Extreme Temperatures


Lingering winter delays planting season by weeks in New Hampshire

Farmers, gardeners say they're weeks behind

The calendar may tell farmers and gardeners to get out and start planting, but that's impossible right now.

The late-season cold and snow is wreaking havoc with New Hampshire's growing season.

If Abby Wiggin of Wake Robin Farm had her way, her plants would already be in the ground.

"Last year, we planted peas on March 21," she said. "It's April 2 now, and I can't get a tiller out in the field."

It's the same in fields across the state. Some farms are two to three weeks behind schedule. Home gardeners and the gardening retail business have been slow to start, too.

"As far as people coming in to shop, we're two weeks behind," said Beth Simpson of Rolling Green Nursery.

Snowflake Cold

April snowstorm in Minnesota could be record breaking

© AP/Paul Sancya
Prince was wrong. It's not "Sometimes It Snows In April." It's "Always It Snows In April."

OK, it only seems that way after the brutal winter we had this year, and the extended winter we had last year. But many Minnesotans are understandably at the breaking point with the news that a spring snowstorm is expected to dump possibly more than a foot of snow in many parts of the state.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for most of the state, including the Twin Cities. The warning is in effect from Thursday afternoon until Friday night.

WCCO director of meteorology Mike Augustyniak says that the storm should begin with a wintry mix in the Twin Cities. Then it will eventually begin to turn over into heavy, wet snow late Thursday into Friday morning. The period of accumulating snow could last up to 12 hours, Augustyniak said.

Cloud Lightning

Giant hailstones batter Hong Kong as observatory warns of further heavy rain

© SCMP Pictures 'freak' giant hailstones - which are becoming more common. A 'sign of the times'?
Amber Rainstorm warning raised as people warned 'be alert'

Hong Kong was today warned to brace for more bad weather after giant hailstones last night pounded parts of the city and the Black Rainstorm signal was issued for the second time since 2010.

At 8.40am this morning the Amber Rainstorm warning was issued, with more than 30 millimetres of rain falling in just an hour, disrupting rush hour and making journeys to work difficult. The signal was cancelled at 11.40am.

As of 11am, 200 flights had been delayed, 44 cancelled and one diverted, the Airport Authority said.

The Hospital Authority confirmed that there were seven people admitted to accident and emergency departments of public hospitals during the Black Rainstorm signal raised between 8.40pm and 10.30pm on Sunday night. Of the seven casualties, ranging in age from a one-year-old to a 64-year-old, six were in stable condition and one was in serious condition.

A spokesman could only confirm that the patient in serious condition was a 29-year-old male and was currently at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall destroys up to 95% of apricot harvest and damages other fruit crops in Armenia

ITAR-TASS/Alexander Kolbasov
Armenia's annual apricot harvest averages 50,000-55,000 tonnes

A recent cold spell and a heavy snowfall has killed about 90-95% of the apricot harvest in Armenia, causing a damage of $ 25-30 million, chairman of the Armenian Union of Agrarians and Peasants Grach Berberyan told journalists.

"The frost and snow killed forming blossoms," he said. "Damage was done to apricot, plum, peach, cherry trees and early-ripe species of grapes. The most affected areas are in the Ararat plain and in regions near Yerevan."

Armenia's annual apricot harvest averages 50,000-55,000 tonnes, of which 20,000-22,000 tonnes are exported and about 10,000 tonnes are further processed.

A heavy snowfall hit the republic over the past weekend. The snow blanket, according to meteorologists, reached 20 centimetres. Air temperatures dropped to three degrees below zero.


Harsh winter blamed for dead fish at lakes across Indiana

© WANE PhotoMud Lake in Chain O’ Lakes State Park

Some northern Indiana lakes are seeing large numbers of Harsh winter blamed that wildlife officials blame on this winter's severe cold.

Fisherman Robert Schultz tells WSBT-TV he found some banks of Pike Lake near Warsaw covered with hundreds of dead gizzard shad.

That's a species of fish that the Department of Natural Resources says is less tolerant of the freezing temperatures that hit the area over the last few months. The DNR has had reports of similar fish kills at other lakes, including Winona Lake on the other side of Warsaw.

While many of the dead shad have been eaten by birds or other fish, Schultz says he expects to see more.

Source: AP


Thousands of dead fish washing up on shores of Chicago area lakes

By the thousands, fish are dying in the shallower man-made lakes of the Chicago area.

CBS 2's Mike Parker reports that the long, cold winter is to blame.

At sunset Tuesday night, two neighbors came to the edge of Lake Linden in Lindenhurst to get a first-hand look at the catfish, sunfish, pike and others that have washed up. The deaths are the result of the heavy ice cover that now persists into April.

"The sunlight's not able to penetrate through into the water and that reduces over time, the dissolved oxygen levels and that stresses the fish out and eventually if it gets low enough, the fish will die," said Mike Adam, senior biologist for the Lake County Health Department's lake management unit.

Snowflake Cold

Arctic winter brings rare birds to New York City

© Flickr/surfbird917A red-necked grebe was spotted in Central Park on March 15.

The bitter winter that kept many New Yorkers shivering well into March had a silver lining for birdwatchers - driving rare ducks typically spotted only in climes further north down to the city.

Red-necked grebes, which normally stay in the northwest and Canada, have set up shop in Central Park and were spotted as recently as March 30, birders said. White-winged scoters, more common upstate but rarely spotted in the city, have been seen in Inwood Hill Park, sparking enthusiastic posts by birders on blogs, YouTube and the popular mapping website eBird.

Both species seemed to have moved south because the colder-than-usual winter temperatures froze their natural habitat - making it difficult for them to feed, said Andrew Farnsworth, a researcher at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.

"When the freeze happens, they disperse to wherever they can find something that appears to have open water," said Farnsworth, who studies bird travel patterns. "There was a huge movement of water fowl off those lakes.

"The red-necked grebe were moving tremendously this year [traveling] as far south as they needed to go," Farnsworth said of the distinctively plumaged birds.

Snowflake Cold

Moscow temperatures plummet bringing city to a halt with unusual spring blizzard

moscow snow
© RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov
In a freak turn of events, temperatures have plummeted in the Russian capital from 17 degrees to minus 4 over the last week. Over 10 centimeters of snow fell in Moscow overnight, bringing the city to a grinding halt on April 1.

Unfortunately the snow flurries that swept across Moscow on Monday night were not an April Fool's prank. Upon leaving their houses this morning, Muscovites found themselves confronted with snowdrifts and minus temperatures they normally associate with winter.

Ice Cube

Chicago: Coldest four months on record - ever

© WeatherchannelWeather Channel producer Shawn Reynolds tweeted this incredible photo taken by pilot Hank Cain of a tundra-like Chicago, from above on January 23rd, 2014.
An over a century-old record falls.

The average temperature for December 2013 to March 2014 period in Chicago was only 22.0°F, 10 degrees below freezing, beating the old record set in the winter of 1903-04. It even beat the harsh winters of 1977/78 which were some of the worst ever.

While stories rage in the media about how global warming is a threat to mankind and nobody will be left untouched by it, the National Weather Service in Chicago issued this statement today.

No, it isn't an April fools joke.


Thousands of dead fish surfacing in Quad City Area, Illinois

© Sara Anderson Fish Kill at Hennepin Canal
A walk along the peaceful bike path off the Hennepin Canal in Milan, Illinois looks like something out of a horror film.

Thousands of dead fish have washed up on shore as of Sunday, March 30, 2014.

Believe it or not, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Jeff Harrison says it's normal.

"This happens after every winter. When we have so many days with cold temperatures, the snow covers the ice on these ponds and rivers. Sunlight then can't penetrate into the water. That means oxygen is lacking for fish in the water," Harrison said.