Earth ChangesS


High winds brings power cuts to thousands in Ireland

High winds have heaped further misery on householders struggling to cope with the big freeze as power was cut off in several counties.

Thousands of homes in north Wicklow, Carlow and Cork were left without electricity on Tuesday night as falling timber struck overhead cables.

Teams of Electricity Supply Board (ESB) engineers worked in bad weather conditions to restore supplies to around 1,500 homes which remained without power.

About 1,000 homes in north Wicklow, including in Avoca and Rathnew, which have already been hard-hit by the snow and ice, were reconnected to the national grid on Wednesday morning.

An ESB spokeswoman said crews were continuing to work to restore electricity to other affected areas.


Flashback Cold streak sets new record

© unknown
How's this for cold comfort? Saskatoon's deep freeze is likely the longest streak of low temperatures below -25 C that has numbed this city since record-keeping began in 1892.

The 24-day streak started cruelly Dec. 13 after relatively mild temperatures and continued at least through Monday, said David Phillips, Environment Canada's senior climatologist.

"That's the thing that's brutal," Phillips said from Toronto, where he was enjoying a temperature of -4. "We can all handle a few (cold) days. It's the long haul that wears you down.

"It's really a shocker, the duration of the cold."

Phillips said he couldn't find a longer cold snap in Saskatoon's recorded weather history during a look through the records Monday. Even during the infamous January of 1950, when temperatures hit -46 and -45 (not counting any wind chill), the cold streak of -25 or lower lasted "only" 21 days.

Bizarro Earth

Haiti hit by largest earthquake in over 200 years

© APPeople carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Port-au-Prince - The strongest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people screamed for help and heavily damaging the National Palace, U.N. peacekeeper headquarters and other buildings. U.S. officials reported bodies in the streets and an aid official described "total disaster and chaos."

United Nations officials said a large number of U.N. personnel were unaccounted for.

Communications were widely disrupted, making it impossible to get a full picture of damage as powerful aftershocks shook a desperately poor country where many buildings are flimsy. Electricity was out in some places.

Bizarro Earth

Poor burn books to stay warm in chilly India, 55 dead

Patna - At least 55 people have died over the past four days in northern and eastern India as a spell of cold weather swept the region, officials said on Monday.

In Uttar Pradesh, 24 people have died from biting cold in rural areas, a disaster management official said from Lucknow.

Authorities in adjoining Bihar said they have received reports of 31 deaths over the past four days.

Police said a group of teachers used books meant for poor children in the impoverished state's Gaya district for a bonfire.

"They (teachers) burned some 500 books packed in two gunny bags to get warm," said Hansnath Singh, a senior police officer.

Bizarro Earth

Flashback Record cold wind chills of -50 C recorded overnight in Saskatchewan

Edmonton - A fierce blast of snow and cold was making its way east into Manitoba on Sunday after triggering record low wind chills of -50 C and colder in neighbouring Saskatchewan overnight.

Wind chill warnings were in effect in both provinces throughout the day, prompting warnings from Environment Canada that exposed skin would freeze in less than 10 minutes.

Residents of Saskatoon woke up to the coldest temperatures since 1966, with a wind chill of -45 C, leaving the city shrouded in ice fog.

Bizarro Earth

The big freeze: warnings of a Siberian snap

Freezing air from the Arctic and Siberia trapped over the UK will bring snow and sub-zero temperatures this week, experts warned yesterday.

Bizarro Earth

Avalanches and a Broken Chair Lift Bring Misery to the Frozen Alps

A total of 88 skiers were left dangling above the slopes when a chairlift broke in the Alps over the weekend.

The jammed mountain lift in Italy's Aosta Valley left them trapped 10 metres above piste for three hours in temperatures of minus 11C, as two helicopter crews battled the bitter cold to rescue them.

The incident follows deadly avalanches after Christmas and the death of three Italian climbers who fell to their deaths in the Lecco region of the Italian Alps.

During the chairlift incident on Sunday, rescue helicopter teams lowered the trapped skiers one by one on to the piste below, during an operation which saw the wind chill lower the perceived temperature even further.

Bizarro Earth

7.0 Earthquake Hits Haiti

A major earthquake struck just off the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, sparking a tsunami watch for parts of the Caribbean, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There was no immediate report of damage or injuries from the quake. However, The Associated Press reported that a hospital had collapsed.


London colder than Antarctica

© PA Birds land on the frozen dock in front of London's Canary Wharf financial district - as temperatures dropped below those in Antarctica
London was colder than parts of Antarctica yesterday as temperatures in southern England were forecast to plunge as low as 14F (-10C) overnight.

The capital reached a high of 37F (3C) yesterday, which was the same as Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

At Antarctica's Jubany Scientific Station, which is home to 60 people, 16,000 penguins and 650 sea lions, a relatively balmy high of 41F (5C) was recorded.

MeteoGroup UK said that on Sunday night temperatures reached 18F (-8C) in northern Scotland and 21F (-6C) in parts of England and Wales.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in England was -15F (-26.1C) on Jan 10, 1982 in Shropshire.

Bookmakers William Hill cut the odds of a record cold temperature being reached in 2009 from 20/1 to 16/1.

Meanwhile, the Met Office disclosed that 2008 was the wettest year for eight years and the third wettest since records began in 1914.

Arrow Down

Flashback US: July sets record for cold: 1,100 new low temperatures set

If you've noticed that this past July was colder than normal, you are not alone.

More than 1,100 daily record low temperatures were broken in July nationwide, according to the National Climatic Data Center. When record afternoon low highs are considered, that number jumps to more than 3,000 records. An additional 1,200 stations tied records.

Jesse Ferrell, a meteorologist with, said there were some surprising findings concerning the record low temperatures on the East Coast.

States in the Northeast and Midwest reported their lowest temperatures in the 50s and 40s this month, with 36 degrees reported in Michigan, he said.

Several cities in the Midwest reported the coldest July on record. Madison, Wis., had an average temperature of 65.7 degrees, breaking the previous record of 66.7. Cincinnati, Jackson, Ky. and Chicago also broke records.