Earth ChangesS


US: Earthquake activity near Mount St. Helens volcano quietly continues

© Google Image
Aftershocks from Monday's 4.3 magnitude earthquake northwest of Mount St. Helens have continued all week, but most of them have been too small to be felt any distance away.

The most recently recorded shock occurred at 8:07 a.m. Friday about six miles from the volcano, the same vicinity as the temblor that jolted a broad area of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon at 10:35 a.m. Monday, according to the University of Washington geophysics lab in Seattle. Two quakes measuring 2.4 and another hitting 2.3 occurred late in the week.

None of the earthquakes is known to have caused any damage or injuries.


US: Pele shows 'a lot more' Big Island activity

© Hawaiian Volcano ObservatoryLava continued erupting Thursday morning from a vent in the east wall of Puu Oo crater.
Increased volcanic activity continues at the summit of Kilauea and at the Puu Oo vent.

Lava is flowing from another east cone and a vent on the east wall of Puu Oo into the crater. Hawaii Volcano Observatory released a video Wednesday of the activity in the crater. The flow continued, off and on, Thursday and yesterday.

A lava lake in Halemaumau is also active.

A section of rock above the summit vent collapsed into the lake Monday, sending gas and ash into the air and creating loud popping that could be heard by visitors at the Jaggar Museum overlook in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Lava ash and "Pele's hair" - fine strands of cooled lava - dusted cars in the parking lot.

Cloud Lightning

Pakistan: Rain, snow disrupts life in Quetta, Ziarat

© Google MapsQuetta, Pakistan
Quetta: Rain has been pouring off and on in Quetta and nearby regions whereas snowfall was recorded in Ziarat closing road links between Quetta and Chaman and Ziarat-Sanjawi.

Quetta, Bustan, Pishin, Yawar, Qila Abdullah, Khanozai, Kan Mehtarzai, Mustang, and several other regions received heavy rains. As a result most of the places were flooded with rain water.

Ziarat has been hit with snowfall since last night and 5 inches of snow has been recorded so far. According to the Meteorological Department of Pakistan there is a prediction of rain in the next 24 hours. The weather will remain cold and dry in other parts of the region.

Cloud Lightning

Fiji Islands: More rain forecast

© Wikipedia
The weather office says more rain is expected until late tomorrow, the result of an active trough of low pressure that is currently lying over the Fiji group.

Weather officer Misaele Funaki says periods of heavy rains and squally thunderstorms can be expected in most places.

Funaki says the trough is expected to gradually move South to South East within the next two days.

'The rainy condition which we are experiencing is expected to continue today and tomorrow and gradually ease later On Sunday.'

Cloud Lightning

Update 2: Heavy rains, winds, strike Malta

© Jürgen Scicluna
Heavy rains have prompted the Civil Protection Department to warn people against using roads in low-lying areas prone to flooding, including in Msida, Birkirkara and Gżira.

The winds also caused some damages, including to a high tension overhead line between Bidnija and Burmarrad.

This caused the supply of electricity to be disrupted in parts of the 2 communities. Although the supply to most parts of Burmarrad has since been restored, the remaining affected parts are still without an electricity supply, and the danger posed by excessive winds mean that the power will probably remain out until tomorrow.

Enemalta said that once the gale-force winds calm down, its technicians will restore supply.


More Pusillanimous Propaganda: Scientists connect global warming to extreme rain

© Mark Humphrey, Associated PressThis flooded neighborhood in Nashville, Tenn. was photographed May 3, 2010.
Extreme rainstorms and snowfalls have grown substantially stronger, two studies suggest, with scientists for the first time finding the telltale fingerprints of man-made global warming on downpours that often cause deadly flooding.

Two studies in Wednesday's issue of the journal Nature link heavy rains to increases in greenhouse gases more than ever before.

One group of researchers looked at the strongest rain and snow events of each year from 1951 to 1999 in the Northern Hemisphere and found that the more recent storms were 7 percent wetter. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to be a substantial increase, said the report from a team of researchers from Canada and Scotland.


US: Strong storm activity is expected through weekend

Southern California drivers slogged through a wet, slow Friday evening commute as the first of two bands of heavy rain moved through the region.

The National Weather Service said the storm could bring heavy snow to the mountains, the potential for funnel clouds along the coast, lightning and 70-mph wind gusts in mountain passes.

Officials said the region can expect strong storm activity through Saturday morning, then scattered showers followed by heavier rains Saturday night.

Numerous accidents were reported on freeways in the region, according to the California Highway Patrol. In San Pedro, the Coast Guard and Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a man whose sailboat smashed into rocks.

In the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe resorts reported up to 4 feet of snow over the last 24 hours. Chains were required on many local mountain roads, where several accidents blocking roads were reported.
"A strong front will bring a four- to seven-hour period of heavy rain this afternoon into tonight," the weather service said in a statement. "Numerous showers will continue across the region through Saturday night. There will be a chance of thunderstorms at anytime from this afternoon through Saturday night."

A flash-flood watch has been issued for mountain areas that have been scorched by wildfires in recent years.

The heaviest rainfall was expected to hit Santa Barbara and Ventura counties Friday afternoon and reach the Los Angeles area in the late afternoon and last until about midnight, the weather service said.

The flash-flood watch was issued for areas that were burned by blazes such as the Station and Morris fires in the San Gabriel Mountains in 2009, the weather service said.

Those areas "will have the potential for flash flooding and debris flows," the agency said.


US: Northeast Arizona: Winter Weather Advisory in effect; significant storm approaching

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 5 pm mst Sunday.

Timing: snow showers will increase across the higher elevations later today with lowering snow levels and periods of heavy snow tonight. Lighter snow is expected Sunday.

Snow levels: around 8000 feet today, lowering to 6000 feet this evening, then lowering to around 5000 feet Sunday.

Snow accumulations: 8 to 12 inches of snow is likely above 8000 feet, with 4 to 10 inches between 6500 and 8000 feet elevation. High mountain areas will have the potential for even greater amounts.

Travel conditions: dangerous winter driving conditions are anticipated with blowing snow and poor visibility.

Precautionary/preparedness actions: a winter weather advisory for snow means that periods of falling snow will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities. Plan extra time for travel.

For the latest road conditions and closures call the ADOT freeway management system at 1-888-411-7623 or visit their website.

Cloud Lightning

US: Storm reaches southern California; flash-flood watch issued

© Nick Ut/APHeavy rains in the forecast for Southern California through the weekend.
A powerful winter storm dumped about a half-inch of rain on Los Angeles and forecasters say more wet, messy weather is expected.

The National Weather Service says another mass of cold air moving into Southern California could bring thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and into Sunday.

This latest storm could drop up to four inches of snow at elevations as low as 3,500 feet, causing potential traffic snarls on mountain passes.

Rain began to move into the region from the north Friday afternoon and made a mess of the evening commute. The California Highway Patrol says there were approximately 158 collisions between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, compared with 80 for the same time period one week ago.

A flash-flood watch was issued for mountain areas that have been scorched by wildfires in recent years, but there are no immediate reports of any problems.

Bizarro Earth

US: Mysterious Outbreak Killing Pines in Montana

Pine Trees
© Patrick Verdier / Wikipedia
Salmon, Idaho - Bob Appleby will learn this spring if the evergreen tree in his yard in Montana has survived a mysterious outbreak threatening to kill thousands of Austrian pines across the state.

"It was a real pretty tree; we just want it to stay alive," the Bozeman, Montana man said about a towering Austrian pine cropped to 15 feet to stem the onslaught of what scientists say is an ailment of unknown origins happening in epidemic proportions.

Although native to Europe, the tree has gained extensive ground in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, where the pine's dense needles, uniform shape and tolerance of tough conditions have made it a popular planting in downtowns, parks and private properties.

In a trend experts say has emerged in recent months, the tree's top branches brown and die at the start of what appears to be a march down the trunk despite preventative pruning.

"As we go through winter, these trees are continuing to die; it's one big laboratory out there," said Linnea Skoglund, plant disease expert with Montana State University.

Skoglund said the school's Schutter Diagnostic Lab has been flooded with calls from city foresters, tree surgeons and landscapers, all alarmed by the sudden decline of Austrian pines.