Great earthquake rocks Chile; NYC gets 4th greatest snow ever; Xynthia batters Europe

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 17:26 GMT le 27 février 2010

Share this Blog
2
+

A great earthquake with magnitude 8.8 rocked the coast of Chile at 6:34 GMT this morning, generating a potentially dangerous tsunami that is racing across the Pacific Ocean. The great quake is the 7th most powerful tremor in world history (Figure 1). Preliminary tsunami wave heights for the California coast near Santa Barbara are 2 - 2.5 feet. The wave is expected to arrive between 12:15 - 12:35 pm PST. The tsunami is expected to arrive in Hawaii between 11:05 - 11:42am HST, with a wave 8.2 feet high expected in Hilo, on the Big Island. A tsunami from the 9.5 Magnitude 1960 earthquake in Chile killed 61 people in Hilo. Today's quake was so strong, that it triggered a seiche in Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, over 4,500 miles (7,000 km) away. The lake sloshed back and forth, creating a wave 0.4 - 0.51 feet on either side of the lake.


Figure 1. Wikipedia's list of strongest earthquakes of all-time.

Preliminary tsunami amplitude forecasts:

La Jolla, CA 2.3 ft
Los Angeles, CA 2.0 ft
Malibu, CA 2.6 ft
Pt. San Luis, CA 2.3 ft
Half Moon Bay, CA 2.6 ft
Crescent City, CA 1.7 ft
Morro Bay, CA 2.2 ft
Santa Monica, CA 3.3 ft
San Francisco, CA 0.7 ft
Pismo Beach, CA 4.6 ft

Hilo, HI 8.2 feet 11:5am HST
Honolulu, HI 1.6 ft 11:37am HST
Kahului, HI 7.2 ft 11:26am HST
Nawiliwili, HI 3.0 ft 11:42am HST
Haleiwa 1.6 ft
Kawaihae 2.0 ft

Port Orford, OR 0.7 ft

Moclip, WA 1.3 ft

Seward, AK 1.3 ft
Stika, AK 1.3 ft
Kodiak, AK 2.3 ft

Tofino, British Columbia 1.7 ft

Today's great quake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American plates about 325 km southwest of the capital Santiago (population 5.3 million). The depth was estimated at 35 km. At least four aftershocks of magnitude 6 or higher have occurred, the largest being a 6.9 aftershock. Fortunately, the area close to the epicenter is relatively sparsely populated, but there may be heavy damage in Concepción (est. pop. 300,000) and Chillan (est. pop. 170,000), which lie 115 km and 100 km to the south of the epicenter, respectively.


Figure 2. NOAA's preliminary forecast of tsunami wave energy for today's earthquake. Image credit: NOAA Tsunami Warning Center.

New York City slammed with its 4th largest snowstorm on record
The snow from the fourth extreme snowstorm to wallop the Northeast U.S. this winter dumped a remarkable 20.9" of snow on New York City's Central Park yesterday and Thursday. This is the 4th largest snowstorm for the city in recorded history. According to the National Weather Service, the top ten snowstorms on record for New York City's Central Park are:

26.9" Feb 11-12, 2006
26.4" Dec 26-27, 1947
21.0" Mar 12-14, 1888
20.9" Feb 25-26, 2010
20.2" Jan 7-8, 1996
19.8" Feb 16-17, 2003
18.1" Mar 7-8, 1941
17.7" Feb 5-7, 1978
17.6" Feb 11-12, 1983
17.5" Feb 4-7, 1920

The storm also helped New York City set a new all-time snowfall record for the most snow ever recorded in a month--36.9". The old record was 30.5", set in March 1896. However, the old Lower Manhattan WB Station recorded 37.9" in February 1894. Yesterday's snowstorm puts New York City's snow for the 2009 - 2010 season at 51.4", making it the 11th snowiest winter since 1869. Chris Burt, author of Extreme Weather, lists the city's all-time seasonal snowfall record at 81.5", set in the winter of 1867 - 1868. This measurement came before official records began in Central Park, and were done be the NY Park Commissioners (see "Annual Report NY Park Commissioners", 1868, by John B. Marie). The second snowiest winter in NYC occurred during the winter of 1995 - 1996, when 75.6" fell.

Destructive Winter Storm Xynthia battering Portugal and Spain
A powerful 969 mb low pressure system named "Xynthia" is rapidly intensifying of the coast of Spain, and stands poised to deliver a devastating blow to Portugal, Spain, and France today and tomorrow as it powers through Europe. Sustained winds of 60 mph (96 km/hr) were reported today at a Personal Weather Station in Costa del Morte, Spain. The pressure fell to 969 mb as Xynthia passed overhead. For comparison, Winter Storm Klaus had a minimum pressure of 967 mb. Klaus, which hit northern Spain and southwest France January 23 - 25, was Earth's most costly natural disaster of 2009, causing $5.1 billion in damage and killing 26. Models predict that Xynthia will continue to intensify today, reaching 962 mb as it moves into the west coast of France Sunday morning. Sustained winds of 50 - 65 mph (80 - 105 km/hr) with hurricane-force gusts up to 100 mph (160 km/hr) are possible along the north coast of Spain tonight and the west coast of France on Sunday as Xynthia barrels through. The storm is also bringing an exceptionally moist plume of tropical moisture ashore, as seen in precipitable water imagery from NOAA (Figure 4). This moisture is likely to cause moderate to severe flooding in portions of Europe over the weekend.


Figure 3. Visible satellite image at 12 GMT of Xynthia.


Figure 4. Satellite measurements show a region of extremely high atmospheric moisture is associated with Winter Storm Xynthia. This moisture will surge over Portugal and Spain today, potentially creating serious flooding. Image credit: Sheldon Kusselson, NOAA/NESDIS.

Links to follow:
Wundermap for Northwest Spain
Spanish radar
Meteo-France
Portugese radar

Jeff Masters

Central Park 26Feb10 (MickyDee)
the BIG one Taken in Manhattan
Central Park 26Feb10
Tree 1, House 0 (Backbaybob)
This cottage was no match for 65 mph wind and an old pine tree.
Tree 1, House 0

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 416 - 366

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22Blog Index

Quoting Skyepony:
TSUNAMI ADVISORIES MEAN THAT A TSUNAMI CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
STRONG CURRENTS OR WAVES DANGEROUS TO PERSONS IN OR VERY NEAR
WATER IS IMMINENT OF EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION
IS NOT EXPECTED FOR AREAS IN AN ADVISORY. TSUNAMIS ARE A SERIES OF
WAVES POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SEVERAL HOURS AFTER INITIAL ARRIVAL
TIME. ESTIMATED TIMES OF INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL FOR SELECTED
SITES IN THE ADVISORY ARE PROVIDED BELOW.

SAN FRANCISCO-CA 1326 PST FEB 27 KODIAK-AK 1628 AKST FEB 27
CRESCENT CITY-CA 1346 PST FEB 27 SAND PT.-AK 1629 AKST FEB 27
CHARLESTON-OR 1402 PST FEB 27 JUNEAU-AK 1635 AKST FEB 27
SEASIDE-OR 1446 PST FEB 27 DUTCH HARBOR-AK 1638 AKST FEB 27
WESTPORT-WA 1457 PST FEB 27 SEWARD-AK 1639 AKST FEB 27
NEAH BAY-WA 1507 PST FEB 27 ADAK-AK 1642 AKST FEB 27
TOFINO-BC 1515 PST FEB 27 VALDEZ-AK 1657 AKST FEB 27
LANGARA-BC 1551 PST FEB 27 CORDOVA-AK 1706 AKST FEB 27
SITKA-AK 1529 AKST FEB 27 COLD BAY-AK 1709 AKST FEB 27
KETCHIKAN-AK 1549 AKST FEB 27 SHEMYA-AK 1721 AKST FEB 27
YAKUTAT-AK 1619 AKST FEB 27 HOMER-AK 1739 AKST FEB 27
FOR ARRIVAL TIMES AT ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS SEE
WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV



Atleast things look good for the WeatherUnderground servers..


I was going to go out and try to see the waves this evening here in Alaska, but if this is as bad as it's going to get in Hawaii then I probably won't bother as there likely won't be anything discernible to see.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
414. IKE
Quoting Levi32:


Good one! lol


Well...they did all 3 cover the "event".

A non-event for Hawaii.....as far as damage.


Quoting stormsurge39:
Thank God these ripples um i mean waves arent tearing up Hawaii and its people!


LOL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
413. Skyepony (Mod)
TSUNAMI ADVISORIES MEAN THAT A TSUNAMI CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
STRONG CURRENTS OR WAVES DANGEROUS TO PERSONS IN OR VERY NEAR
WATER IS IMMINENT OF EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION
IS NOT EXPECTED FOR AREAS IN AN ADVISORY. TSUNAMIS ARE A SERIES OF
WAVES POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SEVERAL HOURS AFTER INITIAL ARRIVAL
TIME. ESTIMATED TIMES OF INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL FOR SELECTED
SITES IN THE ADVISORY ARE PROVIDED BELOW.

SAN FRANCISCO-CA 1326 PST FEB 27 KODIAK-AK 1628 AKST FEB 27
CRESCENT CITY-CA 1346 PST FEB 27 SAND PT.-AK 1629 AKST FEB 27
CHARLESTON-OR 1402 PST FEB 27 JUNEAU-AK 1635 AKST FEB 27
SEASIDE-OR 1446 PST FEB 27 DUTCH HARBOR-AK 1638 AKST FEB 27
WESTPORT-WA 1457 PST FEB 27 SEWARD-AK 1639 AKST FEB 27
NEAH BAY-WA 1507 PST FEB 27 ADAK-AK 1642 AKST FEB 27
TOFINO-BC 1515 PST FEB 27 VALDEZ-AK 1657 AKST FEB 27
LANGARA-BC 1551 PST FEB 27 CORDOVA-AK 1706 AKST FEB 27
SITKA-AK 1529 AKST FEB 27 COLD BAY-AK 1709 AKST FEB 27
KETCHIKAN-AK 1549 AKST FEB 27 SHEMYA-AK 1721 AKST FEB 27
YAKUTAT-AK 1619 AKST FEB 27 HOMER-AK 1739 AKST FEB 27
FOR ARRIVAL TIMES AT ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS SEE
WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV



Atleast things look good for the WeatherUnderground servers..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thank God these ripples um i mean waves arent tearing up Hawaii and its people!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
A lot of Cable News Networks gave up years ago...

LOL


Good one! lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
410. Skyepony (Mod)
A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN OBSERVED AT THE FOLLOWING SITES

LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL
------------------------ ----- ------ ------- -----------
SANTA MONICA CA 34.0N 118.5W 2021UTC 0.66M/2.2FT
SANTA BARBARA CA 34.4N 119.7W 2029UTC 0.43M/1.4FT
MONTEREY HARBOR CA 36.6N 121.9W 2031UTC 0.28M/0.9FT
LOS ANGELES CA 33.7N 118.3W 2015UTC 0.41M/1.3FT
LA JOLLA CA 32.9N 117.3W 2048UTC 0.34M/1.1FT
ARENA COVE CA 38.9N 123.7W 2046UTC 0.35M/1.2FT
SAN DIEGO CA0 32.7N 117.2W 2014UTC 0.42M/1.4FT
THE TSUNAMI IS NOW IMPACTING THE U.S. CALIFORNIA COAST AND HAS BEEN
OBSERVED ON SEVERAL TIDE GAGES. REPORTS INDICATE THAT
NAVIGATIONAL BUOYS IN VENTURA HARBOR HAVE BEEN DAMAGED. THE
LARGEST OBSERVED TIDE GAGE READING WAS RECORDED IN SANTA MONICA
CA. THE TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND BE DANGEROUS
FOR THE NEXT TWO TO FOUR HOURS.

TIME - TIME OF MEASUREMENT
AMPL - TSUNAMI AMPLITUDES ARE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.
IT IS ...NOT... CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.
VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A lot of Cable News Networks gave up years ago...

LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
God Bless the folks in Chile and other areas affected by this quake....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
CNN's back to Chile.

Wonder what was up with those buoy readings?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I've got to take a break. Still in p.j.'s and dogs don't understand why I'm not at their service.

Prayers for Chile; and hope all hell doesn't break loose elsewhere. BBL.

P.S. Message from son's crackberry; they're fine and no worries. (& I hope it stays that way.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anytime a wave interacts with land it loses energy. Hilo bay would pretty much be a protected area when considering the Tsunami is coming from the SE. The brunt of any Tsunami is taken in the area facing the direct unobstructed impact of the wave. Let's hope the worst is over. Just my take :)

L8R all >>>>

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
404. IKE
Networks have given up on the Tsunami.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The 3rd wave covering the finger reef
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The first 2 waves have come in and arent enough to move sand around so this hopefully may be an optimistic sign for the people of Hawaii!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
tsunamini
Member Since: 13 août 2005 Posts: 164 Comments: 25829
Very small tsunami.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ossqss:
I don't get it. Why would they monitor Hilo Bay which does not even face the quake origination point?


Tsunamis unlike storm surge wrap very efficiently around islands, and the way the bay is geographically would tend to amplify the wave.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Two bouys near Big Island, one in Hilo Bay and one southeast of the island, have had no data for the past eight hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormsurge39:
How could we have seen the worst of it, when New Zealand only hit an hour ago??? Hawaii shouldnt see it get bad until about 2:15pm thier time, if you go off New Zealands time! Is this right or not?


If the map is right then the big island should get it about one hour after New Zealand gets it, and I think it's nearly been that long already.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting seflagamma:
Have been in break room over 1.5 hrs now and really nothing serious happening,
Thank Goodness.

CNN is not saying anything about any damage in California.

Hawaii seems to just be getting up and down, rise and falls of a meter or so...

but authorities will not give the all clear yet.


Thier not giving the all clear because the timing is way off!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
Geographically organized webcams along Hawaii coastline using


This is cool. So you're still plus 1, jmo (my count), for the day (+2, -1).

Hey, that's something when a CNN anchor says they've just witnessed one of the most idiotic things they've ever seen. Wonder if he's seen Congress in session lately...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Going on 5:30 p.m. and it's already 48 degrees in West Palm Beach. Cold and raw.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
393. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
TSUNAMI WARNING NUMBER 12 FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) at
9:08 AM EDT on Sunday 28 February 2010
********************************************************************************

TSUNAMI THREAT TO THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

********************************************************************************
SUMMARY:
Tsunami warning for the marine environment for NEW SOUTH WALES.

Threatened areas extend from for all coastal areas.

Possibility of dangerous waves, strong ocean currents and foreshore flooding
for several hours from NOW.

Sea level observations HAVE confirmed a tsunami has been generated.

For further details visit the Bureau web site www.bom.gov.au.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Have been in break room over 1.5 hrs now and really nothing serious happening,
Thank Goodness.

CNN is not saying anything about any damage in California.

Hawaii seems to just be getting up and down, rise and falls of a meter or so...

but authorities will not give the all clear yet.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Five lines of waves are quickly merging and heading for the shoreline in Hawaii.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Hopefully all this will be is fluctuations of about a meter over the course of a few hours such as we're seeing right now. The buoy readings were really worrying though, which is a little confusing. The whole timing thing with New Zealand is also making it harder to determine whether we're seeing the worst of it yet.
How could we have seen the worst of it, when New Zealand only hit an hour ago??? Hawaii shouldnt see it get bad until about 2:15pm thier time, if you go off New Zealands time! Is this right or not?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I don't get it. Why would they monitor Hilo Bay which does not even face the quake origination point?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A buoy just off the East Coast of Florida shows Tsunami activity WTH!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
214 killed in Chile.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tsumani height of 5.5 feet in hilo, usgs reporting
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Any Links to the Ventura CA damage
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Check out buoy 51407. Something is going on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Those buoy readings did not make sense.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hopefully all this will be is fluctuations of about a meter over the course of a few hours such as we're seeing right now. The buoy readings were really worrying though, which is a little confusing. The whole timing thing with New Zealand is also making it harder to determine whether we're seeing the worst of it yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It has been confirmed that the tsunami has reached Hawaii.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
They have had tsunami waves of about a meter higher and a meter lower at Hilo which have not caused damage. Apparently difficult to discern as a distinct wave. Occurring over about 20 minutes. This is from a live interview on CNN.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Reports say the first wave has passed Diamond Head,..with a a oscillation up and down noted every 20 minutes,a 1 meter rise and fall noted
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
377. IKE
Scientists say Tsunami has hit Hawaii...per MSNBC.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Damage reported in Ventura Cali. from the tsunami
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just heard Ventura Ca. has damage!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Havent been following as closely as I did around the new year when the big cold wave came through and brought the freeze and frozen stuff to florida, and watching Tsunami coverage completely lost track of what was going on outside, but what the hell is going on outside here in south florida? It was 72 degrees about 90 minutes ago, now its 49 and dropping fast and raining? How cold is it going to get ? Honestly the cold has lost its luster at this point, very ready for this winter to be over with
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just read back,..as its really busy now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm back, can someone inform me on what's going on right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A lot going on in this view
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
America Samoa has been hit by a tsunami.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Hawaii director of civil defense said that this looks like a slow building Tsunami! Just because it has not rushed in, doesnt mean that they are out of the woods yet! Also IMO they would not move vessels unless they were looking for something significant to happen. Remember New Zealand was at the 12 hour mark and that just happened about 30 to 45 minutes ago and Hawaii is at the 15 hour mark, so nothing should be happening right now!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Holy cow that water is rushing out fast..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If anyone hasn't noticed in the mix of the tsunami rumor and chile earthquake, its 5 degrees colder here in west palm beach than Tallahassee lol ... i know i know i know... its because of the rain and its cloudy in west palm beach.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 416 - 366

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
82 ° F
Nuageux