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T. D. Nine in The Atlantic to become Tropical Storm Isaac, while southeast U.S. Keeps a Watchful Eye

By Ryan Matthew Dernick

According to the National Hurricane Center Tropical Depression Nine formed earlier today in the Atlantic, it is currently about 700 miles east of the

The large and newly formed Tropical Depression Nine Spells immediate concern for the Caribbean and soon thereafter the Southeast United States by as early as Sunday evening. Models forecast the Depression to become Tropical Storm Isaac later today and a Hurricane in 48 hours.

Leeward Islands. Environmental conditions are favorable for intensification and the depression is forecast to become a hurricane by Thursday. Tropical storm warnings are in now effect for the Lesser Antilles and watches have been posted for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

NOAA forecasters earlier this month increased the number of storms forecast and say they expect a total of 12 to 17 tropical storms, with as many as five to eight hurricanes, for the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season from June 1 to Nov. 30. Two to three of storms could become major hurricanes. It was only back in May when forecasters had initially only predicted nine to 15 tropical storms, with as many as four to eight hurricanes

So far this year there have been five tropical storms and three hurricanes with the most recent being Hurricane Gordon that just days ago passed through the Southern Azores. Since then it has become extra tropical as its remnants move ENE though Portugal.

With not one major hurricane to date yet for this Atlantic Hurricane Season

T.D. Nines Projected Path Shows that core of the storm will move westward through the Lesser Antilles while staying just South of Puerto Rico. As it continues to traverse west along the south coast of the Dominican Republic and Hati it will begin to feel the tug northward by the Deepening Trough across the Eastern United States. In response to that strengthening trough the High Pressure Ridge over Florida and Bahamas will weaken turning then Hurricane Isaac Northwest through Central Cuba.

this storm may change that.

South Florida residents and visitors in particular need to remain vigilant on updates According to The National Weather Service forecast Office in Miami, Florida. Weather Models are continuing to indicate it is becoming more likely that South Florida may be directly impacted late this weekend into early next week by this developing tropical cyclone.

Make sure to monitor the latest tropical weather forecasts or news and be prepared before the storm is at your door. Have a Hurricane Preparedness plan in place for you and your family. The up two week supply of essentials are Canned Foods, Bottled Water, Weather Radio, Batteries, First Aid Kit, Multivitamins, Sunscreen,Extra Cash from ATM’s, Bug Repellant, Flashlights, Other non-perishable food items, extra gas for generators or vehicles as gas stations will not work after a storm passes due to power outages.

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Strongest Solar Flare Since 2003 Impacts Earth

By: Ryan Matthew Dernick

Seasoned astronomers and leisurely sky watchers near the city of Tromsø in northern Norway got a spectacular geomagnetic light  show this Tuesday night. On Jan.24, 2012 a powerful M-9 class solar storm led to a dramatic display of the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. The northern lights even illuminated the skies above Scotland, northern England and northern parts of Ireland. More light shows are expected in the next few days. The northern lights are sometimes seen from northern Scotland but they were also visible Monday night from northeast England and Ireland, where such occurrences are more infrequent

Late Night Northern Lights on Jan 24,2012 near Tromose Norway. Courtesy of a strong Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) aka Solar Storm that departed from the sun Jan 23,2012.

In the Southern Hemisphere these beautiful light shows are referred to as the aurora australis near Antarctica or the Southern Lights.

Amazingly, according to the Solar Dynamical Observatory (SDO) This specific solar flare was ejected off the surface of the sun toward earth on Jan 23,2012 at a speed of 632 kilometers per second.  That means the solar storm traveled 91 million miles from the surface of the sun to our home planet of earth in a little over 24 hours. This is only days since the prevoius Jan.19-21 solar storm with subsequent geomagnetic effects here on earth.

In today’s solar terrestrial activity report the Solar Dynamical Observatory (SDO) reported:

The geomagnetic field was quiet to major storm on January 24. Solar wind speed ranged between 347 and 732 km/s. A strong solar wind shock was observed at SOHO at 14:34 UTC, the arrival of the CMEs observed early on January 23. The geomagnetic disturbance peaked 17-20h UTC when the planetary A index reached 80. The radiation storm peaked at the arrival of the CMEs with the above 10 MeV proton flux reaching a high of 6310 pfu, the strongest radiation event since 2003.

The Solar Dynamical Observatory was launched in February 2010. The intention of the deployment of the SDO orbiting coronal observatory was to determine if it is possible to make reliable space weather forecasts. The SDO performs this technological space forecasting feat by observing the solar atmosphere in several wavelengths. These wavelengths consist of radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, x-rays and gamma rays.

To gauge if the solar flare is a threat scientists determine this by the polarity or angle of approach toward the Earth with a southern polarity  being the most detrimental. In the case of the M-class flare affecting us currently it has a southern polarity. This can lead to major disruption of Earth’s magnetosphere by way of geomagnetic storming. A geomagnetic storm is the subsequent effect of a solar wind shockwave, or solar magnetic field that interacts with Earth’s magnetic field. These solar storms can wreak havoc on communication systems, global positioning systems, satellites, land power grids and even the biology of plants and animals.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “There is a growing body of evidence that changes in the geomagnetic field affect biological systems. Studies indicate that physically stressed human biological systems may respond to fluctuations in the geomagnetic field.”

If this isn’t enough, recently in a television interview, doctor of theoretical physics Michio Kaku warned of increased solar activity in 2012 through 2013. He said

“In 1859 we had a gigantic solar storm which knocked out telegraph wires back then, 150 years ago. If that had happened today it would knock out almost all our satellites and power stations. There would be food riots from lack of refrigeration .Airplanes would crash with the lack of radar and guidance systems. Damage estimates tally the natural disaster from the sun at an incredible 2 trillion dollars. This is a once in a century one in two century storm. We would be thrown back a hundred years.”

Over a year ago Michio Kaku asked congress for a 100 million dollar infrastructure safety prevention Bill that would have protected our solar storm susceptible world but Congress unfortunately turned down the Bill. Solar Cycle 24 does not bode well for our very vulnerable technologically based society. Whether it’s preparing for the possibility of power outages during severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or winter weather severe solar storms should be treated no differently. Have a general preparedness plan in place for you and your loved ones at all times.