Archive for 08/18/2011

Tropics About to Explode: Weather Specialist Reviews Recent Data, Says ‘Hurricane Season is About to Turn Quite Active’

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

By Weather Specialist Josh Ketchen – “On many outlet sources and social media outlets on the internet some general agreement is surfacing that the Atlantic Tropical Season is about to unleash its rage. Although seven storms have formed already this season, they all have been relatively short-lived and rather weak in intensity. This; however, is about to change. As discussed in a few posts on, twitter, and facebook over the last two to three weeks I have been strongly suggesting this scenario. My hot spot has been the East Coast of the United States so over the next month it could be a very active and interesting time for those particular areas.

Above is an image of the Madden-Julian Oscillation Wheeler Plot forecast over the next two weeks. I know it is not that easy to read but the green and yellow line mixed with a gray spread that it depicts is right in the heart of Grid 1 and 2. This is a forecasting tool I look to forecast tropical development. When the oscillation index is in Grid 1 and 2 it signals two things to me. First, it signals a trough in the eastern United States. As you have noticed over the last week the high heat and the oppressive humidity has waned significantly. If you look at the Wheeler Plot it has been in Grids 1 and 2 for the majority of the time. Secondly, the likely enhancement of upward motion in the Tropical Atlantic also occurs in these grid areas. With the fact that we are approaching the peak of the hurricane season as we head toward late August and into September and the MJO oscillation moving right into the prime areas for development, suggestions can be made that the hurricane season is about to turn quite active.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Of Earth and Sky: Strange Rumblings and Unexplainable Noises Mystify Residents

08/18/2011 4 comments

‘For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now’, but what is this from?

Canada: Windsor, Ontario Mystified by Whole Lotta Shakin’ Underground – “For months, residents of south and west Windsor have been wondering and worrying about vibrations of unknown origin. And now, those mysterious rumblings under the city have found a new believer — the city’s Ward 10 Coun. Al Maghnieh, who says it’s time to start taking the phenomenon seriously. ‘It’s very present and real,’ he said. Maghnieh added that those who think the phenomenon is a joke or that its proponents are ‘crazy’ need to grasp the implications in terms of health and the environment. ‘I mean, it’s actually scary to think that this is going on and we still can’t pinpoint what it is,’ he said. ‘This is potentially very dangerous.’” Read more.

Categories: Anything Else

How Does Comet Elenin Defy 2012 Doomsday Prophecy?

08/18/2011 2 comments

“NASA has clarified in a statement that comet Elenin, expected to come closest to Earth on October 16, 2011, will not collide with Earth.

As typical with most comets, Elenin will also not come closer to Earth than 22 million miles (35 million kilometers). That’s more than 90 times the distance to the moon, NASA said.

Comets are one of the most overrated subjects, often linked to destruction on Earth. The December 21, 2012 Doomsday prediction is also linked to comets that could hit the earth. However, NASA debunked any such theories of end of the world could have connections with astronomical events.

Claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth, stirred a Dec. 21 doomsday ‘Internet hoax’.’This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012,’ NASA explained.

The faux was further aggravated as some predictors likened it to the ancient Mayan Calendar that ends on December 21, 2012, giving rise to speculations of the end of the world on the same date.” Read more.

Elenin ‘Observed’ an ‘Astronomical’ Number of Times by NASA; Why Such Interest for a ‘Normal’ Comet? – “According to NASA, Comet Elenin is just an ‘ordinary’ comet. Then why, according to their own data, have they ‘observed’ Comet Elenin 2,181 times in less than 7 months while similar data for Comet Levy shows a mere 324 observations in more than 4 and a half years? In fact, no other Near Earth Object covered by NASA has been observed any where near the number of observations given to Elenin without an object size given. What is it that NASA is so interested in, if Elenin is only a ‘normal’ Comet? Additionally, why is it that NASA is still not giving us an exact size of Ele??? NASA’s watching Elenin like a fox!” Source.

‘Armageddon’? Scientists Plan to Deflect Earth-Bound Asteroids – “It’s not ‘Armageddon,’ but it’s close. The European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, the Secure World Foundation and others have been intently studying the skies lately — worrying about how to deflect a potential planet-shattering asteroid… ‘Anything more than 300 to 400 meters (983-1,312 feet) in diameter can cause continental-scale damage,’ Stephen Wolters, a research fellow at Caltech who studies near-Earth asteroids at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told That’s why the ESA program exists, as well as similar programs from NASA and other space agencies.” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness

US: Record for Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters Tied, National Weather Service Chief Laments ‘New Reality’

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

“With four months still to go in 2011, the United States has already tied its yearly record for the number of weather disasters with an economic loss of $1 billion or more, the U.S. government reported Wednesday.

With the bulk of the hurricane season ahead and winter storms after that, National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes said 2011 could surpass the record, first set in 2008.

‘I don’t think it takes a wizard to predict 2011 is likely to go down as one of the more extreme years for weather in history,’ he told journalists on a conference call.

The ‘new reality’ is that both the frequency and the cost of extreme weather are rising, making the nation more economically vulnerable and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk, Hayes said.” Read more.

US Sees Growing Losses From Extreme Weather – “The United States has already tied its yearly record for billion-dollar weather disasters and the cumulative tab from floods, tornadoes and heat waves has hit $35 billion, the National Weather Service said Wednesday. And it’s only August, with the bulk of the hurricane season still ahead. ‘I don’t think it takes a wizard to predict 2011 is likely to go down as one of the more extreme years for weather in history,’ National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes told journalists on a conference call. The agency’s parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, launched a campaign Wednesday to better prepare Americans for violent weather.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Solar Flare Activity Prompting NASA to Convene a News Briefing Thursday in Washington

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

“Increasing solar activity and the threat that coronal mass ejections (CME) pose to Earth has prompted NASA to convene a news briefing at its Headquarter building in Washington on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday’s briefing has been arranged, space agency officials say, in light of new information coming from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), spacecraft and other NASA probes. The briefing will feature new details about the structure of solar storms and the impact they have on Earth.

The briefing panellists are Madhulika Guhathakurta, STEREO program scientist; Craig DeForest, staff scientist, Southwest Research Institute, David Webb, research physicist, Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College; and Alysha Reinard, research scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado.

The briefing will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 2:00 PM EDT (7:00 PM GMT).

A massive solar flare, the largest recorded in four years, occurred last Tuesday prompting fears the blast could result in some disruption to Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) or communication signals around the world.” Read More.

Sun unleashes largest solar flare in five years, sending 10billion ton storm cloud hurtling through space at 5million mph – “The sun unleashed an unusually powerful solar flare yesterday, the largest in nearly five years. The eruption launched a ten billion ton storm cloud hurtling through space at five million miles per hour. Scientists said the event took place on the side of the sun that was not facing Earth, so there will be little impact to satellites and communication systems. Joe Kunches at the U.S. government’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado said there were reports of brief short-wave radio disruptions in Asia, but little else… Scientists have warned that solar storms could have ‘devastating effects’ on human technology when they hit a peak in two years’ time.” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness

Kentucky: Mystery Illness Sickens Hundreds at 2011 Bluegrass State Clogging Championships in Morehead

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

By Andy Cunningham – “They came to Kentucky to compete in a clogging competition. However, hundreds of people went back home with a mysterious illness.

People from five different states reported getting sick after attending the competition in Morehead this past weekend.

Health officials are now trying to figure out why.

‘The calls started coming in Monday morning,’ said Bobby Ratliff.

Ratliff is the Gateway District Public Health Director. He says the phones have been ringing off the hook ever since.

‘We are trying to work with folks in all of these states, and still try to identify what happened here,’ he said.

A dozen squads were entered in the 2011 Bluegrass State Clogging Championships in Morehead, including squads from Winchester and Owingsville.

The mystery illness apparently spread through the field of competitors, their parents, instructors and staff members.

‘The first 24 hours, folks are experiencing fever, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting,’ Ratliff said.

The doors at Studio One School of dance in Winchester remained closed due to the unidentified illness. A sign on the door says, ‘Everyone is sick and that is not an exaggeration.'” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence

Japan: Fukushima Disaster is the Worst Catastrophe in Human History, 20 Times More Radiation Than Chernobyl Leaked and Continues Unabated

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

“The Japan nuclear disaster is the worst catastrophe in the history of mankind, but little is discussed about documented radioactive impacts to U.S. air, water, and food. A U.S. nuclear engineer calculated that Fukushima meltdowns could release as much as 20 times more radiation than Chernobyl. Still, EPA limited meaningful testing and the media pays little attention. Most states aren’t testing. Others attempt to minimize risk.

Radiation leaked unabated since March 12, 2011. Radiation continues to spew into the air and ocean from Fukushima with no end in sight. A Japanese nuclear engineer admitted meltdown began hours after the disaster started and the situation hasn’t been contained. Three Fukushima nuclear reactors melted down and could emit radiation uncontrolled for another year or longer. A fission event and fire also occurred in fuel pool #4.

Jet stream air currents flowing across the Pacific Ocean from Japan resulted in the U.S. receiving a steady flow of radiation. One week after the disaster, radiation was found in California rainwater. April 6, 2011 rainwater samples showed an 18,100 percent increase above federal standards. Radiation was found in Pennsylvania rainwater 181 times normal limits.

U.S. labs detected radiation from Fukushima in our air, precipitation, milk, drinking water, fruits, and vegetables. Airborne radioactive particles were detected in U.S. soil. Broad-leaf vegetables including spinach and kale are accumulating radiation from rain and dust. In California, spinach, arugula, wild-harvested mushrooms, and strawberries tested positive for cesium 134 and 137. Comprehensive testing of imports is imperative. Even tea and cows in Japan are highly radioactive.

When radiation is in milk, the entire food supply is at risk. One month after Japan’s nuclear disaster started, radiation showed up in California milk. Milk sold in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont and Washington also tested positive for radiation. In Hawaii, it was detected 2,033 percent above drinking water safety limits.

Drinking water in some U.S. municipalities shows radioactive contamination from Japan’s fallout. Philadelphia drinking water had the highest radiation levels (reported April 10, 2011). Hardly surprising, since Philadelphia is only about 20 miles downstream from Limerick Nuclear Plant’s continuous radioactive wastewater discharges into the Schuylkill River, 365 days a year.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Cameroon: Cholera Epidemic Kills Nearly 500 People So Far Since Early August

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

“MAROUA, CAMEROON (BNO NEWS) — A major cholera epidemic in parts of Cameroon has already claimed nearly 500 lives so far this month while more than 13,000 others have been sickened this year, CNN reported on Wednesday.

Public health officials said more than 50 people have died so far in August in the Far North region alone, the hardest-hit area. Residents in the Logone and Chari divisions of the region told CNN that the majority of people infected with the disease are children under the age of five and women.

Prof. Gervais Ondobo Andze, the director of disease control at the Ministry of Public Health, told journalists on Monday that nine of the country’s 10 regions are affected by cholera, an intestinal infection caused by ingestion of bacteria-contaminated food or water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80 percent of cases can be cured by rehydrating the patient.

In Maroua, the capital of the Far North region, 1,380 cases of cholera have been reported so far this year, according to officials. Dr. Valentine Ndikum, a senior public health official, said the number could double in the coming days due to poor sanitary and hygienic conditions because of what he said was a slow government response.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence

Indonesia: Mount Lokon Erupts Again

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

“MANADO, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) — Indonesia’s Mount Lokon, which is located on the northern tip of the island of Sulawesi, erupted again on Wednesday, local authorities said.

Farid Ruskanda Bina, the Mount Lokon and Mahawu Kakaskaben monitoring post chief, said Mount Lokon began to spew volcanic ash at around 1.25 p.m. local time. Ash fell as far away as the Kinilow I village and the Tinoor areas in North Tomohon sub district, which is a short distance from Lokon’s crater.

Mount Lokon’s activity had been quickly increasing since Tuesday as more tremors were being detected, the Antara news agency reported. The monitoring post recorded 25 tremors from 1 to 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Since June, Mount Lokon has shown constant volcanic activity, prompting authorities to raise its status to alert on June 27 and watch on July 10. A series of eruptions in mid July forced at least 5,269 locals from the villages of Kinilow, Kelurahan Kinilow I and Kakaskasen 1 to evacuate the area.

While most residents returned to their homes later that month, some 222 people remain at temporary refugee camps because their homes are in Mound Lokon’s red zone – 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from its crater. After July’s activity, Mount Lokon’s alert level was lowered from watchful to alert, and has remained at this level since.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Pakistan: At Least 33 Killed in 24 Hours of Violence in Karachi

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

By Reza Sayah – “Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — A former federal lawmaker is among at least 33 people killed in a fresh spate of violence over the past 24 hours in the Pakistani city of Karachi, police officials said Thursday.

Several gunmen opened fire on Wajid Karimdad on Wednesday night shortly after he entered a restaurant for Iftar, the traditional post-fasting meal during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said Karachi police official Naeem Shah.

Police suspect the gunmen targeted Karimdad, a member of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

Most of the deaths on Wednesday night and Thursday morning were the result of drive-by shootings in Lyari and Baldia, two districts in Karachi that have been hit hard by years of ethnic and political violence.

Some of the victims were shot to death after they were kidnapped, Shah told CNN.

Officials say the killings appear to be linked to ongoing rivalries between three political parties vying for power in Pakistan largest city: the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Awami National Party (ANP), and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The PPP, led by President Asif Ali Zardari, views Karachi as a crucial political battleground, but politics in Pakistan’s economic hub are dominated by the MQM, which represents ‘muhajirs,’ descendants of immigrants from India decades ago.” Read more.

Israel: At Least Seven Killed After Series of Terrorist Attacks Near Eliat, ‘IDF Will Hunt Down Perpetrators’

08/18/2011 Leave a comment

“Seven people were killed and at least 26 people were wounded Thursday in a series of terrorist attacks on Israeli targets approximately 20 kilometers north of the southern city of Eilat, close to the border with Egypt.

The first attack, at around 12 P.M., was a drive-by shooting targeting Egged bus 392 traveling from Be’er Sheva to Eilat, near the Netafim junction.

Shortly afterward, IDF forces rushed to the scene and were faced with several explosive devices that were detonated alongside an IDF vehicle.

At approximately 12:35, a mortar was fired from Egypt to Israel. No casualties were reported.

At 1:10 P.M., a terrorist cell fired an anti-tank missile at a private vehicle, wounding seven.

Minutes later, another cell fired an anti-tank missile at a private vehicle, killing six.

The IDF Spokesman reported that two to four terrorists were killed during the clashes.” Read more.

Barak: IDF will hunt down perpetrators of Eilat attack – “The IDF will hunt down the perpetrators of a three-stage terrorist attack along Israel’s border with Egypt, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday. Barak said that Israel will strike back at the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza in response to the attacks. Speaking from his office at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, the defense minister added that the IDF was assessing the security situation along the border with Egypt.” Read more.

‘Eilat bus ambush unlikely to have come from Egypt’ – “Egyptian security sources said on Thursday that a bus ambush north of Eilat was unlikely to have come from Egyptian territory. Security patrols on the Egyptian-Israeli border had not picked up on ‘suspicious movements’ on the Egyptian side, a source said, adding that security had been heightened on the border after news of the attack. The comments came after a three-stage terrorist attack along Israel’s border with Egypt took place late Thursday morning, when terrorists opened fire at an Egged bus traveling on Road 12 near Eilat.” Read more.

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