Archive | July 2014



***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 31.07.14  21.48 hrs UTC


Massive underground gas blast has killed at least 5 and injured about 200 people in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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An underground gas explosion has left at least 200 people injured in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Thursday, according to preliminary reports.

The Associated Press reported that at least five people were killed and 228 were injured. Firefighters are among those killed in the incident.

Taiwanese PM Jiang Yi-Huah said there were at least five explosions.

The Focus Taiwan News Channel reported that “multiple gas explosions” rocked the streets. The gas leaks started at around 9 p.m local time.

“I saw fire spurting, ripping off some covers of ditches. It was terrifying,” a witness told the channel.

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Christmas in July? Several inches of hail coated Geneva, NY, USA

Pea-sized hail fell in and around Geneva this morning, looking more like several inches of lake-effect snow.

While residents were surprised to see it, a hail storm like this one is pretty common, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kat Hawley.

“It’s definitely nothing out of the ordinary,” Hawley said. “It’s just a small thunderstorm.”

Hawley said the fact that the hail fell in the morning rather than the afternoon could have caught people off guard. But that also meant that air temperatures were a little cooler, which allowed the hail to accumulate rather than melt away quickly.

“Most of the time that hail would melt,” she said. “It’s just kind of cool enough where the hail managed to stay as ice.”

how hail forms.JPG
Hail forms from upward and downward motion of air in a thunderstorm
Hail forms inside thunderstorms. Air pushes water up and down in the storm, and the water can freeze into hail. If the tiny hail pellet gets pushed up and down repeatedly in the storm, it grows larger with each layer of water it picks up.

(The largest hailstone ever recorded was 7 inches in diameter and weighed just under one pound. It fell in Nebraska on June 23, 2003.)

The atmosphere in the Finger Lakes this morning was just right for hail, Hawley said, with colder, dry air high in the atmosphere and drafts of air pushing the water up and down.

“We just happened to have all the right ingredients,” she said.

Astonishing severe storm wrecks havoc in Luther Forest Park, Malta, NY, USA

Thursday’s storms brought down trees in Malta, and destroyed one man’s brand new car.

The storm hit just after 1 p.m., bringing hail, heavy rain and wind to the Luther Forest Park.

Craig Randall, A GLOBALFOUNDRIES employee, came out to find his car and his employee’s, destroyed.

He just bought the Kia three months ago and made a payment Thursday – the same day as the storms.

While he says the storm was bad, he wasn’t expecting this.

“We were actually joking around saying we saw the hail. I go, ‘Oh man, I wonder if they cover hail dents. I never expected this at all,’” said Craig Randall.

While NewsChannel 13 was there, another tree fell.

That one, however, was cut down.

As for Randall, he says his insurance company is helping out and has him set up in a rental car.

Plane crashes at RNAS Culdrose air day in Cornwall, UK

An aeroplane has crash-landed at RNAS Culdrose in front of thousands of spectators.

The Royal Navy Sea Fury appeared to suffer a mechanical problem as it came in to land at the base’s annual Air Day event this afternoon.

It was the day’s penultimate flight.

Sam Whitfield, who works for The Herald, said: “The sea fury had problems prior to starting up and had to be fixed.

“Once approved it took off and displayed half way through encountering a hydraulic leak and engine failure which prevented the landing gear to attract open for an emergency landing.

“On landing the pilot did his best to keep it level but the right gear gave way and ended up with the historic sea fury hitting the deck.

“The pilot is safe and out of the aircraft. Fire engines were on the scene straight away.”

Witness Jim Hogan, 66, from Darwin in Lancashire, said: “Apparently the plane radioed in the problem. It was coming down to land and the right-hand landing leg was seen to not come out in time.

“When he landed it ended up veering across the runway and came to a stop on the opposite side of the runway.

“It seemed the leg did eventually come out, but too late.

“The pilot put up a red flare and the emergency services were there in a split second.”

An expert on the scene, Peter Reoch, Cosford Air Show air operations assistant, posted on Twitter: “RNHF Sea Fury T20 has completed a forced landing. Pilot OK. Runway currently blocked with aircraft resting on the fuselage.”

RNAS Culdrose tweeted: “Everyone do not panic. The main thing is the pilot is okay and fire engines are on scene.”

The Helston base’s communications office Pete Wooldridge confirmed that the pilot was okay and that the aircraft had come down on the opposite side of the runway from the audience.

He said the historic plane was one of the last displays scheduled for the event, but that all further flights have been suspended.

“The pilot is fine, he leapt out as soon as the plane came to a halt and he is walking around,” he said.

“There is no fire and no one has been hurt. But scheduled events have currently been suspended.”

Plane crashes in San Diego, USA

Plane Crash Alert

A small plane clipped the top of a store before it crashed in the parking lot of a San Diego shopping center, killing a 78-year-old passenger and seriously injuring the 52-year-old pilot, authorities said.

Several witnesses rushed to douse the plane’s flames and pull out the two women, the only people aboard. A man who helped was treated for minor cuts and burns, but no one on the ground was hurt in the crash.

The single-engine 1988 Mooney M-20L went down Wednesday in a parking lot that serves a Costco and a Target store in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood.

The plane bounced while landing at nearby Montgomery Field, continued westbound and went down, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

However, helicopter pilot Vince Carter said he had taken off from the field when he heard the pilot tell the control tower in a radio transmission that she had lost power on takeoff. “She said she lost power and she was going down and that was it,” he told KFMB-TV.

It wasn’t immediately clear which version of events was correct.

The plane clipped the top of the Target store and knocked down a light pole, police Lt. Steve Behrendt said.

It spun around and finally landed in the parking lot in a loading dock area away from the main entrances, and no cars were there, San Diego Fire Department spokesman Lee Swanson said.

The plane caught fire, but the flames were quickly doused. The passenger had serious burns, and she died at a hospital, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office. The woman was initially described by a fire department spokesman as 80 years old, but the medical examiner’s office later said she was 78.

The pilot also had major injuries, but she was expected to survive, Behrendt said.

Gregg Smith was working in a nearby office building and saw the plane in trouble. It nearly hit his building, he said.

“I knew they didn’t have enough power to do the things they needed to do,” he told KNSD-TV. “I knew it was going down.”

Smith said the plane left his view, but he then heard a loud thud and then the crash. “The next thing I saw was a bunch of black smoke,” he said.

He ran outside as he called 911, Smith said.

About 15 to 20 people were standing around the plane, some with fire extinguishers, he said. They put out the fire before it reached the plane’s fuel tank, and they pulled the women out, Smith said.

The white plane appeared to be mostly intact, but its nose and one wing were torn up.

“The front of the passenger compartment, the engine is essentially broken off,” Swanson said. “The landing gear is off; it’s lying flat on its belly. There’s some debris for several yards in each direction.”

Carter, the helicopter pilot who was in the air and heard the pilot’s last radio transmissions saying she was going down, said the plane’s pilot may have helped save lives.

“This is a miracle and testament to her skill as a pilot,” he told KNSD-TV. “This could have very easily killed a lot of people. You could imagine, just shopping at Target and a plane comes through the roof full of fuel.

“She stalled it out pretty much perfectly in the only spot she possibly could have.”

Storm near Caribbean likely to become tropical cyclone

The National Weather Service sent a hurricane hunter airplane to investigate a low pressure system southwest of the Caribbean which is forecast to have a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.
The system is producing gale-force winds, but satellite images show showers and thunderstorms have diminished since this morning, so the NWS doesn’t consider it a tropical cyclone yet.
The storm is about 550 miles east of the southern Windward Islands, moving west-northwest at 15 to 20 m.p.h.

Health emergency declared due to outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Sierra Leone

Ebola Virus

Health emergency declared due to outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Sierra Leone

Four more tornadoes confirmed this season in Ontario, Canada

Four more tornadoes have been confirmed in Ontario, bringing the total to 12 this season, according to Environment Canada. 

According to the agency, the first tornado touched down Monday, July 7 near the Norwich area to the south of Woodstock at around 4:00 p.m. EDT. 

“Photographic evidence was provided to Environment Canada indicating that one of these storms produced a brief tornado [in the area],” said EC in weather summary issued Thursday afternoon. “There was no evidence of damage from this tornado and so it has been rated as an EF0 event with winds of at least 90 km/h.” 

“Based on photographic evidence, the first cell generated a waterspout over eastern Lake Nipissing,” said EC. 

EC includes waterspouts which form over smaller bodies of water in their tornado database. However, any waterspouts that develop over the Great Lakes are not included in EC’s database unless they come onshore. 

The second tornado confirmed to have touched down on July 15 was an EF0, just to the south of North Bay Airport.

“Neither event produced any notable impacts and so both have been rated as EF0 events with winds of at least 90 km/h.” 

Lastly, the forth tornado of the month occurred on Sunday, July 27, near the community of Millbank (about 30 km northwest of Kitchener), where a number of weather spotters reported a funnel cloud. 

No damage was reported in the area after the sighting and so it has been rated an EF0, with winds of at least 90 km/h, concluded EC. 

This now brings the total count of tornadoes in Ontario this year to 12. Ontario normally confirms 12 tornadoes each year in a season, which runs from late April until early October.

Tropical storm Halong struck the Northern Mariana Islands at about 06:00 GMT on 30th July 2014

Tropical storm Halong struck the Northern Mariana Islands at about 06:00 GMT on 30 July. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall was near 14.2 N, 144.5 E. Halong brought 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 101 km/h (63 mph). Wind gusts in the area may have been considerably higher.