Weather News In Brief - Jan 03 2010

The BBC today issued it’s monthly weather outlook: “The deep cold and snow was caused by a big weather pattern staying in one place. Normally we have a series of highs and lows moves slowly from west to east so we never stick to one weather type for more than three days or so. The weather will see normal variation over the month.” More HERE.
  • Outlook for Ireland from Positive Weather Solutions: Overcast but essentially dry on Tuesday, then turning colder midweek, and it's here we can expect a rain/sleet/snow mix, with the higher ground seeing the most likelihood of some snow, and possibly for a time at lower levels.  These unsettled conditions will stay into the weekend.  Highs of 6 Celsius, lows of 0 Celsius. 
  • Water supply has again been disrupted to thousands of homes in Northern Ireland overnight, BBC reports. About 40,000 properties in NI Water's eastern region had mains water supplies temporarily cut off overnight. Supplies were due to be restored at 0800GMT, although NI Water said it could take up to three hours for it to reach all customers.
  • 2000 birds fall dead from the sky over US townMSNBC reports that environmental service worker on Sunday finished picking up the carcasses of about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that fell dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town. Mike Robertson, the mayor in Beebe, told The Associated Press the last dead bird was removed about 11 a.m. in the town about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock. He said 12 to 15 workers, hired by the city to do the cleanup, wore environmental-protection suits for the task.  The birds had fallen Friday night over a 1-mile area of Beebe, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area. The workers from U.S. Environmental Services started the cleanup Saturday.
  • Volcanic activity at Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy. Boris Behnke reporting from the foot of Mount Etna: “The mild Strombolian activity at the pit on the side of the Southeast Crater cone, near the summit of Mount Etna, is continuing. This morning, a dense plume of gas with some fine ash is trailing from the summit, and it is clearly fed not only from the active pit, but also the Northeast Crater and the Bocca Nuova. The intensity of the activity decreased during the early morning hours, and as of 09.00 h (local time) on 3 January 2011, there is some cloud hovering around the summit, so no direct view of the active vent is possible. Thermal cameras of the INGV Catania reveal that small explosions are continuing, though at a reduced rate and strength.” Pictures and more here
  • CBS News reports after a 10-year drought they call the Big Dry, Australians now have to cope with the Big Wet. An area bigger than Texas is covered in floodwater and the prediction is that the worst is yet to come. The low-lying state of Queensland, which sprawls over the northeastern corner of the country, is exposed to shifting weather patterns in the Pacific and this year's summer rains have reached near record levels. The town or Rockhampton, a community of 70,000 people, has been isolated by the rising waters, the highway cut, the airport out of service. Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • THE DAILY MAIL: Two thousand years ago Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii. Today, a larger, far more deadly supervolcano lurks on the other side of Naples. If it erupts, Campi Flegrei could wipe out all life in Europe. So why are British scientists battling the Italians for the right to poke at it with drilling rods?
The Campi Flegrei caldera is a supervolcano. While a new eruption here would be more likely to result in the creation of another Vesuvius-like cone, the worst-case scenario could see it obliterating much of life in Europe
  • TECHNOLOGY: How businesses are using cloud computing and other technology to deal with bad weather. More from the BBC 
  • VOLCANO: A farmer living close to the glacier-volcano Eyjafjallaj√∂kull in south Iceland told the newspaper DV yesterday that he had heard the glacier rumble and that the noise was similar as to when it last erupted in the spring of 2010, just not as loud.
  • PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE ( Observers in Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia can witness a partial eclipse of the sun. In western Europe, as much as 86% of the solar disk will be covered by the Moon at dawn, producing a fantastic crescent sunrise on Jan. 4th. Follow the links for more: live webcast; animated map; details from NASA.