Not by Fire but by Ice




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Forecasts - 2000

Times of Increased Risk for Volcanic Eruptions, Earthquakes, Storms, and Coastal Flooding

See below for basis of forecasts and explanation of terms

Jan 4-6 Apogee on Jan 4. New moon and maximum south lunar declination on Jan 6.
What happened? On Jan 7, the worst snowfall since 1956 hammered Shenyang, capital city of China's Liaoning Province, crushing greenhouses full of vegetables.
  On Jan 6, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted much of southeastern Alaska, including Juneau, the state capital.
Jan 19-20 Perigee on Jan 19. Full moon, lunar eclipse, and maximum north lunar declination on Jan 20. Risky.
  On Jan 21, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake shook east-central Taiwan.
  On Jan 21, a 2.7-magnitude earthquake struck southern New Hampshire
  On Jan 20, a killer snowstorm socked the US East Coast and Upper Midwest. Flights up and down the coast were cancelled.

Then it kept coming, dumping up to 17 inches of snow on Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia before heading north into New York and New England.

A separate storm dumped fist-sized snowflakes on the Sierra Nevadas (seven feet in places) before moving East, where it dropped a foot of snow on the Central Rockies (Utah, Colorado and New Mexico) and Oklahoma.

  On Jan 20, a 4.1-magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Turkey.
  On Jan 19, a powerful 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted northern Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
Feb 1-5 Apogee on Feb 1. Maximum south lunar declination on Feb 3. New moon and solar eclipse on Feb 5.
  On Feb 3, a 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck an area between Kashma and Bardeskan, Iran. It killed one and injured at least 15 others. More than 100 houses were destroyed, and another 300 sustained partial damage.
Feb 16-19 Maximum north lunar declination on Feb 16. Perigee on Feb 17. Full moon on Feb 19.
  On Feb 14, a killer tornado struck Camilla, Georgia.
  On Feb 14, Sicily's Mount Etna erupted.
  On Feb 19, a killer storm dumped a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain from Nebraska and Wisconsin to the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. More than 1,000 flights were canceled.
Feb 28-Mar 1 Apogee on Feb 28. New moon and maximum south lunar declination on Mar 1.
  On Feb 28, Mayon Volcano in the Philippines erupted.
  On Feb 27, one day before apogee, an unnamed Icelandic volcano erupted
  On Mar 3, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Timor.
Mar 12-19 Quarter moon on Mar 12. Perigee on Mar 14. Maximum north lunar declination on Mar 15 (very risky from longer cycles). Full moon and vernal equinox on Mar 19.
  On Mar 14, the Bezymyanny Volcano on Russia's far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula began erupting, spewing lava and a column of ash as high as three miles above sea level.
  On Mar 20, Montserrat's Soufriere Hills volcano exploded. It hurled glowing rocks high into the sky, and shot a billowing ash cloud some 30,000 feet into the sky.
Mar 27-28 Apogee and quarter moon on Mar 27. Maximum south lunar declination on Mar 28.
  On Mar 27, two 4.7-magnitude earthquakes shook southwest Taiwan.
  On Mar 29, Japanese authorities ordered the evacuation of 8,000 people from three towns near Mount Usu as increasingly powerful tremors shook the region. More than 1,000 earthquakes shook the volcano in three days.
Apr 4-11 New moon on Apr 4. Perigee on Apr 8. Maximum north lunar declination and quarter moon on Apr 11.
  On Apr 6, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake rattled the adjacent Red Sea resorts of Eilat in Israel and Aqaba in Jordan.
  On April 13, nearly 7,000 people were left homeless by tropical rainstorms that tore through parts of Bangladesh, leveling mud-and-thatch huts.
May 3-10 New moon on May 3 (risky from longer cycles). Perigee on May 6. Maximum north lunar declination on May 8. Quarter moon on May 10 (risky).
  On May 2, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
  On May 7, Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park, the world's largest geyser, has its first major eruption in 8 1/2 years.
  On May 7, fifteen inches of rain fell on Easton, Missouri in six hours.
May 18-22 Full moon on May 18 (very risky from longer cycles). Apogee and maximum south lunar declination on May 22.
  On May 17, a 4.0-magnitude earthquake rattled central Turkey 160 miles south of Ankara, the capitol
  On May 20, lava began spewing out of the Mount Cameroon volcano in central Africa. By June 3, a hot, molten stream extended up to three miles.
  On May 23, geologists witnessed the explosive birth of a new island in the Pacific Ocean, as the supposedly dormant undersea volcano, Kavachi, erupted.

On May 24, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook southern Greece about 75 miles south of the port of Kalamata.

Jun 2-4 New moon on Jun 2 (risky). Perigee on Jun 3. Maximum north lunar declination on Jun 4 (very risky from longer cycles).
  On Jun 3, Popocataptel Volcano in Mexico erupted.
  On Jun 4, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake followed by more than 450 aftershocks hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing at least 100 people and injuring more than 1,900. The quake was felt in Jakarta, some 335 miles away.
  On Jun 5, a 3.5-magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Cuba in the Santiago area.
  On Jun 5, plumes of smoke rose two miles into the sky as Sicily's Mount Etna erupted. Showers of ash fell on the city of Catania and other nearby coastal towns.
  On Jun 5, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake tore through central Turkey, killing three people and injuring more than 80 others.
  On Jun 7, a 5.9-earthquake jolted northwest China's Gansu province, destroying some houses and injuring 14 people.
Jun 20 Summer solstice, maximum solar declination.
  On Jun 16, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake rocked central Chile. It was felt along a 700-mile stretch of Chile's narrow territory.
  On Jun 16, a 5.0-magnitude aftershock shook Indonesia's Bengkulu province.
  On Jun 16, a 3.3-magnitude earthquake shook homes throughout western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut. It was centered about 15 miles west of Springfield.
  On Jun 18, a major earthquake rocked the remote Cocos Islands, a sparsely populated archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The U.S.Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.5, the largest quake recorded in that part of the Indian Ocean.
  On Jun 18, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake rattled Iceland. It was Iceland's biggest earthquake in 90 years.
  On Jun 20, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake jolted Iceland. Knocking down a dozen houses, the epicenter was close to Hestfjall, in the Grimsnes area of south Iceland. It followed a similar quake on the 18th.
  On Jun 21, eight inches of rain fell on Fargo, ND in a matter of hours. Damage mounted into the millions.
Jul 1-2 New Moon, solar eclipse and perigee on Jul 1. Maximum north lunar declination on Jul 2 (very, very risky from longer cycles).
  On Jul 5, a strong earthquake jolted Indonesia's province of Benkulu. The quakes precise magnitude was not immediately clear.
  On Jul 5, a 5.2-magnitude earthquake shook the Batanes Islands on the northern tip of the Philippines.
Jul 15-16 Apogee on Jul 16. Full moon, lunar eclipse and maximum south lunar declination on Jul 16.
  On Jul 12, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java, collapsing walls and roofs and injuring at least 64 people.
  On Jul 13, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake jolted the seabed near Kozushima, 93 miles south of Tokyo. It followed a similar earthquake in the area on July 12.
  On Jul 15, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Nijima, Japan.
  On Jul 18, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake killed two people in Pakistan, and jolted thousands in neighboring Afghanistan.
  On Jul 18, a 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook eastern Romania, about 90 miles northeast of Bucharest
  On Jul 20, a 4.5-magnitude earthquake rattled Greece, about 190 miles northwest of Athens.
Jul 29-30 Maximum north lunar declination on Jul 29. New moon, solar eclipse and perigee on Jul 30 (very risky).
  On Jul 24, two moderate earthquakes struck the southern Turkish province of Malatya.
  On Jul 25, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Taiwan, about 60 miles south of Taipei. A separate 4.5-magnitude earthquake rattled Hualien, about 90 miles southeast of Taipei..
  On Jul 26, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Miyakejima island, one of a string of volcanic islands off Tokyo. It was one of a series of earthquakes to rattle the islands in recent days.
  On Jul 31, two Indonesian volcanologists were killed by a minor eruption on the Mount Semeru volcano in East Java.
  On Jul 31, volcanic islands south of Tokyo were again hit with moderate earthquakes, including one registering a magnitude of 4.3.
  On Aug 1, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake shook the northern Philippines, cracking the walls of the Senate building in Manila.
  On Aug 2, a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook houses on the Solomon Islands, a remote Pacific island chain.
  On Aug 2, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake shook central Taiwan in the central county of Nantou.
  On Aug 2, a flooded river submerged villages, washed away 1,000 houses, and drowned at least 107 people near India's mountainous border with Tibet. The flood was caused by a cloudburst in Tibet.
Aug 11-14 Apogee on Aug 11. Maximum south lunar declination on Aug 12. Full moon on Aug 14 (risky).
  On Aug 7, a 2.8-magnitude earthquake shook northeastern Ohio, in an area where no quake had been felt in more than a century.
  On Aug 9, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook western and central Mexico. The quake was centered 240 miles west-southwest of Mexico City in the Pacific Ocean.
  On Aug 14, a 4.2-magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Japan. The tremor, centered beneath the northwestern part of Chiba prefecture, or state, jolted office buildings in neighboring Tokyo.
  On Aug 15, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake, centered more than 466 miles off the coast, was felt throughout New Zealand.
  On Aug 18, three strong earthquakes rocked Tokyo and several nearby islands. The first, with a magnitude 4.0, was centered near Tokyo. It was followed by two more, the first with a magnitude 6.0 centered near the Izu island chain off Tokyo's coast, the second with a magnitude of 4.9.
  On Aug 18, a massive column of gray-black ash rose five miles into the air as Japan's 2,686-foot Mount Oyama, a volcano on a small island 120 miles south of Tokyo, erupted.
Aug 26-29 Maximum north lunar declination on Aug 26. Perigee on Aug 27. New moon on Aug 29.
  On Aug 22, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck China's Wuding county in Yunnan province. According to Chinese authorities, more than 200 people were injured, and 177,457 people lost their homes.
  On Aug 22, typhoon Bilis slammed into Taiwan with raging winds of up to 118 mph.
  On Aug 22, a 4.3-magnitude earthquake shook central Turkey, damaging some 50 buildings in a small town outside the capital of Ankara.
  On Aug 22, Mount Oyama, a 2,686-foot volcano on Miyake island south of Tokyo again spewed ash, leaving a thin film of ash on the runway at Miyake's airport.
  On Aug 24, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck under the sea off the southern coast of Sumatra. Its epicenter was about 279 miles west of Jakarta.
  On Aug 29, a 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck 3.3 miles northeast of the town of Fangliao. Fangliao is located in Taiwan's Pingtun county, about 155 miles south of the capital, Taipei.
  On Aug 31, a 4.3-magnitude earthquake hit central Taiwan. Its epicenter was about a mile northwest of Chiayi city.
Sep 8-13 Apogee on Sep 8. Maximum south lunar declination on Sep 9. Full moon on Sep 13.
  On Sep 5, two moderate earthquakes and seven aftershocks jolted parts of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. The first quake measured 5.0-magnitude, the second measured 3.5.
  On Sep 5, a 4.9-magnitude earthquake struck the eastern parts of Indonesia's main island of Java.
  On Sep 6, a 5.3-magnitude tremor rocked the town of Bengkulu on Sumatra Island.
  On Sep 10, a 3.5-magnitude earthquake struck Victoria, B.C.
  On Sep 10, a 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck Anchorage, Alaska.
  On Sep 13, rescue workers distributed food to people stranded by unprecedented flooding that has left about 600,000 people homeless in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Sep 22-27 Autumnal equinox and maximum north lunar declination on Sep 22. Perigee on Sep 24. New moon on Sep 27.
  On Sep 22, a 6-magnitude earthquake shook the southern Russian republic of Dagestan, near the border of Chechnya.
  On Sep 22, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted Indonesia's Aceh province. The quake was centered beneath the Indian Ocean, about 160 miles west of the region's capital Banda Aceh.
  On Sep 23, a record-breaking snowstorm closed 200 miles of I-80 in Wyoming, stranding thousands of travelers. Dumping 10.5 inches of snow on Cheyenne, the storm set a record for snow fall so early in the fall, and a record for a single day in September.
  On Sep 25, monsoon rains sent water rushing over riverbanks and dams, submerging highways, villages and the homes of more than 10 million people in eastern India and another 200,000 people in Bangladesh.
  On Sep 28, Japan's Mount Komagatake erupted. The 3,716-foot Mount Komagatake is 441 miles northeast of Tokyo.
Oct 5-6 Maximum south lunar declination and quarter moon on Oct 5. Apogee on Oct 6.
  On Oct 1, two moderate earthquakes--one with a magnitude of 5.4, the other about 5.0--jolted southern Japan.
  On Oct 5, a 4.7-magnitude earthquake rocked western Turkey. Centered near the city of Denizli, the quake injured 31 people.
  On Oct 5, three moderate earthquakes rattled east-central Taiwan. The first quake, with a 4.8-magnitude, was centered about five miles northwest of Hualien. Hours later, the area was hit by two more quakes of 3.9-magnitude and 4.1.
  On Oct 6, a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake jolted a wide swath of Japan's hilly southwest. The country's strongest earthquake in at least five years, the midday quake injured dozens of people, knocked boulders from hillsides, and threw groceries off of supermarket shelves.
  On Oct 7, a pair of 3.2-magnitude earthquakes struck Southern California, the first southwest of Bakersfield, the second southwest of Baker near the Nevada border.
Oct 13-20 Full moon on Oct 13. Perigee and maximum north lunar declination on Oct 19. Quarter moon on Oct 20.
  On Oct 10, a 5.2-magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia's main island of Java. The temblor was centered about 48 miles south of Jakarta.
Oct 27-Nov 3 New moon on Oct 27. Maximum south lunar declination on Nov 2. Apogee and quarter moon on Nov 3.
  On Oct 25, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the western end of Indonesia's Java island. The epicenter was 145 miles southwest of Jakarta beneath the Indian Ocean.
  On Oct 25, just over three inches of rain in 24 hours swept across Tel Aviv, temporarily closing the city's main highway.
  On Oct 30, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sumba in southeastern Indonesia. The quake was centered beneath the Indian Ocean about 925 miles southeast of the capital, Jakarta.
  On Oct 31, a 4-magnitude earthquake jolted southern Tajikistan, damaging more than 100 houses and two schools.
  On Oct 31, a 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck central Japan. The epicenter, near the ancient capital of Nara, was 190 miles southwest of Tokyo.
  On Nov 1, a 3.3-magnitude earthquake rattled Mt. Vernon, Washington.
  On Nov 2, as many as 5,000 cattle were stranded in 8-foot snowdrifts that clogged northeastern Montana and North Dakota after an ice-and-snow storm pelted the area near the Canadain border. Ranchers were bracing for record-low temperatures.
  On Nov 4, the United Kingdom saw the worst floods since 1625; the worst floods since the Little Ice Age.
  On Nov 6, a 2.3-magnitude earthquake jolted Albany, New York.
Nov 14-15 Perigee on Nov 14. Maximum north lunar declination on Nov 15.
  On Nov 9, a 5.2-magnitude earthquake jolted the Haixi region of China's Quinhai province, about 1,550 miles west of Beijing.
  On Nov 9, a 4.5-magnitude earthquake hit about 115 miles southwest of Zagreb, Croatia, near the town of Zadar.
  On Nov 13, a 4.3-magnitude earthquake jolted Duzce in northwest Turkey. Duzce is located about 115 miles east of Istanbul.
  On Nov 14, four earthquakes jolted Japan. The first two, a 5.9- and a 5.5-magnitude were centered under the seabed off the port city of Kushiro. Twelve hours later, two moderate earthquakes jolted other parts of the island nation.
  On Nov 16, a 5.5-magnitude earthquake shook a Turkish region bordering Iran and Iraq, The epicenter was near the town of Semdinli, about 470 miles southeast of Ankara, the capital.
  On Nov 16, a huge undersea earthquake shook the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Ten times stronger than the temblor that rocked the San Francisco Bay area in 1989, it generated a tidal wave that crashed ashore and damaged a supermarket and other buildings. Measuring 8.4-magnitude, the quake's epicenter was 20 miles off Rabaul.
Nov 25-30 New moon on Nov 25. Maximum south lunar declination on Nov 29. Apogee on Nov 30.
  On Nov 21, twenty-five inches of snow fell on Buffalo, New York, the third-highest total for any 24-hour period on record. At the same time, Grand Rapids, Michigan received 11.5 inches of snow, a record for any November day.
  On Nov 27, a huge snowstorm dumped more than three feet of snow in Washington's Cascade Mountains.
  On Nov 29, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck 40 miles west of Alaska's Denali National Park. It was felt as far away as Anchorage and Fairbanks.
  On Dec 2, a large earthquake followed by seven aftershocks struck the California/Nevada border.
Dec 11-13 Full moon on Dec 11. Perigee on Dec 12. Maximum north lunar declination on Dec 13.
  On Dec 12, a winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on the midwest, closing schools in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  On Dec 14, ice storms caused power outages across the Plains. About 500,000 homes and businesses in Arkansas and Texas alone were without elctricity. It was the worst ice storm in Arkansas history.
Dec 21 Winter solstice
Dec 25-28 New moon and solar eclipse on Dec 25. Maximum south lunar declination on Dec 26. Apogee on Dec 28.
  On Dec 24, a 3.6-magnitude earthquake struck near Entiat, WA.
The year 2000 could be riskier than "normal," says research geologist Jack Sauers, because it comes at the top of solar sunspot cycle 23.

Historically, the tops of solar sunspot cycles (such as 1980-82, and 1990-92) have been times of larger than average earthquakes (magnitude 7 or greater) and on-land volcanic eruptions. (Remember Mount St. Helens? Remember Pinatubo? Remember El Chichon?)



Basis of Forecasts

Most of us are aware that the moon controls the tides. What we often don't know, however, is the extent to which the moon also affects other earthly phenomena.

If the moon can pull the entire weight of the world's oceans toward it, doesn't it seem that it might also tug at the earth itself, thereby causing "earth tides"?

That's exactly what it does, says Sauers. That's why most major volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can be correlated with lunar cycles.

The molten magma in volcanoes is, after all, a liquid, which means that it is affected in much the same manner as the oceans. Similarly, says Sauers, the earth's crust is also affected by lunar cycles.

So is storm activity.

Times of greatest risk

  • As the moon orbits the earth, it swings north and south of the equator. The point at which the moon reaches its furthest point north and heads south again is called maximum north lunar declination. Conversely, the point at which the moon reaches its furthest point south and heads back north is called maximum south lunar declination.

  • As the moon moves, says Sauers., it pulls the moisture in the atmosphere with it, while, at the same time, tugging cold air down from the north. (Or from the south, depending upon which direction the moon is headed.)

  • A more dangerous time is when maximum lunar declination correlates with a full moon or a new moon. These are the times of increased risk for volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and extreme precipitation events.

  • The most dangerous time of all, though, is when a new or full moon occurs at the same time (or near) maximum lunar declination, apogee, or perigee.

  • The moon's orbit around the earth is not a perfect circle; it is elliptical, which means that sometimes the moon is closer to the earth than at others.

  • Apogee refers to those times when the moon is farthest from the earth.

  • Perigee refers to those times when the moon is closest to the earth.

  These calculations come from research geologist Jack Sauers, self-proclaimed curmudgeon and all-around gadfly. Mr. Sauers., who became a geologist in 1949, began his study of astronomical cycles in the late 1970s. He has published extensively in Cycles magazine, and intermittently publishes his "Times of Increased Risk" calendar.


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