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Snowflake Cold

Unseasonal winter storm strikes northern Europe

Unseasonably severe weather struck much of France on Tuesday, leaving tens of thousands of homes temporarily without electricity and paralysing travel across Europe.

Just when many in France allowed themselves hope that spring may be around the corner, a fresh flurry of heavy snowfall struck much of the country, leaving tens of thousands of homes without electricity and disrupting travel across Europe.

French weather service Metéo France put two regions in the northwest on red alert - the highest possible - and 28 other regions across the country's north and northwest on orange alert because of the winter storm, calling the snowfall "remarkable for the season because of the expected quantity and length of time".


Washington DC shuts down ahead of winter snow storm

midwest snow
© Getty Images
As much as 10in (25cm) of snow fell on Chicago on Tuesday
US government offices are closed as the East Coast braces for a blizzard that dumped heavy snow on Midwestern states in recent days.

Schools are shut and more than 1,500 flights cancelled at Washington DC and Baltimore airports, with up to a foot (30cm) of snowfall predicted.

Officials have warned of power cuts in the mid-Atlantic region between New England and the south-eastern states.

On Tuesday, Chicago saw heavy snowfall with about 10in reported in some areas.


Furious snow storm descends on Chicago - 1000 flights canceled

Mother Nature is apparently saving the best, or at least the biggest, for last. Chicago residents expected to find themselves in the midst of a storm that could wind up dumping as much as 10 inches of snow in the area before the end of Tuesday - the most since the 2011 blizzard and its more than 20 inches of snow. "This will be the biggest widespread storm of the winter," National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley said. The forecast is for 8 to 10 inches throughout northeastern Illinois and northwest Indiana, a far cry from last March, which saw less than a half-inch of snow and was the warmest one on record in Illinois. Hardware stores in and around the city did brisk business Monday, selling salt and snow shovels at a time many usually turn their thoughts toward gardening and baseball.

"Everybody's got a little comment with every bag they're buying," said Mike McIntosh, who works at Dressel's Hardware in Oak Park just outside Chicago. Workers had started to stock the shelves with tools and supplies associated with spring and summer, only to find the shovels and salt they thought they'd hold for another year were still in demand. "Everybody's a bit surprised, but it's good for us, we've got a lot of this stuff to move," he said. On Monday, the system moved across the Dakotas and Minnesota, dropping up to a foot of snow in some areas and freezing rain in others. Some schools closed and officials warned motorists to stay off the roads.

Comet 2

Giant ice meteors fall from clear skies


Remains of an ice meteor on a factory roof in Spain.
20-pound chunks of ice falling on a sunny day? It's no urban myth.

Climate experts have long warned that global warming could bring an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and drought. They never mentioned 20-pound chunks of ice falling from the clear blue sky, tearing through roofs, shattering windshields, and gouging impact craters. Yet reports of such "clear-sky ice fall events" have been on the rise worldwide in recent years, and in February Spanish researchers offered further evidence that the increase could be due to climate change.

Snowflake Cold

Snowstorm expected to cause hazardous travel over U.S. Midwest

© The Bismarck Tribune via AP
Snow-covered trees form a scenic canopy over Bismarck, N.D., on Monday, March 4, 2013, in the wake of a slow-moving winter storm that passed through the state.
A late-winter storm was expected to gum up travel Tuesday as it crept slowly across the Central and Midwest U.S. before heading east later in the week, forecasters said Monday.

The storm was expected to peter out by the time it hits New York and Boston later in the week, but not before it creates a mess for commuters from Upper Mississippi and Ohio River valleys eastward to the Atlantic Coast.

Significant snowfall will make travel dangerous Monday night and Tuesday in the Upper Midwest, especially around major cities like Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Chicago. The Weather Channel warned that major delays were likely Tuesday at O'Hare and Midway airports.

Chicago is expected to get its biggest snowfall of the season - as much as 10 inches by Tuesday evening. The National Weather Service said accumulation rates of one to two inches an hour beginning Tuesday morning would make "snow removal difficult and travel extremely dangerous."

"Consider only traveling if in an emergency," it said in issuing a winter storm warning for the city.

Unseasonably warm temperatures Monday melted some of the winter's snow in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul - just in time for a new blast of winter that could drop as much as 7 inches of new snow overnight and Tuesday.


Toronto breaks snowfall record for February 27, 2013

GTA residents had a difficult time shovelling the heavy wet snow, Feb. 27, 2013
It's another sloppy drive to work and school Thursday morning as the slow-moving storm system that dumped record amounts of wet snow on the GTA Wednesday continues to hang around.

Snowfall record

Toronto broke a snowfall record for Feb. 27, according to Environment Canada.

At Pearson International Airport, 12.4 centimetres of the heavy wet snow covered the ground, breaking the record of 7.1 centimetres set in 1967.


Record snowfall in Amarillo,Texas

© AP Photo/The Amarillo Globe News, Michael Schumacher
Brandon Green works through a 5-foot snow drift in his driveway, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 in Amarillo, Texas. The blizzard that hammered the nation's midsection broke a 120-year-old record in Amarillo for one-day snowfall in February with 19.1 inches.
The blizzard that hammered the nation's midsection broke a 120-year-old record in Amarillo for one-day snowfall in February with 19.1 inches.

National Weather Service meteorologist Krissy Scotten in Amarillo says the snowfall total Monday bested a record set Feb. 16, 1893, when 19 inches fell.

Snowflake Cold

Pacific storm pushes heavy snow, winds into Alberta, Saskatchewan

© Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press
Poor road conditions are a concern today in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Canada - The rain storm that drenched the B.C. South Coast over the past few days has become a snowstorm as it pushed over the prairies, bringing freezing rain, heavy snowfall and strong winds throughout the day today and Monday.

Precipitation from this system had already started to fall last night, in a line from west-central Alberta into southern Saskatchewan, with Edmonton reporting light rain in the evening and freezing rain around midnight. This switched over to all snow, heavy at times, overnight and continued to fall through the morning, with gusty winds causing blowing and drifting snow.

The storm is spreading into southern Alberta this morning. Heavy snowfall is expected at times throughout the day, dropping between 10-15 centimetres of snow by tonight, with blowing snow from winds gusting up to 70 km/h.


Living with Calcutta's record low temperatures

Cold Weather Calcutta_1
© Associated Press
Dressing for the cold has become a major talking point in Calcutta, where the temperatures are the lowest for a century. One piece of cold-weather gear appears to be de rigueur in this city - the monkey hat.

When my newspapers started arriving two hours late, I asked the delivery man why.

He replied: "No-one can get up early in this cold so why do you need your papers? Go with the flow."

At least I think that's what he said, I could hardly hear through my earmuffs.

When you think of India you think of heat - whether it is the country's temperature, or its food.

So how do people here cope with winter? Well, that varies from region to region.

When I asked a friend of mine from southern India they laughed as they replied: "We do not have a winter, it is always hot."

My family in Delhi - in the north, where the temperature really does drop - just shrugged their shoulders and said: "We are used to it".


Six people die as blizzards hit northern Japan

© AFP Photo
Snow-covered rooftops across a neighborhood in Tokyo on February 6, 2013. At least six people died in a spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over the weekend, police and news reports said Sunday.
At least six people died in a spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over the weekend, police and news reports said Sunday.

A 40-year-old woman and her three teenaged children were found dead late Saturday in a car buried under snow in the town of Nakashibetsu, eastern Hokkaido, a local police spokesman said.

They are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning as the car's exhaust pipe and was blocked by snow and the windows were up, Kyodo News said, adding that snowfalls of more than two metres (6.6 feet) were recorded in the area.