The U.S. experienced fewer tornadoes in the past three years than any similar span since accurate records began in the 1950s. Yet meteorologists aren't sure exactly why.As this year comes to a close, about 150 fewer damaging tornadoes than average have hit the U.S., according to data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Explanations for the decrease in twisters the past three years range from unusual cold to unusual heat, or just coincidence.Despite the calmer than average years, deaths due to twisters remain near the average of 60 each year, with 68 killed in 2012, 55 in 2013 and 42 so far this year, according to the SPC. That pales in comparison with the 553 Americans killed by tornadoes in 2011.FULL STORY (http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/12/13/tornado-drought/20240063/)
Posted: December 13, 2014, 6:08 am
Sustained winds at or near hurricane strength in the highest elevations with gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour across the Sierra summit are forecast for Thursday, with Bay Area winds easily gusting past 50 miles per hour in urban areas and 70-80 miles per hour in the local mountains and hills in what could be the storm of the decade. Computer models are able to break down the exact time of highest danger. By mid-morning Thursday, models indicate winds peaking. Along the coast, 60 mile per hour winds are forecast, with higher gusts. The term “hurricane” is only used to refer to tropical storms, and is used when sustained winds reach 74 miles per hour. That level of wind strength is possible at extreme elevations above 9,000 feet and higher Thursday, according to the National Weather Service warning. (http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=mtr wwa=high%20wind%20watch) KPIX 5 chief meteorologist Paul Deanno said, “Given the long-term drought and short-term saturated ground, many trees will lose the battle with the wind on Thursday.”
Posted: December 9, 2014, 12:17 pm
'Too many nuclear weapons in the world remain ready to launch on short notice,' the military, political and diplomatic figures say Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned. Ahead of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which starts today, the experts wrote in a letter that the danger of such a conflict was “underestimated or insufficiently understood” by world leaders.The signatories include people from across the political spectrum such as former Conservative Defence Secretary Lord King, a Labour counterpart Lord Browne, former Foreign Secretaries Margaret Beckett and David Owen, and former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell. John McColl, former Nato Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Lord Richards, former Chief of the Defence Staff, and General James Cartwright, former Vice-Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, also signed the letter.
Posted: December 8, 2014, 3:26 pm
Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone. The fault zone expected to generate the next big one lies underwater between 40 and 80 miles offshore of the Pacific Northwest coastline. Earthquake scientists have listening posts along the coast from Vancouver Island to Northern California. But those onshore seismometers have detected few signs of the grinding and slipping you would expect to see as one tectonic plate dives beneath another, with the exception of the junctions on the north and south ends of what is formally known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Posted: December 5, 2014, 2:32 pm
Stephen Hawking: Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded Read more (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540)
Posted: December 4, 2014, 2:13 pm