Hawaii officials warn of possible lava evacuation By AUDREY McAVOY3 hours ago Associated Press Videos Raw: Hawaii Lava May Force EvacuationAround The Globe Raw: Hawaii Lava May Force Evacuation HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii authorities on Saturday told several dozen residents near an active lava flow to prepare for a possible evacuation in the next three to five days as molten rock oozed across a country road and edged closer to homes.The flow was about 35 yards wide and moving northeast at about 10 yards per hour.Lava of some 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit crossed a road on the edge of Pahoa, the largest town in the mostly rural region of Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii, at 3:50 a.m.It was about six-tenths of a mile from Pahoa Village Road, the town’s main street.It’s not clear when it might reach the village road as the flow has been advancing erratically, said Matt Patrick, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.Officials were going door-to door to about 50 homes to keep residents informed of the lava’s movement, said Darryl Oliveira, the director of civil defense for Hawaii County.„This is all something we’ve been preparing for and hoping wouldn’t have to happen,” Oliveira said.The county will issue a mandatory evacuation order if the flow begins advancing at such a rate that it would be difficult for people to move out of the way with little notice, Oliveira said.The presence of hazardous materials — like a pile of tires or a stockpile of chemicals — in the flow’s path would also trigger a mandatory evacuation order, he said.Burning asphalt was generating some smoke, but Oliveira said the wind dispersed the fumes over unpopulated areas and it didn’t pose a health risk at the moment.Kilauea volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983. Most lava from this eruption has flowed south, enveloping the Kalapana and Royal Garden residential subdivisions as it poured out to sea.In this Oct. 24, 2014 photo from the U.S. Geological Survey, the lava flow from Kilauea Volcano that …For the past two years, however, the lava has been flowing to the northeast, bringing it to Pahoa’s doorsteps.Oliveira said the current situation differs from the flows of past decades because the lava is now approaching the center of a community. Pahoa is not only more densely populated, he said, but it also has commercial and industrial sites as well as residential homes.The current flow that has been threatening Pahoa began in June. It’s been moving fitfully toward the town for weeks, speeding up and then slowing down.Sporadic suspensions in the lava’s movement gave emergency crews time to work on building alternate routes to town in the event the flow covers the main road and highway.Crews near the leading edge have been wrapping power poles with concrete rings as a layer of protection from the lava’s heat.The lava’s pace picked up in recent days when it reached a gully, allowing it to move more efficiently like rain in a gutter.Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday asked for a presidential disaster declaration to enable federal help for local emergency crews.
Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii’s Big Island By CATHY BUSSEWITZ12 hours ago Associated Press Videos Raw: Growing Lava Stream in HawaiiAround The Glob Raw: Growing Lava Stream in Hawaii HONOLULU (AP) — A growing lava stream threatening homes and inching closer to a rural road on Hawaii’s Big Island oozed forward in fits and starts this week, frustrating some residents but giving officials a window of time to prepare.The narrow, leading edge of the lava flow is just 250 yards from the one-lane country road, which has been closed. Crews are working on an alternate route for remote communities in the Puna district in case the lava crosses a major thoroughfare.The lava has sped up recently, advancing nearly 460 yards from Thursday morning to Friday, but it has since slowed again, officials said.The flow’s fitful nature is taking a toll on some Big Island residents, who got a brief reprieve from the advancing molten stream only to have to raise their guard again.”This stop-and-go — it’s going to be very frustrating for our residents,” said Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County Civil Defense. „It raises the anxiety level. It raises the concern.”On the other hand, the sporadic suspensions in activity gave emergency crews time to work on building another road and deal with a recent tropical storm that swept by the island, Oliveira said.In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, a geologist marks the coordinate …Crews near the leading edge have been wrapping power poles with concrete rings as a layer of protection from the lava’s heat.The recent acceleration came when the lava reached a gully, allowing it to move more efficiently like rain in a gutter, Oliveira said.No evacuations have been ordered, and the residents of a home that is nearest to the flow already have left voluntarily.Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a request Friday for a Presidential Disaster Declaration asking for federal assistance to help local emergency crews.Hawaii County Civil Defense crews are planning to go door-to-door Saturday to about a dozen homes to find out how many people might need shelter if the eruption continues, and to find any obstacles like abandoned cars or hazards that could be in the lava’s path.In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, geologists walk over the surface …Oliveira said he would give residents three to five days’ notice before an evacuation order, and he stressed that the community is not yet at that point.Some long-term locals are used to the uncertainties of living near one of the world’s most active volcanos.”Because of what they’ve experienced over the course of their lifetimes, they were very accepting … that this is nature’s thing,” Oliveira said. „But on the other hand, we have people who are new to the island who don’t really understand how it’s playing out and what to expect and having a harder time preparing.”_Follow Cathy Bussewitz on Twitter at https://twitter.com/cbussewitz
Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot Oct 24, 2014 by Andy FellHoluhraun fissure eruption on the flanks of the Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland on Oct. 4, 2014, showing the development of a lava lake in the foreground. Vapor clouds over the lava lake are caused by degassing of volatile-rich …more Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-10-icelandic-volcano-massive-magma-hot.html jCp Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and dramatic changes in climate and ecosystems.New research from UC Davis and Aarhus University in Denmark shows that high mantle temperatures miles beneath the Earth’s surface are essential for generating such large amounts of magma. In fact, the scientists found that the Bárðarbunga volcano lies directly above the hottest portion of the North Atlantic mantle plume.The study, published online Oct. 5 and appearing in the November issue of Nature Geoscience, comes from Charles Lesher, professor of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Davis and a visiting professor at Aarhus University, and his former PhD student, Eric Brown, now a post-doctoral scholar at Aarhus University.”From time to time the Earth’s mantle belches out huge quantities of magma on a scale unlike anything witnessed in historic times,” Lesher said. „These events provide unique windows into the internal working of our planet.”Such fiery events have produced large igneous provinces throughout Earth’s history. They are often attributed to upwelling of hot, deeply sourced mantle material, or „mantle plumes.”Recent models have dismissed the role of mantle plumes in the formation of large igneous provinces, ascribing their origin instead to chemical anomalies in the shallow mantle.Based on the volcanic record in and around Iceland over the last 56 million years and numerical modeling, Brown and Lesher show that high mantle temperatures are essential for generating the large magma volumes that gave rise to the North Atlantic large igneous provinces bordering Greenland and northern Europe.
Deep rifts remain at UN talks on global climate pact By Mariette Le Roux11 hours ago Bonn (AFP) – With a 2015 deadline looming large for a global pact on curbing climate change, six days of UN talks closed in Bonn on Saturday with delegates and observers deflated over a lack of progress.Rifts over responsibilities for galloping emissions of Earth-warming fossil fuels remain deeply entrenched, they said, preventing detailed negotiations on a new agreement.The meeting of senior officials in the former West German capital was meant to lay the groundwork for December’s round of ministerial-level UN talks in Lima, where a draft of the deal must be outlined for adoption in Paris a year later.It was also intended to start identifying what information countries will be required to submit when they lodge their pledges for curbing emissions.A long list of speakers complained at Saturday’s closing session of an opportunity lost.Ecuador’s negotiator Walter Schuldt, on behalf of a group of 30-odd Like-Minded Developing Countries that include major polluters India and China, said they were „thoroughly dissatisfied” with the outcome.Smoke rises from the cooling towers of Vattenfall’s lignite-fired power plant in Jaenschwalde, e …”We lost valuable negotiating time this week with open-ended discussions,” he said — a sentiment echoed by African and Arab countries, among others that had hoped for more detailed bartering.Countries remain divided on such fundamentals as the legal form that the 2015 agreement will take, whether there will be different levels of obligation for rich and poor nations, and how to assess whether national carbon curbing pledges are enough, combined, to avoid the worst climate change scenarios.Many said the Bonn meeting merely restated well-known country positions on how responsibility for climate action must be shared, instead of discussing details like funding to help poor countries shift to less polluting fuels and adapt to change that can no longer be avoided.”We will clearly have our work cut out for us in Lima,” said Ronald Jumeau, spokesman for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) — countries at high risk from rising sea levels induced by climate change.And he warned „there won’t be an adequate deal unless” developed countries give details soon of financial and expert support.The beach on Kurumba island in the Maldives. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is dissatis …The meeting’s co-chairman Artur Runge-Metzger closed the session by urging negotiators „to redouble your efforts in preparations” for Lima.And he announced that two additional meetings will be held next year, besides the usual June gathering in Bonn, to allow more time for negotiations.- ‘Panic’ setting in -„We’re leaving Bonn with not much more clarity than when we arrived on how we will get the key decisions needed in Lima to confront the threat of climate change,” said Alden Meyer of the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists.”From floods and droughts to hurricanes, typhoons and heat waves, we are already suffering the consequences of our past inaction. We need to see much more rapid progress in Lima.”The Paris pact will be the first to unite rich and poor countries under a common legal commitment to curb Earth-warming fossil fuel emissions.This, in turn, will seek to limit average global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.Scientists warn that on current trends, Earth could experience double the targeted warming limit — a recipe for potentially catastrophic damage to the climate system — yet emissions continue to rise.The most anticipated outcome from Bonn had been progress on the „information decision”, guiding nations in their emissions pledges — things like which gases will be cut, by how much, and over what period.This must be finalised by Lima to give countries enough time to present their offers by a loose deadline of the first quarter of 2015.Yet countries remain deeply divided on the fundamentals of whether the declarations should include rich countries’ intended financial help to developing nations.”People are starting to panic a little” over the mountain of work still to be done, Meyer said.
Lava Flow From Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Advancing Toward Pahoa, Evacuations Possible Associated Press Published: Oct 25, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT weather.com Residents living in the flow path of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano may soon have to evacuate.Hawaiian authorities urged residents to prepare for possible evacuations within three to five days. Lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has picked up speed and is quickly advancing on the remote town of Pahoa in the Puna district of the Big Island. By Saturday morning, the lava flow had crossedApaa Street and continues to flow northeast at 10 yards per hour. The lava flow is 160-230 feet wide and is six-tenths of a mile from the town’s main road, Pahoa Village Road. (MORE: Explosion at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Caught on Camera) It’s not clear when it might reach the village road as the flow has been advancing erratically, said Matt Patrick, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.Officials were going door-to door to about 50 homes to keep residents informed of the lava’s movement, said Darryl Oliveira, the director of civil defense for Hawaii County.”This is all something we’ve been preparing for and hoping wouldn’t have to happen,” Oliveira said.The county will issue a mandatory evacuation order if the flow begins advancing at such a rate that it would be difficult for people to move out of the way with little notice, Oliveira said.The presence of hazardous materials – like a pile of tires or a stockpile of chemicals – in the flow’s path would also trigger a mandatory evacuation order, he said.Burning asphalt was generating some smoke, but Oliveira said the wind dispersed the fumes over unpopulated areas and it didn’t pose a health risk at the moment.(MORE: Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano: Don’t Underestimate Its Explosive Power)Kilauea volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983. Most lava from this eruption has flowed south. But the lava has flowed to the northeast over the past two years.The current flow that has been threatening Pahoa began in June. It’s been moving fitfully toward the town for weeks, speeding up and then slowing down.Sporadic suspensions in the lava’s movement gave emergency crews time to work on building alternate routes to town in the event the flow covers the main road and highway.Crews near the leading edge have been wrapping power poles with concrete rings as a layer of protection from the lava’s heat.The lava’s pace picked up in recent days when it reached a gully, allowing it to move more efficiently like rain in a gutter.Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday asked for a presidential disaster declaration to get federal help for local emergency crews.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Hawaii’s Kilauea VolcanoEstimated at between 300,000 and 600,000 years old, Kilauea is the youngest of the five volcanoes that make up Hawaii’s Big Island. Tradition holds that Kilauea is the home of the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele, who has expressed her anger in nearly continuous eruptions over the past century. (USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory)
7 Misused Weather Terms and What They Actually Mean By Sean Breslin Published: Oct 24, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT weather.com You’re Wrong About This Lightning!Weather is a frequent topic of discussion among strangers and friends. There’s no topic people use as a conversation starter more than weather.So you want to sound smart when people start talking about the weather.(MORE: Good News for Your Heating Bill This Winter?)You may not know it, but there are a lot of technicalities linked to some popular weather terms, and over time, those nuances have been forgotten. Here are the true definitions of some weather terms that have made it into pop culture but are frequently being used incorrectly.1. MonsoonAP PHOTO/THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, JEFFREY LOWMANUsed incorrectly in a sentence: Look at that heavy rain; it’s a monsoon out there!Unless you’ve lived in the southwest U.S., or western portions of Asia or India, there’s a good chance you’ve never experienced monsoon rains. The monsoon isn’t a description of every heavy rainfall, but rather a seasonal wind shift, when moisture is drawn into areas that don’t usually see higher levels of humidity and heavy rain.So the monsoon can bring heavy rain to some parts of the country, but most downpours in the U.S. aren’t caused by the monsoon, unless you live in the desert.2. Polar VortexDARREN MCCOLLESTER/GETTY IMAGES Used incorrectly in a sentence: It’s supposed to get cold this weekend. I blame the Polar Vortex.The polar vortex isn’t coming to visit every time cooler temperatures grace your town. In fact, the polar vortex stays at the poles, as the name might suggest.The other thing about the Polar Vortex is that it’s located way, WAY up in the sky — we’re talking middle troposphere to the stratosphere, or around 12 miles above the surface of the ground. In contrast, the jet stream varies but is about 4 to 9 miles above the ground; upper-level highs and lows that pull Arctic air from the poles to the mid-latitudes are located in the same realm and interact with the jet stream. It is these features – the highs and lows – that are responsible for the Arctic blasts (also known as „cold air outbreaks” to meteorologists).(MORE: Stu Ostro Explains The Science Behind the Polar Vortex)3. BlizzardJOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGESUsed incorrectly in a sentence: It looks like a blizzard out there right now.You can get caught in heavy snow, but it isn’t necessarily a blizzard. The National Weather Service has strict criteria for what defines a blizzard, and to earn that nickname, a winter storm must produce the following:
- Sustained winds or frequent wind gusts of 35 mph or higher.
- Falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility down to less than a quarter-mile.
- Both of the above conditions must be occurring for no less than a 3-hour period.
If you don’t have all three, it’s not a blizzard out there, no matter how hard it’s snowing. There’s no such thing as „blizzard-like conditions.” You’re either in a blizzard or you’re not.4. DerechoALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGESUsed incorrectly in a sentence: That squall line looks like a derecho!
Much like blizzards, derechoes have strict criteria that must be met, and not every line of storms qualifies. For a squall line to earn the right to be called a derecho, NOAA says it must have:
- A swath of wind damage that extends for at least 240 miles.
- Wind gusts of 58 mph or higher along most of its path.
- Several wind gusts of 75 mph or higher that are well-separated along the line.
One of the most famous recent derechoes occurred in June 2012. The line of damaging storms raked Washington, D.C., and knocked out power to more than a million customers in the mid-Atlantic.5. TornadoAP PHOTO/ALONZO ADAMSUsed incorrectly in a sentence: If that tornado touches down, it could do a lot of damage.If you see a rotating cloud beginning to lower toward the ground, that’s known as a funnel cloud. The wind circulation must extend all the way to the ground before it can officially qualify as a tornado in progress.Therefore, saying that a „tornado touched down” is redundant. All tornadoes touch down, or else they wouldn’t be tornadoes.(MORE: It May Look Like One, But This Is NOT A Tornado)6. LandfallNOAA VIA GETTY IMAGES Used incorrectly in a sentence: The hurricane made landfall yesterday, but the eye is over us right now.Some people think a hurricane has made landfall the second any part of it touches land, which is incorrect.Landfall is defined as the moment a tropical system’s center of circulation – usually the eye in stronger storms – passes over land. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the moment when winds are strongest, and a tropical cyclone might not ever make landfall.(MORE: Tropical Meteorology 101 – Know These Terms)7. Heat LightningHECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/GETTY IMAGESUsed incorrectly in a sentence: Any time you use it in a sentence, ever.If you’re outside and see lightning but don’t hear thunder, that doesn’t mean it’s the well-known „heat lightning.” Heat lightning is a myth. It’s just regular lightning from a regular, distant storm that’s too far away for thunder to reach you.Also, be sure to spell „lightning” correctly. Lightening is what you do with an Instagram filter to make a photo look better. Lightning is what you take shelter from during a thunderstorm.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Incredible Weather Images From SpaceEuropean Space Agency astronaut Alex Gerst, from Germany, took this photo of a storm on September 8, 2014, from the International Space Station. Dust blowing over the Sahara Desert provides a backdrop for a storm hundreds of miles across. (Alex Gerst/NASA/JSC)
Tropical Cyclone in the Arabian Sea May Threaten Oman, Yemen (FORECAST) By Jon Erdman Published: Oct 25, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT weather.com Unusual Place for a HurricaneTropical cyclones and the Arabian Sea may not sound like they belong in the same sentence. (MORE: Expert Analysis | Hurricane Central)However, a tropical cyclone looks likely to form in the Arabian Sea this weekend, and it may threaten parts of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Oman and Yemen, next week. Infrared Satellite Image
Tracks of all recorded global tropical cyclones from 1851-2008. Tracks in the Arabian Sea are highlighted by the yellow box. (NOAA/NCDC)The image above of global tropical cyclone tracks indicates that Arabian Sea tropical cyclones are not as unusual as they sound.(MORE: Strangest Locations Hurricanes Have Formed Around the World)Each year, an average of 1-2 tropical cyclones form in the Arabian Sea, according to a 2011 climatology study by Amato Evan and Suzana Camargo. These cyclones are most likely to form in two periods: from May – June and October – November. The mid-late summer period is typically not favorable, thanks to increased wind shear from the wet phase of the Asian monsoon. (MORE: Where the Hurricane Season Peaks Twice)In June 2007, Cyclone Gonu was the most intense Arabian Sea storm on record, making landfall in Oman, then in southern Iran.Gonu claimed 100 lives in Oman, Iran and the United Arab Emirates and was responsible for $4 billion in damage, according to the Evan and Camargo study.Almost exactly three years later, Cyclone Phet alarmingly intensified to a Category 4 equivalent cyclone, before weakening to a Category 1 storm upon making landfall on the eastern tip of Oman, east of the capital city of Muscat. In May 1999, Cyclone ARB 01 slammed into Pakistan near Karachi as a strong Category 3 equivalent storm, killing at least 700 in Pakistan. This was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to hit Pakistan.(MORE: Deadliest Tropical Cyclones in World History)n the limited historical record, however, strong cyclones in the Arabian Sea are more rare than other basins, due to the proximity of dry air from the Arabian Desert, the aforementioned increased wind shear during the wet phase of the Asian monsoon, and the basin’s overall small size.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Cyclone Gonu – June 2007A satellite image release by the United Arab Emirates’ Civil Aviation Department June 5, 2007 shows Cyclone Gonu approaching the Gulf states. (AFP/Getty Images)