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Northeast Snowstorm Next Week will Pack a Big Punch

January 23, 2011 Comments off

More and more signs are pointing toward a major storm along much of the Atlantic Seaboard next week, meaning a wind-whipped snow for some areas and wind-driven rain for others.

The storm could rank right up there with the Christmas Weekend Blizzard and could hit part of the same area, or different areas farther inland. No matter what, it looks like a “big deal.”

While the storm will have its nasty moments over the Rockies, Plains and part of the Midwest this weekend into early next week, it will be at its worst along the Atlantic Seaboard, where it is forecast to markedly strengthen. Arctic air building into the Northeast will also be a major factor in the big storm that will unfold.

Storm Track(s)

The key for what the weather will be in your area is the exact track of the storm.

A track along or just inland of the coast would bring rain over the eastern Carolinas and even a wintry mix into the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic. This track would dump heavy snow, perhaps on the order of 1 to 2 feet, over the Appalachians. Snowfall rates would be intense with perhaps 1 to 3 inches per hour.

A track just off the coast would bring the heaviest snow to the I-95 cities and the beaches, as we have seen before, thus sparing the Appalachians the worst.

It is also possible the storm could swing out off the southern Atlantic coast, then hook back in over the Northeast with a more complex precipitation pattern.

No matter which way the storm tracks, it looks like big trouble for the Atlantic Seaboard next week, not only for the U.S., but all the way to Atlantic Canada. Read more…

Categories: Weather Tags: , , , ,

5.0 earthquake shows growing unrest in Caribbean plate

January 23, 2011 1 comment

January 21, 2011 – CARIBBEAN – The 5.0 earthquake that struck Saint Kitt and Leward Islands at a depth of 163.7 km today is one more indication of the growing unrest and tension seen in the Caribbean plate as planetary tremors have intensified in frequency across the globe. The massive volcanic eruptions in the Caribbean over the last two years, the earthquakes swarms around Puerto Rico in 2010, and the massive earthquake that struck Haiti in January of 2010 are all indications that this region is destined to see more violent seismic and volcanic turbulence in the near future.

POLE SHIFT PHENOMENA REPORTED by RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS

January 23, 2011 4 comments

ALEXEY N. DMITRIEV

The Sun

Let’s begin with the Sun. The Sun is the center of our Solar System, and all life that is on this Earth came from the Sun. If there were no Sun, we would not be alive. This is simply scientific fact. And so any changes that occur in or on the Sun will eventually affect every person alive. The solar activity during this last sunspot cycle was greater than anything ever seen before. Yet every astronomer that I talked to about this except one insisted that everything was “normal.” That one person, who worked at NASA, claimed that what was going on within the Sun was absolutely incredible. She also said that she was not “allowed” to talk about it. But she talked anyway, because she felt that the world needed to know, but at the same time she asked that I not publicly discuss what she had said. Sort of a Catch-22. So the photo at left is just a hint (click on it for a larger view). It’s a recent picture of the Sun from, I believe, the year 2000, showing multiple sunspots ringing the sun on the two latitudes of 19.48 north and south. Some of you will see the significance of this much energy’s being emitted at this particular location.

So let’s look at the obvious question: Read more…

California Declares Fiscal Emergency

January 23, 2011 Comments off
California Declares Fiscal Emergency

 

Jerry Brown, California’s governor, declared a state of fiscal emergency on Thursday for the government of the most populous US state to press lawmakers to tackle its $25.4 billion budget gap.

 

Democrat Brown’s declaration follows a similar one made last month by his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former Republican governor.

Democrats who control the legislature declined to act on Schwarzenegger’s declaration, saying they would instead wait to work on budget matters with Brown, who served two terms as California’s governor in the 1970s and 1980s.

Brown was sworn in to his third term early this month and has presented lawmakers with a plan to balance the state’s books with $12.5 billion in spending cuts and revenue from tax extensions that voters must first approve.

Brown has said he wants lawmakers to act on his plan by March.

His fiscal emergency declaration is meant to underscore that target, an official said.

Brown’s declaration, which is largely procedural, says it affirms Schwarzenegger’s December declaration, giving lawmakers 45 days to address the state’s fiscal troubles.

The 72-year-old governor also wants the legislature to back a ballot measure for a special election in June that would ask voters to extend tax increases expiring this year to help fill the state budget’s shortfall.

Brown needs a handful of Republican votes to put the measure to voters.

Republican leaders in the legislature have said they doubt those votes will come.

By contrast, Darrell Steinberg, the state senate president pro tem, told Reuters on Thursday he is backing Brown’s budget plan and that he would press other lawmakers to do so as well: “I think the Brown framework is the right framework …We intend to meet the March deadline.”

There’s One Huge State Budget Crisis That Everyone Is Refusing To Talk About: TEXAS

January 23, 2011 Comments off

Joe Weisenthal and Gus Lubin

You know the story and you know the names: states like Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and California are supposed to be in huge financial trouble thanks to bloated governments, business-unfriendly regulations, and strong public sector unions.

After a crisis-free 2010, investors are expected to punish these hotbeds of bad governance in a muni bond market rout, at least if pundits like Meredith Whitney are correct.

But there’s one state, which is fairly high up on the list of troubled states that nobody is talking about, and there’s a reason for it.

The state is Texas.

This month the state’s part-time legislature goes back into session, and the state is starting at potentially a $25 billion deficit on a two-year budget of around $95 billion. That’s enormous. And there’s not much fat to cut. The whole budget is basically education and healthcare spending. Cutting everything else wouldn’t do the trick. And though raising this kind of money would be easy on an economy of $1.2 trillion, the new GOP mega-majority in Congress is firmly against raising any revenue.

So the bi-ennial legislature, which convenes this month, faces some hard cuts.  Some in the Texas GDP have advocated dropping Medicaid altogether to save money.

So why haven’t we heard more about Texas, one of the most important economy’s in America? Well, it’s because it doesn’t fit the script. It’s a pro-business, lean-spending, no-union state.  You can’t fit it into a nice storyline, so it’s ignored.

But if you want to make comparisons between US states and ailing European countries, think of Texas as being like America’s Ireland. Ireland was once praised as a model for economic growth: conservatives loved it for its pro-business, anti-tax, low-spending strategy, and hailed it as the way forward for all of Europe. Then it blew up.

This is the sleeper state budget crisis of 2011, and it will be praised for doing great, right up until the moment before it blows up.

Categories: Texas Tags: , , ,

State bankruptcy bill imminent, Gingrich says

January 23, 2011 Comments off

Lisa Lambert

WASHINGTON— Legislation that would allow U.S. states to file for bankruptcy will likely be introduced in Congress within the next month, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives and a powerful Republican party figure, told Reuters on Friday.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s Finance Director Ana Matosantos (R) holds his budget proposal in Sacramento, California January 10, 2011. REUTERS/Max Whittaker
Although Gingrich, considered responsible for the “Republican Revolution” of the 1990′s, is no longer in office, he has deep ties to Congress and is frequently named as a potential presidential contender in 2012.

For months he has championed letting states file for bankruptcy in order to handle their long-term budget problems despite resistance from states and investors in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market.

“We’re faced with the danger that the states are going to try to show up and say to Washington: You have to give us money,” Gingrich said. “And I think we have to have an alternative that allows us to say no.” Read more…

Chinese Silver Demand Surges Incredible Four Fold in Just One Year

January 23, 2011 Comments off

Gold is flat and silver marginally lower despite dollar weakness this morning. Some market participants are blaming the precious metal sell off on speculation that China may take more monetary action to curb surging inflation. This is unlikely to be the reason for the sharp selloff, rather it looks like another paper driven sell off in the futures market by leveraged players on Wall Street with various motives.

click for full size

The fact that silver is again in backwardation at the front end of the curve suggests that tightness in the physical bullion market continues and may even be deepening. Indeed, the massive increase in silver bullion demand from China (confirmed overnight – see below) suggests that silver’s bull market remains very much intact despite becoming overvalued in the short term towards the end of 2010.

Table Courtesy of Mitsui

Surging inflation in China, India, wider Asia and much of the world is of course positive for gold and silver as it will likely lead to an even greater appetite for the precious metals in order to protect against the ravages of inflation and the further depreciation of paper currencies. Read more…

Iran Escalates Attacks on Christians

January 23, 2011 Comments off

Joseph DeCaro

TEHRAN, Iran (Worthy News)– Last Christmas, the Iranian government began arresting Christians, raiding and ransacking their homes as they are taken to prison and interrogation.

Since December 26, anywhere from 100 to 600 Christians, often converts from Islam, have been detained without charge and without access to lawyers or family members for what the governor general of Tehran Province claims is their “corrupting” influence on society.

Along with Christians, other Iranian religious minorities — Zoroastrians, Sufis and Sh’ia — have also come under closer government scrutiny.

Reportedly, Iran’s religious minorities are increasing in large numbers because many of its Muslims will no longer tolerate their government’s intolerable version of Islam.

Categories: Iran Tags: , ,

Arctic Sea-Ice Controls the Release of Mercury

January 23, 2011 1 comment

Mercury is the most high profile atmospheric contaminant entering the Arctic because it is a potent neurotoxin that biomagnifies in food webs. In the troposphere (lower atmosphere) it is primarily present in the form of gaseous elemental mercury. Photochemical reactions during the Arctic spring (Figure 1) combine salts from sea ice and the gaseous mercury in the air to create an oxidized reactive form of mercury. This mercury is then deposited to snow and ice. These deposition events require salty sea ice and snow crystal surfaces so they are widespread in the Polar Regions.

Mercury (Hg) is the only heavy metal that is essentially found in gaseous form in the atmosphere. Since the industrial revolution, emissions of anthropogenic Hg resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels have exceeded natural emissions. Both anthropogenic emissions and natural emissions (which mainly stem from the oceans and gases released by volcanoes) reach the Polar Regions under the action of atmospheric currents. In this way, fallout from global atmospheric pollution contributes to depositing mercury in Arctic ecosystems, even though these are far away from major anthropogenic emission sources. Read more…

Michio Kaku Warns the World Citizens of Potential Mega Earthquake

January 23, 2011 Comments off

Physicist and author of “Physics of the Future” Michio Kaku warned world citizens this morning on Good Morning America about the pending threat of enormous earthquakes.

“In our life time, we could very well see one of these cities destroyed,” Kaku said. “Los Angeles, San Francisco, Mexico City, Tehran, Tokyo.”

Kaku pointed to changes in the physical structures of human civilization, and how the new composure poses many risks. “We are creating mega cities where there used to be fishing villages,” he said.

About the many disasters this year, he said: Well, look at the Chilean earthquake. You realize it was so big it actually rocked the planet earth. The axis of the earth shifted 3 inches as a result of that 8.8 earthquake. The day is no longer 24 hours, it’s been shortened by one micro-second, That’s how big that earthquake was.” 

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