Extreme Temperatures


April blizzard conditions cause 70-vehicle pile up on Wyoming interstate; 10 inches of snow in one day

As many as 70 vehicles piled up in one spot of a Wyoming interstate Thursday after a heavy April storm dropped almost 10 inches of snow on the area, authorities said.
© Wyoming Highway PatrolMultiple-vehicle crashes in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 on Thursday, April 16, 2015, that closed the highway between Rawlins and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
An almost 150-mile-long stretch of Interstate 80 remained closed in both directions Thursday afternoon between Cheyenne in southeast Wyoming and Rawlins in the central part of the state because of treacherous, slick conditions that caused accidents across the area, officials said. The worst spot was near mile post 342, between Cheyenne and Laramie, two of the state's major population centers.

The state Highway Patrol said three major accidents happened at that location within just a few hours, the first at 11:22 a.m. ET (1:22 p.m. ET) in blizzard conditions. All told, as many as 50 commercial vehicles and 20 passenger vehicles were piled up at the scene, it said.

No deaths were reported, but the Highway Patrol said, "but multiple injuries have been confirmed." Details on the injuries weren't immediately available.

State Transportation Dept. traffic cameras showed that a long line of trucks and cars remained stalled at that location late in the afternoon:

The National Weather Service said parts of Laramie County along I-80 got up to 9.8 inches of snow — and things could get worse.

Snow was expected to increase overnight into Friday morning, with as much as a foot of snow expected along the southern Laramie range. "there will likely be significant impacts to travel, especially along Interstate 80 from Buford to Arlington," it said.

Comment: Average Snowfall for Wyoming in April:
© Currentresults.com


Fish kills reported due to bitterly cold winter in Pennsylvania

Dead fish
Evidence of how brutal this winter was is showing up at ponds in Pennsylvania, including one in Luzerne County.

Pennsylvania's Fish and Boat Commission says the bitterly cold winter killed off nearly the entire fish population at Harris Pond in Sweet Valley. Harris Pond is a popular fishing spot for those who live in and around the Sweet Valley area of Luzerne County.

"That's bad. That's terrible. A lot of people fish in there. The public fishes there a lot," said John Kobal of Sweet Valley.

Hundreds of dead fish have already been cleared from the pond, but if you walk along the water's edge more are still surfacing.

Harris Pond isn't the only place dealing with dead fish.


Unseasonably early snowfall in New Zealand

The Chateau Tongariro Hotel at Mt Ruapehu looks spectacular on Tuesday morning after the first snow dump of the season.
An unseasonably early dump of snow on the North Island's ski fields has excited skiers and snowboarders, prompting a few to hit the slopes for some pre-winter fun.

A brutal southerly blast straight from Antarctica swept New Zealand on Monday and blanketed the country's ski fields in snow.

North Island's four fields - Whakapapa, Turoa and Tukino on Mt Ruapehu, plus Manganui on Mt Taranaki - were all celebrating the snowfall. "Everyone is excited about it," New Plymouth snowboarder Craig Balks said.

The 27-year-old spent Tuesday morning on Mt Taranaki with girlfriend Aleisha Tippett after the lure of early snow proved irresistible, despite his taking a day off work because of a nasty cold.

About 6cm of snow covered Manganui Ski Area's top car park by early Tuesday morning, he said. "I definitely think this is the earliest snow for ages."

While it was unlikely the snow would last till the end of the week, and was too little to snowboard on, he hoped it boded well for a "nice cold winter".

Stratford Mountain Club spokesman Rob Needs said it was the most significant snow to fall at such low levels and so early in the winter season for several decades.


8 inches of snow falls in Mexico in Spring

Snow cover in Mexico
What happened to spring?

A snowstorm struck the high Sierra Tarahumara of Chihuahua, causing the closure of some roads leading to the town of San Rafael, in las Barrancas el Cobre (the Copper Canyon).

The operating director of the State Civil Protection Unit, Virgilio Cepeda, said heavy snowfall began at 8:00 pm on Sunday in the municipalities of Bocoyna, Guerrero, Urique, Madera, San Rafael and Ocampo. Cepeda advised tourists returning from vacation to take precautions.

In these municipalities the snow reached a height of 10-20 cm (4 to 8 inches).

Snow also fell, not as intense, in at least 10 other municipalities, including Matachí, Temósachi, Cuauhtémoc and Carichi.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for these links


Is Warm Anomaly in Pacific Ocean - the 'blob' - linked to weird weather across the US?

pacific blob graph
© NOAAScientists say a warm patch of water in the Pacific Ocean known as 'the blob' may be causing this year's weird weather. Here, a plot shows how much warmer the waters were off the coast of Washington in April 2014 compared to the period between 1981 and 2010.
The one common element in recent weather has been oddness. The West Coast has been warm and parched; the East Coast has been cold and snowed under. Fish are swimming into new waters, and hungry seals are washing up on California beaches.

A long-lived patch of warm water off the West Coast, about 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal, is part of what's wreaking much of this mayhem, according to two University of Washington papers to appear in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

"In the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that just didn't cool off as much as it usually did, so by spring of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time of year," said Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a joint research center of the UW and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Bond coined the term "the blob" last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington's state climatologist. He said the huge patch of water - 1,000 miles in each direction and 300 feet deep - had contributed to Washington's mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.

Ten months later, the blob is still off our shores, now squished up against the coast and extending about 1,000 miles offshore from Mexico up through Alaska, with water about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal. Bond says all the models point to it continuing through the end of this year.

The new study explores the blob's origins. It finds that it relates to a persistent high-pressure ridge that caused a calmer ocean during the past two winters, so less heat was lost to cold air above. The warmer temperatures we see now aren't due to more heating, but less winter cooling.

Co-authors on the paper are Meghan Cronin at NOAA in Seattle and a UW affiliate professor of oceanography, Nate Mantua at NOAA in Santa Cruz and Howard Freeland at Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

pacific blob
© NOAA National Climate Data CenterThe warm blob earlier this week, now squished up against the West Coast. The scale bar is in degrees Celsius (each increment is 1.8 F)
The authors look at how the blob is affecting West Coast marine life. They find fish sightings in unusual places, supporting recent reports that West Coast marine ecosystems are suffering and the food web is being disrupted by warm, less nutrient-rich Pacific Ocean water.

Comment: This 'warm anomaly' could be attributed to increased quantities of CO2, methane outgassing and heat are coming up from below, i.e. passing up through the oceans from within the planet, heating and acidifying the planet's oceans.

There has been a sharp rise in observable volcanic activity on our planet's surface in recent times. However, the vast majority of the planet's volcanoes are located underwater.

The weather is getting more weird, more extreme.

We are also seeing an increasing number of bizarre, odd (perhaps even mutated species), previously unknown and mysterious creatures being discovered recently, together with increases in abnormal animal and marine behavior. All over the world such 'strange' and 'unusual' incidents are quickly becoming the norm, as are mass fish die offs.

Are these more 'signs of the times'? If so, what do they mean?
The fact remains that there is a lot of hard evidence suggesting that, far from 'global warming', we're already in the process of entering a new ice age (which could end up being a lot bigger than the last one), accompanied by increasing cataclysmic activity such as major destructive storms, earthquakes, and volcanism, among other 'anomalous' goings-on all over the planet. So no wonder the animals are behaving strangely. Maybe they're trying to tell us something important. The question is, is anyone listening?
Creatures from the deep signal major Earth Changes: Is anyone paying attention?

Snowflake Cold

Migratory birds starving in Nova Scotia due to prolonged snow cover

American woodcock
This extended Winter has been hard on us, but it's been especially hard on migratory birds moving into our area.

Thanks to the snow, birds are struggling to find food and many are dying or becoming too weak to fly.

Injured and sick birds are constantly being brought in to 'Homeward Bound City Pound' in Dartmouth.

"This robin was found in a puddle on the side of the road," says Katie Hauser, an employee at Homward Bound.

"Oh he's very skinny. You can feel, that's his keel bone right there. He should be puffed up just like a big chicken breast," said Hauser.


Unusual cold snap brings early snow in New South Wales

Early snow in New South Wales
It's barely a week into April, and already snow has started falling in NSW.

Residents around Oberon in the state's Central Tablelands witnessed some falls in the first major cold snap this year.

Snow in this time of year is unusual in the area, on the western side of the Blue Mountains, with the falls brought on by a combination of a low pressure system off the coast and cold air in the upper atmosphere.

NSW woman Donna Coventry snapped this series of photos showing the snow in Shooters Hill, which saw some of the heaviest of falls in the Central Tablelands.



Long harsh winter in Nova Scotia hard on predators like bobcat, foxes

© Tim Krochak/ StaffA pair of malnourished bobcats under the care of Hope For Wildlife in Seaforth are seen among trees in their enclosure Tuesday.
It's been a long, harsh winter for all local wildlife, but the top of the food chain is suffering most.

Andrew Hebda, the Nova Scotia Museum's curator of zoology, said the recent heavy snowfall is leaving predators hungry.

"It's been especially difficult for foxes, bobcats and coyotes," Hebda said Tuesday. "Anything that relies on rodents, rabbits or any small mammal for food is stressed."

According to Hebda, small mammals are hibernating longer this year, leaving carnivores at risk of starvation.

"We've had quite a few reports of saw-whet owls being found dead," he said. "If you make your living catching things that move, then there's a problem. They just don't have access to food."

Hope Swinimer, director of the Hope for Wildlife Society, has been rehabilitating wild animals for 20 years. So far this winter she's treated eight bobcats, two minks and countless other owls and rodents for starvation.


Blizzard in Mongolia leaves one dead and 98 lost

Cars stuck in snow, Mongolia.
Heavy snowfall and blizzard left 98 people lost, 140 cars and more households covered in snow, and numerous livestock dead nationwide last week.

A total of 98 people were reported missing in Arkhangai, Dundgovi, Uvurkhangai, Tuv, Uvs and Bulgan Provinces. From them, 96 were found safe while one was found dead and one is still missing.

Dundgovi Province Police reported that the last missing person to be found is a 50-year-old herder of Erdenedalai soum, who was reported missing during a blizzard while herding. He was found far from his home in another soum, Luus.

The herder said he found a winter quarter of another herder and took shelter until the blizzard died.


Winter returns to Iceland with a vengeance

© Mbl.is/ Malín BrandTake care when dri­ving to­day, the snow is back and roads are icy.
Reykjavik locals had to sweep snow off their cars this morning as the few spring-like days are seemingly over and winter is back with a vengeance. The weather forecast for the next few days is summed up in two words: cold and windy.

The Reykjavik metropolitan police ask people to drive carefully today as the roads are icy. In south and west Iceland today, heavy snowfall is expected causing poor visibility. Today's winds are between 15- 23 m/s and more snow is expected this week. Spring may not be around the corner- yet.