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Tue, 24 Jan 2017
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Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow collapses roofs in Oregon and Ontario

© Hillsboro Fire Department
A collapsed roof at a produce warehouse on SE 4th in Hillsboro. Two people sleeping there escaped unhurt.
Hillsboro Fire Department early Thursday said a roof had collapsed on a produce warehouse in Hillsboro on Southeast Fourth.

Five people escaped unhurt, spokesman Storm Smith said.

Workers are not allowed to sleep inside the building, but they sometimes do, he said. Smith was not able to confirm that everyone affected worked at the warehouse.
Roof collapse at produce warehouse SE 4th. 2 people sleeping there escape unhurt. pic.twitter.com/fJpEgmyn1F

-- Hillsboro Fire Dept (@HillsboroFire) January 12, 2017
Utility workers turned off water and gas service to the building because both substances were leaking inside, Smith said.
Utilities being shut off to building following roof collapse. Broken sprinkler lines & nat gas hazard. pic.twitter.com/8wkPb0ETKU

-- Hillsboro Fire Dept (@HillsboroFire) January 12, 2017

Snowflake Cold

Chaos on Scotland's roads as heavy blizzards batter the UK

Traffic cops try to help the HGV out of the jam
Deep snow and sleet make conditions extremely treacherous for drivers all over the country

Scotland's roads descended into chaos today after heavy blizzards battered the country - causing a series of nasty crashes.

The dangerous whiteout arrived this morning swamping Lanarkshire before sweeping across the rest of the west of Scotland.

The heavy snow and freezing temperatures caused mayhem for drivers who encountered extremely treacherous conditions on the roads throughout the country.

A number of collisions took place in the Highlands while several other routes were closed due to ice and snow.

A car was left smashed up after it skidded into a lamppost in Lugton earlier today

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall hits Northern Japan

© Royston Chan
Snow-covered road near Shinshinotsu, Hokkaido.
Northern Japan experienced heavy snowfall on Thursday (Jan 12) as a strong cold weather front lingered over the region.

The northern island of Hokkaido, as well as in Niigata prefecture on the main island of Honshu experienced blizzard-like conditions.

Japan's Meteorological Agency issued snow storm and heavy snow warnings in the prefectures of Fukushima, Yamagata, Akita, Aomori and Hokkaido, according to AP.

The agency forecasts the cold front to continue over the weekend.

Meanwhile, local authorities have been involved in a search and rescue operation for two Japanese snowboarders who went missing in Niigata prefecture on Wednesday.


An overabundance of snow causes second Colorado ski resort closure in two days

Monarch Mountain
It's a snow report that would inevitably make any powder hound salivate: 20 inches in the last 20 hours, 28 inches in the last 48 and 68 inches in the last week.

It's a lot of snow - so much snow, in fact, that Monarch Mountain is the second ski resort in two days to say it can't open due to too much of that white powder.

"Monarch Pass is closed all night for avalanche control, preventing Monarch Mountain maintenance, food service and grooming crews from reaching the mountain," the resort wrote on Facebook Tuesday. "Stay tuned for information on status and conditions for tomorrow, Jan. 11."


Light-pillar phenomenon photographed over Ontario, Canada

© Timmy Joe Elzinga/YouTube
Timmy Joe Elzinga captured this image of light pillars in northern Ontario on Jan. 6, 2017, at 1:30 a.m. local time.
Despite appearances, aliens have not descended upon a snowy scape in Ontario, Canada. Rather, an Earthly phenomenon is the cause of a ring of brilliant shafts of pastel-colored lights, captured in the wee hours of the morning by Timmy Joe Elzinga using his smartphone camera.

It was 1:30 a.m. local time in northern Ontario on Jan. 6 when Elzinga spotted the phenomenon.

"When I first saw these light beams shooting through the sky from my bathroom window, I was sure they were the northern lights," Elzinga told Live Science in an email. "I was able to capture these images both because the lights were so bright and pronounced and because I'm a bit of an amateur photographer." That experience, he said, led him to use "the manual settings on my phone to adjust the time the aperture was open to 8 seconds."

Elzinga said he wasn't aware of this light-pillar phenomenon until he saw it firsthand.

Ice from high altitudes explains the pillars that Elzinga saw, NASA said. During some cold, wintry nights, flat ice crystals that normally reside higher up in the atmosphere come fluttering closer to the ground, according to NASA. These whimsically wobbling ice crystals are sometimes referred to as crystal fog. When the crystals reflect ground lights from nearby cars and other bits of civilization, the result can be glorious: columns of light called "light pillars."

Ice Cube

Dangerous long-duration ice storm looming for 1000-mile swath of central U.S.

People from Texas to Ohio are bracing for a long-duration ice storm that could turn destructive and cut power to hundreds of thousands from Friday to Sunday.

A shallow layer of cold air in the atmosphere will accompany a storm over the central United States. The storm will produce a swath of freezing rain along a 1,000-mile swath. As the chilled rain falls on cold surfaces, it will freeze into a glaze of ice.

Untreated sidewalks, streets and highways can turn into a skating rink as a layer of clear, smooth ice forms. The heaviest rain can wash away ice-melting compounds as the storm progresses.

Preceding the main ice storm will be a period of freezing rain and sleet that affect travel in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin during Wednesday night. "Travel is likely to be hazardous for hundreds of miles along Interstate 35, I-40 and I-70 in the Central states from Friday to Sunday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.

People traveling across the country may want to consider a more southern route. Where temperatures remain below freezing and rain falls at a heavy rate, the ice will continue to accrue for a few days. Ice of 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch thick can occur over a broad area. The thickness of the ice will become substantial enough to weigh down trees and power lines.

Snowflake Cold

European rivers and bays freeze, Istanbul paralyzed and record snow hits Greece again

© Denis Jerkovic
Neretva river frozen over in Croatia
With record cold still covering Eastern Europe, parts of the Mediterranean and Turkey, rivers and waterways across the region have begun to freeze.

More record snow for Greece, this time 6+ inches on the beaches, Istanbul paralyzed from all time snowfall record 3+ feet in one day.


Snowflake Cold

Interstate 80 remains closed as blizzard dumps 10 feet of snow on Sierra, California

© California Highway Patrol
The CHP Turckee office shared this photo of a patrol vehicle parked next to a snow hill along I-80.
A section of Interstate 80 was closed all day Tuesday as dangerous blizzard conditions blasted through the Sierra, bringing several more feet of snow, officials said.

The National Weather Service in Reno issued a blizzard warning about 3:50 a.m. for the Greater Lake Tahoe area, including Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Incline Village and the Nevada town of Stateline.

Intense snowfall rates, near zero visibility and swift winds prompted the weather service to issue the fairly uncommon warning, said Scott McGuire, a meteorologist with the agency.

"Right now, it's kind of a life-threatening situation and people should definitely not attempt to travel in the Sierra," McGuire said. "It's very rare for us to issue a blizzard warning. This storm is definitely a notch above a typical winter storm."

© California Highway Patrol
© California Highway Patrol

Snowflake Cold

Record cold in Slovakia as temperature drops to -30.3C

"An absolute record in the history of measurements available to the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute."

Night from 7th to 8th January, 2017.

The temperature in Dudince fell to -30.3C, an absolute low from start of measuring in 1977.

In Liesek,the thermometer dropped to -30.2 degrees Celsius, the second lowest temperature ever measured in Lieskelovakia.

It was extremely cold all day yesterday, ranging -10 to -20 degrees below normal.

Thanks to Andy S for this link.

Comment: Scientists now warn of new ice age as temperatures plummet -80F in Russia


Avalanche closes Colorado Interstate

© Colorado Department of Transportation
Up to 15 feet of snow blanketed Interstate 70 early Tuesday morning after an avalanche swept across the highway, partially burying one semi-truck.

The avalanche happened in an area of Vail Pass known as the Narrows just after 2:40 a.m., according to Colorado State Patrol, and left Interstate 70 closed in both directions as crews worked to clear the snow from the road. CSP says the semi-truck caught in the slide was carrying mail. The driver was not hurt, and no other vehicles were involved.

This is contrary to a report from the Colorado Department of Transportation, which said three trucks were caught in the slide.

CSP says CDOT plans to clear the eastbound lanes of the highway first so crews can remove the vehicles caught in traffic. The highway is expected to be closed for a few hours.