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Sun, 22 Apr 2018
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

U.S braces itself for coldest month of the century - More snow storms expected


Icy grip: A motorist passes a wall of icicles on Suck Creek Road as temperatures struggle to reach the freezing point.
  • Meteorologists are forecasting yet another snow storm for the East Coast, which will arrive on Monday
  • First Super Bowl to be held in open-air stadium set to be hit by freezing cold
  • Teams on high alert game in New Jersey on February 2 could be postponed
  • The Midwest will be hit with a blast as well between Friday and Saturday, which may cause dangerous roads and flight cancellations
  • Yet another storm is expected to follow the storm scheduled for Monday and is set to hit just one or two days before the Super Bowl on February 2
  • The championship game will be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey where workers shoveled snow all day after Tuesday's unexpected whiteout
America is set for the coldest month of the century as weather forecasters predict yet another freezing blast of Arctic air - putting Super Bowl Sunday in jeopardy.

Teams have been warned to stay on high alert for changes to the scheduling of the first Super Bowl to be played in an open-air stadium.

Temperatures have already hit record lows, at times making parts of the U.S. colder than the North Pole, and are expected to plunge in the coming days.

The timing could not be worse for one of the biggest global sporting events, which will be exposed to the full force of the elements at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on February 2.

Eric Grubman, NFL vice president of business operations, told the Denver Post: 'We are advising teams to prepare in case a contingency plan goes into effect.'

Cloud Precipitation

Somerset UK braced for more flooding - Met Office issues weather warning

© Fran Stothard
Everyday life on the Somerset Levels on Wednesday.
Householders on the Somerset Levels are back on red alert for more flooding today as the Met Office issues a severe weather warning for most of the West Country, writes Janet Hughes.

Flood-hit Somerset residents who have been trapped for a fortnight have been warned to expect another 10 to 20mm of rain today.

With water levels already exceptionally high on the Levels, the public should be prepared for further flooding, say the Met Office and the Environment Agency.

The danger will continue until midnight tonight as an active frontal trough moves eastwards across the UK, bringing the potential for torrential rain and strong winds. After a brief respite from the wind and rain on Saturday, residents have been warned to brace themselves for more flooding on Sunday when a deep depression descends on the UK.

Ice Cube

Winter storm brings ice to Southeast Texas

An Arctic blast dropped temperatures and brought snow and ice to Southeast Texas overnight. The weather forced the closure of dozens of freeway ramps and overpasses were shut down due to icing.
An Arctic blast dropped temperatures and brought snow and ice to Southeast Texas overnight.

As temperatures hover in the low 30s Friday, some roads may remain icy so drivers are advised to use caution, especially on bridges and overpasses, KHOU 11 News Meteorologist Brooks Garner said.

The icy road conditions on Friday morning left many commuters stranded on Houston roadways. The slick roads were blamed for hundreds of accidents in the Houston area, including a jack-knifed 18-wheeler that slammed through a concrete barrier.

Temperatures slowly rose above freezing in the afternoon. By 5:30 p.m., most roads had been cleared for any icing.

In Huntsville, residents enjoyed a light blanket of snow that stayed on the ground through sunrise. Further south, dozens of freeway ramps and overpasses were shut down due to icing.

Most Houston-area school districts canceled classes for the day, including Houston ISD, Katy ISD, and Fort Bend ISD.

While areas from College Station to Huntsville experienced a mix of snow and sleet, those hoping for snow closer to Houston were out of luck.

By 1 p.m. the precipitation was coming to an end, but moisture and heavy cloud cover remained in the atmosphere keeping temperatures cool, KHOU 11 News Meteorologist Mario Gomez said.

Snowflake Cold

Winter storm warning for much of Western New York

© Health.ny.gov
New York Counties
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of Western New York, including Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties, beginning at 7 tonight.

The warning, which continues until 7 p.m. Saturday, replaces the previously announced winter weather advisory.

A wind chill advisory will also go into effect from midnight Saturday to noon Sunday, reports the Weather Service.

Both advisories also include Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Ontario counties.

Snow and "significant blowing snow" are a concern in the storm warning, according to the Weather Service.

Genesee and Wyoming counties could see 3 to 6 inches of snow, along with Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara.

The Weather Service is forecasting 3 to 5 inches for Orleans County.

Livingston, Ontario and Allegany counties are predicted to receive 2 to 4 inches of snow.

The entire region is expecting southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph, gusting to 45 mph. Visibilities could be under a quarter-mile at times, the Weather Service said.


New species of river dolphin is discovered in Brazil - but it's already endangered


Scientists have named the breed, which is only the fifth river dolphin species in the world, ¿Araguaia¿, (pictured) after the Brazilian river where it was found. It is the first new species of river dolphin discovered since 1918
  • Scientists have named the new breed, which is only the fifth river dolphin species in the world, 'Araguaia', after the Brazilian river where it was found
  • River dolphins are very rare. Out of the 5 species, 3 are on the critically endangered Red List, and scientists believe the Araguaia should join it
Scientists have discovered the first new river dolphin species in almost 100 years.

They have named the new breed, which is only the fifth river dolphin species in the world, 'Araguaia', after the Brazilian river where it was found.

Writing in the journal Plos One, the researchers say the new species, the first discovered since 1918, diverged from other South American river species more than two million years ago.


New virus linked to bee colony collapse disorder

© Joe Raedle / Getty Images
A new virus has leaped from plants to honeybees and could be contributing to the collapse of commercial hives, a study says.

A rapidly mutating virus has leaped from plants to honeybees, where it is reproducing and contributing to the collapse of colonies vital to the multibillion-dollar agricultural industry, according to a new study.

Tobacco ringspot virus, a pollen-borne pathogen that causes blight in soy crops, was found during routine screening of commercial honeybees at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory, where further study revealed the RNA virus was replicating inside its Apis mellifera hosts and spreading to mites that travel from bee to bee, according to the study published online Tuesday in the journal mBio.

Comment: The research presented above could be another possible reason for A Shortage Of Honey Bees in the US, read the following articles for more information about the growing concern of Colony Collapse Disorder:

Bees in peril
If Bees Disappear, We'll All Be Stung
Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons
Suddenly, the bees are simply vanishing
Crop pesticides are 'killing our bees' - says MEP
Mystery Bee Disappearances Sweeping U.S.
US: Bees' decline could lead to higher food prices
Pesticide makes bees forget the scent for food, new study finds
Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains
The Big Question: Why are honey bees disappearing, and what can be done to save them?

Snowflake Cold

Winter weather to hit UK after weeks of floods

© Skynews
The Somerset Levels have seen weeks of flooding this winter.

After an exceptionally mild December and early January forecasters warn a cold spell could bring snow in some areas

Britain looks set for a distinctly colder end to January with the possibility of snow, widespread frost and cold winds.

After saturated southern England is hit by further flooding this weekend, low pressure will start to bring change across the UK next week.

The change comes as a "major incident" was declared on the Somerset Levels which have seen weeks of severe flooding and remain underwater.

The Somerset Levels is a rural area running south from the Mendip Hills to the Blackdown Hills.

Sedgemoor District Council chief executive Kerry Rickards said: "With significant rainfall expected over the coming days we feel this situation needs to be escalated as a major incident."

The council said it would continue to provide practical support to residents whose properties are flooded or are predicted to flood.

Next week's drop in temperature will come as a shock following a wet but exceptionally mild December and January, Presenter Isobel Lang, said.

"The low bringing us rain this weekend will slip away southwards allowing significantly colder air to seep west and southwestwards across us on a biting east or northeast wind.

Cloud Precipitation

People don sweaters to stay warm in chilly Malaysia

Kuala Krai blankets
Unusual Weather: Kuala Krai Hospital ensures patients have enough blankets
It may seem unusual but people in this Kelantan town have been putting on sweaters this week. The reason: the mercury is showing 17o Celsius!

A check by Bernama at the Kuala Krai Lake Gardens and the Cinta Wangsa Park, a popular workout spot, found that people were turning up later than usual because of thick mist.

Civil servant Mohd Baihaqi Che Man, 28, said he now heads to the park an hour later than usual, at 8am, to exercise.

"The cold weather caused a thick mist to envelop the area and visibility is reduced. I also had to put on three layers of clothing, including a sweater, because the weather is colder than it was last week."

Apple Green

New Zealand food prices jumped 7% in last 6 months‏

Shopping Trolley
© Unknown
Grocery prices for 20 popular items at three Tauranga supermarkets have risen a total of up to 7 per cent in six months, a survey shows.

A Bay of Plenty Times Weekend survey of four Tauranga supermarkets this week showed the total price for 20 staple items rose between $1.81 and $4.17 at three stores, but fell $2.49 at the fourth when compared with last June, when a similar survey was done.

Total prices rose at Pak'nSave Papamoa, Gate Pa New World and Countdown Fraser Cove but dropped at Four Square Papamoa Beach.

Apple Green

Floods threaten food supplies in Indonesia

Idonesia Java Flood
© AP
Indonesians wade through a flooded street in Bandung, West Java, as heavy rain triggered floods in the area, submerging hundreds of houses and forcing residents to flee.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Floods that stuck several parts of Indonesia in recent days might threaten domestic food supplies, according to the chief of the Indonesian Farmers and Fishermen Association (KTNA), Winarno Thohir.

"We should not underestimate the impact of large floods in Java, which supplies 60 percent of the nations food needs," he said here on Saturday.

Winarno estimated that 250,000 hectares of paddy fields nationwide were inundated during recent floods.

The floods which struck early this year were larger than those in previous years, he noted.