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Mon, 25 Jan 2021
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Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall continues to disrupt life in Kashmir, up to 6 FEET dumped - lifeline highway shut for 4th day

People walk past stranded vehicles on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway during heavy snowfall, at Qazigund in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on January 5.(PTI)
People walk past stranded vehicles on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway during heavy snowfall, at Qazigund in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on January 5.
The lifeline Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the fourth day on Wednesday as fresh landslides were reported along the only road that connects the Valley with the rest of the country. Officials said the stranded vehicles along the highway have been taken to safer places amid continuous rain and snowfall.

"Jammu Srinagar NHW [national highway] blocked due to snow accumulation at Jawahar Tunnel and Landslides/mudslides/shooting stones at Samroli, Magarkot, Panthyal, Marog, Cafeteria mor, Dhalwas, Nashri @JmuKmrPolice," tweeted Jammu & Kashmir traffic police.

A group of tourists from Rajasthan had a narrow escape along the highway near Panthal when a landslide hit the vehicle they were travelling in. Police said the tourists were rescued and were safe.

Heavy snowfall since the weekend has disrupted life across Kashmir, especially in South Kashmir and the upper reaches of North and Central Kashmir. Places like Kulgam district in South Kashmir have received up to six feet of snow. The heavy snowfall has prompted authorities to order rationing of petrol, diesel, and LPG cylinders as well as establish helplines at district headquarters.

Comment: See also this report from 2 days earlier: Heavy snowfall leads to closure of Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Kashmir - 4,500 vehicles stranded by up to 3 feet of snow


Heavy snowfall up to 4 feet deep paralysis life in parts of Hazara, Pakistan - roads blocked, electricity breakdown

Three days of continuous heavy snowfall in upper parts of Hazara division has paralyzed life and the people were forced to stuck at homes as mostly links roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall in the area.

According to details, during three days Galiyat and Thandyani received up to 18 inches of snow where most of the roads were blocked, Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) claimed that the main Murree road from Abbottabad to Murree was cleared for traffic but the link roads were still blocked.

For the last two days, residents of Galiyat, Thandyani, Kaghan and Naran were also facing electricity breakdown where electricity poles and overhead transmission lines were broken due to heavy snowfall.

Up till now, Naran received more than 4 feet snow, Kaghan 3 feet, Shogran 2 feet snow while Mansehra Naran Jalkhad road was closed for all sorts of traffic from Naran and onward. Another tourist attraction Chattar plain in district Mansehra also received the first snowfall of the season which was recorded up to 2 feet.


6.2-magnitude earthquake hits Kermadec Islands region

earthquake graph
© Phil McCarten / Reuters
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 jolted Kermadec Islands region at 06:20:32 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 26.12 km, was initially determined to be at 29.0707 degrees south latitude and 176.8993 degrees west longitude.


Heavy snowfall traps people in Asturias, Spain

A man tries to enter his vehicle, covered in snow in Pajares town in Asturias, northern Spain various parts of Spain were hit by heavy snowfall over the weekend.

A man tries to enter his vehicle, covered in snow in Pajares town in Asturias, northern Spain various parts of Spain were hit by heavy snowfall over the weekend.
Spanish civil guard and emergency services worked throughout the weekend to locate and rescue several people trapped after severe snowfall left people stranded in Leon, in the Spanish region of Asturias.

According to local media, an initial snowfall affected a road and a snow removal machine was called to the scene with a team of two workers, but then the two men themselves were caught in a second snowfall.

According to authorities one of the workers was retrieved dead, the other one is still missing.

Comment: With more heavy snowfall forecast for other parts of Spain very soon:
Spain set for big freeze: sub-zero temperatures and 'heaviest snowfall in years'

Much of Spain will experience sub-zero temperatures this week and some of the "heaviest snowfall in recent years", with even Madrid and Barcelona expected to be turned into winter wonderlands.

This year's Three Kings' Day celebrations will be truly out of the ordinary. Firstly, due to the fact that many of the usual Reyes celebrations have been cancelled as part of Covid-19 restrictions, and secondly because much of the country is set to experience some unusually cold weather even for this time of year.

Temperatures already starting dropping across the mainland on Tuesday but it's on Wednesday January 6 when the cold snap truly starts.

Spain's national weather agency AEMET have dubbed it 'Storm Filomena', a weeklong weather phenomenon which will see temperatures drop to -10 C in northern and central Spain and heavy snow fall at abnormally low altitudes of as little as 200 metres.

From Wednesday, maximum temperatures in much of Spain's interior won't go above 5C.

Even Spain's two biggest cities Madrid and Barcelona, which are not famed for getting much snow, are expected to be turned white on Tuesday night and Thursday respectively.

The Spanish capital could get 10 to 15 cm of snow, something which hasn't been seen since January 2009.

Other regions that are expected to get snow include Castilla y León, Cantabria, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Asturias, Galicia and some parts of eastern Andalusia. Some of these have already been turned into winter wonderlands, but by Thursday areas at lower altitudes will also be snow-capped.

"We're facing one of the longest and biggest snowfalls in Spain in recent years," AEMET spokesperson Rubén de Campo said about the weeklong polar snap.

Weather website El Tiempo has also referred to the snowfall that will cover much of Spain as "historic", adding that the majority of the country will be under snow by Thursday, up to 20cm in large parts of the country's interior.


Two very rare tornadoes hit Northern California

Two tornadoes touch down in Tehama County
© Chronicle
Two tornadoes touch down in Tehama County on Monday afternoon.
Two tornadoes touched down in Tehama County on Monday afternoon, causing tree and power line damage but no fatalities, according to the National Weather Service.

The first tornado hit the western edge of Corning at 1:34 p.m., said Idamis Del Valle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. The centrifugal force knocked down a large oak tree, took down power lines and damaged a barn.

Another tornado touched down less than 10 miles away in the town of Vina at around 2:40 p.m., meteorologists said. It touched down in an open field and no damages were reported.

Northern California had 39 tornadoes in the past decade, averaging between three and four twisters per year, according to National Weather Service records.


Heavy snowfall in Austria around 100 cm (40 inches) of snow in 24 hours

People clear the roof of a petrol station from snow, in Lienz, Austria, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
© AP/Matthias Schrader
People clear the roof of a petrol station from snow, in Lienz, Austria, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
Heavy snowfall in Austria. Around 100 cm of snow was recorded in the last 24 hours.


Heavy snow buries parts of Northern Italy - 6 FEET fell early Monday - blocking roads, burying cars and houses

General view after heavy snowfall in Sappada, Italy, Jan. 3, 2021
© Twitter/Aametsoc
General view after heavy snowfall in Sappada, Italy, Jan. 3, 2021, in this still image obtained from a social media video.
European weather forecasters say about 2 meters (over 6 feet) of snow fell early Monday in parts of northern Italy's alpine region, blocking roads and burying cars and houses in some areas.

From its Twitter account, the Alpine-Adriatic Meteorological Society posted video from Italy's northeastern area of Comelico, near the border with Austria. Snow blocked the entrances to homes and buildings, with more snow falling in the small village of Sappada, in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Italian firefighters said they carried out more than 100 operations to clear roads of snow.


18 inches of snow in the desert? Texas park warned visitors to stay away after deluge of snow

Big Bend National Park received 12 to 18 inches of snow on New Year's Eve.
© Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park received 12 to 18 inches of snow on New Year's Eve. The park shared this photo of a snow man and the blanket of snow it experienced.
A foot and a half of snow in Texas?

On New Year's Day, Big Bend National Park — usually concerned with heat stroke or bears — warned visitors help would not be forthcoming if they got stuck in the snow that had blanketed the park the night before.

"Roads in Big Bend National Park are currently impassable," officials wrote on Facebook. "We received between 12-18 inches of snow last night and it's still snowing. Please do not attempt to enter the park."

Snowfall total maps released by the National Weather Service confirm 12 to 18 inches of snow were dumped on the West Texas park. The holiday storm stranded drivers on interstates, including one Trump bus tour destined for the Alamo in San Antonio.


Two pitbulls maul four-year-old boy to death in Cape Town, South Africa

The family of four-year-old Milani Keke, who was mauled to death by two pitbulls in Gugulethu at the weekend, said they were struggling to come to terms with their loss.

Milani was attacked by the dogs when he tried to retrieve a ball while playing rugby with friends at home on Sunday.

The animals are currently in the care of the SPCA as investigations continue.

Speaking to the Cape Times on Monday, his traumatised mother, Nothemba Keke, said she was inside her home when the incident happened.

Cloud Precipitation

Hail and flash floods in Sucre, Bolivia leave 4 dead, 6 missing

Clean up operations after hail and flash flooding
© Municipo de Sucre
Clean up operations after hail and flash flooding 04 January 2021 in Sucre, Bolivia.
A short period of torrential rain and hail during the afternoon of 04 January 2021 caused flash flooding in parts of the city of Sucre in Chuquisaca Department, Bolivia.

Authorities report that at least 4 people died, 6 are missing and 7 were injured as a result of the severe weather. The intense rain and hail also caused considerable material damage to vehicles and buildings. Several stalls of traders from the Mercado Campesino were swept away.

Police in Chuquisaca reported that 14 people were rescued with symptoms of hypothermia and were taken to different medical centres. Seven were later discharged and the rest remain under hospital care

In a statement, President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, expressed his condolences to the relatives of the deceased.