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Igloo

More signs of global cooling? Sun's record weak polar field may forebode Maunder-like Minimum

The Sun in January 2014 and News of the Sun's Polar Field
By Frank Bosse
(Translated, edited by P Gosselin)

Over the last month solar cycle 24 (SC24) has seen some rather brisk activity. The sunspot number (SSN) reached a value of 82.0, which however was only 77% of the normal value (106) for the 62nd month into a cycle. The southern hemisphere (SH) contributed to most of the overall result in January, outperforming the northern hemisphere (NH) 61:21. The following graphic depicts current activity (in red) and normal activity (in blue):
Global Cooling_1
© NoTricksZone
Figure 1: The course of SC24 in relation to the mean value of all observed cycles.
The figure also shows SC5 in light red. SC5 has some degree of similarity to the current cycle so far.

Ice Cube

Ice Age Cometh: Great Lakes ice cover spreading rapidly - Lake Superior sets new record

Image
© NASA
This breathtaking satellite image from NASA shows a broad view of Great Lakes ice.
Ice continued to build this past week on the Great Lakes due to the cold air and temperatures staying below freezing, and Lake Superior's new record shows it.

The lake is 92 percent frozen, toppling a 20-year-old record of 91 percent set on Feb. 5, 1994. That statistic helped total Great Lakes ice cover soar, and we can expect to see more form in coming days.

The air temperatures this past week averaged around five degrees below normal for the Great Lakes area. This amount of deviation from normal means it was a fairly cold week.

As of February 5, 2014, the entire Great Lakes system is now reportedly covered 77 percent with ice, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Last week at this time the ice cover was 66 percent. The 77 percent ice cover now still lags behind 1994, when the entire Great Lakes system had an average ice cover of 84 percent on February 5. This data is according to Jia Wang, physical oceanographer at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Center in Ann Arbor, MI.

Let's look at each individual lake.

Comment: Then again perhaps there will be no thaw and no normal spring.


Cloud Precipitation

Increasingly common 'rare snow' blankets Iran's capital Tehran

Heavy snow in northern Iran has left around 480,000 homes without power and some towns and villages cut off.

The winter storms were the worst in 50 years, with two metres of snow falling in some areas since the weekend.


Snowflake

Homes buried as severe snow strikes Austria

Large parts of Europe have been hit by severe weather, with snow, rain and high winds causing disruption in several countries.

Houses in Austria were buried under a thick blanket of snow, as the BBC's Rebecca Donovan reports.


Igloo

Record snowfall buries Italian village

Record snowfall in the north of Italy has left some people trapped in their homes.

Villagers in Madesimo had to dig their way out of their properties after several days of wintery weather.

Rebecca Donovan reports.


Ice Cube

CryoSat shows Arctic sea ice volume up 50% from last year

Measurements from ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice has significantly increased this past autumn.

The volume of ice measured this autumn is about 50% higher compared to last year. In October 2013, CryoSat measured about 9000 cubic km of sea ice - a notable increase compared to 6000 cubic km in October 2012.

See evolution:
ice thickness
ice thickness
ice thickness
ice thickness
Over the last few decades, satellites have shown a downward trend in the area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice. However, the actual volume of sea ice has proven difficult to determine because it moves around and so its thickness can change.

Galaxy

Signs of Change in January 2014

Image

Dazzling green fireball filmed above Belgium, January 2014
Mysterious booms across the US, often occuring in and around earthquakes - A series of unusual earthquakes in Australia - More 'strange sky sounds' - More meteor fireballs raining down - Massive sinkholes swallowing houses, cars and people - Storm after storm battering the UK and Western Europe, bringing massive waves, widespread flooding and landslides - Mass whale stranding in New Zealand - Polar Vortex (twice!) freezing most of the US in ice age conditions and making it colder than Mars - Major flooding in Florida, while hurricane-force winds smash into Oregon and the Carolinas - Tonga flattened by most powerful cyclone to hit the region half a century - A strong earthquake hit Puerto Rico - 100,000 people affected by major flooding in the Philippines, while another 40,000 were displaced by heavy rainfall in Indonesia - Bats falling out of the sky as wildfires rage in Australia's record heatwave - 'Winter wildfires' raging across snow-covered US - An eerily quiet Sun that hasn't been seen since the 17th Century - Several volcanic eruptions in Indonesia causing multiple deaths and the evacuation of thousands - Another strong earthquake in New Zealand - More mass animal deaths, including a whole pod of pilot whales off the coast of Florida - Record-breaking snowfall across the US...

2014 has stated with a bang, literally, with a surge of loud booms being heard and felt throughout much of North America. But then again, didn't the last few years start this way? This video includes strange and extreme weather, geological and cosmic events, covering most of the month of January. Things aren't looking good for certain few heavily populated areas...


Snowflake Cold

Standing Rock Sioux woman dies during propane shortage in sub-zero temperatures

North Dakota mobile home
© AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme
This Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo shows the Fort Yates, North Dakota mobile home where Debbie Dogskin was found dead Tuesday morning with an empty propane tank.


A Standing Rock Sioux member died from hypothermia, authorities believe, due to lack of heat during a propane shortage that recently prompted the tribe to declare a state of emergency. Nearly 90 percent of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation's residents use propane to heat their homes, reported KFYRTV.com.

Debbie Dogskin's adult son, who resided with his mother in the Sioux Village mobile home on the outskirts of Fort Yates, called an ambulance when he found her unresponsive early Tuesday.

When emergency responders arrived, Dogskin's propane tank was empty, and the temperature inside her home matched that of outside, 1 degree below zero. Her portable heater also appeared to be broken, Sioux County Sheriff Frank Landeis told GrandForksHerald.com.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, with results expected on Friday, Tribal chairman Dave Archambault told BismarckTribune.com.

Lack of propane and frigid temperatures have significantly impacted the Midwest, and the problem is exacerbated on the Standing Rock Reservation plagued by poverty and housing issues. Many tribal members can't afford propane, which has nearly doubled in price per gallon. But costs are expected to decrease soon, Mike Rud, North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association president, told BismarckTribune.com.

Ice Cube

Slovenia looks eerily similar to the "frozen" kingdom of Arendelle

The European country has been paralyzed by severe ice storms. Thousands were left without electricity, 40% of schools were shut, and residents were advised not to drink tap water, the BBC reported.

slowenien, eis
© Srdjan Zivulovic / Reuters
Ice covers a World War II monument in Pivka.
slowenien, eis
© Srdjan Zivulovic / Reuters
Ice-covered road signs in Postojna.

Windsock

America's changing tornado patterns‏

Image
© NOAA
Oklahoma's tornado count well above average in 2013, NOAA says.

Oklahoma's 79 tornadoes in 2013 was the second-greatest total in the nation, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The total topped the state's average of 57 tornadoes per year between 1981 and 2010, according to NOAA data. But the number didn't eclipse the 145 reported in 1999, the most since officials began recording tornado data in 1950.

Kansas, Texas and Florida annually average more. Only Texas, with 81 tornadoes in 2013, had more than Oklahoma last year.