Forecast to May28

FRorecast 28.5.15 (1)

Bishop’s Ring (2)

Climatologists started to study the effect of volcanic dust in the atmosphere using Krakatoa as the baseline and today we have the International Airways Volcano Watch (IAVW) system for the safety of air transport following volcano eruptions.

Since volcanic ash is composed of very abrasive silica materials, it can damage the airframe and flight surfaces, clog different systems, abrade cockpit windows and flame-out jet engines constituting a serious safety hazard. Volcanic ash can also have a serious effect on aerodromes located downwind of a volcanic ash plume since it contaminates runways, ground equipment and aircraft parked or taxiing around the aerodrome.

The IAVW system is designed to detect and track the movement of volcanic ash in the atmosphere and to warn aircraft in flight about this hazard. There are nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres responsible for the provision of information related to areas affected by volcanic ash and its future movement. The centres are located at Anchorage, Buenos Aires, Darwin, London, Montreal, Tokyo, Toulouse, Washington and Wellington.

Deep underground, Vulcan, the blacksmith to the gods, keeps his forge going constantly building up enough heat and pressure in readiness for the time to ‘blow its top’ and throw debris and dust into the atmosphere

El Niño in the tropical Pacific

The tropical Pacific is in the early stages of El Niño. Based upon model outlooks and current observations, the Bureau’s ENSO Tracker has been raised to El Niño status.

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators have shown a steady trend towards El Niño levels since the start of the year. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean have exceeded El Niño thresholds for the past month, supported by warmer-than-average waters below the surface. Trade winds have remained consistently weaker than average since the start of the year, cloudiness at the Date Line has increased and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has remained negative for several months. These indicators suggest the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere have started to couple and reinforce each other, indicating El Niño is likely to persist in the coming months.

El Niño is often associated with below-average winter and spring rainfall over eastern Australia, and above-average daytime temperatures over the southern half of the country. However, the current May to July outlook suggests much of Australia is likely to be wetter than average. This is because a warmer-than-average Indian Ocean is dominating this outlook. El Niño is expected to become the dominant influence on Australian climate during the second half of the year.

Bishop’s Ring

On 5th September 1883 the people of Hawaii were amazed to see their sun turned green with rings of pink, red, orange-rose and brown. This phenomenon was observed and accurately recorded at the time by Sereno Bishop of Honolulu and is now known as Bishop’s Ring.

Ten days earlier and more than a thousand miles away a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra blew itself apart with the loudest bang on earth. The blast was heard across 4500 kilometres, and even in London instruments registered the concussion and continued to do so up to nine days later, when the echoes of the report were making their seventh circuit of the world!

A sea wave 100 metres high swept aside lighthouses like matchsticks, left a Dutch warship three kilometres up a Sumatran valley and drowning over 36,000 people

This was Krakatoa. The explosion pushed a gigantic column of smoke and dust through the ceiling of the troposphere up to a height of 50 kilometres.

Something that made Krakatoa different from other major events in the 19th century was the introduction of the transoceanic telegraph cables. The news of Lincoln’s assassination less than 20 years earlier had taken nearly two weeks to reach Europe, as it had to be carried by ship. But when Krakatoa erupted, a telegraph station at Batavia (present day Jakarta, Indonesia) was able to send the news to Singapore. Dispatches were relayed quickly and literally within hour’s newspaper readers in London, Paris, Boston, and New York were being informed of the colossal events in the distant Sunda Straits.

(to be continued)

April Statistical Climate 2015

April Stats2015

Forecast to 16th May



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March climate 2011 – 2015

yr March Climate

DANGER … 46.9ºC High Heat Index

Heat Exhaustion or Heatstroke likely 


Extreme heat events are responsible for more deaths in the United States than floods, hurricanes and tornados combined. Yet, highly publicized events, such as the 2003 heat wave in Europe which caused in excess of 35,000 deaths, and the Chicago heat wave of 1995 that produced over 500 deaths, draw attention away from the countless thousands who, each year, fall victim to  illnesses directly attributed to heat. The health impact of heat waves and excessive heat are well known. Cities worldwide are seeking to better understand heat-related illnesses with respect to the specifics of climate, social demographics and spatial distributions. This information can support better preparation for heat-related emergency situations with regards to planning for response capacity and placement of emergency resources and personnel.


Department of Geography, Arizona State University, Tempe,

Danger. High heat index

THSW    53. 4°C Heat exhaustion  or heatstroke likely