northern India, bringing threat of mass starvation and waterborne disease.
Women and children were seen screaming for help from treetops yesterday as monsoon floods struck three countries in south Asia, leaving at least 280 people dead and 20 million washed out of their homes.
|SWAMPED: An aerial view of a part of Darbhanga district in North Bihar on Saturday.
The State Government on Saturday owned the blame for the police firing on flood victims in which one person was killed and three others were injured in Madhubani on Friday.
A two-member administrative team, comprising Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah and Additional Director General CID Yashwant Malhotra, held the police firing "unwarranted" and placed Havildar Aditya Narain Singh, who opened fire, under suspension.
A series of small earthquakes around Upptyppingar north of Vatnajökull since this February has prompted speculations from geologists that a volcanic eruption could be imminent in the area.
For much of the afternoon and early evening Thursday this lakefront city looked much more like a lake.
A strong isolated thunderstorm formed over the downtown area and brought down with it torrential rains the likes of which many lifelong Clevelanders said they had never seen.