Tuscaloosa tornado

Ala. governor: Tornado kills at least 131, with death toll likely to rise
09:24 AM

usatoday.com

By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY

Update at 11:07 a.m. ET: The death toll throughout the region hit at least 209. The breakdown: 131 confirmed deaths in Alabama, 32 in Mississippi, 24 in Tennessee, 13 in Georgia, eight in Virginia and one in Kentucky.

Original post: Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama says 131 people are confirmed dead from Wednesday night’s tornadoes, and the death toll is likely to rise.

In addition, 32 deaths were reported in Mississippi, 15 in Tennessee, 13 in Georgia, eight in Virginia and one in Kentucky from the massive storm system.

At least 200 were killed in the region in the worst such outbreak in nearly 40 years.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said it received 137 tornado reports around the region into Wednesday night.

Watch: Tornado slams into Tuscaloosa

Bentley says 1 million people in Alabama are without power from the storm that caused “massive destruction of property,” he says.

Bentley has mobilized 1,400 Alabama National Guardsmen.

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Psalm 91
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

“They” have no answers… (Update… 2011 year of record breakers)

Tornado Season Intensifies, Without Clear Scientific Consensus on Why
By A. G. SULZBERGER
Published: April 25, 2011

www.nytimes.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All the warning sirens echoing across the Great Plains, Midwest and Southeast this month leave little doubt that the tornado season — which has plowed a trail of destruction through communities from Oklahoma to Wisconsin to Georgia — is off to an unusually busy start.

So far this year, tornadoes have killed 41 people and torn apart countless neighborhoods and, this weekend, one major airport.

Now, as the country braces for several more days of potentially violent weather, meteorologists say the number of April tornadoes is on track to top the current record. There have been, according to preliminary estimates, about 250 tornadoes so far this month and, in all likelihood, more are still to come, said Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

“It’s unusual but it does happen,” said Howard Bluestein, a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma who specializes in tornado research. “This isn’t a sign that the world is about to end.”

Those same experts note that drawing conclusions about the true size of, or reason for, an increase in tornado activity is difficult because historical statistics are unreliable due to changes in the way storms are tracked and measured.

Although the average number of April tornadoes steadily increased from 74 a year in the 1950s to 163 a year in the 2000s, nearly all of the increase is of the least powerful tornadoes that may touch down briefly without causing much damage. That suggests better reporting is largely responsible for the increase.

There are, on average, 1,300 tornadoes each year in the United States, which have caused an average of 65 deaths annually in recent years.

The number of tornadoes rated from EF1 to EF5 on the enhanced Fujita scale, used to measure tornado strength, has stayed relatively constant for the past half century at about 500 annually. But in that time the number of confirmed EF0 tornadoes has steadily increased to more than 800 a year from less than 100 a year, said Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

In April 1974, for example, there was a record 267 tornadoes reported, but the actual number that occurred is believed to be closer to 500.

“Today we seem to know about every single tree branch knocked down,” Mr. Carbin said. “We have eyes everywhere, and we have radar and satellite. It would be very difficult for a tornado to sneak through unnoticed.”

Tornadoes form when warm moist air combines with powerful dynamic winds inside a thunderstorm, sending a funnel cloud spinning toward the ground. They are most common in spring, typically peaking in May.

Though scientists believe that climate change will contribute to increasingly severe weather phenomena, including hurricanes and thunderstorms, there is little consensus about how it may affect tornadoes.

It remains unclear, partly because of the lack of historical data and partly because of their unpredictable nature, whether they will increase in number or strength or geographic range.

The large number of tornadoes so far may simply reflect normal variability, said Mr. Brooks.

Those assurances do not mean much to people like Kandice Shaw, a frequent business traveler who arrived at her hometown airport in St. Louis to find most of the windows boarded up and many other signs of storm damage. She worried about the increase in violent weather this spring. “We’ve had nothing but tornadoes,” she said. “I feel like I’m living in the Land of Oz.”

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Malachi 3:18
So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

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Update… 2011 year of record breakers…

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2011: Year of the flood

www.worldweatherpost.com

Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog – Friday, January 21, 2011, 10:21

The year 2010 was one the worst years in world history for high-impact floods. But just three weeks into the new year, 2011 has already had an entire year’s worth of mega-floods. I’ll recap here six remarkable floods that have already occurred this year.

Brazil…

Brazil suffered its deadliest natural disaster in history last week, when torrential rains inundated a heavily populated, steep-sloped area about 40 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. Flash floods and mudslides from the heavy rains have claimed at least 772 lives, including 357 in Nova Friburgo and 323 in Teresópolis. The storm left 126 people missing, the Brazilian Health and Civil Defense Ministry said Thursday. Rainfall amounts of approximately 300 mm (12 inches) fell in just a few hours in the hardest-hit regions. Damage estimates are currently $1.2 billion, and 13,000 are homeless. Latest rainfall forecasts from the GFS model show the heaviest rains during the coming week staying well south of the Rio de Janeiro area, which will give the flood region time to dry out and recover.

Australia Queensland…

Australia’s most expensive natural disaster in history is now the Queensland flood of 2010 – 2011, with a price tag now as high as $30 billion. At least 31 have been killed since December in the floods, and another 40 are missing. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, in 2010 Australia had its wettest spring (September – November) since records began 111 years ago, with some sections of coastal Queensland receiving over 4 feet (1200 mm) of rain. Rainfall in Queensland and all of eastern Australia in December was the greatest on record, and the year 2010 was the rainiest year on record for Queensland. Queensland typically has its rainiest years when La Niña events occur, due to the much warmer than average ocean temperatures that occur along the coast. The BOM noted, “Previous strong La Niña events, such as those of 1974 and 1955, have also been associated with widespread and severe flooding in eastern Australia. Sea surface temperatures off the Queensland coast in recent months have also been at or near record levels.” The BOM’s annual summary also reported, “Sea surface temperatures in the Australian region during 2010 were the warmest value on record for the Australian region. Individual high monthly sea surface temperature records were also set during 2010 in March, April, June, September, October, November and December. Along with favourable hemispheric circulation associated with the 2010 La Niña, very warm sea surface temperatures contributed to the record rainfall and very high humidity across eastern Australia during winter and spring.” Queensland has an area the size of Germany and France combined, and 3/4 of the region has been declared a disaster zone. The latest GFS precipitation forecast for the coming week shows new heavy rains of 3 – 5 inches can be expected over the extreme northern portion of Queensland, but the majority of the state will receive lesser rains that should not further aggravate the flooding situation.

Australia Victoria…

From January 12 – 14, extremely heavy rains over the southern Australian state of Victoria caused major flooding that killed one person and caused hundreds of millions in damage. Kevin Parkyn, a senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology said “Victoria is experiencing one of its worst flood events in its history” after “a week in which rainfall totals have been smashed in parts of Victoria”. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Terry Ryan said “It’s the worst flood in western Victoria in their history as far as our records go in terms of the depth of water and the number of places affected.” According to atmospheric moisture expert Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, extratropical storm systems like the one that affected Victoria get 70% of their moisture from the surrounding atmosphere, and 30% due to evaporation from the surface. Since the airmass that supplied Victoria with its flooding rains traveled over the already-flooded portions of Queensland to the north before reaching Victoria, the moisture from the Queensland floods contributed significantly to the Victoria floods. Little rain is predicted over Victoria during the coming week, fortunately.

100-year flood in Sri Lanka…

As I reported in my previous post, at least 43 are dead and damage estimates are at $500 million in Sri Lanka, which suffered a 1-in-100 year flood this month.

South Africa…

Heavy rains of up 345 mm (13.6″) have fallen in South Africa so far this month, resulting in deadly floods that have killed 40 people. Seven of the country’s nine provinces have been declared disaster zones. Agricultural damage alone from the floods is estimated at $145 million. Heavy rains and severe flooding have also affected neighboring Mozambique, where 13 people are dead and 13,000 homeless or suffering damaged homes. Neighboring Zimbabwe has seen its heaviest rains in 30 years in recent weeks, according to the nation’s Civil Protection Unit, but severe flooding has not yet hit that nation. La Niña events commonly cause heavy rains in southern Africa. Sea surface temperatures off the east coast of South Africa were 0.2 – 0.4°C above average during December 2010–nowhere near record levels, but warm enough to contribute to enhanced rainfall.

Philippines…

Very heavy rains since late December have triggered a major flooding disaster in the Philippines, where 40 are dead, 453,000 people displaced, and 1.2 million people affected. The heavy rains were caused when a cold front moved over the eastern Philippines and lingered for many days. Heavy rains are common in the Philippines during La Niña events, as unusually warm waters accumulate by the islands. This winter, the waters in the central Philippines (10N to 15N, 120E to 130E) were at the warmest levels in history–1.0°C above average during December. The exceptionally warm waters allowed more moisture than usual to evaporate into the air, enhancing rainfall.

Commentary…

The year 2011 has begun with a remarkable number of high-impact floods world-wide, and much of the blame for this can be placed on the current La Niña event occurring in the Eastern Pacific. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center currently puts the La Niña event in the “strong” category, and whenever a La Niña or El Niño event reaches the strong category, major perturbations to global weather patterns occur. This typically results in record or near-record flooding in one or more regions of the globe. When one combines the impact of La Niña with the increase of global ocean temperatures of 0.5°C (0.9°F) over the past 50 years, which has put 4% more water vapor into the atmosphere since 1970, the result is a much increased chance of unprecedented floods. A 4% increase in atmospheric moisture may not sound like much, but it turns out that precipitation will increase by about 8% with that 4% moisture increase. Critically, it is the extreme rainfall events that tend to supply the increased rainfall. For example, (Groisman et al., 2004) found a 20% increase in very heavy (top 1%) precipitation events over the U.S. in the past century, and a 36% rise in cold season (October – April) “extreme” precipitation events (those in the 99.9% percentile–1 in 1000 events. These extreme rainfall events are the ones most likely to cause floods.

References…

Groisman, P.Y., R.W. Knight, T.R. Karl, D.R. Easterling, B. Sun, and J.H. Lawrimore, 2004, “Contemporary Changes of the Hydrological Cycle over the Contiguous United States: Trends Derived from In Situ Observations,” J. Hydrometeor., 5, 64.85.

Milly, P.C.D., R.T. Wetherald, K.A. Dunne, and T.L.Delworth, Increasing risk of great floods in a changing climate”, Nature 415, 514-517 (31 January 2002) | doi:10.1038/415514a.

Santer, B.D., C. Mears, F. J. Wentz, K. E. Taylor, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, T. P. Barnett, J. S. Boyle, W. Brüggemann, N. P. Gillett, S. A. Klein, G. A. Meehl, T. Nozawa, D. W. Pierce, P. A. Stott, W. M. Washington, and M. F. Wehner, 2007, “Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content”, PNAS 2007 104: 15248-15253.

Trenberth, K.E., J. Fasullo, and L. Smith, 2005: “Trends and variability in column-integrated atmospheric water vapor”, Climate Dynamics 24, 741-758.

Jeff Masters

The Sun is neutralizing radiation (among other things) ???

Malachi 4:2
“But for you who fear My name(JESUS CHRIST), the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall…

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Terrifying scientific discovery: Strange emissions by sun are suddenly mutating matter…
Posted on October 5, 2010 by rockingjude

www.projectworldawareness.com

BY TERRENCE AYM

The angry sun

For months mounting fear has driven researchers to wring their hands over the approaching solar storms. Some have predicted devastating solar tsunamis that could wipe away our advanced technology, others voiced dire warnings that violent explosions on the surface of the sun could reach out to Earth, breach our magnetic field, and expose billions to high intensity X-rays and other deadly forms of cancer-causing radiation.

Now evidence has surfaced that something potentially more dangerous is happening deep within the hidden core of our life-giving star: never-before-seen particles—or some mysterious force—is being shot out from the sun and it’s hitting Earth.

Whatever it is, the evidence suggests it’s affecting all matter.

Strange and unknown

Alarmed physicists first became aware of this threat over the past several years. Initially dismissed as an anomaly, now frantic scientists are shooting e-mails back and forth to colleagues across the world attempting to grasp exactly what is happening to the sun.

Something impossible has happened. Yet the “impossible” has been proven to be true. Laboratories around the globe have confirmed that the rate of radioactive decay—once thought to be a constant and a bedrock of science—is no longer a constant. Something being emitted from the sun is interacting with matter in strange and unknown ways with the startling potential to dramatically change the nature of the very Earth itself.

Exactly what has scientists so on edge is the fact that the natural rate of decay of atomic particles has always been predictable. Indeed, using the decay rate of Carbon-14 has been a method to date archeological artifacts. The process, known as carbon dating, measures the quantity of Carbon-14 within organic objects. According to the numbers, Carbon-14 has a specific half-life of 5,730 years. Physicists have proven through exhaustive observation and experimentation over the course of a century that it takes 5,730 years for Carbon-14 atoms to decay into a stable Nitrogen-14.

The values don’t change—or at least they never have in the past. With certain evidence that radioactive decay can be significantly affected by an unknown effect from the sun, much of science is turned on its head.

Rate of decay speeding up

Worst of all, if the decay rates of matter are being mutated then all matter on Earth is being affected including the matter that makes up life.

The mutation may go so far as to change the underlying reality of the quantum universe—and by extrapolation-the nature of life, the principles of physics, perhaps even the uniform flow of time.

In fact, some evidence of time dilation has been gleaned from close observation of the decay rate. If particles interacting with the matter are not the cause—and matter is being affected by a new force of nature-then time itself may be speeding up and there’s no way to stop it.

Neutrinos the cause?

Researchers have correlated the anomalies in the decay rate to a 33-day period. That time frame matches the 33-day rotation of the solar core. Such a match strains credulity as being a mere coincidence.

Since the sun’s core is known to blast out continuous streams of particles called neutrinos, some scientists are attempting to find evidence that neutrinos are the culprits behind the mutation of matter.

There’s a problem with that hypothesis, however, as neutrinos are like ghost particles. They’re extremely difficult to detect. Normally, neutrinos pass through the Earth without any interaction at all. To a neutrino, it’s as if the Earth doesn’t exist.

Other than discovering a previously unknown property of neutrinos, or finding a new particle altogether, the possibility exists that no particle is behind the changes recorded in the radioactive decay rates. What could be causing the phenomenon is a previously unknown force.

Unknown dangers

As the sun builds towards solar maximum and a period of dangerous intensity never experienced by any living person inexorably approaches, strange, uncontrollable forces could be building deep within its fiery nuclear furnace.

It’s already been proven that the sun’s mass warps time, bends light waves and accounts for mutation of species on Earth. Now this new force may be directly interacting with matter in a way that could not only change Mankind’s understanding of physics, but change Mankind itself…and not necessarily in a beneficial way.

Yes, the e-mails will continue to fly and the hands will continue to wring. But in the end, we are all just observers.

Whether the phenomenon has no real impact on humanity, or the worst impact imaginable, nothing can be done to stop it. Once again, the titanic forces of nature rear up to overwhelm our technology—and we find ourselves like the playthings of gods.

Utterly helpless.

Sources

Is the Sun Emitting a Mystery Particle, Ian O’Neill, Discovery News

The Sun Influences the Decay of Radioactive Elements,Tudor Vieru, Softpedia

Mysteriously, Solar Activity Found to Influence Behavior of Radioactive Materials On Earth, Rebecca Boyle, POSCI

As_I_Please writes“Scientists at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and Purdue University have ruled out neutrino flux as a cause of previously observed fluctuations in nuclear decay rates. From the article: ‘Researchers … tested this by comparing radioactive gold-198 in two shapes, spheres and thin foils, with the same mass and activity. Gold-198 releases neutrinos as it decays. The team reasoned that if neutrinos are affecting the decay rate, the atoms in the spheres should decay more slowly than the atoms in the foil because the neutrinos emitted by the atoms in the spheres would have a greater chance of interacting with their neighboring atoms. The maximum neutrino flux in the sample in their experiments was several times greater than the flux of neutrinos from the sun. The researchers followed the gamma-ray emission rate of each source for several weeks and found no difference between the decay rate of the spheres and the corresponding foils.’ The paper can be found here on arXiv. Slashdot has previously covered the original announcement and followed up with the skepticism of other scientists.”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/09/25/0254219/Scientists-Confirm-Nuclear-Decay-Rate-Constancy
The Sun Can Lob Curveballs

Sandy Koufax has a solar equivalent. The great former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher was famous for his ferocious curveball. Now scientists have discovered that powerful bursts of magnetism emanating from sunspots near the poles of the sun can be arced back toward Earth by the solar magnetic field. The finding creates another potential headache for people who run or rely on GPS satellites, telecommunications networks, and power grids, but it also means more reliable warnings about these electromagnetic disturbances.

The sun’s coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are of more than just scientific interest. When these gigantic bursts of electrically charged, extremely hot gas particles hit satellites, they can disrupt TV and radio transmissions, GPS signals, and cell phone calls. They can also overload electric power grids on the ground and pose a radiation hazard for astronauts in orbit. One recent U.S. National Academy of Sciences study of the potential hazards from a major CME hitting Earth estimated that the damage could total more than a trillion dollars and require up to 10 years to repair. Scientists have spent years attempting to track CMEs and provide enough warning to allow precautions, such as placing satellites in temporary safe modes.

So an international team analyzing data from NASA’s twin STEREO spacecrafts, which provide three-dimensional observations of solar activity, made an important discovery when they noticed something that had been predicted but never observed: CMEs launched into space from the sun’s high latitudes following trajectories that brought them back toward the solar system’s equatorial plane—where Earth resides. “We were really surprised and thought something might be wrong with our algorithms,” says solar physicist Peter Gallagher of Trinity College Dublin.

Further analyses revealed, however, that the curving solar storm tracks were accurate. CMEs emerging from sunspots located at latitudes of 60˚ or higher, north and south, can have their tracks bent by the sun’s magnetic field and pushed out toward the planets by the 500-kilometer-per-second solar wind. Gallagher and colleagues report this week in Nature Communications that the magnetic fields of CMEs also affect their trajectories. These fields tend to rotate, and their rotation can either sharpen the curve of the trajectory or flatten it out, depending on whether the CME is traveling slower or faster than the solar wind at the moment. The result is that, just like the breaking curveballs by a Major League pitcher, the bent tracks of CMEs can vary.

Gallagher, who used to compile solar-activity warnings for NASA, says the findings mean that space-weather forecasters need to watch high-latitude ejections more carefully. The normal reaction when CMEs emerge from the polar regions has been to think “that they’re going to miss us.” The new data show that isn’t the case.

The imaging process the researchers have developed to track CMEs is “quite innovative,” says Madhulika Guhathakurta, a solar physicist with NASA’s STEREO mission in Washington, D.C. The ability to track even curving CMEs through space “is of great benefit to forecasters of space weather,” adds Guhathakurta, who was not involved in the research.

The researchers have “clearly shown that [solar] storms launched initially at high latitudes can still affect us at Earth,” says solar physicist William Thompson, a contractor for the STEREO mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Thompson adds that although scientists have long known solar storms can change directions while close to the sun, “it was surprising to find that this can still be the case farther along [in their] journey.”

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Psalm 91
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.