Extreme Temperatures


Rare snow to fall on Las Vegas, Mojave Desert on New Year's Eve

As cold air continues to plunge southward in the West, a storm will produce rare New Year's Eve and New Year's Day snow for Las Vegas, the Mojave Desert and the mountains in the region.

Pack some warm clothes and perhaps winter boots if you are heading to the Southwest for the New Year's holiday. Motorists heading over the mountains should expect delays due to snow-covered roads.

Soon after snow falls on parts of the central Rockies and Plains, a new winter storm will develop over the Southwest states.

The storm will bring snow to not only the mountains of the Four Corner states, Nevada and Southern California, but also some low-elevation locations in the region that rarely receive accumulating snow.

Las Vegas, which averages about 0.3 of an inch of snow per year, is forecast to receive 1-3 inches of snow during Tuesday night into Thursday morning.

According to the Las Vegas National Weather Service Office, there have only been 15 snowstorms that brought greater than 1 inch of snow. Records have been kept since 1937.

If 0.1 of an inch of snow or more falls on Las Vegas on Wednesday, it will become the snowiest New Year's Eve in the city's record.

The last and only snowstorm on record during New Year's Day around Las Vegas was in 1974, when accumulations ranged from 2 to 5.5 inches in the area. The official New Year's Day record for McCarran International Airport is 4.4 inches.

"Unusually cold air will target the southwestern U.S. by midweek. Las Vegas has not seen measurable snow since Dec. 17, 2008, when 3.6 inches of snow fell," said AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel.

Comment: To understand what's going on with our wild weather, check out our recently published book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, available here. Also, check out November's Earth Changes Video Summary for more crazy weather happenings on the planet.

SOTT Earth Changes Video Summary - November 2014

Snowflake Cold

As temperatures plummet well below freezing, 5 homeless men die in France

france homeless
One 29-year-old man was found dead in the northern city of Douai on Saturday and two others died on Sunday, one 50-year-old man in Paris and a Belgian 46-year-old in south-eastern France.

All three apparently died of hypothermia, according to authorities.

After an unusually warm spell of weather, France has been gripped by a sudden freeze in the past few days, with the mercury dropping to minus 14C (7F) and as low as minus 22 in the mountains.

French authorities said they had offered the 29-year-old man emergency accommodation but he had "systematically declined the offer".

The 50-year-old Parisian had also been approached by authorities. He was found in a state of hypothermia and died when receiving first aid.

Comment: A tragic consequence of high unemployment and dire weather conditions:

15,000 vehicles trapped by snow and ice in Savoy, France

France unemployment total at new record high


Over 1,200 sea turtles have washed up on Cape Cod beaches during December

Sea turtles depend on warmer waters for their survival
Over the past month a record number of sea turtles, most of which have been critically endangered Kemp's Ridley Turtles, have been rescued from stranding on the beaches of Cape Cod in New England, reports the Massachusett Audobon Society.

Normally, around 90 sea turtles strand on the Cape on their migration from the beaches of Mexico to Cape Cod Bay.

Sea turtles spend the warmer months in Cape Cod waters, then swim south to Mexico for the winter each autumn beginning in November. But some turtles get "caught" by the hook of Cape Cod.

Sea turtles that take their body temperature from the environment around them and when the water temperature of the Bay gets down to 50 degrees F they become cold-stunned.

Snowflake Cold

Snow and icy weather sweeps across Europe, stranding drivers

© Arne DedertA man clears the street during snowfall in Wiesbaden, Germany, Saturday Dec. 27, 2014. Weather forecasts predict colder temperatures and snowfall for Germany.
Snow and icy weather swept through parts of Europe on Saturday, stranding drivers overnight and leaving thousands of homes without power in Britain.

Snow also covered parts of Switzerland and southwestern Germany, and more than 20 centimeters (nearly eight inches) of snow has fallen in higher parts of Germany's Black Forest.

Many motorists in Britain were forced to abandon their cars or were trapped in vehicles for hours after becoming snowed in. Dozens of people traveling from Sheffield to London spent the night in a church after their bus became stuck.

Parts of northern England saw 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) of snow. Western Power Distribution said 36,000 customers were without power, and another 69,000 had short interruptions to supplies. Staff worked through the night to reconnect customers, but thousands in the East Midlands region were still affected.

Liverpool's John Lennon Airport and Leeds Bradford International closed late Friday as workers cleared snow from the runways. The airports have reopened.

British weather forecasts predict more snow showers, mainly in the north, though the main threat would be ice on roads.

Snowflake Cold

15,000 vehicles trapped by snow and ice in Savoy, France

Snow and ice in the French Alps have stranded 15,000 vehicles, snarling up holiday traffic to and from ski resorts, French media report.

The country declared an orange weather alert, its second-highest, as local authorities scrambled to put up motorists for the night.

One man died when his vehicle slid into a ravine in the Isere region.

The government asked drivers to "exercise the utmost caution" and avoid travel if possible.

Three people died in other snow-related incidents across France earlier this week, according to French daily Le Monde.


Four lost flamingos fly north for the winter and turn up in Siberia

Chilly: One flamingo was spotted ambling along the snowy bank of the Usa River in Mezhdurechensk, Kemerovo region
It could be a severe case of bird-bird, or strange weather patterns causing confusion, but at the moment scientists remain baffled about instances of flamingos flying north to bitterly cold Siberia for the winter, instead of south.

Four flamingos recently touched down in various parts of Siberia, to the astonishment of locals, in temperatures as low as -30C.

One landed in the Evenkia district of vast Krasnoyarsk region, which is just 310 miles south of the Arctic circle.

Comment: See also: Wrong place, wrong time: European robin turns up thousands of miles away in China

Rare bird from Mongolia turns up in Wakefield, UK

Wrong time, wrong place: Rare bird found in Barrie, Canada


Blizzard warning issued for two summits in Hawaii

If you want a white Christmas, go to ... Hawaii?

The Big Island of Hawaii received a blizzard warning for the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanic peaks Wednesday.

The peaks were expected to accumulate 8 inches each with higher drifts. Along with snow, there were high winds and warnings of lightning strikes as well as life-threatening conditions.

Both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are above 11,000 feet in elevation. The National Weather service warned no one should travel up there to drive or hike the summits, and if they did go up there, to bring a survival kit. The National Park Service closed the trails up the mountains.

Below the summits, there were warnings of flooding rains, presenting the danger of flash floods on Thursday.


Meteorologists warn of blizzard conditions across Europe!

So far it's been a very mild winter across Central Europe. Just days ago, with temperatures in the double-digit Celsius range, meteorologists and media wrote off the possibility of a white Christmas. Gradually all the snow being a "thing of the past" talk was starting up.

Wrong again. So unpredictable can chaotic systems like weather and climate be.
Winter across Europe
© wetterline.deSunday morning outlook.
Suddenly the picture has reversed 180°.


Two rare sea turtles found on UK's shores 5,000 miles from home

© Wildlife Trust
One of two Kemp’s ridley turtles found in Cumbria and Merseyside, 5,000 miles from their home in the Gulf of Mexico.
Critically-endangered Kemp's ridley turtles were found in Cumbria and Merseyside, 5,000 miles from their home

Two rare sea turtles have washed ashore on beaches in the North West, some 5,000 miles from their home in the Gulf of Mexico.

The critically-endangered Kemp's ridley turtles were found in Cumbria and Merseyside, and it is feared that more could yet appear.

Rod Penrose, a Marine mammal expert, said that they could have been "cold-stunned" by a drop in ocean temperatures in the US, which would leave them unable to feed or swim against strong currents.

Rob Archer, who was walking with his girlfriend on Saturday when he found one of the turtles on Sefton Beach, near Formby, told the Liverpool Echo: "At first I thought it was a crab.

"It seemed in a stupor as if there wasn't much life left in it.

Snowflake Cold

China's Yellow River Hukou Waterfall freezes in -12° Celsius temperatures

© IndependentChina's recent cold snap as given some added icy glamour to an old landmark.
Tourists have been flocking to a section of China's Yellow River in far greater numbers recently as part of the Hukou Waterfall has frozen over in the incredibly cold weather.

With temperatures dropping to as low as -12° Celsius, part of China's second-largest waterfall has become a wall of ice, making it seem like someone has emptied the contents of a fire extinguisher over the entire scene.

The Hukou Waterfall is situated where the provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi meet and it is roughly 66-ft high.

Located on China's Yellow River - the third-longest on the continent - the waterfall is hugely popular among tourists and the recent cold snap in the area has not deterred many visitors now keen to see the natural phenomenon in its new guise as an ice palace.

One tourist told reporters, "Ice is everywhere. Icicles on the waterfall; everywhere. I did not know the Yellow River could be frozen so it's surprising. I came here specifically for the stunning view of the Yellow River."

While some may be in a hurry to see "Hukou on ice", temperatures in the far west of China may drop even further. Two years ago, the mercury fell to -40° Celsius, so the waterfall could freeze over entirely by the onset of Spring.

Comment: Think the past winter was bad? Get ready for mini Ice Age