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10 August 2011

SAWDIS Blog Posts: 6 - 10 August 2011

Solar Explosions Could Impact Earth in the next few days

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is keeping an eye on a set of solar storms and explosions that could disrupt satellite, telecommunications and electric equipment here on Earth in the next few days. While activity had reportedly returned to somewhat normal levels when solar winds calmed the morning of Monday, August 8, another explosion at 0805 UTC on Tuesday, August 9 was three times larger than the February 15 flare, which, until now, was the most significant flare of Solar Cycle 24. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) reported that Monday’s flare would likely generate bright auroras as far south as Pennsylvania and could possibly upset electronic equipment, especially in space.

Given the location of the activity of Tuesday’s flare, any coronal mass ejection (CMEs) from the flare would likely be directed away from Earth. As such, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is not forecasting “significant Geomagnetic Storm activity” and the most recent storms should not affect radio amateurs. But when a CME does hit the Earth’s atmosphere -- approximately 72 hours after exploding on the Sun -- the low bands will be depressed and signals will be weaker the lower the frequency. The absorption rate will be most severe on 160 meters, less on 80 and somewhat better on 40 meters. The maximum usable frequency (MUF) -- the highest frequency by which a radio wave can propagate between given terminals by ionospheric propagation alone, independent of power -- will be lower and auroral propagation on the VHF bands is quite possible.

In 2013, solar activity levels are expected to peak with the next solar maximum within the 11-year solar activity cycle. “We now know how powerful space weather can be and how events that begin on the surface of the Sun can end up wreaking havoc here on Earth,” said SWPC Director Tom Bogdan. “This is why NOAA has a Space Weather Prediction Center -- to forecast when space weather is coming our way, so we can avoid or mitigate damages. We’re coming up to the next solar maximum, so we expect to see more of these storms coming from the Sun over the next three to five years.”

Electric and magnetic interference from solar storms blasting electrically charged particles into the Earth’s magnetic field can cause major problems on Earth. When a space weather storm is on the way, satellite operators can switch into standby mode and temporarily forgo communication between ground control and spacecraft in orbit to prevent the garbling of messages. Airlines can reroute planes that normally take fuel-saving polar routes. Along those routes, pilots depend on HF radio communications that are vulnerable to disruptions by space weather. This impact has already occurred in 2011: In February and June, airlines reported loss of HF communication near the Arctic, due to space weather. But pilots and commercial aircraft are not the only ones at risk: NOAA cautions that many systems humans use every day are vulnerable to changes in space weather, including GPS applications in mobile phones and in cars, power grids and military satellites.

People in 1859 didn’t have that advantage when a solar eruption caused a giant aurora visible as far south as the Caribbean Islands and essentially charged the air on Earth with electricity, taking out telegraph offices across the globe. According to NOAA, some telegraph operators received electric shocks and papers within offices caught fire. The interference even caused telegraph equipment to continue distributing signals once the equipment had been turned off. A 2008 report by the National Research Council predicted that a storm of similar magnitude today could cause $1 to $2 trillion in damage, globally. -- Thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Space Weather Prediction Center and the Solar Dynamics Observatory for some information.


                                                                                           06 August 2011            

Greetings of Peace

Dear Recipients

Please find a list below of the items still urgently required in Somalia : 

Canned Items
Pot Sets

Relief items for Somalia being co-ordinated from our warehouse in Bramley. Members of our media wishing to document this, may contact : Allauddin on  0836677179
                                             Emily on 0836520315    and
                                             Ekram on 0836523516


Kind Regards
Imtiaz Sooliman from Mogadishu


The SA Weather and Disaster Information Service (SAWDIS) is here to stay!!

The SAWDIS is here to stay.  For some this is good news but for others who would like to see the demise of the SAWDIS it is really bad news.  The SAWDIS was established on the 8 October 2008 and underwent several changes through the years.  Several restrictions on the availability of free Weather and Disaster Information and the subscription (money making) route followed by several roll-players forced the SAWDIS to make changes to stay relevant in today's ever changing world. Despite the fact that crucial weather and disaster information is being withheld from the poorest of the poor who cannot afford to pay inflated prices for information, the SAWDIS was successful in keeping the general public of this country informed about weather and disaster related events. This was only possible through the participation of the many roll players involved in making the SAWDIS their own.

Up to now the SAWDIS "survived" many onslaughts by those who would like to see the demise of the SAWDIS.  I will not go into detail as I believe that revealing all will not serve any purpose.  However it is clear that there is an orchestrated effort underway to make it more and more difficult for the SAWDIS to provide a free service to the public of South Africa.

Once again the SAWDIS  will have to make changes to be able to provide free weather and disaster information to who ever needs it.  Some people do not like change while others prefer change. Change is not always bad as so many believe. The latest changes will alter the cosmetics of certain services of the SAWDIS. I am glad to report that readers will still be able to access all information as before, however in another format.

Here are some of the changes that has taken place in the past few days:

The HOME page will now only display four (4) headings (topics).
  • Important Notices: SAWDIS
  • SA National Weather Warnings
  • SAWDIS Real -Time S.A. Weather and Disaster Information
  • SAWDIS Real - Time World Weather and Disaster Information

Important Notices: SAWDIS -  Under this heading the SAWDIS will list all important notices relevant to the general public, SAWDIS observers, amateur radio operators and other roll players.

SA National Severe Weather Warnings:  No alerts, advisories, watches and warnings will be listed under this heading.   
    SAWDIS Real - Time S.A. Weather and Disaster Information (SAWDIS):  This heading will list all weather and disaster information for South Africa in Twitter format.  In the past this information was published on the SAWDIS blog in topic format giving credit to the author/s of the article.  Due to copyright complaints no third party information will be published as before.  However readers will not lose any information as you still have full access to the info.  All you now have to do is to scroll through the list of topics and then click on the provided link and you will be able to read the full article.

    SAWDIS Real - Time World Weather and Disaster Information: (SAWDIS1):  This heading will list all World wide weather and disaster information in Twitter format.  In the past this information was published on the SAWDIS blog in topic format giving full credit to the author/s of the article.  Due to copyright complaints no third party information will be published as before.  However readers will not lose any information as you still have full access to the info.  All you now have to do is to scroll through the list of topics and then click on the provided link and you will be able to read the full article.

    PLEASE NOTE:  The SAWDIS now have two twitter accounts SAWDIS (South African content) and SAWDIS1. (World Wide content)  These can be accessed separately by clicking on the respective accounts.

    Readers might have noticed that the format of the HOME page has been changed.  In blog terms gadgets are added alongside the main blogging area.  The SAWDIS deleted irrelevant gadgets and will alter others in the next few days to provide a better service to our users. 

    Other Changes:  The following Tabs bar has been added on the home page just under the main heading.

    This tab contain the following headings and I will explain each heading's function:

    SAWDIS Home:  Changes already discussed above

    SA Weather and Disaster Satellite Images:  If you click on this tab you will be able to view SA Weather and Disaster Satellite Images.  Under normal conditions the SAWDIS will upload two daily weather satellite images.  One image in the morning and one in the afternoon. During a severe weather or disaster event frequent satellite images will be uploaded.  Please note that this tab will not only contain weather satellite images but also other relevant satellite images.

    Real-Time Weather and Disaster Observations: Clicking on this tab will reveal all real-time weather and disaster observations by SAWDIS observers, the general public and amateur radio operators.  Here you will find real time data, images, photos, reports, rainfall figures, storm damage etc. of local severe weather and  disasters.  This is where the SAWDIS rely heavily on the public, SAWDIS observers and radio amateurs to provide the SAWDIS with information as an event unfolds.

    SAWDIS Projects:  Here you will be able to see all the projects that the SAWDIS are currently busy with.

    Current projects:

    1. SAWDIS Lightning Project
    2. SAWDIS Wi-Fi Antenna Project
    3. SAWDIS Seismograph Project
    4. SAWDIS PSKmail Project

    SAWDIS Blog Posts:  This SAWDIS will use this tab to discuss relevant weather and disaster information. This tab is surely to be one of the main attractions of the SAWDIS blog. 

    General:  As can be seen from the above certain changes were made to the SAWDIS blog.  These are purely cosmetic changes.  No data and information will be lost as a result of the changes made.  You will still be able to get first hand information about severe weather and disasters from the SAWDIS as before.  The SAWDIS would like to request the public and all other roll players to support the SAWDIS as before and not to allow those who seek the demise of the SAWDIS to succeed in their efforts.

    I would also like the opportunity to thank all those who send emails of support, suggestions, ideas etc to the SAWDIS this past few days.  I never realized that the SAWDIS had such great daily influence in the lives of so many. I will not be able to answer all the hundreds of emails received but rest assure that I have read every single one of them.  Your concerns is highly appreciated and makes all the little effort I put into the SAWDIS worth the while.  I am glad that the closure of the SAWDIS has been diverted and look forward to many new ventures in the future.

    The SAWDIS is currently looking into other hosting options available and will make an announcement as soon as finality has been reached.  In the interim it is back to the keyboard and "business" as usual.

    J. Terblanche
    Founder: SA Weather and Disaster Information Service
    Mossel Bay
    7 August 2011

    Copyright Issues - End of the road for the SAWDIS!!

    The SAWDIS was established on the 8 October 2008 and has grown to one of the best and well known Weather and Disaster Information Service in the World thanks to many roll players and organizations.  The SAWDIS always stated that the success of the SAWDIS is attributed to those who contributed information, data, photos etc to the blog.  The SAWDIS also stated on many occasions in the past that the founder of the SAWDIS blog receive no remuneration or sponsorship for the SAWDIS and that the SAWDIS is  a non-profit organization that renders a FREE COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICE to anyone requiring the information.

    Since the 8 October 2008 the  SAWDIS has published 16083 posts on and not once has the SAWDIS been advised that it transgressed copyright laws of articles being published on the SAWDIS Blog.  NOT ONCE!! Not one single email, SMS or letter has been received with regard to copyright laws as the SAWDIS always give full credit to the organization that compiled the article.  The SAWDIS also pay full attention to conditions set out by publishers related to copyright infringements.

    The SAWDIS has now received an email from  who host the SAWDIS Blog.  I quote certain paragraphs from the email:

    "Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to "draft" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits."

    "A bit of background: the DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. If you believe you have the rights to post the content at issue here, you can file a counter-claim."

    "The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at............. We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You can search for the DMCA notice associated with the removal of your content by going to the Chilling Effects search page at ............., and entering in the URL of the blog posts that was removed. If it is brought to our attention that you have republished the posts without removing the content/link in question, then we will delete your posts and count it as a violation on your account. Repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account including deleting your blog and/or terminating your account. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel."

    OK there you have it.  It is alleged that according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in the SAWDIS blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others.  I have decided to suspend the publication of all further posts until a decision has been taken as to regard the future of the SAWDIS.  Is this the end of the road for the SAWDIS?  Well it certain looks like it.   I really cannot see the SAWDIS Blog continue in it's current format walking a fine line of being accused of copyright infringements.  After all most of the articles published by the SAWDIS is available on many other Internet sites world wide.

    I personally believe that I gave my all to keep the public informed about weather and disaster events around the world.  Unfortunately I will not continue with the SAWDIS if  it does not live up to the high standards that the public is used to.  Neither will it make any sense to continue with a "water-downed" blog that really contain very little and relevant content.  It is really a pity that copyright infringements prohibit the spreading of life saving information to many around the world that has to endure severe weather and disasters on a daily basis.

    I will soon make an announcement of the way forward for the SAWDIS.  Any suggestions and comments are most welcome before I make my final decision whether I will continue with the SAWDIS Blog or whether this is the end of the road for the SAWDIS.

    Send you suggestions and comments by clicking HERE.

    J. Terblanche
    Founder: SA Weather and Disaster Information Service
    Mossel Bay
    5 August 2011