Snowflake Cold

Massive snowfall in mid-Atlantic states

Snow covered much of West Virginia Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands without power - Ice shutting down roads from Virginia to Mississippi to Louisiana to Alabama - D.C. government offices shut down - Almost no mention on national media.

A storm system will continue to blast areas from Texas to New York with widespread snow and flooding rain through Thursday, says

"Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will occur at times from south of New York City to Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia," Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Some 40,000 customers are without power in West Virginia and at least 19,000 in Ohio, where snow is hindering restoration efforts in some areas.

Bizarro Earth

Economic losses from global disasters hit low-income countries the hardest

disaster chart natons
Deaths, economic losses and other negative impacts from disasters have caused losses equivalent to 42 million years annually since 1980, a measure that is comparable to the burden of tuberculosis worldwide, the United Nations said.

More than 90 percent of the total "years" lost in disasters between 1980 and 2012 were in low and middle-income countries, representing a serious setback to their development, the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said.

"If these figures show that disaster loss is as much a critical global challenge to economic development and social progress as is disease, they also show that it is a challenge unequally shared," the UNISDR said in a report on Wednesday.

Comment: Low income nations are least likely to have the resources to build infrastructure to withstand the increasingly devastating affects of earth changes. While wealthier nations invest in developing countries, often the focus is on resource-grabbing rather than building to sustain a nation and its inhabitants. And in some cases, even so-called wealthy nations like the US are unrealistically ignoring a crumbling infrastructure in order to fund war and plunder in other nations. The way things are looking on the BBM, it will become increasingly obvious that such policies have been disastrous in themselves.

Cloud Lightning

Thundersnow or meteor event the cause of flashes in Arctic sky over Alaska?

Facebook lit up almost as brightly as the sky over Kotzebue and other areas of the Arctic last Sunday morning, as people speculated about what the bright flashes in the sky were.

More than a dozen people reported seeing several bright flashes in the sky, unexplained by air traffic or other human activity. One thought neighborhood children were pulling a prank at first. Another suggested a meteor had split into three parts. Another reported hearing booms.

Then came a post showing a Chicago-based meteorologist on The Weather Channel standing in a blinding snowstorm with the sky flashing behind him. The ecstatic reporter hooted as he and his camera man captured "thundersnow" on camera several times in the course of a few minutes.

Though rare, thundersnow is a real phenomenon, a snow thunderstorm that occurs under circumstances similar to a thunderstorm as a cold or warm front moves into an area. The thunder is often muffled by the snow, but the flashes may still be visible.

"It's pretty rare, but it's not out of the question in the winter," said John Lingaas, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. "The conditions have to be just right."

Comment: See also: Weatherman goes berserk over 'thundersnow' in Boston

Freak 'thundersnow' storm wreaks havoc on Toronto

Rare thundersnow in Dallas, Texas: 'How is this possible?'

Virginia, US: 'Thundersnow' behind mysterious blue flashes of light?


Meanwhile in the Desert Kingdom: Saudi Arabia on high alert following snowstorms

Snow in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
Health and security officials in Tabuk have been on full alert because of snowstorms in the northwestern part of the Kingdom over the past two days. The affected areas are AlDhaher Alakan Abu AlHanshan Attabaq Tinenar Wadi AlAsmar AlLawz Mountain and AlAniq.

The Saudi Red Crescent has reinforced its teams with extra officials to take care of the large numbers of people who are enjoying the snow. The Civil Defense has issued early warnings to alert people to take care and follow safety measures in such extreme weather conditions.

Khaled AlEnaizi spokesman of the Saudi Red Crescent in Tabuk said 11 teams had been assigned to parks and locations of heavy snowfalls where citizens and residents are out around the clock.
Snowflake Cold

America struck by 'Siberian Express' high-pressure system

© Kiichiro Sato/AP

Ice and snow lead to record freeze in the USA
Temperatures plummet up to 40 degrees below their normal February levels across much of eastern America

A bitterly cold chill known as the "Siberian Express" has enveloped much of eastern America, sending temperatures plummeting up to 40 degrees below their normal February levels to record lows in at least 100 places.

Southern states such as Tennessee and Kentucky suffered some of the most extreme drops on the thermometer as bone-chilling air from Siberia settled on the region after snowstorms passed through.

The relentless cold has blanketed the country's north-east for weeks, alternating heavy snowfall with spells of clear but gnawingly chilly skies.

In New York's Central Park, temperatures were expected to fall to -17C, but that was before a windchill factor with gusts that made it feel another 10 degrees colder. The city is on course for its coldest February in history.

Record snowfall traps İstanbul with more flights and ferries cancelled

Turkish Airlines cancelled all domestic flights in and out of Istanbul Atatürk International Airport on Thursday morning, due to heavy snowfall.
The heavy snowfall began on Tuesday, continued into Wednesday and caught over 14 million Istanbulites off guard.

Turkey's largest city İstanbul was hit by a storm that has dumped up enormous amounts of snow in some areas, wreaking havoc on roads. The depth of the snow reached its deepest on İstanbul's European side neighborhood of Çatalca at 70 centimeters.

Turkey's national carrier, the Turkish Airlines (THY), canceled its some flights on Thursday, both domestic and international, due to the two-day snowstorm. A list of canceled flights is available on the THY website. İstanbul authorities also closed some ferry lines on Thursday.

Monster snowfall completely buries cars and streets on Prince Edward Island, Canada

© Kathryn Reed-Garrett
Summerside PEI
OMGosh!!!! - this is Summerside PEI this morning!! photo from CBC New Brunswick
Snow always makes driving more difficult, but in Prince Edward Island, so much of it has fallen many people can't even find their cars.

A winter storm has dropped almost a metre of snow in the past few days, and it's often hard to see where the road ends and the ditch begins. On some rural roads, snowbanks are piled three times higher than the people standing next to them.

The Journal Pioneer reported that some residents dug an eight-metre-long tunnel to try to find their car under white stuff piled two storeys high. The island itself is nearly invisible when viewed from space, as satellite images show.
Cloud Lightning

Double cyclones to strike Northeastern Australia

queensland cyclones
© Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology/courtesy of Japan Meteorological Agency
A Bureau of Meteorology map on Thursday morning. Parts of Northern Territory and Queensland are preparing for the approach of tropical cyclones Lam and Marcia.
Two cyclones bearing down on northeastern Australia dramatically intensified on Thursday as emergency officials warned residents to take shelter on higher ground ahead of torrential rain and flooding, destructive winds and massive seas.

Cyclone Marcia is predicted to intensify to a category 4 system --- the second highest rating - as it crosses the northeast Queensland coast on Friday morning with destructive winds up to 270 kmh (170 mph) expected near the core of the system, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

"This very dangerous cyclone is now at category four intensity and continuing to intensify extremely rapidly," the weather bureau's latest tropical cyclone advice said.

Meteorologists also expect Cyclone Lam, with winds near the center of 140 kph (85 mph) and gusts up to 195 kph (120 mph), is forecast to make landfall in the remote Northern Territory late Thursday or early Friday.

New Brunswick resident shares viral video of insane snowfall

© Reuters/Nathan Rochford
A man walks near a snow plow after a winter storm hit Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island February 16, 2015. Canadian media reported that 80 cm (2.6 feet) of snow hit the province, breaking a single storm record.
One New Brunswick man made it his mission to prove the East Coast has it worst than the rest of the country by uploading a YouTube video documenting just how much snow they've received.

It worked. You win, East Coast. We concede.

Kevin McGrath, a resident of Dieppe, probably wasn't expecting his home video showing off the amount of snow congregating around his house to hit almost 84,000 views on YouTube in two days but that's precisely what happened.

Cloud Precipitation

Over 12 inches of rainfall in just 12 hours in Córdoba, Argentina

Streets were turned into raging torrents after a particularly severe rainstorm
Local media in Argentina are reporting that heavy rain has caused deadly flooding in the province of Córdoba, central Argentina.

La Nacion say overflowing rivers caused flooding that has left 6 people dead, 4 missing and forced 400 to evacuate.

La Nacion say that as much as 320 mm of rain fell in just 12 hours in some areas. WMO report that 79 mm of rain fell at Cordoba Airport in 24 hours from 14 to 15 February 2015.

The severe weather has affected several part of the province, including the city of Córdoba, where authorities have declared an "alert and climate emergency" for 72 hours. Power has been cut off to prevent electrocution.