Posts in category: Uncategorized

Jun

12
2015

Rain hampers search for dozens missing in Nepal landslide – Yahoo News

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

News.yahoo.com reports that...

KATHMANDU, Nepal AP — Rescuers searched through piles of rocks and debris Friday after a landslide swept through six mountainous Nepalese villages, killing 24 people and leaving dozens more missing.

Read more at news.yahoo.com


May

22
2015

Problems with snow and ice

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

We have been reporting for the last couple months that the snowpack is fairly sparse.  That low snowpack is likely to cause or exacerbate  drought, which disturbs crops, local economies and ecosystems.  Arid conditions can even trigger flash flooding, which we may soon see in California as they are dealing with exceptional drought.  Now, the Colorado River, which feeds such centers as Las Vegas, Los Angeles and parts of Arizona is running dry.  The snowpacks feed this major river and they have all mostly melted to be whisked away to far away places, not where it is needed.  There is more to be said about drought.  Several nations around the world are experiencing the devastating effects of drought, namely Brazil and Zimbabwe.  However, the biggest story as of late is not about snow melting too early, but ice.  The Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica, which partially broke away in early 2002, is weaker than ever before.  NASA scientists predict that within the next five years it may break away altogether.  That is 618 square miles (995 square kilometres) of ice that will melt into the ocean.

What’s really bad about that is that it’s not just normal ice.  Glaciers have extremely dense ice.  They form when snow gets buried so deep in new layers of snow that they are compressed into ice.  The process is called firnification.  The firns, later get compacted even further into glacial ice.  Glacial ice is 850kg/m3, and water is 1000kg/m3. That means roughly 85% of that mass will become seawater.  In 2002, the depth of the ice that broke off was 200m.  Assuming it is the size, we will see an increase in seawater of 16,915 liters (4,468 gallons).  While it is hard to predict the exact effects this volume of water will have, it may affect currents and cause some sea level rise.


Apr

13
2015

Oregon governor’s drought emergency declaration expanded | The Japan Times

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

Japantimes.co.jp reports that...

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a drought emergency on Monday in three southern and central Oregon counties, expanding upon earlier drought declarations the Democrat made in March, as the state faces record low snowpack levels.

Read more at www.japantimes.co.jp


Apr

02
2015

For Drinking Water in Drought, California Looks Warily to Sea

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

Nytimes.com reports that...

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Every time drought strikes California, the people of this state cannot help noticing the substantial reservoir of untapped water lapping at their shores — 187 quintillion gallons of it, more or less, shimmering so invitingly in the sun.

Read more at www.nytimes.com


Jan

13
2015

Fire among disastrous weather events this week.

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

A series of about a hundred fires are burning out of control in Chile.  Some of them, firefighters classify as “highly resistant to control.”  As it stands, over 35,000 acres (14,161 ha).  Sadly, it has not only been tracts of wilderness that gone up in smoke, but also 15 houses.  Australia is also battling wildfires, which are threatening several vineyards in the wine growing region, Adelaide Hills.  Wine, it turns out, is very sensitive to smoke, and what is known as smoke taint is bad news for vintages.  The smoke gets into grapes’ skins and the resulting wine tastes like an ashtray; obviously an unpopular drink.  While there is no estimate of damages from smoke taint just yet, in previous years it has easily topped $7 million.  Sadly, hundreds of animals have also been killed in the fires.  In the US, another cash crop might be in trouble; chile peppers.  The ongoing US drought in the Southwest is forcing farmers to rely more on well water than water from the Rio Grande.  This well water is saltier than river water and it results in weakened, smaller crops.  Farmers fear that within a few years they will not be able to grow the crop at all.  Brazil is also having trouble with crop production, even as drought recovery is beginning.  Coffee trees will not recover easily from the extreme heat and drought in 2014.

Also in Australia, in the Northern Territories and surrounding areas, three people were successfully rescued from flash flooding.  One man was not so lucky.  He was reported missing after tire-tubing along a riverbed and police recovered his body.  Police are urging residents to use extreme caution while the rain continues, as there is a risk of further flash flooding.  Travellers are advised to check road conditions before going anywhere.  In other news, the Middle East is facing a new humanitarian threat.  Lebanon, Syria, and several other countries are being covered in snow.  Refugee camps in Syria were not prepared for the arctic blast, and at least two refugees are dead as a result.  More deaths will likely follow, as temperatures are expected to plummet to -17ºC (1.4ºF.)  While this is on par with what Canadians experience annually, it is dramatic for Lebanon.  Meanwhile, in Myanmar, four people are dead after a landslide at a jade mine.  Heavy rain triggered this fatal event.

This summary in no way reflects all of what has been going on in the world.  If you would like to see all of our headlines from the past week, please click here.

 

 


Jan

12
2015

Drought threatens New Mexico chile farmers | KTSM News Channel 9 | News, Weather and Sports | El Paso, Las Cruces, Juarez

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

Ktsm.com reports that...

Farmers say the drought – which has crippled much of the southwest – has made things so bad soon that could be a reality.

Read more at www.ktsm.com


Jan

12
2015

B.C. winter storm hits Interior, Fraser Valley – British Columbia – CBC News

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

Cbc.ca reports that...

The first major winter storm forecast for 2015 brought mainly rain to Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver, but caused significant snowfall in other parts of B.C.

Read more at www.cbc.ca


Jan

12
2015

Power gradually being restored across Quebec after ice storm | Montreal Gazette

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

Montrealgazette.com reports that...

Lenny Colesio returns to her home on Elmhurst Ave. in Montreal Sunday night January 4, 2015 where power had been out since the morning.

Read more at montrealgazette.com


Jan

12
2015

Drought-stricken Southland gets light rain | abc7.com

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

Abc7.com reports that...

Rain continued to fall across most of Southern California into Sunday morning. It wasn’t a downpour, but a widespread, steady rain — the kind that warrants the use of windshield wipers and slows down traffic. 

Read more at abc7.com


Jan

06
2015

Worldwide Weather Chaos

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

We will start our newsletter this week with an update on the Malaysia tragedies we reported last week.  AirAsia flight 8501has been located and large chunks of debris were found.  These large pieces of debris support the position we proposed, based on what pilots think happened.  The debris is consistent with an intact plane at the time of impact.  We know that the airframe didn’t disintegrate; such things have happened before, though we don’t know the exact cause of the crash.  Meteorologists have fingered icing of the engine as a probable cause.  Meanwhile, 24 people have been killed in the floods, with over 200,000 told to evacuate.  Now they face the new threat of landslides, which can be even more damaging than flooding.

Meanwhile, floods in Alabama, have caused several road washouts and closures.  Mississippi was also deluged, and was struck by at least two tornado earlier this week.  One of those tornados damaged homes, no doubt causing substantial economic loss.  In southern France, New Years Day plans were obviated as residents dealt with severe flooding.  At least five people there were killed and thousands were ordered to evacuate.

This week has not just been a rainy one, but also a snowy one in the American Midwest and Canada.  Near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a salt truck slammed into a house after losing control on ice.  We have no word on the condition of its operator.  Snow and freezing rain are causing severe traffic chaos in the Midwest as far south as Texas and the Oklahoma panhandle.  The freezing rain is mostly in the northern parts of the country.  Freezing rain happens when nearly frozen rain encounters a thin layer of cold air.  This causes the droplets to freeze on contact to important surfaces like roads.  When this happens, the results are predictable.  It is probably the deadliest condition in which to drive.  The Canadian province of Quebec and a few states have laws requiring that all consumer vehicles be equipped with winter tires, which help in freezing rain, but traction is still poor, though less so, even with proper tires.  The ice that builds up during freezing rain can also bring down trees, power lines, and even roofs.  In fact, freezing rain downed power lines in Quebec this week, leaving around 150,000 customers without power.  There is no word on injuries or deaths from this event, but with no power there is no heat, and one’s home offers only paltry shelter from the cold.  Meanwhile, in Arizona, there was enough snow on the ground that people had snowball fights, something very unusual for the state.  In Canada this week, nearly the entire country was blanketed with snow.  While most of the western provinces were under cold advisories, Calgary received more than a 30cm (1 ft) dumping of snow but was at least relatively warm; relevant to other cities and provinces, that is.  The temperature with windchill hovered at around  -30ºC (-22ºF).  At this temperature there is an elevated risk of exposure injuries like frostbite.

In other news, the worst wild fires in 30 years are burning in Adelaide, Australia.  Australia is unusually dry.  While Australia might get some rain in the near future, it is not all good news.  The rain is expected to bring thunderstorms, which are the most prevalent natural cause of wildfires.  All told, this has been a very hard week for a lot of people.

This summary in no way catches all of what has been going on in the world.  If you would like to see all of our headlines from the past week, please click here.