Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

Grapevine connecting Southern, Northern California closed several hours due to snow

Interstate 5 california snow
© David McNew/Getty ImagesInterstate 5, the main route between Los Angeles, to the south, and Sacramento and San Francisco, stands empty as it remains closed due to snow in January 2008. At least 800 big rig trucks and many car travelers were stranded in the storm overnight that shutdown of the Golden State Freeway over Tejon Pass, commonly referred to as The Grapevine.
New Year's Eve was a traffic nightmare for drivers hoping to get to or from Southern California on California's main artery.

All lanes were closed for several hours in both directions of Interstate 5 in the Grapevine area north of Los Angeles because of snow.

At about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Caltrans District 6 tweeted, "The Grapevine has re-opened with CHP escorting traffic. Drive with care and patience. Happy New Year!"

Overnight, the California Highway Patrol escorted motorists through the snow on both northbound and southbound lanes.

Snowflake Cold

Military join in clearing snow-bound motorway in Bulgaria

Bulgarian military join in clearing snow-bound Trakiya Motorway
Bulgarian military join in clearing snow-bound Trakiya Motorway
Bulgarian military personnel from the town of Sliven and from the Black Sea city of Bourgas used 17 special machines to join in efforts to clear Trakiya Motorway, scene of heavy snowdrifts and a chain collision that left hundreds of people stranded in their cars.

The military began assisting people at 3am on December 31, the Defence Ministry said.

Military personnel helped transport dozens of people who had been stranded and used equipment to move lorries and buses that got stuck in snow drifts.

In the early hours, land forces members transported a mother with a six-month-old baby to spend the night in the village of Venets.

Bulgaria's Interior Ministry, in an update on the road situation at 1pm on December 31, said that the bypass route from Yambol via the village of Kamchiya to Sredets and Bourgas was temporarily closed because of an emergency involving three goods lorries near the village of Sarainsko and five goods lorries near the village of Voynika. Traffic police and fire teams were at the scene, the ministry said.

Snow clearing

Snowflake Cold

Persistent dense fog blankets Persian Gulf countries

An unusually long-lasting bank of sea fog has been wandering over the waters of the Gulf. This has invaded all Gulf countries in the past few days, causing travel delays.

Cold air has been drawn down in a series of chilling outbreaks from just west of the Urals. This brought winter to the Levant, thundery flooding to Iraq and snow to Iran.

Cold air over warm water causes evaporation until the point where the air will take no more. At this point, fog forms and if the wind is light, it hangs around as a fog bank.

Every night as temperatures drop inland, the fog creeps in. If you are lucky, daytime heat will send it back into the Gulf again.

Comment: Lately, there's been some unusually thick and persistent fog in a number of places, not least northern US, northern China, and northern India.

Snowflake Cold

Thick fog blanketing much of the planet as flash-freezes bring record-cold temperatures

fog madrid
© Adrián del Campo / ‏@acc037Thick fog covers Madrid, Spain, December 12, 2016
The December 2016 ALTA report otherwise known as the Webbot Report predicted flash freeze events, out of season weather patterns and bizarre fog events across the Northern hemisphere, among other things. This is a list of "Hits" the webbots got correct in weather prediction.

Comment: Countless other places have experienced unusually dense fog in recent days and weeks, not least central Spain and the Persian Gulf states.

Ice Cube

41 elk die after falling through river ice in Oregon

A herd of 41 elk died after falling through the ice at the Brownlee Reservoir on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.
© Bruce ElyA herd of 41 elk died after falling through the ice at the Brownlee Reservoir on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.
A herd of 41 elk died Wednesday morning after falling through ice in east Oregon, according to wildlife officials.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a Wednesday Facebook post that the elk perished after falling through the ice on the Powder River.

"After several years of drought, Eastern Oregon is experiencing a real winter this year," wildlife officials said in the post. "The extra moisture and snowpack will be good for wildlife and habitat in the long run, but conditions may be tough on critters this winter."

Wildlife officials received a call from a person who lives near the reservoir and witnessed the incident, Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Baker City office told the Baker City Herald.

Ratliff said wildlife officials went to the river to see whether they could save any of the elk, but the conditions were too dangerous, the Baker City Herald reported.

Snowflake Cold

Rare snowfall in Athens sends vibes of excitement through social media

Snow in Athens, Greece
© mehdirezae / Instagram
Greeks are in awe following a rare snowfall in their country that blanketed the streets, trees, and houses of the capital. Pictures of Athens completely covered in white are filling social media.

"Look !!! We hadn't seen snow in Athens in years !!!" a Twitter post from the capital reads, while another adds: "A patch of snow on my tiny herb garden: Hello snowy Athens!"

"If you are in Athens dress well and go play with the snow!" wrote one more excited user.

Snowflake Cold

100% of U.S. 'Warming' is due to NOAA data tampering

Climate Central just ran this piece, which the Washington Post picked up on. They claimed the US was "overwhelmingly hot" in 2016, and temperatures have risen 1,5°F since the 19th century.

Climate Central
The U.S. Has Been Overwhelmingly Hot This Year | Climate Central

The first problem with their analysis is that the US had very little hot weather in 2016. The percentage of hot days was below average, and ranked 80th since 1895. Only 4.4% of days were over 95°F, compared with the long term average of 4.9%. Climate Central is conflating mild temperatures with hot ones.

US average temperature over 95
© Unknown

Comment: See:
NOAA's own data reveals that global climate has cooled over 10 years
Radiosonde data from NOAA shows no warming for 58 years


Winter storm to bury New England in up to 2 feet of snow, blizzard conditions possible

US postal worker removing snow
© Kristopher Raddler/APPhilip Fitzwater, a city carrier assistant for the United States Postal Service, in Brattleboro, Vt., removes the snow off his vehicle before heading out on his route Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. More snow is forecast for New England this week.
A powerful winter storm will unleash heavy, wet snow and howling winds across portions of New England from late Thursday through midday Friday, with blizzard conditions possible in some areas.

Much of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine should see a foot of snow, with nearly two feet expected in some spots, the National Weather Service said. "This looks to be a high-impact storm with power outages and significant drifting issues likely," the weather service warned.

The storm will cause "extensive travel disruptions" Thursday and Friday, AccuWeather said.

A snowstorm is classified as a blizzard when it contains 35-mph winds and blowing or drifting snow that reduces visibility to a quarter-mile or less, with both conditions persisting for at least three hours.

Lighter amounts of snow are forecast for western and central portions of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Snowflake Cold

Record cold, 48 states going below freezing in the first week of 2017

It is increasingly looking like the first full week of 2017 will be greeted with a cold air outbreak over the Lower 48 states that will be widespread and persistent.

Early next week the cold air will enter the U.S. through Montana and the Dakotas, where temperatures will likely plunge into the minus 30 deg F (or colder) range.

By the end of the week, single digits could extend into the southeast U.S., and a hard freeze could push into central Florida (graphic courtesy of Weatherbell.com):
US temperature map
GFS model forecast surface temperatures for Friday morning, Jan. 6, 2017.

As can be seen, substantial portions of all 48 states might well be below 32 deg. F.

At the longer range, there appears to be a reinforcing plunge of even more frigid air heading south out of northwest Canada in the second week of January.

Snowflake Cold

Snowbanks in Syria: Army copes with extremely rare snowfall

snow syria
© Sputnik Arabic
Syrian army troops adapt to winter weather conditions and learn to operate amid snowbanks after heavy snowfall hit the country.

A spell of cold weather and heavy snowfalls left Syrian army troops facing an enemy they aren't quite used to dealing with - ice and snowbanks.

After five years of continuously waging war, soldiers of the Syrian army have learned to operate in the most adverse of weather conditions. However, up until now they mostly had to cope with extremely high temperatures in summer (up to 45 degrees Celsius), not the winter chill.

Snowbanks are extremely rare phenomena for the Middle Eastern country's generally warm climate and may become a real challenge for the military and for civilian agencies alike.

Snowfalls have a negative effect on visibility, hampering the military's ability to keep track of enemy movements and making it difficult to conduct precision artillery strikes.

Nevertheless, the soldiers learned to cope with these conditions and manage to deny the terrorists the ability to use the weather to their advantage.