Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Eurostar Cancels Trains Today, Cites 'Severe' Weather

Eurostar Group Ltd., operator of high-speed passenger trains between London, Paris and Brussels, canceled all services for a second day, citing unseasonably cold weather in northern France.

The company can't guarantee that a full service will resume before Christmas, Eurostar Chief Executive Richard Brown said in a BBC interview today. The approximately 28,000 passengers affected by today's suspension can request a refund or reschedule their journey, London-based spokesman Paul Gorman said.

All services were suspended yesterday after four Eurostar trains broke down in the Channel Tunnel the previous night. A special service bringing passengers back from Paris broke down in the southeast English county of Kent. Brown said in an interview with Sky News that the temperature change on entering the tunnel created condensation that caused the electrical systems in the locomotives to fail.

Bizarro Earth

Severe Cold Weather Hits Europe

© XinhuaTrees are seen through the glass covered with ice crystals in Moscow,
capital of Russia
Severe weather has continued to hit Europe for a second consecutive day. The cold front comes amid forecasts of more snowfall one week ahead of Christmas.

In Poland, the cold snap caused major disruptions to traffic. Temperatures plummeted in the capital Warsaw, where heavy snow caused havoc on the roads.

Trains also ran into trouble. In the southwestern city of Wroclaw, temperatures fell to minus 12 degrees Celsius and caused trips to be delayed up to two and a half hours.

Train commuter of Wroclaw in Poland said, "No one is coping well with this. Particularly the railways, they're not coping."


December 20: Record Cold, Snowstorms, Windstorm, Flooding, Hurricane & Cyclone

Meteorological events that happened on December 20th:

A cold wave accompanied by 70 mph winds dropped temperatures from the 40's to near 0° in matter of hours on the Illinois frontier. Many settlers froze to death. Folklore tells of chickens frozen in their tracks and men frozen to saddles, while the streams reportedly froze with ice from six inches to a foot in a few hours.

An early cold wave struck areas from the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic to New England. Syracuse, NY set a December record low with -26°.

Locations reporting daily record lows included: Burlington, VT: -23°, Albany, NY: -17°, Milton, MA: -16°, Concord, NH: -16°, Rochester, NY: -16°, Worcester, MA: -15°, Portland, ME: -15°, Alpena, MI: -15°, Ste. St. Marie, MI: -14°, Mt. Pocono, PA: -12°, Boston, MA: -11°: Tied, Hartford, CT: -10°, Providence, RI: -10°, Avoca, PA: -10° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Elkins, WV: -8°, Buffalo, NY: -7°, New York (Central Park), NY: -4°, Nantucket, MA: -3°, Grand Rapids, MI: -2°, Allentown, PA: -2°, Charleston, WV: -2°, Newark, NJ: -1°, Trenton, NJ: -1°, Reading, PA: 0°, Detroit, MI: 0°-Tied, Philadelphia, PA: 1°-Tied, Wilmington, DE: 2°, Richmond, VA: 2° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Harrisburg, PA: 3°, Erie, PA: 4°, Baltimore, MD: 6° and Norfolk, VA: 16°.

Bizarro Earth

El Nino Set to Continue into First Quarter of 2010

An El Nino weather pattern warming the Pacific Ocean and linked to drought in South Asia is likely to continue through the first quarter of 2010, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Tuesday.

The phenomenon, which began in June and intensified in October, has "implications for many climate patterns around the world over the next several months", the WMO said.

But a second year of El Nino conditions or rapid transition to a La Nina pattern -- its counterpart in which waters cool -- are considered "unlikely", according to the United Nations agency.

An El Nino, which means "little boy" in Spanish, is driven by an abnormal warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Bizarro Earth

Southeast Asia Faces Rising Risks From Severe Weather

© VOA Image
In Southeast Asia, people know well the risks that extreme weather can bring, and they worry that a warmer climate will increase those risks.

When Typhoon Ketsana hit Manila this year, the crowded city's planners were stunned at the amount of rain that poured down in a short time. Houses here sit close to the ground, even though the land is lower than a lake nearby.

"The most concerned extreme events in Southeast Asia is probably storm - typhoon and tropical storm," said climate scientist Anond Snidvongs.

Dr. Anond Snidvongs, who has studied climate change for more than a decade, has analyzed storm data over the past 60 years. Storm frequency, he says, comes in cycles of 30 years. But, he warns, warmer global temperatures could bring more, and bigger, storms.

Bizarro Earth

Passengers Evacuated from Channel Tunnel as Cold Snap Hits Europe

© DE-WorldA cold snap brought transport chaos to Europe.
More than 2,000 passengers were stuck under the English Channel after sub-zero temperatures caused Eurotunnel trains to break down. Icy weather has thrown travel plans across Europe into chaos and has even claimed lives.

Four Eurostar trains carrying more than 2,000 people were stranded between England and France as services ground to a halt in freezing conditions.

Up to 1,300 passengers from two of the trains had to be evacuated on a vehicle shuttle as winter brought transport chaos to Europe. The remaining passengers waited for carriages to be pushed out of the tunnel by a rescue train.

A difference in temperatures between cold air inside the tunnel and outside had forced the breakdown, according to train operator Eurostar.

The situation affecting the world's longest undersea rail connection was described as "unprecedented" by the company.

Better Earth

China's delaying tactics threaten climate deal

China is attempting to scupper chances of a comprehenive agreement at the Copenhagen climate summit by using delaying tactics, sources inside the negotiations have told The Independent.

At an emergency meeting convened at the Bella Center this morning, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown assembled 26 heads of state in an attempt to revive a deal. But China's Premier Wen Jiabao did not attend and was replaced by vice foreign minister He Yafei.

This afternoon, the US president and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton called another meeting with China, but were snubbed again when only three low-level Chinese delegates arrived.

Bizarro Earth

US: Florida Heat and Floods Make Way for Cold

Wicked weather this week -- heat, wind, storms, floods...and now cold -- puts the region through the wringer

We were sweating buckets on Monday, pumping out flood water on Friday and we'll be pulling on our warm slippers on Sunday.

Blame it on the tides, El Niño, poor street drainage, global warming.

South Florida's weather gods sure have us spinning on a pre-winter roller coaster.

This week, record-breaking heat gave way to torrential rain, which gave way to flooding and tornadoes. There will be a peek of warm sunshine Saturday and Sunday before dropping into the low 40s by the end of the weekend.

Meteorologists scrambled to get a handle on the punishing storms on Thursday and Friday that caught most of the region by surprise -- including the weather forecasters.

A chain of brutal thunderstorms barreled across South Florida late Thursday, pounding the coastal areas -- but leaving some western towns and cities relatively unscathed.


US: December 19 - Today in Denver Weather History

Looking back at today in Denver weather history we see how cold weather can turn deadly. In fact, it was 11 years ago this week that a cold spell hospitalized many for hypothermia and killed five people.

From the National Weather Service:

From the 17th to the 24th:

In 1924...a prolonged cold spell occurred after mild temperatures during the first half of the month. Most low temperatures dipped below zero with the coldest reading of 15 degrees below zero occurring on the 24th. The high temperature of only 5 degrees on the 18th was a record low maximum for the date.

Bizarro Earth

Freezing Weather Claims 15 Lives in Poland

Polish police say 15 people froze to death in the country overnight as temperatures fell as low as minus 20 Celsius in some places.

Police also appealed Sunday to Poles to alert police if they come across homeless or drunk people lying outdoors in an attempt to lower the number of people who die each winter from the bitter cold.

Police say 47 people have already frozen to death countrywide since the beginning of December.