Thursday, August 31, 2017

Signs of September

See also

Signs in The Heavens September 23, 2017

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6

Space Weather Message Code: WARK06 Serial Number: 393 Issue Time: 2017 Aug 31 1336 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected

Valid From: 2017 Aug 31 1337 UTC Valid To: 2017 Aug 31 1800 UTC

Warning Condition: Onset NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at Potential Impacts:

Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude. Induced Currents -

Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.

Spacecraft - Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.

Radio - HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.

Aurora - Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

Monday, August 28, 2017

National Weather Service Issues Ultra-Rare Warning to Houston


National Weather Service Issues Ultra-Rare Warning to Houston Over Flooding

ON AUGUST 28, 2017 AT 5:05AM


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Five people have been reported dead amid catastrophic flooding in Texas due to ex-Hurricane Harvey, and its downgrade into a tropical storm isn’t expected to help matters much.

Due to forecasts indicating the storm will stay stationary over southeastern Texas, many areas will receive up to 50 inches of rain — and that state of affairs prompted the National Weather Service to issue an ultra-rare, chilling warning to Houston and the surrounding areas.

“This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced,” the National Weather Service posted to its Twitter account early Sunday. “Follow orders from officials to ensure safety.”

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As the day wore on, statements from the Weather Service on its website got even more dire.

“The forward motion with Harvey has stalled. Due to this slow motion, another 15 to 25 inches of rainfall is expected through Thursday. Storm totals in some locations may approach 50 inches,” a message at the top of the Weather Service’s homepage read. “This is producing devastating flooding. Numerous Flash Flood Warnings are in effect.”

Sunday, August 27, 2017

BLOOMBERG: Global markets are in the last stage of rallies before downturn

HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley see mounting evidence that global markets are in the last stage of their rallies before a downturn in the business cycle.
Analysts at the Wall Street behemoths cite signals including the breakdown of long-standing relationships between stocks, bonds and commodities as well as investors ignoring valuation fundamentals and data. It all means stock and credit markets are at risk of a painful drop.
“Equities have become less correlated with FX, FX has become less correlated with rates, and everything has become less sensitive to oil,” Andrew Sheets, Morgan Stanley’s chief cross-asset strategist, wrote in a note published Tuesday.
His bank’s model shows assets across the world are the least correlated in almost a decade, even after U.S. stocks joined high-yield credit in a selloff triggered this month by President Donald Trump’s political standoff with North Korea and racial violence in Virginia.

Wall Street Banks Are Sending Warning Signals

We Could Be Close to a Downturn

The rally looks like it’s about to peter out, say analysts at banks like HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc., and Morgan Stanley. They’re looking at the relationships between stocks, bonds, and commodities—and they’re worried people may be ignoring fundamentals. “Just like they did in the run-up to the 2007 crisis, investors are pricing assets based on the risks specific to an individual security and industry, and shrugging off broader drivers,” Bloomberg’s Sid Verma and Cecile Gutscher report.
Societe Generale SA

U.S. Earthquakes - East Coast

Earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude strikes off PNG's northcoast:

Earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude strikes off PNG's northcoast:

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An undersea earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude struck off Papua New Guinea’s northeast coast on Sunday, but there was no tsunami threat, said the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake struck at a shallow depth of 10 km (six miles) just off PNG’s Manus Island, said the center.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake - SE of Lambasa, Fiji

M 6.4 - 254km SE of Lambasa, Fiji

17.965°S 178.850°W
538.6 km

Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake - north of Ascension Island

M6.8 - north of Ascension Island

Preliminary Earthquake Report
  • 18 Aug 2017 02:59:22 UTC
  • 18 Aug 2017 02:59:22 near epicenter
  • 17 Aug 2017 21:59:22 standard time in your timezone
Location1.103S 13.656W
Depth10 km
  • 760.1 km (471.2 mi) N of Georgetown, Saint Helena
  • 848.9 km (526.3 mi) SW of Greenville, Liberia
  • 870.3 km (539.6 mi) SSW of Buchanan, Liberia
  • 878.1 km (544.4 mi) SSW of Monrovia, Liberia
  • 897.0 km (556.1 mi) SW of Harper, Liberia

Friday, August 18, 2017

Virginia: Muslim screamed “Allahu akbar” after donating to ISIS; planned local attack

Virginia: Muslim screamed “Allahu akbar” at news he’d helped buy rocket-propelled grenade for ISIS

“In 2016, Williams also shared plans of a martyrdom operation with a woman outside the U.S. and requested more information about specific types of AK-47 ammunition from an FBI confidential source. He told the FBI employee that the information was for a ‘local’ operation.”
So he was evidently plotting a jihad massacre inside the U.S. Williams appears to be yet another convert to Islam who gets the idea that his new religion calls upon him to commit treason and mass murder. Authorities remain indifferent to this phenomenon.
“Virginia man pleads guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS,” Washington Examiner, August 16, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
A Virginia man pleaded guilty Wednesday to terrorism charges for his efforts to provide material support to the Islamic State, according to the Department of Justice.
Lionel Williams, 27, of Suffolk, Va., attempted to send money on two separate occasions to an individual he believed was an ISIS financier, according to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement. The individual was actually an undercover FBI employee, who told Williams his donation had assisted purchasing a rocket-propelled grenade.
In response to this news, Williams said, “Praise be to Allah, and Allah is the Greatest.”
Court documents reveal Williams’ interest in ISIS has existed since 2014, and he purchased an AK-27 assault rifle on Dec. 3, 2015 — immediately following the San Bernardino terrorist attack.
Additionally, Williams’ social media accounts show his support for ISIS. In March 2016, he posted his support for ISIS and expressed his desire for ISIS to take over the U.S. Furthermore, he said he would decapitate law enforcement agents that might have him under surveillance.
In 2016, Williams also shared plans of a martyrdom operation with a woman outside the U.S. and requested more information about specific types of AK-47 ammunition from an FBI confidential source. He told the FBI employee that the information was for a “local” operation….

Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: What we know so far

There have been two attacks in Spain's Catalonia region involving people driving cars at crowds at high-speeds.
Here is what we know so far.

What happened?

On Thursday afternoon at 16:50 local time (14:50 GMT) a white van smashed into people on Las Ramblas, a famous boulevard in central Barcelona that runs 1.2km (0.75 miles) and was packed with tourists.
The van driver is said to have zig-zagged to try and hit as many people as possible along the pedestrianised area, knocking many to the floor and sending others fleeing for cover in shops and cafes.
He killed 13 people and injured more than 100, and managed to flee the scene.
Spanish police have described it as a terror attack.

Barcelona map

What was the second attack?

About eight hours later, an Audi A3 car ploughed into pedestrians in the popular seaside resort town of Cambrils, 110km (68 miles) south-west of Barcelona.
Six civilians were injured, one critically, and a police officer was hurt too.
Five attackers, some of whom appeared to be wearing suicide belts, were then shot by police. Four died at the scene and one later died of his injuries.
Controlled explosions were carried out and authorities later said the explosive belts were fake.
Both the Las Ramblas and Cambrils attacks are believed to be linked.

Who has been arrested?

On Thursday, one person from Spain's north African enclave of Melilla was arrested in Alcanar and a Moroccan was arrested in Ripoll. Both are towns in Catalonia - the same region as Barcelona.
Police say neither of the pair arrested was the driver.
Documents belonging to the Moroccan, 28-year-old Driss Oubakir, were allegedly used to rent the van used in the Las Ramblas attack but local media report he says his papers were stolen and used without his knowledge.
He arrived in Barcelona from Morocco on 13 August, the El Pais newspaper reports, citing police sources.
On Friday, police announced another arrest in Ripoll. It remains unclear how many people were involved in the plots.

Weren't there other incidents too?

On Thursday evening at 19:30 local time, a car was driven into officers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Barcelona.
The car was later found with a dead man inside it, but the interior ministry has denied earlier reports he was killed by police gunfire. He is not believed to be linked to the Las Ramblas attack, officials say, but investigations are ongoing
On Wednesday night, an explosion completely destroyed a house in Alcanar, 200km south of Barcelona, killing one person and wounding seven.

Media captionWhat was it like to be caught up in the Barcelona attack?

The house was filled with bottles of propane and butane, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported (in Spanish).
That incident is believed to be connected to Thursday's events.

Who are the victims?

They come from all over the world, with at least 24 nationalities represented.
People from Ireland, France, Australia, China, Pakistan, Venezuela, Algeria, Peru, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines are all reported to be among the victims.
Belgium said one of its citizens was killed and France said 26 of its nationals were injured, 11 seriously. The Australian government said at least four citizens were injured.

Who is responsible?

So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it was behind the Las Ramblas attack and that IS "soldiers" carried it out. But it did not provide any evidence or details to back up the claim.

Why Spain?

The country is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations but in recent years has not seen the kind of jihadist violence that has rocked France, the UK, Belgium and Germany.
Still, Spain has been targeted before - several trains in Madrid, the capital, were bombed by al-Qaeda inspired militants in 2004, killing 191 people.
The IS news agency, Amaq, said the attack was carried out as part of efforts to target states fighting in the US-led anti-IS coalition.
A few hundred Spanish soldiers are in Iraq, training local forces fighting the Sunni militant group.

How much jihadist activity is there in the country?

The number of operations carried out against jihadists has increased significantly since Spain raised its terror alert level to four out of five in June 2015, meaning there was "high risk" of a terror attack.
Before these attacks, 51 suspected jihadists had already been detained in the country this year, while 69 were detained last year, and 75 were detained in 2015, according to El Pais.
Security and surveillance was stepped up in the wake of truck attacks in the French city of Nice in July 2016 and the German capital Berlin in December.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Water ice found near Mars’s equator

Water ice found near Mars’s equator could entice colonists and life-seekers

By Sid PerkinsAug. 16, 2017 , 1:45 PM
Scientists have discovered substantial deposits of water ice buried in shallow soils near Mars’s equator. The find could spur hopes for astrobiologists seeking life on Mars or future colonists seeking a supply of water, but it also raises a mystery for climate scientists.

The findings come from a reanalysis of data from NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft, which began orbiting Mars in 2001 and is the oldest functioning mission at the planet. One of Odyssey’s instruments measures the neutrons kicked up from the martian surface by cosmic rays striking the planet. From these neutron counts, scientists can infer the amount of hydrogen—and thus, presumably, the amount of water—present in the uppermost meter or so of soil. In small amounts, the water can take many forms—either in hydrated minerals or as small ice particles stuck between particles of sand or silt. But when the inferred abundances rise above 26%—as they do in some regions—scientists are pretty sure that bulk ice sits just below the surface, says Jack Wilson, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

That Mars holds stores of ice is not news. At the poles, there are permanent caps made up of frozen water and carbon dioxide. And as far back as 2002, researchers using Odyssey’s neutron instrument reported evidence of water in the subsurface at high latitudes. The evidence was strong enough that NASA sent the Phoenix lander to explore these regions. When the lander’s robotic arm scratched at the hardscrabble soil in 2008, it found ice just below.

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected

Space Weather Message Code: WARK06 Serial Number: 391 Issue Time: 2017 Aug 17 1151 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6

Valid From: 2017 Aug 17 1150 UTC Valid To: 2017 Aug 17 1500 UTC

Warning Condition: Onset NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate NOAA Space Weather

Scale descriptions can be found at

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude. Induced Currents - Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.

Spacecraft - Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible. Radio - HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.

Aurora - Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heyer’s Dad Forgives Charlottesville Driver

Heather Heyer’s Dad Forgives Charlottesville Driver: ‘He Don’t Know No Better’

Associate Editor
9:49 AM 08/15/2017

The father of the woman killed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend forgave the man who killed his daughter and cited the Bible in calling for more forgiveness from all sides of the political spectrum.

“My daughter was a strong woman who had passionate opinions about the equality of everyone and she tried to stand up for that. And for her it wasn’t lip service, it was real. It was something that she wanted to share with everyone,” Mark Heyer said in an interview with a local news outlet on Monday. Mark’s daughter, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, died on Saturday after 20-year-old James Fields drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. (RELATED: Mother Of Charlottesville Victim Thanks Trump For Condemning Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists)

“And my thoughts with all of this stuff is that people need to stop hating and they need to forgive each other. I include myself in that in forgiving the guy that did this. He don’t know no better. I just think about what the Lord said on the cross. Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing,” Mark Heyer said.

“My daughter’s life — I’m proud of her. I’m proud of her for standing up. She had more courage than I did. She had a stubborn backbone that if she thought she was right she would stand there and defy you. But if I understand her, she wanted to do it peacefully and with a fierceness of heart that comes with her conviction,” he added.

“I hope all this stuff that’s come out isn’t twisted into something negative but there comes a positive change in people’s hearts, in their thinking, in their understanding of their neighbor. We just need to forgive each other. And I just hope that’s what comes out of all this.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Virginia State Police Family Mourns The Loss of Two Pilot - Troopers

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends & colleagues of Virginia's 
Lt Cullen and Trooper Bates.

""This is a devastating loss for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the entire commonwealth...Our hearts go out to their wives and children, and we stand by to support them during this difficult time. These heroes were a part of our family and we are simply heartbroken." - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Two state police pilots killed in helicopter crash covering Charlottesville protests

Two state police pilots killed in Charlottesville helicopter crash

CHARLOTTESVILLE — A Virginia State Police helicopter helping law enforcement officers monitor the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville crashed in Albemarle County on Saturday, killing the two people on board.
The pilot, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, flying a Bell 407 helicopter, died at the scene, according to state police.
The cause of the crash, which was in a wooded area near a residence on Old Farm Road, is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, but there is no indication of foul play, state police said Saturday night.
“Our state police and law enforcement family at large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. “Lieutenant Cullen was a highly respected professional aviator and trooper-pilot Bates was a welcome addition to the Aviation Unit, after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the commonwealth.”

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

7.0 Magnitude Quake Strikes China


7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Jiuzhaigou County in SW China's Sichuan Province. No casualties reported yet

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Heatwave Lucifer is making Europe ‘hot as hell’

Heatwave Lucifer is making Europe ‘hot as hell’
Adam SmithFriday 4 Aug 2017 3:04 pm
Hot as hell: Europe weather temperature map is hotter than normal (Picture: WeatherOnline)
A heatwave called ‘Lucifer’ is causing havoc in Europe with 11 countries being issued ‘danger’ warnings over rocketing temperatures.
Across Italy, Spain, Croatia, Hungary and Southern Europe temperatures are higher than 40C which has led to forest fires, evacuations and safety fears for the vulnerable.
Many holiday destinations popular with British tourists are now warning both residents and visitors to stay in the shade and carry water at all times.
The Italians have dubbed the heatwave ‘Lucifer’ and it comes on the back of one of the longest drought’s in history.
The heatwave has caused a 15 per cent increase in hospital emergency admissions in Italy with 26 major towns and cities on the health ministry’s maximum heat alert.
Farmers are counting the cost after a prolonged drought and weather forecasters predict the hot weather is here to stay for at least another week.
In Florence the ‘perceived temperature’ which is determined by temperature, humidity and wind and has been reported at more than 50C.
In Abruzzo a 79-year-old woman was found dead in a field next to her home overcome by flames that engulfed two hectares of surrounding farmland.
A section of the Via Aurelia coastal motorway that runs northwards from Rome to the Riviera had to be closed for several hours because of a major fire near Grosseto in Tuscany.
And in Romania ‘red alerts’ have been issued after meteorologists have forecast 42C in western parts of the country.