WEEKLY OCEAN NEWS
2-6 January 2012
DataStreme Ocean will return for Spring 2012 with new Investigations files starting during Preview Week, Monday, 16 January 2012. All the current online website products, including updated issues of Weekly Ocean News, will continue to be available throughout the winter break period.
ITEMS OF INTEREST/
- In Close -- Earth reaches perihelion, the point in its orbit that is closest to the sun (147.1 million kilometers or 91.2 million miles), on Wednesday evening (officially at 01Z on 5 January 2012 or 8 PM EST, 7 PM CST, etc. on Wednesday).
- Portrait of Earth on the boreal winter solstice -- A high-resolution, full-disk visible satellite image made from data collected from sensors onboard NOAA's GOES-13 satellite shows the planet's Western Hemisphere on 22 December 2011, the date of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. [NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory]
Ocean in the News:
- Eye on the tropics -- The only organized tropical cyclone activity during the last week was found in the Indian Ocean basin.
Cyclone Thane developed over the waters of the Bay of Bengal at the start of last week. During the early part of last week, Tropical Storm Thane took an erratic track, first traveling toward the east and then to the north. By late in the week, this tropical storm had intensified to become a category 1 tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale after it had turned and began a trek toward the west, reaching the southeast coast of India south of Chennai near the end of the week. As of last Saturday, torrential rains and strong winds associated with Cyclone Thane killed more than 40 people along the southeastern coast of India. [USA Today]
See the NASA Hurricane Page for additional information and satellite images on Cyclone Thane.
Tropical Storm Grant formed over the waters of the South Indian Ocean just to the north of Australia at the start of last week. This tropical storm traveled southward, making landfall along the coast of Australia's Northern Territory early in the week. As it moved inland, this storm weakened to a tropical depression and then dissipated by midweek. The NASA Hurricane Page has additional information and a satellite image on Tropical Storm Grant.
Cyclone Benilde formed from a tropical storm over the waters of the South Indian Ocean to the east of Diego Garcia during the middle part of last week. By the end of the week, Benilde had intensified to become a category 2 tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as this system traveled toward the west-southwest. For additional information and a satellite image on Tropical Cyclone Benilde, consult the NASA Hurricane Page.
- A portrait of tropical cyclones in separate hemispheres -- An image made from data collected from sensors on the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites' (EUMETSAT) METEOSAT-7 geosynchronous satellite shows two tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean basin late last week. With Thane in the Northern Hemisphere and Benilde in the Southern Hemisphere, this event was relative rare. Note that the clouds appear to be circulating around Thane in a counterclockwise direction and around Benilde in a clockwise direction. [NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory]
- Atmospheric river set to inundate Oregon --A water vapor channel image obtained from NOAA's GOES-15 satellite shows an "atmospheric river" in the form of a plume of moisture extending across the North Pacific Ocean basin late last week. The flow of atmospheric water vapor and clouds in this atmospheric river was expected produce more than ten inches of rain in several coastal counties in Oregon, where flooding was a possibility. [NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory]
- View of snow and ice over the North Poles -- A composite image made data collected by sensors onboard NOAA and DMSP (Defense Department) satellites not only shows the snow and ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere's polar latitudes, but the locations of the geographic North Pole (determined by the planet's spin axis) and the geomagnetic North Pole (determined by the Earth's magnetic field). [NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory]
- Various Antarctic ice forms seen from space -- Several images were made recently from the MODIS sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite and the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite that show a variety of ice forms along Antarctica's Mawson Coast. [NASA Earth Observatory]
- Website provides tool for offshore renewable energy planning -- The NOAA Coastal Services Center and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have unveiled a website called "MarineCadastre.gov" that allows users such as coastal and marine planners access to more than 100 geospatial data sets and decision-support tools needed for the development of offshore renewable energy resources in US waters. [NOAA's Ocean Service News ]
- Sunlight added to bunker oil creates problems for Pacific herring -- Researchers at the University of California, Davis and NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center have found that Pacific herring embryos experienced high mortality rates and numerous abnormalities following the oil spilled into San Francisco Bay from the container ship Cosco Busan in November 2007. The researchers believe that sunlight that entered the shallow waters of the Bay helped cause the spilled bunker oil to create chemicals harmful to the herring embryos. [University of California, Davis News ]
- An All-Hazards Monitor -- This Web portal provides the user information from NOAA on current environmental events that may pose as hazards such as tropical weather, drought, floods, marine weather, tsunamis, rip currents, Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and coral bleaching. [NOAAWatch]
- Global and US Hazards/Climate Extremes -- A review and analysis of the global impacts of various weather-related events, to include drought, floods and storms during the current month. [NCDC]
- Earthweek -- Diary of the Planet [earthweek.com] Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- 2 January 1955...Hurricane Alice battered the Leeward Islands with sustained winds of 85 mph on this day. Alice was upgraded as a full tropical system on 31 December 1954, making Alice the latest and earliest hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean. (Intellicast)
- 2 January 1993...Cyclone Kina battered Fiji with wind gusts to 130 mph and heavy rain. Up to 21.65 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, resulting in the worst flooding in 60 years. Twenty-three people were killed and damage was estimated to be in excess of 547 million US dollars. (Accord's Weather Guide Calendar)
- 2 January 1998...Tropical Cyclone Ron (the Southwest Pacific's counterpart of a hurricane) destroyed most of the structures on Swains Island in American Samoa. The island's 49 residents sought safety in a concrete structure, which withstood the cyclone's 90-mph sustained winds. (Accord's Weather Guide Calendar)
- 3 January 2006...The record 2005 North Atlantic hurricane season extended into the new year, as Tropical Storm Zeta reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph for the second time; the previous occurrence was on 1 January 2006. Never a threat to land as it traveled across the central North Atlantic, Tropical Storm Zeta was the 27th named tropical cyclone (including both tropical storms and hurricanes) of the season. (Accord's Weather Guide Calendar)
- 4 January 1493...The explorer, Christopher Columbus, began his return to Spain and completed his first journey to the New World. (Wikipedia)
- 5 January 1841...The British explorer, James Clark Ross, was the first to enter pack ice near Ross Ice Shelf off Antarctica.
- 5 January 1875...CDR Edward Lull, USN, began an expedition to locate the best ship canal route across Panama. This route was followed 30 years later. (Naval Historical Center)
- 5 January 1903...The general public could use the San Francisco-Hawaii telegraph cable across the Pacific cable for the very first time.
- 6 January 1839...A two-day storm off the Irish and English coasts was immortalized as "The Big Wind".
- 6 January 1898...The first telephone message from a submerged submarine was transmitted by Simon Lake, the father of the modern submarine.
- 6 January 1928...An intense low pressure system over the North Sea created a storm surge that moved upstream along the Thames River to London in England. Water rose over embankments. The rapid rise of the river resulted in 14 deaths in basements. As many as 40,000 people were left homeless. (Accord's Weather Guide Calendar)
- 7 January 1904...The international Morse code distress signal "CQD" was established. Two years later, the 1906 International Conference on Wireless Communication at Sea, resolved that the radio distress signal should become "SOS" because it was quicker to send by wireless radio. (Wikipedia)
- 7 January 1927...Transatlantic telephone service began between New York and London, with 31 calls made on this first day.
- 8 January 1958...The Coast Guard LORAN Station at Johnston Island began transmitting on a 24-hour basis, thus establishing a new LORAN rate in the Central Pacific. The new rate between Johnston Island and French Frigate Shoal gave a higher order of accuracy for fixing positions in the steamship lanes from Oahu, Hawaii, to Midway Island. In the past, this was impossible in some areas along this important shipping route. (USCG Historian's Office)
- 8 January 1971...Twenty-nine pilot whales beached themselves and died at San Clemente Island, CA.
- 8-11 January 1980...Winds, waves and rain pounded Hawaii, resulting in 27.5 million dollars in storm damage, which was the greatest amount to that date in the Aloha State's history. Four houses were destroyed and 40 others damaged by a possible tornado in Honolulu's Pacific Palisades area on the 8th. Ocean waves with heights to 20 feet entered beachfront hotels along the Kona Coast of the Big Island. (Accord's Weather Guide Calendar)
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Prepared by AMS DS Ocean Central Staff and Edward J. Hopkins, Ph.D., email email@example.com
ã Copyright, 2012, The American Meteorological Society.