Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Massive dust storm descends on Phoenix area

Posted by Admin on July 8, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/massive-dust-storm-descends-on-phoenix-area.html

Phoenix brushed itself off and returned to normal on Wednesday after a “historic dust storm” swept over the area, sending residents scrambling for cover, knocking out power and delaying flights.

Day turned into night as the billowy plumes of dust rolled over the mountains and clogged the skies over and around Phoenix in the late afternoon and into the evening on Tuesday, applying a good coat of dirt to the surroundings.

A wall of dust that towered over skyscrapers downtown swept across the desert from the south, and it appeared to be roughly 50 miles wide in some spots.

The storm was part of the Arizona monsoon season, which typically starts in mid-June and lasts through Sept. 30.

The National Weather Service says strong winds with gusts of more than 60 mph rapidly moved the dust cloud northwest through Phoenix and the cities of Avondale, Tempe and Scottsdale.

The storm downed trees, tossed yard furniture, and snuffed out visibility across an area of some 50 miles at its peak on Tuesday evening, although there were no reports of any fatalities.

Residents rushed inside as sand from the storm blasted the area in winds of up to 50 miles per hour. Near zero visibility forced drivers to stop on area roads until the worst of the storm passed.

Posted in Earth Changes | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Massive dust storm descends on Phoenix area

Hurricane Earl lashes Caribbean, threatens US

Posted by Admin on August 30, 2010

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Hurricane Earl lashed the northeastern Caribbean on Monday as a still-growing Category 3 storm on a course that could threaten the eastern United States later this week.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Earl, which formed on Sunday, was already a major hurricane with sustained winds of 120 mph (193 kph), and it was likely to keep gaining force.

“Interests from North Carolina all the way to Maine should keep an eye on the system,” said Jessica Schauer, a meteorologist at the Hurricane Center.

The storm’s forecast track would run north of the Caribbean, then bend to the north, roughly parallel to the U.S. East Coast. The hurricane center said it is early to say what effect Earl would have on the U.S.

The eye of the powerful storm was passing close to the tiny British territory of Anguilla, where police said the wind blew the roofs off buildings and damaged utility poles.

“The winds are whistling outside,” said Martin Gussie, a police officer involved in coordinating the emergency response. “When the gusts of wind come, each time it sounds stronger.”

In Antigua, powerful wind and rain destroyed at least one home and at least eight people had to be evacuated, though there were no reports of critical injuries. Emergency response officials said about 350 people were in shelters. Local weather authorities reported at least 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain and 10-foot (3-meter) waves.

In St. Maarten, the storm toppled trees and knocked out electricity to much of the island but there were no reports of serious damage. Heavy gusts of wind swirled debris across streets that were empty due to a government-imposed curfew.

Alisha Daya, a 24-year-old tourist from Milwaukee, said she wore earplugs Sunday night but still had trouble sleeping because of the noise from the wind and crashing waves at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten.

“It was loud because we were right on the ocean,” said Daya, who said the storm will keep her and her parents and boyfriend from leaving the island as planned on Monday although the worst seemed to have passed. “Some furniture is flying around, but everything seems to be OK.”

Cruise lines diverted ships to other ports in the Caribbean and Mexico as a customary precaution for tropical weather. Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport closed, and regional airlines LIAT and Winair suspended flights.

Hurricane warnings were in effect for Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques.

By late Monday morning, Earl was about 165 miles (265 kilometers) east of San Juan and headed west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph), according to the center in Miami. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles (95 kilometers) from its center.

Earl has grown rapidly in strength, fueled by warm ocean temperatures of 86 F (30 C).

Earl could bring battering waves and storm surges of up to four feet (1.2 meters) above normal on some islands, as well as downpours that threaten to unleash flash floods and mudslides.

Forecasters say there is a chance the hurricane could brush the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region toward the end of the week, with its closest approach to North Carolina on Thursday or Friday. In any case, the U.S. East Coast is likely to see pounding surf.

Meanwhile, the Category 1 Hurricane Danielle was weakening far out over the north Atlantic.

___

Associated Press writers Anika Kentish in St. John’s, Antigua, Judy Fitzpatrick in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Clive Bacchus in Basseterre, St. Kitts, David McFadden in San Juan and Sofia Mannos in Washington contributed to this report.

Posted in Press Releases | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Hurricane Earl lashes Caribbean, threatens US

First Tropical Storm of the Season Kills Scores

Posted by Admin on June 2, 2010

More than 110,000 in Guatemala flee as first storm of season lashes region

May 31, 2010
AP

GUATEMALA CITY – Flooding and landslides from the season’s first tropical storm have killed at least 150 people and left thousands homeless in Central America, officials said Monday.

Dozens are still missing, thousands have lost homes and emergency crews are struggling to reach isolated communities cut off by washed-out roads and collapsed bridges caused by Tropical Storm Agatha.

Photo: The overflowing Choluteca River knocked out the Bailey bridge in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (Orlando Sierra / AFP – Getty)

The sun emerged Monday in hardest-hit Guatemala, where officials reported 123 dead and at least 90 missing. In the department of Chimaltenango — a province west of Guatemala City — landslides buried dozens of rural Indian communities and killed at least 60 people, Gov. Erick de Leon said.

“The department has collapsed,” de Leon said. “There are a lot of dead people. The roads are blocked. The shelters are overflowing. We need water, food, clothes, blankets — but above all, money.”

In the tiny village of Parajbei, a slide smothered three homes and killed 11 people.

“It was raining really hard and there was a huge noise,” said Vicente Azcaj, 56, who ran outside and saw that a hill had crumbled. “Now everyone is afraid that the same will happen to their homes.”

Volunteers from nearby villages worked nonstop since Sunday to recover the bodies in Parajbei, and on Monday they found the last two: brothers, 4 and 8 years old, who were buried under tons of dirt, rocks and trees.

As a thank-you, rescuers got a plate of rice and beans from the mayor of nearby Santa Apolonia.

“It’s a small thing, but it comes from the heart,” Tulio Nunez told them through a translator.

Nunez said he worried about the well-being of survivors in the area because the landslides blocked roads and burst water pipes.

“They don’t have anything to drink,” he said.

In all some 110,000 people were evacuated in Guatemala.

Thousands more have fled their homes in neighboring Honduras, where the death toll rose to 15 even as meteorologists predicted three more days of rain.

Two dams near the capital of Tegucigalpa overflowed into a nearby river, and officials warned people to stay away from swollen waterways.

“The risk is enormous,” Mayor Ricardo Alvarez said.

In El Salvador, at least 179 landslides have been reported and 11,000 people were evacuated. The death toll was nine, President Mauricio Funes said.

About 95% of the country’s roads were affected by landslides, but most remain open, Transportation Minister Gerson Martinez said.

Photo: This home in Amatitilan, Guatemala, was among the thousands flooded on Sunday. (Daniel Leclair / Reuters)

The Lempa River, which flows to the Pacific, topped its banks and flooded at least 20 villages, affecting some 6,000 people, said Jorge Melendez, director of the Civil Protection Agency.

Officials warned that the Acelhuate River, which cuts through San Salvador, was running at dangerously high levels and threatened to spill over into the capital’s streets.

Agatha made landfall near the Guatemala-Mexico border Saturday as a tropical storm with winds up to 45 mph (75 kph). It dissipated the following day over the mountains of western Guatemala.

The rising death toll is reminding nervous residents of Hurricane Mitch, which hovered over Central America for days in 1998, causing flooding and mudslides that killed nearly 11,000 people and left more than 8,000 missing and unaccounted for.

Rescue efforts in Guatemala have been complicated by a volcanic eruption Thursday near the capital that blanketed parts of the area with ash and closed the country’s main airport. Officials are now allowing helicopters and propeller planes to take off, but commercial flights remain grounded.

From http://standeyo.com/NEWS/10_Earth_Changes/100601.TS.Agatha.html

Posted in Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on First Tropical Storm of the Season Kills Scores

US predicts up to 7 major Atlantic hurricanes

Posted by Admin on May 29, 2010

By JENNIFER KAY | Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 4:59 pm

The Atlantic hurricane season could be the busiest since 2005, when Katrina and Rita caused massive destruction along the same part of the Gulf Coast now struggling with the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, government scientists said Thursday.

The 2010 season may spawn as many as 23 named tropical storms, including up to seven major hurricanes, a number not likely to be affected by the spill, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted.

Eight to 14 storms would strengthen into hurricanes, with top winds of 74 mph or higher, the agency said. Three to seven of those could become major storms that reach Category 3 or higher _ meaning they bring sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

“This season could be one of the more active on record,” NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said in a news release. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.”

A hurricane might help break up the oil spill staining the Gulf of Mexico, but the oil won’t affect significantly how tropical storms develop, forecasters said. They don’t know what kind of environmental hazards to expect, though there are fears that winds and waves could push the oil deeper into estuaries and wetlands.

Government scientists said Thursday that anywhere from 500,000 gallons to a million gallons a day has been leaking from the site where an oil rig exploded April 20, killing 11 people. BP PLC, which leased the rig and is responsible for the cleanup, and the Coast Guard previously had estimated the flow was about 210,000 gallons per day.

The expanding slick already has coated wildlife and marshes in Louisiana, but Lubchenco said the spill is still small relative to hurricanes _ which sometimes span the entire Gulf.

Although some oil could be pushed inland by a storm as it makes landfall, it could be difficult to determine whether it leaked from flooded cars or factories, Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Craig Fugate said.

The 2010 government forecast is based on the weakening of El Nino. The Pacific Ocean phenomenon created strong wind shear that helped suppress storm development in the Atlantic last season. Record warm water temperatures also will feed storms crossing the Atlantic this year.

Three hurricanes developed out of nine tropical storms in 2009. None of the hurricanes came ashore in the United States. Hurricane Ida hit Nicaragua as a Category 1 storm in November.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist urged coastal residents to remember the destruction left in the wake of hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

“Don’t take anything for granted,” Crist said at the annual Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale. “We don’t need to suffer from hurricane amnesia.”

National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said Wednesday that his biggest concern for the season is a storm striking Haiti, where hundreds of thousands of people have been living in makeshift camps since the Jan. 12 earthquake. Heavy rains can trigger serious flooding and mudslides in the mountainous Caribbean country, but no evacuation plans exist for displaced communities.

Tropical storms are named when their sustained winds reach 39 mph. The first named storm of the 2010 season will be Alex.

In April, Colorado State University researchers predicted 15 named storms would form this season, with four developing into major hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins Tuesday and runs through Nov. 30.

___

Associated Press writer Suzette Laboy contributed to this report from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

___

Online:

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center: http://www.hurricanes.gov

FEMA: http://www.fema.gov and http://www.ready.gov

Posted in Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on US predicts up to 7 major Atlantic hurricanes