Attn! Always use a VPN when RSSing!
Your IP adress is . Country:
Your ISP blocks content and issues fines based on your location. Hide your IP address with a VPN!
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

SKYE on AOL

older | 1 | .... | 93 | 94 | (Page 95) | 96 | 97 | .... | 204 | newer

    0 0



    The storm system responsible for severe weather over the Central states for nearly a week is shifting into part of the Eastern states this weekend.

    The storms will continue the risk for damaging wind gusts, large hail, frequent lightning and torrential downpours. A few of the strongest storms could bring a tornado with the greatest chance from the mid-afternoon to the early evening hours.

    Some communities can be hit hard with power outages, downed trees, flooding and property damage.

    During Saturday, the threat for severe weather will reach from part of the eastern Great Lakes to portions of the Tennessee and lower Mississippi valleys, as well as northeastern Texas.

    RELATED:
    Severe Storms Friday from Oklahoma and Arkansas to Wisconsin and Michigan
    Flooding Threat Plains to Ohio Valley into Saturday
    Current Severe Weather Watches and Warnings

    During Sunday the risk for strong to locally damaging thunderstorms will reach from northern Maine to West Virginia and northwestern Virginia.

    By the end of the weekend, there is a risk for localized severe weather reaching the I-95 cities from Boston, to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

    The storms and the front that follows will mark an end to the buildup of heat and humidity in the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and the East.

    Please keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions this weekend. The majority of the thunderstorms will occur between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. However, there will be some exceptions.

    If you can hear thunder and are outdoors, you are at risk for being struck by lightning. Move indoors, away from windows. Golf carts and picnic pavilions do not offer adequate protection from lightning. If you can only seek shelter in your vehicle, move to an area away from trees. Avoid setting up camp along small streams, which can rapidly rise during downpours. Don't drive through flooded roadways. By doing so you are not only putting yourself and occupants at risk, but also your would-be rescuers.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Tornado Outbreak Slams Plains

     

    Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    Smoke from the Tres Laguans fire near Pecos, N.M. is seen on May 30, 2013. (AP Photo/The Santa Fe New Mexican, Luis Sanchez Saturno)

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Fire crews in New Mexico on Saturday fought two growing wild blazes that have scorched thousands of acres, spurred evacuation calls for dozens of homes and poured smoke into the touristy state capital.

    State officials said the uncontained blaze near Santa Fe had spread to 8 square miles, making it apparently the largest of several wildfires burning in the West as it placed the city under a blanket of haze. The thick smoke also covered the Gallinas Canyon and Las Vegas, N.M.

    The fire in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest is burning just 25 miles from the city, prompting the Red Cross to set up an emergency shelter at a nearby high school.

    Officials asked residents in about 140 summer homes to evacuate as a crew of 340 battled the flames near the communities of Pecos and Tres Lagunas.

    Crews also cleared out campgrounds and closed trailheads in the area as they worked to prevent the fire from moving toward the capital city's watershed and more populated areas.

    The state Department of Health warned residents in the Pecos, Santa Fe and Espanola areas to prepare for smoke and take precautions by avoiding prolonged or physical activity outdoors.

    "Potentially unhealthy conditions could occur in these communities overnight and into the early morning," a statement released by health officials said.

    Another New Mexico blaze, the Thompson Ridge fire near Jemez Springs, had grown to about 1 square mile, state forestry officials said. Between 40 and 50 homes in the area were evacuated as around 80 crew members and a helicopter arrived to help fight the blaze.

    Elsewhere in the West, fire crews worked to beat several other fires, including one in California and another in southwest Colorado.

    A fire in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest in Southern California threatened power lines Saturday after prompting mandatory evacuation orders in the community of Green Valley a day earlier.

    The evacuation order was lifted later Friday. Firefighters continued to work toward gaining control on the 3,600-acre fire with high heat in the forecast Saturday.

    In Colorado, Mike Blakeman, a spokesman for the Rio Grande National Forest, said a fire 15 miles southwest of the small town of Creede was reported at about noon Friday and the cause of it remained under investigation. No structures have been damaged, but three homes and several outbuildings were threatened Saturday.

    John Parmenter, director of Scientific Services Division at the nearby Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico, told the Albuquerque Journal that the Thompson Ridge fire ignited Friday in dense territory that was scheduled for thinning in the next few years because it posed a fire hazard.

    "The area that it's in is very steep terrain leading up to the Valles Caldera," he said. "It could burn a lot of forest . There's a lot of fuel in there."

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    The first flight of Oklahoma State's Talos drone.
    TULSA, Okla. (AP) - At the time it premiered, "Twister" put forth a fantastical science fiction idea: Release probes into a storm in order to figure out which tornadoes could develop into killers.

    It's no longer fiction. Oklahoma State University researchers are designing and building sleek, Kevlar-reinforced unmanned aircraft - or drones - to fly directly into the nation's worst storms and send back real-time data to first responders and forecasters.

    "We have all the elements in place that make this the right place for this study to occur," said Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma's secretary of science and technology. "We have the world's best natural laboratory."

    Oklahoma is the heart of Tornado Alley, and has emerged battered, yet standing, from seven tornadoes with winds exceeding 200 mph - tied with Alabama for the most EF5 storms recorded. The May 20 tornado in Moore that killed 24 people was one of them. The federal government's National Weather Center, with its laboratories and the Storm Prediction Center, are appropriately headquartered in Norman, but research is done statewide on Earth's most powerful storms.

    If all goes as planned, OSU's research drones will detect the making of a tornado based on the humidity, pressure and temperature data collected while traveling through the guts of a storm - critical details that could increase lead time in severe weather forecasts.

    The drones would also be equipped to finally answer meteorologists' most pressing questions.

    "Why does one storm spawn a tornado and the other doesn't, and why does one tornado turn into an EF1 and another into an EF5?" asked Jamey Jacob, professor at OSU's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, which is developing the technology.


    In this April 2013 photo, Team Black's airplane takes during SpeedFest III, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/ Oklahoma State University, Gary Lawson)

    The drones could be operating in roughly five years, designers estimate. But there are limitations on immediately using the technology, including current Federal Aviation Administration rules that mandate where and how drones can be safely launched in U.S. air space. The agency's regulations also require operators of such machines to physically see the aircraft at all times, limiting the range to a mile or two.

    Developers are seeking to get the same clearances as the military, where operators don't have to see the aircraft at all times and can view data beamed via a satellite link.

    The machines - which weigh up to 50 pounds- are safely controlled by operators with a laptop or iPad, cost a fraction of manned research aircraft and are more reliable than sending up weather balloons to divine a storm's intentions. In its simplest form, a weather drone would go for about $10,000, researchers said, but models with more extensive storm-detecting equipment - like having the ability to drop sensors as it flies through a storm - could run $100,000.

    Jacob started researching the need for such aircraft more than 20 years ago while an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma, and arrived at OSU about seven years ago to continue his research. As a native Oklahoman with a long-held interest in the weather, developing the perfect storm-savvy technology has become a passion for him.

    "Technology has really been catching up to what we wanted to do," he said in an interview. And in the future, the drones could be used to monitor wildfires and send back information to firefighters so they don't get outflanked by the blazes or they could fly over farmers' crops to relay enhanced pictures of how well they are growing.

    One of the storm models was supposed to have its test flight on the day of the Moore tornado. It was delayed by two days - to great success. Immediately after, OSU researchers posted a video of its flight on YouTube.

    To researchers' dismay, drones have developed a negative connotation lately, as some groups concerned about civil liberties strongly question the Obama administration's use of armed Predator drones overseas as well as privacy issues. So, the weather researchers prefer "unmanned aircraft" to describe what they are working on, even though the word drone is also accurate.

    "It's so sad to me because I see the negatives people are always talking about, that it's going to be a Big Brother surveillance system and the government is actually going to worsen society rather than benefit society, and our goals are the exact opposite," said Jacob Stockton, a master's student at OSU who is working on the project.

    "It's extremely rewarding to take the perspective that my work is being poured into helping others to avoid the tragedy that happened" at Moore, he said.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Sunday, June 2, 2013, 3:50 p.m. ET

    Riley Webb hands her seven month old baby Bryce Webb down to Oklahoma County Commissioner Willa Johnson after being rescued by Midwest City Fire Dept. personnel from a flooded mobile home park in Midwest City, Okla., on Saturday, after up to eight inches of rain fell during the previous 24 hours. (AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Paul Hellstern)

    EL RENO, Okla. (AP) - As the East Coast braced for the possibility of severe storms Sunday, the all-too-familiar task of cleaning up went on in Oklahoma after the weekend's violent weather claimed 10 lives there.

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin toured damage in El Reno, about 30 miles from Oklahoma City, on Sunday. She said in an interview that the death toll could rise as emergency workers continue searching flooded areas for missing residents.

    The state Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the death toll had risen to 10 from Friday's EF3 tornado, which charged down a clogged Interstate 40 in the western suburbs. Among the dead were two children - an infant sucked out of the car with its mother and a 4-year-old boy who along with his family had sought shelter in a drainage ditch.

    Three veteran storm chasers also died in Friday's storm: Tim Samaras; his son, Paul Samaras; and Carl Young. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said the men were involved in tornado research.

    Jim Samaras told The Associated Press on Sunday that his brother Tim was motivated by science.

    "He looked at tornadoes not for the spotlight of TV but for the scientific aspect," Jim Samaras said. "At the end of the day, he wanted to save lives and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for that."

    Severe weather was forecast to move into the Northeast on Sunday, mainly from the Washington, D.C., area to northern Maine. Hail and high winds were the chief threat, though a tornado could not be ruled out, forecasters said.

    In in the southern part of the United States, thunderstorms, high winds and hail were expected as part of a slow-moving cold front. Heavy rains could spawn flash flooding in some areas, the National Weather Service said.

    Oklahoma wasn't the only state hit by violent weather Friday night. In Missouri, areas west of St. Louis received significant damage from an EF3 tornado Friday night that packed estimated winds of 150 mph. In St. Charles County, at least 71 homes were heavily damaged and 100 had slight to moderate damage, county spokeswoman Colene McEntee said.

    Northeast of St. Louis, the town of Roxana, Ill., also saw damage from an EF3 tornado. National Weather Service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said it wasn't clear whether the damage in Missouri and Illinois came from the same EF3 twister or separate ones.

    A total of five tornadoes struck the Oklahoma City metro area on Friday, the National Weather Service said. Fallin said Sunday that 115 people were injured.

    It formed out on the prairie west of Oklahoma City, giving residents plenty of advance notice. When told to seek shelter, many ventured out and snarled traffic across the metro area - perhaps remembering the devastation in Moore. An EF5 tornado on May 20 killed 24 people.

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said roadways quickly became congested with the convergence of rush-hour traffic and fleeing residents.

    "They had no place to go, and that's always a bad thing. They were essentially targets just waiting for a tornado to touch down," Randolph said. "I'm not sure why people do that sort of stuff, but it is very dangerous."

    Terri Black, a 51-year-old teacher's assistant in Moore, said she decided to try and outrun the tornado when she learned her southwest Oklahoma City home was in harm's way. She quickly regretted it.

    "It was chaos. People were going southbound in the northbound lanes. Everybody was running for their lives," she said.

    When she realized she was a sitting duck, Black turned around and found herself directly in the path of the most violent part of the storm.

    "My car was actually lifted off the road and then set back down," Black said.

    Fallin again spoke to the resiliency of the Oklahoma communities that were affected.

    "The whole key to this is communication between state, federal and local officials," she said. "It's going well - first responders, law enforcement, emergency managers. We'll rebuild (and) come back even stronger."

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Tornado Outbreak Slams Plains

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Updated 9:39 a.m. EDT, Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Two residents stand on a flooded street near the Saalach river in Weissbach in the Austrian province of Salzburg, Sunday. Heavy rainfalls cause flooding along rivers in large parts of the country. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

    BERLIN (AP) - Authorities in parts of central Europe issued disaster warnings and scrambled to reinforce flood defenses Sunday as rivers swelled by days of heavy rain threatened to burst their banks.

    Several people have died or are missing in the floods in Germany, the Czech Republic and Switzerland since Thursday.

    Czech officials warned that the waters of the Vltava river could reach critical levels in Prague late Sunday. Interim Mayor Tomas Hudecek said authorities were considering whether to shut down parts of the capital's subway network and called on people not to travel to city.

    In the nearby city of Trebenice a woman was found dead in the rubble after a summer cottage collapsed due to the raging water, Czech public television reported.

    Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said 200 soldiers have been deployed so far to help local authorities.

    In Germany, where at least four people have died or are missing, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised federal support for affected areas and said the army would be deployed if necessary.

    Several cities including Chemnitz in the east, and Passau and Rosenheim in the south, issued disaster warnings.

    Passau, which is located at the confluence of three rivers, could see waters rise above record levels of 2002, said Mayor Juergen Dupper.

    German news agency dpa reported that large stretches of the Rhine, Main and Neckar rivers have been closed to ship traffic.

    Evacuations are also taking place in neighboring Austria and Switzerland.

    Meteorologists are predicting the rainfall will ease in the coming days.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Southwest Regional Weather ForecastTo start off the week in the Southwest, things will be heating up even more above average.

    With a lack of storm systems moving into the area, sunshine will continue to prevail across the region for the beginning of the month.

    With the jet stream remaining to the north, dry heat will continue to filter into the area on Sunday.

    Las Vegas looks to surpass 100 degrees for Sunday. Other than just getting over 100 in the middle of May for two consecutive days, this will be the warmest it has been since the beginning of last September.

    Temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach almost 10 degrees above the average of 95 for this time of year. On Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures will hover near 100 degrees during the afternoon.

    Phoenix will also have some abnormal warm temperatures for the next few days. Temperatures on Sunday will also be close to 10 degrees above average and approaching the record of 110 degrees last set back in 2006.

    Hot sunshine will continue throughout the remainder of the week with temperatures at least a few degrees above the 100-degree mark.

    These cities aren't the only ones experiencing above-normal temperatures to end the weekend on Sunday.

    Fresno, Calif., will have high temperature near 101 on Sunday, more than 10 degrees above the average for June 2nd. Palm Springs continues to have temperatures more than 5 degrees above average to start off the month.

    Remember to be prepared if you are out and about in the heat for the next few days. Be sure to drink plenty of water to remain hydrated and wear light weight, protective clothing. If possible, it might be best to move outdoor work to the early morning or evening when temperatures are lower.

    ALSO ON ACCUWEATHER:

     

    Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Sinkhole Opens Up After Oklahoma Storm
    A huge sinkhole has opened up in Oklahoma City, Okla., following Friday's tornado outbreak. Five to 10 inches of rain fell as the storms moved through.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Updated Sunday, June 2, 2013, 7 p.m. ET

    Tornado researcher Tim Samaras monitors radar from inside his storm chase vehicle. (Getty)

    Three veteran storm chasers died doing what they loved: roaming the Great Plains in search of dangerous storms like the one in Oklahoma that ended their final pursuit.

    Tim Samaras, his son Paul and colleague Carl Young, who through the years had shared dramatic videos with television viewers and weather researchers, died Friday night when an EF3 tornado with winds up to 165 mph turned on them near El Reno, Okla. They were among 13 people who died in the storm in Oklahoma City and its suburbs.

    Their deaths in pursuit of the storm are believed to be the first among scientific researchers while chasing tornadoes, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said.

    "They put themselves in harm's way so that they can educate the public about the destructive power of these storms," said Chris West, the undersheriff in Canadian County, where the men died.

    Tim Samaras, 54, and Paul Samaras, 24, both of Bennett, Colo., were trapped in their car along with Young, 45, of South Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California and Nevada border.

    Many times before, Tim Samaras had told anyone who would listen that tornadoes were unpredictable.

    "I don't know if I would say I worried about it because one of the biggest things he stressed was safety," said Tim's brother, Jim Samaras, who confirmed the deaths to The Associated Press. "He knew what to look for. He knew where not to be and in this case, the tornado took a clear turn toward them."

    Tim Samaras and his Twistex tornado chase team had been featured on the Discovery Channel and given grants by the National Geographic Society. They also were regular presenters at conferences dedicated to advances in meteorology.

    The Oklahoma storm that killed the three chasers developed before their eyes Friday.

    Tim Samaras tweeted a photo of clouds rising through a volatile atmosphere and noted: "Storms now initiating south of Watonga along triple point. Dangerous day ahead for OK - stay weather savvy!"

    It was his final tweet.

    "He looked at tornadoes not for the spotlight of TV but for the scientific aspect," Jim Samaras said. "At the end of the day, he wanted to save lives and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for that."

    The tornado in the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz" fascinated a then-6-year-old Tim Samaras, his brother said.

    "He didn't give a crap about Toto, he didn't give a crap about the munchkins," Jim Samaras said.

    The Storm Prediction Center said in a statement Sunday that it was saddened by Tim Samaras' death.

    "Samaras was a respected tornado researcher and friend ... who brought to the field a unique portfolio of expertise in engineering, science, writing and videography," the center said.

    The storm arrived during Friday night's rush hour, when roads were clogged with commuters and others trying to flee the storm. Video taken by a number of storm chasers showed debris pelting vehicles.

    Winds swept one vehicle with a crew from The Weather Channel off the road, tossed it 200 yards and flipped it into a field. The crew members escaped without any serious injuries.

    "This is a very sad day for the meteorological community and the families of our friends lost. Tim Samaras was a pioneer and great man," Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore tweeted Sunday.

    The Discovery Channel, which featured Tim Samaras on "Storm Chasers" until last year, planned to dedicate a show Sunday evening to the three men, noting they died "doing what they love, chasing storms."

    The National Geographic Society called Tim Samaras a "courageous and brilliant scientist" and posted on its website an interview conducted with him last month.

    "Being close to a tornado is one of those incredible, fleeting moments that sometimes you have to take a couple of seconds to take in," he said in the interview, which went on to describe his engineering background and the need for tornado research.

    "We still don't know why some thunderstorms create tornadoes while others don't," he added. "We're trying to collect as many observations as possible, both from outside and from the inside. If we better understood some of the final mechanisms for tornado genesis, our forecasting will be greatly improved."

    He told the magazine that there are probably fewer than five storm chasers who pursue tornadoes for data, while many do it for other reasons.

    "On a big tornado day in Oklahoma, you can have hundreds of storm chasers lined up down the road," he said. "Oklahoma is considered the mecca of storm chasing. We know ahead of time when we chase in Oklahoma, there's going to be a traffic jam."

    The Storm Prediction Center said scientific storm chasing is performed as safely as possible, with trained researchers using appropriate technology. It encouraged all, including the media and amateurs, to chase safely to avoid a repeat of Friday's deaths.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Tornado Outbreak Slams Plains

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Sunday, June 2, 2013, 8:55 p.m. ET

    Homes and camps sit submerged up to their roofs along Engineers Road after being overtaken by the rain-swollen Osage River after it spilled its banks following Friday's heavy storms, Saturday, June 1, 2013 in Osage City, Mo. (AP Photo/The Jefferson City News-Tribune, Kristopher Wilson)

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Damaging winds flattened trees and utility wires and knocked out power in parts of northern New England on Sunday, flights were delayed in New York City and there were reports of a tornado in South Carolina as the East Coast weathered the remnants of violent storms that claimed 13 lives in Oklahoma.

    Heavy rain, thunderstorms, high winds and hail moved through sections of the Northeast on Sunday afternoon, knocking out power to more than 40,000 in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The National Weather Service issued a rare tornado warning as a line of thunderstorms raced through New Hampshire into western Maine. The National Weather Service said a tornado warning was issued as radar indicated a possible tornado moving from Kingfield, Maine, to Bingham, Maine. The tornado was not immediately confirmed.

    In northwestern South Carolina, authorities checked unconfirmed reports of a tornado, said Jessica Ashley, a shift supervisor for Anderson County's 911 center. The fire department responded to a report of roof damage to a home and callers said trees were blown over. No injuries were reported.

    The weather service said thunderstorms and winds in excess of 60 mph in Vermont produced 1-inch-diameter hail and knocked down numerous trees and wires. In northern Maine, radar picked up a line of thunderstorms capable of producing quarter-sized hail and winds stronger than 70 mph. Forecasters warned of tornadoes.


    RELATED ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season

    The prediction for stormy weather in the New York City region produced delays at major airports. La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey had delays of up to 90 minutes, while John F. Kennedy International had delays of about 30 minutes. Outside Washington, delays were up to nearly two hours at Dulles Airport.

    Patrick Herb, 34, was traveling from Dulles with his 1- and 3-year-old to his home in Wisconsin, and had his departure time for a connecting flight in Detroit moved back three times. He described the mood at Dulles as "frustration and fatigue."

    "The communication is honestly one of the most frustrating parts of travel," Herb said. "I'm sort of pessimistic it will get off on time."

    In the southern part of the United States, thunderstorms, high winds and hail were expected as part of a slow-moving cold front. Heavy rains could spawn flash flooding in some areas, the weather service said.

    Meanwhile, residents in Oklahoma cleaned up after the storms there killed 13 people, including three veteran storm chasers. Tim Samaras; his son, Paul Samaras; and Carl Young were killed Friday. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said the men were involved in tornado research.

    Jim Samaras told The Associated Press on Sunday that his brother Tim was motivated by science.

    "He looked at tornadoes not for the spotlight of TV but for the scientific aspect," Jim Samaras said. "At the end of the day, he wanted to save lives and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for that."

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin toured damage in El Reno, about 30 miles from Oklahoma City. She said the death toll could rise as emergency workers continue searching flooded areas for missing residents.

    The state Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the death toll had risen to 13 from Friday's EF3 tornado, which charged down a clogged Interstate 40 in the western suburbs. Among the dead were two children - an infant sucked out of the car with its mother and a 4-year-old boy who along with his family had sought shelter in a drainage ditch.


    RELATED ON SKYE: 3 Veteran Storm Chasers Killed by Tornado

    In Missouri, areas west of St. Louis received significant damage from an EF3 tornado Friday that packed estimated winds of 150 mph. In St. Charles County, at least 71 homes were heavily damaged and 100 had slight to moderate damage, county spokeswoman Colene McEntee said.

    Northeast of St. Louis, the town of Roxana, Ill., also saw damage from an EF3 tornado. Weather service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said it wasn't clear whether the damage in Missouri and Illinois came from the same twister or separate ones.

    Five tornadoes struck the Oklahoma City metro area on Friday, the weather service said. Fallin said Sunday that 115 people were injured.

    The storms formed out on the prairie west of Oklahoma City, giving residents plenty of advance notice. When told to seek shelter, many ventured out and snarled traffic across the metro area - perhaps remembering when a tornado hit Moore on May 20 and killed 24 people.

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said roadways quickly became congested with the convergence of rush-hour traffic and fleeing residents.

    "They had no place to go, and that's always a bad thing. They were essentially targets just waiting for a tornado to touch down," Randolph said. "I'm not sure why people do that sort of stuff, but it is very dangerous."


    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Updated Monday, June 3, 7:12 p.m. ET

    Lightning strikes over One World Trade Center, center right, during a thunderstorm seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., Sunday, June 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The remnants of violent storms that killed more than a dozen people in Oklahoma moved out to sea with a whimper Monday, but not before sending punishing winds and torrential downpours to New England and spawning a tornado in South Carolina.

    Sunday's storms sheared off trees and utility poles in parts of northern New England and dropped ping pong ball-sized hail in New York state.

    On Monday, the storm blew out to the Atlantic with only isolated thunderstorms and localized heavy rain as a cold front began moving in and clearing the region.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    At the peak of the storm, more than 40,000 homes and businesses were without power in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. That number had fallen to about 12,000 on Monday morning, with utilities hopeful to have most power restored by the end of the day.

    In all, there were more than 100 reports of severe weather across the region on Sunday, mostly in a swath from central New York to Maine.

    In northwestern South Carolina, a tornado knocked a home off its foundation and blew part of the roof off, said Taylor Jones, director of emergency management for Anderson County. Some trees were blown down and there was heavy rain but no widespread damage.

    Although there were plenty of reports of severe weather, there weren't widespread reports of extreme weather, with winds in excess of 75 mph and hail measuring 2 inches in diameter, said John Koch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service East region headquarters in Bohemia, N.Y.

    "Still, we're fortunate nobody was injured or hurt," he said.

    The storms swept through the Plains on Friday with tornadoes and flooding, resulting in the deaths of at least 18 people, officials said Monday.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    Members of the red cross make their way by boats in the flooded street in the center of Passau, southern Germany, Monday, June 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    PASSAU, Germany (AP) - Waters from three swollen rivers gushed into the old town of Passau in southeast Germany on Monday, as officials warned that water levels - already the highest in 70 years - could rise further.

    The city was one of the worst hit by flooding that has spread across a large area of central Europe following heavy rainfall in recent days. At least eight people were reported to have died and nine were missing due to floods in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

    "The situation is extremely dramatic," Herbert Zillinger, a spokesman for Passau's crisis center, told The Associated Press.

    Much of the city was inaccessible on foot and the electricity supply was shut down as a precaution, he said. Rescuers were using boats to evacuate residents from flooded parts of the city.

    But with water from the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers relentlessly pouring into the city, water was advancing into previously dry streets - in one case going from dry to ankle-deep within half an hour. Markers set in 1954, when the city suffered its worst flooding in living memory, have disappeared beneath the rising water.

    The German army said it has sent 1,760 soldiers to help local authorities and volunteers reinforce flood defenses particularly in the south and east of the country. Chancellor Angela Merkel planned to visit flood-hit areas Tuesday, her spokesman said.

    Authorities in the Czech Republic worked Monday to erect further protective metal barriers along the Vltava river, which also flows through the capital Prague.

    Interim mayor Tomas Hudecek said no major evacuations were planned, but animals from a zoo located by the river had been taken to safety. Parts of the city's subway transportation network also were shut down because of flooding.

    The Charles Bridge - normally packed with tourists at this time of year - was closed to the public as were some other popular spots near the river at the foot of Prague Castle. Rescuers evacuated some 2,700 people across the western half of the country where the government declared a state of emergency in most regions.

    Some had to leave their homes in the southern neighborhoods of Prague while further evacuations have been under way in the northern Czech Republic, awaiting a flood wave later Monday.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    Leon Worden, with Santa Clarita TV, takes a picture of the haze over the town of Lake Hughes on Sunday, June 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Genaro Molina)

    LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) - Nearly 3,000 people from some 700 homes were under evacuation orders Monday as a wildfire north of Los Angeles kept growing, feeding on old, dry brush, some of which hadn't burned in decades.

    The blaze had burned about 35 square miles in the mountains and canyons of the Angeles National Forest, destroying at least six homes and damaging 15 more.

    The fire, which was 20 percent contained, was fueled in part by chaparral that was "extremely old and dry" and hadn't burned since 1929, U.S. Forest Service Incident Commander Norm Walker said Sunday at a news conference.

    It was spreading fastest into unoccupied land, but populated areas about 50 miles north of downtown LA remained in danger, with more than 2,800 people and 700 homes under evacuation orders that were expected to last until late Monday or Tuesday in the communities of Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, sheriff's Lt. David Coleman said.

    It appeared to be the fiercest of several burning in the West, including two in New Mexico, where thick smoke covered several communities and set a blanket of haze over Santa Fe. Crews fighting the two uncontained wildfires focused Sunday on building protection lines around them, hoping predicted storms could bring moisture to help reduce the intensity of the fires.

    In Southern California, about 2,100 firefighters were taking on the wildfire, aided by water-dropping aircraft, including three helicopters expected to stay aloft through the night.

    "We're putting everything that we have into this," Walker said.

    The cause of the fire was under investigation. Three firefighters had minor injuries, but no one else was hurt.

    Winds of about 25 mph and gusting as high as 40 mph had created "havoc" for firefighters for much of Sunday, LA County Deputy Chief David Richardson said.

    Propelled by the strong winds, the fire jumped an aqueduct into the west of Lancaster, officials said.

    Nightfall brought some weather relief, and firefighters hope they could take advantage of it.

    "It is cooling off," Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy said. "The winds have died down, at least compared to earlier."

    In a report early Monday, fire officials said that the blaze was holding and no new evacuations or road closures were immediately foreseen.

    At least six homes had burned to the ground, and 15 more were scorched by flames, LA County fire Chief Daryl L. Osby said.

    George Ladd, 61, said among them was a cabin at Lake Hughes his family had owned since 1954, but sold just last week. He said he expected it may go up in flames sooner.

    "We had always worried about that thing going off like a bomb," Ladd said.

    He walked through the ashes of his former cabin and the other destroyed homes Sunday.

    "All of them are nothing," he said by phone from his home in nearby Palmdale later Sunday night. "A few scraps, a few pieces of wood with nails sticking out, but mostly just broken up concrete."

    Mark Wadsworth, 64, said he was confident his house in Lake Elizabeth survived. He spent Sunday parked in his truck atop a ridge, watching plumes of smoke rise from the canyons below.

    "I've got nowhere to go, so I'm just waiting for them to open the roads again and let me back in," Wadsworth said.

    In New Mexico, a fire burning in Santa Fe National Forest 25 miles from Santa Fe had grown to nearly 12 square miles by Sunday evening, causing thick smoke to cover parts of Gallinas Canyon and Las Vegas, N.M.

    The fire near the communities of Pecos and Tres Lagunas had prompted the evacuations of about 140 homes, most of them summer residences.

    Crews also cleared out campgrounds and closed trailheads in the area as they worked to prevent the fire from moving toward the capital city's watershed and more populated areas.

    Another New Mexico blaze, the Thompson Ridge fire near Jemez Springs, grew to nearly 3 square miles.

    Forty to 50 homes that were evacuated late last week remained so on Sunday.

    Forestry service officials say neither blaze and destroyed any homes, but one house suffered minor damage.

    For California evacuees, the Red Cross opened centers in Lancaster and Palmdale, where about 150 residents awaited word on when they could return home.

    A huge plume of smoke could be seen from much of northern Los Angeles County, and air-quality officials warned against strenuous outdoor activity.

    The blaze broke out Thursday just north of Powerhouse No. 1, a hydroelectric plant near the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

    The wilderness area is a draw for boaters, campers and hikers. Crews and residents were being warned to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes and bears that could be displaced by flames.

    Evacuations remained in effect for several campgrounds and two youth probation camps. Several roads and trails were closed.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Incredible Natural-Disaster Photos from Space

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    In this file photo from Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, a couple walks along the water's edge at Lanikai Beach in the haze of heavy 'vog' giving the sky, ocean and sunrise pink and yellow hue in Kailua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Lucy Pemoni)

    HONOLULU (AP) - Part of what makes living in Hawaii so pleasant is the gentle breeze. Arriving from the northeast, it's light enough that it is barely noticeable but strong enough to chase away the humidity.

    It's a natural draw to the outdoors. It is not uncommon to show up at a house to find its residents relaxing out in the covered porch or in the car port, not their living room, and enjoying the cooling winds - and a cool drink.

    Nowadays, experts say, these breezes, called trade winds, are declining, a drop that's slowly changing life across the islands.

    The affects can be seen from the relatively minor, such as residents unaccustomed to the humidity complaining about the weather and having to use their fans and air conditioning more often, to the more consequential, including winds being too weak to blow away volcanic smog.

    The winds also help bring the rains, and their decline means less water. It's one reason officials are moving to restore the health of the mountainous forests that hold the state's water supply and encourage water conservation. Scholars are studying ways for farmers to plant crops differently.

    It's not clear what's behind the shift in the winds.

    "People always try to ask me: 'Is this caused by global warming?' But I have no idea," said University of Hawaii at Manoa meteorologist Pao-shin Chu, who began to wonder a few years ago about the winds becoming less steady and more intermittent.

    Chu suggested a graduate student look into it. The resulting study, published last fall in the Journal of Geophysical Research, showed a decades-long decline, including a 28 percent drop in northeast trade wind days at Honolulu's airport since the early 1970s.

    The scientists used wind data from four airports and four ocean buoys as well as statistical data analysis for their study. Now, they are working to project future trade winds using the most recent data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body of the United Nations.

    Luke Evslin is already noticing the dip. The 28-year-old has paddled outrigger canoes - boats long used around the Pacific for fishing, travel and racing - for most of his life. In Hawaii, this means he rides waves generated by trade winds. These days, though, there are fewer waves to surf because the winds are arriving less often.

    "You show up and the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. So instead of a 3-hour-45-minute race, it turns into a 5 ½-hour race," Evslin said. "So instead of testing your surfing ability, it's testing your endurance. It's a different type of paddling."

    He's thinking he'll now have to start training for races in canals and rivers to better prepare for flat water conditions.

    Sometimes the winds are too weak to blow away the volcanic smog, or vog, created by sulfur dioxide erupting from Kilauea volcano on the Big Island, leaving a white or brownish haze hanging over Honolulu. This aggravates asthma and other respiratory problems.

    For now, Chu said the most important consequence will be declining rainfall and a drop in the water supply, particularly as Hawaii's population grows and uses more water.

    Trade winds deliver rain to Hawaii when clouds carried from the northeast hit mountainous islands built by millions of years of volcanic eruptions. These rains, together with rainfall from winter storms, are the state's primary sources of water.

    On Oahu, the rain feeds ground aquifers that supply water to about 950,000 people in Honolulu and surrounding towns.

    Barry Usagawa, the water resources program administrator for Honolulu's water utility, said residents are reporting streams near their homes are flowing lower than before.

    "What we don't know is if this is truly a downward trend or just the lower leg of a long-term cycle. Is it going to go back up?" he said. The utility has contracted Chu to develop rainfall forecasts to plan for the decades ahead.

    The water utility is also encouraging people to fix leaks and buy appliances that use less water to reduce their water consumption. It's developing water recycling facilities so places like golf courses will be irrigated with recycled water. Desalinizing ocean water may also be an option, Usagawa said.

    In the meantime, the utility supports efforts to improve the health of Oahu's forests so they can absorb as much rain as they get.

    The Legislature this year approved a state budget with $8.5 million for watershed protection steps next fiscal year that include removing invasive weeds and keeping out pigs and other feral animals that dig up forest plants.

    The drop in trade winds, along with a separate decline in winter Kona storms, is one reason parts of Hawaii are in drought. Maui, for example, just had the driest April on record.

    To cope with the rainfall decline, University of Hawaii at Manoa agriculture professor Ali Fares said farmers can try to grow crops during the rainy reason and avoid months with more uncertainty about water availability.

    Farmers could also plant more drought tolerant crops and irrigate when crops are under the most stress. "So many people only talk about drought when there's no water. But it's too late then. We have to talk about these before they happen," Fares said.

    The trade wind decline may be too subtle to affect the state's biggest industry, tourism, and keep away any of the 8 million travelers who visit Hawaii each year. After all, even without trade winds, Hawaii's humidity is mild compared to Hong Kong or Tokyo. And the heat here is nothing compared to summer in Texas or Arizona.

    "We do have the best weather in the planet. We really do," said Jerome Agrusa, a travel industry management professor at Hawaii Pacific University. "Once you leave to go visit somewhere else, you realize. I go away and I think: 'What did I go for?'"

    RELATED ON SKYE: Could a Trip to Your Favorite Beach Make You Sick?

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    AP Photo/J Pat Carter

    AccuWeather.com meteorologists are continuing to monitor the potential for the tropics to come alive in the Gulf of Mexico with heavy rain likely headed to Florida regardless of development.

    The tropics are currently quiet with disruptive wind shear (strong winds high in the atmosphere) in place and preventing development.

    However, there are signs that the wind shear will lessen enough for a broad area of disturbed weather to attempt to organize into a tropical depression over the central Gulf of Mexico at midweek.

    Latest indications point toward this feature crossing Florida around the Wednesday to Friday timeframe of this week.

    Such a depression would acquire the name "Andrea" if it then strengthens into a tropical storm.

    The good news is that wind shear should increase again as the system approaches Florida, which would prevent it from intensifying into a strong tropical storm or hurricane.

    Even if a tropical depression fails to develop, heavy rain should still take aim at Florida during the middle to latter half of the workweek.

    The accompanying downpours could cause problems for travelers and flash flooding in poor drainage areas, but would be still be welcome across central and northern Florida where numerous wildfires are burning.

    RELATED:
    AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center
    Interactive Hurricane Tracker
    Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast: AccuWeather.com versus NOAA


    All interests across Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico should continue to check back with AccuWeather.com for the latest on the potential for the tropics to come alive.

    For the season as a whole, AccuWeather.com long-range forecasting team predicts 16 named tropical storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Of these, three named storms are predicted to make landfall in the United States.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    By Renny Vandewege

    Tornado researcher Tim Samaras monitoring radar from inside his storm chase vehicle. Samaras was killed along with two other storm chasers Friday. (Getty)

    I grew up in Tornado Alley and have chased tornadoes since I was old enough to drive. Like nearly every chaser, I've had a close call. Mine came on April 15, 2011, while I was out chasing in Mississippi. I'd pulled my Nissan Titan into a community college parking lot and watched as a good-sized tornado whirled toward the town of Scooba, tearing up everything in its path. Roofing shingles and tree branches began raining from the sky as the tornado grew to three-quarters of a mile wide. Then, just like that, the tornado was coming right at me. In a split second, I went from chasing to being chased.

    I had one escape route: a two-lane highway headed east. I hit the gas and raced down the road. In my rearview mirror, half a mile behind me, I saw trees being ripped out of the ground and flung through the air as though they were toothpicks. Power lines whipped across the road. I gunned it for a full five minutes before I found a jog in the road that took me a mile south and, thankfully, out of harm's way.

    I pulled off at the edge of a farmer's field and watched as the tornado crossed into Alabama, snapping every tree in its path.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season

    Many things could have changed my fate that day. The warm, humid 80-mph winds feeding the storm could have knocked a pine tree into my path, blocking my escape route. Or, with an obstructed view earlier on, I could have mistakenly thought I was safe, only to have the tornado suddenly engulf me.

    I've thought about that ever since I heard the heartbreaking news that storm chasers and researchers Carl Young, Tim Samaras and Tim's son, Paul, were killed while chasing near El Reno, Okla., Friday. An EF3 tornado with 165 mph winds tore their vehicle to pieces. Some are questioning the safety of tornado chasing, and rightfully so.

    We don't know where, exactly, things went wrong Friday, but Samaras and his team were some of the most experienced and safety-first chasers in the business. This particular tornado grew to its maximum width at an unprecedented rate and likely caught them off guard. Still, many of us in the field were shocked by their deaths, which were likely first in the nearly 50-year history of storm chasing.

    So, is storm chasing worth the risk?

    Many storm chasers do a lot of good. Some are researchers trying to understand why some storms produce tornadoes and others do not. Tim Samaras, for example, combined his background in engineering and weather to invent devices for measuring conditions inside a tornado. His research has been valuable. Other researchers use mobile radar units to measure precipitation and wind inside a tornado from close range to gain a better understanding of how tornadoes develop.

    Other chasers are simply out there for the thrill of chasing, or to capture video to sell to media outlets. But as tornado video has become plentiful on YouTube and other websites, chasers have had to to get closer than ever to get the kind of footage that will earn them a paycheck. They often find themselves in the "bear's cage" - chaser lingo for the part of the storm where a tornado forms. Some have built vehicles to drive directly into a twister. This carries enormous risk.

    These days, I chase mainly to educate students. I teach broadcast meteorology at Mississippi State University, and my students are preparing for a career as television weathercasters. Each year, we offer a class that includes a trip to the Great Plains to study storms. We use the atmosphere as a living textbook, identifying storm structure and the mechanics of the atmosphere. We compare that to radar. Many of my students have gone on to cover major tornado outbreaks for TV news stations. Through storm chasing, these students have learned to look at a radar image and know what it actually represents. This gives them an important tool to use in their work.

    Unfortunately, storm chasing is getting increasingly dangerous. I noticed the change in 2010, while following a tornado near Kingfisher, Okla. The massive number of storm chasers in the area made roads congested. The line of vehicles was miles long and moving so slowly that we decided to get ahead of the crowd as far as we could. When we reached the top of a hill 10 miles east of the storm and glanced back, the line of headlights behind us looked like the final scene of "Field of Dreams."

    With reality TV shows playing up the excitement of storm chasing, more and more people have taken up the hobby. Many of them are not familiar with common safety rules. Part of safe chasing requires having an escape route should a storm make a sudden move. But when a big-city-style traffic jam materializes on a highway in the middle of the country, the danger level skyrockets. This needs to be addressed.

    Ultimately, for many of us, our love of chasing storms stems from a love of weather. For me, this love was born in my childhood. I'm sure it will live on the rest of my life. I'll continue to chase. I'm sure others will, too. I just hope the memory of Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young will inspire all of us to stay safe out there.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    June 3, 2013
    Alaska Volcanoes
    One of the newest volcanic vents discovered in Southeast Alaska is an underwater volcanic cone in Behm Canal near New Eddystone rock. (James Baichtal, U.S. Forest Service)

    In Alaska, scores of volcanoes and strange lava flows have escaped scrutiny for decades, shrouded by lush forests and hidden under bobbing coastlines.

    In the past three years, 12 new volcanoes have been discovered in Southeast Alaska, and 25 known volcanic vents and lava flows re-evaluated, thanks to dogged work by geologists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Forest Service. Sprinkled across hundreds of islands and fjords, most of the volcanic piles are tiny cones compared to the super-duper stratovolcanoes that parade off to the west, in the Aleutian Range.

    But the Southeast's volcanoes are in a class by themselves, the researchers found. A chemical signature in the lava flows links them to a massive volcanic field in Canada. Unusual patterns in the lava also point to eruptions under, over and alongside glaciers, which could help scientists pinpoint the size of Alaska's mountain glaciers during past climate swings.

    "It's giving us this serendipitous window on the history of climate in Southeast Alaska for the last 1 million years," said Susan Karl, a research geologist with the USGS in Anchorage and the project's leader. [Image Gallery: Alaska's New Volcanoes]

    Volcano forensics

    The project kicked off in 2009 as part of an interdisciplinary effort to better understand volcanism in Southeast Alaska, Karl said.

    The team's first result, from a volcanic pile about 40 miles (70 kilometers) south of Mount Edgecumbe, was an intriguing match in time to the panhandle's biggest volcano. The team planned to test if the two were related, sort of a geologic genetic test. But even though the two volcanoes had erupted at about the same time in the past, their chemistry was wildly different. It was like one volcano was a freshwater fish and the other came from the salty ocean. And what really captured the geologist's attention were signs that the little volcano squeezed out lava that oozed next to glaciers.

    "That's when we realized we had a whole new kind of volcano separate from Mount Edgecumbe," Karl told OurAmazingPlanet.

    Lava chemistry holds forensic clues that reveal what was happening in Earth's crust and mantle when the magma formed. The unusual chemistry sent Karl and her collaborators hunting for more rocks to test. This meant days-long backpacking trips into remote wilderness or submersible dives to underwater volcanoes.

    Not only did they find the same unique chemical signature at other sites, the team stumbled upon new volcanoes overlooked by earlier mappers.

    "We're convinced now there's probably a whole bunch of green knobs out there covered with timber that may be vents that may have never been mapped," said James Baichtal, a geologist with the U.S. Forest Service based in Thorne Bay, Alaska, and a project leader.

    Connection to Canada

    Now comes the CSI twist. All of these newly tested lavas in Alaska are kissing cousins to volcanoes in Canada, such as Mount Edziza, which last erupted about 10,000 years ago.

    The connection makes perfect sense, Karl said. "I'm actually surprised no one has hypothesized it before," she said. "It made total sense that this volcanic province would extend across Southeast Alaska, and now I have the data to show that's the case."

    Little known outside of Canada, Mount Edziza is part of the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province, a broad swath of volcanoes and hot springs some 1,250 miles (2,000 km) long and about 375 miles (600 km) wide.

    Karl's big picture meets approval with scientists studying Canada's volcanoes.

    "I knew there were volcanics to the west in Alaska, but I didn't know they were nearly [this] extensive," said Ben Edwards, a volcanologist at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, who is not involved in the project but has visited the new volcanoes with Karl and Baichtal. "They have really found a lot more places than we realized, but there's certainly no reason for them not to be there. It makes a lot of sense."

    As in Canada's volcanic province, Southeast Alaska's volcanoes and hot springs line up as amazingly linear features. Here's why: The tortured history of this corner of North America, a legacy of collision between the North America and Pacific tectonic plates, created a meshwork of leaky faults and fractures. Magma escapes from Earth's mantle through this patchwork when forces pull on the crust, opening space. The matching chemistry also hints that magma in both regions comes from a similar mantle source.

    "It's always fun to discover a new vent; it's fun to find a fossil, and then to be able to understand why it's there is always very satisfying," Karl said. "That's what makes scientists tick."

    Strange new finds

    Some of the unusual finds Karl and Baichtal have uncovered include a maar lying 295 feet (90 meters) underwater near Cape Addington, about 40 miles (65 km) west of Craig, Alaska. Maars are bomblike craters blasted out when magma rising underground hits groundwater and explodes. The maar is about 13,800 years old, Baichtal said. Sea level was 394 feet (120 m) lower when the maar formed.

    The latest find is an underwater volcano in Behm Canal, where hundreds of thousands of tourists on cruise ships have sailed by New Eddystone Rock, an eroded volcano. Behm Canal is dotted with cinder cones, both onshore and below the water.

    East of Ketchikan, a basalt flow lapped onto a 42,000-year-old beach, preserving shells, pinecones, pine needles and pollen. Barnacle plates sitting on top of the lava are about 13,000 years old, Baichtal said. The whole package now sits about 260 feet (80 meters) above sea level, hinting at how much Earth's crust has bobbed up since the last ice age.

    "It gave us how much isostatic rebound there is today. That's one of those really great days in geology. You couldn't have written a better script, and there's a lot of those kind of things coming out of there," Baichtal said.

    Volcanoes and climate change

    While the volcanoes in Canada and Alaska have erupted for more than 10 million years, emerging data suggests that the last 3 million years of glaciers growing and retreating in Alaska and British Columbia also prompted many small volcanoes to erupt, because the changing ice mass flexed the Earth. This activated the fractures and made room for more magma to rise.

    In Tolay Regional Park, north of Mount Edziza, Edwards is assembling evidence of periodic eruption pulses in the last 2.5 million years.

    "We don't have a lot of the information yet, but it's consistent with some sort of link between glaciations and volcanism. If you put 2 to 3 km [1.2 to 1.8 miles] of ice on that part of the cordillera and then remove it pretty quickly, it may facilitate extension," he said.

    The molten rock also has preserved impressions of bygone glaciers. Many of the lava flows touched ice, leaving a distinctive cooling pattern in the chilled rock. By dating the glacially cooled lava flows, researchers such as Karl, Baichtal and Edwards hope to better understand how much land mountain glaciers covered during past glaciations. About one-third of global sea level rise could come from melting mountain glaciers, but estimating their past size is difficult because growing glaciers plow through evidence of their predecessors.

    Risk of eruptions

    Despite its great size, the overall risk from eruptions in the Alaska portion of the volcanic province is low, Karl said.

    In Canada, the volume of erupted lava is less than 240 cubic miles (100 cubic km) every million years in the last 2 million years. By comparison, Hawaii's Kilauea volcano spewed 4,650 cubic miles (19,400 cubic km) in the past 300,000 to 600,000 years. [Big Blasts: History's 10 Most Destructive Volcanoes]

    The most recent eruption in both countries was at the Blue River lava flow in Lava Fork, which crossed the Alaska-Canada border 120 years ago, according to new dating work by Karl and her colleagues.

    "Even though, theoretically, a volcano that erupted 120 years ago is an active volcano, but because it's so remote there isn't any real concern about it," Karl said.

    However, an eruption in 1775 killed a village of First Nations people in Canada, though scientists aren't sure why. Lava didn't reach the town, and some researchers suspect gas from the volcano may have suffocated residents.

    Karl notes that an earthquake on the Fairweather Fault, a major offshore strike-slip fault, presents a greater risk than a volcanic eruption. "If something is rumbling and bubbling we have so much more technology to become aware of it before it's a hazard, We can't predict exactly when the Fairweather Fault is going to go, and that's a much larger hazard," she said.

    With 15,000 miles of shoreline and hundreds and hundreds of islands to explore, Karl and Baichtal think there are more volcanoes to discover in Southeast Alaska.

    "It's a tough place to get around, but Sue and I just laugh at it. We will never finish," Baichtal said.

    Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @OAPlanet, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience's OurAmazingPlanet.

    Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Breathtaking Volcanic Eruptions from Space
    Volcanoes from Space

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    The Red Sox took a 3-0 win at Yankee Stadium on June 2 after several delays. The real focus of the game, however, has been on this video of players reacting to a loud clap of thunder. Startled players jump in their seats while others try to run.

    The spooked players sat through a total of three rain delays before the game ended. The first delay caused the game to start almost an hour late even though the anticipated thunderstorms didn't arrive until the sixth inning.

    After the thunder that startled many of the players, the game ultimately was shortened by the inclement weather. Since the Red Sox were ahead midway through the sixth inning when the game was called, the Red Sox have won the series.

    For baseball weather forecasts, visit AccuWeather.com's Baseball Stadium Weather.

    For more weather news, visit AccuWeather.com or the AccWeather.com Severe Weather Center.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Stunning Photos from the 2013 Tornado Season
    Kansas Torndao

     

    Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


older | 1 | .... | 93 | 94 | (Page 95) | 96 | 97 | .... | 204 | newer