March 28, 2014

Disaster Kit Recommendations - Forcasting Weather Without Technology

Disaster Kit Recommendations

  • Generally speaking clouds that are high and white colored mean good weather, whereas clouds that are dark and low indicate bad weather.
  • Clouds that are visibly moving in different directions (I.E. Some moving West to East VS East to West) means bad weather is coming.
  • High wispy like clouds (Cirrus)  usually mean bad weather within the next thirty-six hours.
  • If there is dew in the grass in the early morning it's not likely that it will rain that day, whereas if there isn't dewy it means it will likely be cloudy and may rain. 
  • A red sky in the morning usually means rain on the way, whereas a red tinged sky at night means the weather will be nice.
  • If you see a rainbow in the western sky, rain is likely on the way, to the east- it has already passed you.
  • If birds are flying high, good weather is present. If the birds start flying low, or perching it usually means low pressure system is on the way.
  • Chances are if you smell and/or hear the outdoors more than you normally do, rain is on the way.
  • If smoke moves straight up, good weather will stay. If the smoke moves up and then gets pushed down or sideways a storm is likely approaching.
  • Any storm systems in the west have likely not made it to you yet and will. Whereas storms that lie to the east have likely already passed you by.
  • If there's a ring around the moon, there's moisture in the air.
  • Leaves that are facing upwards (with the darker side facing the sun) mean good weather, whereas if the lighter side was visible you should expect some rainy/windy weather.
  • You can tell the temperature by counting a crickets chirps. Count the chirps for 14 seconds and then add 40 to the number, the temperature should be right within a couple of degrees.
  • A late night temperature rise usually means a storms approaching.
  • Wind blowing east to west mean an approaching front and winds blowing west to east mean good weather.
  • Wood and natural materials tend to swell before a storm arrives.
  • Cloud cover on a winter night means a milder morning, whereas clear nights often give way to cooler mornings.

Clouds can tell you a great deal about
what kind of weather to expect:

  • Cumulonimbus/Altonimbus/Nimbus/Mammatus/Nimbostratus clouds means bad weather.
  • Cirrus/Altocumulus clouds mean bad weather in the next couple days.
  • Cirrus/Altocumulus clouds in the same day means bad weather tomorrow.
  • Cumulus clouds usually mean good weather.
  • Stratus clouds usually mean a chance of rain/snow.

Happy Forecasting!
(&& Remember not be be as hard on yourself as you are on the Weather Man ;)

xoxo disaster girl

March 21, 2014

Threat Still Looms for New Madrid Seismic Zone

Threat Still Looms for New Madrid Seismic Zone,

In a study published in late January of 2014 in both Science Mag and through the USGS Newsroom, two USGS Seismologists Morgan Page and Susan Hough argue that the recent activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone is not aftershocks but in fact new earthquakes building new pressure. This isn't a new threat though, the USGS publicly released an article on the New Madrid Seismic Zone still being a concern way back in 2009- 5 years ago. That threat has not gone away.

Rolling Under New Madrid

"During 1811–1812, the New Madrid Seismic Zone experienced a sequence of three large intraplate earthquakes and at least one comparably sized aftershock. There have been no earthquakes of similar magnitudes since then. Using a combination of historical data dating back to the original large events and an epidemic-type aftershock sequence model, Page and Hough (p. 762, published online 23 January) found that the current low seismicity is not part of an aftershock sequence. Instead, despite low observable deformation rates, there is ongoing accumulation of strain, leaving the potential for large earthquakes in the region." -Editor's Summary of The New Madrid Seismic Zone: Not Dead Yet


"Roadways in the Mississippi Valley of Arkansas and Missouri (such as Interstate 55) could become impassable because of bridge failures and fissuring of road surfaces. Venting of large quantities of water, sand, and mud as a result of liquefaction could flood fields and roads and disrupt agriculture for weeks to months. Flooding of farmland, where agricultural chemicals are stored onsite, could contaminate rivers and streams. Failure of levees, especially during high water, would contribute to flooding, and failures of riverbanks could make the Mississippi River and its tributaries difficult to navigate for many weeks. The City of Memphis and the surrounding metropolitan area of more than one million people would be severely impacted. Memphis has an aging infrastructure, and many of its large buildings, including unreinforced schools and fire and police stations, would be particularly vulnerable when subjected to severe ground shaking. Relatively few buildings were built using building codes that have provisions for seismic-resistant design. Soil liquefaction and related ground failures are likely to occur in downtown Memphis along the Mississippi River and along the Wolf River that passes through Memphis. The older highways and railroad bridges that cross the Mississippi River, as well as older overpasses, would likely be damaged or collapse in the event of a major New Madrid earthquake. Some of the bridges and pipelines crossing the Wolf River might be damaged or destroyed. Although Memphis is likely to be the focus of major damage in the region, St. Louis, Mo., Little Rock, Ark., and many small and medium-sized cities would also sustain damage." -USGS

"I don't agree that this area is dying out," said Morgan Page, lead study author and a geophysicist with the USGS in Pasadena, Calif. "It's not going to go off anytime soon, but we do have evidence that more stress is being built up now. Eventually, that energy will have to be released in a large earthquake." -Thanks to Active New Madrid Fault Zone, Midwest Earthquake Risk Still Looms - "Even though we can't predict earthquakes, we can predict the rates of aftershocks over time," Page explained. "The frequency of aftershocks — smaller quakes that follow the big earthquake — decreases with time, known in seismology as Omori's Law. And in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the aftershocks aren't following Omori's Law."

xoxo disaster girl

P.F.S. Links for the Curious

Threat of Earthquakes Occurring in Central United States Still Alive
New Madrid Seismic Zone Wiki
Missouri DNR Facts about New Madrid
USGS New Madrid

March 14, 2014

Cali's Water Crisis - Drought Begins Setting the Stage for the Future

California's Drought & Water Crisis
Drought Begins Setting the Stage for the Future

Facts / Events
-US Department of Agriculture declares 3 Bay Area cities 'Disaster Areas' because of drought
-On January 24th of 2014 Governor Brown declared a Drought Emergency in California
-California is already in its 3rd straight year of below average rainfall
-US Department of Agriculture's January 23rd order implemented statewide water conservations campaigns and water shortage contingency plans
-Exceptional Drought covers almost a tenth of the state.
-Officials at the State Water Projects announced that come Spring they will not be releasing any water, in an effort to preserve what is left for the rest of the year, and possible future years.
-The drought has reduced carry over water storage to the lowest levels seen since 1977
-Several records (at least 5) have been hit with record low monthly rainfall numbers
-California snow pack water content is currently 33% of the normal average
-Rivers and reserviors including the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin Rover are already below the record lows
-Mandatory Water Restrictions in the following areas: LINK TO INTERACTIVE DROUGHT MAP
-Fines and warnings have already been issued to residents and businesses, totaling well over 500 
-City officials have proposed a 2.1 Million Dollar plan to bring water to the state to ease the pain of drought
-NOAA's drought forecast for Winter-Spring of 2014 doesn't look promising for change either - Report
-As of March 4th 2014 91% of the State of California remained in Severe Drought under the Drought Monitor 
-While the recent rain and snow has definitely added to the water and snow pack levels, experts fear its too little, too late
 California's drought may just be the beginning, in 2009 a ABC TV movie titled 'Earth 2100' highlighted the worst case scenario. Its quite a show stopper, see the movie below!

Hopefully we'll change our ways..

xoxo disaster girl

March 2, 2014

Let's Look at FEMA's new ad, 'The Day Before'

'The Day Before'

"The "The Day Before" TV spot captures the day before the largest earthquake in the Bay Area on October 17,1989, which appears to be just like any other day. The campaign illustrates the importance of preparing today to help reduce the consequences of a disaster tomorrow through real people and emergencies across the country." -Leo Burnett Worldwide

Commercial Screenshot #1

Commercial Screenshot #2

If we look past the fact that this commercial is incredibly boring, it does have a valid point. Not one person on Earth can guarantee that disaster won't strike in your life tomorrow, so it's best to be prepared today. You should always have supplies on hand in case of an emergency, and most importantly know what steps need to be taken in the event that something does happen. Have a plan, stick to it, and make sure that everyone in your family- young and old - knows exactly what their part in that plan is.

xoxo disaster girl