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Mon, 24 Jan 2022
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Snowflake Cold

Weather whiplash in Alaska: After December's warm spell came Icemageddon

long icicles
© AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Alaska has experienced extreme weather since Christmas, with an unusually warm weekend leading to freezing rain and snowstorms

A late December warm spell has caused chaos in Alaska, as moisture-soaked winds bombarded the US state with heavy precipitation, causing what the authorities dubbed an "Icemageddon."

Temperatures rose to record-highs in coastal parts of Alaska last week. On Kodiak Island, they spiked to 67F (19.4C) on Sunday, setting a statewide historic record for December. On Monday, they again broke the 60F(15.5C) benchmark before starting to decrease on Tuesday.

Comment: When the jet stream becomes unstable, this is one of the results.


Cloud Precipitation

Downtown L.A. breaks 85-year-old rainfall record as winter storm lingers over Southern California

Mark Carrow and his granddaughter Ella Glass stand near a flooded section of the Leo
© Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Mark Carrow and his granddaughter Ella Glass stand near a flooded section of the Leo Carrillo Campground due to a heavy downpour in Malibu. Carrow and his family were camping at the site when the flooding happened.
A slow-moving winter storm hovering over Los Angeles made a mess of conditions Thursday — dropping record rainfall in many spots, prompting the closure of multiple major roads and highways, spurring evacuations near wildfire burn scars and forcing water rescues, officials said.

At least 50 people had to be rescued from the Leo Carrillo Campground in Malibu after significant rainfall sent a torrent of muddy water through the area, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Geovanni Sanchez.

Apple Valley resident Keith Elvert, 37, had been camping in the area with his wife, children, parents and niece since Tuesday. When he opened the door to his trailer around 3 a.m., "there was two feet of water running outside the trailer pretty swiftly," he said.

"It was pretty scary — there were some branches and debris, and it was real muddy brown," Elvert said. "You appreciate the power of the water at that point."


Snowflake

World Snow Wrap, December 31 - Powder days in Japan, the US, Canada and Europe as 2021 goes out with bang

JT Holmes, letting them run in Palisades Tahoe after the storm cleared.
© Jeff Engerbretson
JT Holmes, letting them run in Palisades Tahoe after the storm cleared.
Wow, New Year's Eve and the end of 2021 and I expect many of you are happy to see the end of it, but a big Happy New Year from all of us at Mountainwatch to you.

It's fair to say 2021 is going out in a big way in the Northern Hemisphere with consistent snowfalls seeing out the year in the US and Japan while there were light to moderate falls in the European Alps last weekend. In Canada there has also been some decent falls over the past week, but it has been super cold with daily maximum temps as low as -30c. Let's check it all out:

USA

It has been a massive week across the Western US, with resorts in the Sierras, Cascades and Rockies all receiving good snow falls with big snow totals. The biggest news is the massive totals in California over the past week, where the resorts in Tahoe have had the snowiest December ever with most resorts reporting monthly totals over five metres. The big totals are thanks to two significant storms and it is a big turnaround from the first week of December when the Tahoe resorts delayed openings due to lack of snow!


Fire

Fires rage for weeks in Argentina's Patagonia

View of a huge fire in Paraje Villegas, Rio Negro province, 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) south of Bariloche, Argentina, Dec. 29, 2021.

View of a huge fire in Paraje Villegas, Rio Negro province, 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) south of Bariloche, Argentina, Dec. 29, 2021.
Several sources of fire have been active for weeks in the Argentine provinces of Neuquen, Rio Negro and Chubut (south), where the flames have consumed thousands of hectares of native forest, amid adverse weather conditions, according to the authorities.


Attention

Six dolphin and whale strandings in one day in Ireland

The emaciated whale at Downings.
© IWDG/Facebook
The emaciated whale at Downings.
There has been a high number of stranded cetaceans in the last few weeks

There has been a recent spate of strandings reported to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), including two in Donegal.

On December 27 alone, six animals were reported with three of these being live strandings.

A spokesperson for IWDG said: "A very emaciated Cuvier's beaked whale live stranded on Dooey Beach in Downings.

"IWDG Donegal local group were mobilised, although the animal died shortly after live stranding."

One common dolphin was reported live stranded from Galway with serious injuries. The dolphin died within 20 minutes of IWDG arriving to the seen.

Snowflake Cold

Wind and heavy snow create 'blizzard conditions' in Fairbanks, Alaska - December record snowfall for Denali National Park

Fairbanks Residents Wake to Blizzard Conditions

Fairbanks residents wake to blizzard conditions as intense storm hits
Residents of Fairbanks, Alaska, dealt with "blizzard conditions" in some locations on Wednesday, December 29, as heavy wind and snow whipped the area.

The severe weather impacting Fairbanks capped what is now the city's wettest December on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Elsewhere in the state, an observation site at Denali National Park received 74.5 inches of snow during December, making a new record.


Fish

Storm rains bushels of fish on Texarkana

FISHY
At least four locations in town reported a free-fall of fish either during or in the aftermath of two storms that blew through here Wednesday afternoon.

Among the places that pelted by fish were Discount Wheel & Tire and Tiger Stadium, both on Summerhill Road on the Texas side of town.

Arkansas-side resident Melissa Curry was the first to call the Gazette to report the strange occurrence. She and her husband were leaving their home Wednesday afternoon when they discovered as many as two dozen small fish scattered around the back yard and side yard of their Victorian home.

"There were every bit of 20 fish out here.," Curry said. "we were flabbergasted. "

Tim Brigham, manager of Discount Wheel and Tire at 3223 Summerhill Road, said he saw some fish falling during a thunderstorm that popped up Wednesday afternoon.


Doberman

Chemistry professor mauled to death by rampaging pack of stray dogs in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, Russia

Her body was found mauled in the Siberian city of Yakutsk
© CrimYakutia / East2west News
Her body was found mauled in the Siberian city of Yakutsk
A chemistry professor has been mauled to death in a horrific attack by a rampaging pack of stray dogs.

A shocking picture shows the mauled body of Dr Sardana Sleptsova, 53, lying on the snow in the Russian city of Yakutsk, while video footage shows how she was overcome by the hungry mongrels.

The dreadful attack took place near the city's horse racing stadium and Arctic State Agro-Technological University in extreme weather conditions that reached as low as -48C.

The chemistry professor - a polymer nanocomposites expert at the North-Eastern Federal University - had been lying dead in the snow for several hours when her body was found by a student named Semyon Alexeev.

According to reports, he was also attacked by the same pack of violent strays, in what is not the first attack on pedestrians in the area.


Doberman

Family dogs fatally attack woman in Valinda, California

dog attack
A woman trying to get into a backyard window of her East Valinda home was fatally attacked by the family's four dogs, authorities said on Wednesday, Dec. 29, with her 6-year-old son suffering minor injuries.

The woman, who lived at the home with a sister-in-law, forgot her key and no one was at the residence in the 18000 block of Elizondo Street, sheriff's Lt. David Petrocelli said.

"The dogs were familiar with the child, but not with the mother," Petrocelli said.

It was unclear why the dogs would not recognize her. The lieutenant didn't know the dogs' breeds.

Attention

12km high ash cloud from Tongan volcanic eruption continues to spread

This picture taken on December 21, 2021 shows white gaseous clouds rising from the Hunga Ha'apai eruption seen from the Patangata coastline near Tongan capital Nuku'alofa.
© Mary Lyn Fonua
This picture taken on December 21, 2021 shows white gaseous clouds rising from the Hunga Ha'apai eruption seen from the Patangata coastline near Tongan capital Nuku'alofa.
The Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano continues to erupt intermittently, and ash has been detected in all directions up to 30km away.

The head of Tonga Geological Services, Taaniela Kula, said that the ash cloud had risen to heights of 12km and the direction of ash had varied with the wind conditions.

"On Tuesday, ash was drifting east but shifted directions last night to north east and has continued to drift in a northerly direction today," he said.

Overall, the amount of ash, steam and gas being spewed from the volcano has reduced, in comparison to last week, Kula said.

He noted that the volcano was about 60km away from uninhabited areas, and that no earthquakes had been detected on their seismometers.