Hot, Cold, Dry, and Wet;
Straight, Gay, and Confused;
Politics, Corruption, Exploitation,
Flood and Drought
Invention, Innovation, and Annihilation;
Immigration, Agitation, and Education;
Starvation, Religion, Prostitution,
and that is about it.
For the moment.
As if PAM wasn’t bad enough…
Super Typhoon Maysak has rapidly intensified since Monday and is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, according to the Wednesday morning advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Guam (Guam is 14 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern daylight time).
Maysak now packs estimated maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, becoming only the third super typhoon in reliable records dating to the 1940s with estimated winds that strong prior to April 1, according to Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters.
Maysak is also only the fifth super typhoon of record prior to April 1, according to senior digital meteorologist, Nick Wiltgen. A western Pacific tropical cyclone is named a “super typhoon” when maximum sustained winds reach 150 mph. The last such pre-April super typhoon was Super Typhoon Mitag in March 2002.
Prior to becoming a super typhoon, Maysak caused significant damage and killed at least five people in the Chuuk state of Micronesia, according to The Associated Press. The small atoll of Ulithi appears to have taken a direct hit from the eyewall of Maysak.
The eye of Maysak was moving westward to the north of Yap Island (population ~ 11,000) as of early Wednesday morning, local time. This should keep the most violent winds from Maysak just to north of Yap. That said, typhoon-force winds up to 75 mph are possible in the Yap Islands as Maysak makes its closest approach Wednesday morning. Coastal inundation of 4-6 feet is possible along windward shorelines of the Yap Islands. Rainfall flooding is also likely in poor-drainage and low-lying areas.
Typhoon warnings have been posted by the National Weather Service in Guam for parts of Yap state, including the islands of Fais, Ulithi and Yap.
Fortunately, Maysak’s center has remained sufficiently far south of Guam to limit impacts to perhaps some lingering outer rainbands and high surf on east, southeast or southwest-facing beaches.
It remains too early to tell if and how heavily Maysak may eventually impact the northern Philippines.
The concern is after an initial slight rightward (northward) bend in the track, upper-level high pressure would resettle in, steering Maysak toward the Philippines. If this occurs, the threat to the northern or central Philippines would be this weekend. All interests in the Philippines should monitor closely the progress of Maysak.
Typhoon Maysak first impacted Chuuk State, a group of Micronesian islands about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southeast of Guam. Winds gusted as high as 71 mph Chuuk International Airport on Weno Island in the Chuuk State of Micronesian on Sunday, local time. (Chuuk is 14 hours ahead of eastern daylight time.)
Guampdn.com reported about 95 percent of tin houses were destroyed in Chuuk state. Communications were down in the islands Saturday, but were restored Sunday. Kane Faylim, airport manager for the Chuuk state government told the Associated Press airport employees had clear rocks deposited by large waves from the runway of Chuuk’s airstrip Tuesday, which has now been reopened.
Maysak became the third typhoon of 2015, a record active early start to the year in the western Pacific, according to Weather Underground’s director of meteorology, Dr. Jeff Masters.
Western Pacific Ocean tropical cyclones, called typhoons, can occur any time of the year, but typically hit a relative minimum in February and early March.
The name Maysak is Cambodian for a kind of tree. –Jon Erdman
Earlier in March, Tropical Cyclone Pam made a direct hit on the southern islands of Vanuatu in the south Pacific.
NOAA Pacific Tropical Satellite Imagery
NOAA National Hurricane Center – for official forecasts and outlooks.
University of Wisconsin SSEC GOES Images and Loops
QuickScat Scatterometer Winds
RAMSDIS Online – Tropical
Navy Research Laboratory – Tropical Satellite Products
NASA Global Hydrology and Climate Center
The Geostationary Satellite Server – Tropical Page
NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research FPDT
Turkish grid under suspected massive cyber attack
Prolonged electricity outages in 40 Turkish cities, including Ankara and Istanbul, raised the suspicion that the country had Tuesday come under cyber attack. Huge traffic gridlocks, thousands trapped in elevators and air traffic chaos caused by control tower shutdowns forced the prime minister Ahmed Davutoglu to inform the public that the breakdowns were under investigation, including the possibility of cyber attacks on the control systems of main power stations across the country. By day’s end 65 percent of power had been restored.
A massive power cut caused chaos and shut down public transport across Turkey on Tuesday, with the government refusing to rule out that the electricity system had been the victim of an attack. The nationwide power cut, the worst in 15 years, began shortly after 10:30 am (0730 GMT) in Istanbul, the state-run Anatolia news agency quoted the Turkey Electricity Transmission Company (TEIAS) as saying. It was confirmed to have hit 49 of the country s 81 provinces, from the Greek border to those in the southeast neighbouring Iran and Iraq, and including Istanbul and the capital Ankara. Power was only fully restored across the country late in the evening, with the authorities still at a loss to explain the cause of the crisis. “Every possibility, including a terrorist attack, is being investigated,” said Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu after the magnitude of the outage became clear. He said a crisis cell has been established at the energy ministry to handle situation, which occurred as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was out of the country on a visit to Slovakia. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz also said the authorities were investigating whether the power outage was due to a technical failure or a “cyber-attack.” “The most important thing for us is to bring the system back to life. This is not something we frequently experience,” said Yildiz, who was travelling with Erdogan. He later sought to calm tensions, saying power had been restored throughout Turkey and an investigation launched into the cause. “It is too early to say now if it is because of a technical reason, a manipulation, a foulplay, an operational mistake, or a cyber (attack).
We are looking into it… We cannot say they are excluded possibilities.” The energy ministry was quoted as saying by Turkish media that a power cut on this scale had not been seen in 15 years. The blackout trapped people in elevators while the metro systems in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir all stopped working for several hours. Rescue teams rushed to subway stations to evacuate stranded travellers and bring them to ground level. Traffic lights also were not working in several spots in Istanbul and Ankara, causing huge traffic jams, with officers taking to the streets in an attempt to break the logjams. The Marmaray metro line which goes underneath the Bosphorus in Istanbul also went down while high speed train services from Ankara were also halted. Around three hours after the power cut struck Istanbul, the metro, tramway and the Marmaray underground system came back on line and resumed operations. In the heavily industrialised city of Izmit, near Istanbul, the cuts prevented many factories and workshops from functioning. There were conflicting initial reports about the cause of the outage, but Turkish grid operator TEIAS said it resulted from a severing of power lines between Europe and Turkey, and warned it could take hours before electricity is restored. The Chamber of Electrical Engineers of Turkey, however, claimed that it occurred because some private power suppliers had refused to sell electricity due to low prices. The DHA news agency said almost all provinces in Turkey were affected, except Van province in the east which imports electricity from neighbouring Iran. Conspiracy theories did the rounds on the Internet, with the situation the top trend under the hashtag #BuradaElektrikYok (There is no electricity here). Yildiz denied there was any link to the hostage drama in Istanbul where a radical leftists took a prosecutor hostage at a courthouse. The cut came at a particularly tense period in Turkey ahead of June 7 legislative elections and with Erdogan increasingly polarising society. The government is seeking to make peace with Kurdish militants while also dealing with the advance of Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Iraq and Syria up to the Turkish border.