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Snowflake Cold

Colder weather may threaten 15 percent of U.S. Midwest wheat - forecaster

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Frigid temperatures in the U.S. Midwest this week posed a slight risk of freeze damage to about 15 percent of the region's soft red winter wheat crop, primarily in parts of Missouri and Illinois, a forecaster said on Wednesday.

"Northeastern Missouri into southern and central Illinois will be on the edge of this cold air and could get a little bit of winterkill," said Joel Widenor, a meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group.

"Overall, it's not going to be a serious threat because we have got so much snow cover in place," Widenor said. The snow should protect dormant wheat in the coldest areas, including northern Illinois and Indiana.

Below-normal temperatures are expected in the Midwest for the next 10 days, with temperatures in Chicago seen dropping to minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 22 Celsius) by Thursday.

Snowflake

U.S. Snow flight cancellation tally: 4,400 and growing

Stranded air passengers
© Michael Ein, The Press of Atlantic City/AP
Stranded air passengers wait in line for refunds at the Atlantic City International Airport on Jan. 21, 2014, after snow caused delays and cancellations.
Air travelers face another rough travel today as airports dig out from the East Coast snowstorm that snarled flights Tuesday.

Flight-tracking service FlightAware.com says more than 1,400 flights nationwide have been canceled as of 7:30 a.m. ET this morning, a total that's likely to inch up during the day.

The bulk of those cancellations come at airports that bore the brunt of the snow, particularly the three big New York City-area airports, Boston and Philadelphia.

Boat

Ship of fools: Icebound expeditioners apologise for Antarctic rescue mission

Chinese helicopter rescues passenger of Antarctic ship
© AP/Zhang Jiansong
A Chinese helicopter rescues passengers from the ship Shokalsky on the 2nd of January.
Antarctic expeditioners rescued by an Australian icebreaker have apologised for an operation that could cost taxpayers up to $2.4 million.

Fifty-two passengers rescued from a Russian ship trapped in sea ice have arrived in Hobart aboard the Australian Antarctic vessel Aurora Australis, nearly three weeks after the emergency began.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, chartered by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition to retrace the steps of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, became stuck in thick sea ice on Christmas Eve.

"We're incredibly grateful to everyone who's come out to help us," leader of the privately funded expedition, Professor Chris Turney, told a media conference in Hobart.

"We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.
"Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that's an inherent risk."

Comment: And no, Chris Turney aka "the Penguin" is no experienced Antarctic scientist unless we add political scientists and spin doctors into the equation.


Comment: The expedition joy ride which was a farce from beginning to end did take unnecessary risks.
French Le Monde blasts Chris Turney's Antarctic joy ride for disrupting real Antarctic science!
Rescue efforts for trapped Antarctic voyage disrupt serious science

No more dead parrots - Global-warming fans spent frozen Christmas in Antarctica:
"A look at readily available satellite imagery would have prevented the fiasco; they show an abundance of ice in the Antarctic"



Snowflake Cold

Ice Age Cometh: Temperatures hit -41C in Swedish cold snap

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© Björn Lindgren/TT
Residents living in far northern Sweden woke up to a temperature of -41.2 C on Sunday as the harsh winter continues to bite across the rest of the country.

The village of Karesuando, right at the very northern tip of Sweden, clocked the epic cold temperature during Sunday reports the Swedish weather agency SMHI.

"It is also a seasonal record," said SMHI meteorologist Lars Unnerstad to the TT news agency. The recorded temperature of -41.2 was a record for that region which is right on the Finnish border.

Unnerstad added that he expected more cold records to break during the next 24 hours due to the high pressure, lack of wind and the continuing clear weather.

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© Johan Nilsson/TT
The deep freeze has had an impact on local transport in the region with train and bus services being cancelled as a result.

Ice Cube

Manipulation of climate data shows the US gov. scientists turned a "90 year cooling trend into a warming trend"

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A newly-uncovered and monumental calculating error in official US government climate data shows beyond doubt that climate scientists unjustifiably added on a whopping one degree of phantom warming to the official "raw" temperature record. Skeptics believe the discovery may trigger the biggest of all "climate con" scandals in Congress and sound the death knell on American climate policy.

Independent data analyst, Steven Goddard, today (January 19, 2014) released his telling study of the officially adjusted and "homogenized" US temperature records relied upon by NASA, NOAA, USHCN and scientists around the world to "prove" our climate has been warming dangerously.

Goddard reports, "I spent the evening comparing graphs...and hit the NOAA motherlode." His diligent research exposed the real reason why there is a startling disparity between the "raw" thermometer readings, as reported by measuring stations, and the "adjusted" temperatures, those that appear in official charts and government reports. In effect, the adjustments to the "raw" thermometer measurements made by the climate scientists "turns a 90 year cooling trend into a warming trend," says the astonished Goddard.

Snowflake

4 to 7 inches of snow expected in Washington area as flights canceled across U.S.

Washington snow traffic
© Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post
Traffic is seen moving on Interstate 70 westbound during a snowstorm in Myersville, Md.
The snow that swept over Washington on Tuesday in predicted fashion found the region hunkered down and ready, as hundreds of thousands stayed home from work and school, extending their long weekend by another day.

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang said the snow would continue into the evening, with the heaviest wallop around noon. Total accumulation was expected to be four to seven inches.

Thousands of flights were canceled across the country Tuesday as a heavy snowstorm spread through the Washington area and much of the Northeast corridor.

By midmorning, more than 2,800 flights were canceled and 1,400 were delayed across the country, according to FlightAware. In the D.C. region, 101 flights were canceled at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, 112 were canceled at Dulles International Airport and 173 were canceled at Reagan National Airport.

Snowflake Cold

Cold weather claims 15 lives in Uttar Pradesh, India

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At least 15 persons succumbed under cold weather conditions in Uttar Pradesh as the winter chill gained in intensity in northern India today with dipping temperatures in Jammu and Kashmir and heavy snowfall in Uttarakhand.

In Delhi, the maximum and minimum temperatures were slightly higher than that recorded yesterday although the conditions continued to be bleak under largely overcast skies.

In UP, falling temperatures coupled with a spell of rainfall led to a worsening of the conditions, leading to five deaths in Jaunpur district and three in Hamirpur.

Two casualties each were reported in the Etah, Barabanki and Sitapur districts while one person died in the cold in Bhadoi, sources said.

The national capital recorded a minimum of 11.4 degrees Celsius today, which was four notches above the normal and higher than the 8 degrees at which it had settled yesterday.

Snowflake Cold

International refiners rush to ship gasoil, diesel to freezing U.S.

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© GCaptain.com
Torm Valborg
Refiners in Asia, Europe and Russia are shipping around half a million tonnes of heating oil and diesel to the United States this month after bitterly cold weather sharply reduced oil stocks there.

At least a dozen tankers have been booked so far in January to ship gasoil and diesel to the U.S. East Coast, according to traders and shipping data.

The majority of the tankers, or around 300,000 tonnes of oil product, originated from the Baltic Sea and Black Sea.

One tanker, the 100,000-tonne Torm Valborg, was chartered by Reliance , which operates the world's biggest refining complex in western India.

Around three medium-range tankers were booked from Europe on the west-bound transatlantic route, traders said.

Also, around five cargoes of jet fuel heading from the Middle East and Asia to Europe were diverted to the United States in recent days, with several likely to discharge in Florida, traders said.

"U.S. East Coast heating oil stocks are low at the commercial level and are being reduced at the consumer level. That market should remain tight and can't get much incremental supply from the U.S. Gulf due to the Jones Act restricting transport between the two regions by vessel," said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Zug, Switzerland-based Petromatrix.

Igloo

What caused a 10-year winter starting in AD 536?

Winter
© io9
A winter that lasts years isn't just a problem in Game of Thrones. Roughly 1500 years ago, our world was turned upsidown by a winter that witnesses say "never ended." Now there is scientific evidence that there really was a decade of winter.

Scholars writing in Europe and Asia at the time reported that the year 536 and the years following were bitterly cold. They described conditions that reminded them of an eclipse, and claim that the sun remained "small," with ice frosting up crops even in summer. That year and the decade following were also times of great famine, plague and war - possibly connected to the devastating harvests that left many people hungry, angry, and wandering in search of more fertile lands.

Over at New Scientist, Colin Barras has a terrific article about the scientific quest to discover whether these reports have any basis in reality. For years, scientists have studied tree rings and ice cores, looking for clues that could reveal whether the weather change was caused by a supervolcano (which have been known to cool the planet considerably).

Some promising evidence suggests there may have been a supereruption in El Salvador, which could help explain why Maya settlements nearby mysteriously stopped producing written records for a few years. But that wouldn't explain why the planet remained cold for many years. Usually a supervolcano only affects the weather for a year at most.

Snowflake

Snowstorm to Hit Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York on Tuesday, bitter cold to follow

snow forecast
© Accuweather
Along the leading edge of the invading polar blast, accumulating snow will spread from the Midwest to the East Coast on Tuesday.

The snow will come courtesy of yet another Alberta Clipper set to drop through the Dakotas and Ohio Valley on Monday through Monday night with accumulations on the order of a coating to 2 inches.

The snow will become heavier as it streaks across the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, then makes a northeastward turn toward southern New England late in the day and evening.

Travel conditions will deteriorate with slippery roads and flight delays expected to unfold even in areas that avoid heavy snow. As colder air invades the storm, winds will increase and cause some blowing and drifting of the snow that has already fallen.