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Tue, 30 Nov 2021
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

Sub-zero temperatures coupled with early snowfall have killed 14 people in Poland

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Warsaw - Sub-zero temperatures coupled with early snowfall have killed 14 people in Poland over the past week, national police said on Wednesday. "In eight days we've recorded 14 deaths associated with freezing weather in Poland," Krzysztof Hajdas, a spokesperson for police headquarters told AFP.

"The bodies of these people, mostly men, were found in various regions of the country," he said without elaborating.

A weekend cold snap and heavy snowfall across Poland caused chaos on the roads and left about 70 000 people temporarily without electricity in the region surrounding the capital Warsaw. Last winter, over 100 mostly homeless people and alcoholics died of exposure in Poland.

Cow Skull

Scotland's potato harvest at risk of write-off due to poor weather

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Waterlogged fields in Scotland, 16 October 2012
The struggle continues for our Crop Watch agronomists this week, particularly in Scotland where ware potato crops are at risk of being left in the ground to rot.

SAC senior potato consultant Matthew Smallwod was driving through snow, against the backdrop of growers trying harvest their crops. "It's been a fight between the elements and the grower," he says.

"The elements have won by knockout against growers under contract. Those on the open market are awaiting the judges' decision."

Growers that gambled on late burn-offs of their crops will now be playing cat and mouse with the weather, desperately trying to finish harvest before it is too late.

Snakes in Suits

Secret Service agent kills self amid affair probe

secret service
A senior Secret Service agent who was being investigated by the government for failing to disclose a long-standing relationship with a foreign citizen killed himself last week in Washington, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

Rafael Prieto, a married father assigned to the security detail for President Barack Obama, had acknowledged to U.S. investigators that he had been having an affair for years with a woman from Mexico, these people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto's death or the investigation. Prieto's relationship was revealed to Secret Service investigators by an agent who had been entangled in the Colombian prostitution scandal earlier this year, these people say. That agent was concerned that the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently.

Secret Service rules require that employees with a security clearance notify the agency about any relationship with a foreign citizen to ensure that the person is not a risk to national security. There is no evidence that Prieto's relationship posed any security threat. Failing to disclose such a relationship would be a violation of the agency's administrative rules, not a crime.

Prieto was serving on the protective detail for Obama, though he was not on duty at the time of his suicide. As recently as 2009, he was identified as the resident agent in charge at the Secret Service's office in White Plains, N.Y. He had worked for the Secret Service for 22 years. He was 47, according to public records.

Snowflake

Early snow pummels West Virginia

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© Robert Ray/AP


An ambulance is stuck in over a foot of snow off of Highway 33 West, near Belington, W.Va. on Oct. 30. Superstorm Sandy buried parts of West Virginia under more than a foot of snow.
Parts of West Virginia were digging out from up to three feet of snow dumped in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a deluge that cut power to hundreds of thousands of residents and shut down main highways.

The thick blanket of snow at higher elevations across the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, including in parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania, also brought concerns that rivers and creeks in low-lying areas could flood later in the week as the snow melts, with temperatures expected to reach 60 degrees. Falling trees and storm-related traffic accidents claimed the lives of three people in Maryland, three in Pennsylvania and one in West Virginia, state officials said Tuesday.

Close to 300,000 West Virginia residents were without power Tuesday afternoon, as high winds and heavy snow snapped branches and downed power lines, and officials expected the number to rise. Outages at several utilities had left some areas without access to water, and officials were sending out trucks to deliver bottled water.

Snowflake Cold

Snow blankets North Carolina at Hallowe'en for second year running

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Strong winds and heavy snow whipping around superstorm Sandy battered western North Carolina Tuesday, closing schools, making roads slick and prompting Gov. Bev Perdue to declare a state of emergency for 24 mountain counties.

The superstorm dropped more than a foot of snow on some mountain counties, said James Oh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's office in Greer, S.C. And more was expected to fall until Tuesday night.

The snow will enable one North Carolina ski resort to schedule its earliest season opening ever. Sugar Mountain, in the town of Banner Elk, announced it will open for skiing Wednesday. The Halloween opening is its earliest ever, breaking the record of Nov. 5, set in 1976. Resort officials said both skiing and snowboarding will be available.

Gusty winds were felt as far south as Charlotte, where a wind advisory was in effect Tuesday.

The snow and bad road conditions closed schools in Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties. Appalachian State University canceled classes.

Snowflake

Early snow in Albania

"Albania has a "cold snap" now, too," says reader Argiris Diamantis. "The first snow has fallen there quite early this year."

The first snow has fallen in the district of Kukes. The snows covered the areas over 1500 meters above sea level, approaching the villages of Shishtavec, Kalis, Gryke, Cajë, Arrën, Topojan, Zapod and several others.

http://news.albanianscreen.tv/pages/news_detail/49766/ENG

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis in the Netherlands for this link

"The whole Northern Hemisphere is experiencing 'cold snaps' at the same time," says Argiris. "Whatever happened to global warming?"

Snowflake

Almost all of Switzerland covered in snow

Dozens of road accidents were reported in the canton on Saturday evening following the heavy snowfall which has affected almost the whole of the country.

As many of the deciduous trees still have their leaves, many trees have suffered under the weight of the snow and branches have broken off, some of them falling on to roads and blocking them. Woodland in both cantons of Basel is particularly affected, especially above 400 metres. The authorities there have advised people not to walk in woods, or even on the edge of them.

The Zurich Cantonal Police have advised motorists to adapt their speed to the prevailing wintery conditions accordingly. They have reported a number of accidents caused by people still driving with summer tyres.

Several accidents were reported in the canton of Schwyz, too, with the mountain road between Schindellegi and Sattel particularly badly affected.

Nine accidents were reported in the canton of St Gallen, with the fire brigade busy clearing roads of fallen trees.

The photograph shows an overturned car in Bonau in the neighbouring canton of Thurgau.

Snowflake

Heavy snowfall in Hungary - Video


Igloo

France: Winter before it should be


"C'est l'hiver avant l'heure;" or 'it is winter before it should be', was one local person's reaction to heavy snow falls which have hit eastern parts of France.

The cold snap brought power cuts with up to 50,000 households in the Isere region in the Alps deprived of electricity.

Authorities have issued an "Orange" warning, the second highest alert, and rescue services have been fully mobilised.

Up to 50 centimetres of snow fell in some parts making driving hazardous. An icy wind and fresh falls of snow on top of the ice only added to the dangerous conditions.

Many drivers were forced to abandon their cars while emergency services were called to clear trees from roads felled in the high winds, with gusts blowing up to 130 kilometres per hour recorded in one area.

Parts of the south of France were the worst hit by the high winds where on the riviera two people have been reported missing.

A search has been mounted for a 12-year-old boy on the island of Porquerolles. Emergency services say his bike has been found. A 26-year-old windsurfer is also missing.

In the port of Marseille the ferry Napoleon Bonaparte was damaged when strong winds broke the ship's moorings.

The hull smashed against the dock flooding two of its watertight compartments.

Igloo

Cold snap to sweep through China

Cold Snap in China
© Xinhua/Lin Hong
Citizens wearing thick clothes walk on a street in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Oct. 28, 2012. A cold front swept the province on Sunday, lowering the temperature nine to 11 degrees centigrade in most parts of the province and bringing the lowest temperature down to less than zero.
Beijing -- China's central and eastern regions will experience temperature drops in coming days, while the southern parts will receive moderate to heavy rain, the national meteorological watchdog forecast Sunday.

Strong wind will make temperatures in northeastern regions fall by six to ten degrees Celsius on Sunday. A blast of cold air is forecast to sweep across the central and eastern parts from Monday, the National Meteorological Center said on its website.

The center also forecast that fog will shroud parts of Hubei, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces on Sunday morning, reducing visibility to less than 1,000 meters.

Over the next three days, parts of South China will see moderate to heavy rain, and some regions may experience torrential rain, the center said.

Son-Tinh, the 23rd tropical storm of the year, strengthened to a super-typhoon on Saturday night and was located 260 km southeast of Vietnam's Thanh Hoa at 5 a.m. Sunday.

Son-Tinh is expected to move northwestward at a speed of 10 to 15 km per hour and make landfall in Vietnam's northern coastal regions on Sunday night, the center said.