Archive | May 7, 2015


Subject To Change

Depth: 3 km

Distances: 45 km SW of Dallas, United States / pop: 1,197,816 / local time: 17:58:05.5 2015-05-07
28 km NE of Cleburne, United States / pop: 29,337 / local time: 17:58:05.5 2015-05-07
6 km NW of Venus, United States / pop: 2,960 / local time: 17:58:05.5 2015-05-07

Global viewRegional view

Mega hailstorm hits Colorado Springs, USA

The size of the hail was impressive to begin with….. up to about golf ball size. Even more impressive was the amount of hail that fell on the north side of Colorado Springs this afternoon.
Hail piled up several inches deep along I-25 and the snow plows had to be called out to clear interstate 24.
About 10 plows were called out to clear the roads. It looked more like mid-January this afternoon instead of May.
Eastern Colorado and Wyoming are the hail capitals of the United States with more hailstorms each year than any other part of the country.
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Fort Lauderdale-to-New York flight diverted after smoke fills plane

Plane Emergency Landing

Delta flight that departed from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was diverted to Charleston, South Carolina, after smoke filled the airplane.
Passengers on Delta flight 2028 posted pictures of the smoke-filled plane on Twitter.
The flight departed from South Florida at 2:56 p.m. Thursday and was en route to New York’s LaGuardia Airport at the time. There were 89 passengers on board.
Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant said there was “a performance issue” with one of the Boeing MD-88’s two engines.
The plane landed safely at Charleston International Airport, where technicians were examining the plane.
Durrant said passengers were being provided drinks and snacks while they waited for another plane from Atlanta to continue their trip.
“Delta’s top priority on every flight is safety and apologizes for the delay,” Durrant said.
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More than 60 small eruptions at Nicaragua’s Concepcion volcano

More than 60 small eruptions at Nicaragua's Concepcion volcano
View of the 1,610 meter high Concepcion active volcano located in the picturesque island of Ometepe, Nicaragua. EFE/Archivo
Nicaragua’s Concepcion volcano has experienced more than 60 small eruptions since early Wednesday.
“The volcano has spewed gases but no ash,” said the coordinator of the Council on Communication and Citizenry, Rosario Murillo.
“Experts from the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies, Ineter, are now analyzing this phenomenon,” she explained.
Ineter reported two earthquakes of magnitudes 2.4 and 1.3 near the volcano shortly after the eruptions began.
Ineter investigator Armando Saballos said the volcano had shown signs of activity over the past few weeks linked to seismic activity, with small explosions of gas that tended to subside after a few days.
He added that although this was normal, seismic activity could increase in the coming days.
On April 27, Ineter announced that a group of volcanologists would analyze gases from the volcano after the increase in seismic activity was reported.
The 1,610 meter high active volcano is located on the picturesque island of Ometepe, with 36,000 inhabitants.
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Severe heatwave kills one in North India

Heatwave Warning

Heatwave continued unabated in north India today with the mercury soaring in many areas including Delhi and Rajasthan, where a man died due to scorching conditions.
Delhiites experienced another blistering hot day with the maximum temperature settling four notches above normal at 42.7 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature was recorded three notches above the season’s average at 27.6 degrees as against yesterday’s 24.5 degrees Celsius, MeT department officials said.
Dry conditions added to the woes of Delhiites. Humidity in the air oscillated between 34 and 13 per cent.
Rajasthan was under the grip of blistering heatwave conditions with the mercury soaring to 46 degrees Celsius in Phalodi in Jodhpur region.
Mercury showed an upward trend due to dry weather conditions in the state and the maximum temperature ranged between 40.4 and 46 degrees Celsius across the state.
Rajasthan capital Jaipur experienced the hottest day of the season with a maximum temperature of 43.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal.
An unidentified beggar, in his sixties, was found dead Panditji-ka-Chauraha area of the Pink City. Police suspect that he died due to intense heatwave conditions.
Western regions of Rajasthan covering Churu, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Srigangangar, Jaisalmer, and Barmer continued to be in the grip of blistering heat wave and dust-storm, affecting normal life.
Churu recorded a maximum temperature of 45.5 degrees, followed by Kota 44.5, Sriganganagar 43.8, Bikaner 43, Pilani 42.7, and Jodhpur 41.7 degrees Celsius.
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Train crash kills one, 8 injured in Austria

Two local trains collided head-on near Uebelbach, Austria, on May 6, 2015, killing one of the drivers -© APA/AFP
Two local trains collided head-on in Austria on Wednesday, killing one of the drivers and injuring eight people, including two who were in a critical condition, emergency services said.
The accident, near the southern city of Graz, occurred after one of the trains apparently failed to observe a stop signal, said Helmut Wittmann, chairman of local train operator Steiermaerkische Landesbahnen.
“Today we lost one of our colleagues,” the Austria Press Agency quoted him as saying.
The driver had remained stuck inside his cabin after the crash and died at the scene after “fighting for his life”, the Red Cross said.
The other driver and a 60-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries and were airlifted to hospital.
Regional authorities have opened an investigation into possible involuntary manslaughter, APA reported.
Six other passengers sustained injuries in the accident, which took place near the train station of the village of Waldstein, 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Graz, at around 10:20 am (08:20 GMT).
“The damage is considerable so we think the trains were travelling at average speed for this stretch of track. We assume though that the brakes were applied,” a fire brigade spokesman told AFP.
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New study reveals the highest volcanic risk areas in Auckland, New Zealand

A new study has mapped which parts of Auckland are most at-risk from volcanic eruptions. Areas in red the most at-risk, and areas in green are the safest.
A new study has mapped which parts of Auckland are most at-risk from volcanic eruptions. Areas in red the most at-risk, and areas in green are the safest
A new study has found Three Kings and Mangere are the most susceptible suburbs in Auckland to a volcanic eruption.
Gábor Kereszturi, a PhD student from Massey University, used a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping technique to give areas a susceptibility score in the event of an eruption.
His scoring system showed Three Kings and Māngere have a higher chance of explosive volcanic activity than other parts of Auckland, like the elevated North Shore. Other areas of  moderate risk included Favona and Otahuhu, and the safest areas were Glenfield and Chatswood.
Kereszturi’s study focused on a particular type of eruption called phreatomagmatic, where magma and water mix underground to cause a violent explosion.
His GIS mapping technique combined multiple layers of information onto a map.
Kereszturi started by creating a detailed map of Auckland’s topography, which was combined with a geological map and field mapping that allowed him to estimate how past volcanoes erupted.
He could then how predict how lava might flow in the present day.
His final layer of information was environmental factors like thickness of underlying rocks and sediments in Auckland, sea water level and distance from fault lines.
He said the GIS approach was extremely powerful.
“Forecasting where the next eruption is going to occur is challenging. But by creating a model based on many different types of information we have readily available, it allows us to predict how a potential future volcano in Auckland might erupt and how big an area it would impact,” he said.
He said the next step was to add urban elements like buildings and infrastructure to the model.
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Philippine volcano ejects ash, but no violent eruption

Volcano Alert

A Philippine volcano has spewed ash for the second time in less than a week but there were no signs of any imminent violent eruption, the country’s chief volcano expert said Thursday.
Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon province southeast of Manila ejected ash 250 meters (825 feet) above the 1,565-meter (5,165-foot) volcano late Wednesday, said Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
The agency asked local officials to keep people away from a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) hazardous zone around the crater, he said. He said aircraft should not fly close to the mountain to avoid any sudden explosions and ash clouds.
Solidum said the explosion was due to ground water coming into contact with hot rocks and not rising magma. He says such “phreatic” explosions are typical of Bulusan. The ash explosion lasted about 3-1/2 minutes, shorter than the 5-minute explosion recorded May 1.
A large explosion in February 2011 that shot an ash plume about 2 kilometers (more than a mile) into the sky prompted about 1,200 villagers to flee to shelters.
Bulusan is one 23 volcanoes considered active by the volcanology agency, but it has not had a violent eruption since in 1918.
The country is in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common. In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the northern Philippines exploded in one of the biggest eruptions in the 20th century.
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Double Typhoon Trouble in the Western Pacific, Plus a Brewing Storm in the Atlantic Ocean

Two tropical systems are seen in this satellite image of the Pacific Ocean basin. Typhoon Noul is marked TY06W. The system to its east stands a high chance of developing into a typhoon. (Source: JTWC)
As Typhoon Noul continues to spin up in the western Pacific Ocean, posing a distinct threat to the Philippines this weekend, a big tropical depression to the east is growing and stands a high chance of developing into a “significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours,” according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, an area of disturbed weather over the Northwest Bahamas designated as Invest 90L could become a subtropical depression by Friday. The storm will likely bring heavy rain and high surf to the Carolinas on Friday.
Back in the Pacific, Noul has already brought high winds and heavy rain to Yap Island. The typhoon’s maximum sustained winds were pegged earlier today at 86 miles per hour, with gusts to 103. Here’s how the typhoon looked in satellite microwave imagery as it approached Yap:
Source: CIMSS
Now it’s looking like Typhoon Noul’s track could take it a little to the west of where models previously forecast it to go — and that could be bad news for the Philippines. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the storm is currently expected to make landfall on the east coast of the Philippine island of Luzon early on Sunday local time — with sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. It’s important to note, however, that there is still some uncertainty about the storm’s ultimate track.
Here’s the JTC’s forecast (and note that “TAU” refers to the number of hours from the time of the forecast):
An animation of infrared satellite imagery of Typhoon Noul, with the storm’s forecast track as of 5/06/15. The Philippines are at upper left. (Source: CIMSS)
Whether or not Noul does make landfall in the Philippines, or simply grazes it, the storm will be the second tropical cyclone to affect the archipelago in 2015. As Bob Henson points out at
The first was Tropical Storm Maysak, which hit the Philippines exceptionally early in the season–during Easter weekend, April 4 – 5.
It’s a good thing that Maysak weakened considerably before making landfall. Earlier on its trek across the western Pacific it was a Category 5 super typhoon that was notable for its strength so early in the season.
The system to the west of Noul has now strengthened into a tropical depression.
Tropical Depression 7, as seen in an infrared satellite image. (Source: CIMSS)
Designated Tropical Depression 7, the storm continues to gather strength as it heads in the general direction of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. It’s current forecast track is overlain in the infrared satellite image above. The islands form an arc in the upper left corner of the image.
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