Archive | July 15, 2015

Major fire destroys chemical godown in Bhiwandi, India

Chemical Alert

A devastating fire on Wednesday destroyed a chemical godown in Purna village on the outskirts of Bhiwandi in Thane, police said.
Giving details of the fire which broke out at about 8.15 AM, the chief of RDMC at Thane Municipal Corporation, Santosh Kadam said the blaze began in one of the godowns at Jai Shree Ram Compound in the village.
The chemicals stored in the godown was completely destroyed in the fire triggering a foul odour. However, there were no casualties in the blaze.
Fire officer of Bhiwandi fire station, Dattatraya Dalvi who supervised the fire fighting operations said that the cause of fire was immediately not known and the also the nature of the chemicals in the godown remains to be ascertained.
Fire fighters from Bhiwandi, Thane and Kalyan were rushed to the scene and flames were brought under control by about 1 pm.
Courtesy of

Two chemical explosions started catastrophic fires at a petrochemical plant in southern France early Tuesday

Chemical Explosion Alert

Two explosions at a petrochemical plant in southern France early Tuesday that started potentially catastrophic fires are believed to have been the result of a “criminal act”, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Wednesday.
“The initial evidence that has been communicated demonstrates that it was in fact caused by a criminal act, the motive of which has not been established,” Cazeneuve said.
The fires broke out on Tuesday after two tanks exploded at a plant owned by the company LyondellBasell Industries in the small town of Berre-l’Etang, northwest of Marseilles. No one was injured in the blasts.
The interior minister added that prosecutors would give more details later on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, French media quoted a source close to the investigation as saying that debris from an electronic device had been found at the plant site, and was being analysed to see if it were capable of triggering a fire.
“Investigators have found elements that could constitute, if they are identified as such, a pyrotechnic chain,” the source said.
“These elements were found not far from one of the two tanks [that exploded] but not in its immediate proximity. At this stage, we can’t yet confirm that it is an explosive device,” the source added.
The fires came a week after explosives, detonators and 40 grenades were stolen from an army base in the nearby town of Miramas. So far, however, there was no evidence of a link between them and the thefts.
France is on top security alert after last month’s suspected terrorist attack on a gas plant near Lyon, which came five months after 17 people were killed by gunmen in assaults on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish grocery store in Paris.
Courtesy of

Mega snowstorm hammers Chile with 9ft – 108ins of snow; Snowstorm also hits Argentina

Paso Libertadoes, about 3 miles from Portillo Ski Resort, recorded 9 feet of snow
Jonesin’ for some serious powder? Winter in Chile and Argentina might have gotten off to a bit of a late start, but things are looking good after a huge snowstorm this weekend. The most snow fell on the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores, a mountain pass in the Andes between Argentina and Chile and about 3 miles from Portillo Ski Resort. Although some of the totals were no doubt influenced by the wind at the top of the pass,the Chilean government reported over 9 feet of snow and the pass remains closed. The ski areas throughout both countries also faired well, measuring anywhere from 2 to 5 feet of snow.
Ski Portillo is reporting 43 inches in 48 hours and 66 inches of snow in the last 7 days. They are planning on opening on Saturday, July 18
Las Lenas is reporting 45 inches at the base and lots more up top
Valle Nevado in Chile is reporting 31 inches around the hotels and opening day is set for July 18
La Parva, Chile is reporting 27 inches
El Colorado is reporting 25 inches
Courtesy of



***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 15.07.15  22.18 hrs UTC


Subject To Change

Depth: 9 km

Distances: 75 km W of Montréal, Canada / pop: 3,268,513 / local time: 18:00:19.6 2015-07-15
15 km S of Hawkesbury, Canada / pop: 12,283 / local time: 18:00:19.6 2015-07-15

Global viewRegional view

Mega Snowstorm To Strike The South Island In New Zealand

Winter Storm Warning

ONE News weatherman Dan Corbett says the Otago region can expect up to 25cm of snow down to 200 meters, in the period from late Wednesday into early Friday.
He said motorists may need to take extra care during tomorrow’s evening commute.
“Dunedin, 200m will be your snow level,” he says. “Watch it in the evening, those northern motorways for instance, with snow accumulating there.”
Queenstown’s also set to be hit hard.
There could also be snow in parts of Southland and Canterbury, down to around 400m, with those regions also in line for gales of up to 130km/h.
“Quite a menace of a storm system is on its way.”
Courtesy of

Hurricane Delores Expected To Become Major Hurricane

Hurricane Delores was packing 85 mph winds as it churned in waters off the southwestern coast of Mexico Tuesday afternoon. Forecasters expect Delores to near Socorro Island on Wednesday.
Delores, located 250 miles southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico, is forecast to continue strengthening and should be upgraded to a major hurricane on Wednesday, forecasters with the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. A major hurricane features sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least 111 mph, or the equivalent of Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Tuesday afternoon, the storm was packing 85 mph winds and moving west-northwest at 7 mph. It featured a 20-mile-wide eye and hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 25 miles from the center of the storm. Tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 150 miles.
Forecasters expect Delores to continue strengthening during the next couple of days thanks to warm waters and light vertical wind shear in the Eastern Pacific ocean. It could peak Thursday as a Category 3 storm packing 120 mph winds before starting to weaken later this week as it encounters cooler waters.
Swells generated by the storm, which are already impacting portions of the southwestern Mexico coast, were expected to reach the southern coast of the Baja California peninsula on Tuesday. Forecasters say Delores is likely to pass near Socorro Island, which is located several hundred miles off the Mexican coast, on Wednesday.
Also being monitored Tuesday afternoon was Tropical Storm Enrique, located 1,365 miles west of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. The storm, which strengthened overnight Monday into Tuesday, was packing 50 mph winds and moving toward the west-northwest at 9 mph.
The tropical storm is forecast to weaken starting Wednesday as it encounters cooler waters and increased wind shear. It should be downgraded to a remnant low by the end of the week.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Pacific, no tropical cyclone formation is expected through the end of the week.
Meanwhile in the Central North Pacific basin, which is where Hawaii is located, Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters continued to monitor the remnants of Tropical Storm Iune located 930 miles southwest of Honolulu. Forecasters said that while isolated thunderstorms are still developing around the low, environmental conditions will likely prevent strengthening appreciably during the next couple of days.
Elsewhere in the Central North Pacific, no tropical cyclones are expected through Thursday afternoon.
The Central North Pacific and Eastern Pacific hurricane seasons continue through Nov. 30.
Courtesy of

Near Category 1 Hurricane Causes Mayhem In Brainerd, Minnesota, USA

A swathe of trees lay blown over Monday after a super cell thunderstorm hit the Brainerd lakes area with near category 1 hurricane force winds. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
A supercell thunderstorm struck the Brainerd lakes area Sunday night with a force nearly matching a category 1 hurricane.
A supercell thunderstorm is potentially the most dangerous of convective storm types, the National Weather Service reports. The storm itself is so powerful it rotates. Supercell storms have the potential to generate violent and long-lived tornadoes and downburst damage. The downburst, a strong downdraft producing damaging high winds on or near the ground, is the culprit in causing the damage in the Brainerd lakes area, the National Weather Service reported.
A meteorologist assessed the damage in the lakes area before determining the downburst, which may also be called straight-line winds, was the factor here not a tornado.
The main damage path was 8 miles long and 3 miles wide.
“Straight-line winds can do tremendous damage and you don’t need a tornado to get the kind of damage that you experienced,” the National Weather Service posted on its Facebook page in response to inquiries from the Brainerd/Baxter area. “The Boundary Waters derecho in 1999 was much larger in scale and was due to straight-line winds.”
The National Weather Center in Duluth was monitoring the region, expecting storms to develop as a potent combination of storm-building ingredients came together. The tone for the day was set in the morning. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., listed the Brainerd lakes area in a moderate risk for thunderstorms.
Melody Lovin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth, said in weather terms a moderate risk is significant and comes with an expectation for tornadoes.
“Whenever there is a slight risk we are watching it very, very closely,” Lovin said.
Sunday’s storm developed after a warm, oppressive and overcast day. High atmospheric instability and wind shear produced the energy needed to create the massive storm. Instability means there is a lot of energy and potential for rising motion and it’s the wind shear that allows it to develop rotation and become severe.
“It was kind of a loaded gun situation as far as the atmosphere coming together to produce these type of strong storms,” Lovin said.
“We tend to get storms like this once or twice a season,” Lovin said.
Most of the damage was farther south and east of Brainerd with tornadoes by Ottertail and close to the North Dakota and Minnesota state line.
“There was widespread damage reported,” Lovin said, noting storms moved from Fargo, N.D. to Milwaukee, Wis.
In the lakes area, the radar’s intense red of the storm first appeared to be going north. But the storm then appeared to turn.
“With very strong storms they tend to take a right turn. That’s something we watch closely because when they tend to take a right turn that indicates it is getting stronger because it is getting more rooted in the upper atmosphere,” Lovin said.
Lovin said every storm with updraft has a little rotation to it and determining what caused damage includes looking for patterns. It doesn’t have to be exact but if the overall pattern matches, Lovin said it can be scientifically proven to be straight-line winds or a downburst.
“Some people in the area were very staunch in saying that it was tornado damage and I would say it’s important to realize that a 70 mph wind whether it’s twisting in a tornado or just straight-line it’s very damaging. It doesn’t need to be in the form of a tornado to cause extensive damage and a threat to life and property.”
Lovin said equipment measured the winds here up to 65 mph with gusts higher for an estimated range of 65 mph to possibly 80 mph. A category 1 hurricane has winds of 74 mph to 95 mph. If the storm’s winds reached 100 mph, Lovin said the damage would have been significantly more severe.
The temperature dropped from 81 degrees to 64 degrees in the aftermath of Sunday’s storm.
Storms blew up again late Tuesday afternoon with thunder rumbling through the lakes area and heavy amounts of rain. For those faced with the task of cleaning up storm debris, the weather service noted the chance for severe weather continues Thursday, Friday and into next week. The chance for thunderstorms is listed at 50 percent Thursday with a chance Thursday night before giving way to mostly sunny skies Friday.
Expect warm temperatures to continue with highs in the 80s, climbing to a high of 87 Friday and 88 Saturday.
Lovin said a typical summertime pattern is setting up. “This is usually our prime time for thunderstorms, of course.”
Buildings at Madden’s on Gull Lake resort show severe damage Monday after a storm ripped through the Gull Lake area Sunday night. (Kelly Humphrey,Brainerd Dispatch)
Courtesy of

Plane Forced To Land On Busy Road In New Jersey, USA

A skydiving plane has been forced to make an emergency landing on a highway after running out of power.
The single-engine plane was carrying five people when it was forced into the manoeuvre in Stafford Township, New Jersey.
Video of the incident released by police shows the aircraft gliding onto the grass-covered reservation in the middle of the road, narrowly missing passing vehicles.
The instructor on board suffered a cut on his arm, but no other injuries were reported in Sunday morning’s incident.
The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration, local media reported.
Courtesy of Sky News