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September 8, 2013, was an unusual day in an unusual season for tropical cyclones.

unusual tropical cyclones We live on a dynamic, restless planet. On any given day, there is usually a cyclone, tropical depression, or extra-tropical storm brewing somewhere on the Earth. But for a brief moment this week, the skies over all of the oceans were relatively calm.

The first image below is a composite of fourteen polar satellite passes, or swaths, stitched together from September 8, 2013. The natural-color images were acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite.


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California Rim Fire Update

StanisSaturday August 17th, 2013 

Rim Fire Update

Last night fire resources continued to hold and improve containment lines. As firefighters strengthen and hold lines the threat to structures has lessened. Today fire personnel will patrol mop-up and monitor areas along the fire perimeter seeking and extinguishing any hotspots and ensuring that fire lines are ready for rehabilitation. Continued fire spread to the northwest into the Yosemite Wilderness north of Hetch Hetchy is expected. Pockets of vegetation will continue to burn within the containment lines. Fire suppression repair has been completed on 30 miles of dozer lines 2 miles of hand line 36 miles of chipping (along roads) and 10 miles of roads.


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US Department of Labor provides $4.7 million grant to assist New York with recovery from severe storms and flooding

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded a $4,760,671 National Emergency Grant to assist New York with cleanup and recovery efforts after the severe storms and flooding that struck the state from June 26 to July 4, 2013. 

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Forest Service Ends Military Firefighting Aircraft Activation

BOISE, Idaho, Sept. 5, 2013 – The U.S. Forest Service, through the National Interagency Fire Center here, has decided to end current military C-130 Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System operations as of the end of the day today.

MAFFS aircraft and crews remain available for recall if the wildland fire situation dictates, U.S. Northern Command officials said

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Flooding in Northeastern China

Summer rains have swollen rivers throughout northeastern China, including the Songhua River. Water levels peaked in Harbin on August 27, 2013, and have remained high. The Songhua River is one of many tributaries of the Amur (Heilongjiang) River, which is experiencing its most severe floods in a century.


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Flooding in Eastern Russia and China

Flood waters continue to rise on the Amur (Heilongjiang) River and its tributaries in northeast China and southeast Russia. The floods are affecting millions, forcing evacuations, closing ports, and claiming at least 85 lives. The floods are expected to peak in early September.


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The Rim Fire is now the largest in the United States in 2013

The Rim Fire is now the largest in the United States in 2013 and the fourth largest fire in California since records began in 1932. By the morning of September 3, the fire had burned 235,841 acres (954 square kilometers or 369 square miles) of brush, oaks, and pine in the Sierra Nevada Range near and in Yosemite National Park. The fire started on August 17 and has destroyed 111 buildings; it is threatening 4,500 more. The cause is under investigation.


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Laboratory Operator Sentenced to 40 Months for Fabricating Industrial Wastewater Results

Tennie White, the owner and operator of an environmental laboratory located in Jackson, Miss., was sentenced in federal court late yesterday to 40 months in prison in connection with her conviction for faking laboratory testing results and lying to federal investigators, announced Gregory K. Davis, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, and Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.


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Rim Fire Ca.

Fire Update as of August 27, 2013187,466 Acers

Firefighters made progress on spot fires in the Reynolds Creek drainage and burning operations south of Duckwall Mountain to Skidmore. Crews also were preparing for additional burning operations on the north side of the Tuolumne River. Firefighters secured line from Pilot Ridge west towards the Yosemite boundary along Old Yosemite Highway. Aircraft were used to support operations throughout the day. Firefighters will continue with contingency line construction in advance of the communities in the Highway 108 corridor, as well as providing structure protection. For tonight, crews will continue with line construction, structure defense and preparing for burning operations. The recent increase in structures destroyed is due to structures lost at Tuolumne Berkeley Family Camp, which include 3 commercial properties and 85 tent cabins and outbuildings. 

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Big Blast at Sakurajima Volcano, Japan

Big Blast at Sakurajima Volcano, Japan
Although Japan’s Sakura-jima volcano is one of the most active in the world, it rarely makes headlines. One or two small explosions typically occur every few days, with effects no greater than a light dusting of ash on the surrounding cities.

On August 18, 2013, a large eruption sent ash 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) above Kagoshima Bay, breaking the established pattern. It was possibly the largest eruption ever from the Showa Crater, which formed in 1946.



Joe Leonard photographer


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