2015 Hurricane Season Starts with Formation of Two Major Hurricanes
As the earliest second hurricane on record for the eastern Pacific, Hurricane Blanca is still active in the northeastern Pacific, currently located (as of 1800 UTC on June 4) approximately 392 nautical miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico (NASA, JTWC Warning #17). Blanca has weakened since becoming a Category 4 hurricane on June 3, and is currently sustaining maximum wind speeds of 98 miles per hour (85 knots), though it is expected to strengthen some over the next 24 to 36 hours. Swells generated by Hurricane Blanca will likely affect coastal areas of southwestern Mexico over the next couple of days, and officials warn that swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions (NHC Advisory #17).
Over the week, the first hurricane of the 2015 season, which also peaked at Category 4, has weakened into a tropical storm (Phys.org/NASA). Post-Tropical Cyclone Andres is expected to degenerate over the weekend, posing no threat to land (NHC Discussion #31).
With the 2015 hurricane season underway, now’s the time to make sure your family disaster plan and disaster supply kit are ready. Preparedness and early warning are key to keeping you and your family safe as we enter the start of what could be a busier than usual Pacific hurricane season (PDC). And keep yourself informed with daily observations and forecasts through the PDC Weather Wall’s Tropical Cyclone Activity Reports for the Pacific and Indian Oceans and Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico.
RVA Country Profile: South Korea
The largest outbreak of MERS outside the Arabian Peninsula has been confirmed in South Korea (WHO). As of June 4, the number of confirmed MERS cases reported to the World Health Organization had reached 41, including 2 deaths (CIDRAP). The outbreak has been traced to a case reported on May 20, and currently health officials are following 1,369 contacts in quarantine or isolation either at home or in state-run facilities (WHO).
In connection with the outbreak in South Korea, China has also reported its first case of MERS after an exposed case from South Korea travelled to the country (WHO).
This Week in Hazards
– Officials in Japan issued a Level 5 Alert following the explosive eruption of Kuchinoerabujima volcano on May 29 (SI,JMA). The ash plume generated by the volcano rose 9 kilometers, and an increase in earthquake activity was also reported. Reports indicate that all residents of Kuchinoerabu island (more than 100 people) were safely evacuated to neighboring Yakushima island (NASA).
– No relief as of yet in India as a deadly heatwave continues. Although India is used to coping with high temperatures during the summer, officials report that the rapid increase in temperature over a relatively short time has worsened conditions (ReliefWeb). In response, the city of Ahmedabad has enacted a “Heat Action Plan,” so far the only plan of its kind (in effect) in the country.
Current Hazard Warnings
Tropical Cyclone: Blanca (Northeastern Pacific)
Flood: Kenya, China, United States (Central), Colombia
Severe Weather: Malaysia, United States (Northern/Central Plains), Sudan, Chile
Extreme Temperature: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India
Drought: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, St. Lucia, United States (Western)
Earthquake: United States (Alaska)
Biomedical: West Africa
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