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Wed, 26 Jan 2022
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While East Coast freezes, West Coast burns: crews battle wildfire in Rural Placer County, California

california fires
California Fire crews are gaining ground on a wildfire burning in rural Placer County.
As of 4L30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the fire had burned 120 acres, according to Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

The fire is burning in Pleasant Grove, near South Brewer Road and Phillips Road. No structures were threatened.

The lack of rain in California has led to summer-like conditions, causing agencies like Cal Fire to beef up their staff earlier than usual.

Ice Cube

Deep freeze in U.S. Midwest, Northeast to be prolonged

freeze weather
Bitterly cold air is again settling southward from the Arctic into a large part of the Eastern states. Unlike the outbreak from early January, this time the cold will have more staying power.

Into the first part of next week, the polar vortex will hover just north of the United States border causing waves of frigid air to blast into the Midwest and much of the East.

The polar vortex is a commonly used term among the meteorological community to describe an intense storm with frigid air and strong winds that spends much of its time above the Arctic Circle. Occasionally, during the autumn, winter and spring, this storm can dip farther south, approaching the mid-latitudes.


Bastardi: Arctic outbreak with multiple storms to last 10-15 days, has power grid concerns

US winter forecast
© Accuweather

On Sean Hannity's radio show on Tuesday, Weatherbell Analytics meteorologist Joe Bastardi predicted today's severe winter weather is just the beginning of a 10 to 15 day outbreak to hit the Midwest, the Great Lakes region and the Northeast.
"I think this is blizzard conditions on [Long Island] tonight, coastal New Jersey, southeastern New England," Bastardi said. "Severe and extreme cold developing at the tail end of this storm. And this is the beginning of a siege that I'm very concerned is going to have an immense impact on the country economically. I'm very concerned, and I hope I'm wrong, about the power grid. That Arctic outbreak that came for three to four days earlier in the month, led to blackouts. We've got 10 to 15 days of this coming now, where one shot after another comes in and more storms are coming. And you know, this is not trying to be doom and gloom. You don't need to hype the weather. It will hype itself naturally."

Ice Cube

Why did Antarctic expedition ship get stranded in ice?


The Akademik Shokalskiy was trapped in thick ice for 10 days
BBC producer Andrew Luck-Baker was on board a Russian research vessel when it became trapped in pack ice over Christmas. Here, Andrew, who was covering an expedition for the BBC World Service's Discovery programme, examines the events that led up to the ship being stranded.

As the members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) reach the end of their travels together, investigations will soon begin to establish why their Russian expedition ship, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, became trapped in thick and extensive pack ice for 10 days.

The ship's entrapment at Christmas time led to an Australian icebreaker being diverted from its own operations hundreds of kilometres along the coast and a Chinese icebreaker also coming to the rescue.

That vessel ended up stuck in the ice itself for many days. A smaller French icebreaker ship was also summoned to the scene. It retreated when it became clear that the ice was much too thick for it to help.

The 52 members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition were trapped until 2 January when a helicopter team from the Chinese vessel airlifted the scientists, tourists and operational staff to the Aurora Australis.

The expedition leaders could have some tough questions to face about logistical shortcomings that may have put the vessel at increased risk of becoming trapped. These were operational errors and mishaps during a visit by scientists and tourists to a location close to the Antarctic shore on 23 December.

Ship insurance companies along with the Australian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre will be keen to establish what happened and whether human error contributed to the Akademik Shokalskiy becoming encased.

Comment: This silly tourist expedition put many people in danger and disrupted serious scientific research programs:
French Le Monde blasts Chris Turney's Antarctic joy ride for disrupting real Antarctic science!
Rescue efforts for trapped Antarctic voyage disrupt serious science
Ship of fools: Icebound expeditioners apologise for Antarctic rescue mission
'Stuck in our own experiment': Leader of trapped team insists polar ice is melting against evidence of his own experience

Ice Cube

Drastically cold temperatures create greatest ice cover on the Great Lakes in 20 years

© upnorthlive.com photo
West Grand Traverse Bay is freezing over. The last time this much ice has formed on the Great Lakes this early in the season was in 1994.
The prolonged stretch of unseasonable cold has set up the greatest ice cover on the Great Lakes this early in the season since 1994.

A review of data shows that ice formation on the Great Lakes continues and with colder than normal temperatures remaining in the short and longer range forecasts, the ice cover will continue to grow.

At this point, the Great Lakes are currently 48% ice covered.

The lake with the highest concentration of ice is Lake Erie, which is no surprise, as it is by a wide margin the shallowest of the Great Lakes so it freezes up much faster. Interestingly, Lake Erie is also because of how shallow it is, the warmest of the lakes in summer. As of this writing, Lake Erie is 94% ice covered.

Next in line is Lake Huron where all of Georgian Bay, the North Channel and the shoreline areas along Michigan are completely frozen over. There is open water in the center of the lake still, but Lake Huron is 69% frozen over.

Snowflake Cold

Colder weather may threaten 15 percent of U.S. Midwest wheat - forecaster

Frigid temperatures in the U.S. Midwest this week posed a slight risk of freeze damage to about 15 percent of the region's soft red winter wheat crop, primarily in parts of Missouri and Illinois, a forecaster said on Wednesday.

"Northeastern Missouri into southern and central Illinois will be on the edge of this cold air and could get a little bit of winterkill," said Joel Widenor, a meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group.

"Overall, it's not going to be a serious threat because we have got so much snow cover in place," Widenor said. The snow should protect dormant wheat in the coldest areas, including northern Illinois and Indiana.

Below-normal temperatures are expected in the Midwest for the next 10 days, with temperatures in Chicago seen dropping to minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 22 Celsius) by Thursday.


U.S. Snow flight cancellation tally: 4,400 and growing

Stranded air passengers
© Michael Ein, The Press of Atlantic City/AP
Stranded air passengers wait in line for refunds at the Atlantic City International Airport on Jan. 21, 2014, after snow caused delays and cancellations.
Air travelers face another rough travel today as airports dig out from the East Coast snowstorm that snarled flights Tuesday.

Flight-tracking service FlightAware.com says more than 1,400 flights nationwide have been canceled as of 7:30 a.m. ET this morning, a total that's likely to inch up during the day.

The bulk of those cancellations come at airports that bore the brunt of the snow, particularly the three big New York City-area airports, Boston and Philadelphia.


Ship of fools: Icebound expeditioners apologise for Antarctic rescue mission

Chinese helicopter rescues passenger of Antarctic ship
© AP/Zhang Jiansong
A Chinese helicopter rescues passengers from the ship Shokalsky on the 2nd of January.
Antarctic expeditioners rescued by an Australian icebreaker have apologised for an operation that could cost taxpayers up to $2.4 million.

Fifty-two passengers rescued from a Russian ship trapped in sea ice have arrived in Hobart aboard the Australian Antarctic vessel Aurora Australis, nearly three weeks after the emergency began.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, chartered by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition to retrace the steps of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, became stuck in thick sea ice on Christmas Eve.

"We're incredibly grateful to everyone who's come out to help us," leader of the privately funded expedition, Professor Chris Turney, told a media conference in Hobart.

"We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.
"Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that's an inherent risk."

Comment: And no, Chris Turney aka "the Penguin" is no experienced Antarctic scientist unless we add political scientists and spin doctors into the equation.

Comment: The expedition joy ride which was a farce from beginning to end did take unnecessary risks.
French Le Monde blasts Chris Turney's Antarctic joy ride for disrupting real Antarctic science!
Rescue efforts for trapped Antarctic voyage disrupt serious science

No more dead parrots - Global-warming fans spent frozen Christmas in Antarctica:
"A look at readily available satellite imagery would have prevented the fiasco; they show an abundance of ice in the Antarctic"

Snowflake Cold

Ice Age Cometh: Temperatures hit -41C in Swedish cold snap

© Björn Lindgren/TT
Residents living in far northern Sweden woke up to a temperature of -41.2 C on Sunday as the harsh winter continues to bite across the rest of the country.

The village of Karesuando, right at the very northern tip of Sweden, clocked the epic cold temperature during Sunday reports the Swedish weather agency SMHI.

"It is also a seasonal record," said SMHI meteorologist Lars Unnerstad to the TT news agency. The recorded temperature of -41.2 was a record for that region which is right on the Finnish border.

Unnerstad added that he expected more cold records to break during the next 24 hours due to the high pressure, lack of wind and the continuing clear weather.

© Johan Nilsson/TT
The deep freeze has had an impact on local transport in the region with train and bus services being cancelled as a result.

Ice Cube

Manipulation of climate data shows the US gov. scientists turned a "90 year cooling trend into a warming trend"


A newly-uncovered and monumental calculating error in official US government climate data shows beyond doubt that climate scientists unjustifiably added on a whopping one degree of phantom warming to the official "raw" temperature record. Skeptics believe the discovery may trigger the biggest of all "climate con" scandals in Congress and sound the death knell on American climate policy.

Independent data analyst, Steven Goddard, today (January 19, 2014) released his telling study of the officially adjusted and "homogenized" US temperature records relied upon by NASA, NOAA, USHCN and scientists around the world to "prove" our climate has been warming dangerously.

Goddard reports, "I spent the evening comparing graphs...and hit the NOAA motherlode." His diligent research exposed the real reason why there is a startling disparity between the "raw" thermometer readings, as reported by measuring stations, and the "adjusted" temperatures, those that appear in official charts and government reports. In effect, the adjustments to the "raw" thermometer measurements made by the climate scientists "turns a 90 year cooling trend into a warming trend," says the astonished Goddard.