Archive for the ‘International Weather’ Category

Samoan Tsunami
October 2, 2009


This is the aftermath of the tsunami caused by an 8.0 magnitude earthquake.  This image shows the village of Fagasa.  The brown color shows where the tsunami came ashore and made its way inland.


This image shows the city of Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa after the tsunami.  What once was a city park is now brown with mud while debris floats out in the harbor.


This image shows the propagation of the tsunami across the Pacific Ocean.  The epicenter of the quake was near the Samoan Islands and on this map is where the tsunami is the largest (red and orange).  As the tsunami travels across the ocean it slowly dissipates until reaching the ends of the Pacific.  Due to the large scale of this image, it does not represent the wave height at the Samoan Islands which has been recorded as significantly higher than 100 cm.


Australia’s Dust Storms
September 24, 2009

Winds sweep millions of tons of red dust from Australia’s drought-ravaged interior and dump it on the coast.  The orange sky looked to many like the city was on fire.


This is the Australia Opera House


A wall of dust stretched from northern Queensland to the southern tip of eastern Australia on the morning of September 23, 2009, when NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image. The dust is thick enough that the land beneath it is not visible. The storm, the worst in 70 years, led to canceled or delayed flights, traffic problems, and health issues.  The concentration of particles in the air reached 15,000 micrograms per cubic meter in New South Wales during the storm.  A normal day sees a particle concentration 10-20 micrograms per cubic meter.

Strong winds blew the dust from the interior to more populated regions along the coast. In this image, the dust rises in plumes from point sources and concentrates in a wall along the front of the storm. The large image shows that some of the point sources are agricultural fields, recognizable by their rectangular shape. Australia has suffered from a multiple-year drought, and much of the dust is coming from fields that have not been planted because of the drought.