Extreme Temperatures


More boats sink, roofs collapse, avalanche danger remains high as snowfall pummels Juneau, Alaska

A sunken boat in Aurora Harbor on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024
© Mikko Wilson/KTOOA sunken boat in Aurora Harbor on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024
Several boats have sunk and at least one roof has caved in as Alaska's capital city remains under avalanche alerts amidst a record-breaking snowfall.

The City and Borough of Juneau put out a statement Wednesday that said avalanches have come down on Basin Road and above Behrends Avenue, the same spot where a slide occurred last week. A city official said that Basin Road is closed where it intersects with Eighth Street.

Four boats sank in the city harbor early Wednesday morning, according to Juneau Harbormaster Matt Creswell, who said he is concerned more vessels are at risk of sinking due to the heavy snowfall. Creswell urged all boat owners to check on their boats immediately and clear off any snow they can.


Winter storm brings record snowfall to Gifu, Shiga prefectures in Japan - 19 inches of snowfall in 6 hours

Heavy snow is falling in regions mainly along the Sea of Japan coast with record snowfall observed in Gifu and Shiga prefectures.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the season's most powerful cold air mass combined with a winter-type pressure system has brought record snowfall to the Tokai and Kinki regions.

In the 6-hour period through 1 p.m. on Wednesday, 49 centimeters of snow had fallen in the town of Sekigahara in Gifu Prefecture and 40 centimeters in Maibara City, Shiga Prefecture. They represent the heaviest snowfall on record for those areas.

Snowflake Cold

Nearly 100 dead in US winter storms as snow and ice hit multiple states

A truck sits abandoned in Iowa.
© Nick Rohlman/The GazetteA truck sits abandoned in Iowa.
Freezing conditions have brought widespread disruption to the Midwest, coastal states and parts of the South over the past week - and more is forecast in the coming days.

Dozens of people have now died in winter storms across the US following days of freezing conditions.

At least 95 deaths have been linked to the weather over the past week, with many killed by hypothermia or car crashes, according to US media.

Weather warnings in place on Monday cover areas where a total of 57 million people live, Sky's US partner NBC News reported.

With snow and ice coating many regions, 27 people have died in Tennessee alone, with Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas among the other states affected.

The victims include three people - among them a pregnant woman - who were fatally electrocuted after slipping on ice next to a power line that fell on a car in Portland, Oregon.

Snowflake Cold

Best of the Web: The snow is up to 7 meters (23 FEET) high in Hakkari, Turkey (UPDATE)

In the Semdinli district in Hakkari, Turkey, the height of the snow cover reaches five meters in some places.

Crews on the ground worked to clear the snow to allow access to villages in the area, which they eventually succeeded in doing.

The locals were happy because the roads were passable, so they could go and buy the necessities of life.

Teams continue work on widening roads where the snow reaches up to five meters, AA writes.

Comment: Update January 22

Bianet.org reports:
Snow thickness reaches seven meters in Hakkari

Efforts are being made by snow removal teams to open the roads providing access to villages and hamlets; however, progress is challenging due to the thickness of the snow.

The heavy snow in the Yüksekova district of Hakkâri has adversely affected daily life.

Snow removal teams are making efforts to open the roads providing access to villages and hamlets in the Dağlıca region, where the snow thickness reaches up to 7 meters in some places.

Despite the ongoing efforts by the District Special Provincial Administration Directorate's construction site teams to clear the blocked roads, the thickness of the snow is making their work challenging.

According to a report in Anadolu Agency, the teams are using construction equipment to create a "snow tunnel" and aim to quickly open the road for access to villages and hamlets.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall hit many parts of the world

The U.S. is experiencing bitter cold and heavy snowfall. However, the U.S. is not alone. Many parts of the world are seeing a blanket of snow as well.


Best of the Web: Additional feet of snow pile up in Buffalo area (6 FEET in 5 days) after western New York buried by prior snowstorm

Crews work around the clock to clear city streets of snow
Crews work around the clock to clear city streets of snow
Heavy lake-effect snow will continue for one more day downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in New York state.

Off Lake Erie, the snow band will stay south of Buffalo on Thursday morning, with snowfall rates as high as 1-2 inches per hour over the Buffalo Southtowns, the FOX Forecast Center said.

The band will then begin to move north around midday, once again bringing heavy snow to the city of Buffalo. During the afternoon, the snow band will move north of Buffalo before sliding back toward the city during the evening hours.

The lake-effect snow will end once the snow from the cross-country storm begins Thursday night. By this time, some locations south of Buffalo may end up with 7 feet of snow when combining the two lake-effect events this week.


Colorado mountains: Over 4 feet of snow for some and more to come

Sweeping avalanche buried 10 cars, trapping people for an hour.
Sweeping avalanche buried 10 cars, trapping people for an hour.
Over the last week our January blast of Winter weather has buried many Colorado mountains with 1 to over 4 feet of snow. While the eastern plains delt with an Arctic blast, our mountain areas have seen multiple waves of heavy snow and wind over the last 8 days. Steamboat Springs for example picked up 50 inches of snow since Wednesday of last week. For the month Steamboat has seen over 76 inches of snow!

Heavy snow in the Winter Park Area caused the closure of Berthoud Pass for several days due to avalanches. Berthoud Pass back currently open after avalanches, some Colorado travelers still hoping to avoid hours-long detour

Arrow Down

Evacuation underway for stranded tourists after avalanches trap 1,000 people in China

Rescuers evacuated tourists on Tuesday from a remote skiing area in northwestern China where dozens of avalanches triggered by heavy snow have trapped more than 1,000 people for a week, state media said.

Arrow Down

Next frontier in government waste: Giant space mirrors could beam the sun onto solar panels

Reflectors in Space
We know it's a cult when we have thousands of years of nuclear power available but scientists want to build giant mirrors in space to reflect the sun onto solar panels on Earth.

We know it's corrupt when governments won't pay for research into the suns role in our climate but they'll give 2.5 million Euros to a wild idea that might rescue their banker and investment friends last technological white elephant. This was funded under "EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC)" don't you know?

They figure we could get teams of robots into space to assemble vast mirrors about 1 km across that would reflect the sun from 900km above Earth onto solar plants so they make electricity a bit more often. What could possibly go wrong, apart from mishaps that blind drivers, hurt wildlife, screw body clocks and waste gazillions of dollars?

As the huge reflectors pass over a solar plant, they will spin around and point at it to illuminate it "and it's immediate surroundings". Thus theoretically extending the working day of the solar panels, and delivering energy at breakfast and dinner time when the peak hour demand is killing our new fragile grids.

Supposedly when the plant on the ground rolls out of view, the giant mirrors will spin themselves edge on to the sun so they stop reflecting sunlight. Just imagine the maintenance nightmare and cost blowouts possible with large precision space infrastructure? Not to mention what happens when the software goes wrong, or hostile cyberhackers play "spot light" with highways, airports and military installations. How much fun can you have with a 10 kilometer wide beam? (That's just the inner intense core, the actual "stray light" could be an oval up to 70 km long.)

All the nasty surprises that make solar panels and wind farms so uneconomic on the planet would presumably multiply ten-fold in orbit as clouds get in the way, then solar flares and space junk damage the mirrors. How long will mirrors keep their smooth surface under the constant onslaught of the solar wind that runs at a million miles an hour?

Snowflake Cold

Arctic blast brings travel chaos: More than 7,000 flights are canceled or delayed and cars get stranded as 150 million face wind chill warnings

DES MOINES, IOWA: Water is frozen coming out of a pipe during extreme cold weather on Caucus Day
A deadly artic cold is sweeping the nation this week, putting millions of Americans under wind chill warnings and creating slippery conditions on the roads causing traffic delays.

The National Weather Service said wind chills are expected to push temperatures 30 degrees below zero from the Northern Rockies to northern Kansas and into Iowa on Monday.

About 150 million Americans were under a wind chill warning or advisory for dangerous cold and wind, according to Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.