Cold Records Fall Across Southeast U.S.; + Supervolcano Rumblings Have Italian Government Planning Mass Evacuations

Cold Records Fall Across Southeast U.S.

Temperatures are holding some 20 degrees (F) below average from the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic to the Southeast.

The NWS has issued early-October freeze watches for some northern states, such as Minnesota, while temperature records have been tumbling across the Southeast, including in both North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi:

Temperatures on the West Coast will also crash after the next big coast-to-coast storm barrels in early this week.

San Francisco Bay Area will shiver through temps 20 degrees below average. While residents of Northern California and coastal Oregon are expected to have to turn the heating on with daily highs some 30F below normal by Tuesday.

By Thursday, the West’s anomalous cold will have extended eastward, intensifying across the likes of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Nebraska, while engulfing much of the Dakotas and even Iowa:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Oct 12 [].

By the following day (Fri, Oct 13), those ‘blues’ and ‘purples’ will have broadened further still, to include the likes of Texas:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Oct 13 [].

The snow is also returning, building on the early-season falls of the past few weeks:

GFS Total Snowfall (inches) Oct 9 – Oct 25 [].

Supervolcano Rumblings Have Italian Government Planning Mass Evacuations

Some 20 km (12.5 miles) southwest of Naples lies the stirring Campi Flegrei supervolcano.

Following 1,100+ earthquakes within a month, the Italian government is drawing up plans to evacuate tens of thousands of residents in the event of a further ramp-up, with additional measures set to be discussed in an upcoming cabinet meeting.

More than half a million residents in towns and villages surrounding the Campi Flegrei supervolcano are at direct risk.

The Italian cabinet is working to ensure their safety following months of seismic activity which has featured well-over 1,100 earthquakes, the most powerful of which measured in at an impressive M4.2 — the region’s strongest quake in the last 40 years.

Additional resources are expected to be allocated to local civil protection agencies to ensure rapid intervention in emergencies. A communication campaign aimed at raising public awareness about the situation is also in the planning stages.

Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci is, however, keen to dampen the alarm, stating that evacuations would be initiated only in cases of “extreme necessity” and that “most volcanologists” say there is not an “imminent” threat of an eruption.

Still, the reality is that a group of local area hospitals have already started evacuation tests on order of the experts, a move which is part of a broader strategy to prepare for stronger earthquakes and/or potential volcanic eruptions.

A natural phenomenon called ‘bradyseism’ is thought to be the cause of the increasing seismic activity. This is a cyclical rise or fall in the Earth’s surface due to the filling or emptying of underground magma chambers. Currently, the ground around Campi Flegrei is rising by 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) per month, sparking concerns about the structural integrity of local buildings.

Mauro Di Vito, Director of the INGV Vesuvian Observatory: “At present, there are no elements that suggest significant evolutions of the system in the short term … [but that] the situation is under constant monitoring.”

Map of horizontal (a) and vertical (b) GNSS movements recorded in the Phlegraean area from January 2016 to August 2023
Map of horizontal (a) and vertical (b) GNSS displacements recorded in the Phlegraean Fields from Jan 2016 to Aug 2023 [INGV].
Epicenters (on the map) and hypocentres (in the EW sections below and NS on the right) of the earthquakes with magnitude Md≥0.0 located in the Campi Flegrei in the period 1 August – 7 September 2023
Epicenters and hypocenters of quakes with magnitude Md≥0.0 located in the Phlegraean Fields from Aug 1-Sept 7, 2023 [INGV].

Campi Flegrei is a 13 km (8 miles) wide caldera that encompasses part of Naples and extends south beneath the Gulf of Pozzuoli.

The area has a history of intense volcanic and seismic activity.

Episodes of bradyseism accompanied by seismic swarms have been observed in the past, particularly during 1969 – 72 and 1982 – 84 (during which around 40 000 people were temporarily evacuated from the nearby town of Pozzuoli).

More recently, ground uplift in the Rione Terra area reached approximately 113 cm (44 inches) by July 2023.

The supervolcano’s last noteworthy eruption occurred in 1538 (a VEI 3).

However, its most devastating explosion took place approximately 39,000 years ago (so around the Laschamp Excursion). This ancient event caused utter devastation locally, and also led to a volcanic winter globally, one that contributed to the extinction of many fauna. Magma from the Campi Flegrei eruption has been detected as far as Greenland, 4,500 km (2,800 miles) away.

Volcanic and seismic activity appear to correlate with changes in our Sun. Their global uptick is likely attributed to the drop-off in solar activity, a waning magnetosphere, and the resulting the influx of Cosmic Rays penetrating silica-rich magma.

Please also check out the day’s other article, linked here:

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