Extreme Temperatures


More flight disruptions across Europe, as heavy snow causes chaos

Hundreds of flights were cancelled and road and rail traffic was severely disrupted across much of Europe on Monday, as heavy snow and freezing weather gripped the continent. Frankfurt airport, Germany's main air hub, cancelled around 500 departing and arriving flights, representing 40 percent of its daily schedule. The busiest airport in Europe, London Heathrow, scrapped nearly 200 flights. Heathrow said a decision was taken 24 hours in advance to cancel 130 flights because visibility was expected to deteriorate as the day wore on, but problems elsewhere in Europe were having an impact too. "The additional cancellations are because a number of airports elsewhere in Europe are experiencing problems so that has a knock-on effect for us," an airport spokesman said.

Heathrow has spent 36 million pounds ($57 million) on upgrading its snow-clearing equipment since 2010, when freezing temperatures and snow almost brought the airport to a halt in the approach to Christmas. Europe's number three airport, Paris's Charles de Gaulle, was also hit. France's civil aviation authority DGAC said it expected to scrap 40 percent of flights to and from Charles de Gaulle and Paris's other main airport, Orly, in a precautionary measure following heavy snowfall on Sunday. Even Munich, a city usually accustomed to taking snow in its stride, cancelled 161 flights at its airport as it grappled with the exceptional conditions.

Snowflake Cold

Spot gas prices in Europe skyrocket with temperatures fall

© AFP Photo / Viktor Drachev
Cold weather in Europe has caused this season's record-high spot prices for gas, crossing the $400 mark. But even this does not make stable but higher long-term contract prices more attractive to European customers.

Over the weekend extreme weather has swept across Europe from the UK to Spain, claiming lives and causing flight cancelations and power outages. The freezing temperatures have forced Europe to consume more gas prompting the spot price to reach $406 per 1000 cubic meter. Gas at Britain's National Balancing Point traded at $398.7 last week which was 8.5% higher than in first week of January.

However, Russia's Gazprom, which in 2011 provided 32% of total gas supplies to Europe, will not benefit much from the rise. Only 20% of Gazprom's gas exports to the EU were spot deals, Sergey Vakhrameev, analyst at Metropol told Vedomosti daily. Long-term contracts make up the majority of Gazprom deliveries, while spot supplies are only 7% of total exports, Vakhrameev added.


Record snowfall closes lifts and roads in the Pyrenees

Pyrenees Snowfall
© Saint Lary skiresortThis bus was still moving yesterday. But today?
The Pyrenees are experiencing historic, but also terrifying moments right now. Around 200 centimeters of freshies came down in the ski resorts on the French side of the Pyrenees since Sunday. All the lifts in the resorts are closed since Tuesday morning as a precaution.

The combination of a stormy wind (100 km/h), the huge and intense snowfall and the fact that warmer air is coming in this afternoon is causing a very critical situation. Around 200 centimeters came down since Sunday and you can expect another 40-70 centimeters today.
Pyrennees Road Closures
© WepowderLots of roads are closed.


Heavy snow sends Northern Mexico into state of emergency

Cold Weather in Mexico
© HispanicallySpeakingnews.comCold weather in Mexico.
The Mexican government declared a emergency in 21 municipalities in the northern state of Chihuahua due to heavy snow and a cold wave blamed for six deaths there.

Federal officials said that the measure, which was requested by the Chihuahua government, will allow authorities to access resources within the national emergency fund to cover food, clothing and health care needs among the affected population. Salvador Echavarria Campos, a meteorologist with Chihuahua's UEPC civil defense agency, said that the lowest temperature registered Thursday morning was minus 11 C (12 F) in the municipality of Bocoyna, in the state's mountainous region.

On Tuesday, UEPC director Luis Lujan Peña confirmed that the snow had cut off some 150 communities in the Sierra Tarahumara mountains. So far, official figures are that six people have died in Chihuahua and two others in the western state of Michoacan from causes linked to the low temperatures.

Snowflake Cold

Snowpocalypse Russia: 'Snow tsunami' swallows streets, cars, buildings

© bigpicture.ru
On Friday, Moscow was on a verge of traffic collapse as more than 10 inches of snow fell on the city, which is more than half of January's average. Thousands of passengers were stranded overnight in the capital's major airports, as several dozen flights were delayed.

Muscovites woke up and found their cars, driveways and houses buried under a thick layer of snow, with city workers unable to get to smaller streets. Moscow's Yandex app showed traffic at level 10, the highest possible, as strong winds created blizzard conditions and built imposing snow drifts.

Additional images


Blanket of snow covers parts of Europe

Parts of Europe, including Russia, France, Austria and the UK have seen heavy winter snowfall.


Europe hit by blizzards, air traffic havoc, deaths

Extreme winter weather swept across western Europe Saturday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at London's main international airport and claiming several lives in Spain, Portugal and France, including those of three Mali-bound soldiers.

The frigid temperatures also caused delays and cancellations on major railway lines including the Eurostar train service, and transport authorities warned of further traffic disruptions with more blizzards forecast for Sunday.

In London, thousands of passengers were forced to camp out on the floors of Heathrow Airport overnight as hundreds of flights to and from the British capital were cancelled.

"There are lots of bodies lying around in the airport. If feels like there's been a natural disaster," Jerry Meng from Los Angeles, whose flight to New York was cancelled, told British broadcaster BBC.

Snowflake Cold

Thousands stranded in airports across Europe as big freeze cancels flights forcing passengers to sleep on camp beds

© APed: Passengers at Munich Airport had to sleep overnight on camp beds supplied by the authorities in Terminal 2 after heavy snowstorms caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled
Thousands of passengers have been left stranded across Europe as snow storms and freezing temperatures have forced airports to shut down. As Britain braces itself for its own travel chaos, hazardous weather has already left transport at a standstill in other European countries.

More than 1,000 unfortunate travellers resembled refugees at Munich airport as they were left no choice but to sleep overnight on camp beds provided by the airport. Heavy snowfalls and ice led to hundreds of flight cancellations at Germany's second-busiest airport.

Across the country, an estimated 20,000 could be left with nowhere to go as planed stayed grounded. With no hotel capacity available near Munich airport, where 300 flights were cancelled, to deal with the stranded passengers, staff struggled as they handed out blankets and soft drinks.


Mexico's coldest wave in 42 years

Snow in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on 3 January 2013.
This is from an article that appeared in Vanguardia this morning in an inconspicuous spot in the first section. I guess we weren't supposed to see it.
Chihuahua - The arrival of cold front 21 generated temperatures of 13 degrees celsius below zero, as well as road accidents in various municipalities reported by the meteorologist of The State Civil Protection Department (UEPC), Salvador Echevarria Campos.

The UEPC meteorologist reported that 63 of the 67 state municipalities woke up to temperatures below zero degrees celsius, of these, 20 registered between zero and minus six degrees, with the forecast saying that these conditions will continue the same.

Madera and Casas Grandes are the locations with the lowest temperature registering minus 13 and minus 11 degrees, followed by Matachi and Villa Ahumada with minus 10 degrees and as well Temosachic and Bocoyna with minus 9.

Campos emphasizes that the Capital woke up to minus 6 degrees and explains also that the frost will continue, due to a mass of cold air that arrived with Cold Front number 21, which is at the border of Chihuahuan Territory but closures and havoc prevail.

Meanwhile, in the State of Sonora, temperatures registered 14 degrees below zero in the last few hours (and Sonora) has been affected by the most extensive cold wave in the last 42 years.

Caption on photo: 'Suffering. The streets of Nogales, Sonora woke up covered with ice.'
Thanks to Alan Stover for this info, and for the translation.


Croatia snowfall shatters record set in 1861

"Just want to inform you about epochal snow event in Croatian capital Zagreb (SE Europe)," says reader Mihael Krstic.

"We have new record snow depth for January set to 68cm (27 inches) beating previous 49cm (19 inches) and all of that in just 24 hours! That's biggest snowfall from 1861.

"More snow is on the way until end of the week!