Saturday, June 8, 2013

SOLAR MAXIMUM: "Doomsday Scenario" - NASA Chief Says Space Weather Is On Par With Tornado Threat, As Report Indicates That A Super Solar Storm Could Leave Western Nations Without Power 'For Months'!

June 08, 2013 - SPACE - Severe space weather could be as devastating to the planet as serious tornadoes and other natural disasters, NASA chief Charles Bolden said in a public address Tuesday (June 4).

Space Weather On Par With Tornado Threat, NASA Chief Says.
A huge X1.2-class solar flare erupted from the sun late Tuesday (May 14, 2013), the fourth major flare in two days from a busy sunspot on the surface of the sun. NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory captured this view of the event.

Bolden spoke before scientists and industry members at the Space Weather Enterprise Forum, which was held at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Auditorium and Science Center in Silver Spring, Md. The daylong conference aimed to bring together researchers and policymakers to identify how the sun's activity impacts Earth, and the potentially harmful effects of space weather.

"This conference shines a spotlight on another naturally occurring phenomenon that can be just as punishing as a tornado — space weather," Bolden said in his written remarks for the event, after mentioning his grief at the lives lost during the deadly outbreak of tornadoes in the Midwest in recent weeks.

Strong solar storms can damage satellites in space and, if aimed at Earth, can interfere with communications infrastructure and power grids on the ground. Conference attendees discussed potential vulnerabilities in existing infrastructure, and how they can be made more robust. Space weather researchers also highlighted ongoing mitigation efforts, including improvements in technology and modeling that may help predict future storms.

Developing a clearer picture of when these storms may strike, and their potential impacts, is crucial, Bolden said. "Given the growing importance of space to our nation's economic well being and security, it is of increasing importance that NASA and its partner agencies continue to advance our nation's capability to understand and predict space weather events," he explained.

The radiation released by severe sun storms can also be risky for astronauts living aboard the International Space Station. Understanding the way humans in space are affected by space weather will help NASA plan future manned missions to the moon, Mars or beyond, Bolden said.

Last week, a new study found that astronauts on a mission to Mars could be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation from both solar particles and cosmic rays from outside the solar system, even with shielding on the spacecraft. The research, which was published in the journal Science, determined that on a trip to Mars, spaceflyers would be subject to radiation doses between 100 and 1,000 times higher than on Earth.

"The findings will aid design of future human missions by reducing uncertainty about how much shielding from radiation astronauts need," Bolden said. "For these and other reasons this forum and our efforts to study, monitor, and mitigate radiation exposure are so very important."

The NASA administrator also spoke about the need for international cooperation in studying the effects of space weather. "Space weather is a problem that crosses all borders and demands input from our international counterparts," Bolden said.

Next week, Bolden is scheduled to speak at the 56th session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, Austria. This year, for the first time, the UN committee has added space weather as a topic for discussion, recognizing it to be as serious a threat as space junk and near-Earth asteroids, Bolden said.

"With the United Nations now on our team, we are assured of even greater global coordination in the effort to increase our understanding of space weather and its impact on Earth and throughout the solar system," he added. "We have shown how, working as a team, we can save lives when hurricanes and tornadoes strike here on Earth. I am confident we can be just as effective working together to protect our people, our critical infrastructures, and our planet from the dangers of space weather." - Wunderground.


Super Solar Storm Could Leave Western Nations Without Power 'For Months' – Report.
Image from http://www.nasa.gov
A power outage could leave Western nations without electricity for months in the event of a strong geomagnetic storm, a new report claims, adding that it is “almost inevitable in the future” while the sun is approaching the peak of its solar cycle.

It is a known fact that solar activity is interconnected with the our planet’s geomagnetic fields that are known to affect life on Earth, including widespread electrical disruptions. Currently the Sun’s activity is ramping up toward what is known as solar maximum as the peak of the 11-year solar cycle is expected in 2015.

According to the report, produced by Lloyd’s in cooperation with Atmospheric and Environmental research (AER), super solar storms normally occur approximately every 150 years, the last being the Carrington Event in 1859 – a geomagnetic storm that caused disruptions in telegraph lines all over the world and the brightest auroras. However that was long before people were so dependent on electricity.

The report outlines a doomsday scenario - the cancellation of the services the public has come to depend upon every day. For example, the systems for controlling air-traffic would stop, potentially grounding entire fleets. The satellites that power the world's telecoms networks would be knocked out. Hospital patients dependent on electrical equipment would be put at risk.


Aurora. Reuters / Lehtikuva / Pekka Sakki

This could lead to liability claims if customers believe companies did not take enough protective measures during a blackout, which would have significant implications for the insurance industry.

All this can occur as a result of strong geomagnetic storms - severe disturbances in the upper layers of our atmosphere caused by solar storms. The geomagnetic storms induce currents in long conductors such as power lines. These additional currents can trigger voltage collapse or damage extra-high voltage transformers. The economic costs would be catastrophic, according to the report.

The total cost of such a scenario today in Europe and North America is estimated at $2.6 trillion for a five-month blackout period, though it could be as low as $0.6 trillion, the Telegraph reports.

In 1859 a solar superstorm, the so-called Carrington Event, hit Earth's magnetosphere and induced the largest observed geomagnetic solar storm, causing bright auroras that were seen around the world. People who happened to be awake in northeastern US could reportedly read a newspaper by the aurora's light. During the storm telegraph wires in North America and Europe were reportedly destroyed , giving operators electric shocks and knocking out the telegraph network as far away as Australia and Asia for two days. That was before modern methods were used to calculate the force of the solar storms.

In March 1989, the strongest measured geomagnetic storm caused the collapse of Hydro-Québec's electricity transmission system in Canada. More than six million people lost electric power for nine hours. That cost the government $12.7 billion.

Historical auroral records suggest a return period of 50 years for storms like the one in Quebec and about 150 years for extreme storms such as the Carrington Event. The researchers mapped potential effects on the US territory of an extreme solar storm much alike the Carrington Event in the report.


Image from www.lloyds.com

Geomagnetic latitude, ground conductivity and distance from the coast’s highly conducive seawater can measure  the region’s susceptibility to geomagnetic storms. For example such populated regions as New York and Washington DC strongly attract the sun’s electric energy. Other regions include the US Midwest and the Gulf Coast states.

According to the data in the report the total US population at risk of extended power outage from a Carrington-level storm is between 20-40 million, with durations of sixteen days to one or two  years.

“The duration of outages will depend largely on the availability of spare replacement transformers. If new transformers need to be ordered, the lead-time is likely to be a minimum of five months,”
it says.
"They are very limited in terms of numbers of replacements and manufacturing new transformers takes quite a long period of time, up to almost two years”  said Neil Smith, Research Manager at Lloyd's of London as quoted by  the Telegraph. "These are huge pieces of equipment. Building and transporting it is a huge job” he added."This could take weeks, even years, in the event of a really big storm.”

There are currently four satellites that can warn Earth of the coming CME and allow grid operators to prepare and take preventative measures before the storm, though the report adds that the force of the storm can only be measured in 15-30 minutes before it hits. The satellites are also past their mission lives and need replacement.

However the cost of prevention is reportedly much smaller than the price of damage caused by a single storm. For example, after the Quebec power outage the Canadian government has taken preventative measures by  investing  $1.2 billion into protecting the Quebec grid infrastructure, potentially saving billions of dollars if the incident should occur again. - RT.



AGE OF OBAMA: Big Brother Now, The Rise Of The Global Police State - U.S. And British Intelligence Agencies Mining Data From Nine U.S. Internet Companies Using A Broad Top-Secret Program Called PRISM; Providers Include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, Skype, YouTube, AOL, And Apple!

June 08, 2013 - UNITED STATES - It's either a cruel joke or the world's worst timing: An internship listing for a 'Digital Network Exploitation Analyst' appeared Thursday on the National Security Agency's job-opening Twitter feed, just as the cyber spy directorate was caught up in an international scandal involving snooping on millions of telephone, email and social networking accounts.  The program, based at the NSA's Fort Meade, Maryland headquarters, promises to hire successful applicants 'who can perform discovery and target technology analysis of digital network and mobile communications.'  'The three-year intern program combines training (SIGINT Discovery/Analysis), operational assignments (in the SIGINT Directorate) and a technical report to enhance the skills of an individual. There is a one year commitment to the SIGINT Directorate upon graduation from the Development Program.' 


This slide from a top-secret NSA presentation shows the extent of PRISM. The NSA is under fire for exploiting digital data normally covered by privacy policies, but none of the providers (at L) has yet admitted being part of the program.

'SIGINT' is government shorthand for Signals Intelligence, the practice of intercepting electronic communications between people to discover sensitive information that governments use for national security. It typically includes proficiency in code-breaking, pattern analysis and sifting through trillions of data points in massive collection exercises.  Terrorism expert Richard Miniter, a best-selling author who wrote the definitive biography of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, told MailOnline that the NSA's foot-in-mouth moment would make it an even bigger butt of jokes. 'They should probably outsource this internship to the Chinese,' Miniter quipped. 'I hear they've got special expertise in cracking into computers and reading other people's mail.'  The NSA was exposed on Thursday in a British news report for working with Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile phone company, which has been providing day-to-day data dumps of its customers' phone records.


The National Security Agency picked Thursday, in the midst of a growing scandal over privacy issues, to list a job opening for a Digital Network Exploitation Analyst.

The operation was approved by Congress as a vital part of implementing the PATRIOT act in a post-9/11 America, and ultimately green-lighted by a special court empowered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  The NSA sought 1,789 such orders in 2012, which are suspected of covering, in the aggregate, most business and consumer phone lines in America.  In addition to Verizon, the program, nicknamed PRISM, also includes AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Skype, Yahoo! and YouTube.  During a March 2012 congressional hearing, NSA Director Keith Alexander told Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson - 14 times - that his agency wasn't engaged in collecting the kind of domestic digital data that has now become the subject of embarrassing disclosures.  


The NSA's job description seems tailor-made for PRISM, offering a three-year internship
for the next generation of digital eavesdroppers.

ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement that 'from a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming.'  'It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents. It is beyond Orwellian.'

WATCH: Obama on Prism, Phone Spying Controversy - "No One Is Listening To Your Phone Calls".



During a speech Friday in San Jose that was planned as a plea for Hispanic Californians to enroll in Obamacare health insurance exchanges, President Barack Obama insisted that the program was necessary and benign.  'What the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls,' the president said. 'They are not looking at people’s names, and they’re not looking at content. But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism.'  White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Thursday that Obama 'welcomes a discussion of the trade-offs between security and civil liberties.' - Daily Mail.


U.S., British Intelligence Mining Data From 9 U.S. Internet Companies In Broad Secret Program.
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.  The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.  Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” 

London’s Guardian newspaper reported Friday that GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA.  According to documents obtained by The Guardian, PRISM would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required in Britain to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside of the country.  PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.  Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.  The court-approved program is focused on foreign communications traffic, which often flows through U.S. servers even when sent from one overseas location to another. Between 2004 and 2007, Bush administration lawyers persuaded federal FISA judges to issue surveillance orders in a fundamentally new form. Until then the government had to show probable cause that a particular “target” and “facility” were both connected to terrorism or espionage. 


Barack Obama said farewell to outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon (C) on Wednesday. UN
Ambassador Susan Rice (R) will take over from him in July, inheriting his vast portfolio of all the government's most secret intelligence operations.

In four new orders, which remain classified, the court defined massive data sets as “facilities” and agreed to certify periodically that the government had reasonable procedures in place to minimize collection of “U.S. persons” data without a warrant.  In a statement issue late Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said “information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”  Clapper added that there were numerous inaccuracies in reports about PRISM by The Post and the Guardian newspaper, but he did not specify any.  Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “I would just push back on the idea that the court has signed off on it, so why worry? This is a court that meets in secret, allows only the government to appear before it, and publishes almost none of its opinions. It has never been an effective check on government.”  Several companies contacted by The Post said they had no knowledge of the program, did not allow direct government access to their servers and asserted that they responded only to targeted requests for information.  “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers,” said Joe Sullivan, chief security officer for Facebook. “When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.” 

“We have never heard of PRISM,” said Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple. “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”  It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,” rather than directly to company servers.  Government officials and the document itself made clear that the NSA regarded the identities of its private partners as PRISM’s most sensitive secret, fearing that the companies would withdraw from the program if exposed. “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft; we need to make sure we don’t harm these sources,” the briefing’s author wrote in his speaker’s notes.  An internal presentation of 41 briefing slides on PRISM, dated April 2013 and intended for senior analysts in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in 1,477 items last year. According to the slides and other supporting materials obtained by The Post, “NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.  That is a remarkable figure in an agency that measures annual intake in the trillions of communications.


Successful applicants to the digital exploitation internship program will work at the NSA's
busy headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.

It is all the more striking because the NSA, whose lawful mission is foreign intelligence, is reaching deep inside the machinery of American companies that host hundreds of millions of American-held accounts on American soil.  The technology companies, whose cooperation is essential to PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley, according to the document. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted traffic of substantial intelligence interest during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.  Dropbox, the cloud storage and synchronization service, is described as “coming soon.”  Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who had classified knowledge of the program as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were unable to speak of it when they warned in a Dec. 27, 2012, floor debate that the FISA Amendments Act had what both of them called a “back-door search loophole” for the content of innocent Americans who were swept up in a search for someone else.  “As it is written, there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally been collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans,” Udall said.  Wyden repeatedly asked the NSA to estimate the number of Americans whose communications had been incidentally collected, and the agency’s director, Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, insisted there was no way to find out. Eventually Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III wrote Wyden a letter stating that it would violate the privacy of Americans in NSA data banks to try to estimate their number.

Roots in the ’70s 
PRISM is an heir, in one sense, to a history of intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s. The NSA calls these Special Source Operations, and PRISM falls under that rubric.  The Silicon Valley operation works alongside a parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, that gathers up “metadata” — technical information about communications traffic and network devices — as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. BLARNEY’s top-secret program summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”  But the PRISM program appears to more nearly resemble the most controversial of the warrantless surveillance orders issued by President George W. Bush after the al-Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Its history, in which President Obama presided over exponential growth in a program that candidate Obama criticized, shows how fundamentally surveillance law and practice have shifted away from individual suspicion in favor of systematic, mass collection techniques.  The Obama administration points to ongoing safeguards in the form of “extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons.”  And it is true that the PRISM program is not a dragnet, exactly. From inside a company’s data stream the NSA is capable of pulling out anything it likes, but under current rules the agency does not try to collect it all.  Analysts who use the system from a Web portal at Fort Meade, Md., key in “selectors,” or search terms, that are designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s “foreignness.” That is not a very stringent test. Training materials obtained by The Post instruct new analysts to make quarterly reports of any accidental collection of U.S. content, but add that “it’s nothing to worry about.”  Even when the system works just as advertised, with no American singled out for targeting, the NSA routinely collects a great deal of American content. That is described as “incidental,” and it is inherent in contact chaining, one of the basic tools of the trade. To collect on a suspected spy or foreign terrorist means, at minimum, that everyone in the suspect’s inbox or outbox is swept in. Intelligence analysts are typically taught to chain through contacts two “hops” out from their target, which increases “incidental collection” exponentially. The same math explains the aphorism, from the John Guare play, that no one is more than “six degrees of separation” from any other person.


WATCH: Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) questioned NSA director and CYBERCOM commander General Keith Alexander regarding reports that the NSA is intercepting U.S. citizens' phone calls and e-mails.


 A ‘directive’ 
In exchange for immunity from lawsuits, companies such as Yahoo and AOL are obliged to accept a “directive” from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to open their servers to the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA. In 2008, Congress gave the Justice Department authority for a secret order from the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court to compel a reluctant company “to comply.”  In practice, there is room for a company to maneuver, delay or resist. When a clandestine intelligence program meets a highly regulated industry, said a lawyer with experience in bridging the gaps, neither side wants to risk a public fight. The engineering problems are so immense, in systems of such complexity and frequent change, that the FBI and NSA would be hard pressed to build in back doors without active help from each company.  Apple demonstrated that resistance is possible when it held out for more than five years, for reasons unknown, after Microsoft became PRISM’s first corporate partner in May 2007. Twitter, which has cultivated a reputation for aggressive defense of its users’ privacy, is still conspicuous by its absence from the list of “private sector partners.”  Google, like the other companies, denied that it permitted direct government access to its servers.  “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data,” a company spokesman said. “We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”  Microsoft also provided a statement: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”  Yahoo also issued a denial.  “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously,” the company said in a statement. “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.” 

Like market researchers, but with far more privileged access, collection managers in the NSA’s Special Source Operations group, which oversees the PRISM program, are drawn to the wealth of information about their subjects in online accounts. For much the same reason, civil libertarians and some ordinary users may be troubled by the menu available to analysts who hold the required clearances to “task” the PRISM system.  There has been “continued exponential growth in tasking to Facebook and Skype,” according to the PRISM slides. With a few clicks and an affirmation that the subject is believed to be engaged in terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation, an analyst obtains full access to Facebook’s “extensive search and surveillance capabilities against the variety of online social networking services.”  According to a separate “User’s Guide for PRISM Skype Collection,” that service can be monitored for audio when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of “audio, video, chat, and file transfers” when Skype users connect by computer alone. Google’s offerings include Gmail, voice and video chat, Google Drive files, photo libraries, and live surveillance of search terms.  Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said. - Washington Post.


EXTREME WEATHER: America Under Attack - More Severe Weather For Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, And Iowa; Main Threat Will Be Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Floods And Damaging Winds!

June 08, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Instability is increasing across the central and southern Plains, setting the stage for severe weather.

The combination of a dip in the jet stream and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will act to spark severe thunderstorms from Nebraska and western Iowa, southwestward through Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles this afternoon.




Any of these thunderstorms will be capable of producing torrential downpours, damaging wind gusts in excess of 50 mph and hail.

While damaging winds will be the main threat with any severe thunderstorms, Senior Vice President of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions and tornado expert Mike Smith notes that "there is a threat for a tornado or two on an Omaha-to-Dodge City axis in the late afternoon and early evening of Saturday."

However, Smith also emphasized that the tornado threat is lower compared to last week's tornado outbreak, which spawned the widest tornado on record near El Reno, Okla.

Other cities in the path of the violent thunderstorms this afternoon include Grand Island and Lincoln, Neb., Russell, Kan., and Lubbock, Texas.

The severe weather will expand to the south and east through the overnight hours. Kansas City, Mo., Topeka and Wichita, Kan., will be at risk during the late afternoon and evening hours. The danger will reach Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla., late at night.




Following devastating severe weather over the past few weeks, the return of violent thunderstorms is the last thing residents of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area want to hear.

Severe weather parameters will be weaker farther north, but ample moisture surrounding a slow-moving center of low pressure will create thunderstorms with a high potential to produce heavy downpours and flash flooding.

This threat will be widespread across the Dakotas, southern Minnesota and Iowa through tonight, including the cities of Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, S.D., and Des Moines, Iowa.

Showers and a couple of thunderstorms will persist across Minnesota, Iowa and the eastern Dakotas on Sunday, while the severe weather danger centers on Chicago and St. Louis. - AccuWeather.



GREAT DELUGE: Post-Tropical Storm Andrea Leaves Widespread Floods Across The East Coast - Shattering Century-Old June Northeast Rainfall Records!

June 08, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Soaking rains that spawned numerous flood warnings pushed some streams and creeks over their banks throughout the Northeast, yet the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season sped up the Eastern Seaboard without causing major damage.

After bringing rain, strong winds and tornadoes to Florida, Andrea lost most of its tropical characteristics late Friday into Saturday. The storm was packing winds that gusted between 20 to 30 mph, and officials warned of near gale force from New Jersey to Canada through Sunday.


Members of the Lawrence Cedarhurst Fire Department rescue a woman from the roof of her car after she became stranded in flood water at the intersection of Marbridge Road and Meadow Lane in Lawrence. (June 7, 2013) Photo credit: Paul Mazza 

Andrea broke numerous rainfall records in the northeast. Heavy rain caused localized street flooding in spots throughout the region. Cars were submerged in floodwaters on Long Island, and about 50 residents were displaced by a rising stream in Chester, Pa.

The National Weather Service says Andrea dumped 6.64 inches of rain on Gales Ferry, Conn.

The 4.16 inches that fell on New York City's Central Park was more than double the previous June 7 record, set in 1918. The 3.5 inches of rain that fell at Philadelphia International Airport doubled the 1.79 inches that fell in 1904. Newark, N.J., saw 3.71 inches, breaking the previous mark of 1.11 inches set in 1931.


Ernest Lucas III attempts to walk through flooded sections of Singletary and Elvie streets as a City of Wilson truck drives through the area, Friday, June 7, 2013, in Wilson, N.C. (Gray Whitley | AP Photo/ The Wilson Times)

Several cars became submerged in flood water under the train trestle at Merritts Road near Fulton Street in Farmingdale. An elderly driver whose car got stuck was rescued by local resident Rob Criscione, who went into the water and helped the man from his car. Criscione took that driver and two other stranded motorists to his home a few houses away where they could call relatives and get warm. (June 7, 2013) Photo credit: Paul Mazza 

A drenching storm flooded major roads across Long Island during Friday night's commute, stranding some motorists and turning low-lying areas into temporary lakes. Photo credit: Paul Mazza 

The heavy rain from the storm's outer bands was being blamed by authorities in Virginia for a fatal accident on Interstate 77 in the state's western mountains. William Petty, 57, of Lexington, S.C., died after a car in which he was a passenger hydroplaned while passing a tractor-trailer. He survived the crash, only to be killed moments later when the car was struck by a second tractor-trailer, authorities said.

A number of roads were flooded in the Boston area. A flight that left Boston on Friday night headed to Palm Beach, Fla., was diverted to Newark Liberty International Airport after being struck by lightning. No one was injured.

The weather service reported that small streams and creeks in southeastern Pennsylvania were going over their banks Friday night. New York City's airports experienced flight delays, and Connecticut reported numerous lane closures on highway as cars spun out amid heavy rain.


WATCH: Andrea's Flooding Rains Clobber East Coast.




The rainy weather washed out events such as NASCAR's Sprint Cup qualifying in Pennsylvania's Poconos and MLB games in Washington, New York and Boston.

While the storm moved out of Florida early Friday, the Sunshine State was still feeling the effects into the day. The weather service estimated that feeder bands from Andrea's remnants dropped more than 9 inches of rain on eastern Miami-Dade County and more than 6 inches of rain on eastern Broward County on Friday. - TWC.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 08, 2013 - Updates On Pavlof, Popocatépetl, San Cristobal And Cerro Negro!

June 08, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.


Mount Pavlof, a volcano on the Alaska Peninsula, erupting on May 17, 2013.
The ash plume reached 20,000 feet. Chris Owens photo.

Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): Weak eruptive activity continues, producing small steam and ash plumes drifting at about 18-20,000 ft (5-6 km) altitude SSE as detected on satellite data (VAAC Anchorage).


Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Given the currently low activity (1-3 weak steam and gas emissions per hour), CENAPRED has lowered the alert level back to "Yellow Phase 2".


San Cristobal (Nicaragua): New eruptions occurred yesterday. The volcano produced a series of 7 small ash emissions between 06:45 to 11:43 am (local time). The explosions were very small and ash plumes only rose up to about 100 m above the crater.


Seismic recording from San Cristobal volcano yesterday (CRIN station, INETER)

The new eruptions were followed by a rise in seismic activity in the form of tremor, which rose to about 3 times normal levels during the afternoon. The tremor pulse was still of relatively low energy and in itself not alarming, as the volcano experiences similar phases of elevated seismicity frequently, but given the recent activity, INETER warns that new explosions, possibly larger in scale, could follow with little warning and that air traffic should avoid the area of the volcano.

Unconnected to the new eruptive activity, a small mud flow occurred at 17:10 local time on the lower slopes as a result of heavy rainfall, but did not cause damage.

SINAPRED (Civil Protection) said to be ready to organize the evacuation of some 3,000 people living within a radius of 5 km if necessary, i.e. in case of stronger eruptions.


Cerro Negro (Nicaragua): The volcano might be entering a phase of reawakening. A seismic swarm of 49 low magnitude earthquakes and a pulse of volcanic tremor occurred on 4 June, INETER reported in a press release that day.


Seismic recording on 4 June (CNGN station, INETER)

The seismic activity started 08:45 am (local time) on 4 June, increased until 10:30 and the eased again. At the moment, the seismicity is calm again. No further reports have been published by INETER, who has not raised the alert level, but recommended to limit access to the volcano's crater as a precaution measure.

Cerro Negro is a popular tourist destination, known for "ash surfing" on the steep ashy slopes. The last eruption of the volcano occurred in 1999.


Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for June 8, 2013.


- Volcano Discovery.




MASS SHOOTINGS: Gunman Goes On A Rampage In Santa Monica, California - Killing Four; Police Seek Alleged Gunman's Link To Santa Monica College!

June 08, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Detectives probing the Santa Monica shooting rampage that left five dead are trying to determine why the alleged gunman wanted to be driven to Santa Monica College, where he was ultimately killed by police.


Students evacuate as police swarm Santa Monica College looking for a gunman who went on a rampage that ended at the school. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / June 7, 2013)

Police have stressed that the rampage was not a "school shooting" and that the violence occurred in many places and happened to end on the campus.

But a woman who was carjacked by the alleged gunman said he specifically asked to be taken to the college.

"You're going to drive me to Santa Monica College and let me out," Laura Sisk, 41, of Culver City recalled the alleged gunman saying in an interview with The Times.

As of Saturday morning, law enforcement sources said they did not believe the college was the target. The source said the alleged gunman's first victims were his father and brother, whose bodies were found in a burning home.


One of the dead was shot outside the library of the two-year college, where students were studying for or taking final exams. Santa Monica. (Photo: AP/Paul Alvarez Jr., Santa Monica Daily Press)

The sources said those deaths appeared to be tied to a family dispute. But they stressed the investigation was still in its early stages.

Authorities said detectives were trying to look into the background of the alleged gunman, who has not been identified, as well as his family. They also want to know how he got the semiautomatic rifle he used.

Police were expected to hold a news conference Saturday morning.

The first signs of trouble came about 11:50 a.m. Friday, when gunshots rang out in the vicinity of Kansas and Yorkshire avenues, a quiet neighborhood nestled along the Santa Monica Freeway.

Jerry Cunningham-Rathner had just watched her son walk out the front door of her home a few minutes earlier when she heard the shots. She rushed outside, fearing he had been hit.

Instead, looking across the street, she saw a house engulfed in flames. A man standing in front of the house was dressed all in black, with an ammunition belt around his waist and a large rifle in his hands, she said.

"He looked like a SWAT officer," she said.


Priscilla Morales cries as she is consoled by a parking enforcement officer Friday, in Santa Monica, Calif. Morales was in the library at Santa Monica College, where a gunman who allegedly killed at least five people with an assault-style rifle was shot to death in a gunfight with police.(Photo: AP/Paul Alvarez Jr., Santa Monica Daily Press)

Firefighters later found the bodies of two men inside the house. Police sources, who requested anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said the men were Samir Zawahri, 55, the owner of the house, and one of his adult sons. A second son is suspected of being the shooter, the sources said.

Cunningham-Rathner looked on in horror as two cars approached. She said the man pointed his weapon at the first, a Mazda hatchback, and yelled at the driver to stop. Cunningham-Rathner said he motioned for the woman driving the second car to keep moving. When she hesitated, the man opened fire on her silver Infiniti, wounding the driver slightly.

Sisk, the driver in the first car, froze, she said. She knew President Obama was in town for an event a few miles away and thought momentarily the man might be a Secret Service agent. She quickly realized that wasn't the case.

She begged him to take the car instead. "No. You're driving," he said.

Before getting into the passenger's seat next to Sisk, witnesses said, the gunman fired several shots aimlessly around the neighborhood with what authorities later said was an "AR-15 style" semiautomatic rifle.

Other than telling her where to turn, the man said little during the mile drive down Pico Boulevard toward the college campus, Sisk said. He was calm, she said.

Sisk said she was crying and shaking as she drove. The gunman reassured her. "He told me to calm down," she said. "He said he'd let me go if I didn't do anything stupid."

Near Cloverfield and Pico boulevards, the gunman allegedly fired at the outside of a public bus from front to back, shattering the windows. Passengers dived to the floor for cover, said Marta Fagerstroem, a student from Sweden, who was on the bus and studying for an exam.

A woman sitting in the back row was grazed in the head by a bullet, witnesses said.

"It happened so fast," said Fagerstroem, her voice quavering. "You don't expect this."


SWAT officers conduct a search at the college after the shooting.
Sisk said that after shooting at the bus, the alleged gunman shouted at her to " 'Go! Go! Go!' So I drove, drove, drove."

They continued toward the campus. At a school parking lot at 20th and Pearl streets, the shooter opened fire on two people in a Ford Explorer, police said. The driver died at the scene, and the passenger was badly wounded. Shortly afterward, Sisk said, the man ordered her to let him out. After he exited, she sped down the block and then got out of her car and ran.

By that time, officers from the Santa Monica Police Department and the college's police force had received numerous 911 calls reporting the chaos.

The calls took on an even sharper edge with the president in town attending an event at the same time nearby. Federal authorities were quickly made aware of the situation.

Campus police intercepted the alleged gunman on the edge of campus and exchanged gunfire with him, authorities said. They continued to trade shots as the man ran toward the school's library and shot a woman outside the building's entrance before disappearing inside.

The woman outside the library later died at a hospital.


 WATCH: Police issues early statement on the Santa Monica shooting.




During the rampage, five people were wounded, two seriously, police said.

The library was filled with students studying for year-end exams and the gunman "accosted" several of them, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said, as he unleashed another barrage of bullets. Hearing the shots, panicked students ran from the building or hid in rooms and under tables.

Officers confronted the man, wounding him. They carried him outside, where he died on a sidewalk.

As police and rescue crews from several agencies descended on the campus, Santa Monica Airport became an impromptu staging area for helicopters ferrying in officers and waiting in case there were injured to be evacuated.

That forced a change in plan for Obama, who was scheduled to be flown by helicopter from Santa Monica Airport to Los Angeles International for departure on Air Force One. Instead, he was driven.

The investigation into the shooting led police to an apartment building on South Centinela Avenue in Los Angeles, where the alleged shooter was believed to have lived with his mother, sources said.


 WATCH: Eyewitness report on the Santa Monica College shooting.




Mykel Denis, who lives in the next apartment, was questioned by police Friday afternoon. He said they asked whether he knew his two neighbors. He described the woman as "pleasant" and her son as "angry." Court records show that Zawahri, the owner of the burned house, had divorced a woman named Randa Abdou, who now lives next door to Denis.

"Sounds really travel in the building and he had a very distinct voice," Denis, 46, said of the son. "It was very low and loud. He was a very angry person."

Denis said he would often hear the man through the walls "yelling, screaming and cursing."

A few years ago, Denis said, he witnessed a particularly hostile exchange between the mother and son. As the young man screamed at his mother and stormed past Denis, Denis said he threatened to call police, and the young man replied: "Go ahead." - LA Times.




GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Texas Brine Declares That Oxy Cavern 3 Has Dropped ANOTHER 32 FEET Since Friday; 61 FEET In Just 2 Weeks!

June 08, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The following constitutes the latest update from the Assumption Parish Police Jury on the giant Louisiana sinkhole:




Texas Brine has reported to us that Oxy Cavern 3 floor has dropped another 32' since last Friday's tagging.

This is 61' over the past two weeks, which now gives 161' left unfilled. It is unknown why this is occurring now, but weekly monitoring shall continue.

We will continue to post this information as it becomes available.




MASS FISH DIE-OFF: About 500,000 Rabbitfish Have Died In Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam - Causing Losses Upto 2.5 Billion Vietnam Dollars?!

June 08, 2013 - VIETNAM - Fish and shrimp breeders in the central region are in deep despair after diseases have hit their fish and shrimp crops, with many of them now on the verge of bankruptcy.  About 500,000 rabbitfish (Siganus) have died in Tam Giang Lagoon causing losses upto VND2.5 billion (US$119,000) for local households in Thua Thien-Hue Province.

One household will suffer an average loss of VND40-50 million ($1,904-2,380).


Rabbitfish die enmasse in Tam Giang Lagoon in Thua Thien-Hue Province (Photo: SGGP)

Tens of thousands of Kinh fish, a small fish species living in brackish water, also faces extinction in Quang Dien District.

According to the district Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the long-lasting hot weather together with rainstorms has suddenly changed the salinity in breeding ponds.

Besides, the spread of blue green algae has reduced oxygen in the water. Another reason is that farmers have bred too much fish in a single pond and hence the quality of bred fish has gone down.

Farmers in the central region are also stricken by shrimp diseases, which have spread and killed numerous tiger prawns and white-leg shrimps in many provinces.

Several breeders are on the verge of bankruptcy after mortgaging their properties to banks so as to breed shrimp.

They now are in need of assistance from authorized organs to fully determine the cause of the dead fish and shrimp, to prevent further spread of diseases. Farmers too need assistance in sterilizing breeding ponds. - SGGP.


RATTLE & HUM: Loud Explosions Heard In Northampton, United Kingdom - Treated As Unexplained?!

June 08, 2013 - UNITED KINGDOM - Three "explosions" heard in the early hours of the morning in Northampton are being treated as unexplained.


The fire service attended a report of an "explosion" in Castle Street.

Northamptonshire Fire Service investigated the separate reports in St Mary's Street, Castle Street and Silver Street but "didn't find anything".

Andy Gineikis, who lives nearby, said he heard a "loud bang" similar to a shotgun blast at about 03:30 BST.

Western Power Distribution said there had been a power cut in the Abington area of Northampton at about 04:40.

A spokesperson said it was possible that it could have produced a bang but the cause of the power cut was as yet unknown.

'Loud bang'

About 900 houses lost their power but the spokesperson said all of the connections were restored by 05:20.

The fire service said the first "explosion" was reported at 02:59 in St Mary's Street, followed by a call from Castle Street at 03:34 and Silver Street at 05:19.

The roads are all close to each other.

Mr Gineikis said: "I was awake and heard a loud bang at 03:30.

"I noticed when I got up this morning that all my digital timers were flashing which usually happens if we have a power interruption."

Northamptonshire Police said the bangs were a "bit of a mystery".

Officers attended Gladstone Road at about 03:00 to investigate reports of a "loud noise". They discovered a bonfire still alight in a garden and spoke with residents.

At 03:40 a bang was reported in College Street. Officers believed it was possibly a "large firework".

A final call was received at 05:20 from the Stanley Road area but nothing untoward was found.

No investigations are ongoing. - BBC.





GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 07, 2013 - Updates On Etna, Stromboli, Sakurajima, Bagana, Ibu, Pavlof, Popocatépetl, Pacaya, Fuego, Nevado del Ruiz And Copahue!

June 08, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.




Etna (Sicily, Italy): During a visit to the summit craters today, we could observe a new hot fumarole in the western pit of the Bocca Nuova, increased bluish degassing from a vent in the saddle between the old and new SE crater and hear deep-seated explosions inside the NE crater.

Apart from this, Etna seems to continue its "sleep". Tremor levels have been low during the past weeks, and no eruptive activity has been observed from any of the summit craters since early May.


Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): When observed during 3-6 June, the volcano was at normal levels of activity which had not changed significantly since our last visit 2 weeks ago. On the crater terrace, about 7 active vents were present, with eruptions every about 15-20 minutes: the two vents in the NW crater sometimes erupted simultaneously, one with low ejections of blocks, scoria and ash, the other with loud turbine-like jets of gas and lava fragments that often reached about 250 m height. The hornito at the NW crater rim was not seen erupting.

The 3 connected glowing vents in the central crater produced pulsating steam puffs, but no spattering.


Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): During the past 5 days, no explosions have been recorded by Tokyo VAAC. It seems that the volcano is currently taking a rest and at very low levels of activity, with no or only very small explosions occurring.


Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): Eruptions continue at Bagana. Occasionally, ash plumes are detected on satellite data such as on 4 June when a plume at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude extended 20 nautical miles to the west. (VAAC Darwin)


Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): The alert level of the volcano was raised to 3 ("Siaga", "alarm") on a scale of 1-4 by the Indonesian Volcanological Survey.

The remote volcano on Halmahera island is rarely visited, but reports from the ground suggest it has been in a state of near-permanent (mostly strombolian) activity for years.


Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The renewed eruptive activity (since 4 June) continues at low to moderate levels, accompanied by increased seismic activity. AVO reported low lava fountaining, although webcam images of the plume are more consistent with classic strombolian-type activity. Yesterday morning, ash emissions rose to 14-18,000 ft (4.2-5.6 km) altitude and drifted about 45 km SW.

Satellite images show elevated surface temperatures at the summit, consistent with mild explosive and perhaps effusive activity.


Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has not changed much and remained comparably low, with about 3 weak to moderate emissions of steam and gas per hour. Occasionally, some of them contained small amounts of ash.


Current webcam view of Popocatépetl.

Yesterday, 4 volcanic-tectonic quakes of magnitudes between 2.1 and 2.7 occurred.


Pacaya (Guatemala): An emission of fine ash occurred this morning at 04:00 local time, but INSIVUMEH reports no other (e.g. strombolian) activity but degassing from the crater at the moment.


Fuego (Guatemala): The level of activity has been generally very weak recently. During yesterday-today, only two small strombolian explosions were counted.

Similarly, the Santiaguito lava dome has been rather calm as well.


Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): Seismic unrest and elevated degassing (high SO2 output) continue, but no significant eruptive activity at the surface has been observed recently.


Current seismic recording at Nevado del Ruiz (OLL station, INGEOMINAS).


Copahue (Chile/Argentina): Seismic unrest continues, but the number and energy of quakes has been decreasing in recent days.


Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for June 7, 2013.


- Volcano Discovery.


EXTREME WEATHER: Tropical Storm Andrea Soaks DC, Philadelphia, NYC And Boston - Flash Floods, Storm Surges Menace East Coast As Andrea Meanders North; NASA Satellite Reveals Tropical Storm Andrea's Towering Thunderstorms!

June 08, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Andrea will brush the mid-Atlantic coast and sweep over New England Friday into Saturday with locally heavy rain, brief gusty winds and a flooding risk. As of 2:00 p.m. EDT Friday, maximum sustained winds with Andrea were around 45 mph. The storm was located about 5 miles south-southwest of Fayetteville, N.C.. Around 5:45 p.m. EDT Thursday, Andrea made landfall along the Florida Big Bend. While widespread flooding problems are not expected in the Northeast, Andrea will quickly move along the Atlantic coast on Friday, bringing tropical downpours and urban flooding concerns to end the week.

Andrea Soaks DC, Philadelphia, NYC And Boston.


Andrea retained tropical storm status into Friday afternoon as it crossed through the Carolinas before being recategorized as a tropical rain storm around 5 p.m. EDT. Travel delays from blinding tropical downpours, poor drainage area flooding and locally gusty thunderstorms are possible. A brief period of stiff winds will sweep northward, brushing the coast in some areas, especially Cape Hatteras, N.C., Long Island, N.Y., and Cape Cod, Mass.

Coastal Rain, Urban Flooding 
The rain from Andrea will precede the center of circulation by 12 hours or more.  Disruptive downpours can occur around Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, New York City, Boston, Hartford, Providence, Portsmouth, N.H., and Portland, Maine.  Indications are that most locations in this swath will be in for a 2- to 4-inch rainfall, but locally heavier amounts are possible, especially in southeastern Virginia, Delmarva, southern and coastal New Jersey, Long Island and southeastern New England.

Coastal Wind, Above-Normal Tides 


A brief (approximately six-hour) period of gusty onshore winds along the coast will make for locally rough surf and strong rip currents. Bathers should exercise caution Friday and Saturday as the system approaches then swings by. A water rise causing significant coastal flooding is not expected, due to the increasing forward speed and relatively weak nature of the tropical part of the system.  However, higher astronomical tides occur during high tide cycles near and just before the new moon, which is midday Saturday. Brief, minor flooding around time of high tide is possible later Friday into Saturday morning. Water levels can be as high as 2 feet above published levels.

Appalachian Rain, Flooding Concerns 


Another component of the rain will be from a storm system moving in from the Midwest. This rain is preceding Andrea's rain by a day or more but will linger somewhat in Andrea's wake.  The combination of Andrea's moisture and the presence of the Midwest system can enhance rainfall over the Appalachians, potentially leading to localized flash and urban flooding problems. Rainfall in this area can top 2 inches in some locations.

Widespread flooding of streams and major river flooding are not expected, due to the quick forward motion of both systems.  In between both main areas of heavy rain on the coast and over the mountains, downpours more spotty in nature will also occur. Rainfall in this area can vary tremendously from location to location, ranging from less than 0.25 of an inch to a couple of inches.

Strong Thunderstorms


Finally, the combination of the tropical part and non-tropical part of the storms can lead to locally strong thunderstorms, of which a handful could be severe at the local level. The greatest risk for locally severe thunderstorms would be near and just east of the track of the tropical system's center of circulation.

Incidents of power outages and property damage would be very sporadic and should be relatively minor. However, since forecasting the exact location of individual thunderstorms is nearly impossible days in advance, there is the risk of a severe thunderstorm hitting a major population center with more widespread consequences. Heavy rain and locally gusty winds and thunderstorms will focus over Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland later Saturday and Saturday night, as both the Midwest and Gulf systems merge into one. On a positive note for lawn, garden and agricultural interests, the combination of the two storms will bring a dose of rain to many areas. Recent sunshine, low humidity and breezes have dried out the topsoil leaving shallow root vegetation in need of moisture. The bulk of the rain will leave the mid-Atlantic by Saturday morning and New England by Saturday afternoon and will allow most outdoor activities to resume for the balance of the weekend. - AccuWeather.




Flash Floods, Storm Surges Menace East Coast As Andrea Meanders North.
No longer a tropical storm, the weather system called Andrea was making its way up the East Coast, threatening flash floods and dangerous storm surges into Saturday as far north as Maine.

Andrea was wandering up the coast at about 35 mph Friday night, the National Weather Service said. That should give it plenty of time to drop heavy rain on New York and New England overnight and into Saturday afternoon before it scrapes Canada's Atlantic coast and trickles off into the Atlantic Ocean sometime Sunday.


WATCH: Weather Channel meteorologist Chris Warren details the forecast along the East Coast as Andrea dumps rain on the region.



In the wake of the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, residents of the Southeast faced a weekend of cleaning up from severe flooding caused by torrents of rain — as much as 13.9 inches in North Miami Beach, Fla., on Friday alone.

In South Carolina, a 19-year-old man went missing as he was surfing with his brother, NBC affiliate WMBF reported. A search team was spread out along the beach Friday night, but it had been able to recover only a surfboard.


A man checks out the high surf Friday, June 7, along Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
Paul Stephen / The Star-News via AP

Flood watches were in effect over a huge part of the East Coast, from Maine to Georgia, and Northeasterners who lived through Hurricane Sandy were on alert Friday.

Hoboken, N.J., resident Brian Smalleys, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars repairing his home after Sandy, told NBCNewYork.com that he has trouble sleeping when it rains heavily now.


WATCH: Waves crash along the shore of Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, N.C., as Andrea makes it way up the East Coast, bringing heavy rains and high winds.



"I just get nervous. I don't want it to happen again," he said.

New York activated its flash flood plan — ready to send alerts to cellphones — and issued a hazardous travel advisory as moderate to heavy rain was expected through early Saturday.

In Florida, Andrea left behind considerable damage.

The weather service recorded eight tornado reports in the state, with damage to houses and trees and downed power lines. - NBC News.


NASA Satellite Reveals Tropical Storm Andrea's Towering Thunderstorms.
On June 6, TRMM showed that Andrea had a large area of moderate to heavy rainfall in the northeast quadrant of the storm and precipitation was spreading over the state of Florida. The cloud cover extended over the northern half of Florida, but was out of range of TRMM's orbit.
© SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

This 3-D view from the west was derived from TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) data captured when Andrea was examined by the TRMM satellite with the June 5, 2234 UTC (6:34 p.m. EDT) orbit. It clearly shows that the majority of the heavy convective rainfall was located on Andrea's eastern side. TRMM PR also showed that the tallest convective thunderstorms reached heights of about 14km (~8.7 miles). Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce


Towering thunderstorms are a sign of a strong tropical cyclone, and NASA's TRMM satellite spotted thunderstorms reaching heights of almost 9 miles high within Tropical Storm Andrea. NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared view that revealed very cold cloud top temperatures that coincided with the towering thunderstorms that TRMM saw.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of the temperatures in Tropical Storm Andrea's cloud tops on June 6 at 2:41 a.m. EDT. The coldest cloud top temperatures (in excess of -63F/-52C) and heaviest precipitation was over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and southeastern Florida at the time of the image.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite flew directly above tropical storm Andrea on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 0508 UTC (1:08 a.m. EDT). This orbit showed that Andrea had a large area of moderate to heavy rainfall in the northeast quadrant of the storm and precipitation was spreading over the state of Florida.


This infrared image of the temperatures of Tropical Storm Andrea's cloud tops was taken by the AIRS instrument
aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on June 6 at 2:41 a.m. EDT. The dark purple indicates coldest cloud top
temperatures (in excess of -63F/-52C) and heavy rainfall. At that time, most of the heaviest
precipitation was over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and southeastern Florida.

© NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Hal Pierce of the TRMM Science Team used TRMM data create a 3-D view of Tropical Storm Andrea. The 3-D view from the west was derived from TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) data captured when Andrea was examined by the TRMM satellite with the June 5, 2234 UTC (6:34 p.m. EDT) orbit. It clearly showed that the majority of the heavy convective rainfall was located on Andrea's eastern side. TRMM PR also showed that the tallest convective thunderstorms reached heights of about 14km (~8.7 miles).

On June 6, at 2 p.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Andrea was located near 29.0 north and 83.6 west. That's just 35 miles (55 km) west-southwest of Cedar Key, Fla. and 100 miles (160 km) east-southeast of Apalachicola. Andrea's maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph (95 kph) and had slightly increased forward speed, moving northeast at 17 mph (28 kph). Minimum central pressure is 994 millibars, down from 997 millibars during the morning hours.


WATCH: NASA's 3-D TRMM Satellite Animation of Tropical Storm Andrea.




At 2 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center noted that the center of Andrea will reach the coast of the big bend area of Florida in the next few hours.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the west coast of Florida from Boca Grande to Indian Pass, from Flagler Beach, Fla. to Cape Charles Light, Va., the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and the lower Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, Va. For the most up to date forecasts, visit the National Hurricane Center web page at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Andrea is expected to move northeastward after crossing Florida and travel near the east coast of the United States through Saturday, June 8. - Eureka Alert.