Extreme Temperatures


Polar vortex to make encore performance in Midwest, East U.S.

Consider the weather this week a mere pause in a tough winter that will resume next week with cold air and the potential for snowstorms.

Signs are pointing toward another southward dip from the polar vortex. The polar vortex is essentially a mass of very cold air that usually hangs out above the Arctic Circle and is contained by strong winds.

According to Long Range Expert Mark Paquette, "We noticed a minor Sudden Stratospheric Warming event taking place back on Feb. 6-7, 2014."

When sudden warming takes place high in the atmosphere, it initiates a chain of events that tends to displace the polar vortex between 14 and 30 days later.

"In addition to the exact timing of the cold outbreak is you never know for sure initially which continent the cold air will be directed," Paquette said, "This time it appears it will take aim at the eastern part of North America."


Rare Arctic songbird turns up at Panama City Beach, Florida

© Ron Houser Our members of the Bay County Audubon Society saw a Snow Bunting at St. Andrews State Park on Saturday, Feb. 15. This is a very rare bird in Florida. Its winter range usually extends no further south than Ohio but it breeds in the Arctic, much further north. The last one reported locally was in 1986.
Clear eyes, full hearts and lots of sunshine can't lose.

This week is why you moved to Florida. It's the middle of February and the temperatures will be in the 70s all week. Also, that troublesome rain that you normally associate with great weather like this is nowhere to be seen. At least until Friday when there is a 40 percent chance of scattered showers.

How nice is it? A snow bunting, a rare artic bird is hanging out in Saint Andrews State Park, according to local resident Ron Houser of the Bay County Audubon Society.

Houser captured a shot of the bird Saturday. He said they breed in the arctic and usually don't travel any further south than Ohio.

Also, Spring Break has not started yet which means you have the beach to yourself. That's right, you heard me, you have the beach to yourself locals.

Get to it.

Comment: See also : Thousands of Arctic songbirds invade Ohio farmstead

Rare Arctic bird turns up in Darwin, Australia

UK storms bring in rare Arctic gulls to Pembrokeshire

Storm blows Canadian bird 3,000 miles on to Tyrone lough, Northern Ireland

Bird watchers flock to Portland, UK after a rare Arctic Brunnich's Guillemot spotted

Ice Age Cometh: Snowy Owl invasion coming in North America?

Maine experiencing a Canadian owl invasion

Incredible Hawk Owl invasion in Estonia!

Huge Snowy Owl invasion becomes official in Canada and U.S.

Thousands of Hawk Owls descend on Finland as food in northern Russia runs out

Ice Age Cometh: Unprecedented influx of Arctic Ivory Gulls into UK


Warning signs heralded Korean resort tragedy

Collapsed Roof
© ChosunAn aerial view of the gymnasium in a mountain resort in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province that collapsed under heavy snow on Monday.
The resort collapse in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province on Monday night that killed 10 students and injured 105 was no freak accident.

Record snowfall in southeastern Korea on Nov. 9 had already caused five roofs in the neighboring port city of Ulsan to cave in and another 27 reports of possible structural failure at factories and homes.

On Feb. 10, the roof of one autoparts maker in Ulsan caved in crushing one worker to death, and on Feb. 11, the roof at another factory nearby collapsed, killing one worker and injuring two others.

Gyeongju, just 20 km away from Ulsan, saw 50 to 60 cm of snowfall since Feb. 9, but nobody took the time to voice concerns as hundreds of students piled into the gymnasium at the snow-covered resort.

Ice Cube

Will the new ice age produce a US invasion of Mexico?

snow NYC
© AP Photo/Seth WenigPiles of snow line the waterfront overlooking the New York City skyline in Weehawken, N.J., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Commuters faced slick roads on Friday after yet another winter storm brought snow and ice to the East Coast, leaving at least 24 people dead.

Los Angeles civil rights lawyer Alex Jacinto is known among some of his friends and acquaintances as the Don Quixote of California, a modern day knight errant never shy about jousting with windmills he may find offensive to his sense of justice. He even went out on a limb and stated that the US may one day invade Mexico to escape the extreme cold brought on by climate change.

He once ran for sheriff against a powerful but corrupt longtime incumbent, becoming a cause celeb in the process - and did respectively well, with boxing legend Muhammad Ali, his major endorser, campaigning alongside him.

At other times, carrying a life-size replica of the Virgen de Guadalupe tilma enshrined in Mexico City, he has crusaded in liberal corners of L.A. against abortion, stem cell research and other causes dear to progressive Democrats, much to their chagrin.

But perhaps nothing seemed as absurd as the night some years back at a Hollywood Mexican restaurant, with several politicians including then former Gov. Jerry Brown nearby, when Jacinto went on a long diatribe about how the United States in the not so distant future would "have" to invade Mexico to expand into that South of the Border country for survival.



Official forecast of the U.S. Government never saw this Winter coming

Surprised by how tough this winter has been? You're in good company: Last fall the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that temperatures would be above normal from November through January across much of the Lower 48 states. This graphic shows just how wrong the official forecast of the U.S. government was:

The big red blotch in the top map represents parts of the country in which the Climate Prediction Center forecast above-average temperatures. The frigid-looking blue blotch in the bottom "verification" map shows areas where temperatures turned out to be below average.

"Not one of our better forecasts," admits Mike Halpert, the Climate Prediction Center's acting director. The center grades itself on what it calls the Heidke skill score, which ranges from 100 (perfection) to -50 (monkeys throwing darts would have done better). October's forecast for the three-month period of November through January came in at -22. Truth be told, the September prediction for October-December was slightly worse, at -23. The main cause in both cases was the same: Underestimating the mammoth December cold wave, which brought snow to Dallas and chilled partiers in Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Arrow Up

Snow-clogged roads in Japan trigger food shortages, send vegetable prices surging

© GSDF/REUTERSGround Self-Defense Force personnel dig a car out of the snow in a Yamanashi Prefecture neighborhood Sunday.
The heavy snowfall that hit the Kanto and other regions the last two weekends has sent vegetable prices skyrocketing and caused shortages of some food types.

According to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, prices of vegetables such as leeks, spinach and carrots have been pushed up by 20 to 40 percent compared with the corresponding average for the past five years.

For example, leek prices reached ¥562 per kilogram Saturday, a sharp rise from the ¥323 they fetched Feb. 7.

"The deep snow, especially in Gunma and Saitama prefectures, has stopped shipments of lettuce, cabbage and cucumbers from those areas," said a spokesman for the Maruetsu Inc. supermarket chain.


Tough, volatile winter creates menace: Ice falling from skyscrapers, causing injuries

© AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIPedestrians pass a sign warning them of falling ice near City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in New York
City dwellers battling one of the most brutal winters on record have been dealing with something far more dangerous than snow falling from the sky: ice tumbling from skyscrapers.

Streets around New York's new 1 World Trade Center, the nation's tallest building, were recently closed when sheets of ice were seen shearing from the face of the 1,776-foot structure - turning them into potentially deadly, 100-mph projectiles.

And sidewalks around high-rises in cities big and small have been cordoned off with yellow caution tape because of falling icicles and rock-hard chunks of frozen snow, a situation that experts warn could get worse over the next few days as a thaw sets in over much of the country.

"The snow starts to melt and the liquid drips off and makes bigger and bigger icicles, or chunks of ice that break off skyscrapers," said Joey Picca, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in New York, which has had 48.5 inches of snow this winter and several cycles of freeze and thaw.

"Be very, very aware of your surroundings," he said. "If you see ice hanging from a building, find another route. Don't walk under hanging ice."

Cloud Precipitation

Second Japan snow storm leaves thousands stranded as toll rises to 23

© Reuters/Japan Ground Self-Defense ForceA Japan Ground Self-Defense Force excavator removes snow covering a bridge at Hinohara village, west of Tokyo.
Snow-choked roads cut off thousands on Tuesday as parts of Japan struggled to dig out from its second storm in a week, with the death toll rising to at least 23.

Train services were suspended in some areas after the Valentine's Day storm dumped more than a meter of snow in parts of central Japan and blanketed the capital with record snow for the second weekend in a row, snarling airline traffic and slowing production at some Japanese automakers.

Snowflake Cold

India: heavy snowfall in Himachal

© UnknownPeople walking on the snow covered road after heavy snowfall in Shimla on Sunday.
Heavy snowfall in many parts of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday has bring down temperatures and affected the normal life.

The state capital Shimla which experienced the coldest night at minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and key tourist resort of Manali were cut off from rest of the state due to heavy snowfall.

People remained without milk, bread, vegetables and other commodities and there was no supply of newspapers in the morning.

Cloud Precipitation

South Korea resort roof collapses under heavy snow, 9 dead

The roof of a resort auditorium collapsed during a welcoming ceremony for South Korean university freshmen, killing nine and likely trapping about 10, officials said Tuesday.

The dead included seven students and an adult; officials weren't sure yet if the ninth victim was a student. About 80 people were sent to hospitals with minor injuries, according to officials at the state-run National Emergency Management Agency who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media.