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Fri, 30 Sep 2022
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Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

New York City waterways covered in ice floes

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A tugboat tries to negotiate ice floes
The freezing temperatures that have plagued much of the eastern U.S. haven't spared New York City. The waterways around the island of Manhattan are filled with ice.


Binoculars

Arctic Gyrfalcon seen in the Chicago area

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© Wikimedia Commons.
Gyrfalcon.
Chicago's hosting an extremely rare visitor which is good for bird watchers but tough on other birds, reports WBBM's John Cody.

Wildlife biologist Chris Anchor with Cook County Forest Preserve District says the same conditions that brought snowy owls to Chicago have also brought Chicago the biggest falcon in the world.

The Gyrfalcon has a wing span up to 4 and 1/2 feet and weighs three or four pounds. Anchor says they can kill other birds as large as ducks and geese.

He says the Gyrfalcon, spotted at Navy Pier and also in Barrington northwest of Chicago, has a maximum air speed of 120 miles an hour.

Anchor says this is only the fourth one he's seen in his 30-year career as a wildlife biologist.

Comment: See also: Rare Arctic gyrfalcon located in Ulster County, NY

Rare Arctic gyrfalcon found in Wells Harbor, Maine

Rare Arctic gyrfalcon seen in Madbury, New Hampshire


Ice Cube

Record-breaking cold temperatures threaten harvests in U.S.

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Ice and oranges.

Winter's grasp doesn't seem to be letting up, as there are wind chill and freeze warnings throughout the state, says this video.

Freezing temperatures in Florida are threatening orange crops while apples from Washington state are left to rot as dock workers are on strike.

Thanks to Taavi Peterson for this video


Ice Cube

Lobster boats trapped by ice in New England harbors

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Stuck.
The bitter cold weather is taking a toll on New England's lobster industry which is losing a significant amount of money this winter.

Frozen waters in Maine have left lobstermen stuck on the mainland again this week.

The boats are sitting frozen and stuck and ice is preventing many lobstermen from leaving the harbor.

Some say it's been at least three weeks since they have been able to get out on the water and that the deep freeze is really starting to hurt their very livelihoods.

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Lobster boats stuck in ice.

Snowflake

Meanwhile in the Desert Kingdom: Saudi Arabia on high alert following snowstorms

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Snow in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
Health and security officials in Tabuk have been on full alert because of snowstorms in the northwestern part of the Kingdom over the past two days. The affected areas are AlDhaher Alakan Abu AlHanshan Attabaq Tinenar Wadi AlAsmar AlLawz Mountain and AlAniq.

The Saudi Red Crescent has reinforced its teams with extra officials to take care of the large numbers of people who are enjoying the snow. The Civil Defense has issued early warnings to alert people to take care and follow safety measures in such extreme weather conditions.

Khaled AlEnaizi spokesman of the Saudi Red Crescent in Tabuk said 11 teams had been assigned to parks and locations of heavy snowfalls where citizens and residents are out around the clock.

Snowflake

Heavy snowfall paralyses life for the residents of Azerbaijan

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Damage caused by heavy snowfall in Azerbaijan
Heavy snowfall has paralyzed life for residents in the Salyan and Neftchala regions (near the Caspian Sea), according to the correspondent of Shirvan bureau haqqin.az.

As a result, high-voltage lines on the evening of February 21 discontinued supplying electricity to these areas. In the homes of the residents of Salyan and Neftchala regions there is still no light.

40-50 cm (16 to 20 inches) of snow on the streets made it impossible to travel, leaving many stores without bread and essential goods.

Unable to withstand the weight of snow, many trees fell on homes and commercial properties. Dozens of electricity poles collapsed under the weight of snow. Residents were trapped in their homes. In Neftchale a few people went to a doctor because of injuries resulting from falls on icy streets.

According to old-timers, the last time such a snowfall in the far 1968.

Thanks to Argirist Diamantis for this link

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Damaged electricity pole in Azerbaijan

Ice Cube

Drone film of Niagara Falls frozen over

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Frozen Niagara Falls
The ice encasing the Niagara Falls, which has drawn in visitors from all over, isn't expected to melt entirely until May. Drone footage captures this rare and beautiful occurrence.


Boat

Ice-breaking tug boats operating on the Delaware River

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Ice-breaker on the Delaware river
The icy weather doesn't just cause trouble for the roads but for the waterways as well.

Every day when ice starts forming, the crew of the Coast Guard icebreaker Capstan casts off the lines and head out into the Delaware River - never knowing what they'll find out there.

"We look forward to the winter every year. This is what the boat is built for, this is what we are out here to do," said US Coast Guard BM1 Matt Bailey.

The Capstan is one of two ice breakers working 140 miles of the Delaware River.

The ice breaker was built in 1961 and can still handle ice up to 18 inches thick.



Snowflake Cold

U.S. Cities set all-time record lows as Siberian Express freezes Midwest, Northeast and South

Hundreds of daily record lows and at least three all-time record lows have been set as a frigid air mass with a connection to Siberia grips the central and eastern United States with dangerously cold conditions. Friday morning brought the most widespread and intense cold of the winter to many areas, sending temperatures into the 30s below zero as far south as Kentucky.
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The cities plotted on this map have recently recorded their lowest temperatures for any date in at least 10 years.
The cities plotted on this map have recently recorded their lowest temperatures for any date in at least 10 years.

Lynchburg, Virginia, plummeted to 11 below zero Friday morning, setting a new all-time record low for any day of the year. The previous record was 10 below zero on Jan. 21, 1985, and Feb. 5, 1996. Impressively, Lynchburg's temperature records go all the way back to 1893.

Flint, Michigan, tied its all-time record low of 25 below zero, originally set Jan. 18, 1976. Weather records in Flint began in 1921.

Earlier this week Erie, Pennsylvania, had tied its all-time record low when it reached 18 below zero Monday. That tied the record set Jan. 19, 1994. Not far away, Jamestown, New York, set an all-time record low of 31 below zero Tuesday, though its records only go back to 1960.

At least 72 daily record lows were set Friday morning from Connecticut to Florida to as far west as Indiana, including major cities such as New York, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Detroit and Cincinnati.

According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, 647 record lows were tied or broken Sunday through Thursday. This figure includes not only major airport reporting stations, but also smaller cooperative observation sites in rural areas.

More Friday Morning Records

All-time February record lows: Cleveland has broken its all-time record low for the month of February, reaching 17 below zero. The previous February record was minus 16 on Feb. 10, 1899, in the nation's worst arctic outbreak in modern memory. It is also Cleveland's coldest day since Jan. 19, 1994, when the city set its all-time record of 20 below zero.

Comment: America struck by 'Siberian Express' high-pressure system


Ice Cube

Grebes struggle as Great Lakes freeze over

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© Lynn Chamberlain
A stranded grebe
Animal rescue workers in southern Ontario are struggling to keep up with an influx of injured grebes, a species of waterbird that's fast running out of splashdown spots as the Great Lakes freeze over.

Grebes are smaller cousins to the loon, and spend their entire lives in the air or on the water. But with more than 80 per cent of the Great Lakes covered in ice, grebes are having a tough time finding open water to land in during Ontario's deep freeze. That's forced some grebes to touch down on solid ground, where they lack the ability to walk or take flight again.

"If the grebes land on land, they're dead," said Gail Lenters, who operates the Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, located north of Toronto, near Lake Simcoe.


Comment: It appears to shaping up to be a re-run of last years' mass avian die-off (due to the extreme cold and extensive ice cover), see these March, 2014 reports:

Hundreds of ducks found dead around Great Lakes due to ice cover

10 Fold increase in the number of dying water birds rescued in Toronto due to extreme cold

Death toll of waterbirds on frozen Lake Erie likely to number tens of thousands