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Wed, 28 Jun 2017
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Snowflake

Two missing after heavy snow and strong winds hit France

A cold front has brought disruption to parts of France, with heavy snow falls in the east and strong winds in the south, prompting authorities to issue an "Orange" warning.


In the eastern region of Isere, local residents woke up to heavy snow falls and power cuts.

Local media reports say up to 50,000 households were deprived of electricity on Sunday morning.

Bizarro Earth

Tsunami in Hawaii a no-show after Canada's 7.7 magnitude earthquake

Image
A tsunami warning for Hawaii, triggered by a powerful earthquake in Canada, proved nothing more than a pre-Halloween scare for thousands of people this weekend. "The tourists are doing their best Chicken Little impressions," one CNN iReporter in West Maui, Hawaii, wrote early Sunday.

Sirens announced the tsunami warning across Hawaii on Saturday night, as thousands of revelers packed streets in Honolulu for the annual Hallowbaloo festival and many others in costumes headed to Halloween parties.

Restaurants, clubs and the festival immediately shut down and the parties turned into bumper-to-bumper traffic jams as residents headed to higher ground.

Visions of the devastating quake and tsunami that killed thousands in Japan in March 2011 fueled the fright, but the waves proved to be smaller and less powerful than feared.

While the warning said waves could surge between 3 and 6 feet, the largest wave, measured in Kahului on the island of Maui, was about 2.5 feet above ambient sea level, according to Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Windsock

Hurricane Sandy forces New York evacuations, mass transit closure

Transit officials in New York are preparing for a total shutdown of subway, bus and train service as Hurricane Sandy continues to bear down on the metropolitan region.


  • All service will be suspended at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to start planning for an orderly suspension of service.

    New York City subways and buses will start phasing out service at 7 p.m. Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road will suspend service at 7 p.m. Sunday.

    The city's mass transit system is the nation's largest. The subway alone has a daily ridership of more than 5 million.

    Evil Rays

    Strange sounds from the ocean: Unexplained ocean sounds and more spooky science

    Image
    © NOAA
    Fog lends a creepy air to the Oregon coast in this 2009 image.
    The unexplained and mysterious sounds have been captured by hydrophones, or underwater microphones.


    With Halloween approaching, it's natural to wonder just a little bit more than usual about things that go "bump" in the night. But what about things that go "bloop" in the deep sea?

    Poltergeists, witches and ghosts aren't the only source for spooky seasonal mystery. In fact, scientists monitoring the oceans have uncovered a handful of sounds that can't be explained - at least not with any certainty.

    With names like "The Bloop," "Train" and "Julia," the sounds have been captured by hydrophones, or underwater microphones, monitored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Here are the six most mysterious noises ever heard in the sea, and what might have made them. [Listen to the Six Spooky Sounds]

    1. The Bloop


    The decidedly nonspooky nickname for this sound does little to dispel the mystery surrounding it. In 1997, NOAA hydrophones picked up one of the loudest sounds ever recorded off the southern coast of South America: the Bloop (which sounds like, well, a bloop), was recorded by two hydrophones nearly 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) apart.

    Bizarro Earth

    A hurricane once more, Sandy defies the rules

    © Handout/Getty Images
    In this satellite image provided Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Sandy's huge cloud extent of up to 2,000 miles churns over the Bahamas, as a line of clouds associated with a powerful cold front approaches the East Coast of the U.S.
    It's still unclear whether Sandy will be a devastating storm or just a bad one.

    It is clear, however, that Sandy will be remembered as the storm that broke all the rules and baffled the nation's top weather forecasters.

    Early Saturday morning, the National Weather Service downgraded the storm from a hurricane to a tropical storm - only to return it to hurricane status a few hours later. Either way, forecasters warn, "widespread impacts" are expected along the coast.

    Three days before reaching land - a time when the National Hurricane Center usually puts a bull's-eye on a small stretch of coast - government forecasters were still talking about the possibility of the storm striking anywhere from Maryland to New York.

    Their uncertainty was especially surprising because hurricane track forecasts have become so good in the past couple of decades. They are usually accurate five or more days out.

    Yet during a press conference on Friday, James Franklin of the NHC was still deflecting reporters' questions about Sandy's track. "We cannot be precise at this stage about exactly where it will come in," he said.

    Forecasters say Sandy just isn't like other hurricanes.

    "The whole thing is unprecedented," Henry Margusity of AccuWeather told NPR's Melissa Block. "We've never seen anything like this."

    Radar

    California not included in tsunami warning

    Santa Barbara authorities just released a statement explaining residents are in no immediate danger of a potential tsunami triggered by the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck northwest Canada at 9:04 pm Saturday tonight.

    The quake was centered near a remote area of Prince Rupert, BC, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has issued warnings for coastal areas from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Cape Decision. Multiple aftershocks have been felt since the first tremor, according to the Toronto Star.

    Life Preserver

    British Columbia hit by powerful earthquake

    © U.S. Geological Survey
    This photo released by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the area where a 7.7 magnitude earthquake is reported to have struck the north-central coast of British Columbia.
    A tsunami warning was issued late Saturday for the coastal areas of northwest British Columbia following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the waters near Prince Rupert. It was followed by at least aftershocks.

    People in coastal areas were told to move inland to higher ground while residents in low-lying coastal areas were ordered to be on alert for instructions from their local emergency officials after the tsunami warning was issued just before 8 p.m. local time.

    The epicentre was reported in coastal waters about 40 kilometres south of Sandspit, B.C. at a depth of 19 kilometres.

    Natural Resources Canada issued a statement Saturday: "A major earthquake occurred in the Haida Gwaii region. It was felt across much of north-central B.C., including Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Quesnel and Houston. There have been no reports of damage at this time."

    Bizarro Earth

    USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 7.7 - South of Masset, Canada

    © USGS
    Event Time
    2012-10-28 03:04:10 UTC
    2012-10-27 20:04:10 UTC-07:00 at epicenter

    Location
    52.769°N 131.927°W depth=17.5km (10.9mi)

    Nearby Cities
    139km (86mi) S of Masset, Canada
    202km (126mi) SSW of Prince Rupert, Canada
    293km (182mi) SW of Terrace, Canada
    556km (345mi) NW of Campbell River, Canada
    635km (395mi) SSE of Juneau, Alaska

    Technical Details

    Attention

    Magnitude 7.7 earthquake in British Columbia, Canada, produces tsunami warnings

    © GDACS
    Yellow alert level for economic losses. Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Canada. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.

    A TSUNAMI WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT WHICH INCLUDES THE COASTAL AREAS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA FROM THE NORTH TIP OF VANCOUVER ISLAND BRITISH COLUMBIA TO CAPE DECISION ALASKA/LOCATED 85 MILES SE OF SITKA/...

    ...THIS MESSAGE IS INFORMATION ONLY FOR COASTAL AREAS OF CALIFORNIA - OREGON - WASHINGTON AND BRITISH COLUMBIA FROM THE CALIFORNIA-MEXICO BORDER TO THE NORTH TIP OF VANCOUVER ISLAND BRITISH COLUMBIA...

    ..THIS MESSAGE IS INFORMATION ONLY FOR COASTAL AREAS OF ALASKA FROM CAPE DECISION ALASKA/LOCATED 85 MILES SE OF SITKA/ TO ATTU ALASKA...

    A TSUNAMI WARNING MEANS... ALL COASTAL RESIDENTS IN THE WARNING AREA WHO ARE NEAR THE BEACH OR IN LOW-LYING REGIONS SHOULD MOVE IMMEDIATELY INLAND TO HIGHER GROUND AND AWAY FROM ALL HARBORS AND INLETS INCLUDING THOSE SHELTERED DIRECTLY FROM THE SEA. THOSE FEELING THE EARTH SHAKE... SEEING UNUSUAL WAVE ACTION... OR THE WATER LEVEL RISING OR RECEDING MAY HAVE ONLY A FEW MINUTES BEFORE THE TSUNAMI ARRIVAL AND SHOULD MOVE IMMEDIATELY. HOMES AND SMALL BUILDINGS ARE NOT DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND TSUNAMI IMPACTS. DO NOT STAY IN THESE STRUCTURES.

    ALL RESIDENTS WITHIN THE WARNED AREA SHOULD BE ALERT FOR INSTRUCTIONS BROADCAST FROM THEIR LOCAL CIVIL AUTHORITIES. EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE ARE KNOWN TO GENERATE TSUNAMIS.

    AT 804 PM PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME ON OCTOBER 27 AN EARTHQUAKE WITH PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE 7.1 OCCURRED 25 MILES/40 KM SOUTH OF SANDSPIT BRITISH COLUMBIA. EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE ARE KNOWN TO GENERATE TSUNAMIS. IF A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED THE WAVES WILL FIRST REACH LANGARA ISLAND BRITISH COLUMBIA AT 916 PM PDT ON OCTOBER 27. ESTIMATED TSUNAMI ARRIVAL TIMES AND MAPS ALONG WITH SAFETY RULES AND OTHER INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THE WEB SITE WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV.

    Cloud Precipitation

    The true threat of hurricane 'Sandy'

    Mitt Romney cancelled one of three campaign stops this Sunday in reaction to the recent weather threat presented by hurricane "Sandy" which is predicted to affect parts of the eastern seaboard, thus stopping Romney from appearing at the Virginia Beach rally he had previously scheduled.

    © Official White House Photo/Pete Souza
    President Barack Obama receives an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy
    Meanwhile, President Obama has already been briefed on the storm as of late Wednesday and east coast residents are urged to monitor local weather reports for what is being called a "super storm".

    With Sandy's wide wind field of 550 plus miles merging with a polar air mass over the eastern US, things could get pretty rough.

    The storm also has the potential to bring massive amounts of rain and snow.

    An excerpt from the New York Times reads, "The storm is also expected to dump as much as 10 inches of rain in the area where it makes landfall and to create a significant storm surge that will lead to flooding throughout a large coastal area, perhaps most seriously in Delaware, forecasters said.