Overview: This calendar indicates the dates on which it is more likely for there to be earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, tsunamis, major weather events, wars, civil unrest, and solar activity. This not astrology. For a more detailed description on what the calendar is based upon click here. Note: All times shown are 24-hour Universal Time and actual local times will usually differ, and local dates may also differ. For earthquakes they are shown as (date; hour:minute); example (01-01; 08:03), which is January 1 at 8:03.

Last Update: January 1, 2015



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1st -- New Moon (11h 14m) HIGH

Mideast: Egypt: Violent clashes broke out between the pro-Islamist protesters of the Muslim Brotherhood and police in the city of Alexandria, killing at least two. Yemen: A suicide car bomb exploded at the security forces' headquarters in the city of Aden, killing at least four soldiers, and causing heavy damage to the compound and nearby buildings. Europe: UK: Devon, England was hit with severe weather including heavy rains that brought widespread flooding and rivers burst their banks, prompting a number of rescues; more rains were forecast. France: Heavy rains and strong winds wrecked havoc, flooding Brittany as rivers overflowed their banks, killing one. Asia: Philippines: New Year's celebrations with fireworks and gunfire injuried nearly 600 and killed at least two. Africa: Somalia: The Islamist militant group al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, exploded two car bombs outside a hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least ten. North America: US: Bitter cold continued to grip the Upper Midwest with nighttime low temperatures thirty degrees below zero in places, and blizzard conditions. The storm continued to move into the Northeast where it would bring temperatures into the single digits and eventually snow. Soaking rains spread throughtout the Southeast, which would be overwhelmed by the southward moving cold wave. The conditions affected more than 100 million and killed at least sixteen. Canada: The country was, like the US, overwhelmed with bitter cold as an Artic blast of frigid air moved in, triggering heavy snowfall and very low temperatures. South America: Argentina: A heatwave, with some of the highest temperatures that have been recorded since records began, left at least seven dead, hundreds required medical help and earlier had triggered protests that the government had failed to provide electric service. Central America: El Salvador: Chaparrastique volcano continued to have explosive eruptions prompting authorities to resume evacuating residents living on the slopes. Pacific: South: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit west of the island nation of the Republic of Vanuatu (01-01; 08:03), causing some damages to buildings; eleven earthquakes had hit in the past week. Indian Ocean: Cyclone Bejisa strengthened into a Categaory III Cyclone with winds of 104 mph (167 kph) and 127 mph (204 kph) wind gusts, heading towards Reunion Island, east of Madagascar, where it would bring heavy rains, strong winds and a huge storm surge, killing one and seriously injuring sixteen. Solar Activity: Huge sunspot AR1936 erupted, producing a strong M9-class solar flare on the 1st that followed a M6-class flare late on 31 December 2013. The coronal mass ejections might produce geomagnetic storms in the following week. Sunspot AR1936 has an unstable magnetic field that could erupt with flares again at any time.

4th-5th Mid-Phase and Perihellion on the 4th HIGH

Mideast: Iraq: Thousands of residents fled the city of Fallujah, as government artillery fire and airstrikes took place after the city was lost to al-Qaeda-linked militants and allied tribesmen. Fighting also took place in Ramadi and in Anbar province, parts of which were also in the hands of militants. Egypt: Violent clashes took place between police and Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Fayoum and Ismailia, different sources say at least eleven or seventeen were killed, and dozens were wounded, late on the 3rd. Europe: UK: Torrential downpours brought major flooding to parts of Scotland, North Ireland, Wales, and Oxfordshire and Dorset in England, as a new storm struck with more heavy rains, strong winds and coastal flooding with "monster waves" that were 27 feet (8 m) high; the storm would continue towards Spain and Portugal where three were swept out to sea, and were declared missing. Ukraine: Protests again filled the center of Keiv, as several thousand rallied in the first anti-government protest of the new year still unhappy with the government's pro-Russia alliance. Switzerland: A series of avalanches swept the Alps in the south of the country, killing at least four and critically injuring one. Asia: China: A stampede at a mosque in the northwest Ningxia region, in the town of Xiji, killed at least fourteen and injuried ten; the reason for the stampede was not known, but occurred as food was being given out. Bangladesh: Violent clashes broke out between opposition activists and police during the country's general election, and as a boycott by the opposition took place, killing at least eighteen. India: Once again a building under construction collapsed in the western state of Goa, killing at least fourteen, and burying dozens in rubble. Indonesia: Sinabung Volcano, in Sumatra, underwent increasing pyroclastic flows of hot block and ash avalanches, and sent ash plumes to altitudes of 24,000 feet (7.3 km), erupting more than 50 times and sending more than 20,000 residents fleeing. Rescue operations were sent to the villages of Jewara and Pintu Besi, about four miles (7 km) from the crater, where homes and farms were covered in volcanic ash. Africa: South Sudan: Fighting again broke out throughout various parts of the country; in one such clash an army general was ambushed and killed. North America: US: A dangerous, polar vortex of frigid Arctic air swept the Midwest and Plains, as a new snow storm brought whiteout conditions to some areas and freezing rain to others, causing more than 3,700 flight cancellations and numerous delays, and school and road closings. The temperatures were the coldest in decades, plummeting to 10 to 70 degrees below zero with a strong wind-chill factor. Another three to ten inches (75-255 mm) of snow blanketed an already two-foot (610 mm) covering from a previous storm (see previous lunar phase). Pacific: South: Samoa was drenched by torrential rains that brought flash flooding, washing away cars, closing a major road, and triggering landslides and mudslides, killing at least two. Indian Ocean: South: Tropical Storm One B developed and headed for the east coast of Sri Lanka with heavy rains. Solar Activity: A long-duration M4-class solar flare exploded from huge sunspot AR1944, sending a coronal mass ejection towards Earth during the late hours of the 4th, and there continued to be a chance of M-class and X-ray flares.

8th -- First Quarter (3h 39m) HIGH

Mideast: Syria-Iraq: The headquarters of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in the Syrian city of Aleppo were captured by Islamist rebels. Dozens of their prisoners were found and freed, and several were found executed in the ISIS, while a car bomb exploded near a rebel base in the town of Tal Abyad. Iraq: Iraqi troops deployed an airstrike in Anbar province, killing at least twenty-five al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Ramadi, as hundreds of residents fled the area. Iran: Explosives were being transported to a location were a filming of the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) movie was taking place when the explosives ignited killing at least six, and seriously injuring several others. Europe: UK: A US Air Force helicopter crashed in a coastal marshland of Norfolk, England, killing all four crew members aboard; the cause was not yet known. Heavy rain again swept across flooded parts of England, Scotland and Wales, as more than 100 flood warnings were issued; eight had so far been killed as a result of the flooding. Portugal: Stormy weather brought huge 60-foot waves along the coast, smashing sea walls, and destroying houses, public works and more at Costa da Caparica. Asia: India: Once again a train caught fire on the Dehradun Express as it travelled through the state of Maharashtra, killing at least nine, on the 7th. Japan: Almost 900 people had reported symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain after consuming a frozen food containing pesticides (high levels of malathion). Indonesia: Sinabung volcano, in Sumatra, continued to erupt with avalanches of lava rocks and ash mixed with gas and air, stretching 1.25 to 2.5 miles (2-4 km) down the southeast slope. Africa: South Sudan: Thousands fled the city of Bentiu as the government moved in to recapture the oil-rich area from rebels. At least 1,000 have been killed and more than 200,000 have been forced from their homes since the conflict began. Nigeria: Gunmen attacked a mosque in the state of Kano, killing three worshippers and wounding twelve; it is suspected that the Islamist group Boko Haram was responsible. Democratic Republic of Congo: A violent battle took place between government and rebel forces in the city of Lubumbashi, killing at least twenty-six; the number of wounded was unknown. Mozambique: Torrential rains in the north damaged hundreds of homes, triggered power outages and closed roadways. North America: US: A Navy helicopter crashed off the Virginia coast near Norfolk, killing at least two crew members, one was missing and another two were rescued; the cause was not yet known. More ice and snow affected areas from the Midwest to Arkansas, creating dangerous roads. A toxic chemical spill in the state of West Virginia, near the capital of Charleston, entered a major river prompting a warning not to bathe, drink or cook with the water, affecting about 300,000 people. South America: Argentina: Lightning struck a beach in Villa Gesell, killing at least three and wounding twenty-two. Pacific: South: Tropical Cyclone Ian strengthened into a Category III Cyclone with 125 mph (200 kph) winds headed for Tonga with heavy rains, violent thunderstorms and a huge storm surge. Atlantic: Honduras: Heavy rains triggered major flooding isolating about 20,000 in the provinces of Atlantida and Colon. Solar Activity: Giant sunspot AR1944 exploded with a X1-class solar flare sending a coronal mass ejection with high-energy protons in the direction of the Earth; more flares followed.

11th-12th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Iraq: A suicide car-bomb exploded outside a bus station in the Allawi area, killing at least nine and wounding many. Libya: Clashes between rival tribes in the southern city of Sabha, killed at least nineteen, and in a separate incident the country's Deputy Industry Minister was shot dead during a visit to his hometown of Sirte. Europe: UK: England was again bracing for more flooding from groundwater and rivers, as they continued to rise. Russia: Shiveluch volcano, on the Kamchatka peninsula, exploded from a partial lava dome collapse, producing an ash plume that rose to 28,000 ft (8,500 m) into the air. Asia: Thailand: Anti-government protesters attempted to shut down the capital, Bangkok, by building barricades and occupying key roads, as the government sent out 18,000 police and soldiers; unknown gunmen opened fire on the anti-government demonstrators injuring at least seven. Tibet: A huge fire destroyed nearly 300 houses in Dukezong in Shangri-La county, in Yunnan province, leaving more than 2,600 homeless; the area was at least 1,300 years old. Africa: Kenya: Military planes carried out an airstrike on an Islamist camp in Somalia, killing 30 militants and destroying buildings in the camp, on the 10th. South Sudan: Heavy fighting again forced thousands to flee, as government forces attempted to recapture the city of Bor still in the hands of the rebels. North America: US: A powerful storm brought hurricane-force winds across parts of the Rockies with gusts up to 115 mph at Logan Pass, Montana and 90 mph at Sedge Ridge, Washington, causing power outages, delayed flights and hazardous roads. Heavy rains and snow also accompanied the storm. In the Northeast heavy rains combined with the melting snow of the previous "polar-vortex" storm, bringing widespread flooding. Pacific: South: Tropical Cyclone Ian strengthened into a Category V Cyclone with 144 mph (232 kph) winds and 178 mph (286 kph) gusts, and made a U-turn as it again headed for Tonga with heavy rains, violent thunderstorms and a huge storm surge, destroying houses, causing widespread flooding and killing at least one. In some places as much as 80% of the houses were destroyed, and numerous lightning injuries occurred. Atlantic: North: A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled Hatillo, Puerto Rico (01-12; 20:01). Solar Activity: The Earth entered a fast stream of solar wind that would spark auroras at high latitudes in the following days.

16th -- Full Moon (4h 52m) MODERATE

Mideast: Israel-Palestine: Shortly after militants in the Gaza Strip fired five rockets towards Ashkelon in southern Israel, the Israeli air force launched air raids in five different sites, hitting a training facility of Hamas and a rocket launcher cell at a farm; at least five were wounded. Iraq: Bomb attacks and shootings plagued the country, killing at least seventy-five and wounding at least twenty-four in and around Baghdad, on the 15th. The following day the bodies of fourteen Sunni Muslim men were found in an orchard near Baghdad; they all had gunshots wounds to their heads. Europe: France and Italy: A series of storms brought very heavy rains to southeastern France and northern Italy that were expected to continue for days with widespread flooding from Marseille to Venice, and later into southern Russia, including Sochi, the location of the Olympics. UK: Heavy flooding closed roadways and disrupted train services in southeast England; in Surrey, the River Mole and the Gatwick Stream both burst their banks, flooding nearby homes. Asia: Indonesia: North Sulawesi was drentched by very heavy rains that triggered severe, widespread flooding that displaced 40,000 and killed at least thirteen; two others were missing. Landslides and rising floodwaters isolated several villages in the province of North Sulawesi, leaving about 1,000 stranded. Phillipines: The same system that hit North Sulawesi also dumped heavy rains that triggered landslides and flooding on the island of Mindanao, killing at least twenty-six and displacing more than 200,000. Africa: South Sudan: Troops from Unganda fought alongside South Sudanese government forces against the rebels; an undisclosed number were killed and wounded. Ghost towns were emerging throughout the country as a result of the conflict that had killed several thousand since it began. North America: US: An ice jam prompted flood warnings along the Maumee River in the state of Ohio; the ice was a leftover from the polar vortex winter storm. An MH-60 Blackhawk returning to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, crashed, killing at least one and injuring two. Blizzard conditions reduced visibility to near zero in spots of Fargo, North Dakota, and heavy snowfall elsewhere in the Northern Plains. Mexico: Groups of vigilantes clashed with members of the Knights Templar drug cartel, prompting the government to send in hundreds of troops to quell the violent conflict. South America: Colombia: A motorcycle packed with explosives exploded outside a police station in the western town of Pradera, injuring dozens and killing at least one; the rebel group, the Farc, were responsible. Australia: A powerful heatwave scorched the southeast aiding "out of control", fast-moving bushfires to merge the Victoria and the Northern Grampians area fires into one. The heatwave also stopped the matches at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne with temperatures of 107 degrees F (42 C). Solar Activity: There was a 35% chance of geomagnetic storms when a minor coronal mass ejection was expected to hit Earth, on the 17th.

mid-19th-mid-21th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: A series of bomb blasts swept across Baghdad, killing at least 26 and injuring more than 60, as it also destroyed vehicles and buildings. Syria: Two car bombs exploded at a rebel-held post near the border with Turkey, killing at least sixteen and wounding an undisclosed number. Israel-Palestine: An Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip killed two Palestinian militants who were members of the Islamic Jihad, a group that fired rockets across into Israel. Lebanon: A suicide car bomb exploded in a Hezbollah stronghold in a Shia-dominated suburb of Beirut, killing at least four and injuring at least 20, while setting a multi-story building on fire and destroying numerous vehicles. Europe: Ukraine: Tens of thousands protested in Keiv against the pro-Russian government, clashing with police who were pelted with flares, stun grenades, fireworks and gasoline bombs, as they also turned over a bus and set it and other vehicles on fire. Police used water cannon, stun grenades, flares, plastic bullets and gas canisters to try to force the crowd back. France: Floods submerged much of the southeast forcing the evacuation of many, air-lifting 155, triggering power outages and killing at least two. Norway: A night-time blaze at a heritage village, famous for its unique wooden buildings, consumed thirty buildings and injuried at least 90; strong winds fanned the flames. Russia: A relatively large explosion occurred the Shiveluch volcano, on the Kamchatka peninsula, sending an ash plume an estimated 28,000 feet (8,000 m) into the air. Asia: Pakistan: A bomb blast struck an army convoy, near the town of Bannu, killing at least 20 soldiers and injuring at least another 24; Pakistan's Taliban claimed responsiblity. The following day a blast from a suicide bomber near the army headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi left at least 13 dead and 29 wounded. A bomb struck a bus in Mastung district in Balochistan province, killing at least 22 and wounding more than two dozen Shia pilgrims; it was believed that Sunni Muslim militants were responsible. Pakistani military aircraft bombed suspected Taliban locations in North Waziristan, killing at least 40 militants, after a wave of attacks they took against the security forces. Thailand: Attackers threw explosives at anti-government protesters in Bangkok, injuring at least 28; the Thai government then imposed a 60-day state of emergency. Philippines: Heavy rains from the former Tropical Storm Lingling, combined with the local monsoon, and led to more heavy rainfall in the south where four feet (1,220 mm) of rain had already displaced more than 100,000. Africa: Central African Republic: A Christian mob in the capital, Bangui, killed and burned two Muslims in the street in the latest bout since sectarian violence had erupted after largely Muslim rebels took over the country. South Sudan: Violent clashes continued as the army tried to take back the key town of Malakal from the rebels; amid the violence patients were shot in their hospital beds. Australia and New Zealand: New Zealand: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rattled Palmerston on the country's North Island (01-19; 18:52), knocking goods off shelves, breaking windows, toppling statues and causing minor damages to buildings. North America: US: Another polar vortex event brought frigid temperatures across the upper Midwest and New England with highs in the single digits and wind chills of minus 20 or colder; in North Dakota the temperature was minus 56 F. The system then moved into the Northeast bringing major snowfall to New York, Pennsylvania and DC; some places had blizzard conditions. The storm caused the cancellation of about 1,700 flights and wrecked havoc with road travel. In California high winds lead to the necessity of rescuing at least 55 from rough seas near beaches. An explosion and partial building collapse at an animal feed processing plant in Omaha, Nebraska, injuried ten workers inside and killed two workers; it was unknown what caused the explosion. Mexico: In an operation to restore order in the state of Michoacan, the country's security forces arrested 38 members of the Knights Templar drug cartel; the cartel was responsible for numerous killings and extortion. South America: Colombia: In an operation in the northeast, the army killed at least 14 Farc rebels who were involved in the sabotage of oil installations in Arauca province. Solar Activity: High-latitude auroras were triggered when the Earth crossed through a fold in the Sun's spiral current sheet, which is known as a "solar-sector boundary crossing." Noctilucent -- "night-shining" -- clouds surrounded the North Polar region, as well.

24th -- Last Quarter (5h 20m) MODERATE

Mideast: Egypt: On the eve of the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising four explosions tore into Cairo, killing at least six and injuring more than one hundred. Earlier, two men riding motorcycles opened fire on a checkpoint south of Cairo, killing five and injuring two policemen. Israel- Palestine: Palestinians threw rocks and rolled burning tires toward soldiers at the border with Israel, afterwhich Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded another in north Gaza. Europe: Ukraine: Anti-government protests continued and became more violent as protesters threw rocks, fireworks and gasoline bombs at police, who responded with tear gas in the capital of Kiev. Protesters also burned piles of tires used as barricades by the police. Calls for the president to resign were the focus, as a State of Emergency was issued. France: Heavy rains brought more flooding to the western part of the country, increasing dangerous avalanches. UK: A "major incident" was declared for all areas affected by flooding in Somerset where several villages were cut off, and homes and cars were submerged due to flooding; more heavy rains followed contributing to the widespread flooding. Asia: Kyrgyzstan: An unidentified criminal group near the Chinese border was reported to have killed the head of the hunting department, and used explosives and set onfire some buildings in the northeastern Issykul region, afterwhich troops were sent to capture them, but refusing to give themselves up, eleven were killed. Japan: Suwanose-jima volcano was very active with near-continuous steam and ash emissions that reached 4,000 feet (1,200 m) into the air. A new island that emerged from the Pacific Ocean 620 miles (1,000 km) south of Tokyo, following a powerful volcanic eruption of Nishino- Shima volcano; it continued to erupt causing the island to grow in size. Indonesia: A 6.1 magntiude earthquake shook Adipala (01-24; 21:14), causing some damages to property. China: Clashes in the western region of Xinjiang between Muslim Uighur minority group and police left twelve by shots and explosives; Chinese authorities claimed that the clashes were caused by "terrorists". North America: US: Relentless cold plagued the Eastern states from Maine to Florida, causing massive pileups of cars and big rigs. The cold also gripped Texas through to Loiusiana with a mix of snow, ice and rain. A large and strong Alberta Clipper storm swept across the Great Lakes region producing local blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall that spread into New England and much of the mid-Atlantic. Canada: Eastern Canada was also overwhelmed with sub-freezing temperatures. Solar Activity: Sunspots AR1957 and AR1959 developed magnetic fields that harbored energy for medium-sized eruptions. Auroras circled the North Polar region.

mid-26th-mid-28th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Egypt: Supporters and opponents of the military-backed government clashed in Cairo and other cities, killing at least twenty-nine and injuring more than one hundred. Europe: North and Central: A major cold wave swept Romania, Serbia, Scandinavian, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus plunging temperatures to as low as 40 degrees below zero. Ukraine: Protesters spread further outside Kiev, with unrest in the east, north and south, as they clashed with police and besieged government buildings in the city of Zaporizhzhya. UK: Rain and strong winds overwhelmed parts of the eastern England, northern Ireland, Wales and much of Scotland, causing widespread flooding of already soaked ground, such as in Somerset. Temperatures plummeted and heavy snow fell as a major cold front moved into parts of the country. Russia: Klyuchevskoy volcano, on the Kamchatka peninsula, entered a new eruptive phase sending an ash plume 16,000 feet (5,000 m) into the air. Greece: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake rattled Lixourion on the island of Cephalonia (01-26; 05:55), causing some damages to buildings; a 5.4 aftershock followed. Asia: Cambodia: Riot police clashed with protesters who demanded higher wages for garment-factory work, after security forces tried to stop the rally from entering Phnom Penh's Freedom Park; protesters threw stones and shoes, and riot police fought with batons and stun guns. Thailand: Protesters surrounded polling stations trying to block early voting, causing the voting to be cancelled in dozens of areas in Bangkok and several southern provinces; one of their leaders was shot dead. Japan: Nishino-Shima volcano continued to erupt causing the island to grow further in size with lava flows. Africa: Nigeria: Islamist militants, known as the Boko Haram, attacked two villages in the northeast, setting off explosives and burning houses, killing at least eighty-two. In the village of Kawuri not a single home remained standing. Somalia: A US drone missle targeted a car occupied by a commander and others with ties to al-Qaeda and al-Shabab, killing five. North America: US: Another Arctic bitter-cold front plunged into the Midwest and Northeast, and then moved down south as far south as Florida and Texas bringing the coldest temperatures of the winter and blizzard conditions in areas, even colder than the earlier polar vortex. Flights were cancelled or delayed, schools and roadways were closed, and traffic accidents and pileups abounded. In the Midwest temperatures plunged to 50 degrees below zero in some northern locations. The South got snow and ice paralyzing areas were snow is usually unheard of, triggering hundreds of vehicle accidents, closing roadways, schools, and stores, and leaving thousands to abandon their cars on highways and in parking lots. Meanwhile, higher than normal temperatures lead to the only road leading into Valdez, Alaska, to be blocked by avalanches in Keystone Canyon, and also blocking the Lowe River, that lead to flooding. South America: Brazil: Clashes filled the streets in Sao Paulo as more than 2,000 demonstrators marched against the country's hosting of the World Cup soccer match; a car was burned and property was damaged. A truck crashed into a pedestrian bridge in Rio de Janeiro, causing it to collapse onto vehicles below, killing four and injuring four. Bolivia: Torrential rainfall triggered mudslides and flooding in the north, killing at least nine; the government declared a state of emergency. Colombia: A clash between inmates and guards in Modelo jail, in the city of Barranquilla, lead to a fire that killed at least ten and injuried more than forty. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR 1957 developed a magnetic field that could erupt with M-class solar flares. The southeastern limb of the Sun brought sunspot AR1944, that produced many strong flares earlier this month, in view, which was active with C- and M-class solar flares. Reemerging from the farside of the Sun AR 1957 was renamed AR 1967 as it again became active with at least five M-class solar flares.

30th -- New Moon (21h 38m) MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: Attackers stormed a government building in Baghdad where they took hostages, afterwhich Iraqi security forces ended the hostage crisis; casualty reports varied with either eight or eighteen killed. Yemen: Militants militant attacked a checkpoint in the province of Hadramawt, killing at least fifteen Yemeni soldiers; the miltants were linked to al-Qaeda. Egypt: An airstrike targeted an al-Qaeda-linked group in northern Sinai, killing at least thirteen miltants. Europe: Northeast: A dangerous storm began heading toward the British Isles and west coast of France, triggering more widespread coastal and inland flooding to the region. Meanwhile, snow storms and strong winds sweet across Eastern Europe, as deep snow drifts left people stranded in Serbia and Syrian refugees shivering in Bulgaria. Ukraine: Anti-government protesters demanded the president's resignation as they still occupied government buildings and erected barricades in freezing temperatures in Keiv. The president went on sick leave, which many considered an attempt to ignore the situation. Asia: Indonesia: Sinabung volcano, in Sumatra, continued to produce lava effusions, pyroclastic flows and rock avalanches, as lava flows filled the deep ravine on its southeast side. Africa: South Sudan: Violence continued despite the declaration of a ceasefire. Central African Republic: Christian anti-balaka militias and Muslim Seleka rebels clashed in Bangui, killing at least forty- three and wounding at least seventy-one, over the last four days. Pacific: South: A tropical storm in the northern Coral Sea developed into a Category I Cyclone Dylan with winds of 63 mph (102 kph) and gusts of 81 mph (130 kph) headed for the southeast coast of Australia, and making landfall in north Queensland with flooding, rough surf and damaging waves. North America: US and Canada: The first in a series of winter storms blanketed a region from Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma into the the Midwest, hitting Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit, and also southeastern Canada. Snow and ice prevented travel on the highways from the central Plains to the Midwest and lead to flight delays and cancellations. Three to ten inches of snow, developing into ice, hit Denver to Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. South America: Bolivia: Heavy rain and floods continued mainly in the northern and central parts of the country, triggering more mudlsides, and leaving at least thirty dead and widespread damages. Ecuador: Tungurahua volcano began a new eruptive phase accompanied by a swarm of earthquakes, and sending fine black ashfalls, typical of magma eruptions, onto Pungal and Penipe, and minor amounts in Palictahua. Pacific: Northwest: Kajiki strengthened into a tropical storm sweeping over the Phillipines with heavy rains, strong winds and renewed flooding, afterwhich it headed for South Vietnam. Solar Activity: The huge sunspot AR1967 produced a strong M6-class solar flare, sending out a coronal mass ejection into space. Auroras surrounded the Arctic.


2th-3rd -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Syria: Syrian government forces dropped a barrel bomb on Aleppo, killing at least ninety and wounding hundreds, while destroying numerous buildings. Lebanon: A car bomb exploded in a Hezbollah stronghold near the northern border with Syria, in the town of Hermel in the Bekaa Valley, killing at least three and wrecking widespread damages. The following day a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a minibus in Beirut in the Choueifat district, killing one, wounding two, and damaged property. Iraq: A number of car bombings in and around Baghdad left at least fourteen dead, and another four were found with gunshots to the head and signs of torture. Iran: Heavy snowfalls cut off towns and villages in the north, left about 480,000 homes without power, closed schools and roadways, and sent 3,800 into emergency shelters and 79 to the hospital; people were trapped in Mazandaran and Gilan provinces. Europe: Greece: Violent clashes broke out in Athens at a rally by the far-right Golden Dawn party, a neo-Nazi group, when confronting a counter-demonstration, injuring at least two. A 6.1 magnitude earthquake again shook Lixourion on the island of Cephalonia (02-02; 19:08). Serbia: Heavy snow and strong winds battered towns across the country, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded on roadways and trapping people in their homes. Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia: Blizzards with heavy snow and ice brought down powerlines, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, closing schools and roadways, as the government called it a large-scale natural disaster. UK: Several coastal towns in southwest England, including Devon and Cornwall, were swamped by new flooding, disrupting businesses, severely damaging large tracts of the coast, and closing roadways and train lines. Asia: Indonesia: Sinabung volcano, in Sumatra, violently erupted sending hot gas, ash and rocks 1.5 miles (2 km) into the air, killing at least 16 and completely engulfing villages in ash. The eruption of a pyroclastic flow was followed by a series of tornadoes. A 6.1 magnitude earthquake rattled Kepulauan Barat Daya Island (02-03; 14:36). Thailand: Again, protests disrupted the general election, preventing voting in parts of Bangkok and the south, promoting security officials to send out about 130,000 personnel to control the unrest. Pakistan: Two hand grenades were thrown into a cinema in the northwestern city of Peshawar, leaving at least five dead and at least 31 injuried. Africa: Central African Republic: After five days of violent clashes between Muslims and Christians in the town of Boda at least 75 were killed; a number of others were buried before casualties were counted. North America: US: A powerful storm swept the Northeast, including the cities of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. Another winter storm pelleted the South with snow, sleet and freezing rain from Texas to Tennessee, delaying flights, causing car crashes and dumping snow, sleet and rain; parts of northern Texas got up to thirteen inches of snow. A major winter storm with heavy snow, ice and a wintry mix was developing and would hit the southern and central Plains to the Midwest and again in the Northeast. South America: Ecuador: Tungurahua volcano erupted three times, sending huge clouds of ash and smoke up to 13,000 feet (4,000 m) into the air, starting on the 1st and continuing into the 3rd. New Zealand: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook L'Esperance (02-02; 01:26). Solar Activity: Huge sunspot AR1967 blasted out seven M-class solar flares and three coronal mass ejections with the Earth being directly threatened; it would be a few days before the effects took place, triggering geomagnetic storms and other geophysical phenomena.

6th -- First Quarter (19h 22m) LOW

Mideast: Iraq: A number of bomb attacks in Baghdad left at least thirty-three dead, many wounded and severe property damages, on the 5th. Europe: France: A severe storm battered the Atlantic coast with strong winds and heavy rains that triggered widespread flooding. Austria: Tens of thousands of houses were buried under a thick blanket of snow deposited by a strong winter storm that was expected to bring more snow. UK: Storms continued to devastate parts of the UK, with England hit the hardest, as many homes were still flooded and part of a key railway line was destroyed. Meanwhile, more storms were on their way, as many were evacuated from their homes. Severe weather would bring more rain to already flooded parts of southern England, south Wales and Somerset Levels. Stormy seas, high winds and ocean foam hit the coastline, while some boats sank or were grounded. Italy: Mount Etna volcano increased in activity with continuous lava flows and tremors, and ash ejections. Africa: North: A migration of 1,123 people in inflatable boats from North Africa set out to reach Europe but had to be rescued by Italy's navy. In addition, hundreds of migrants set off from North Africa trying to reach the Spanish city of Ceuta; at least seven drowned. The Moroccan coastguard picked up 150 migrants, while hundreds swam back to shore. South Africa: The Doornkop gold mine, west of Johannesburg, caught fire which triggered a rock fall trapping miners, afterwhich rescue workers recovered eight bodies. North America: US: A stormy mix of ice and snow caused "hurricane-like damages" cutting out power for more than a half million in Philadelphia and parts of Maryland, as icy roadways caused numerous crashes and paralyzed travel. A strong low-pressure system began to move into the Northwest where it would bring heavy snowfalls into Washington and Oregon, and heavy rains caused flooding in parts of Northern California; widespread power outages occurred, schools and flights were cancelled, and landslides were triggered. South America: Brazil: Hundreds clashed with police in Rio de Janeiro during a protest against increased public-transportion fares. Police fired tear gas, while protesters threw stones and gasoline bombs. Central America: Guatemala: Fuego volcano had frequent small to moderate explosions with firey ejected material reaching up to about 330 feet (100 m) above the crater and ash plumes of up to about 1,640 feet (500 m). Pacific: South: Tropical storm Edna strengthened into a Cateogory I Cyclone headed for Norfork Island with 58 mph (93 kph) winds and 75 mph (120 kph) gusts, and heavy rains. A 6.5 magnitude earthquake rattled Port-Olry, Vanuatu (02-07; 00:40). Solar Activity: Huge sunspot AR 1967 was very active to the extent that it appeared about to produce an X-class solar flare. Meanwhile, the new sunspot AR 1968 was growing alongside AR 1967 with a unstable magnetic field that could trigger a double-sunspot chain reaction. A coronal mass ejection hit the Earth triggering widespread auroras around the North Pole and a strong geomagnetic storm, on the 7th.

9th-10th -- Mid-Phase LOW

Mideast: Syria: The opposition-held city of Homs was besieged by rockets, mortars and gunfire, forcing more than six hundred to flee at a time that was supposed to be a ceasefire in an attempt to deliver food, water and medical care, and allow people who were trapped to leave. A number of people were killed and wounded, and aid trucks had to evacuate. In Aleppo government helicopters dropped barrel bombs, killing at least eleven and wounding dozens. Iraq: A car bomb was accidentally detonated by militants who planned to use elsewhere, killing at least 21 of the insurgents, near the city of Samarra; security forces rushed to the area, and arrested twelve wounded and another ten trying to flee. Europe: Atlantic and Mediterranean Coasts: A strong depression, named Stephanie, brought heavy rains, gale force winds, and at higher elevations, heavy snowfall. France was particularly targeted, but also hit were Spain, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Widespread flooding took place, especially in areas that had already been soaked by previous rains. UK: Fourteen severe flood warnings were issued along the River Thames in Berkshire and Surrey evacuating thousands and flooding and destroying property; rising water also threatened Somerset and floods overtook Worcester and the village of Datchet, as more rain was forecast. Asia: Pakistan: Gunmen on motorbikes shot into a faith healer's house in the city of Karachi, killing at least eight and wounding at least twelve. Japan: A very rare, severe snow storm hit Tokyo causing the cancelation of hundreds of flights, power outages, traffic accidents, and at least twelve deaths and more than 1,000 injured; more than five feet (1.5 m) of snow fell. Residents were urged to stay indoors in the first warning of this kind in 13 years. India: A boat capsized in Mahanadi river in the eastern Orissa state, killing at least twenty-two; nine were still missing. China: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Hotan Province (02-12; 01:19) that was followed by twenty aftershocks; numerous homes were damaged or destroyed. Africa: Central African Republic: Violence, largely comitted by either Christian anti-Balaka militias or Seleka members, had increased so much that it was believed that it may force the entire Muslim population to flee the country. Muslims' homes were systematically torn down or burned, emptying entire villages, particularly near Bangui, the capital. Burundi: Torrential rains and landslides plagued the capital, Bujumbura, killing at least sixty-seven and injuring scores of people, as floodwaters and huge boulders destroyed houses in the middle of the night. Australia: Dozens of bushfires swept across the southern section of the country, with more than 70 fires burning across Victoria, fanned by hot weather and strong winds, destroying numerous homes and other buildings, and threatening a coal-fired powerplant. North America: US: Repeated waves of snow and ice hit across the southern Plains and the South, severely inhibiting travel, causing power outages, and triggering traffic crashes. Hundreds of drivers in Little Rock, Arkansas abandoned their cars in order to seek shelter. South America: Ecuador: Tungurahua volcano erupted with nearly continuous ash plumes rising 13,120 feet (4,000 m) into the air, accompanied by abundant degassing and steaming; ash falls often occurred in nearby villages. Solar Activity: The two huge sunspots AR1967 and AR1968, though facing away from Earth, were well-connected to Earth by the Sun's spiraling Interplanetary Magnetic Field, making it possible to triggering a radiation storm should the sunspots flare. New sunspots, AR1974, AR1975 and AR1976, developed magnetic fields that could trigger medium-sized eruptions.

14th -- Full Moon (23h 53m) LOW

Mideast: Syria: A car bomb exploded at a mosque in the southern village of Yadouda, killing at least 32 and injuring dozens. A large military build-up near the opposition-held town of Yabroud, near the border with Lebanon, was hit with numerous aerial attacks and shelling; there were no reports of how many were killed or injuried. Europe: UK and France: Windstorm Tini brought powerful winds and heavy rainfall to North Wales, Ireland, northern England, Scotland and France. A rare red warning was issued for North Wales and Ireland, and about a half-million were without power and widepread travel was disrupted. Already flooded parts of the UK got more rain exasperating an already dire situation some have called "Bibical rains" (i.e., like the floods of Noah). Huge waves also battered the south coast of England. Asia: Indonesia: Mount Kelud, a volcano in east Java, erupted with ash and debris over a large area that included the city of Surabaya, about 80 miles (130 km) away, where airports were shut down. More than 100,000 fled the area, 36 villages were evacuated, and three were killed when roofs collapsed from the weight of the ash or they suffocated from the ash. China: Muslim Uighurs attacked police officers in Xinjiang, afterwhich government authorities shot dead eight, while another three more were killed by their own explosive devices as they attacked a patrol; two civilians and two police officers were injured. The attacks were said to be in retaliation of Chinese repression. Africa: Somalia: A car bomb exploded close to the international airport in Mogadishu, killing at least six and injuring many, on the 13th; al-Qaeda-aligned militants were believed to be responsible. North America: US: The latest snow storm to hit the East Coast moved up into the Northeast, after causing hundreds of vehicles crashes in pileups, cancelling more than 7,000 flights, closing schools, triggering power outages of more than a million, and killing at least twenty-five. The Great Lakes were nearly frozen over for the first time in over two decades. More snow was forecast for what was already described as an "historic" event. Solar Activity: Three coronal mass ejections began striking Earth's magnetic field in rapid succession on the 14th and 15th, triggering geomagnetic storms. Growing sunspot AR1974 was spouting off M-class solar flares and posed a threat for stronger X-class flares.

18th-19th -- Mid-Phase LOW

Mideast: Iraq: A wave of car bombs in the cities of Baghdad and Hilla, left at least forty-nine dead and wounded at least ninety. In a seperate incident, Iraqi soldiers battled with Sunni fighters in Fallujah, in the Anbar province; thirteen Iraqi soldiers were killed. Yemen: An army convoy was ambushed with anti-tank weapons and automatic rifles near the office of the provincial government, in Daleh, killing at least nine (four were civilians) and capturing fourteen; the separatist Hiraak al-Janoubi (Southern Movement) were believed to be the attackers. Lebanon: Two suicide bombers using a car and a motorcycle attacked an area in the south of Beirut, killing at least four and injuring dozens, causing heavy damage to shops and buildings, and set fire to vehicles; the attack was believed to be the work of Hezbollah. Syria: A bomb attack near a school run by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, killed at least eighteen and injuried dozens. Europe: Ukraine: Police stormed the Independence Square in Kiev, the scene of a mostly peaceful protest camp, protesters refused to leave afterwhich there were explosions, fireworks, gasoline bombs and structures were set on fire, killing at least twenty-six; some scenes were described as "Apocalyptic". An explosion at the Pivnichna coal mine killed at least eighty-eight and injuried more than five hundred. Asia: China: Blizzards swept parts of Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Hunan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Zhejiang, wreaking havoc on traffic and crops. Thailand: Police began clearing protest sites in Bangkok when violence erupted, killing at least four and injuring more than sixty; police used gunfire and tear gas, while protesters threw a grenade and overturned vehicles for barricades. India: Police were attacked by rebel fire in Gadchiroli district in the western state of Maharashtra, afterwhich the police killed seven "Maoist" rebels. South Korea: A major snowfall caused the collapse of a ceiling at college retreat, killing ten and injuring more than one hundred. Africa: Central African Republic: Villages were emptying as Muslims fled to nearby Chad while being attacked by a Christian militia, the anti-Balaka, who were taking revenge for atrocities commited by Muslims. South Sudan: Violent fighting broke out in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state, caused by rebels who used assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns; there were no reports of casualties. Nigeria: Suicide bombers of the Boko Haram undertook an attack on the northern border town of Bama, causing many fatalities. The mobile phone network was severely damaged so that no details could be gotten about the attack. North America: US: The already snow-covered Northeast was hit with a fast-moving storm with more heavy snow from to New York City to Boston, delaying flights, causing traffic incidents, and in some areas, white-out conditions. Afterward, temperatures warmed, causing large chunks of ice toplummet from several buildings, and eventually increased flooding, in the Northeast and Midwest. South America: Venezuela: Several thousand of pro- and anti-government supporters took part in tense protests in the capital of Caracas. North Atlantic: Barbados: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked the island near Bathsheba (02-18; 01:27), causing some damages. It was also felt in the nearby Caribbean island of Martinique. Southern Pacific: Papua New Guinea: Violence broke out at Australia's immigration detention center, killing at least one and injuring 77 as they protested camp conditions. Solar Activity: A geomagnetic storm was already taking place when a coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetic field, increasing the storm's intensity. It also triggered very bright auroras that could be seen as far south as the United States.

22nd -- Last Quarter (17h 15m) LOW

Mideast: Syria: A suicide attack in the city of Aleppo left several dead, including a senior rebel commander linked to al-Qaeda; the attack was believed to be the work of the militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS. Europe: Turkey: Thousands of protesters gathered in Istanbul to protest a new law allowing the government to keep records of all internet user activities for up to two years; police used tear gas and water cannons to keep demonstrators away from the city's Taksim Square. Ukraine: After sharpshooters killed at least 88 and wounded more than 500 over the past few days, the reigning President Viktor Yanukovych was dismissed and replaced by a new interim president, as the country seeks a partnership with the European Union (EU); it was suggested that the country may split into two countries with one aligned with Russia and the other with the EU. Asia: Afghanistan: A Taliban attack on a checkpoint in Kunar province left twenty-one Afghan soldiers and one attacker dead, and dozens wounded. A suicide attack using a van driven up to local government offices in Sarobi and an accompanying gun battle, left three Taliban militants and one policeman dead, and wounded another two policemen, on the 21st. Japan: Sakurajima volcano, in Kyushu, underwent increasingly strong explosions, accompanied by abundant lightning, and ejections of ash and glowing material. Thailand: An explosion from a grenade near an anti-government protest rally in Bangkok left at least two dead and more than twenty wounded. Just hours earlier gunmen opened fire on an anti-government rally in the east, killing a five-year-old girl. Africa: Somalia: A huge car bomb exploded at the gate of the presidential palace, in Mogadishu, that was followed by a gun battle inside, killing at least two officials and nine of the attackers, and causing widespread damages; the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab was responsible. North America: US: Rain and thunderstorms, including the threat of tornadoes, interrupted the Daytona 500 stockcar race. With temperatures rising snow began to melt but was blocked by ice jams, causing flooding in Ohio. South America: Venezuela: Violent clashes again brokeout between police and opposition demonstrators after a march of tens of thousands in Caracas; police fired tear gas and protesters threw stones injuring several people. Central America: Guatemala: Fuego volcano had explosions about every half-hour, sending material onto the upper slopes, where they triggered avalanches up to 1.25 miles (2 km) in length. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR1967 re-emerged on the farside of the Sun, sending a coronal mass ejection into space. This sunspot has been active for an unheard of three months, when usually none last no more than three weeks. Huge sunspot complex AR1981-AR1982 crossing the center of the Sun, and was almost-directly facing the Earth with a magnetic field capable of significant eruptions.

25th-26th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: Israeli police clashed with Palestinian protesters on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem after about 20 Palestinians threw stones and fireworks at the officers. There were fears that it could create an atmosphere that increases violence and hatred, and shift the clash into a dangerous religious conflict. Lebanon: Israeli jets carried out airstrikes near the village of Nabi Sheet in the Bekaa Valley, a place where the militant Hezbollah group resides; it seemed that they targeted trucks of weapons being shipped from Syria that were headed for Hezbollah. Syria: Government forces ambushed a large number of Islamist opposition fighters in the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus, and killed 175. Qatar: An explosion at a restaurant in the capital, Doha, killed 12 and injured at least 30. Iraq: Baghdad was hit with two bombings and injuried 59. Europe: Russia: Protesting sentences passed on other activists, opposition rallies gathered at Manege Square, at the Kremlin, in Moscow, and another at Saint Petersburg, as police arrested more than five hundred. Ukraine: As the protesters in Keiv named a new cabinet, Russia conducted "military exercises" near its border in the Crimea; some saw this as a sign that Russia might intervene. Asia: Pakistan: The military carried out air strikes against suspected militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal area, killing at least thirty. Afghanistan: A suicide bomber attacked a hotel in the southern province of Uruzgan, killing at least nine and injuring at least thirty-seven, and ccausing widespread damages. Kashmir: Angry villagers tried to storm a police station in Indian-administered Kashmir after security forces said they had killed seven militants in Kupwara district a day earlier. India sent tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces to the region where they used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowds who claimed that the seven killed were civlians. Indonesia: Sumatra'a Marapi volcano underwent an ash eruption that spread out 2 miles (3 km) where some villages are located. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants attacked a boarding school in Yobe state, killing at least sixty students and wounding others; the attack took place overnight when the students were in their dormitories. North America: US: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit northwest of Amukta Island, Alaska (02-26; 13:13). The Midwest and East were again overwhelmed with extreme cold with temperatures as much as twenty to thirty degrees below normal and made worse with wind chill, as some highs dipped into the single digits and below zero. A storm move into central California changing extreme drought conditions into floods, mudslides and downed trees and telepone poles. South America: Venezuela: Anti-government protests continued with a protest of hundreds, in Caracas, led by women. Colombia: A bomb exploded in a supermarket in northwest, killing at least four and injuring ten. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR1967 returned to the Earthside of the Sun erupting with an X-ray class solar flare that formed into a bright coronal mass ejection. Sunspots are renumbered each time they return, changing AR1967 into AR1990.


1st -- New Moon (8h 00m) HIGH

Mideast: Israel: Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews held a mass prayer in Jerusalem against new legislation that would end exemptions of young men from being drafted into the army. Libya: Protesters stormed the General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, shooting and wounding two members of the parliament; the protesters were asking for the resignation of members and a new election. Europe: Russia: Russia deployed troops into the Crimean region of Ukraine, as pro-Russian government protesters beat anti-government protesters, and more than 7,000 ethic Russians protested in the Crimea, as some tried unsuccessfully occupy a regional administration building and raised a Russian flag nearby. A Ukraine navy chief defected to join with Crimea. Asia: China: A group of men with knives attacked people at a train station in Kunming, killing at least 29 and wounding at least 130 in what was called a "violent terror attack". Pakistan: A polio vaccination team was hit with a roadside bomb at a village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing eleven. Japan: A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Nago (03-02; 12:11). Africa: Nigeria: Two explosions rocked a busy market in the town of Maiduguri, killing at least ten and injuring dozens, while more were feared to be trapped under rubble. In a separate incident, the militant Boko Haram group destroyed the entire village of Mainok, killing at least thirty-nine. North America: US: A major snow storm created travel nightmares for millions from the Plains to the mid-Atlantic. In Denver, Colorado a vehicle pile up involved more than 100 vehilces, as they slid on an ice and snow covered road. Heavy snowfall in Montana triggered a avalanch in Missoula, engulfing a house and trapping three; they were saved by rescuers who found them in pockets in the rubble. As much as eight inches of rain soaked parts of Califronia, causing mudslides and floods, worst hit were the San Gabriel Mountains; more than a thousand evacuated their homes. The storm also created a storm surge wipping out beaches. South America: Venezuela: Violent clashes between security forces and protesters broke out again in Caracas, leaving one soldier dead and widespread damages. Central America: Guatemala: Pacaya volcano erupted spewing ash and lava after a powerful explosion, prompting authorities to consider issuing an order of evacuation for thousands. Nicaragua: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck along the coast near Jiquilillo (03-02; 01:37). Solar Activity: Strongly growing sunspot AR1991 had a magnetic field that shows strong potential for M-class solar flares.

4th-5th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: An Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip, killed two Palestinians; they claimed they targeted "terrorists preparing to launch rockets". Europe: Italy: The ancient city of Pompeii had been flooded by heavy rains leading to the collapse of walls and structures, including the Temple of Venus and Roma. Ukraine: Russian troops surrounded Ukrainian military bases and other installations, while two Ukrainian warships were blocked by a Russian ship in the port of Sevastopol. Nations of the European Union and the US considered this an act of aggression. France: A powerful storm lashed the northwest region of the country with huge waves, heavy rains, flooding and widespread damages. Asia: Pakistan: A bomb targeted a security convoy near Hangu, killing at least six Pakistani soldiers and wounding another eight. Africa: Nigeria: The Islamist Boko Haram militant group raided and set ablaze Jakana village in the northeastern state of Borno, killing at least eleven and destroying a third of the homes; some claim at least 40 were killed. A day earlier, Boko Haram exploded bombs in Maiduguri, also in Borno, killing at least twenty-nine and causing widespread damages. Botswana: Heavy rains in the north of the country triggering extensive flooding, destroying crops and displacing thousands. South Sudan: A shooting took place in the main military barracks in the capital, Juba, following a dispute over pay, killing at least five soldiers; many soldiers at the barracks said that up to 100 may have been killed in the battle. Many people living near the barracks fled to schools and churches. North America: US: A winter storm spread ice into areas of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, shutting down highways and roads, causing vehicle crashes, forcing the cancellation of more than 900 flights and delaying approximately 4,000 flights. In Louisiana motorists were stranded for hours due the roadway conditions. Also, road conditions led to hour-long delays on Interstate 55 near Memphis, Tennessee. Brutal cold also again hit the Midwest and Northeast. The following day a powerful storm brought strong winds and heavy rains along the coast and heavy mountain snow to the Northwest; flooding, mudslides and avalanches were possible. A high surf and post storm run-off closed the Manhattan Beach in California. A powerful gas explosion damaged dozens of townhouses in Ewing Township, New Jersey, killing one and injuring seven. Canada: The country was also in the grips of brutal cold with daytime temperatures in the single digits and below zero. South America: Venezuela: Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Caracas shouting slogans against the socialist government on the eve of Hugo Chavez's death anniversary. New Zealand: A powerful storm packing gale force winds and 36 hours of heavy rainfall, triggered what has been called a 100-year flood to the city of Christchurch flooding homes and roadways, and knocking out power to thousands. Pacific: Vanuatu: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit southwest of Sola (03-05; 01:56). Solar Activity: Sunspot previously known as AR1944 and AR1967, made its third transit on face of the Sun, being called sunspot AR1990. On its previous transits it blasted out solar flares. A bright coronal mass ejection exploded from the farside of the Sun.

8th -- First Quarter (13h 27m) HIGH

Mideast: Libya: The country's prime minister threatened to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker that was to export oil from the rebel-controlled port of Sidra, east of Tripoli. Iraq: A suicide bomber drove a minibus packed with explosives into a checkpoint in the city of Hilla, killing at least thirty- two, injuring more than 150, setting cars on fire and causing widespread damages. Europe: Ukraine: Russia continued to send troops into Crimea where they also took control of roadways and government buildings. Tens of thousands held rival pro-unity and pro-Russian rallies where violent clashes took place; dozens were injuried. Asia: Southeast: A Malaysia Airlines, Boeing-777 flight went missing en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, with 239 people on board. China: Violence against medical workers dominated the news as rising medical costs lead people to see doctors as businessmen and hospitals as for-profit institutions. Africa: African migrants attempted to reach Yemen when their boat capsized, killing forty-two while the naval patrol saved at least thirty. North America: US: A storm system that brought cold and soaking rain left flooded roads in counties around Charlotte, North Carolina, where more than 460,000 customers were left without electricity. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit west of Ferndale, California (03-09; 22:18). South America: Venezuela: Thousands joined the anti-government rally in Caracas and at least five other cities. Police and government security forces fired tear gas against the protesters who tried to erect barricades in the streets and march towards the food ministry. The protests have gone on since February 12th, with at least 21 killed, and dozens injuried and tortured. Solar Activity: A solar wind stream triggered minor geomagnetic storms and circum-polar auroras.

mid-11th-mid-13th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: In response to an Islamic Jihad 60-rocket barrage into Israel, Israeli warplanes attacked 29 Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip hitting the bases of Hamas leaders and the al-Quds Brigades. The Jihad was in retaliation for the killing of three of Hamas militants in an Israeli airstrike a day earlier, on the 11th. The rocket and airstrikes continued into a third day, on the 13th. Egypt: Masked men opened fire on an army bus in Cairo, killing one and wounding three soldiers; the Muslim Brotherhood was blamed for the attack. Mideast and North Africa: Heavy rains brought widespread flooding. Syria: Islamist militants and their local supporters attacked the village of Shuyukh in the north near the Turkish border, killing at least twenty-five. Europe: Turkey: A boy died who was in a coma for 269 days after he was struck on the head by a tear gas canister fired by police back in June. This set off a protest of tens of thousands of mourners who chanted anti-government slogans, near Taksim Square in Istanbul. Afterwhich riot police fired water cannon and tear gas at the protesters. Other protests took place in the coastal cities of Antalya and Izmir, and the capital, Ankara, and at least another 30 towns and cities across the country. The violence left at least two dead, injuried dozens and wrecked widespread property destruction. Ukraine: Violent clashes between rival pro-Russia and pro-Europe protesters broke out in the city of Donetsk, killing at least one. Asia: India: Maoist rebels, in the state of Chhattisgarh, ambushed a security patrol protecting road workers, killing sixteen policemen. Indonesia: Slamet volcano on the island of Java erupted with a series of explosions that produced ash plumes rising 2,600 to 3,000 feet (800-1000 m), as earthquakes increased from an averages of about 50 to more than 200 per day, and put the area under an alert. Dukono volcano, Halmahera, Indonesia, exploded sending produced an ash plume 7,000 feet (2,100 m) into the air. Japan: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit just north of Kunisaki-shi (03-13; 10:06). Africa: Sudan: About two hundred students protesting against escalating violence in the Darfur region were met with police who used tear gas and batons against them, killing one. About 50,000 have been displaced from the Darfur region since the end of February. Nigeria: Dozens of attackers rode motorcycles into villages in Katsina state, killing at least sixty-nine and setting fire to huts and buildings. The attacks were triggered by a combination of land disputes, tribal and religious antagonism. Australia: A major power blackout hit the city of Darwin and south to the town of Katherine, forcing schools and government offices to close, and knocking out traffic lights. North America: US: Damaging thunderstorms plagued a region from North Carolina to the southeast Pennsylvania. A gas leak sparked an explosion that destroyed two buildings in New York City, killing at least eight and injuring at least 60; nine were missing. A major snowstorm brought blizzard conditions across portions of Northeast, bringing up to two feet (60 cm) of snow in some northern areas. Temperatures plunged by as much as 35 degrees F in less than 24 hours from New York City and Philadelphia to Washington, DC; dipping into single digits and feeling like it was below zero. The storm had brought heavy snow to the Midwest earlier knocking out power, delaying and canceling flights, and packing wind gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph). In Ohio the storm caused a more than fifty vehicle pileup on the Ohio Turnpike, killing at least three. In Montana and Wyoming ice jams in rivers brought flooding to surrounding areas. Canada: The country was also overwhelmed by the Arctic blast and heavy snowfall that hit the Northeastern US. South America: Venezuela: Renewed clashes broke out between government supporters and opposition demonstrators who took to the streets to hold rival marches in Caracas, leaving three dead and several injuried. The clashes continued for the entire phase (11th-13th). Pacific: South: Tropical Storm Lusi strengthened into a Category I Cyclone headed for landfall on the island of Vanuatu with wind speeds of 75 mph (120 kph) and gusts of 92 mph (148 kph), and heavy rains. It would later bring flooding rains and damaging winds to parts of New Zealand, as well. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck east of the South Sandwich Islands (03-10; 19:44). Solar Activity: Huge sunspot AR2002 had a destabilized magnetic field with the potential for major flares. Sunspot AR1996 exploded with a powerful M9-category flare. The radiation from the flare swept the upper atmosphere briefly interfering with low-frequency radio transmisions around the Earth.

Note: Some events from mid-March to mid-April will occur off the lunar phase aspects of the calendar, and this period tends to be the most active time of the year.
This situation is the result of a dominance of the solar-terrestrial linkage due to Earth's orbit bringing it closer to the Sun.
These events will be noted in the calendar on the nearest lunar phase date, and the date of the event will be shown.

16th -- Full Moon (17h 08m) HIGH

Mideast: Syria: The last rebel stronghold near the Lebanese border, Yabroud, was recaptured by the Syrian military and Lebanese allies from Hezbollah; car bombs killed at least five, and government forces captured and killed many opposition forces. The al-Nusra Front in Lebanon and Syria, and Liwa Ahrar al-Sunna in Baalbek claimed responsibility for the attacks saying it was revenge for Yabroud. Egypt: Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the northern Cairo suburb of Shubra al-Khayma, killing six Egyptian soldiers, on the 15th; the attacks were blamed on pro-Morsi supporters. Libya: A car bomb exploded at a barracks in the city of Benghazi, killing at least seven soldiers and wounding several. Europe: Russia: Crimean voters backed joining Russia in a disputed referendum, as the European Union and the United States called the election "illegal and illegitimate." Pro-Russian demonstraters stormed government buildings in the city of Donetsk, in the eastern Ukraine. Africa: Nigeria: Armed men entered three villages in the Kaura district of the state of Kaduna, burned villagers, destroyed houses and looted food supplies, killing at least one hundred. The attacks were blamed on disputes between ethnic groups centered on Fulani herdsmen, a semi-nomadic people. A stampede among tens of thousands took place at a job recruitment in the national stadium, in the capital Abuja, killing and injuring many. North America: US: Very strong winds and a tornado destroyed business and damaged structures, leaving a trail of debris from Nokomis, Florida, through Atmore and to Canoe, Alabama. A major storm swept Baltimore, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, triggered extensive travel delays. Heavy snow and ice also blanketed the Midwest and Ohio Valley. South America: Venezuela: Thousands of government supporters and members of the armed forces marched, as renewed clashes between police and protesters took place in Caracas, killing at least three and leaving widespread destruction of property. Soldiers cleared protesters from Plaza Altamira which was the center of anti-government demonstrations. Chile: A 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit west of Iquique (03-16; 14:16). Peru: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck just west of Sechura (03-15; 16:51). Solar Activity: Erupting magnetic filaments carved a "canyon of fire" on the Sun's southeastern limb, exploding with a coronal mass ejection into space.

mid-19th-mid-21th -- Mid-Phase and the Equinox 20th MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria/Israel: Israel attacked several Syrian military sites in retaliation for a bombing that wounded four of its troops in Golan Heights, killing one and wounding seven at three positions outside Quneitra. Egypt: Violence across the country killed at least ten. One event involved a shootout with Islamic jihadist militants who attempted a raid on a weapons storage facility where two soldiers and six militants were killed in Qalyubiya province, north of Cairo. Another event involved clashes between police and supporters of deposed elected President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, killing two. Syria: Dozens of wounded opposition forces crossed over a river into Lebanon after government soldiers ambushed them as they tried to flee a besieged area of al-Hosn in Homs province; government soliders killed eleven. Iraq: Violent clashes and shelling swept Fallujah, and violence embroiled Baghdad and elsewhere, killing at least thirty-eight, wounding dozens and damaging and destroying homes. Lebanon: Sectarian violence in Tripoli between neighbouring communities was linked to the conflict in Syria, leaving at least four dead. Europe: Italy: More than 2,000 migrants were rescued off the coast, most of which fled North Africa's unrest. Spain: More than 500 migrants forced their way into the country's North African enclave of Melilla, on the 18th. Turkey: A passenger train crashed into a minibus carrying people to work near the Mediterranean port city of Mersin, killing at least nine and injuring five. Asia: Taiwan: Hundreds of students and protesters who were opposed to a trade deal with China burst into and occupied the parliamentary chamber, and clashed with police trying to evict them. China: An armed man attacked a police officer in the far western region of Xinjiang, afterwhich the police killed the shooter; the wounded policeman later died of his wounds. Afghanistan: A suicide bomber riding a rickshaw unleashed an explosion outside a checkpoint near a market in Maymana, the Faryab provincial capital, killing seventeen and wounding twenty-six, on the 18th. Gunmen entered the five-star Serena Hotel saying that they were going for a meal when they opened fire with pistols injuring two hotel employees, afterwhich special forces killed the four teenage gunmen; the Taliban claimed responsibility. Taliban fighters attacked a police station in the city of Jalalabad, triggering a gun battle where ten police were killed and fourteen were wounded; also, one civilian and all seven attackers were killed. Indonesia: Slamet volcano, in Central Java, exploded with a ash plume that rose about 6,550 feet (2,000 m) into the air; strombolian eruptions and ash plumes occurred about one or two per hour. India: A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck east of Mohean (03-21; 06:41). Africa: Somalia: Islamist fighters, known as the al-Shabab, attacked an army-occupied hotel in a strategic central town in Bulo-burde, killing thirty African Union and army officers; seven militants were also killed. Uganda: A boat that was taking refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo back to their home country capsized on Lake Albert, killing at least 251; the boat had a capacity of eighty, but three hundred were on board, on the 22nd. North America: US: Strong winds swept across the Plains blowing thick dust storms across Texas and Oklahoma cutting visibilty and triggering crashes. In Colorado, strong winds blew giant tumbleweeds into huge piles that blocked streets and nearly covered vehicles and houses, while preventing some from using cars or being able to get out of their homes. US/Canada: A strong snow storm and cold wave moved into eastern Canada and the northeastern US, bringing bitter cold and heavy snowfall. South America: Venezuela: Once again violence erupted between hundreds of anti-government protesters who threw rocks and sticks, and police who responded with tear gas and water cannons, in the capital of Caracas; the death toll reached thirty-one since the protests began. Brazil: At least three police posts used to control drug trafficing were attacked and set ablaze by suspected drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro's shanty towns. Afterward, the government decided to send federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to help deal with a series of violent attacks. Solar Activity: A pair of dark magnetic filaments stretch across nearly the entire circumference of the Sun's southern hemisphere, and if they become unstable and collapse it could lead to a Hyder flare; a type of flare that does not require sunspots. Meanwhile, sunspots AR2010 and AR2014 both produced a flare as instabilities in one connected with the other, producing what is called a "sympathetic flare", on the equinox.

24th -- Last Quarter (1h 46m) MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria: Jihadist Islamic rebels captured the predominantly Armenian Christian town of Kassab, near the Turkish border, and also took control of a nearby border crossing to Turkey; the region mainly supports President Bashar Assad. Yemen: An al-Qaeda led attack on a military checkpoint in the east, in the provincial capital Mukalla, killed twenty Yemeni soldiers. Lebanon: Violent clashes again erupted in Beirut between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, troops were deployed after a number of casualties were reported in a predominantly Sunni Muslim area; on the 23rd. Europe: Turkey: A Syrian jet was shot down after it crossed over into Turkish airspace and was warned repeatedly of the violation. Spain: Tens of thousands demonstrated against government austerity in Madrid, which they say has deepened poverty among the poor, when violence broke out injuring several police and protesters. Asia: Taiwan: Hundreds of students occupied a government headquarters building to protest a trade deal with China, afterwhich police used water cannon and dragged out students, injuring more than one hundred and arresting more than sixty. Africa: Sudan: Gunmen attacked and burned a camp for refuees in the Darfur region, killing one and displacing about two thousand. The nearby town of Kobe was also attacked, looted and houses were burned. Nigeria: An explosion tore into at a Ngurosoye village market near hideouts of Islamic extremists in the northeast, killing at least thirty-two; several were also seriously injuried. Human remains were discovered in what was called the "House of Horror", triggering a riot that left at least twenty injuried. Several severely malnourished people were also found wandering near the building, and at least fifteen were found shackled inside. Six, including five security guards armed with guns, bows and arrows, were arrested at the scene. North America: US: A huge landslide in Washington state whipped out more than half of the town of Oso, destroying more than thirty homes and killing at least thirty-three, while about ten people were still missing; the disaster occurred on the 23rd. About half of a water-logged mountain gave way and people were warned to be ready to evacuate as there was the potential for more of the same. A Chicago subway train derailed at O'Hare International Airport, injuring thirty-two; the train went up an escalator. Record lows hit the Northeast as tempetures dove into the single digits, while January-like cold would continue across the Midwest and East. South America: Chile: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake rocked an area northwest of Iquique (03-23; 11:20), while more than a day earlier a 6.2 magnitude earthquake rattled the same area (03-22; 05:59). Central Americca: Guatemala: Fuego volcano had frequent explosions sending ash plumes up 3,940 feet (1,200 m) into the air, and moderately strong shock waves rattled windows in the villages of Panimache, Morelia, St Sofía, and Panimache II. Pacific: South: Tropical storm Gillian strengthened into a Category V Cyclone with wind speeds of 161 mph (259 kph) as it headed for Christmas Island and southern Indonesia. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2014 exploded with a coronal mass ejection on the 23rd and would trigger geomagnetic storms on the 25th. Growing sunspots AR2010 and AR2014 displayed complex magnetic fields that harbor energy for strong eruptions, and possibly a "sympathetic flare" where both would explode connected to each other.

26th-27th -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Yemen: Government forces raided a residential building in the southern city of Dalea, seized a large quantity of weapons, and killing two al Qaeda militants; one Yemeni solider was also killed, on the 28th. Dalea province has been an area for clashes between armed men and government troops. Asia: Afghanistan: Using suicide bombers to aid gunmen in getting access to offices of the electoral commission in Kabul, alleged Taliban militants attacked, killing two policeman and wounding two; five gunmen were also killed, on the 25th. Myanmar (Burma): Hundreds of Buddhists threw rocks at homes and offices of international aid workers in the capital, Sittwe, as police fired warning shots in an attempt to disperse crowds; some offices of aid workers were ransacked. China: An underwear factory in the south caught on fire, killing at least eleven and injuring at least fifteen; the cause was not yet known. Indonesia: Central Java's Merapi volcano erupted with a strong explosion that sent an ash and sulfur dioxide plume drifting southwest into air at an estimated 32,000 feet (9,000 m) with a relatively thick ash fall occurring shortly afterwards in the Batipuh and Tanahdatar districts. Halmahera's Dukono volcano exploded with a powerful eruption sending an ash plume extending 80 nautical miles to the west at 10,000 feet (3,000 m). Africa: Nigeria: Numerous attacks in the north by the Boko Haram continued to take its toll leading to a humanitarian crisis in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, that had up to this point affected more than three million who need aid. More than one thousand deaths this month alone were carried out by the Boko Haram. Uganda: A boat that was taking refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo back to their home country capsized on Lake Albert, killing at least one hundred seven; the boat had a capacity of 80, but 250 were on board; this followed another capsizing on the 22nd. Central African Republic: A grenade attack on a funeral in the capital of Bangui, killed at least eleven, though some say twenty were killed. North America: US and Canada: The East Coast, spanning from Virginia up through New England and parts of Atlantic Canada, was belted with another major snowstorm packing blizzard conditions, causing traffic accidents, triggering power outages and grounding flights; hurricane-force winds lashed some coastal areas. The following day severe storms swept across the Central Plains with damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes in Kansas City and Missouri that destroyed buildings and tore off roofs. A wind-whipped blaze destroyed a four-story residential building in Boston, killing two firefighters and injuring thirteen. South America: Ecuador: Reventador volcano erupted with lava flows, avalanches, ash plumes and tremors. Venezuela: Five weeks of protests continued against the government of President Nicolas Maduro where the violence brought the death toll to at least thirty-two. Bolivia: The government began the process to construct an anti-drugs military base in a coca leaves producing region, triggering a protest of those who feared that the increased police presence would lead to violence and abuse. Police fired tear gas canisters at protesters who hurled stones and set up road blocks. Central America: Guatemala: A huge fire broke out in Guatemala City's La Terminal market, destroying more than one thousand booths and injuring four while dozens more were treated for smoke inhalation; the cause of the fire was not known. Pacific: South: Papua New Guinea's Karkar volcano erupted sending several ash plumes at into the air at an estimated altitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 m). Solar Activity: A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetic field late on the 25th, triggering auroras. Sunspots AR2010 and AR2014 displayed unstable magnetic fields that harbor energy for significant flares on the 26th-27th.

30th -- New Moon (18h 45m) MAXIMUM

Mideast: Lebanon: A suicide car bomber attacked an army checkpoint near the Syrian border, killing three and wounding four soldiers, on the 29th. Asia: Taiwan: At least 100,000 took to the streets in the capital of Taipei, to protest against a trade agreement with China. Afghanistan: Taliban militants attacked an election commission headquarters, afterwhich special forces killed five of the attackers who were dressed a women, on the 29th. Two days later, a series of attacks took place, one in the northern province of Kunduz, where eight family members of a local anti-Taliban commander died in an ambush, other events took six members of two different election campaign teams and a policeman in bomb attacks, and in the province of Sar-i-Pul, four Afghan police were killed during an offensive against the Taliban. China: Torrential rain and hail storms struck Hong Kong and several provinces of southern China, triggering flooding, damaging houses and vehicles, destroying crops, and disrupting road and air travel; more than seven inches (180 mm) fell in some places in only a few hours. A Maoming environmental protest of about a thousand Maoming residents who were protesting against the construction of a petrochemical plant, when it became violent as police fired tear gas, chased demonstrators with batons, and burned cars; the government closed down images shown on the internet. Africa: Nigeria: An attempt to escape from a detention site at the headquarters in the capital of Abuja, left at least twenty-one dead and several injuried; most were Boko Haram. Central African Republic: Chadian troops opened fire on residents of mainly Christian neighborhoods in northern Bangui, killing at least eight and wounding several. Kenya: Suspected grenades exploded at a busy bus stop and a food kiosk in the Eastleigh suburb of the capital, Nairobi, killing six and wounding several; it is believed that the Somali militant group al-Shabab was responsible. North America: US: A moderate, magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck the Los Angeles area of southern California, triggering landslides, evacuations, and damaging buildings; more than one hundred aftershocks followed (03-28; 21:09). Heavy rain and melting snow caused street flooding in coastal Maine. A slow-moving storm system brought flooding across the Northeast with more snow and ice. Blizzard conditions began to developed halting travel and severely disrupting daily routines across the northern Plains; as much as 18 inches of snow fell in parts of North Dakota and Minnesota. South America: Brazil: More than 1,000 police backed by soldiers with tanks and armored vehicles occupied a slum near Rio airport to help drive out drugs gangs before soccer's World Cup this year; large quantities of weapons were seized. Pacific: South: Tropical Cyclone Hellen strengthened into a Category IV Cyclone threatening the coast of Madagascar with average winds as high as 145 mph (233 kph) and a dangerous storm surge; as much as 23 feet (7 m) in some areas. After hitting Madagascar, it was expected to make a sharp right turn, taking it west across the Mozambique Channel toward the mainland of Mozambique as a weaker storm. Solar Activity: The magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2017 erupted, producing an intense X1-class solar flare, and causing a surge in the ionization of Earth's upper atmosphere. The surge triggered a radio signal blackout, as well as its own radio wave outburst. A ripple in the geomagnetic field was caused by electrical currents flowing in the air, called "a magnetic crochet". The event caused a coronal mass ejection to be hurled toward Earth and was expected to hit Earth on 1st-2nd of April.


2nd-3rd -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Yemen: A suicide car bombing and assault took place on the main military headquarters in Aden's al-Tawahi district, killing at least six soldiers, two civilians and three suspected Islamist militants, and wounding five civilians; al Qaeda was thought to be responsible. Egypt: Three bombs exploded near Cairo University, killing a police brigadier-general and injuring at least five. A group calling Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, claimed responsibility for the attack, and that it was in response of the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood from the government. Asia: Afghanistan: A Taliban-militant suicide bomber detonated outside the interior ministry in Kabul, killing at least six policemen and injuring several. Thailand: A suspected World War Two bomb exploded in a scrap metal warehouse in Bangkok, killing at least seven, injuring nineteen, destroying the shop, damaging nearby houses, igniting a large fire and creating a huge crater. Pakistan: An assassination attempt was made when a bomb targeting the former president, Pervez Musharraf, blew up in a pipeline under the Faizabad bridge in Islamabad. Africa: Nigeria: Alleged Islamist suicide bombers failed at an attack on a state oil company facility in the northeast, killing at least fifteen civlians, and wounding seventeen civilians and five soldiers, and destroying eight vehicles; the Boko Haram were thought to be responsible. A day earlier, a suicide bombing by suspected Islamist militants exploded on the outskirts of the city of Maiduguri, killing at least fifteen civlians, six attackers and wounding several; the Boko Haram were again thought to be responsible. North America: US: A shooting incident took place at the army's Fort Hood base in Texas, killing at least five (including the gunman) and wounding fiveteen. Strong storms swept across the Plains and brought close to 40 million at risk for violent and dangerous storms, tornadoes and heavy hail from Texas to Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. Also, very large hail, devasting winds and isolated tornadoes threatened the eastern Plains east into Western Kentucky. South America: Chile: An 8.2 magnitude earthquake rattled an area northeast of Iquique (04-01; 16:46), and was followed by twenty-four aftershocks of magnitudes 5.0 or greater, and one that was a 6.2 magnitude earthquake (04-01; 16:58). A tsunami warning triggered the evacuation of nearly a million from the coast. Chile's President assessed the damage, and declared Arica, and Parinacota and Tarapaca regions disaster areas. Fires destroyed businesses, more than 2,600 homes were destroyed, a wall collapsed at a women's prison allowing 300 inmates to escape, landslides were triggered, and at least six were killed. The following day, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake (04-02; 19:43) was followed by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake (04-02; 18:58), and a 6.2 magnitude earthquake (04-02; 22:26) west and southwest of of Iquique, and triggered another evacuation due to a tsunami warning. In addition, another eleven aftershocks of 5.0 magnitude or greater also took place. Hundreds of lesser magnitude earthquakes took place on both days. Venezuela: Violent overnight clashes again overtook protests in Caracas where police used water cannon and rubber bullets, and anti-government protesters set fire to a police water cannon and motorcycle, and created blockades on streets. Peru: Ubinas volcano increased in activity and produced several small to medium-sized explosions sending ash plumes 6,520 feet (2,000 m) into the air. Querapi village started evacuations, as ashfalls rained down on Ubinas and Querapi. Ecuador: Reventador volcano activity was high with frequent seismic activity, small ash explosions and lava flows. Central America: Panama: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit just south of Pedregal (04-02; 09:13); schools were evacuated in Chiriqui. Pacific: A 60. magnitude earthquake rocked a region west of Kirakira in the Solomon Islands (04-04; 04:40). Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2027 erupted with a powerful M6-class solar flare sending a coronal mass ejection. At least three coronal mass ejections from previous flares were en route towards, but did not disrupt, the Earth.

7th -- First Quarter (8h 31m) MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria: Opposition forces in Homs were assembling a car bomb when it went off prematurely, killing at least thirty. Tensions were increasing as the country was preparing for a presidential election in which Ashad will seek re-election. Jordan: A riot brokeout in Zaatari camp, home to some 106,000 refugees from Syria's war, killing at least one and injuring dozens. The refugees set fire to tents and vehicles, and threw stones at police who they say treat them harshly, while there are very poor living conditions in the camp. Europe: Ukraine: Several hundred pro-Russian demonstrators in the city of Donetsk, in the eastern region of the country, stormed government buildings and declared that they were forming an independent republic and urged Russia's President Putin to send troops to the region as a peacekeeping force. Yet, there are no obvious threats to peace in the area. Asia: China: Heavy rains, thunderstorms and strong gale-force winds swept the south, especially the provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong, and south of the Yangtze River, triggering landslides and mud slides. Japan: The volcanic Izu Islands' Nishino-shima volcano continually erupted creating new land with a relatively steady flow of lava. Africa: Nigeria: "Cattle rustlers", from the Fulani community, took guns and attacked a meeting of community leaders and vigilante groups in Galadima village, in the state of Zamfara, killing at least seventy-nine. North America: US: Damaging winds, heavy rains and tornadoes swept the eastern Gulf Coast states, as well as the coastal Carolinas and the Ohio Valley. Heavy rains and severe thunderstorms batter the Deep South, as well, with parts of Texas getting an inch (25 mm) per hour, and Mississippi, Louisiana and North Carolina were battered by tornadoes. Heavy rain led to flash flooding, as severe storms producing large hail and damaging winds swept Alabama, Florida and North Carolina. In Santa Barbara, California a riot brokeout at a Spring Break party, during the Isla Vista street bash known as Deltopia, injuring at least forty-four, while more than one hundred were arrested. Central America: Ecuador: Tungurahua volcano, just south of the capital Quito, explosively erupted sending a spectacular plume of ash, six miles (ten km) high, late on the 5th. Pacific: South: Tropical Storm Ita strengthened with 52 mph (83 kph) winds and gusts of 63 mph (102 kph) with strong thunderstorms and heavy rains, and was forecast to strike Papua New Guinea as a tropical cyclone and then head towards northeast Australia. The Solomon Islands were overwhelmed by the its heavy rains, causing a sudden, unexpected overflow of the Matanikau River, which burst its banks in the storm, sweeping away houses and bridges, and flooding the downtown area of Honiara, killing at least twenty-three and leaving 10,000 homeless; dozens were still missing. North: Tropical Storm Peipah was packing winds of 29 mph (46 kph) and gusts of 40 mph (65 kph) as it headed for the Phillipines with heavy rains falling at a rate of an inch (25 mm) per hour.

10th-11th -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria: Fierce infighting erupted between rival Islamic opposition groups in the eastern town of Bukamal, killing at least fifty-one. A day earlier, two car bombs exploded in the city of Homs, killing at least twenty-five, wounding more than 107, and destroying buildings and vehicles. Iraq: Fighting between the army and tribal militia, near a government complex in Ramadi, left at least fifty Iraqi armed forces and seven tribal fighters dead. The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister's convoy became involved in a shoot-out while travelling to the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad to inspect flood damage after militants shut off a dam in nearby Fallujah. Asia: Thailand: A series of insurgent bombings in the south killed one, wounded more than twenty, and destroyed buildings and vehicles, on the 9th. Pakistan: A bomb exploded in a busy market on the outskirts of Islamabad, killing at least twenty, injuring about one hundred, leaving a huge crater, and destroying buildings and vehicles. Sri Lanka: Three ethnic Tamil separatist militants got into a violent confrontation with troops on the Jaffna peninsula, which left them dead. Africa: Central African Republic: Fighting broke out between predominantly Christian anti-Balaka militia who attacked positions held by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels in the central town of Dekoa, killing at least twenty, on the 9th. Democratic Republic of the Congo: The volcano observatory in Goma reported that a seismic crisis was developing at the Nyamulagira volcano and was expected to erupt soon. Nigeria: The Boko Haram began attacks over the northeast of the country, but no actual numbers were reported. North America: US: A FedEx delivery truck jumped a highway divider, striking a bus with teenagers headed for a unversity tour, englufing both in flames, killing at least ten and injuring more than thirty. A cold front moving along the Tennessee Valley, near Nashville, brought heavy, destructive thunderstorms. South America: Chile: Once again a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Iquique (04-10; 17:01). Brazil: More than 1,500 police officers were sent to evict hundreds of families (nearly 5,000 people) from abandoned buildings in Rio de Janeiro, triggering violent clashes where squatters threw rocks at police who responded with tear gas and stun grenades; several were injuried. Police also brought cranes and tractors in order to demolish wooden huts the squaters built around the buildings, leaving them without a place to live and losing all their belongings. Central America: Guatemala: Fuego volcano underwent an increase in number and size of explosions to an average of six to eight per hour, sending ash plumes about 3,280 feet (1 km) into the air; the explosions could be heard and felt up to nine miles (15 km) away. Nicaragua: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck west of Valle de San Francisco (04-10; 16:27). A 6.6 magnitude earthquake also struck east of Nandaime (04-11; 13:29). Pacific: South: Tropical Storm Ita strengthened in a Category V Cyclone, packing winds of 140 mph (230 kph) and gusts of 161 mph (259 kph) as it headed for the northeastern state of Queensland, Australia, making landfall at Cape Flattery. The cyclone brought powerful storms surges, destructive winds and flooding. Papua New Guinea was shook by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake (04-11; 00:07), followed by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake (04-11; 01:16), and eight 5.0 or greater magnitude earthquakes and numerous smaller quakes southwest of Panguna; most were near the Bagana volcano. Solar Activity: A surge of plumes of hot plasma rose and fell over the Sun's southeastern limb in what appears to be a new sunspot approaching, which was producing C-type flares. A pair of coronal holes erupted from the Sun's equator sending off a double-stream of solar wind that could reach Earth sometime between the 12th and 14th.

15th -- Full Moon (7h 42m) MAXIMUM

Mideast: Egypt: A bomb explosion targeted a traffic police booth, in Cairo near the al-Galaa bridge that spans over the Nile River, injuring two policemen and a civilian. Syria: Government soldiers backed by Hezbollah fighters drove out opposition forces from the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, killing three Lebanese journalists. Iraq: Militants attacked a military base outside the city of Mosul, killing at least ten and wounding twelve, on the 16th. Europe: Ukraine: Several government buildings were taken over by pro-Russian mobs as unrest spread across the east of the country. Kiev announced the start of an "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Russian separatists, as the country seemed to on the brink of civil war. Russia: Five volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Shiveluch, Klyuchevskaya, Bezymianny, Kizimen, and Karymsky, erupted at the same time. Africa: Nigeria: A suspected Islamist militant bombing at a crowded bus station in Abuja, killed at least seventy-nine, wounded 241, and destroyed buses and buildings, on the 14th; the likely attackers were Boko Haram. Attacks over the past five days, starting at the last lunar phase, have left more than one hundred thirty-five dead in the northeast of the country. Boko Haram gunmen abducted about two hundred and thirty girls from a school in Chibok, Borno state, in the northeast. South Sudan: Pro-Machar rebels recaptured the oil refinery in Bentiu and wanted oil companies to stop operations. A number of staff were wounded, some critically. However, the government said that it was not captured, but that fighting was still continuing. Asia: South Korea: A ferry carrying 476, more than three hundred of which were high school students, sank near Jindo. Days of rough seas and strong winds hampered rescue efforts with on 174 rescued, 183 dead, and many were still missing on April 25th. North America: US: Record cold temperatures spread from the Midwest to the Northeast, as it also brought heavy rains and snow. In Mississippi strong winds flipped trailers and trucks, and ripped roofing off buildings, as rain brought flooding to central parts of the state. Detroit recieved record snowfall, strong winds and bitter cold. The Muskegon River, in Michian, overflowed its banks flooding hundreds of homes. South America: Chile: A major fire consumed the city of Valparaiso, destroying about 2,500 homes, leaving 11,000 homeless, and killing fifteen who refused to evacuate. The "worst fire" to hit the city quickly spread as it was fanned by strong winds from the hills. Entire neighborhoods were burned to the ground. Central America: Nicaragua: Authorities put the entire country on an "extreme red alert", the highest level possible, after the country was hit by a series of earthquakes. Many were asked to sleep outdoors as seismologists warned of the possibility of a powerful earthquake, since three quakes of magnitudes ranging between 5.1 and 6.7, and dozens of aftershocks had rocked the area. Two died and dozens were injured. A major catastrophe was feared as some buildings were already damaged. Pacific: South: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook the Bouvet Island region (04-14; 20:57). Solar Activity: New sunspot AR2036 quickly grew while harboring a magnetic field that has energy for M-class solar flares and was directed towards the Earth.

18th-19th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Syria: A car bomb exploded in the city of Homs in a government-controlled area near a mosque, killing at least fourteen, though actvists claim it was a massacre by the government that killed thirty, and destroyed buildings and vehicles. Yemen: An airstrike in the province of al-Bayda targeted vehicles occupied with suspected al-Qaeda militants, killing at least thirteen of the militants. Bahrain: A bomb exploded in a car containing explosives, killing two and critically wounded one; it was not clear if they were targeted or if they were planning an attack. Europe: Ukraine: The country continued to experience turmoil as pro-Russian rebels erected baracades around occupied government buildings, which they refused to leave. Asia: Nepal: A major avalanche took place on the slopes of Mount Everest, where at least thirteen local "Sherpa" guides were killed and three were missing, while several people were injuried; it was the deadliest in Everest history. Africa: South Sudan: A United Nations base in Bor was attacked by a mob of about 300 who forced their way into the base firing weapons, while UN Peacekeepers returned fire, leaving at least fifty-eight dead. A UN spokesman said that it could "constitute a war crime". The following day, about twenty-eight people were killed in a cattle raid in the northern state of Warrap. Mali: French troops in a raid near the northern town of Timbuktu freed aid-workers that had been kidnapped since February. North America: Mexico: A powerful, 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City, in the western state of Guerrero, northwest of Tecpan de Galeana, shaking and damaging the walls of buildings, breaking windows, toppling walls, and causing widespread panic (04-18; 07:27). US: Heavy rain over parts of the Southeast and Gulf Coast brought flooding, as the Upper Northern Plains experienced flash flooding. Minnesota received more than a foot (30 cm) of snow, as the Northeast experienced floods, some of which were due to ice jams in rivers. The Southeast and Gulf coast received heavy rains that triggered flooding. A mudslide occurred in Piedmont, California the cause of which is a mystery. Likewise, a mountainside was collapsing into the Wyoming resort town of Jackson, and it is not known way. South America: Peru: The Ubinas volcano underwent a powerful eruption, leading the government to declare a state of emergency in the provinces closest to the volcano, ordering their evacuation; ash plumes rising up to two miles (4 km) had recently begun, as well. Brazil: Residents of Caramujo shanty town, near Rio de Janeiro, set fire to four buses and three cars, calling for justice after police were involved in the deaths of two young men. Central America: Guatemala: Fuego volcano underwent moderate to strong explosions with occasional shock waves, and an ash plume rose 3,280 feet (1,000 m) into the air, as it rained ash on the villages of Panimaché, Morelia, Santa Sofia and Sangre de Cristo. Pacific: South: New Zealand was hit with heavy rainfall and gale force winds by the remnants of Cyclone Ita, downing powerlines and trees, ripping off roofs, and disrupting travel. A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit southwest of Panguna, Papua New Guinea (04-18; 18:04), and was followed a day later by 7.5 (04-19; 06:27) and 6.1 (04-19; 17:15) magnitude earthquakes. A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Balleny Islands region (04-17; 08:06). A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit west of Lata in the Solomon Islands (04-17; 21:13). Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2036 erupted with a strong M7-class solar flare, and ejected three coronal mass ejections that triggered geomagnetic storms the following days.

22nd -- Last Quarter (7h 52m) HIGH

Mideast: Yemen: American drones and Yemeni forces killed about fifty-five militants linked to Al Qaeda; also, three civilians were killed and five wounded. Europe: Ukraine: The acting president ordered the relaunch of military operations in the east following alleged-tortur death of two men, one a local politician. Numerous photographs revealed that the troops in the east were not pro-Russian Ukrainians, but Russian forces. Asia: Pakistan: A bomb attack in the Charsadda district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province killed three and wounded thirty-three. Gun attacks in Peshawar killed six and wounded three. It was believed that the Taliban were responsible for both incidents. Africa: South Sudan: Rebels wre involved in fierce fighting with the army in several areas of the country; the number casualities were unknown. Somalia: A car bomb exploded in Mogadishu killing Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and wounding another; the Islamist group al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, was responsible. North America: US: Damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes swept through Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas. South America: Brazil: Heavily armed men torched thirty-four buses in a Sao Paulo suburb and held employees hostage; it appeared to be a revenge attack following the death of a suspected drug trafficker. Police clashed with residents of a Rio de Janeiro shantytown that turned deadly. Solar Activity: Earth exited a stream of high-speed solar wind.

25th-26th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Syria: Government airstrikes hit a vegetable market in the northern rebel-held town of Atareb, killing at least thirty, seriously wounding dozens, and destroying numerous buldings and vehicles. Iraq: A series of explosions targeted a Shia election rally in Baghdad, killing at least thirty-one, seriously injuried several, and destroying numerous buldings and vehicles; al-Qaeda-linked militants claimed responsibility. Europe: Ukraine: Russian military jets entered Ukrainian airspace several times increasing tensions, as the US and Europe set to put more sactions in action. Asia: Pakistan: A bomb hidden in a rickshaw and targeted at provincial government officials exploded outside a mosque in city of Karachi, killing at least four and wounding thirty. Afghanistan: Devastating flash floods swept the north and west, stranding hundreds of villagers, killing at least eighty, and destroying at least three thousand homes, as whole villages were submerged and many people took refuge on roof tops. A UK Lynx MK9 helicopter crashed in Kandahar province, killing five British soldiers in what appeared to be an accident, though al-Qaeda claimed that they shot it down. Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo: A stampede at a tribute festival for Congolese singer King Kester Emeneya caused the death of twenty-one people. North America: US: Violent thunderstorms swept through the Carolinas, bringing tornadoes, golf ball-sized hail, severe lightning, and damaging wind gusts of more than 60 mph (97 kph). Beaufort County, North Carolina, was pounded by an EF3 tornado severely damaging or destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, injuried at least thirty, and knocked out power for thousands. An additional nine tornadoes were reported, along with large hail and torrential rains. The next night there was an outbreak of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, huge hail and damaging winds through Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, reaping widespread damages, damaging or destroying structures; two people were killed in Quapaw, Oklahoma. Some of the hail was as large as baseballs, and winds reached hurricane force. The system went on to tare 80-mile (129-km) path through Mayflower, Arkansas with 130 mph (209 kph) winds, destroying hundreds of structures and RV parks, and killing at least sixteen and injuring dozens. It then went on to hit Mississippi and Alabama, where more destruction claimed more buildings and flipped vehicles. A powerful, EF2 tornado hit the state of Arkansas and flattened parts of Vilonia, threw big rigs on their sides, and killed at least fifteen. Canada: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck south of Port Hardy (04-23; 20:10). South America: Brazil: Protests were triggered after the burial of a man whose death was believed to be at the hands of the police in earlier clashes, cars were set on fire and protesters blocked roads with burning barricades, as the police used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse stone-throwing protesters. Ecuador: Reventador volcano began a new phase of intense activity with lava flows and strong explosions. Pacific: South: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Nuku`alofa, Tonga (04-25; 23:02). Solar Activity: An X-class solar flare ionized the Earth's upper atmosphere with extreme ultraviolet radiation, causing a widespread blackout of shortwave radio transmissions.

29th -- New Moon (6h 14m) HIGH

Mideast: Syria: A mortar attack on a technical institute in central Damascus killed at least fourteen and wounded more than eighty. A series of explosions in the city of Homs killed at least thirty-seven and wounded eighty-five, and destroyed buildings and vehicles. Yemen: The Yemeni army undertook a major offensive against al-Qaeda militants in the south, in the Abyan and Shabwa provinces, killing eight militants and three soldiers; another report said fifteen soldiers were killed in an ambush. Iraq: A suicide bomb exploded at a Kurdish political rally, killing thirty, on the 28th. Europe: Ukraine: Pro-Russia rebels seized the regional government's headquarters and prosecutor's office before firing automatic weapons at the main police station in the city of Luhansk. Asia: Philippines: After a new defence agreement allowing US forces access military bases for the next ten years was reached, protests broke out on the streets of Manila. Indonesia: West Java's Slamet volcano erupted from an active vent at the summit, while fifty-two explosions ejected lava bombs to heights of 1,640 to 2,300 feet (500-700 m) and one ejected lava bomb reached about 4,900 feet (1,500 m). Africa: Libya: Gunmen stormed parliament, forcing an end to a vote on a new prime minister; reports say that several people were wounded. Barracks near the airport in Benghazi were hit by car bomb, killing two and wounding two. North America: US: Powerful storms with tornadoes, heavy rain, high winds, and large hail ripped through parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, destroying or damaging buildings, knocking out power, and causing traffic accidents. A EF4 tornado touched down near Louisville, Mississippi destroying homes and businesses. A fierce storm blew a freight train off its tracks in Illinois. In Tupelo, Mississippi tornadoes decimated parts of the city where hundreds of homes were flattened, and powerlines were snapped, as nine were killed. "Historic" flooding took place from Florida up to the mid-Atlantic states, as much as two feet (61 cm) of rain fell. In Pensacola, Florida there were flash floods and rovers overflowed in Kimberly, North Carolina. Pacific: South: A 6.6 magntide earthquake struck west of Ile Hunter, New Caledonia (04-30; 23:36). Solar Activity: A relatively weak stream of solar wind brushed past the Earth's magnetic field, triggering minor geomagnetic activity.


2nd-3rd -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Libya: Security headquarters in the city of Benghazi were attacked by radical Islamists, Ansar al-Sharia gunmen, triggering a clash that left nine dead and fifteen wounded. Europe: Ukraine: Unrest spread to Odessa where fighting between pro- and anti-Russian groups broke out on the streets, killing at least forty-seven and injuring more than two hundred. Part of the scene was a fire in a trade union building. Another fourteen were killed in Slovyansk, where a government helicopter was shot down. Italy: Sicily's Etna volcano underwent seismic activity, eruptive activity, and the collapse of its crater rims. Asia: India: Suspected Bodo tribal rebels attacked an area of the Balapara village in the northeast, in state of Assam, shooting dead eleven Muslims; tensions where running high during an election which seems to have conributed to the attack. Afghanistan: Torrential rains triggered a mudslide on a section of a mountain, burying more than three hundred of homes under mud and rocks, killing more than 2,100; another 150 were killed in flooding, more than 2,000 were missing and more than 4,000 were left homeless. It was believed that as many as 2,700 may have lost their lives, and it appeared that another mudslide was possible. South Korea: Two subway trains collided in Seoul injuring more than one-hundred seventy passengers. Indonesia: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck south of Namlea (05-02; 01:43). Africa: Nigeria: A car bomb exploded near a bus station, in Abuja's suburb of Nyanya, killing at least nineteen, wounding sixty, and destroying buildings and vehicles. Kenya: Two explosions rocked the coastal city of Mombasa, killing three and wounding at least four; a third attempt at a movie theater was unsuccessful. Somalia: A bomb exploded in Mogadishu, killing at least six and wounding several; the attack was blamed on al-Shabab, an Islamic militant group. Central African Republic: A raid in the town of Markounda by gunmen left fifteen dead. North America: US: An enormous sinkhole opened up in a residential neighborhood of northeastern Baltimore swallowing up about a dozen cars and causing the evacuation of dozens of nearby homes; the sinkhole was the result of days of rain. Drenching downpours and strong thunderstorms swept a large part of already rain-soaked Florida, triggering more flooding. South America: Colombia: An illegal gold mine collapsed burying at least thirty miners under tons of mud; three were found dead as heavy machinery was being use to uncover others in the hope some were still alive. Cerro Negro de Mayasquer's twin-volcanoes, Cerro Negro and Chiles, underwent increased seismic activity that led to a raised alert level. Pacific: South: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck south of the Fiji Islands (05-04; 02:15), and was shortly followed by a 6.1 magnitude aftershock (05-04; 02:25). Solar Activity: Earth-facing sunspots AR2047 and AR2049 developed magnetic fields that harbored energy for strong flares. Sunspot AR2051 emerged and grew rapidly, as well as developed a magnetic field that could trigger X-ray flares.

7th (3h 15m) -- First Quarter MODERATE

Mideast: Syria: Opposition forces set off a bomb in a tunnel beneath a checkpoint outside the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'man in the northwestern Idlib province, killing at least thirty government troops. Opposition forces also detonated a bomb in a tunnel beneath the Carlton Citadel Hotel, near the Aleppo's medieval citadel and souk, killing at least eleven Syrian soldiers, and destroying the hotel and several other buildings. Europe: Ukraine: Unrest continued to plague the east with Ukrainian soliders and police clashing with "terrorists", and quelling clashes between pro-Russians and pro-Ukrainians. Asia: Afghanistan: A roadside bomb exploded in western Herat province, killing a family of nine. This bombing came only hours after another roadside bombing in the province that killed five; three were policemen. China: A major storm was beginning to move into the city of Shenzhen with torrential, heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds that led to flooding. Africa: Nigeria: The Boko Haram attacked a village market place with machine guns, killing about one hundred; the exact number of victims was not verified and was thought to be more. North America: US: Severe weather with strong thunderstorms, torrential rains, golf-ball and baseball-sized hail and hurricane-force winds swept portions of the Plains. Three tornadoes reportedly touched down in Washington County, Colorado, and another tornado was reported in Phillips County. Widespread heavy storms stretched from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest and south to Texas, as well. Mexico: A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck near the town of Tecpan de Galeana in southern Guerrero state (05-08; 10:00) and was felt as far as Acapulco; it caused only minor damages. Pacific: Central: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano had a high level of eruptive activity with lava flows, earthquake activity and gas emissions. South: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake pushed the West Chile Rise (05-06; 13:52). A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Panguna, Papua New Guinea (05-06; 21:20). Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2051 exploded with an M-class flare that sent off a coronal mass ejection, and developed a magnetic field that harbored energy for powerful X-flares.

10th-11th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: Sunni militants attacked a base near the northern city of Mosul, killing at least twenty Iraqi soliders. Government shelling and a car bomb in the western city of Falluja killed at least eleven. Yemen: A suicide car-bomber drove up to a police station and started an argument to get more officers to respond before he detonated the bomb, killing at least eleven and destroying buildings; a military operation against al-Qaeda was taking place at the time. Earlier a shooting took place in the capital, Sanaa, killing at least four. Drones killed at least seven al-Qaeda militants. Europe: Ukraine: "Self-rule" referendums took place in the east of the country, as polling stations in Donetsk and Luhansk became chaotic, with no voting booths in places and no electoral register, as least one was killed; the voting was considered not vaild by Ukraine and Western nations. Asia: Vietnam: Hundreds across the country protested against China's role in a sea dispute after Vietnamese ships clashed with Chinese vessels that were guarding an oil rig in a contested area of the South China Sea; it was largest anti-Chinese demonstration for the country and could destabilize the region. China: A protest broke out against a planned waste incinerator in Hangzhou, injuring at least thirty-nine and damaging dozens of vehicles that were overturned. Africa: Nigeria: The teenage girls that were kidnapped by the Boko Haram were thought to have been located according to the governor of Nigeria's Borno state; troops were sent to verify their location. Democratic Republic of Congo: A stampede at a soccer game in the capital of Kinshasa killed at least fifteen and injuried more than twenty; police had fired tear gas into the crowded stadium, causing panic. North America: US: A t least fourteen tornadoes tore up parts of the Midwest. The following day, more torndoes formed, one of which hit Orrick, Missouri, destroying or severely damaging homes, and downing trees and powerlines. Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, hail, flooding and tornadoes swept across the Plains for a second day. The same storm system would go on to produce forty tornadoes, mostly in Nebraska, and strong hurricane-force winds swept areas from the Southwest to Texas. Heavy rains in Washington caused the Cedar River to overflow. A very late major snowstorm brought as much as two feet (60 cm) of snow to parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Mexico: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake again struck near the town of Tecpan de Galeana in southern Guerrero state (05-10; 00:36). Solar Activity: A pair of coronal mass ejections exploded away from the eastern limb of the Sun, narrowly missing the Earth, which underwent a geomagnetic storm triggered by the Earth passing through the outskirts of the solar wind.

14th (19h 16m) -- Full Moon LOW

Mideast: Iraq: Gunmen in two cars opened fire on a police checkpoint in the town of Adeim, killing eight. A roadside bomb blast intended for a military convoy instead killed three civilians in a town just south of Baghdad. A suicide bomber rammed his car into a police station’s gate in the town of Hit, killing two policemen and injuring three. These followed a series of car bomb attacks that killed at least 25 and wounded 80 in Baghdad's Shia Muslim districts. Europe: Turkey: An explosion triggered a pit mine to collapse while more than 700 miners were underground, only 363 miners were rescued, finally the death reached 301 when the search ended. The response of the government left many angry in several cities where unions went on strike and protesters clashed with police. Asia: Thailand: Explosions and gunfire rocked a protest camp at the Bangkok's Democracy Monument, killing two and injuring twenty-one protesters. Vietnam: Continuing anti-China protests lead to at least fifteen China-owned factories to be set on fire, as about 20,000 workers protested in the streets of Binh Duong province. The protesting began after earlier in the month China erected a drilling rig in waters that were also claimed by Vietnam. Twenty-one demonstraters and Chinese nationals were killed. Africa: Nigeria: Soldiers fired at their army commander in Maiduguri, as they blamed him for the killing of their colleagues in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram militants. North America: US: Long drought, record high temperatures and strong winds strengthened a wildfire in San Diego, California, triggering the evacuation of more than 20,000 homes, as another wildfire claimed at least thirty homes. Powerful storms swept across parts of the South and Ohio Valley, triggering flash floods, damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes. In Wisconsin, the storm system produced such gusty winds the it toppled dozens of trees onto homes. Another tornado ripped through central Ohio destroying buildings, taring off roofs and knocking out power. South America: Venezuela: Hundreds, most of which were students, marched peacefully through the streets of Caracas, but security forces later clashed with demonstrators who threw stones and explosives, and tried to erect barricades. The protests involved a demand to release about 200 prisoners who were detained after security forces broke up protest camps a week prior, but ended up getting another eighty detained. Pacific: Southwest: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit south of Ifalik, Micronesia (05-14; 13:56). Solar Activity: A new sunspot formed on the Sun's northern hemisphere and it grew so fast that its magnetic field was unstable, leading to C-class solar flares, including a bright C8-flare. It looked possible that stronger flares could occur. The Sun also displayed a huge, canyon-shaped coronal hole spewing solar plasma that could reach Earth in a day or two.

17th-18th -- Mid-Phase LOW

Mideast: Libya: Clashes between a paramilitary force and Islamist militants killed at least fifty and wounded more than one hundred in Benghazi; this lead to a no-fly zone for the city. Heavily armed attackers tried to storm the interim parliament in Tripoli; a paramilitary force backing the retired general Khalifa Haftar claimed it was behind the assault. Iraq: Two markets in Bahdad were bombed, killing at least fourteen shoppers, as as Iraqis wait for the results of last month's parliamentary elections. Europe: Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia (Balkans): Rivers burst their banks, triggering more than 200 landslides that buried, and waters that flooded, whole towns, villages, neighborhoods and houses in what was called "the flood of the century" for the region, and was described as "tsunami-like". More than thirty-five were killed, while some of the worst flooding continued in the following days. Tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes. It was feared that the floods could unleash buried mines. Balkans, Turkey and Central Europe: Amid the widespread flooding in the Balkans, another bout of heavy rain, severe thunderstorms, strong winds and hail made its way into the region. Asia: Vietnam: The riots against China's off-shore oil rig in what Vietnam claimed was theirs reached such hieghts it lead the Chinese government to evacuate more than three thousand Chinese nationals. At least fifteen Chinese-owned factories were destroyed. Indonesia: Batu Tara volcano on the Sunda Islands, underwent a phase of more vigorous explosions sending a series of ash plumes to as much as 8,000 feet (2,400 m). A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck northern Sumatra (05-17; 18:02). Africa: Kenya: Two bombs exploded in the sprawling Gikomba market, in Nairobi, killing at least ten and injuring at least seventy, and destroying buildings and vehicles; it was likely that the al-Shabab militant Islamist group was responsible. Nigeria: A car bomb exploded in a predominantly Christian area of Sabon Gari, Kano, killing five; it was believed to be the actions of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Meanwhile, a number of Africa's leaders declared "war" on the Boko Haram. Mali: Attacks by Tuareg rebels in the north, in Kidal, killed at least twenty-three over two days; two were civilians. North America: US: California wildfires continued to scorch more than 11,000 acres, causing tens of thousands to flee, and causing at least twenty-five million in damages; there were ten seperate wildfires that all started at the same time. Severe storms spread from Montana throught to the Dakotas, producing hail as large as baseballs and damaging wind gusts more than 60 mph (105 kph). South America: Brazil: Prisoners at a maximum-security jail in northeast, in Aracaju, the capital of the state of Sergipe, captured 122 hostages during a riot. After negotations with the prisoners, authorities agreed to some of the prisoners' demands, afterwhich all of the hostages were released. Peru: Ubinas volcano produced an ash plume extending about 62 miles (100 km) to the northeast, and underwent an increase in seismic activity. Central America: Guatemala: Fuego volcano underwent increaded activity with strombolian explosions and a new lava flow. Atlantic: North: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Grande Anse, Guadeloupe (05-16; 04:01). Solar Activity: Two sunspots developed magnetic fields that could trigger moderately-strong flares.

21st (12h 59m) -- Last Quarter LOW

Mideast: Syria: Missiles struck the town of Marea in the northeast, killing at least thirteen, and another ten in nearby Azaz; dozens were wounded. Europe: Ukraine: Tensions and clashes between pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia factions continued to plague mostly the eastern portion of the country. The government shelled areas where pro-Russia agitators were congregating, killing at least eleven. Asia: Afghanistan: An attack on several police checkpoints in Badakhshan province, left eight policemen dead, and eight decapitated local policemen were found in the southern province of Zabul; it was believed that the Taliban were responsible. Pakistan: Aerial attacks struck North Waziristan - a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants - killing at least sixty militants. Taiwan: A knife attack on a subway train near the capital, Taipei, left at least three dead and twenty-five wounded. Thailand: The Thai army declared martial law as it put tanks on the streets of Bangkok "to preserve law and order" during a political crisis. China: An attack on a market in Urumqi in Xinjiang province, by five Muslim Uighur separatists, left at least thirty-nine dead and more than ninety wounded; the attackers later blew themselves up. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram armed with guns attacked and killed ten in the village of Shawa and another seventeen in Alagarno. This came a day after they undertook a double bombing at a marketplace in the central city of Jos, killing at least 118, wounded dozens, and destroyed vehicles and buildings. Mali: Tuareg rebels claimed to have defeated government forces in heavy fighting for control of the key northern town of Kidal, killing several soldiers and wounding others. North America: US: Strong thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds, flooding downpours and isolated tornadoes swept over eastern Colorado, west Texas and the Ohio Valley, damaging homes and businesses. Parts of Ohio were overwhelmed with heavy flooding. Colorado was hit by eight tornadoes in the Denver area and a heavy downpour of hail. Solar Activity: A solar sector boundary crossing of the Sun's Interplanetary Magnetic Field swept the Earth triggering high-latitude auroras.

24th-25th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Syria: An election rally in support of President Bashar al-Assad, in Deraa, was attacked by mortar fire, killing at least twenty-two and wounding at least thirty, late on the 23rd. Europe: Belgium: A gunman killed three at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, afterwhich security was stepped up at Jewish sites across Belgium; the gunman was also killed. UK: A large fire destroyed a factory shop and damaged several other buildings in a Norfolk town shopping center, injuring several; nearby homes were evacuated and roads were closed. Greece: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck south of Kamariotissa (05-24; 02:25). Asia: Thailand: Hundreds of demonstrators filled the streets of Bangkok, protesting the military takeover of the government in a coup; this was in spite of a ban on gatherings of more than five people. Indonesia: Dukono volcano, located at the northernmost corner of Halmahera island, ejected an ash plume that extended 37 miles (60 km) west and reached an estimated 11,000 feet (3,300 m) into the air. Africa: Somalia: An attack on the Somali parliament in Mogadishu, by Islamist militants from the al-Shabab, left at least ten dead; they stormed the building after detonating a bomb. Horn of Africa: Grenades were thrown at a restaurant popular with Westerners in Djibouti, killing at least two and wounding eleven. Nigeria: A suicide bomb explosion in the city of Jos, killed at least three; no group claimed responsibility, but it was believed to be Boko Haram. Boko Haram raided three villages in the northeastern state of Borno and attacked those they accused of being anti-Boko Haram vigilantes, killing at least thirty, on the 23rd. North America: US: A drive-by rampage in Santa Barbara, California by a 22-year-old man left six dead in various locations. Severe thunderstorms swept the Plains with flooding downpours, damaging winds and large hail. A massive mudslide, about twenty-five stories deep, swept an area of Colorado. Alaska and Arizona were plagues with widespread wildfires. In Florida, strong rip currents off the east coast made it necessary to rescue more than one hundred. South America: Brazil: Hundreds of protesters filled the streets of Sao Paulo in opposition to the World Cup; the money, they say, would be better used on health, education and social housing. Pacific: East: Tropical storm Amanda strengthend into a strong Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph (250 kph) and its central pressure dropped to 932 millibars, making it the strongest ever recorded hurricane in the eastern Pacific during the month of May. It was headed for southern North America. Solar Activity: The Sun erupted with an M1-class solar flare from sunspot AR2065, while sunspot AR2073 also posed a threat for M-class flares.

May 28th (18h 40m) -- New Moon MODERATE

Mideast: Libya: Forces loyal to a renegade general bombed a government-funded Islamist militia in Benghazi; no reports of casualties were avaialble. Iraq: A suicide bomber targeted a Shia mosque in the center of Baghdad, killing at least seventeen, and damaging buildings and vehicles, late on the 27th. In addition, a bomb targeted a eastern Shia district of Sadr City, killing two. A number of car bombings, suicide attacks and assassinations took place around the country in mostly Shi’ite sections of Baghdad and Mosul, killing at least fifty-four. Europe: Ukraine: Gunfire erupted in Donetsk city, while rebels attacked a military base in the city of Luhansk, causing casualties on both pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia sides. The Prime Minister called on Russia to control its border in order to stop terrorists from crossing into the country. Asia: South Korea: A hospice in Janseong county caught fire recking of toxic fumes that killed at least twenty-one and critically injuring six. Africa: Central African Republic: A mostly Seleka militia group threw grenades and shot randomly at the Church of Fatima in Bangui, killing at least eleven. Hours of fighting followed, leaving "bodies everywhere". North America: US: Storms with heavy rains, damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes swept Montana, as heavy rain and flooding spread along the western Gulf Coast. Parts of Missouri to the Ohio Valley states and Virginia were hit with strong storms that triggered flooding, damaging winds and large hail. More than 140 reports of severe weather, including heavy rain, hurricane-force winds and tornadoes swept the central parts of the East, where a third of the region experienced flooding. Tampa Bay, Florida was it by tornadoes. South America: Brazil: Anti-World Cup and indigenous demonstrators swarmed into Brasilia where stones were hurled at security forces who fired tear gas at the protesters. A group of indigenous people demanding land rights at Congress joined the protest.

Note: See following entry for May 31st.


May 31st-June 1st -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Egypt: Border guards were killed as they were attacked by a group of smugglers in a mountainous region near the Libyan border. Syria: Opposition forces fired rockets into government-controlled areas of Aleppo, killing at least fifty and demolished buildings into rubble. Europe: Turkey: Two days of clashes between police and protesters swept the Turkish capital, Ankara, starting on the first anniversary of mass anti-government rallies. Security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse angry crowds in Ankara for two days and Istanbul on May 31st. Asia: Thailand: Thousands of police and soldiers were deployed around Bangkok, in an attempt to prevent anti-coup protesters from gathering; parts were blocked off to traffic and train stations were closed. Pakistan: A number of attacks on army checkpoints near the Afghan border, near the Bajaur tribal district, afterwhich Pakistani forces killed at least sixteen of the attacking militants; the militants killed one solider and wounded two. Indonesia: Sangeang Api volcano, on the island of Sangeang, erupted sending an ash cloud nine miles (14.5 km) high into the air, and swept as far as Bali and Australia; flights were canceled and rerouted. Africa: Nigeria: A bomb exploded at a bar that was screening a televised football match in northeastern town of Mubi in Adamawa state, killing at least fourteen and injuring twelve; it was suspected to be the work of the Boko Haram. North America: US: Pavlov volcano in Alaska erupted with lava flows and ash clouds. Heavy rain, damaging hurricane-force winds and large hail brought severe weather to the Plains from Kansas to east Nebraska and into Iowa, and from the Texas Panhandle to Minnesota. Mexico: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck west of Tomatlan (05-31; 04:53). South America: Brazil: Nearly 300 families were evicted from the land they had occupied in the city of Sao Paulo. Some of the squatters resisted by burning tires and wood to block roads, while riot police used tear gas to disperse the families. Solar Activity: A gigantic prominence spread plasma material and gases over the Sun's southeastern limb with the potential for a "Hyder flare".

5th (20h 3m) -- First Quarter MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: Security forces repelled a large-scale attack by militants on the city of Samarra, using heliocopter attacks they killed at least eighty of the mililants. Syria: Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) in a feud with Kurds in the northeast killed at least fifteen civilians, including seven children. Yemen: An attack by suspected al-Qaeda militants at an army checkpoint in Bayhan, in Shabwa province, killed at least fourteen. Asia: Indonesia: Dukono volcano in Halmahera erupted with strong strombolian activity, sending an ash plume 7,000 feet (2,100 m) into the air, and north for a distance of 50 nautical miles. Africa: Nigeria: A village near the city of Maiduguri was attacked by Boko Haram militants, killing at least forty five; the militants claimed that they were there to preach tricking villagers who were then shot. Democratic Republic of the Congo: A massive jailbreak of at least two-hundred fifty prisoners took place at dawn in Bukavu; three were killed as the event took place, including a guard. North America: US: A man began shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University, in Washington, killing one and wounding three. Pavlof volcano in Alaska continued to erupt with lava fountains and flows, sending ash plumes as much as 24,000 feet (7,000 m) into the air and more than 44 miles (70 km) to the east. Thunderstorms swept more than 1,200 miles (1,930 km) of the country from the Carolinas to Colorado with large hail and isolated tornadoes. Hugo, Colorado was hit with two tornadoes and hail the size of baseballs. High winds and heavy rain triggered power outages and local flooding in southeast Kansas. Canada: Moncton City was on lockdown during a manhunt for a shooter that opened fire on five policemen, killing three. Mexico: Tropical Storm Boris brought heavy rains and flash floods, that triggered landslides along large parts of the southern coast. Central America: Guatemala: Tropical Storm Boris also brought heavy rains and flash floods that triggered landslides in northern Guatemala. Solar Activity: The Sun erupted with a giant filament of magnetism, sending off a coronal mass ejection in space that would trigger geomagnetic storms and aurora on the 7th.

Mid-8th-mid-10th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Iraq: Two explosions targeting the offices of two Kurdish political parties in Tuz Khurmatu left at least twenty-one dead and wounded dozens. A day earlier (7th), bombings at a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan office and a Kurdish security building in Jalawla left at least seventeen dead. Buildings and vehicles were destroyed or damamged in both events. Hundreds of jihadists from the ISIS overran the city of Mosul and much of the surrounding province of Nineveh forcing more than 150,000 to flee the city. Europe: Spain: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Madrid demanding a referendum to abolish the country's monarchy, days after the king announced he was abdicating in favor of his son. Central Europe: From France to Germany and Poland blazing heat was setting the stage for a multi-day severe risk for violent thunderstorms, first across western and northern France and then spreading into Belgium, Netherlands and northwestern Germany. The violent storms battered cities in Germany's most populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia, killing at least six; hail was the size of baseballs. Storms also hit a music festival in the Netherlands, and in France hailstones were the size of golf balls. Asia: Pakistan: A group of about ten heavily armed Taliban militants infiltrated an old terminal at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, leaving at least thirty-eight dead, ten of which were the militants. The intense five-hour gun battle with security forces also left parts of the terminal in flames. The following day there would be a second attack at the airport as gunmen on motorcycles fired on a security training camp, triggering an hour long gun battle with the army and police. Pakistani military airstrikes destroyed nine militant positions in the Tirah Valley in Khyber district, killing fifteen militants; the attacks came after the airport attacks. A gun and bomb attack targeted hotels in the town of Taftan, in Balochistan province, where Shia Muslim pilgrims were staying, killing at least twenty-three, injuring dozens and causing widespread damages. India: About twenty-four students were swept away by a dam surge in Himachal Pradesh in the Beas river in Kullu valley. Three bodies were found shortly thereafter, while the remainder were unaccounted for. The incident was the result of water being released from an upstream dam. Afghanistan: "Friendly-fire" was said to be responsible for the killing of five American and two Afghan soldiers. Africa: Nigeria: The Boko Haram continued new massacres mostly in the Gwoza hills, near the border with Cameroon; as many as 200 had been killed in the last two weeks. Gunmen kidnapped twenty women from a nomadic settlement near the town of Chibok; it was believed that the gunmen were Boko Haram who kidnapped school girls in the area in April. Democratic Republic of Congo: An inter-ethnic attack on a village in the South Kivu region left at least thirty of Bafuliru ethnic background dead, on the 7th. The conflict was believed to involve those of Barundi ethnic background. North America: US: Severe storms swept over the southern Plains, bringing large hail, damaging winds, flooding downpours and a few isolated tornadoes. Heavy rain in the Southeast triggered widespread flooding. South America: Brazil: A section of a monorail in Sao Paulo collapsed killing one worker and injuring two others. Protesters again filled the streets of Sao Paulo, three days before the World Cup opening game, to demonstrate against the government. Central America: El Salvador: The Chaparrastique volcano emitted pulsating gas and ash plumes along with tremors; it was highly unstable. Pacific: North: Tropical Storm Cristina formed off the southwestern coast of Mexico and was expected to develop into a hurricane. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2080, facing Earth, developed a magnetic field that could trigger strong X-ray flare eruptions, as it was strengthening rapidly alongside several companion sunspots. Unexpectedly, a new sunspot -- AR2087 -- suddenly emerging from behind the Sun's southeastern limb and erupted twice, producing an X2.2-flare and an X1.5-flare. On the night of June 9th a brilliant display of noctilucent clouds -- night-shining clouds -- swept across central Europe.

13th (4h 11m) -- Full Moon HIGH

Mideast: Iraq: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continued to move towards the capital, Baghdad, after capturing the major cities of Mosul and Tikrit, they captured two towns in the Diyala province. Iraqi soldiers abandoned their weapons and military vehicles, and even discarded their uniforms as the Sunni insurgents approached. Hundreds of thousands of people fled the region into the autonomous Kurdish region of Kirkuk and other places in the south. ISIS miltants killed hundreds of people, some on sight, declaring them infidels without knowing them. Europe: Ukraine/Russia: Russia supplied rebels in the eastern section of Ukraine with weapons, tanks and rocket launchers; the tanks were filmed in various towns in the Donetsk region. Ukraine government forces retook the eastern port city of Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists. The following day, pro-Russian forces shot down a Ukainian military plane killing all forty-nine aboard. Russia: Zhupanovsky volcano, on the Kamchatka Peninsula, underwent an explosive eruption, sending a plume of sulfur dioxide and a 19,685-foot (6,000 m) ash plume into the air. Asia: India: A poisonous gas leak followed an explosion at a government-run steel plant in Chhattisgarh state, kiling at least six and injuring or sickening more than thirty. North America: US: A hail storm pounded parts of central Texas, including Abilene where an airplane was so damaged the flight had to be cancelled. Strong thuderstorms targeted the northern Plains with heavy downpours, large hail and strong winds. US and Canada: Thunderstorms triggered flooding from Montreal throught New York, Massachusetts and Georgia where the ground was already waterlogged. South America: Brazil: Police, using tear gas and rubber bullets, clashed with protesters in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and several other host cities as the World Cup began, injuring several protesters; protesters overturned police cars. Indian Ocean: South: A 6.4 magnitude earthquake (06-14; 04:11) prompting a tsunami warning in Australia. Solar Activity: The coronal mass ejection of two X-class flares on the 10th reached Earth, triggering geomagnetic storms and auroras.

16th-17th -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Iraq: The Islamist militant group ISIS took over the city of Tal Afar but Iraqi forces hit back with airstrikes. ISIS militants continued to interrogate their prisoners and then shoot them dead. Kurdish forces moved into the north as Iraqi forces fled ISIS militants. The Iraqi military launched rockets at areas where ISIS was grouping. Meanwhile, Iran was sending in about 2,000 troops, as Iraqis in Baghdad voluntered. Syria: Government helicopters dropped barrel bombs on opposition-held districts in the city of Aleppo, killing at least thirty-one. Europe: Italy: Sicily's Mount Etna erupted with lava flows descending onto the western slope into the Valle del Bove. Ukraine: The major Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod Pipeline (aka, Trans-Siberian Pipeline) in central Ukraine, carrying gas from Russia to the rest of Europe, exploded. It was not known if the explosion was deliberate, though it did come two days after Russia cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine who claim is was a terrorist attack. Asia: Pakistan: Pakistani air raids against Taliban militants in North Waziristan left at least one-hundred seventy militants and six Pakistani soldiers dead. The following day Pakistani police and supporters of a prominent Islamic scholar (Tahirul Qadri) clashed in the city of Lahore, killing at least eight and injuring dozens. Sri Lanka: Muslims and Buddhists clashed in the southern town of Aluthgama in a bout of sectarian violence, leaving three Muslims dead and more than seventy-eight seriously wounded; shops were burned and looted in the town as well. The following day renewed violence took place in the south were a Muslim guard was killed and dozens of Muslim-owned businesses and homes were again burned and looted. Indonesia: Batu Tara volcano, on the Sunda Islands, erupted sending several ash plumes 5,000-7,000 feet (1,500-2,100 m) into the air. Africa: Kenya: The Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab attacked the coastal town of Mpektoni, opening fire in a hotel bar and a police station, killing more than forty-five. They also burned numerous vehicles. The following day another attack on two villages near the town of Mpeketoni left fifteen dead, and at least twelve women abducted; again it was Somalia's al-Shabab group behind the attack. Nigeria: A suicide bomber targeted a group watching a World Cup soccer match in the town of Damaturu in Yobe state, killing several and injuring so many one witness said he could not count them all; Boko Haram militants were suspected. North America: US: Severe weather swept across portions of the northern Plains spawning several tornadoes across Nebraska, killing one, injuring fifteen, and destroying or damaging property. In the town of Pilger, at least one of the two tornadoes was an EF-4 tornado with winds between 166 and 200 mph (267-322 kph) that torn numerous houses off their foundations and basically leveled the town. Rock Rapids, Iowa was flooded in low-lying parts of the town. Furious flooding swept parts of South Dakota and other parts of Iowa washing away farmlands and vehicles. South America: Brazil: Once again, anti-World Cup protesters blocked traffic and threw fireworks in Rio De Janeiro, near the Maracana stadium, as police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. Solar Activity: A high-speed solar wind stream triggered minor geomagnetic stroms on both days. Though sunspot AR2089 appeared quiet it harbored a magnetic field that could trigger X-class solar flares.

19th (18h 39m) -- Last Quarter MAXIMUM

Mideast: Israel: The search for three teenagers missing and believed to be kidnapped lead Israeli soldiers to exchange gunfire with Palestinians during raids in the West Bank; at least three were wounded. Iraq: Iraqi government forces battled ISIS Sunni rebels for control of the country's biggest oil refinery for a second day, as the US sent 300 military advisers for a political solution. Europe: Bulgaria: Hailstorms and heavy rain swept over several parts of the country with the worst hit in the regions of Varna and Burgas. The heavy floodwaters in the Black Sea port city of Varna left at least eleven dead and several missing. More heavy rain was forecast for later in the week. Ukraine: Ukrainian forces attacked several eastern cities simutanously after an "anti-terrorist operation" failed to prompt pro-Russia rebels to surrender. Thousands of fighters were engaged in fierce battles; there were no reports of casualties. Russia had resumed a miltary buildup near Ukraine, triggering more attacks. Asia: Pakistan: The Pakistani army began an offensive against Taliban militants in the northwest tribal region of North Waziristan, causing 350,000 to flee the area; at least 160 militants had been killed since the offensive began. Indonesia: A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit west of Sola, Vanuatu (06-19; 03:17). Africa: Kenya: Five militants suspected of involvement in the attacks that killed at least sixty in Mpeketoni (see previous phase) were killed by security forces. North America: US: Multi-vortex tornadoes and flooding ravaged parts of South Dakota, destroying dozens of homes. High-force damaging winds and large hail swept the Southeast, southwestern Plains and Upper Midwest triggering flooding, particularly in portions of Minnesota and Iowa. South America: Peru: Ubinas volcano erupted with mild to moderate explosive activity and continuous ash emissions. Solar Activity: A minor geomagnetic storm circled the poles as the Earth was swept by a solar wind disturbance. A dark magnetic filament erupted, one end of which was connected to the sunspot complex AR2093-AR2094, as the other end corkscrewed wildly through the Sun's atmosphere. It was expected to trigger a geomagnetic storm in the follwoing days.

21st Solstice and 22nd-23rd -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Iraq: ISIS took another two towns, and entire Iraqi brigades and their military equipment on its way toward Baghdad. It was evident that militants from outside the country had joined with ISIS. The Iraqi government lost control of its western borders after Sunni militants captured crossings into Syria and Jordan, which could help transport weapons and other equipment. ISIS Sunni militants seized the country's largest oil refinery at Baiji, north of Baghdad, following days of heavy fighting. Syrian jets bombed rebel-held eastern areas close to the border with Iraq under the control of ISIS, killing at least sixteen and injuring dozens. Israel/Syria: A Syrian strike killed a 15-year-old boy in the occupied Golan Heights on the border between the two countries. This lead Israel to carry out airstrikes on nine military targets in Syria. Casualties were not reported. Lebanon: A suicide bomber targeted a Lebanese army checkpoint in Beirut, igniting a huge fire and injuring twelve. The blast ocurred in a mainly Shia Muslim southern suburb near a cafe showing World Cup games; no causualties were reported. Europe: Ukraine: Clashes between Ukrainian and opposition forces - despite an agreed to cease fire - left at least seven dead. Kosovo: Hundreds of ethnic Albanian protesters clashed with police on a bridge between the local Albanian and Serb communities in the city of Mitrovica. Police used tear gas as protesters threw rocks and set police cars on fire. Local minority Serbs rebuilt a barricade at the bridge passing over the River Ibar, triggering the riot. Asia: China: Thirteen attackers drove a car into a police station in the western province of Xinjiang and set off explosives, afterwhich police shot dead the thirteen attackers; three police were injuried. Chinese authorities blamed Muslim Uighurs for the attack. South Korea: A sergeant shot dead five colleagues and fled his post near the North Korea's border, triggering a manhunt that lead to a gun battle in a standoff in the border town of Goseong, Gangwon province. The man was later captured after a suicide attempt. Pakistan: Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of supporters of a prominent anti-government cleric in Islamabad; some of the followers were armed with sticks and stones. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram Islamist militants raided Kwarangilam and Koronginim villages near Chibok, in Borno state, killing dozens and setting fire to homes. Some Boko Haram bodies were also found. The following day a blast struck a public health college in the city of Kano, in the north, killing at least eight and wounded at least twenty; Bokom Haram was believed to be responsible. Somalia: Kenyan fighter jets attacked two bases belonging to Islamist al Shabaab insurgents in Somalia and killed at least 80 of the militants and destroyed miltary equipment. Central African Republic: Violence erupted from communal clashes in Bambari and nearby villages; no details or causualties were reported. New Zealand: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck south of Raoul Island, New Zealand (06-23; 12:19), followed by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake (06-23; 12:21) and a 6.2 magnitude earthquake (06-23; 13:06); thirteen aftershocks of magnitudes ranging from 5.9 to 5.0 also struck. Indian Ocean: La Réunion Island: Piton de la Fournaise volcano erupted after a recent increase in seismic activity. North America: US: Thirty-two counties in Minnesota were declared in a State of Emergency as the worst flooding ever triggered mudslides, and destroyed homes, buildings, bridges, roadways and farmland; more rain was expected to follow. In the Midwest severe storms brought damaging winds, hail and flash flooding. In Nebraska there was hail the size of baseballs. A large 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit southeast of Little Sitkin Island, Alaska (06-23; 13:53), triggering a tsunami warning. It was followed by a 6.0 magintude quake (06-23; 14:11) and seven aftershocks of magnitudes ranging from 5.9 to 5.0. Buldir Island, Alaska was also struck by a quake of 6.3 magnitude (06-23; 20:15). In North Dakota the Red River overflowed its banks causing flooding in Fargo. South America: Brazil: A shoot-out between police and alleged drug traffickers in a shanty town in Rio de Janeiro, left three dead. Solar Activity: A coronal mass ejection hit the Earth's magnetic field on June 23rd.

27th (8h 08m) -- New Moon MAXIMUM

Mideast: Iraq: Thousands of Christians fled mortar attacks on the city of Qaraqosh, southeast of Mosul, leaving the entire town abandoned. Elsewhere, Kurdish forces engaged with heavy artillery and mortar attacks. Armed US drones were flying over areas to protect American military advisers on the ground. The Iraqi army launched an assault to retake the town of Tikrit from insurgents. Europe: Ukraine: Deadly fighting continued between pro-Russian separatist rebels and troops despite a declared ceasefire. More than 16,400 fled fighting last week alone, with the total reaching 54,400 since the conflict began. Asia: India: A gas pipeline exploded in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in the village of Nagaram, destroying homes, forcing the evacuation of nearby villages, and killing at least fourteen. Afghanistan: More than 10,000 supporters of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah swept through Kabul to protest election fraud involving stuffing ballot boxes. Africa: Nigeria: A bomb exploded in a a busy shopping district in Abuja, leaving at least twenty-one dead, injuring at least fifty-two, and damaging or destroying buildings and vehicles. Central African Republic: Violence erupting from communal clashes that began on the 23rd in Bambari and the nearby villages, left at least seventy dead, at least one hundred injured and about 150 houses wer burnt down. North America: US: Flooding reached three to six feet above flood stage along the upper Mississippi River inundating farmland, homes, businesses and some roadways, as more rains would follow. Flooding stretched from Minnesota and Wisconsin to Iowa, Illinois and northern Missouri. The southwestern and western Plains were hit with large hail, destructive winds, isolated tornadoes and flooding. South America: Paraguay: Torrential rains triggered widespread flooding, destroying crops, flooding homes, blocking roads and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands. The area affected the worst was near the Paraguay and Parana rivers that overflowed their banks. In the capital of Asuncion, about 75,000 were forced to move to higher ground away from the Paraguay river. More than 200,000 in total were forced to evacuate the flooded areas. Solar Activity: A number of bright coronal mass ejections swept over the Sun's northern limb, as the solar observatory, SOHO, moved to the far side of the Sun. SOHO will be unavailable for viewing solar events until late 2015, creating a vacuum of obervations.

Note: See following entry for June 30th.


June 30th-July 1st -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Iraq: Iraqi forces and the jihadist militant Sunni group Isis waged a fierce battle in Tikrit. Iraqi forces brought a wave of airstrikes, as the rebels seized parts of a nearby military base. Egypt: Two bombs exploded near the presidential palace in Cairo as two policemen were trying to defuse them, killing both policemen. Israel/Palestine: Three Israeli teens who were abducted while hitch-hiking in the occupied West Bank were found to be murdered. Israel blamed Hamas and attacked areas in the West Bank, afterwhich Hamas attacked areas in eastern Israel. Both areas received extensive damage and destruction of buildings and vehilces; casualties were not reported. Syria: ISIS captured a key town near the Iraq border from other rebels. Europe: Ukraine: The Ukrainian President ended a unilateral ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists in the east. Both sides claimed that the other violated the ceasefire. But the President proclaimed: "We will attack, we will free our land." Shelling by government forces hit residential areas in Sloviansk, as troops besieged the insurgents in several areas. Separatist leaders in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence, as armed pro-Russian rebels occupied key buildings in towns and cities across the east. The following day a full-scale military operation got underway against pro-Russia separatists in the east whose bases and strongholds were attacked by aircraft and artillery. Italy: The Italian navy found about thirty bodies in a fishing boat that was carrying hundreds of migrants between Sicily and the North African coast. Mount Stromboli volcano, on the Eolian Islands, erupted producing several lava flows, intense phases of continuous spattering and increasing tremor. Asia: Pakistan: The Pakistani army launched a ground offensive against Taliban militants in North Waziristan; casualties could not be confirmed. The Pakistani army said it had severely disrupted Taliban militant bases. China: Heavy rains brought widespread flooding to the southwest, sweeping away vehicles and houses, and stranding people on rooftops. Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Hong Kong's largest democracy rally in a decade where police arrested nearly two hundred; organizers said that 510,000, and officials said about 100,000, attended the sit-in. Japan: Nishino-shima volcano exploded sending an ash plume 10,000 feet (3,000 m) into the air. A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Bonin Islands (06-30; 12:55). Indonesia: Sumatra's Sinabung volcano underwent an unusually large collapse of parts of the still active lava flow that traveled about 2.8 miles (4.5 km) to the southeast where it stopped in the immediate vicinity of the evacuated villages of Berastapu and Sukanalu. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants again attacked villages in the northeast near Chibok, including at least one church, which left at least forty civilians and six militants dead, on June 29th. On July 1st, a truck bomb explosion ripped through a market in Maiduguri, killing at least fifty-six, wounding dozens, and destroying buildings and vehicles; it was believed that Boko Haram was reponsible. North America: Mexico: A shootout between security forces and drug gang members in the southwest left at least twenty-two gang members dead. The shootout began when soldiers patrolling the area were attacked by gang members. US: Severe weather, including heavy thunderstorms, damaging winds, large hail, flooding and tornadoes, swept areas from the Plains to the Midwest in what is known as a Derecho. "A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight- line wind storm that is associated with a land-based, fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms" (Wikipedia). Heavy rain flooded rivers in Olin, Iowa, pushing them past their banks to record levels, flooding homes and washing over roads. In addition to widespread flooding the storms knocked down powerlines, trees, created sinkholes and damaged buildings, taking at least three lives. The Mississippi River overflowed as well. A Tropical Depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Arthur east of Florida, and strengthened further into a Category II Hurricane that struck North Carolina. It also enhanced storms along the East Coast from eastern North Carolina up to New England and Canada. South America: Colombia: A rebel attack took place on a workers camp of Occidental Petroleum in Cano Limon in the northeastern state of Arauca, injuring thirteen workers and their relatives; the rebels used two home-made explosive devices. Atlantic: South: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck north of Visokoi Island, among the Sandwich Islands (06-29; 00:52). A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck south of Mata-Utu, Wallis and Futuna (06-29; 10:15). A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Hihifo, Tonga (06-29; 08:52). Solar Activity: Sunspots AR2104 and AR2107 produced two active regions with minor C-class solar flares. The following day big sunspot AR2104 developed a stronger magnetic field that harbored energy for X-class solar flares.

5th (11h 59m) -- First Quarter HIGH

Mideast: Iraq: ISIS rebels methodically hunted down non-Sunnis and those opposed to the militants, as the rebels also blew up numerous Shite Mosques across the country. Yemen: Shite rebels from the Houthi tribe and tribesmen allied with the government, the Hashid, clashed in and around the city of Amran, killing 35 and wounding forty. Europe: Ukraine: Government forces recaptured the rebel stronghold of Sloviansk, a command center for the insurgency. It seemed that the insurgents may have also evacuated Kramatorsk, another key city. Poland: A plane carrying members of a parachute club crashed in the south, killing eleven of the twelve on board; the survivor was seriously injuried. It was not known what caused the plane to crash, but numerous witnesses said the engines made strange sounds before the crash. Asia: Japan: Typhoon Neoguri rapidly strengthened and would become a super typhoon as it moved northwest over the warm open waters of the western Pacific and would likely hit southern Japan. China: Torrential rain swept across the central and southern parts of the country, submerging cars, houses and entire roads. Hunan province was flooded up to 23 feet (7 m) deep in some areas and a lake formed covering more than 58 square miles (150 sq km). Many were stranded on rooftops, in trees and on hills. Africa: Kenya: Houses were set on fire in Hindi, near Mpeketoni, a police station was attacked at Gamba, and a shooting took place in the coastal district of Lamu; it was believed to be the work of the Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabab. Somalia: A suicide car bomb exploded near Somalia's parliament, killing at least four and leaving widespread destruction; al-Shabab militants, who are linked to al-Qaeda, were thought to be responsible. Uganda: Gunmen launched a coordinated attack on police stations and military barracks in the west as the result of a dispute between rival ethnic groups, killing at least fifty-eight. North America: Canada: Hurricane Arthur brought strong winds, heavy rain and rough seas to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, where it brought flash flooding, washouts and mudslides. It also brought gusty winds and drenching rains to Newfoundland and southeastern Labrador. US: Dangerous rip currents threatened East Coast beachgoers. Iowa was hit with at least a dozen tornadoes that damaged buildings and homes. Gun battles in Chicago let at least six dead and thirty wounded. In Montana a train derailed sendin plane fuselages into nearby hills and waterways. Pacific: South: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck south of Taron, Papua New Guinea (07-04; 08:00). Solar Activity: Sunspots AR2104, AR2106, AR2107, AR2108 and AR2109 were facing Earth and posed a threat for Earth-directed flares. Each of the sunspots had a magnetic field harboring energy for M-class solar flares.

8th-9th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: Hamas Palestinian militants fired more rockets at Israeli cities following the beginning of a major air and sea offensive by Israel in the Gaza Strip that killed at least twenty-five. Hamas launched missiles at Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ashdod damaging and destroying buildings and vehicles in what was referred to as a "sudden escalation"; casualties were not reported. The following days the conflict would escalate further. Yemen: A battle between Zaidi Shia rebels and the military in the northern city of Amran forced ten thousand families to flee, killing at least sixty and wounding one-hundred eighty. Iraq: Iraqi security forces in a field outside Hamza al-Gharbi, a town in Babil province, came upon the bodies of fifty-three men who were bound, blindfolded and had bullet wounds in their heads or chests; it was mainly in a Shia area. Europe: Ukraine: The Ukrainian government warned pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk that it would take back the city, sparking a mass exodus of families leaving the city. Asia: Japan: Typhoon Neoguri intensified into a super typhoon with winds up to 155 mph (250 kph), which was said to be one of the strongest in decades. Weakened but still strong it swept the Okinawa island chain with torrential rain and strong winds, forcing hundreds of thousands to seek shelter, killing at least two and injuring dozens. It also brought life-threatening flooding and mudslides to many areas, and an inundating storm surge. Africa: Somalia: Islamist al-Shabab militants attacked the presidential palace in Mogadishu and entered the heavily fortified compound, killing at least fourteen government soldiers. Tanzania: A bomb exploded at a restaurant in the town of Arusha, injuring eight; it was not known who was responsible. North America: US: Severe thunderstorms brought torrential rains and strong, damaging wind gusts to areas from Tennessee to New York. In northern New York tornadoes killed at least six, and damaged or destroyed buidings, homes and vehicles. Three small tornadoes also swept Ohio and another was noted in Pennsylvania. Intense monsoon thunderstorms swept through Arizona bringing flash flooding to areas of La Paz County. South America: Mexico and Guatemala: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook a wide area from southern Mexico to Guatemala, damaing or destroying homes, businesses and schools (07-07; 04:23). The quake was centered in Puerto Madero, Mexico. Pacific: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit north of Port-Vila, Vanuatu (07-08; 05:56). Solar Activity: Emerging sunspot AR2113 ejected an M6.5-class solar flare that briefly disturbed shortwave radio transmissions on the dayside of Earth.

12th (11h 25m) -- Full Moon MODERATE

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: Hamas Palestinian militants fired more rockets at Israeli cities, and Israel lauched numerous missles into the Gaza Strip, killing more than thirty Palestinians and wounding dozens. More than 150 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,000 wounded, while Israel had twelve wounded since the conflict began (see previous entry). Many buildings were reduced to rubble, vechiles were destroyed, and utilities were damaged. Iraq: Gunmen stormed two buildings in the neighbourhood of Zayouna in east Baghdad, killing at least twenty-nine, twenty of which were women believed to be prostitutes; no one claimed responsibility. Yemen: Tribesmen blew up a major oil pipeline in the Habab district of Marib province, disrupting oil supplies from the interior to the Ras Isa export terminal on the Red Sea. Europe: Ukraine: Missles bombarded the rebel-held city of Donetsk, which was badly damaged, killing at least four. A day earlier, a rebel attack on a military site in the Luhansk region killed at least nineteen soldiers. Asia: Japan: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake rattled an ocean area east of of Namie on the island of Honshu (07-11; 12:21). China: Torrential rain has triggered massive mudslides in many parts of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, causing damaging or destroying houses, roads and vast areas of farmland; many people were killed or were missing. North America: US: Severe weather, including violent thunderstorms, downpours, hail and damaging winds, swept the Midwest, and plunged temperatures ten to twenty degrees below normal. The weather pattern was reminiscent of the Polar Vortex of last winter. The weather system would move to the the Northeast and mid-Atlantic bringing severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours the following days. Pacific: Southwest: Tropical Depression 09W strengthened into Tropical Storm Rammasun and would strengthen further into a typhoon when it reached the Philippines. Solar Activity: A coronal mass ejection was headed for Earth where it would trigger geomagnetic storms.

15th-16th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Mideast: Israel/Palestine: Israel stepped up attacks on Gaza, after an Egyptian truce initiative failed to stop Hamas rocket attacks on Israel. The Palestinian death toll climbed to more than two hundred, as Israeli missles destroyed numerous buildings, homes, vehicles and utilities. Iraq: Iraqi forces in a new push to retake the militant-held city of Tikrit met with heavy resistance, including heavy mortar shelling and sniper fire, forcing them to withdraw; the number of casualties was not reported. Yemen: Clashes between Shiite rebels and Islamist tribesmen in the country’s north left at least thirty-five dead. Syria: Presdent Assad was sworn in for a third term triggering heavy fighting that would take more than 1,700 lives within a week. Europe: Russia: An underground passanger train derailed in Moscow, killing at least twenty-two and injuring one-hundred-twenty; the cause was not known. Zhupanovsky volcano, on the Kamchatka peninsula, exploded in a new phase of ash emissions; one ash plume rose 23,000 feet (7 km) into the air and drifted north. Ukraine: A jet bombed the rebel-held town of Snizhne, destroying houses and killing at least eleven. Seperatists rebels shot down a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 near the Russian border, killing all 298 people aboard on the 17th; mistaking it for a military plane. Asia: Afghanistan: A suicide car bomb attack at a busy market in Paktika province, killed at least eighty-nine and wounded dozens, as it destroyed buildings and vehilces. China: Severe storms battered regions of the country, forcing more than 50,000 to leave their homes amid power cuts and flooding. The ancient town of Fenghuang was submerged in water. Indonesia: Dukono volcano in Halmahera produced many strong explosions with huge ash plumes rising up to 7,000 to 10,000 feet (2-3 km) in altitude and drifting up to 62 miles (100 km) to the northeast. Kashmir: An army vehicle crashed into a taxi near the city of Srinagar, killing six and triggering violent protests. The protesters tried to set fire to the army vehicle and threw stones at the security forces; two protesters were injuried. Africa: Nigeria: Islamist Boko Haram militants stormed Dille village in the northeast, at which point a government warplane opened fire to repel them; the raid and the plane killed at least twenty-six and wounded dozens. North America: US: Severe weather swept across seventeen states with flash floods in Arizona, Ohio and elsewhere. The entire East Coast from Florida to Maine was drenched with heavy rains, widespread flooding, and tornadoes, as severe storms swept across the Rockies and Plains. Record lows were recorded from the Midwest to the South and to the East, as high temperatures plagued the Northwest. Flooding downpours inundated the streets of Rexburg, Idaho. Hail, in layers inches thick, blanketed parts of Colorado. In Valley View, Texas a foot (30 cm) of rain fell in just six hours washing much of the town away and bringing widepsread flooding. A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck north of Yakutat, Alaska (07-17; 04:49). A wildfire took hold in Washinington state that would claim 450 square miles and devour 150 homes; it was the worst fire in the state's history. Pacific: Northwest: Typhoon Rammasun, locally named Glenda, brought heavy rains with flooding and damaging winds across the Philippines with Manila taking the brunt of the storm, killing at least thirty-eight and forcing the evacuation of more than 370,000, mostly in the eastern province of Albay which was the first to be hit by the typhoon. Hundreds of thousands were left without power. It would later make landfall again with widespread flooding and mudlsides across southern China and northern Vietnam. A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rattled Pondaguitan in the Philippines (07-14; 01:00).

19th (2h 08m) -- Last Quarter MODERATE

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: Israel mounted a ground offensive to find and destroy Hamas tunnels used to get military equipment and to move about unnoticed. Hamas continued to fire rockets in Israel who fired back and in the process the death toll in Gaza rose past 340, most of which were Palestinian citizens, since the conflict began. Buildings and homes were again reduced to rubble, mostly in Gaza. Egypt: Attackers, using grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, struck a desert checkpoint west of Cairo, killing at least twenty soliders; three of the attackers were also killed. Iraq: Five bombs exploded across Baghdad in the mostly Shia neighbourhood of Abu Dashir, killing at least twenty-six. Europe: Ukraine: Part of the rebel-held city of Luhansk was retaken by government forces; the shelling killed more than twenty. France: Thousands Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Paris to protest Israel's attacks on Palestine, some set fires, or threw stones and bottles at riot police, who in return used tear gas; this was despite the demonstration being banned. Italy: Nineteen migrants suffocated to death aboard a crowded boat travelling from North Africa. Russia: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck southeast of Kuril'sk, Russia (07-20; 11:32). Asia: Vietnam and China: Typhoon Rammasun headed for Vietnam after causing widespread flooding and damage in parts of southern China. Arabian Sea: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake eminated from the Owen Fracture Zone region (07-19; 07:14). Africa: Kenya: Gunman attacked a passenger bus and then targeted a police vehicle in the coastal county of Lamu, near the town of Witu, killing seven; Somalia's al-Shabab Islamist militia was responsible for the attack. Nigeria: Boko Haram Islamist gunmen attacked the town of Damboa, burning half of it down, including the town's main market, and killing at least eighteen. North America: US and Canada: A storm system bearing severe thunderstorms was heading for northern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario. Southwest: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck west of Hihifo, Tonga (07-19; 05:27). Northwest: Tropical storm Matmo strengthened into Typhoon Matmo heading for Taiwan and China.

22nd-23rd -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: A suicide car bomb exploded in Baghdad, in the area of the Shia Muslim Musa al-Khadim shrine, killing at least twenty-one. In a separate incident, Iraqi airstrikes plummeted an area occupied by ISIS militants near the city of Fallujah, killing at least fourteen. Both incidents destroyed buildings and vehicles. ISIS Islamist militants seized an ancient monastery near Mosul and expelled the monks. Israel/Palestine: Israel continued with a ground offensive and firing missles into Gaza would bring the death toll to more than 1,000 Palestinians and forty Israelis, and leaving many buildings in ruin. Hamas continued to fire missles into Israel, as the leader said the missles would not stop until Israel opened up trading routes for the Palestinians. Libya: Two suicide bombers attacked an army base in Benghazi targeting an army special forces barracks in the Bouatni area, killing at least four and causing widespread damage. Europe: Ukraine: Heavy fighting took place in the pro-Russia rebel-held city of Donetsk in the east, as residents could be seen fleeing the city. As fighting continued in the east, two military jets were downed by air-to-air missles only 20 miles (35 km) from the crash site of flight MH17; allegedly it was claimed to be a Russian jet that fired the missles. Asia: Vietnam: Typhoon Rammasun swept over the northern provinces, triggering floods and landsildes, swamping towns and streets, and destroying large agricultural areas, and killing at least eleven. China: Typhoon Rammasun also swept over southern China bringing heavy rains and strong winds, triggering floods, landslides and leaving at least thirty-eight dead or missing, and forcing the evacuation of 600,000 people; it was the strongest storm to hit in four decades. Taiwan: Typhoon Matmo, a Category II Typhoon, made landfall with strong winds, 30-foot waves and strong thunderstorms, triggering floods and landslides. China: Typhoon Matmo, weakening to a tropical storm after making landfall in Taiwan, made a second landfall in Fujian Province and moved through southern Zhejiang and northeast Jiangxi Provinces, where it brought heavy rain, flooding and damaging winds. A passenger plane crashed near Magong airport on the outlying Penghu island after a failed emergency landing, killing more than forty. Afghanistan: A suicide bomb exploded outside Kabul airport, killing three foriegn security guards and four Taliban attackers, and wounding at least six other guards. In a separate incident, a roadside bomb injured a civilian close to the Afghan meteorology department at the airport. Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo: An attempted attack on the military barracks of the presidential guards in Kinshasa was repulsed, leaving four of the attackers dead. Nigeria: Militant Islamists, Boko Haram, blew up a major bridge (Ngala Bridge) in the northeast, disrupting transport links with Cameroon. Two explosions took place in the city of Kaduna, one targeting the moderate Islamic cleric Dahiru Bauchi and the second targeting senior opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari, killing at least forty and wounding at least fourteen; neither of the intended targets were killed. North America: US: A line of violent thunderstorms swept through central Oklahoma and northeastern and north-central Texas, as gusty winds, severe thunderstorms and downpours swept the Northeast. South America: Colombia: Colombian armed forces killed eight rebels from the left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) who were blamed for an attack on an oil camp in Arauca (see the Phase dated June 30th-July 1st). Atlantic: North: Tropical Depression Two developed and headed for the southern part of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles, which border the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland: A large landslide took place on the southern wall of the Askja volcanic caldera that triggered a large flood wave in Öskjuvatn lake that also swept into the Viti crater. Pacific: South: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck north of Ndoi Island, Fiji (07-21; 07:54).

26th (22h 42m) -- New Moon MODERATE

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: A ceasefire was agreed to only to be broken by Hamas who continued to shoot rockets into Israel. The death toll mounted to more than 1,000 Palestinians -- more than 70% of which were civilians -- and forty Israelis. Large areas of Gaza were totally destroyed. Libya: Clashes between Libyan militias close to the US embassy forced officials to evacuate staff for safety reasons. Europe: Ukraine/Russia: Missles came from the Russian side of the border for more than a half hour striking mostly areas west of Donetsk, where Ukraine forces were enganged in battle with rebels. Many Ukrainian residents of Sloviansk returned home only to find that their homes had been turned into rubble. Asia: Afghistan: Suspected Taliban stopped two minibuses in the province of Ghor, ordered the passengers out and shot them dead, killing fifteen. Africa: Central African Republic: A new surge of violence swept through the country centered in the town of Bambari, where Muslim Seleka rebels and the mostly Christian anti-Baleka militia were engaged in fighting; in spite a ceasefire agreement. North America: US: Severe storms packed gusty winds, large hail and torrential rain as they swept through the Midwest leaving behind extensive damages. Pacific: West: A cyclone was developing several hundred miles east of the Philippines under conditions that appear to favor it developoing further into possibly a typhoon. Solar Activity: The Sun's interplanetary magnetic field tipped south, opening a hole in Earth's magnetospere, triggering auroras. This was despite low solar activity.

mid-29th-mid-31st -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: Israel stepped up its bombardment of Gaza, as a ceasefire proposal was rejected by Hamas, killing more than one hundred and bringing the death toll to 1,156 Palestinians; Israel lost 53 soldiers and three civilians. About 6,700 Palestinians have been injuried so far. Hundreds of buildings, vehicles and Hamas tunnels, and a power plant were destroyed. The 30th was called the "bloodest" and "deadliest" day with more than 120 Palestinians killed. Libya: Rockets hit the biggest fuel depot in Tripoli sparking a huge blaze; it was blamed on clashes between rival militias. Italy was brought in to help douse the fire. The following day the special forces military base in Benghazi was captured by Islamist-led militias, the Libyan Red Crescent; at least 35 bodies were recovered. Syria: The government continued to indiscriminately bomb civilians with explosives-filled barrels in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution, killing at least eleven and reducing homes to rubble. Europe: Ukraine: Heavy fighting continued in the Donetsk region, the last stronghold of pro-Russian separatists, killing dozens of civilians, soldiers and rebels. Italy and France: Heavy rains brought floods forcing thousands to evacuate their homes, sweeping vehicles away and killing many. Serbia: A rare snow storm left deep snow drifts that forced dozens of people to be stranded. Asia: China: An attack was carried out on a police station and government offices in Shache county by a knife-wielding gang, killing at least twelve. Police shot dead many attackers, while more than thirty police cars were damaged or destroyed, six of them burnt. Afghanistan: A suicide bomber, with a bomb in his turban, killed a cousin of President Hamid Karzai in the city of Kandahar. India: Malin village in the Pune district in Maharashtra state was swept over by a major mudslide, killing at least 109, buring forty homes and trapping about 200 people. A bus swerved off a mountain road into a gorge in the state of Himachal Pradesh, killing at least twenty-one. Taiwan: Multiple gas explosions took place in the city of Kaohsiung, killing twenty and injuring about two-hundred-seventy. Africa: Nigeria: A suicide bomb exploded at a college in the city of Kano, killing at least six; Boko Haram was responsible. Guinea: A stampede took place at a concert -- by the rap group Instinct Killers -- marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, killing at least thirty-four and injuring dozens on a beach in Ratoma (suburb of Conakry). North America: US: Heavy thunderstorms triggered flash flooding across the Rockies. In Colorado, four inches (10 cm) rain plummeted in less than 90 minutes triggering floods of two to three feet (60-90 cm) deep, washing away vehicles and flooding homes. A water main burst on Sunset Boulevard flooding the University of California, Los Angeles, causing massive damages, and flooded underground parking lots. Heavy downpours in the Southern central states, triggered flash flooding. Mexico: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Juan Rodriguez Clara (07-29; 03:46). South America: Ecuador: Tungurahua volcano underwent an increase in seimic activity and emitted an ash plume, indicating that it was probably about to enter a new eruptive phase. Atlantic: North: A tropical wave developed west of the Cape Verde Islands and appeared to be on its way to becoming Tropical Storm Bertha. Tropical Storm Nakri developed in South China Sea brought heavy rains and flooding to Japan and South Korea. Tropical Storm Halong moved westward away from Guam as it began to develop into the next typhoon in the western Pacific basin. Solar Activity: Sunspots AR2126 and AR2127 developed magnetic fields that harbored energy for significant solar flares. A long dark filament of magnetism filled with dense plasma erupted into a Hyder flare (an explosion without a sunspot), sending a coronal mass ejection that would affect Earth.


4th (0h 50m) -- First Quarter MODERATE

Mideast: Lebanon/Syria: Heavy fighting between the Lebanese army and rebels from Syria in the eastern border town of Arsal killed at least thirteen Lebanese soldiers in what was called "the worst Syria-related violence in three years"; thousands fled the area. Syria: airstrikes by government forces in the eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus killed at least sicty-four. Libya: The battles between factions seeking to control Tripoli airport continued, leaving more than twenty dead. Europe: Ukraine/Russia: Ukrainian troops engaged in heavy fighting with pro-Russian separatists leading to 311 soldiers and border guards crossing over into Russia at the Gukovo checkpoint. Numerous buildings were brought to ruin from the shelling, killing dozens and forcing thousands to flee eastern Ukraine. Ukraine: Troops retook control of the town of Yasynuvata, an important railway link; in the battle five soldiers were killed and fifteen were injured. Turkey: A very rare tornado swept through parts of Istanbul. Asia: China: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the remote Yunnan province reducing 12,000 houses into rubble, damaging another 30,000 homes, injuring more than 1,800 and killing at least 398 people (08-03; 01:30). Heavy rains hampered the rescue efforts and brought the risk of landslides and mudslides. Bangladesh: A ferry with about 200 passengers on board capsized in Padma River south of the capital of Dhaka, killing at least two. India: A dam across the border suddenly broke blocking the Kosi river, forcing the evacuation of 60,000 in the northern state of Bihar due to fears of flash floods coming from Nepal. North America: US: Heavy rains in the Southwest brought several instances of powerful flash floods. Swift, powerful floodwaters swept San Bernardino County, in southern California, triggering masive mudslide and killing one person. Flash floods also swept through parts of Albuqurque, New Mexico, Las Vas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona. In NAples, Florida six inches of rain triggered flooding. Atlantic: North: Tropical Storm Bertha developed into Hurricane Bertha, heading for the East Coast of the US where it brought heavy surf and rip currents along beaches from Florida to North Carolina. Pacific: North: Powerful Category-4 Hurricane Iselle headed for Hawaii where, in a weakened state, it would bring heavy rain, strong winds and rough seas to the islands. West: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Federated States of Micronesia region (08-02; 17:22), followed shortlly after by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake (08-02; 17:26). Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2130, directly facing Earth, had a complex magnetic field that could release energy for strong flares.

mid-6th-mid-8th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: ISIS fighters captured four northern towns and Iraq's largest dam, including the Christian town of Qaraqosh, after Kurdish forces withdrew, resulting in tens of thousands fleeing the area. The following day the US sent relief supplies to those who fled and then launched numerous airstrikes against the ISIS militants, killing numerous militants. An Iraqi airstrike on the city of Mosul, under Sunni militant control, killed at least sixty, and destroyed buildings and vehicles. A series of car bombs struck crowded markets in Shia districts of Baghdad, killing at least forty-seven. Two explosions struck Sadr City, killing at least thirty, while another attack in Ur killed at least eight. Israel/Palestine: Renewed attacks took place between Gaza and Israel immediately following a three-day truce, killing another five Palestinians. The death toll stood at more than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and sixty-seven Israelis, mostly soliders. Yemen: Suspected al-Qaeda militants abducted and killed at least fourteen soldiers in an ambush near the southern city of Seiyoun, in Hadramout Province. Europe: Serbia and Bosnia: Heavy rains triggered widespread flooding, damaging roads, bridges and hundreds of homes in western Serbia, and in central and northern Bosnia; at least one was killed. Many bridges were damaged or swept away by overflowing rivers. Italy: Stromboli volcano on the Eolian Islands underwent a major eruption with lava flows reaching the sea in several places and were accompanied by numerous landslides. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants raided the village of Zigague in a remote area of northern Cameroon, killing at least ten and kidnapping a child of a local chief. South Sudan: At least 40,000 who fled fighting in South Sudan were in a UN camp that had become flooded and were living in knee-deep, sewage-contaminated floodwater; some were even sleeping standing up with children in their arms. North America: US: Repeated showers and thunderstorms brought flooding across part of the Central states. Pacific: Northeast: Hurricane Iselle made a direct hit on the Hawaiian Islands, the first time in more than twenty-two years. It made landfall as a tropical storm with destructive winds and flooding rain, and knocked out power, damaged homes and toppled trees. Closely following was Hurricane Julio that strengthened into a Category III Hurricane and appeared to be likely to strengthen further as it also headed in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands. Northwest: Super Typhoon Halong continued to head toward Japan, threatening lives and property on Kyushu, western Honshu and western Shikoku, it then crossed already waterlogged mainland Japan; its strength was equivalent to a Category II Hurricane.

10th (18h 09m) -- Full Moon LOW

Mideast: Iraq: The US launched a fourth round of airstrikes against ISIS militants near Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish forces regained control of two towns in Nineveh province after heavy fighting. Estimates for the number of the Yazidi religious minority trapped on Mount Sinjar range from 50,000 to 150,000; the US and some European nations provided humanitarian aid. Europe: Ukraine: Ukraine's military attacked the main pro-Russian rebel stronghold of Donetsk with artillery fire, damaging and destroying buildings and vehicles. Asia: Japan: Typhoon Halong slammed into mainland Japan with "unprecedented" torrential rain in Mie prefecture, west of Tokyo, triggering landslides and major flooding. One person was killed and thirty were injuried. Pakistan: Clashes between police and supporters of anti-government cleric Tahirul Qadri left at least six dead and twenty officers were wounded. Africa: Mali: French forces four or five bombs on al-Qaeda Islamist militant positions in the Esssakane region, west of the city of Timbuktu. Nigeria: Boko Haram militants attacked the village of Doron Baga on the shore of Lake Chad, killing at least twenty-six and abducting about eighty-five who would later be rescued by the Chad army. South America: Colombia: Rebels attacked the Tibu oil field in the northwest, near the Venezuelan border; it was either the Farc and the ELN rebel groups who damaged the facility. North America: US: Persistent rain of a slow-moving system moving through Carolinas brought flooding across the region. Heavy rain brought widespread flooding to the Southeast. Atlantic: Northwest: An armed gang attacked a prison in Port-au-Prince, Haiti freeing an unknown number of inmates, causing panic in the area. Pacific: Northeast: Hurricane Julio swept past the Hawaiian Islands, but brought rough surf and more rain.

13th-14th -- Mid-Phase LOW

Mideast: Syria: ISIS militants seized several areas from rival Islamist groups in the province of Aleppo, including the towns of Turkmen Bareh and Akhtarin; forty fighters were killed. The following day government forces retook a key district of Damascus from opposition forces, killing a "large number of terrorists", they said. Israel/Palestine: Gaza’s unexploded-ordinance squad attempted to defuse an Israeli bomb when it exploded, killing two journalists, an Italian videographer and a local Palestinian translator. Israel launched airstrikes after at least five rockets were launched from Gaza just as there had been an agreement for a five-day truce. Thousands of homes and buildings had been destroyed since the fighting had begun. Iraq: US drones where used to destroy four ISIS military trucks, as relief supplies were dropped to the Yazidi religious minority still trapped on the Mount Sinjar range. Europe: Switzerland: Heavy rain triggered a landslide near the Swiss ski resort of St Moritz, near Tiefencastel, sending a train into a ravine, injuring eleven. Ukraine: Luhansk, a rebel-held industrial city, was under siege from government forces. UK: Torrential rains triggered flash flooding in several parts of Cardiff and surrounding areas, while a landslide prevented trains from traveling between Radyr and Taffs Well. Asia: Pakistan: Thousands of anti-government protesters marched from the city of Lahore to Islamabad, angered by the weakening economy, growing militancy and failure to deliver basic services; asking for the current Prime Minister to resign. North America: US: The Northeast was overwhelmed by heavy rains triggerung widespread flash flooding, dumping a record 13.26 inches (337 mm) of rain across Long Island, New York. New Jersey got between 6 inches (150 mm) to nearly 9 inches (225 mm), Maryland got between 5 inches (125 mm) to more than 6 inches (155 mm) and so forth. The storm then moved on causing flash flooding across southern and central New England. For exmple, heavy rains nearly washed out Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Flooding also took place in parts of the Midwest and Southwest, particulrly in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. Numerous rescues took place in each of these regions and sinkholes opened up in various locations. People holding a vigil in Ferguson, Missouri for the death of an unarmed youth by a policeman were assaulted by the police with rubber bullets and tear gas. The govenor then ordered in the state's Highway Patrol to seize control of Ferguson, stripping local police of their authority as peaceful protests continued; later some of the protesters threw gasoline bombs. Protests spread to New york City, Chicago and Miami. South America: Ecuador: A shallow 5.1 magnitude earthquake (08-12; 12:57) struck the capital, Quito, and the surrounding areas, triggering landslides, killing at least four, injuring at least eight, and damaging buildings. Solar Activity: A magnetic filament strecthing down the middle of the Sun erupted on the 15th, sending a coronal mass ejection towards the Earth.

17th (12h 26m) -- Last Quarter LOW

Mideast: Iraq: Kurdish ground forces in the north, supported by US airstrikes, gained near complete control of Iraq's largest dam, ousting ISIS miltants. The US airstrikes killed at least thirty ISIS militants. Iran: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake rattled an area southeast of Abdanan (08-17; 19:32). A 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook the same area (08-18; 11:08) that was preceeded and followed by dozens of quakes in the 4.5 to 5.8 magnitudes. Europe: Belgium: An unusual and spectacular waterspout swept across Zeebrugge beach causing damage along the shore. Iceland: An intense earthquake swarm took place under the northwestern part of the Vatnajökull ice cap of Bárdarbunga volcano, which might be undergoing a subglacial eruption. Asia: Indonesia: A boat carrying a group of foreign tourists sunk in the east of the country with two foreigners missing and presumed dead. Pakistan: Thousands of anti-government protesters continued to gather in Islamabad, many of which arrived in big convoys from Lahore. Africa: Mali: A suicide attack on a UN patrol base in the north, left two UN peacekeepers dead and seven others injured. North America: US: Another wave of drenching showers and thunderstorms swept the Midwest, from Minneapolis to Detroit and Chicago, triggering flooding. Heavy storms with damaging winds and large hail swept across the Northern Plains. Arkansas experienced severe flooding. Henderson County, Kentucky a possible tornado touch down that damaged homes and flattened crops. Ferguson, Missouri again was overwhelmed with protesters forcing a curfew and bringing out the National Guard (see the previous phase for details). Two freight trains collided head-on in northeast Arkansas, killing two Union Pacific train crew members and injuring another two. Mexico: A long-lived and intense thunderstorm dumped hail feet deep in some parts of Mexico City. City tunnels and roads became impassable in some areas and it was necessary to free vehicles and open roads, using heavy machinery like that needed after a blizzard.

mid-20th-mid-22nd -- Mid-Phase LOW

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: Israeli undertook an airstrike on the Gaza Strip in an attempt to kill Hamas military commander, Mohammed Deif, but instead killed his wife and their young son. Israeli military carried out 92 airstrikes in response to 137 rockets that were fired at its territory. The following day, an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, near the southern town of Rafah, killed three senior Hamas military commanders and at least seven others. Iraq: US aircraft launched a dozen fresh strikes against ISIS militants, in spite of threats by them to kill a second American captive. Kurdish peshmerga fighters advanced to take back a district near Jalawla and Iraqi troops advanced towards nearby Saadiya. Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen attacked a Sunni mosque, in Diyala province north of Baghdad, with machine guns, killing at least sixty-eight. Europe: Iceland: Bardarbunga volcano rubbled with more than 300 earthquakes in less than 24 hours, in a phase of "escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption", resulting in nearby residents being evacuated. Italy: A number of tornadoes hit the north reaping widespread damages, particulary a beach in the town of Arenzano, Liguria; thousands of euros worth of damage was left behind. Ukraine: Fighting continued between government troops and separatists in and around Donetsk, killing at least thirty-four civilians. Asia: Japan: Heavy rains triggered landslides in the Hiroshima prefecture, killing at least thirty-nine and destroying numerous houses. A record rain of 8.54 inches (217.5 mm) fell in just a three-hour period, more than doubling the old record of 3.98 inches (101 mm). In fact, 3.98 inches (101 mm) fell in just one hour. Africa: Central Africa Republic: Fierce fighting took place between militia and international peacekeepers in a Muslim neighborhood, where residents accused European Union forces of shooting a man to death. At least five people were killed. Sudan: Fierce fighting took place between Darfur's ethnic groups, leaving at least sixty-three dead. As a result, the United Nations will deploy 1,800 fresh peacekeepers into the region. North America: US: Phoenix, Arizona, was overwhelmed by torrential rain storms causing severe flooding that damaged buildings and stranded motorists in their cars. Parts of Nevada were also slammed with heavy rains. A tornado touched down in Macomb County's Lenox Township, Detroit, Michigan, with winds that damaged four homes and three other buildings, including barns. Parts of Southern California and New Mexico were hit with numerous, strong bolts of lightning, frightening residents. A very strong thunderstorm produced winds that were estimated at 85 mph (137 kph) and damaged 80 to 100 structures in Knoxville, Tennesse and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Pocano ountains were flooded by torrential rains. Heavy rains triggered a huge mudslide in Oso, Washington; this was the second such event. Atlantic: Central Northwest: A strong tropical wave developed into what could be the third storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season, producing heavy rains across the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Solar Activity: On the 19th, a moderate geomagnetic storm was triggered by a coronal mass ejection strike, which also sparked auroras around both poles.

25th (14h 13m) -- New Moon LOW

Mideast: Israel/Palestine: The Israeli carried out new airstrikes into Gaza, as Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets and mortars; at least eight Palestinians were killed. At least 17,000 homes in Gaza have been totally destroyed or severely damaged since the fighting began. Iraq: Kurdish fighters in north regained ground against the forces of ISIS by retaking three villages. A suicide bomb attack on a Shia mosque in Baghdad, killed at least nine. Karbala and al-Hillah were also hit by a series of car bombings, killing at least twenty-three and wounding dozens. Syria: ISIS fighters took control of Tabqa military airbase, the last remaining stronghold of Bashar al-Assad's government in Raqqa province. Days of fighting left hundreds dead on both sides. Europe: Turkey: Hundreds of protesters in Istanbul clashed with police over the growing number of Syrian refugees. Businesses were attacked, windows broken and a car overturned in Ikitelli, at least five people were wounded. Iceland: Baroarbunga volcano was under a seismic crisis as more than 400 quakes of magnitudes up to 4.0 took place. Asia: India: Thousands celebrated a festival called the Somvati Amavasya at the Kamtanath Pahad temple, in the Satna district in Madhya Pradesh, when something triggered a stampede, killing at least ten and injuring dozens. Africa: Nigeria: About 480 Nigerian troops crossed the border into Cameroon following fierce fighting with Boko Haram miltants. There Cameroon forces beat back two attempts by Boko Haram militants to enter the country, killing at least thirty Boko Haram. Again thousands fled the region. Libya: An alliance of militias took control of Tripoli's main airport, following five weeks of battling, during which hundreds were killed or wounded. Central African Republic: A gold mine, controlled by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, collapsed near the city of Bambari, killing at least twenty-five. North America: Mexico: Hurricane Marie, temporarily strengthening into a Category 5 Hurricane, bore down on the Pacific Coast in the south-western state of Oaxaca, triggering landslides and flooding, and threatening at least 10,000 families. The hurricane appeared to be headed for the United States. US: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Napa, in the San Francisco Bay area (08-24; 03:20). Widespread damages were left, resulting also from fires, caused by gas leaks and flooding from broken water mains, leaving dozens of buildings uninhabitable and injuring at least 172 people. Damages to the local wine industry alone were estimated to be between one and two billion dollars as it broke thousands of bottles of wine and toppled barrels at grape harvesting time. South America: Peru: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck east of of Tambo (08-24; 16:2). Pacific: Northwest: Hurricane Cristobal dumped an average of 3 to 6 inches (76-152 mm) of rain on Puerto Rico, and the Virgin, Turks and Caicos Islands, triggering flash flooding. Afterwhich it headed for Burmuda and impacted the Atlantic beaches of the United States with hazardous conditions of rough surf and strong rip currents. Solar Activity: An M2-class flare exploded from sunspot AR2146 sending a bright coronal mass ejection into space and affected the Earth with geomagnetic storms in the days following.

28th-29th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: ISIS laid siege on Iraqi Turkmen, while about 2,000 fighters were battling the ISIS in Amerli. Mortar and rocket attacks occurred on a daily basis, while the number of casualities was high, but unknown. Kurdish Peshmerga forces retook the oilfields near Mosul in the north from ISIS militants. Syria: Dozens of Syrian army soldiers were captured and killed while attempting to flee to Hama province after ISIS attacked the Tabqa airbase. Forty-three UN peacekeepers were captured near Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights by an armed group, during heavy fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces. In addition, the Philippines indicated that seventy-five of its peacekeepers were in a tense standoff with rebels in the same area. Europe: Ukraine: Government officials said that Russian soliders and miltia invaded the southeast, taking control of the coastal town of Novoazovsk. The head of NATO's crisis management center assessed that "well over 1,000 Russian troops are now operating inside Ukraine." Iceland: Several cauldrons -- depressions in the volcano's surface -- were found near Bardarbunga volcano. Then, after an earthquake hit in the area, the Bardarbunga volcano erupted. Asia: China: More than seventy houses in a village in Guizhou province were destroyed when a landslide was triggered by a breach from a small reservoir. At least six were killed, twenty-two were injuried and twenty-one were missing. Africa: Guinea: Residents of Nzerekore rioted after the market was sprayed with a disinfectant designed to stop the spread of the Ebola virus. Health workers and the hospital were attacked by those shouting: "Ebola is a lie". North America: US: Hurricane Marie, in the Pacific about 800 miles (1,300km) west of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, sent swells towards southern California's coastline that produced waves as high as 20 feet (6 m) damaging waterfront homes, knocking out pier pilings, and threatened swimmers and surfers. Heavy rains in eastern Nebraska triggered major flooding. Central America: Nicaragua: Heavy rains triggered the collapse of a mine shaft trapping at least twenty-four workers. Pacific: South: Papua New Guinea's Mount Tavurvur volcano erupted, disrupting flights, ejecting rocks and ash into the air, and forcing local communities to evacuate. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2146 had a magnetic field with potential energy for strong flares. Geomagnetic storms and auroras took place after two waves of solar matter struck Earth on the 27th and the Sun's interplanetary magnetic field around Earth tipped south.


2nd (11h 11m) -- First Quarter MODERATE

Mideast: Egypt: A bomb attack by the al-Qaeda-linked group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, in the village of Wefaq, near the Gaza border, killing at least eleven and wounded two policemen. The security forces were carrying out an offensive in northern Sinai region, killing and capturing dozens of suspected members of jihadist militant groups. Iraq: US drones targeted ISIS militants again trying to take control of Iraq's largest dam. Europe: Iceland: The Bardarbunga volcano again erupted with lava fountains more than 165 feet (50 m) high and ash plumes that threatened aircraft; the highest level warning was issued. Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels continued to fight Ukrainian forces in the east, forcing thousands to flee the region; over the past few weeks more than 260,000 had fled. Asia: Philippines: Three men were arrested for planning anti-China firebomb attacks at several locations in Manila. Africa: Somalia: US warplanes and drones carried out airstrikes, targeting the leader of the al-Qaeda-linke militant group al-Shabab. The strikes killed the group's leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane. Mali: A landmine exploded near the town of Kidal, killing four and injuring fifteen UN Peacekeepers. Nigeria: The Boko Haram seized the town of Bama in Borno after fierce fighting with government forces, killing dozens; at least 5,000 residents fled the town. North America: US and Mexico: Tropical Storm Dolly developed in the Gulf of Mexico and headed to northeastern Mexico and northern Texas with heavy rains, damaging thunderstorm wind gusts, and flooding that triggering mudslides in the foothills and higher terrain of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains. US: Major thunderstorms and heavy rains spread throughout the East, especially the Northeast, followed by more major thunderstorms, triggering widespread flooding and travel delays. Two EF-1 tornadoes, with wind speeds in excess of 100 mph (>165 kph) hit parts of northern Michigan, damaging homes and toppling trees. Strong storms with heavy rains, large hail and strong winds, rumbled through the Midwest, triggering widespread flooding. In Kansas a tornado touched down near Cedar Vale, dropping hail the size of pingpong balls. South America: Ecuador: Tungurahua volcano increased in activity with dozens of explosions and sent an ash cloud rising up into the air about 1.8 miles (3 km). Central America: El Salvador: The country's San Miguel volcano increased in tremor activity.Pacific: South: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck east of `Ohonua, Tonga (09-03; 22:33). Solar Activity: A sunspot located behind the Sun's northeastern limb exploded on the 1st, producing a significant solar flare. In Addition, the following day an enormous filament of dark plasma erupted sending a coronal mass ejection hurling in the general direction of the Earth.

5th-6th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Syria: The government undertook two days of airstrikes on ISIS-held territory and in the process killed more than sixty civilians. The airstrikes also hit a number of Islamic State targets and killed at least fifteen militants in their stronghold of Raqqa city; other casualties were unreported. Iraq: Kurdish forces in the north, helped by US airstrikes, recaptured the strategically important Mount Zartak from ISIS militants. Europe: Ukraine: Battles took place around Donetsk and Mariupol, afterwhich the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels signed a ceasefire. In spite of the ceasefire, the following day explosions were heard near the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Bosnia: A gas blast in the Raspotocje coal mine in Zenica was triggered by a small earthquake, killing five of the thirty-four trapped and the other thirty-nine were rescued. Iceland: The Bardarbunga volcano had two new eruptive fissures open south of the previous eruption site in Holuhraun, while about 170 earthquakes shook the area. Asia: India and Pakistan: Torrential rains triggered the worst flooding in two decades, which has also triggered deadly landslides, killing at least four hundred in Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir. A wedding party of fifty in a bus was swept away by flood waters, and were likely dead; only four bodies were recovered. North America: US: Heavy thuderstorms swept the Midwest triggering widespead flooding. Storms ripped through the Chicago, leaving widespread power outages and wind damage to buildings and trees. Mexico: Hurricane Norbert dumped heavy rains and triggering evacuations as it swept up the coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants stormed Gulak in the north, near the border with Cameroon; the number of casualties was unreported. Pacific: North Central: Hawaii's Big Island declared a state of emergency as a lava flow from Kilauea volcano approaches a residential community that would late be evacuated. Northwest: Hurricane Norbert continued along the western coastline of the US, threatening the shorelines with large waves and swells from Baja California of Mexico into Southern California. It would later cause major flooding in the southwestern US. Southeast: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck in the region of Easter Island (09-05; 23:53). Solar Activity: The coronal mass ejection of September 2nd struck the Earth's magnetic field on the 6th, triggering auroras. Solar wind exploded from a coronal hole and would reach Earth on the 9th-10th.

9th (1h 38m) -- Full Moon HIGH

Mideast: Syria: A suicide bomber exploded a vest in an attack in the town of Ram Hamdan, killing the top commander of the Islamic Front, a coalition of seven Islamist rebel groups, and also killing at least forty others. Yemen: Thousands of Houthi, anti-government Shia protesters were demonstrating in the capital, Sanaa, trying to control the protests police shot four dead. airstrikes by government forces took place against Houthi positions in the north; casualties were not reported. Europe: Ukraine: The ceasefire was near collapse when shelling took place in Mariupol and fighting in Donetska. Russia: Zhupanovsky volcano, on the Kamchatka Penisula, ejected ash plumes that rose five to seven miles (8-11 km) into the air (visible on satellite images) and drifted south; an aviation alert was issued. Asia: Pakistan: The roof of a mosque collapsed in the city of Lahore, killing at least ten and injuring seven; fifteen people were still trapped under the debris. Indonesia: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck southeast of Modayag (09-09; 19:46). Africa: Nigeria: The army fought to recapture towns in Adamawa state from Boko Haram, killing "scores" of the miltants. Thousands of people were fleeing the region due to Boko Haram insurgents taking control of numerous towns and villages. Somalia: A suicide car bomber undertook an attack aimed at African Union troops in a convoy traveling southwest of Mogadishu, killing at least twelve and wounding twenty-seven; the militant Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility. North America: US: Heavy rainfall brought by Tropical Storm Norbert triggered massive flooding in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, and parts of Southern California. In Phoenix, Arizona there was record rainfall that lead to the declartion of a State of Emergency and turned highways into rivers. Flooding rains also created havoc in Portsmouth, Virginia. The Central Plains was hit by very heavy rain, damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes. In Missouri a massive ten inches (254 mm) of rain fell causing widespread flooding, while six tornadoes also touched ground. Flash flooding washed out part of a major rail line between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City and closed a 50-mile stretch Interstate 15 when pavement crumbled. South America: Chile: A bomb exploded in a shopping center in a busy train station in Santiago, injuring fourteen and causing massive damages. Brazil: A large fire destroyed more than five hundred homes in the Campo Belo district of Sao Paulo, leaving more than 2,000 homeless. Solar Activity: Sunspots AR2157 or AR2158 had unstable magnetic fields that displayed a chance of M-class flares or X-class flares. Sunspot AR2158 did erupt with an M4-class flare, producing an explosion that lasted more than six hours and sent a coronal mass ejection that will affect the Earth on the 11th or 12th. Active sunspot AR2158, directly facing Earth, again erupted on the 10th, producing a strong X1.6-class solar flare that already affected radio transmission. More Earthly effects would come.

12th-13th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Syria: Government forces recaptured the key central town of Halfaya in Hama province, an al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front stronghold. A large number of terrorists were killed in the fighting. Iraq: Car bombs exploded in three Shiite cities south of Baghdad and an explosion in the capital killed seventeen and wounded forty, on the 11th. Europe: Ukraine: Government troops repelled an attack by pro-Russian rebels on Donetsk airport. In spite of a ceasefire, gunfire could be heard and multiple rocket launchers were used both days, damaging and destroying buildings; casualties were not reported. Asia: Pakistan: Multan city and surrounding areas in Punjab province were threatened as the Chenab river surged south at extremely high levels, flooding large tracts of farmland and homes; thousands were stranded. Philippines: Bad weather was responsible for the sinking of a ferry, afterwhich at least 100 were rescued, and two were confirmed dead. Africa: Nigeria: A two-story building collapsed in Lagos, killing at least three and injuring at least eighteen; scores were still trapped in the rubble. Boko Haram militants completely surrounded Maiduguri, the main city in north-eastern Borno state with a population of more than two million. The next day the Nigerian army killed at least 100 Boko Haram militants, after repelling an attack on Konduga; they also seized vehicles and ammunition. North America: US: Mississippi's DeSoto County was damaged by heavy rains and severe flooding triggering a state of emergency. Homes were flooded and cars were swept into buildings by the floodwaters. Atlantic: North: Tropical depression five intensified into Tropical Storm Edouard and appeared to be developing into a strong storm or even a hurricane. Pacific: Northeast: Tropical Storm Odile strengthened and appeared to be forming into a hurricane. It would later trigger more flooding in the southwestern US. Northwest: Tropical storm Kalmaegi strengthened into a typhoon and headed towards the Philippines, and later towards southeast China and North Vietnam with strong damaging winds and heavy rains. Rains were as much as ten to fifteen inches (250-380 mm) in places, triggering life-threatening flooding and mudslides. Solar Activity: Two coronal mass ejections slammed into Earth triggering a moderate G2-class geomagneic storm and widespread auroras that could be seen as far south as the upper United States.

16th (2h 05) -- Last Quarter HIGH

Mideast: Egypt: A roadside bomb exploded on the Sinai peninsula, killing at least six policemen and injuring two; the al-Qaeda-linked group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was likely responsible. Iraq: Airstrikes by US drones hit numerous ISIS locations; casualties were not reported. Syria: The government undertook airstrikes in the opposition-held town of Talbiseh, in Homs province, killing at least fifty. Europe: Netherlands: A heavy fog, on a busy highway between the southern cities of Goes and Middelburg, triggered a 150 car pile-up, killing at least two and injuring twenty-six. Asia: Afghanistan: A Taliban suicide car bomber rammed into a foreign military convoy in Kabul, near the US embassy, killing at least three NATO troops and wounding one and at least sixteen civilians. Philippines: Mount Mayon volcano, on the northern island of Luzon, began to spew lava, forcing thousands to flee the area; the alert level was raised to "critical". China: Typhoon Kalmaegi made landfall in the southern Hainan province, tens of thousands were evacuated ahead of its arrival. Torrential rains triggered flooding, landslides and mudslides, and destroyed property. Kalmaegi brought winds over 80 mph (129 kph) to parts of the Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan Island where six to tweleve inches (150-300 mm) of rain fell in under 24 hours. Africa: Libya: A boat sank off Libya, near Tajoura, with 250 migrants aboard, only thirty-six of which were rescued, the rest drowned. North America: Mexico: Tropical Storm Odile strengthened into a Category 3 Hurricane with wind speeds up to 125 mph (200 kph). It barreled over the Baja Peninsula directly hitting Cabo San Lucas destroying buildings, tossing cars, capsizing boats, and downing powerlines and trees. The eight to 12 tweleve inches (200-300 mm) of rain triggered widespread flooding and mudslides, as torrential downpours extended into western Mexico with more flash flooding, landslides and mudslides. US: Hurricane Odile sent heavy rains, strong winds and hail to parts of southern California and southern Arizona were destructive flooding took place. Thunderstorms pushed across the Florida panhandle and triggered the development of a waterspout near Navarre. Atlanic: Northwest: Tropical Storm Edouard strengthened into a Category 3 Hurricane bringing heavy rains and strong winds to Bermuda and rough surf along some Atlantic coast beaches, including those in the US. Pacific: A 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit northwest of Piti Village, Guam (09-16; 23:14). Solar Activity: Sunspots AR2157, AR2158 and AR2164 had developed magnetic fields that could trigger significant solar eruptions. Meanwhile, another coronal mass ejection was heading towards Earth and would reach the Earth on the 17th, triggering a geomagnetic storm and auroras.

19th-20th -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria/Turkey: ISIS militants and Syrian Kurdish fighters clashed in an area near Turkey's southeastern border, forcing about 66,000, mostly women and children, to flee into the border village of Dikmetas. Yemen: Fighting escalated between Shia rebels and Sunni militias in Sanaa, killing at least one hundred twenty and forcing thousands to flee their homes. The Shia rebels, known as Houthis, shelled buildings of the state TV and the main Sunni Islamist party, Islah, destroying these and other buildings. Iraq: Suicide bombs and mortar fire exploded in a Shia district of Baghdad, killing at least fifteen and wounding about thirty, and destroying houses and a bus station. French jets carried out strikes against ISIS militants fuel and munitions depots in the northeast; casualties were not reported. Lebanon: A suicide bomber attacked a Hezbollah checkpoint in the east, outside the village of Khraibeh, in the Bekaa Valley, killing at least three, wounding many, and destroying buildings and vehicles; some claims were that more soliders were killed at the checkpoint. Europe: Serbia: Heavy rainfall triggered flooding in eastern towns, stranding people and forcing evacuations; the government declared a state of emergency in three towns. UK: Heavy rains triggered flooding that trapped a train with about ninety on board near Corsham, Wiltshire, England. Lightning also struck across Bristol, and in Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon where it damaged and set ablaze homes. A brawl involving about five hundred teenagers broke out in Blackpool, England, three of the responding police officers were injured; the cause was not yet known. Asia: Philippines: Thousands were evacuated in Manila and nearby provinces as tropical storm Fung-Wong brought heavy rains that triggered flooding, closing schools and government buildings. Also a river burst its banks prompting the evacuation of the eastern part of the capital. In total, at least 200,000 were displaced and at least five were killed. Tropical storm Fung-Wong would head towards Taiwan and Japan in the following days. Africa: Mali: A roadside bomb exploded, in the Kidal region, killing five and wounding three UN Peacekeepers. Nigeria: Boko Haram militants attacked a rural market in the town of Mainok, killing at least thirty-six and sending the town's people fleeing. North America: US: The remnants of Hurricane Odile swept across the Southwest, triggering flooding in Arizona, New Mexico, and especially, Texas. Solar Activity: The interplanetary magnetic field tipped southward, triggering auroras and a geomagnetic storm.

23rd (0229 UT) -- Equinox, and 24th (6h 14m) -- New Moon MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria: Two days of the first airstrikes by the US and Arab allies against ISIS in Syria killed at least seventy ISIS militants and fifty other al-Qaeda-linked fighters (Khorasan Group), and destroyed baracks, oil fields and weapons depots. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar had taken part in or supported the strikes. The UN Security Council agreed to a binding resolution that countries should prevent their citizens from joining ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Europe: Iceland: A 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook beneath Bardarbunga volcano causing subsidence under the caldera; an indication the an eruption might soon occur. Russia: Shiveluch Volcano on the Kamchatka peninsula erupted in a strong explosion with pyroclastic flows and an ash plume that rose 36,000 feet (11,000 m) into the air. Ukraine: Mortar fire struck an apartment block in the rebel-held city of Donetsk in spite of a ceasefire, causing heavy damage, destroying at least two apartments; eight soldiers were wounded. Asia: China: Thousands of students in Hong Kong gathered on a university campus for a week-long boycott of classes, saying 'We have to fight' for democracy. Afghanistan: An estimated 700 Taliban fighters began a five-day sweeping battle of the Ghazni province's western district of Ajrestan, killing at least one hundred and leading to the district's near collapse. Pakistan: A bomb attack took place on a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps in Peshawar, killing at least three and wounding nine. Southeast Asia: Tropical storm Fung-wong dropped heavy rain along the coast of Zhejiang, China, and Taiwan, and then went on to drench South Korea and Japan; mudlslides and flooding were widespread. Africa: Nigeria: Two-hundred sixty Boko Haram militant fighters surrendered after heavy losses in battles with the army and the death of their alleged leader. North America: US: Heavy, soaking rains took place in the southeast and northwest, triggering flash flooding. Strong downpours damaged businesses and flooded downtown Seattle. A strong storm system moved north along the Atlantic coast bringing heavy rain to the region, gusty winds, and urban and coastal flooding. The burning of a memorial to the unarmed black teenager that was killed by a white policeman last month in Ferguson, Missouri set off violent protests that clashed with police, as protesters looted shops; two policemen were injuried. A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Willow, Alaska (09-25; 10:51). South America: Argentina: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of San Antonio de los Cobres (09-24; 04:16). Pacific: Northwest: A broad area of low pressure strengthened into Tropical Storm Kammuri that would impact already soaked Japan. South: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Gizo, Solomon Islands (09-25; 02:13). Solar Activity: The new sunspot AR2172 ejected an M2-class solar flare that sent off a faint coronal mass ejection. The Sun's interplanetary magnetic field near Earth tilted south, setting off a mild geomagnetic storm and auroras.

27th-28th -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Iraq/Syria: For three days allied forces again bombed ISIS locations destroying buildings, refineries, vehicles and depots. The Syrian militant group al-Nusra Front denounced the airstrikes as "a war against Islam". Iraqi ground forces, backed by airstrikes, stopped the advancing ISIS militants in the town of Amariya al-Falluja, west of Baghdad; it is a key strategic town. Europe: Ukraine: Ukrainian soldiers clashed with pro-Russian rebels near Donetsk airport, leaving seven Ukrainian soliders dead, during what was supposed to be a truce. In this and other incidents, twenty-seven soldiers were wounded and three civlians were killed. Asia: Japan: On the 27th Mount Ontake Volcano underwent an explosive eruption sending rocks into the sky and ash plumes two miles (3.2 km) high, covering buildings, killing at least forty-eight and injuring at least fifty. More than forty were trapped in lodges, while hazardous weather and continous eruptions hampered rescue efforts. Weeks later sixteen were still missing. China: Thousands gathered outside government headquarters in central Hong Kong, protesting as Occupy Central's pro-democracy movement began the launch of a mass disobedience campaign. They would go on to blockade the heart of Hong Kong's financial district. This lead to clashes with police who used tear gas to disperse the crowds that remained there for days. Afghanistan: Taliban fighters took control of a strategic district in the province of Ghazni, killing at least seventy villagers. Africa: Republic of Guinea-Bissau: A vehicle traveling near the town of Mansoa in the north struck a landmine, killing at least twenty-two. North America: US: Numerous thunderstorms brought severe weather and flash flooding to parts of the Southwest. Some brought wind gusts up to 65 mph (105 kph) and frequent lightning strikes, causing property damage. After heavy rains, a bridge that spans the Paria River in Utah collapsed under the flood-eroded ground plunging a car into the river below; the people were rescued. Heavy rain and severe flooding plagued Carbon County, Utah. Torrential rains, powerful lightning and hurricane-force winds swept through Phoenix, Arizona, triggering flooding, knocking down poles and ripping off the roofs of buildings. Once again Ferguson, Missouri plagued by violent protests and clashes with police. Mexico: Deadly clashes erupted between students and security forces during a protest, killing six and injuring seventeen. Forty-three of the students were discovered to be missing and later found dead in a mass grave; twenty-two officers were arreasted in connection with both incidents. South America: Peru: A 4.9-magnitude earthquake struck the southern remote Andean village of Misca in Cusco (09-27; 19:35), causing ninety percent of the homes to collapse, killing at least eight and injuring five. Chile: An avalanche swept San Lorenzo mountain in Patagonia killing two famous extreme skiers. Pacific: East: Tropical Storm Rachel strengthened into a hurricane west of Baja, Mexico. Solar Activity: On the 27th, fast-growing sunspot AR2175 developed a magnetic field that harbored energy for significant solar flares. On the 28th, the magnetic field of sunspot AR2173 erupted, producing an M5-class solar flare that ionized the Earth's atmosphere, interfering with radio transmissions. Four sunspot groups had unstable magnetic fields making them ready to flare.


1st (19h 32m) -- First Quarter MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria: The town of Kobani was still under siege, as airstrikes and shelling hit ISIS targets. The siege sent tens of thousands, mainly Kurds, fleeing across the border into Turkey. Elsewhere, two car bombing killed twenty-two. Libya: Two car bombs exploded amid clashes in Benghazi, killing at least twenty-nine and wounding at least sixty Libyan soldiers. Europe: Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels launched artillery shells that landed near a school in the city of Donetsk, killing at least ten. A minibus was hit elsewhere in Donetsk, killing six. Asia: China: Protesters continued a sit-in in the main financial district in Hong Kong, as maniland China issued a warning against these "illegal acts". Afghanistan: A suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying troops in Kabul, killing at least seven and wounding many. A second attack by a suicide bomber also targeted a bus, injuring two soldiers and two civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks. India: Two passenger trains collided in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, killing at least twelve and injuring forty-five. Africa: Somalia: Troops in the north battled al-Shabab Islamist militants for the Galgala mountains, al-Shabab claimed to have killed twenty soldiers and the troops killed many al-Shabab militants; both claimed victory. North America: US: Damaging thunderstorms, flooding downpours, hail and tornadoes swept across a thousand-mile stretch of the Plains; it would later move into the east. Pacific: Northwest: Typhoon Phanfone strengthened and was on its way to reach super typhoon status as it headed for Japan. Solar Activity: Five sunspots had magnetic fields that harbored energy for moderately strong M-class or X-class solar flares. The Sun's Interplanetary Magnetic Field continued to tip south opening a pathway for triggering auroras and geomagnetic storms.

4th-5th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Syria: ISIS intensified its seige on Kobani, near the border with Turkey. Allied-forces undertook airstrikes over northern Syria, including Kobani, killing at least thirty-five ISIS militants. Syria/Turkey: Refugees fleeing from the fighting in Kobani clashed with Turkish security forces on the border between the two countries. Lebanon/Syria: Fierce clashes broke out in eastern Lebanon between Sunni militants (from al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front) and the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah. Sixteen Nusra and two Hezbollah fighters were killed, as the Nusra Front was repelled. Europe: Ukraine: Heavy fighting broke out between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists who were trying to capture Donetsk airport. Several pro-Russian separatists and two Ukrainian troops were killed; an undisclosed number on both sided were wounded. Russia (Chechnya): A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Chechen capital of Grozny, outside of a concert hall, killing five police officers and wounding at least twelve others. Asia: India: A stampede at a Hindu religious festival in Bihar left at least thirty-two dead and twenty-four injuried, on the 3rd. Japan: Powerful Typhoon Phanfone with winds gust of 135 mph (216 kph) brought heavy rains that knocked out power to thousands, canceled flights, closed schools, brought flooding and damaged property. Three were killed by rough seas and another six elsewhere. Still powerful it headed towards Tokyo. Africa: Mali: A convoy carrying UN peacekeepers was ambushed in the northeast, leaving nine dead. Somalia: Government troops backed by African Union forces took the last coastal stronghold of the al-Shabab Islamist group in Barawe; al-Shabab used Barawe as a base to launch attacks on the capital. Pacific: East: Tropical Storm Simon rapidly intensified into a major hurricane along the coast of Mexico, bringing drenching downpours across Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and western Sonora. This triggered flash flooding and mudslides, and rough surf along the coast. Later it would bring heavy rains to the US Southwest. Northwest: Typhoon Vongfong brought flooding rainfall and damaging winds to the northern Mariana Islands. The next day, it then strengthened and headed for already drenched Tokyo, Japan.

8th (10h 51m) -- Full Moon HIGH

Mideast: Syria: ISIS renewed and intensified its seige on Kobani, and other towns and villages near the border with Turkey. Many civilians were killed as they engaged in fierce fighting with Kurdish forces. At least six air stikes hit ISIS tanks, convoys and strongholds. Yemen: al-Qaeda militants attacked security and government buildings with car bombs in the southern town of Bayda, killing at least nine. Mr Bin Mubarak's nomination for the post of prime minister incited the rebels and set off a series of car bomb explosions the next day (9th), killing at least forty-seven and wounding more than seventy-five. Europe: France: Torrential downpours swept the southern city of Montpellier on the 7th, triggering flash flooding and causing the evacuation of thousands through the 8th. Turkey: Kurdish protesters unhappy at what what looked like Turkish support for ISIS militants attacking the border town of Kobani. Turkish forces were inactive while stationed at the border with Kobani. Riot police used tear gas and water cannon in a number of towns and cities, including Ankara and Istanbul; at least nine were killed. Germany: Protests also unhappy with Turkey's position swept parts of the country. UK, England: A rare tornado blew across the M53 highway in Merseyside. Asia: India: Hundreds of villagers in Kashmir fled their homes as Indian and Pakistani troops continued to fight in some of the worst violence in a decade, killing at least sixteen. Pakistan: A roadside bomb exploded near the Afghan border in the northwestern Ghalingan area of Safi tehsil, killing two and injuring three polio vaccinators. China: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit west of Weiyuan (10-07; 06:49). Africa: Mali: The government asked that the UN send a rapid intervention force to fight Islamist militants in the north of the country. North America: Canada: A train carrying hazardous crude oil derailed as it was travelling from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, causing some of the cars to catch on fire; a nearby town was evacuated. US: Tropical Storm Simon brought heavy rain, thunderstorms and flooding to the Southwest, especially Arizona, and western and central New Mexico. A microburst with 100 mph (161 kph) winds knocked down trees and powerlines, and damaged homes in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Strong storms swept across the Ohio Valley, spawning damaging winds, baseball-sized hail and at least ten tornadoes in Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. Mexico: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit west of El Dorado (10-07; 19:40). Pacific: West: Super Typhoon Vongfong, the strongest tropical cyclone of the year, turned northward across the western Pacific headed for drenched Japan with destructive winds and flooding rain, killing nine. Southwest: A 7.1 magnitude earthquake pushed the Southern East Pacific Rise (10-08; 19:14) and was followed by a 6.6 magnitude quake (10-08; 19:32).

11th-12th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Syria: ISIS miltants again besieged Kobani in a pre-dawn strike, as allied airstrikes damaged a command and control center, struck two groups of fighters and destroyed three trucks and a staging building. Fighting between ISIS militants and Kurdish defenders left dozens dead. At least 553 have been killed since the fighting began in Kobani about a month ago. The militants were beginning to encroach on Baghdad where allied forces began using attack helicoopters. Iraq: Three car bombs exploded in mainly Shia Muslim areas of Baghdad, killing at least fifty-eight. Violence in the north left another fourteen dead. Asia: India: Cyclone Hudhud headed towards the southeast coast forcing the evacuation of more than 350,000 in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Winds were 127 mph (205 kph) and storm surges flooded low-lying areas of Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam. Heavy rains also triggered flooding, landslides, toppled powerlines, and damaged crops and buildings in both states and further inland; at least six were killed. Japan: Powerful Typhoon Vongfong, the strongest storm to hit Japan this year, brought heavy rain and fierce winds to the southern island of Okinawa, injuring at least thirty. The typhoon brought 145 mph (235 kph) winds, huge waves, storm surges, flooding and landslides. It would move on further north bringing more of the same to other parts of Japan. Earlier (see previous phase) Typhoon Phanfone brought widespread damage and killed nine. A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Hachinohe (10-10; 19:35). Indonesia: Sinabung volcano in Sumatra erupted with 2-to-3-mile (3-4.5 km) long lava flows and hot gasses, threatening inhabited areas to the south of Sinabung. Ash falls spread more than 7.5 miles (12 km), causing flight cancelations at Medan airport. North America: US: A severe strom hit the state of Washington and triggered a tornado warning for the first time in 44 years; a waterspout was also observed. Gusty storms swept the southern Plains bringing heavy rain, large hail and damaging winds. In Tennessee gusty storms blew through Centerville destroying several homes. Severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and disruptive rain spread through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. South America: Chile/Argentina: Copahue volcano erupted with at least two moderately strong explosions sending ash 3,280 feet (1,000 m) into the air. Central America: Nicaragua: A strong 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast west of Jiquilillo (10-13; 20:51), damaging homes. It could be felt in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and was followed by an aftershock in Costa Rica. Atlantic: North: A tropical depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Fay and was headed for Bermuda; later it strengthened into a hurricane. Another tropical depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Gonzalo that swept over the Leeward Islands and then headed towards Puerto Rico; torrential rain swept the northern Lesser Antilles as well. Pacific: South: A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck south of Kermadec Islands (10-13; 21:12). Solar Activity: A magnetic filament near the Sun's southwestern limb collapsed sending off a burst of X-rays and a coronal mass ejection. New sunspot AR2187 was active with minor C-class solar flares.

15th (19h 12m) -- Last Quarter HIGH

Mideast: Syria: Allied forces sharply intensified airstrikes against ISIS fighters threatening Kurds in Kobani, on Syria's Turkish border, halting their advances. ISIS miltants began retreating in parts of Kobani and hundreds of militants have been killed since Kobani was besieged. This siege threatened the peace in neighboring Turkey where 15 million Kurds were angry over the government's refusal to help protect Kurds in Syria. Iraq: An ISIS suicide bomber trageted a security checkpoint in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in northern Baghdad, killing at least twenty-four and wounding forty. Yemen: Shia Houthi rebels and suspected Sunni al-Qaeda engaged in heavy fighting in the south. This came a day after the Yemeni Shia Houthi rebels captured the strategically important city of Hodeida on the Red Sea coast. Asia: Nepal: Rather sudden severe rains and snowstorms, triggered by Cyclone Hudhud in neighbouring India, set-off a blizzard and several avalanches in the Himalayas, killing at least thirty-nine; many more were missing. China: Police and pro-democracy protesters engaged in some of the worst clashes since the street demonstrations began; some policemen were suspended for excessive force. A clash took place between construction workers and villagers in the southwest province of Yunnan, leaving at least eight dead and eighteen injuried. The event took place at a construction site of a trade center; residents had been unhappy with the project. Australia: A massive storm battered Sydney and New South Wales with winds of 100 mph (161 kph) and heavy rains of nearly seven inches (170 mm), knocking out power, damaging buildings, and triggering widespread flooding. Africa: Libya: Intense gunfights and airstrikes took place between Islamist militias and their rivals in Benghazi. The offensive, involving the army and forces loyal to ex-general Khalifa Haftar, was meant to drive out the Islamist militias. Sudan: Three peacekeepers serving in the joint United Nations-African Union force in the Darfur region were killed in an attack by a group of unidentified armed men. Democratic Republic of the Congo: Raids by Ugandan ADF-NALU rebels on villages near the eastern town of Beni, killed at least twenty-seven and wounded seven. North America: US: A band of heavy rain with lightning and gusty winds swept across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, triggering flooding in many areas. Atlantic: Northwest: Hurricane Gonzalo strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane with winds of at least 130 mph (209 kph) and headed for Bermuda and Canada threatening lives and property there. Pacific: North Central: Tropical storm Ana was on its way to becoming a hurricane and was headed for Hawaii. Solar Activity: A coronal mass ejection grazed the geomagnetic field as the Earth also passed through a solar sector boundary crossing (a shift in the Sun's Interplanetary Magnetic Field and its plasma), triggering widepsread auroras around the Arctic. A large and active sunspot was hidden behind the Sun's southeastern limb where it unleashed several M-class solar flares and hurled a massive coronal mass ejection into space.

18th-19th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Syria: Allied forces again hit ISIS locations in Kobani with 135 airstrikes for two days straight, causing them to retreat. At the same time the Syrian military increased airstrikes on rebel areas, and would begin to carry out more than 200. Iraq: A suicide bomber attacked a Shia mosque in western Baghdad, killing at least eighteen and wounding many; it was likely an ISIS attack. Asia: China: Police and pro-democracy protesters clashed in Hong Kong around government buildings and the business district of Mong Kok; injuries took place on both sides. Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ugandan ADF-NALU rebels again raided attacking the village of Eringeti, near the eastern town of Beni, killing at least twenty. Again, mostly women and children were killed with guns, machetes and axes. Nigeria: In spite of a truce agreement Boko Haram militants killed people in three villages they raided in the northeast. Asia: Afghanistan: Hundreds of Taliban fighters launched two deadly attacks one in the central province of Ghor, where up to 500 Taliban attacked two villages leaving many dead. Another was in Logar province, in the east, where militants attacked security posts, killing at least four soldiers. North and South Korea: The two countries exchanged gunfire over their heavily fortified borders, after North Korean troops approached the border. North America: US: A blast of frigid air from Canada spread across the Northeast, bringing winter-like temperatures as a 20- to 30-degree dip took place. A widespread outbreak of severe weather swept from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley, spawning tornadoes, and causing widespread power outages, and damaging homes and other structures. Once a tropical storm in the eastern Pacific, Trudy moved into the Gulf of Mexico where heavy rains caused mudslides and flooding in southern Mexico. Trudy appeared to be developing into a tropical storm once again. Central America: Nicaragua: Days of torrential downpours triggered flooding and landslides in the capital of Managua, killing at least twenty-two. Thousands were evacuated into shelters amid fears of catastrophic mudslides. El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala: The same storm system also hit these three countires. Atlantic: Northwest: Hurricane Gonzalo placed a direct hit on Bermuda as a cateogory 2 hurricane with winds of 140 mph (225 kph) and pounding rains, rough surf with 40 foot (12 m) waves, widespread damages, flooding and knocking out 90% of the electricity on the island. Then Gonzalo -- no longer a hurricane -- made a dangerous sweep over Newfoundland from Cape Race to Saint Johns, and farther west, bringing heavy rains, strong winds and very rough seas offshore. Northeast: Canary Islands: Heavy rainfall made ravines into rivers and flooded streets and houses. On the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera two and a half hours of heavy rain left five dead. Pacific: North Central: Tropical storm Ana strengthened into a category 1 hurricane sweeping northwest of Hawaii. Heavy rains still swept the islands triggering flooding and high surf. Solar Activity: Huge sunspot AR2192 blasted out an X1-class solar flare that triggered a pulse of ultraviolet and X-radiation that yeilded a brief but strong high-frequency radio blackout on the daytime side of the Earth.

23rd (21h 57m) -- New Moon MODERATE

Mideast: Syria: Allied forces carried out more airstrikes against ISIS positions near the besieged town of Kobani, destroying fighting positions, a vehicle and an command-and-control center. Since the strikes began in September more than 464 militants have been killed. The fighting between ISIS and the Kurds resumed this day after a brief period of calm. Asia: Pakistan: Gun attacks and a bomb explosion in the city of Quetta killed at least thirteen and wounded at least twenty-nine. All the victims were Shia muslims that were attacked by Sunni militants. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants raided the northeastern state Adamawa and abducted dozens of women and girls from two villages. A bomb exploded at a bus station in a town in the northern state of Bauchi, killing at least five. North America: US: A series of Pacific storms, including the remanants of Ana, swept the coastal Northwest with heavy rains and strong winds, triggering flash flooding and mudslides from northern California to western Oregon and western Washington. Some of the wind gusts reached hurricane force. A rare tornado touched down in Longview, Washington damaging many structures and houses; it was an EF-1 with wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph (138-177 kph). On the other side of the county a slow moving Nor'easter brought strong winds and high surf, and dumped heavy rains on New England, triggering flooding, damaging property and cutting off electricity. Hawaii's Kilauea volcano had an increased lava flow that continued to advance towards Pahoa at the rate of about 1,500 feet (457 m) a day. Canada: The storms impacting the western US also hit British Columbia. Mexico: Tropical Depression 9 swept over the Yucatan Peninsula with torrential downpours and gusty winds, triggering flooding, mudslides and property damage. Solar Activity: Huge sunspot AR2192 continued to produce flares: twenty-seven C-class flares, nine M-class flares, and two X-class flares since the last phase. The strongest was an X1.6-category flare on the 22nd.

26th-27th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: Kurdish forces in the north recaptured the town of Zumar and some surrounding villages from ISIS militants; allied airstrikes aided in the capture. Iraqi security forces repulsed ISIS from Jurf al-Sakhar in the south near Baghdad. The following day, two car bombs exploded in and around Baghdad, killing at least thirty-four. Lebanon: Government forces launched a fierce assault against Sunni militants in Tripoli, leaving five soldiers and two civilians dead; the militants may have been linked to ISIS and al-Qaeda. Syria: Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants and the Nusra Front rebel group attacked the city of Idlib, briefly seizing several official buildings and killing dozens of government soliders. The Nusra Front then took several villages in Idlib province from the Syria Revolutionaries' Front, a moderate opposition group to take down President Bashar al-Assad. Asia: Oman, Pakistan and India: Tropical Cyclone Nilofar developed in the middle of the Arabian Sea and would bring rough surf, heavy rain and life-threatening flooding. Afghanistan: Taliban militants attacked the government compound in Wardoj district in northern Badakhshan province, killing four and adbucting seventeen police. Africa: Nigeria: The Boko Haram militants attacked the central region of Borno State, killing at least seventeen and kidnapping at least thirty young women and men. Australia: Melbourne and Adelaide were battered with heavy rain and severe electrical storms that swept across the south, triggering flooding and power outages. The thunderstorm generated about 80,000 lighting strikes in 24 hours, and then headed for Sydney. North America: US: Kilauea volcano continued to erupt lava forcing dozens of residents in Hawaii to flee their homes in Pahoa on the Big Island. US and Canada: Another storm strengthened by the remnants of Hurricane Ana hit the Northwest, US and British Columbia, Canada with drenching rain, flooding, and tree- and powerline-toppling winds. Pacific: Southwest: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Hihifo, Tonga (10-27; 20:15). Solar Activity: Huge sunspot AR2192 erupted with an X2-class flare, the third day of X-class flares, producing strong high-frequency radio blackouts over the daytime side of the Earth. The Sun's magnetic fields issuing out of that region of sunspot AR2192 spiraled back connecting with the Earth.

31st (2h 48m) -- New Moon MODERATE

Mideast: Syria: Iraqi Kurd Peshmerga fighters joined in helping Syrian Kurds defend the battle against ISIS in Kobani; allied airstrikes also aided. Iraq: ISIS fighters killed fifty Iraqis from the Al Bu Nimr tribe (a Sunni tribe), a day after killing forty-eight of them. Asia: Sri Lanka: Heavy rain triggered a landslide that buried more than one hundred people. Evacuations of hundreds from nearby villages took place amid fears of more landslides. India: Gujarat state's coastal Kutch district braced for Cyclone Nilofar, evacuating tens of thousands as the powerful cyclone headed for the western coast with hurricane-force winds, heavy rains and rough surf. Pakistan: Cyclone Nilofar would also pass near Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, where they evacuated villages along the coast and closed beachside restaurants. Africa: Nigeria: A bomb exploded in a bus at a major bus station in Gombe state during rush hour, killing at least four, injuring at least thirty-two and destroying thirteen vehicles. North America: US: Heavy rains triggered mudslides in Camarillo Springs, California, burrying homes. South America: Argentina: Torrential rains and strong winds swept the country, triggering widespread, severe flooding, damaging homes, knocking out power and forcing evacuations. Central America: Costa Rica: Turrialba volcano erupted with fiery explosions and ash that spread far and wide, and sending residents into shelters as the government issued an emergency warning. Pacific: Northeast: Tropical Storm Vance developed and would continue to strengthen as it headed for Mexico. Southwest: A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit northeast of Ndoi Island, Fiji (11-01; 10:57). Southeast: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Easter Island region (11-01; 02:59). Solar Activity: Earth swept past a solar sector boundary crossing, triggering polar geomagnetic storms and auroras. About nine small sunspots peppered the Sun's surface.


mid-2nd-mid-4th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: ISIS militants again executed more than fifty Iraqis from the Al Bu Nimr tribe, which took place in the village of Ras al-Maa. To date, they had killed between three and four hundred members of the tribe. In separate attacks around Baghdad at least nineteen were killed. Syria: Allied force fighter and bomber aircraft again undertook airstrikes in the Kobani area, five of which hit small ISIS units. Two strikes southeast of Dayr Az Zawr destroyed an ISIS tank and vehicle garages. The moderate Free Syrian Army was routed from their main strongholds in the northern province of Idlib by fighters linked to al-Qaeda, who also captured weaponry and triggered widespread defections. Syrian government forces dropped barrel bombs that caused massacres in and around Aleppo. Saudi Arabia: Masked gunmen killed at least five in the town of Dalwah, a Shia Muslim area. In response, the following day two suspected militants and two Saudi policemen were killed in Buraida, north of Riyadh. Europe: Turkey: A boat carrying migrants sunk in Bosphorus in windy seas, killing at least twenty-four; more than a dozen were missing. Asia: Pakistan: A suicide bomb exploded near the Wagah border crossing into India, near Lahore, killing at least fifty and injuring more than one hundred; the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. Africa: Mali: An improvised device exploded at a checkpoint near Almoustrate, killing two and wounding four Mali soldiers. Libya: Fierce fighting took place in Benghazi, where the army sought to retake the port area from Islamist militias. Islamist militias hit an oil tanker with a rocket-propelled grenade, causing it to catch fire, while a navy ship was also hit. Nigeria: A suicide bomber detonated himself while marching in a religious ceremony in the northeast town of Potiskum, killing fifteen Shia worshippers. Security forces then moved in, opened fire and killed another five. North America: US: A chilling Nor'easter blasted New England bringing temperatures down into the 10s and 20s, and wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph (60-85 kph). The powerful storm brought over a foot (305 mm) of snow to parts of the southern Appalachians and New England, bringing down powerlines and causing power outages. Pacific: East: Tropical storm Vance continued to strengthen into a hurricane and turned northeast back toward western Mexico, eventually affecting the states of southern Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Jalisco. It would bring flooding rain, mudslides, damaging wind gusts and pounding surf. Northwest: Tropical storm Nuri strengthened into a super typhoon headed for Japan. Indian Ocean: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook the Mid-Indian Ridge (11-03; 00:48). Solar Activity: The solar wind swept the Earth's magnetic field, triggering auroras and polar geomagnetic storms around the Arctic. A solar flare exploded on the 1st without any nearby sunspots; usually solar flares come from sunspots. The next day a C9-class flare and coronal mass ejection erupted, and this was followed by a flash of extreme UV radiation behind the Sun's northeastern limb on the 3rd, which might possibly be an X-ray class flare. Sunspot AR2205 erupted with at least four M-class flares and a coronal mass ejection.

6th (22h 23m) -- Full Moon LOW

Mideast: Syria: US aircraft carried out airstrikes against the al-Qaeda-linked Khorasan group in the northwest hitting five targets, including several vehicles and buildings. Europe: Belgium: A largely peaceful march by about 100,000 workers turned violent as anti-austerity protesters in central Brussels clashed with police who used tear gas and water cannons; at least fourteen were injuried. The protesters set several vehicles on fire, and threw stones and smoke bombs at police. Italy: Two waterspouts appeared simultaneously off the coast of Liguria. Asia: China: In Hong Kong, student protesters gathered on a sidewalk near the Mong Kok protest site and clashed with officers trying to push them back. They again protested Beijing's involvement in the election process; several were arrested. Africa: Nigeria: Eighteen men, accused of being members of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, were arrested by soldiers, hours afterwhich they were found dead with gunshot and knife wounds in the town of Potiskum. A bomb exploded near a cash machine in Azare, Bauchi state, killing at least ten; Boko Haram was believed to be responsible. North America: US: Heavy rain with snow slammed into northern New England, as a cold wave plummeted temperatures into the 20s and 30s. Pacific: Former Super Typhoon Nuri strengthened and headed for the Bering Sea were it would target Alaska, becoming one of the most intense storms to ever impact the region with large waves, a huge strom surge, near-record low-pressure and hurricane-force winds. Southeast: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit northeast of Finschhafen, Papua New Guinea (11-06; 19:33). Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2205 erupted with M-class solar flares that sent multiple coronal mass ejections into space. On the 7th sunspot AR2205 erupted with an X-class flare that triggered a strong high-frequency radio blackout on the daytime side of the Earth. It had a magnetic field that would trigger further flares and coronal mass ejections in the days that followed as it rotated to face Earth.

mid-9th-mid-11th -- Mid-Phase LOW

Mideast: Iraq: Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces seized large parts of Baiji - home to Iraq's biggest oil refinery - from ISIS. Meanwhile, the US deployed another 1,500 troops to Iraq to act a advisers and trainers. Yemen: Fighting took place between Shi'ite Muslim Houthi fighters seeking to expand their control and Sunni tribes allied with al Qaeda, leaving at least thirty-three dead. Europe: Ukraine: Shelling took place around the city of Donetsk and was followed by an intense artillery bombardment. In addition, there was a build-up of separatist reinforcements in the east consisting of convoys of heavy weapons, tanks and rebel fighters. Poland: Hundreds of masked men broke away from a march marking National Independence Day in Warsaw, and started to throw stones and flares at the police who used water cannons to disperse them. Asia: Afghanistan: A suicide bomber infiltrated the office of the Kabul police chief, and killed a senior officer and wounded six others. The next day another suicide bomber attacked a police headquarters in Logar province, killing at least seven policemen. In addition, a remote-controlled bomb went off near Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, killing another three policemen. These bombing were the work of the Taliban, while it is unknown who initiated the Kabul bombing. China: Once again, hundreds of pro-democracy protesters marched, this time to the office of China's top representative in Hong Kong, where they were confronted by police and government supporters. Africa: Nigeria: A suicide bomber, dressed as a student, exploded a device at a boys' school assembly in the town of Potiskum, in Yobe state, killing at least forty-six; it was believed to be the work of the militant group Boko Haram. South Sudan: Just days after their leaders agreed to unconditionally end fighting, clashes broke out between government and rebel forces in Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity states; each blamed the other for breaking the truce. North America: Mexico: Protests over the suspected murder of forty-three students swept the streets of Mexico City, where protesters attacked the National Palace, setting fire to the main entrance and painting graffiti on the walls. The students had been missing six weeks ago and there were indications that the police were involved. The following day they blocked entry into the Acapulco airport. US and Canada: A Polar Vortex swept in from the north with a 20- to 40-degree drop in high temperatures, bringing winter-like conditions to Canada and forty-two US states. The cold then moved to the East plunging temperatures into the 20s and 30s. US: Heavy snowfall swept across the northern Plains and upper Great Lakes, triggering at least 475 accidents, and over 700 vehicles spun out of control and off roadways in Minnesota alone; three were killed. Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan also were plagued with dangerous conditions. Pacific: Southeast: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit southwest of Ile Hunter, New Caledonia (11-10; 02:04). North: A powerful storm, triggered by the remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri, swept into the Bering Sea, between Russia and Alaska, and became the most intense storm to ever impact the region. It produced record low-pressure, waves as large as 45 feet (13.7 m) high and hurricane-force winds. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2205 had an unstable magnetic field that could trigger strong flares as it faced Earth. On the 10th, a weak coronal mass ejection triggered a geomagnetic storm and auroras around the poles.

14th (15h 15m) -- Last Quarter LOW

Mideast: Iraq: Iraqi forces engaged in heavy fighting that drove out ISIS fighters from the oil refinery town of Baiji, north of Baghdad. Iraqi war planes targeted the fleeing ISIS fighters near the refinery; casualties were unknown. Syria: Allied warplanes struck for a third time an Al Qaeda-linked extremist Khorasan group in Kobani. A drone aircraft also launched two rockets into the town of Harem, destroying farmland and killing more than twenty. Europe: Mediterranean: Gunmen attacked an Egyptian navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea, off the northern port of Damietta, leaving five servicemen injured and eight more missing at sea. UK: Three lanes of the M25 highway in Surrey collapsed after concrete repairs failed to set in heavy rain, causing a major traffic jam. Asia: A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Kota Ternate, Indonesia (11-14; 18:31). Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants attacked and took control of the town of Chibok, in Borno state, forcing the residents to flee. A Boko Haram suicide bomber also attacked a gas station in the northern city of Kano, killing at least six. North America: US: Temperatures continued to be 30-50 degrees below normal from Wyoming and Colorado all the way southward to Texas. Central America: Guatemala: Santiaguito volcano erupted with an ash plume that rose 1,640 feet (500 m) into the air, as lava flowed to the southeast about two miles (3.3 km). Fuego volcano's activity increased ejecting ash plumes up to 3,280 feet (1,000 m) into the air, and sending shock waves that rattled windows and roofs of houses in villages up to 12.5 miles (20 km) away. Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2192 returned from its two-week trip around the farside of the Sun with a fairly good potential for flares.

17th-18th -- Mid-Phase LOW

Mideast: Syria and Iraq: Allied war planes and drones continued to strike at ISIS troops and facilities. Iraq: Iraqi security forces reached the Baiji oil refinery after driving out ISIS fighters from the area. Iraqi war planes then targeted fleeing ISIS fighters. Israel: Two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in West Jerusalem, killing four Rabbis and seriously wounding seven others; the Palestinians were shot dead by police. Europe: Italy and Switzerland: Heavy rainfall flooded roads and triggered landslides that crushed houses, killing four. Farmlands were waterlogged and severely damaged, while damages in Italy alone mounted to $150 million, as roadways were washed away. Hungary: Ten thousand took to the streets of Budapest to rally against the government in a protest dubbed "public outrage day"; similar protests occurred in at least twenty other Hungarian cities. UK and Germany: Similar "public outrage day" protests took place in London, Berlin and Stockholm. Asia: India: Thousands of supporters of a Hindu guru clashed with police outside his ashram in the northern state of Haryana. They threw stones and fired at the police, who fired tear gas and used bulldozers to try to break into the ashram. Myanmar: A mortar shell killed more than twenty rebel soldiers Africa: Ivory Coast: Soldiers blocked roads in the cities of Abidjan and Bouake to demand unpaid wages. The protest stopped traffic, and forced shops and banks to close. Kenya: Rampaging youths - linked with Somalian Islamist militants - in the city of Mombasa attacked two mosques, killing at least three. The police raid killed one and arrested more than 200. Then masked youths armed with machetes, in response to the police action, attacked people waiting at bus stops in the Kisauni area of the city, wounding several. New Zealand: A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Gisborne, New Zealand (11-16; 14:33). North America: US: Another Arctic blast of frigid air swept the nation from the Great Lakes down to southern Texas and the Florida panhandle, and from the Rockies to the East Coast. Lake-effect snow fell south of the Great Lakes, and in northwest Pennsylvania, northeast Ohio and parts of western New York. In Buffalo, New York the lake-effect snow brought 5.5 feet (168 cm) of snow, collapsing roofs; with feet more in the days that followed. Elsewhere, snow covered the Plains states -- some in near blizzard conditions -- and temperatures plummeted below twenty-degrees at night in the far south, as record low temperatures swept the nation. In some states schools were closed and roadways became filled with crashed and stalled vehicles. The New York Thurway was closed for days littered with more than one hundred abandoned vehilces. Thirteen lives were lost in upstate New York alone. Pacific: South: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Gizo, Solomon Islands (11-16; 17:06). Indian Ocean: South: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Prince Edward Islands region (11-17; 08:52). Solar Activity: Sunspot AR2192 produced a series of increasingly intense M-class flares, culminating in this M5-flare, on the 16th. It caused an approximately ten-minute high-frequency radio blackout on the daytime side of Earth and triggered circum-polar auroras.

22nd (12h 32m) -- New Moon MODERATE

Mideast: Iraq: Iraqi forces faught ISIS in the eastern suburbs of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, retaking parts of the city. Twenty-five bodies of the Al-Bu Fahd tribe, killed by ISIS, were discovered there. Asia: Japan: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Omachi (11-22; 05:08). Indonesia: A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Tobelo (11-21; 02:10). Halmahera's Dukono volcano underwent a series of strong explosions and sent an ash plume 8,000 ft (2,400 m) into the air and extended ninety miles (150 km) to the west. China: A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck north of Kangding (11-22 00:55); according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). Africa: Kenya: Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab attacked a bus with guns killing twenty-eight non-Muslims in a attempt to "start a religious war." The following day Kenya military killed more than one hundred al-Shabab militants linked to a deadly attack. Democratic Republic of Congo: Men in uniforms posing as soldiers wielding machete and axes attacked people in the town of Beni, killing at least fifty. North America: US: A flood warning was in effect for the counties of Erie, New York, including the city of Buffalo, Genessee, Wyoming, Chatauqua and Cattaraugus. Severe weather including tornadoes, hail, torrential rains and damaging winds spread from southern Texas to southern Louisana; the following day it would move as far as Georgia. Mexico: Thousands of people took to the streets to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto's handling of the disappearance of forty-three students; protesters armed with molotov cocktails and firecrackers pushed away police in riot gear. Solar Activity: Sunspots AR2209 and AR2216 had magnetic fields that posed a threat for X-class solar flares.

25th-26th -- Mid-Phase MODERATE

Mideast: Syria: Government warplanes trageted an industrial area in the ISIS-held northern city of Raqqa, killing ninety-five (at least fifty-two were civilians) and wounding dozens. Egypt: An eighty-storey building in the western suburb of Matariya, in Cairo, collapsed in a matter of seconds, killing at least seventeen; fifteen were still trapped in the rubble. Isreal/Palestine: Heavy rains began that would eventually lead to flooding (see next lunar phase). Asia: China: Pro-democracy protesters and police engaged in violent clashes in Hong Kong; more than eighty protesters were arrested. An underground fire at a mine in the north-eastern Liaoning province, left twenty-four miners dead and fifty-four injuried. Pakistan: Two gunmen on a motorcycle killed four polio vaccination workers and wounded three in the city of Quetta. Indonesia: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Kota Ternate (11-26; 06:33). Japan: Aso volcano's activity increased with erupting magma and strong ash plumes sent 8,000 feet (2,400 m) into the air with some reaching Namino village seven miles (11 km) away. Africa: Nigeria: Two suicide bombers targeted a crowded market in Maiduguri city, killing at least more than one hundred; the militant Islamist group Boko Haram was suspected to be responsible. Gunfire and explosions rocked the town of Damasak, sending hundreds fleeing as the town was attacked by Boko Haram militants disguised as traders. Morocco: Heavy rains triggered flooding in the south, killing at least thirty-six; six others were missing. About one hundred homes were destroyed and roads were cut off, including six highways. Kenya: Hundreds fled to a military airstrip in the Mandera region fearing that Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants would launch a new assault; during the previous lunar phase they had killed 28 on a bus. Cameroon: The nation's military freed sixteen hostages, including a Polish priest, captured months ago by rebels from the Central African Republic. Sudan: Days of fighting between rival groups of an Arab tribe in Sudan's West Kordofan state left more than one hundred dead. North America: US: A policeman who killed an unarmed teenager months ago was cleared of charges setting off riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Vehicles and buildings were set on fire and stores looted; 2,200 National Guard were deployed. The unrest spread to other cities around the nation and at the American Embassy in London, England. Another nor'easter brought heavy snow and ice from northern Virginia to New England causing more than 700 cancelled flights, thousands of delays and making roadways hazardous. Downpours and thunderstorms also produced travel delays in the southeast. Atlantic: Central: In the Republic of Cabo Verde, the Fogo volcano's northern lava flow began to enter the village of Portela destroying and damaging several buildings, and there was a risk of the village being cut off as it headed towards the only main road. Solar Activity: A high-speed solar wind stream headed for Earth, triggering circum-polar auroras and a geomagnetic storm.

29th (10h 06m) -- First Quarter HIGH

Mideast: Egypt: About 2,000 gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest the dropped charges against ex-President Hosni Mubarak who was earlier convicted of killing revolutionaries and sentenced to life in jail. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters; one was killed. A day earlier clashes between Salafi Islamist protestors -- who opposed the army's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 -- and police in Cairo, left two dead. Syria: Fighting intensified in the besieged town of Kobani, as ISIS militants launched at least four suicide attacks. Allied forces hit ISIS with airstrikes. At least twenty-five were killed, who where mostly ISIS forces. Israel/Palestine: Heavy rains that began in the previous lunar phase led to widespread flooding and damages, and forced evacuations. Europe: France: Torrential rains triggered flash flooding in the French Riviera, damaging homes and killing at least one; at least three were missing and many were evacuated. Asia: China: Violence brokeout in the region of Xinjiang when a group of "terrorists" attacked civilians in Shache county, killing at least fifteen and injuring fourteen. Australia: A severe storm swept across southeast Queensland striking the city of Brisbane, and producing hailstones the size of golf balls, triggering widespread damages. Winds gusts reached hurricane force (85 mph/140kph) bringing down trees and power lines with 90,000 homes without power and trains stalled. It was Brisbane's worst storm in thirty years. North America: US: More frigid air and bone-chilling winds swept across the Northwest, northern Rockies, North Plains and the Midwest. Solar Activity: The solar wind burst from a coronal hole and would reach Earth in a few days. Sunspots AR2217, AR2219 and AR2222 posed a threat for M-class solar flares.


2nd-3rd -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Iraq/Iran: Iran began to take part in airstrikes against ISIS in eastern Iraqi province of Diyala. Yemen: An al-Qaeda car bomb targeted the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sanaa, killing at least two and wounding seventeen. Lebanon: An ambush by gunmen near the border with Syria left at least six Lebanese soldiers dead; they had been battling militants loyal to ISIS and the al-Nusra Front along the border. Europe: Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels attacked Ukrainian forces by shelling the Donetsk airport, despite a ceasefire deal earlier in the day. Western Mediterranean and France: Severe storms battered the western Mediterranean, with damaging winds and torrential rains, triggering severe flooding in France, where five were killed and thousands were evacuated from their homes. Russia, Chechnya: Islamic militant gunmen shot their way into the heavily fortified capital, Grozny, firing on a traffic police checkpoint, a media building and a school, killing nineteen. Asia: Philippines: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Sangay (12-01; 21:11). Africa: Nigeria: The Boko Haram militants again attacked Maiduguri with suicide bombers, killing five, and also undertook a raid on a police station in Damaturu. An indefinite 24-hour curfew was imposed in the city of Damaturu. Kenya: al-Shabab militants killed thirty-six quarry workers who were asleep in tents at the quarry in Kormey, near the town of Mandera; all non-muslims were shot. Somalia: A suicide car bomber targeted a United Nations convoy in Mogadishu, killing at least three and wounding seven. A second blast targeted African Union troops. North America: Mexico: Again protesters took to the streets in support of forty-three students who went missing in September, and then clashed with police following this mostly peaceful rally. US: Drenching rain fell on much of California, bringing some relief to the ongoing drought, but also triggered flash flooding, property damage, and multiple rockslides and mudslides that forced the closing of roads. A police officer who put a man in a chokehold was cleared of all charges setting off huge demonstrations in many major cities across the nation. Atlantic: West Central: Thirty-four inmates escaped from a prison in the Haitian city of Saint Marc. Pacific: Western: Typhoon Hagupit strengthened with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (170 kph) and ideal conditions that would bring it to super typhoon intensity as it headed for the Philippines. Solar Activity: The solar wind flowed from a coronal hole and it would reach Earth in the following days.

6th (12h 27m) -- Full Moon HIGH

Europe: Greece: At least 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Athens, marking the six-year anniversary of police shoting dead an unarmed teenager. Clashes broke out with police as protesters attacked shops, banks and bus stops, and hurled gasoline bombs at riot police who used tear gas and a water cannon to disperse protesters; violence also took place in Thessaloniki. Mediterranean: Migrants attempted to cross the Mediterranean in a small inflatable boat causing sixteen to die of hypothermia or dehydration. UK: Snow, ice, hail and strong winds hit Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland and England, closing roads and stalling vehicles. Asia: Philippines: Typhoon Hagupit swept across the eastern part of the islands, damaging or destroying buildings, knocking down powerlines, triggering floods, and the powerful storm surge forced more than half a million to flee coastal villages. The typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 109 mph (175 kph) and gusts of 130 mph (210 kph) when it made landfall. It would continue over the islands for the following two days wrecking more havoc, and eventually kill at least twenty-nine. Pakistan: Pakistan's military undertook a raid in the Shinwarsak region of South Waziristan, killing three Al-Qaeda militants. One of them was Al-Qaeda chief Adnan el Shukrijumah who was accused of planning to bomb trains in New York and London. Africa: Somalia: Two suicide bombers exploded outside of a restaurant in the town of Baidoa in the south, killing at least seven and wounding more than twenty. Australia: Eastern New South Wales was battered with thunderstorms, heavy rains, flooding and strong winds that knocked out power and damaged buildings. North America: US: More storms swept northern California causing more flooding and mudslides in an already ravaged area. Atlantic: Cape Verde's (aka, Republic of Cabo Verde) Fogo volcano intensified eruption destroyed most of Portela, consuming houses and a sports center and headed for Bangaeira village. While evacuations were ordered the main road was covered with lava making it difficult. Pacific: Southwest: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit southwest of Panguna, Papua New Guinea (12-06; 17:22). Solar Activity: Earth passed through a stream of solar wind, causing geomagnetic storms and suroras around the poles.

9th-10th -- Mid-Phase HIGH

Mideast: Bahrain: A "terrorist" set off an explosion southwest of Manama, in the predominantly Shia village of Karzakan, killing two and wounding one; Hezbollah was blamed. Syria: Three journalists covering the conflict in the country were killed by a missle after they had driven past government forces in the village of Qarfa. Europe: Italy: Recent reforms to the nation's labor laws sent people out into the streets in protest where they clashed with police. Turkey: Gunfire erupted in the town of Ceylanpinar on the border with Syria, killing three Turkish soldiers. UK and northern Europe: A "weather bomb" hit Scotland, northern Ireland, northern Wales and northern England with severe gales, huge waves and flooding that disrupted travel services, and closed schools and libraries. The damaging winds would spread into areas from northern France to Germany and southern Scandinavia. Russia, Chechnya: Masked men targeted Islamic militant homes in the village of Yandi, days after the militant gunmen launched a night-time attack in Grozny that killed nineteen (see the first lunar phase of December). In response, an order came from the Chechen leader who called for the punishment of the relatives of the Islamist militants, which ended up killing fourteen policemen and at least nine militants; several homes were burnt to the ground. Asia: Philippines: Typhoon Hagupit weakened into a tropical storm but continued into Manila where it would bring heavy rains, strong winds, flooding, landslides and coastal storm surges; thousands were evacuated from the coast and riverbanks. Taiwan: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit northeast of Keelung (12-10; 13:03). Africa: Nigeria: Two suicide bombers attacked an area near a market in Kano, killing four and wounding seven; Boko Haram militants were the suspected attackers. Australia: Eastern New South Wales continued to be battered with thunderstorms, heavy rains, flooding and strong winds that knocked out power and damaged buildings. North America: US and Canada: A strong, slow moving storm brought heavy, wet snow, ice and cold air into New England, and areas around and in Montreal, knocking out power to thousands and wrecking havoc on roadways. This storm was then met with a moisture surge from the east changing the snow into heavy rain in some areas which pushed northward through New England and into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. US: The strongest storm in a decade brought damaging winds and drenching rain to hard-hit drought areas in California, triggering flooding, mudslides, rock slides, downed powerlines and trees, and damaged buildings. In some areas the winds were as strong as 120 to 140 mph (193-225 kph). Heavy rain and hurricane-force winds brought powerful storm surges that eroded coastal areas and destroyed homes in parts of Washington state. Protests over the killing of a man by a cop's strange-hold and an unarmed teen shooting death by a cop - both cleared of charges - continued across the nation. In Oakland and Berkeley, Califronia the protests even blocked major freeways during rush hour. South America: Brazil: Heavy rains hit Sao Paulo triggering widespread flooding that washed away cars, and stranded and submerged others as roads turned into rivers; buildings were damaged or destroyed. Central America: Panama: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit southeast of Punta de Burica (12-08; 00:54). Costa Rica: Turrialba volcano erupted sending ash falls 12.5 miles (20 km) away. Nicaragua: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Managua to protest against a canal project that will link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The protesters land would be taken away for the project. Solar Activity: Earth was inside a stream of solar wind flowing from a coronal hole. Sunspot AR2230 was growing rapidly, and had an unstable magnetic field that could trigger M-class solar flares.

14th (12h 51m) -- Last Quarter MAXIMUM

Mideast: Syria: Syrian forces pushed closer to a hill controlling a vital rebel supply line in Aleppo, killing twenty-one rebels. Rebels made gains in the province of Idlib, killing fifteen soldiers. Yemen: Al-Qaeda militants, disguised as fully veiled women, opened fire on a soldier checking their vehicle, and were shot dead by Yemeni soldiers on the 13th; five militants were killed. Europe: Russia, Chechnya: Rebels attacked and set on fire the office of a human rights group in Grozny. Asia: Afghanistan: The Taliban attacked a landmine-clearing team in Helmand province, killing at least twelve. A suicide bomber attack of a bus in Kabul, killing seven soldiers, was also the work of the Taliban. Indonesia: Days of heavy rain triggered a landslide near Jemblung village, Banjarnegara province in Java, killing seventeen; scores were still missing. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants stormed Gumsuri village, killing at least thirty-three and kidnapping about two-hundred. North America: US: Severe weather moved into the Plains and Texas bringing torrential downpours, powerful thunderstorms and damaging winds. Oklahoma was hit with thunderstorms, golf-ball sized hail and a tornado. Kansas was also swept by thunderstorms and a tornado. Another storm was moving towards battered California that would bring more flooding and lanslides. South America: Ecuador: Days of heavy rain triggered a landslide in Coca Codo, killing at least thirteen and injuring more than a dozen. Australia: A lone gunman took more than a dozen people hostage for more than sixteen hours in Sydney cafe, afterwhich commanos stormed the cafe; two hostages and the gunman were killed. Pacific: North: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano sprewed lava that moved towards a highway in the Puna district of Big Island. Solar Activity: The Earth was passing in and out of a series of high-speed solar wind streams, triggering geomagnetic storms and aurora. Sunspots AR2230 and AR2234 had magnetic fields that could trigger M-class solar flares.

17th-18th -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Yemen: Two car bomb attacks in the Radaa area by Sunni jihadist militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, killed twenty-five, late on the 16th. Iraq: Kurdish forces stopped the ISIS advance across the northern Nineveh province in its siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis and other Iraqis had been trapped. At the same time allied forces undertook forty-five airstrikes in the area. Europe: UK and Northern Europe: A series of fast-moving storms swept from Ireland and the United Kingdom through northern Europe, including the Netherlands, France, Poland, Belgium and Germany, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. UK and Russia: Plunging oil prices sent UK's oil industry close to collapse and Russia's currency into a freefall deeply affecting the economy. Russia: Shiveluch volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula underwent a large explosion sending an ash plume 33,000 feet (10 km) into the air. Asia: Afghanistan: Taliban militants attacked a bank in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, at a time when government officials were collecting their salaries, killing eleven and wounding fifteen. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the entrance and two gunman then entered who were eventually killed by security guards. Pakistan: A school in the city of Peshawar was stormed by Taliban gunmen who then killed one-hundred-forty-eight, most of which were children, late on the 16th. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for Pakistani forces killing their families. Japan: Tokachidake volcano, in Hokkaido, became more active prompting authorities to raise the alert level of the volcano. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram militants attacked the border town of Amchide, raiding the market area, and setting fire to shops and more than fifty houses. Cameroon: About 5,000 Boko Haram insurgents launched simultaneous attacks on border towns in Cameroon, using roadside improvised explosive devices and also attacked main border barracks; troops repelled the attacks and killed 116 militants. Somalia: Somalian coastguards seized more than fifty-one Yemeni boats and an Egyptian ship for fishing illegally in its waters and arrested more than 250 fishermen. The coastal waters had been over fished, depleting fishing stocks, and effectively ending the livelihoods of many people; some had become pirates. Central African Republic: Clashes broke out between Muslim and Christian fighters in the town of Mbres, leaving at least twenty-eight dead and seventy homes burned to the ground. North America: Mexico: Rival vigilante groups clashed in Michoacan state, in the town of La Ruana, killing at least eleven. The clashes were triggered by an historic rivalry between their leaders. The following day, hundreds of federal security forces were on patrol in the town. US: Ice jams along the Wolf River in Keshena, Wiscosin, triggered flooding, forcing the closing of highways. Kansas City was blanketed with snow that closed major highways as crashes abounded. Pacific: North: A train of storms was headed to the Pacific Northwest where it would produce very heavy rains that triggered flooding from overflowing rivers, and would also bring heavy snowfall to the Cascade Mountains. Solar Activity: Active sunspot AR2242 erupted with an M9-class solar flare, triggering a high-frequency radio wave blackout on the daytime side of the Earth and a huge coronal mass ejection exploded into space; on the 17th. The sunspot continued to grow and had an unstable magnetic field that would explode again. The following day, big sunspot AR2241 exploded with a strong M6-class solar flare that ionized the upper atmosphere and briefly blacked out high-frequency radio communications over the Pacific Ocean. It also sent a strong coronoal mass ejection into space that would affect Earth.

21st Solstice, and 22nd (1h 36m) -- New Moon MAXIMUM

Mideast: Iraq: Kurdish forces took over a large part of Peshmerga and nearby Mount Sinjar backed by thirteen allied airstrikes in the region against ISIS, who controlled the area since August. Europe: Northern Europe: A series of storms brought heavy rain, strong winds (40-50 mph; 65-80 kph) and snow at higher elevations affecting UK, Ireland, and from Germany and southern Scandinavia into Belarus and western Ukraine. Asia: Indonesia: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Tobelo (12-21; 03:34). Africa: Nigeria: A bomb exploded at a bus station in Gombe, killing at least twenty and injuring at least twenty-one. Another six were killed in an explosion at a market in Bauchi. Boko Haram miltants were responsible for the blasts and were taking their campain into neighboring countries. Cameroon: Cameroon's army broke up a Boko Haram training camp in the Mayo-Danay district in the country's Far North region, capturing forty-five trainers and 84 children between the ages of seven and fifteen who were undergoing training. North America: US: A series of storms swept the Northwest triggering flooding in parts of Washington state, Oregon and northern California. Wind gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph) swept southern California, toppling trees and causing scattered power outages. Severe weather also swept the southeast from Mississippi to Florida, overturning vehicles, knocking out power to thousands, damaging several homes and businesses, flooding areas and killing at least four. A tornado touched down in Amite, Louisiana, causing damages. South America: Colombia: Farc rebels agreed to a unilateral ceasefire, but hours ahead of the ceasefire killed five soldiers in an ambush. Pacific: Northwest: Daikoku volcano, an underwater volcano near the Mariana Islands, erupted with very strong plumes, as new craters were formed. Solar Activity: Big sunspot AR2242 exploded with an intense X1.8-class solar flare and ejected a coronal mass ejection into space, on the 20th. It ionized the upper atmosphere and blacked out high-frequency radio communications over Australia and the South Pacific. The following day, a coronal mass ejection (CME) impacted the Earth's magnetic field, triggering polar geomagnetic storms and auroras; the CME was from a previous flare of sunspot AR2241.

25th-26th -- Mid-Phase MAXIMUM

Mideast: Libya: The Libya Dawn movement, based in western Libya, attacked a power plant in the city of Sirte, killing at least nineteen. Elsewhere, an oil tank at the largest oil export terminal in Sidra caught fire when it was hit by a rocket during fighting. Syria: Syrian planes and helicopters dropped barrel bombs on ISIS-held areas in the northeast, killing at least forty. Europe: Sweden: An arsonist set fire to a mosque in the town of Eskilstuna when fifteen to twenty were inside praying, injuring at least five. UK and central Europe: Severe weather consisting of rain, strong wind gusts, sleet and snow swept east across parts of Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and then moved into the Netherlands and Belgium through to the Alps. Flights were canceled or delayed and roads were described as "treacherous". Asia: India: Separatist rebels attacked remote villages in Assam state, killing at least sixty-two and injuring dozens, on the 24th. Malaysia and Indonesia: Record-breaking rainfall – the heaviest in 40 years - forced about 100,000 residents to evacuate their homes, amid widespread flooding. At least five were killed. Africa: Somalia: Al-Shabab militants, disguised as Somali government troops, attacked the African Union headquarters in Mogadishu, killing three Amisom peacekeepers and a civilian contractor. Five of the militants were killed and several others were captured. North America: US: Severe storms swept the south with heavy rain, hail and lightning, knocking out power to thousands, damaging houses and knocking down trees. In Mississippi a tornado ripped through Columbia destroying houses, flipping vehicles and killing at least four. Pacific: North Central: Hawaii's Big Island was hit by a rare blizzard that blanketed two island mountain tops, the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

28th (18h 31m) -- First Quarter MAXIMUM

Mideast: Libya: Libya's air force undertook airstrikes in the city of Misrata in an attempt force out militants stationed there. The militants had been attacking the oil ports of Sidra and Ras Lanuf. Europe: France: Heavy snow and ice buried the French Alps stranding about 15,000 tourists at ski resorts and hundreds at an airport in Chambery. Italy: An Italian ferry in choppy seas and strong winds, and was carrying 478 people when it caught on fire northwest of Corfu; thirteen were killed. The weather condtions and visibility hampered rescue efforts. UK: Sub-zero temperatures swept the country, with the worst in rural Wales, southwest England and the Highlands. Southern Europe: Heavy snowfall and strong gusty winds swept parts of Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, and other parts of southern Europe, triggering hazardous conditions. Asia: Indonesia: An AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore disappeared along its flight path amid heavy thunderstorms that produced severe turbulence, strong wind shear, frequent lightning and icing. There were 162 people on board and continued severe weather hampered rescue efforts. Phillipines: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck southeast of Cagayancillo (12-29; 01:29). North America: US: A strong blast of Arctic air headed for West and North Central parts of the country that would bring snow, rain and a frost or freeze to portions of California, Nevada and the Four Corners region. Pacific: South: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted producing a new shallow submarine volcano off Tongatapu island in the Tonga archipelago. Solar Activity: Sunspots AR2248 and AR2249 had unstable magnetic fields that could produce moderately strong flares. A solar wind stream triggered geomagnetic storms around the poles.

31st-January 1st 2015 -- Midphase HIGH

Mideast: Yemen: A suicide bomber targeted a cultural center where Houthi rebels were gathered for a religious celebration, killing at least thirty-three; it was unknown what group was responsible. Iraq: Iraqi forces and Shia militia recaptured the town of Dhuluiya, north of Baghdad, from ISIS militants late on the 30th; nearly 300 ISIS fighters were killed. Europe: Mediterranean: A cargo ship was spotted floating adrift near the coast of Corfu, Greece, carrying 970 refugees who were mainly Syrians and Kurds, after it had been abandoned and left on autopilot by its crew. It was believed that the crew were people traffickers. A second merchant ship with at least 400 migrants on board and also no crew headed for the Italian coast two days later, on the 1st. Severe weather hampered the rescue of this ship, which appears to also involve trafficking. Asia: China: A stampede erupted during New Year's celebrations in downtown Shanghai, killing at least thirty-six and injuring forty-seven; the cause was not yet known. Indonesia: Remnants of missing AirAsia jet Airbus A320-200 were discovered in the Java Sea suggesting that the plane broke-up in mid-air, but severe downpours, lightning, choppy seas and strong winds continued to prevent rescue efforts for two days. Malaysia: Temporary shelters overflowed, after the worst floods for 30 years forced tens of thousands to evacuate, while more heavy rain brought new flooding. Afghanistan: A stray rocket struck a house where a wedding was taking place in the southern province of Helmand, killing at least fifteen and injuring more than forty; the rocket came from fierce fighting between Afghan soldiers and Taliban militants. Philippines: Tropical Storm Jangmi slammed the islands with days of heavy rain, triggering widespread flooding and landslides, and killing at least fifty-three. More than 80,000 had to evacuate their homes. India and Pakistan: An Indian soldier was killed in an attack blamed on Pakistan, triggering a gunfight that took place on the international border between the Samba sector of Kashmir and Pakistan, leaving four Pakistani troops dead. Africa: Nigeria: Boko Haram gunmen raided a village in the north near the town of Chibok, killing at least fifteen and burning down several homes. North America: US: Very strong winds swept Avalon Harbor, California causing several boats break loose and come ashore, killing two. Cold Arctic air plunged southward into the West, producing a storm that brought a rare snow to California, Las Vegas, the Mojave Desert and the mountains in the region. In California, the storm trapped motorists, blew over trucks, knocked out power and killed two. Pacific: South: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Ndoi Island, Fiji (12-30; 13:17). Solar Activity: A stream of solar wind swept across the Earth's magnetic field triggering auroras. Sunspot AR2253 doubled in size and displayed a magnetic field that could produce moderately strong flares.


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