Nuri (Western Pacific Ocean)

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When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP captured this ghostly white image of Tropical Depression Nuri haunting the western North Pacific Ocean on Oct. 31 at 3:36 UTC.
Image Credit: NRL/NASA/NOAA

Tropical Depression Nuri Now Haunting the Western Pacific Ocean

Tropical Depression Nuri formed on Halloween morning, October 31, and is haunting the waters of the western North Pacific Ocean. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a ghostly-white image of the storm.

When Suomi NPP flew over Tropical Depression Nuri on Oct. 31 at 3:36 UTC, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite or VIIRS instrument aboard captured an infrared image of the storm. The infrared data shows temperature, an indicated that there were very high thunderstorms with very cold cloud top temperatures surrounding the center of the low level circulation and in south of the center.

VIIRS is a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery and "radiometric" measurements. Basically it means that VIIRS data is used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, sea and land surface temperature, ice motion and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo (reflected light).

On Oct. 31 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Nuri had maximum sustained winds near 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph). It was centered near 12.7 north latitude and 136.0 east longitude. That puts Nuri's center about 211 nautical miles (242.8 miles/390.8 km) north-northwest of Yap. Nuri has tracked westward at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph).

Nuri is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm and reach typhoon strength by Nov. 1. The storm is expected to curve toward the northwest, then turn northeast over the next couple of days, while remaining over the open waters of the western North Pacific Ocean.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Vance (was 21E – Eastern Pacific)

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NASA's Terra satellite passed over Vance on October 31 at 12:55 a.m. EDT and saw thunderstorms around the center resembling a pumpkin with a stem in false-colored infrared imagery.
Image Credit: NASA/NRL

Tropical Storm Vance's Center Looks Like a Pumpkin to NASA's Terra Satellite

Tropical Depression 21E strengthened overnight on Oct. 30 and by Halloween morning, Tropical Storm Vance was haunting the waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In a false-colored infrared image from NASA's Terra satellite on Oct. 31, the strong thunderstorms around the center resemble a pumpkin.

Tropical Depression 21E formed on Oct. 30 after struggling for days as a low pressure area. Just a day later it strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed Vance.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Vance on October 31 at 4:55 UTC (12:55 a.m. EDT) – the witching hour – and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra captured infrared data. That infrared data was false-colored when the image was created. High, strong thunderstorms with cold cloud top temperatures that circled the center were false-colored in an orange-red color, and resembled the shape of a pumpkin with a stem!

At 5 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Vance's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph (75 kph) and is expected to strengthen gradually. Vance was centered near latitude 10.5 north and longitude 101.0 west. That's about 450 miles (720 km) south of Acapulco, Mexico. Vance is moving toward the west-southwest near 3 mph (6 kph) and is forecast to turn to the west and west-northwest on Nov. 1.

National Hurricane Center Forecaster Dan Brown noted that Vance's center was near the southern edge of the large mass of deep convection due to moderate south-southwesterly shear. The shear and some dry low- to mid-level air are expected to continue to affect the tropical cyclone during the next 12 to 24 hours, and only gradual strengthening is expected during that time.

Most of the intensity guidance shows Vance becoming a hurricane in 2 to 3 days.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Royal Canadian Navy Commemorates the Battle of Coronel

HMS Good Hope in art

HMS Good Hope

October 31, 2014

OTTAWA – The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) will mark the Battle of Coronel on November 1st. This battle saw the first Canadian military casualties of the First World War, and the first ever casualties in the history of the RCN. RCN personnel serving today salute the following shipmates from the past:

· Midshipman Malcolm Cann, 19, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia;

· Midshipman John V. W. Hatheway, 19, of Fredericton, New Brunswick;

· Midshipman William Archibald Palmer, 20, of Halifax, Nova Scotia; and

· Midshipman Arthur Wiltshire Silver, 20, of Halifax, Nova Scotia.


All four RCN midshipmen died in the Battle of Coronel, which took place on November 1, 1914 off the coast of central Chile near the city of Coronel.


Quick Facts


· These four midshipmen were from the first class to graduate from the Royal Naval College of Canada (established in 1911 soon after the founding of the RCN).


· Following graduation in 1914, they were selected to serve in the Royal Navy’s West Indies Squadron and were assigned to Rear-Admiral (RAdm) Sir Christopher Cradock’s flagship, Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Good Hope (Mid. Palmer was the top student in the graduating class and Mid. Silver was the senior Cadet Captain. Both were personally selected to join RAdm Cradock’s squadron. Mid. Cann and Mid. Hatheway were chosen by lot).


· In the early days of the war, RAdm Cradock’s squadron was tasked with tracking down the German commerce raiding squadron under Vice-Admiral (VAdm) Graf Maximilian von Spee. Recognizing that Cradock’s force consisted of only two armoured cruisers, a light cruiser and a converted ocean liner, the British Admiralty dispatched reinforcements consisting of the elderly battleship Canopus and another armoured cruiser. Unfortunately, these ships did not arrive in time for the battle and RAdm Cradock’s force was badly overmatched by von Spee’s force of two armoured cruisers, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and three light cruisers – all modern, highly effective ships which outgunned the British vessels.


· When battle was joined off the coast of Chile near Coronel on the 1st of November, RAdm Cradock’s ships fought bravely but were no match for the Germans. The two armoured cruisers, Good Hope and Monmouth, were sunk with all hands while the Glasgow and Otranto managed to escape to safety. The defeat prompted the Admiralty to send a more powerful squadron to the West Indies under VAdm Frederick Doveton Sturdee to track down and defeat von Spee’s squadron, which they did at the Battle of the Falkland Islands on December 8, 1914.




“It is my privilege to honour the valour of these Royal Canadian Navy sailors, who participated in the brave fight at the Battle of Coronel and who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country and fellow Canadians. The Government of Canada is committed to recognizing and honouring our proud military history and the bravery and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.”


The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence


“In commemorating the Battle of Coronel, we honour the first Canadian casualties of World War One, the brave midshipmen who gave their lives so that future generations could live in freedom. These sailors lived the traditional naval answer to the call of duty - “Ready Aye Ready” – and their conduct and valour continues to inspire today’s generation of Royal Canadian Navy sailors.”


Vice Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston makes final preparations ahead of solo Transatlantic race

RKJ on board Grey power

RKJ 9767

Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, is carrying out final preparations on his yacht Grey Power ahead of his return to competitive solo racing in Sunday’s Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe race start.

The oldest competitor in the French solo Transatlantic race has had a busy week on board his Open 60 yacht in Saint Malo, Brittany. The media spotlight has been upon Sir Robin with many interviews taking place, and he was also given the medal of the honour of the City of Saint Malo by the Mayor.

Sir Robin is now doing last minute victualing and will spend time with family later. The course and safety briefing took place on Thursday and the final weather briefing will happen Saturday.

“There has been an incredible atmosphere here in the race village all week with hundreds of thousands of visitors. It is great to be back here 32 years after I first did my Route du Rhum race.

“I have enjoyed seeing friends and fellow competitors including Loick Peyron and Francois Gabart. Now I am ready to go and can’t wait to get out there. I will be taking it easy as far as Cap Finisterre while I negotiate the shipping lanes, and then I will start to race harder.”

Sir Robin will leave the basin at Saint Malo at 0230 GMT for a 0300 lock on Sunday ahead of the 1300 race start.

After enjoying sailing with Clipper Race crew in the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which formed part of the circumnavigation, Knox-Johnston decided to return to competitive solo racing.

Sir Robin had become jealous of watching his Clipper Race crews sail off at the start of new legs during their round the world voyage.

Knox-Johnston created the Clipper Race in 1995 to provide a platform for anyone of any age and any walk of life to experience the thrill of ocean racing and for many, a circumnavigation.

“The great thing about ocean racing is that you can do it at any age, and that’s what I want to prove through my participation. In my head I feel 48. I feel younger and fitter than most and am ready to race,” Sir Robin added.

He is racing in the same boat he sailed round the world in during the 2006/7 Velux Five Oceans Race, aged 68.

The biennial Clipper Race event has inspired more than 3,000 amateur sailors to compete in what is now the longest ocean race around the planet at more than 40,000 miles since it was established in 1996.

Sir Robin is the only British sailor to have won ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ three times. He has sailed around the world four times, twice solo, including the Golden Globe historic circumnavigation in 1968/69, and once winning the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994. He last competed in the Route du Rhum in 1982, on the 70-foot catamaran Sea Falcon.

Boeing, Monarch Airlines Finalize Order for 30 737 MAX 8s


Airline transitions to all-Boeing single-aisle fleet

LUTON, United Kingdom, Oct. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] and Monarch Airlines today finalized an order for 30 737 MAX 8s worth more than $3.2 billion at current list prices. The order, originally announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July when Monarch selected Boeing as its preferred bidder for fleet replacement, includes options for 15 additional 737 MAX 8s and marks the beginning of the British carrier's transition to an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet.

"Seven days after welcoming new owners into the business, this order is a demonstration of our commitment to the future and the evolution of Monarch as a distinctive European scheduled leisure carrier," said Andrew Swaffield, CEO of the Monarch Group. "The 737 MAX 8 fits our network strategy of serving our traditional European leisure routes in greater frequency, providing increased choice and service for Monarch customers, with significantly improved unit costs to our business."

The 737 MAX has accumulated 2,325 orders to date from 48 customers and is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history.

"The 737 MAX is the perfect airplane for Monarch as it moves its business model from a traditional charter carrier to a European scheduled leisure airline, offering improved efficiencies, high reliability and an outstanding passenger experience," said Todd Nelp, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are honored that Monarch has chosen Boeing as its future partner and are dedicated to ensuring this iconic operator's continued success."

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today's most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 MAX 8 will have an 8 percent per seat operating cost advantage over the A320neo.

The SSJ100: Super Optimized Aircraft in the 100-seat market


SSJ100 still battling the funding issues creatred by the Russian Nazi Leader Putin's invasion of the Ukraine

Venice (Italy) - October 31, 2014

VLM Photo

Following the agreement (Letter of Intent) signed between the leasing Company “Ilyushin Finance Corporation” (IFC) and the Belgian carrier VLM Airline - for two Sukhoi Superjet 100 with options for additional two plus ten aircraft – SuperJet International is pleased to see the confirmation of the outstanding suitability and the exceptional efficiency of the SSJ100 aircraft in the European market.

Even though it entered into service a few years ago in mid-2011, the SSJ100 has already confirmed its maturity and reliability during operations. The SSJ100 fleet in service worldwide logged more than 60.000 flight hours with the Interjet SSJ100’s maximum utilization in a day of over 11 flight hours. In the first year of operations, the Interjet SSJ100 hasn’t logged any cancellations and achieved a technical dispatch reliability’s average of 99,5%.

“The LoI signed by VLM represents an interesting achievement in a very competitive market like Europe – states Nazario Cauceglia, CEO of SuperJet International – This confirms that the SSJ100 is the best choice, what exactly the regional market needs today. It is certainly the most optimized aircraft in the 100-seat market in terms of total operational costs and of ownership costs compared to its direct competitors”.

Today the new-generation SSJ100 is aimed at achieving a significant share in the 100-seat market segment, providing a spacious cabin and a high comfort, a state-of-the-art technology with a new advanced engine, flexibility in the short-to-medium range, efficiency and superior performance. But along with a proven and reliable product, SuperJet International is also offering competitive financial solutions.

“This important transaction – adds Nazario Cauceglia - is also the result of an attractive financial offer. We are pleased to provide our customers with exceptional financial packages that can be converted into operating lease-agreements. Financing is a key aspect and I am sure – says Cauceglia - this approach will pave the way of the SSJ100 towards the success”.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 program is a cooperation between the Russian Sukhoi Holding and the Italian Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC), in Russia, is responsible for the design and production of the aircraft while SuperJet International (SJI), in Italy, is responsible for Customer Support worldwide. The marketing and sales of the aircraft are jointly conducted by SCAC and SJI worldwide.

Book Review – A History of Frauds Through the Ages, Beggars, Cheats and Forgers



First glance at the title might encourage the reader to think this might be a story of everyday political folk, but it is in fact a carefully researched study of a much neglected area of British history. It produces a fascinating view of historical scams and holds the reader’s attention to the end.

This book is thought provoking and will reward the reader’s time.

Book Review – Sniper in Helmand, Six Months on the Frontline



This new book provides a very valuable view of the military environment and provides information that should be part of the intelligence map that is needed to guide the future relationship between NATO and the Afghan people. The author is one of the small band of soldiers who have the capability to become snipers and Afghanistan has always been the battlefield for snipers. Snipers are a rare breed who earn the respect of enemy and comrade. It is a dangerous and arduous task that requires the development of considerable skill and determination. It also requires discipline and great patience.

Book Review – Chinese Hordes and Human Waves, a Personal Perspective of the Korean War 1950-1953



As it was, the Korean War became a nasty battle of attrition, often in dreadful weather conditions and always with the threat that the Koreans and their Chinese allies would simply flood troops into battle and accept appalling casualty rates to swamp the UN troops.

The author was a junior Gunner officer at the time and experienced the conditions. This has enabled him to paint a vivid picture of the battle, his allies, the enemy, the conditions and terrain as first hand observations. From this perspective alone, this would have been a memorable and engaging account of a war that is almost unknown today. What lifts it onto a higher plane and makes it an outstanding account, is that the author rose to senior rank, served as an intelligence officer and was a qualified Chinese interpreter. This has allowed him to combine the young officer’s experience of battle with the strategic and theatre tactics that come with the senior officer’s perspective and view of the wider stage.

Book Review – The Agincourt War, A Military History of the Hundred Years War from 1369 to 1453



The author has put the Battle of Agincourt into perspective against other important, if less well known, battles and engagements, providing also a greater depth to his presentation of the war than other authors have. The reader will come away from this book with a new understanding of how the armies fought and why the fortunes of war fell as they did. The author has given deserved honour to Henry V’s captains who have frequently been overlooked in other histories and details the parts played for France by Bertrand du Gueschlin and Joan of Arc.

The great achievement of the author is to present his careful research and compelling arguments in a manner that is both satisfying to the historian, without reducing the attraction to the layman. There are few illustrations, but the text conveys the drama and paints the pictures in an excellent piece of work.