Chris Downgraded To Tropical Storm, Still Moving Away From NC Coast

Chris has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

The storm became a hurricane Tuesday as it moved further away from the coast of the Carolinas.

Even though Chris is on the move, it is still causing high rip currents at the Outer Banks.

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

As of 6 a.m. Thursday, the storm was 245 miles off the coast of Novia Scotia.

Alaska Volcanoes: Great Sitkin, Cleveland, Prompt Alerts For High Background Activity

While many are watching the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, two volcanoes in Alaska are threatening to steal some of the attention. Two volcanoes situated on islands off the coast of the state are showing warning signs of a possible eruption.

On the first day of July, the United States Geological Survey tweeted that the Great Sitkin volcano’s activity had increased above the usual background levels.

Officials are actually closely monitoring two Alaskan volcanoes, Mount Cleveland and Great Sitkin, a little closer than others. On June 26, there were small lava flows detected in the summit’s crater of the Cleveland volcano. A few days later on the 28th, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) put the volcano on watch and changed the aviation color code to orange.

The combination of the watch and the orange color code means the “volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain OR an eruption is underway that poses limited hazards including no or minor volcanic-ash emissions.”

On a neighboring island, the Great Sitkin volcano was also showing signs of heightened activity, the United States Geological Survey tweeted. That volcano was at an advisory level, and the color code was yellow as of Sunday. This meant the “volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background activity,” according to the USGS.

While the Great Sitkin volcano is showing above-average background activity, nothing noteworthy has shown up on satellite data. It had an eruption event on June 10 of this year that was fairly small and only produced a small ash deposit, according to AVO.

The Cleveland volcano has shown similar activity. There is only low-level seismic activity going on, according to the AVO. But there were above-normal surface temperatures detected by satellites. Monitoring by the seismic stations is set to continue, to follow whether the activity might become more severe at the volcano. This type of activity has historically indicated a larger explosion was on the way, Reuters reported.

If either volcano erupts, it could have the potential to impact air travel. Depending on how high the plumes from the volcanoes traveled and how strong the explosion is, the ash and smoke could cause issues for airplanes traveling over them across the Pacific, according to Reuters.

Hawaii Volcano: Growing Crater Knocks Out GPS Station, May Devour Museum At Summit

The summit crater of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano has grown dramatically large since the latest eruption began in May, so large that it may be threatening a museum at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The U.S. Geological Survey said in a Twitter post on Monday that a GPS station location in the Halemaumau Crater was knocked out of service after subsiding 310 feet as the subsidence continues to grow.

Since the eruption started on May 3, sending magma spewing out along fissures in the eastern Puna region of the island, the volcano’s crater has been subsiding. That has caused near-daily earthquakes, rock falls and subsequent explosions at the summit.

“The current slumping and rocksliding is a response to magma draining from the former summit lava lake. However, we don’t know if or when the lake might reappear,” the agency said on Twitter.

The USGS said over the weekend that over 350 earthquakes greater than magnitude 2.5 were reported in a 24-hour peroid at the summit.

On Sunday, the USGS conducted a drone flight over the crater area, showing the dramatic changes as the lava has drained out. According to USGS, the deepest part of Halemaumau is now over 1,300 feet below the caldera floor.

New Zealand’s Mount Taranaki ‘Almost Certain’ To Erupt

Taranaki civil defense authorities have begun training an army of 500 volunteers for when, not if, Mt Taranaki erupts, and for major weather events.

Whether it erupted was a matter of when, not if, according to the Taranaki Civil Defense Emergency Management (CDEM). Scientists are seeing an increase in the likelihood of an eruption over the next 50 years, Civil Defense group manager Craig Campbell-Smart said.

“Technically it’s termed a quiescent stage – it’s not dormant but not actively erupting.” In its new five year plan, it singles out preparing for an eruption as a priority. One hundred people have already been trained; most of them people from the region’s councils, and more were being recruited from the public.

“There’s a very broad selection of skills we require,” he said. Roles included leadership, planning and intelligence, operations, field staff, logistics, public information management and welfare. The system was based on those used by the military.

“It’s very disciplined, about building our capability so we can stand up at very short notice.” CDEM was also decentralizing and setting up operations centers to deal with emergencies on a district council level. Campbell-Smart said it was difficult to predict exactly what would happen in an eruption as it depended on the size and type of the event.

“Worst case scenario we’re looking at very strong gas eruption that would produce a super heated gas cloud with debris in it – that’s the stuff that’s an immediate threat to life, that’s about 800 degrees Celsius and that would roll down the mountainside. That’s the  least likely scenario but it’s a potential.”

An eruption of gas and ash was the most likely event, and there would be advance warning through increased localized seismic activity in the area. “It could go quite high and fall on other areas, which is why it’s a national hazard,” he said.

In Taranaki, ash would fall into rivers and over towns, depending on the wind. It was very abrasive and would accumulate on roads and paddocks, and contaminate stock feed and water supplies. It would also affect air conditioning systems, municipal water supplies and cause telecommunications equipment to overheat and fail.

Rain would make it worse.

“If ash gets wet it doubles in weight. It could collapse roofs, and accumulate on the flanks of mountain in river systems, resulting in lahars.” The next eruption could take one of three possible general forms, Taranaki CDEM said.

– Small explosive pumice eruption.

– Lava dome eruption.

– Large explosive pumice eruption. The last one occurred in AD1655 – although this would not be likely.

A small explosive pumice eruption could signal a period of more frequent eruptions, while a lava-dome eruption could continue for many years or decades, the CDEM website said.

The last major eruption occurred about 1854. Despite the risk of an eruption, the current alert level set by GeoNet – which monitors the volcano – is at zero, with no volcanic activity. However, it notes: “An eruption may occur at any [alert] level, and levels may not move in sequence as activity can change rapidly.”

A volcanic event on Mt Taranaki is “almost certain” and the consequences would be “catastrophic”, experts say. An eruption of the volcano could have serious physical effects on the landscape, affect the region’s economy and threaten ecosystems. A Taranaki CDEM map showing evacuation zones revealed the areas in the region most at risk.

The red zone held the most risk – and those who remained there were “unlikely to survive”. At the other end of the spectrum, the green zone was considered sheltered from volcanic activity except for ash fall. You can keep an eye on Taranaki via a webcam here.

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Science Of Cycles Research and News Service Fund Drive

As with all community services, it is time to request support with our services. We are hopeful to keep our research and news services available to all who seek this knowledge.

Needless to say we are convinced what we provide on Science Of Cycles informs its readers to be best informed of what is occurring right now in the present, but as importantly, what is most likely to occur in the near future.

Thank you in advance for all of you who seek and appreciate this knowledge, and for all future seekers who come to understand our products importance.                   Cheers, Mitch