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Mysterious ‘Booming Sounds’ Heard Around World Perplex Scientists

September 15, 2011 1 comment
Perseid meteor shower amateur photoBrian Emfinger photographed this early Perseid meteor shower fireball, with a smoke trail, from Ozark, Arkansas just after midnight on Sunday, July 26, 2009. CREDIT: Brian Emfinger, used with permission (more photos: http://www.realclearwx.com).

Mysterious booming sounds are occasionally heard on the North Carolina coast, often powerful enough to rattle windows and doors. They cannot be explained by thunderstorms or any manmade sources — their source is a mystery.

Such dins are not unique to North Carolina or the modern age. People living near Seneca Lake in upstate New York have long known of similar booming sounds, which they called “Seneca guns.” In coastal Belgium, they are known as “mistpouffers,” or fog belches; in the Ganges delta and the Bay of Bengal, “Bansal guns;” in the Italian Apennines, “brontidi,” or thunder-like; and by the Harami people of Shikoku, Japan, “yan.”

“What’s going on is an interesting challenge, whatever it might be,” said seismologist David Hill, scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey office in Menlo Park, Calif.

Long list of explanations

A host of plausible explanations may now exist for these enigmas, including Read more…

Heat wave chokes southern U.S.

August 5, 2011 Comments off

thestar

The suffocating heat wave sweeping the southern U.S. that has led to at least four deaths and left farmers’ fields bone dry shows no signs of abating as temperatures continue to reach record highs and electricity demand threatens to cripple the power grid.

The National Weather Service issued yet more excessive heat warnings Thursday for most of the southern plains, where the temperature in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas reached as high as 43C, without the humidex.

Southern parts of California and Arizona in the west and Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas in the east also fell under heat advisories, while municipalities and counties scrambled to open cooling centres and make house calls on vulnerable residents.

Dallas marked its 34th straight day of temperatures over 38C, while on Wednesday, Fort Smith, Ark., saw the temperature reach 46C without the humidex, breaking a record of 42C set back in 1896.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, Florida residents are bracing for the Read more…

Drought by area impacted is worst ever – though majority of US still drought free

August 2, 2011 Comments off

wattsupwiththat

From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln , a new record in the 12 year old drought monitor.

US sets drought monitor’s ‘exceptional drought’ record in July

Worst classification for drought in nearly 12 percent of contiguous US

US Drought Monitor, July 26, 2011

The percent of contiguous U.S. land area experiencing exceptional drought in July reached the highest levels in the history of the U.S. Drought Monitor, an official at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said.

Nearly 12 percent of the contiguous United States fell into the “exceptional” classification during the month, peaking at 11.96 percent on July 12. That level of exceptional drought had never before been seen in the monitor’s 12-year history, said Brian Fuchs, UNL assistant geoscientist and climatologist at the NDMC.

The monitor uses a ranking system that Read more…

Flooding forces more evacuations along Mississippi, Ohio rivers

May 6, 2011 Comments off

cnn

Authorities ordered more evacuations near the Mississippi and Ohio rivers as floodwaters continued to surge southward early Friday, inundating farmlands, highways and homes.

The east-central Arkansas towns of Cotton Plant, Gregory and McClelland were under mandatory evacuations, a spokesman for the state’s emergency management department said.

Waters toppled at least one levee in the area, prompting the evacuation order, the spokesman said. The order affected about 1,000 residents from the three small towns.

In Memphis, Tennessee, riverside parks were flooded and the Shelby County Office of Preparedness warned that homes on the upscale Mud Island were among the 2,832 properties that could be affected by flooding.

“There’s nothing you can do to stop it,” said Ben Ferguson, a syndicated talk show host who lives on the island.

Floods prompted authorities to close more than 20 miles of westbound Interstate 40 in eastern Arkansas. The eastbound stretch of Read more…

Mississippi River nears highest level since ’37

April 26, 2011 Comments off

chicagobreakingnews

VICKSURG, Miss. — The National Weather Service has forecast that the Mississippi River will crest at 52.5 feet in Vicksburg on May 13, the highest level since 1937.”We’ve got water coming down on top of heavy rain,” Marty Pope, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, told the Vicksburg Post.”It’s looking pretty bad right now. We have lots of rain to come, too.”

The Mississippi River at Cairo, Ill., at the confluence with the Ohio River, stood at 53.5 feet overnight Sunday, 13.5 feet above flood stage, and it was predicted to crest there May 3 at 60 feet.

The stage at Vicksburg stood at 39.2 feet Monday. It reached 43.3 feet on March 31.

In 1937, the Mississippi River topped out at 53.2 feet. In 2008, the river reached 50.9 feet, the highest since 1973 when it reached 51.6 feet.

The benchmark 1927 flood reached 56.2 feet on today’s gauges.

Pope said that 5 to 8 inches of rain were predicted over the next three days from Read more…

March 9.0 Japanese quake set off tremors around the world

April 19, 2011 1 comment

ouramazingplanet

earthquake magnitude comparison

The earthquake that launched a series of disasters in Japan in March triggered micro-quakes and tremors around the world, scientists find.

The catastrophic magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off the coast of the Tohoku region of Japan March 11 set off tremors mostly in places of past seismic activity, including southwest Japan, Taiwan, the Aleutians and mainland Alaska, Vancouver Island in Canada, Washington state, Oregon, central California and the central United States. It was unlikely that any of these events exceeded magnitude 3.

Researchers noted, however, that temblors also were detected in Cuba. “Seismologists had never seen tremor in Cuba, so this is an exciting new observation,” Justin Rubinstein, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at Menlo Park, Calif., told OurAmazingPlanet.

Part of the excitement of the find is the insight it could add into the inner workings of earthquakes.

“Studying long-range triggering may help us to better understand the underlying physics of how earthquakes start,” explained seismologist Zhigang Peng at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Quakes where normally quiet

Most of these micro-earthquakes and tremors occurred in places that already had high background levels of seismic activity, including California’s Geysers Geothermal Field and the San Andreas Fault. Some of the quakes occurred in low-activity areas, such as central Nebraska, central Arkansas and near Beijing.

“Seismologists generally think of the central U.S. as relatively Read more…

Ex-FEMA chief says Arkansas should prepare for quakes

March 18, 2011 Comments off

arkansasonline.com

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency director James Lee Witt is urging Arkansans to better prepare for major earthquakes in light of the natural disaster that’s ravaging Japan.

Witt made the comments at a rotary club gathering in downtown Little Rock on Tuesday.

He says that people in Arkansas need to make sure that the state’s bridges, schools and nursing homes are capable of withstanding earthquakes, especially with a rash of quakes hitting the towns of Greenbrier and Guy and the presence of the New Madrid Fault in northeast Arkansas, where seismologists say a major quake could occur any time.

President Bill Clinton appointed Witt to head FEMA in 1993. He’s now considered one of the nation’s go-to guys for disaster response.