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Mon, 20 Feb 2017
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

Rare polar phenomenon, Sudden Stratospheric Warming, could trigger big freeze across UK

© Trinity Mirror
Snow chaos is predicted for Scotland after the arrival of a rare polar weather system
The UK faces a three-week freeze with temperatures plunging as cold as -15C because of a rare North Pole phenomenon that triggered the 2010 big freeze and nationwide white-out. The worst cold spell of winter, with widespread snow, ice and travel chaos, threatens from February 11.

The North Pole's high-altitude air has suddenly warmed up and is set to shunt cold low-level Arctic air south to Scotland. However, the whole of the UK is set for a bitter spell of freezing temperatures.

The event, known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) usually chills Scotland for two weeks or longer and sees widespread snow. It has not occurred for four years, official records show. The warning points to the Arctic phenomenon in its February to April forecast being briefed to the Cabinet Office, transport bosses, councils and emergency services.

An SSW often allows cold air to flood Britain from the east and is forecasting "colder and drier conditions" from the end of the week for up to three weeks, lasting into March. The last SSW event to hit Scotland was in early 2013, which saw the coldest March for 51 years, with snow and -12.5C lows as late as March 31 in Braemar, Aberdeenshire.

Snowflake

Areas of British Columbia receive yearly snowfall average in just 72 hours

© Mike Hellinger
Heavy snowfall in Chilliwack
Heavy snow continues in B.C. Monday across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, with snowfall warnings still in effect for several parts of the province.

The storm caused tens of thousands of outages over the weekend peaking at 128,000, though fewer than 2,000 remain Monday morning. Some mountain highways remain closed including, Highway 3 in both directions at the B.C./Alberta border due to low visibility. The Alex Fraser Bridge was also closed for a short period of time Sunday afternoon due to poor weather.

Around 43 cm of snow has fallen in Powell River, with an astonishing 77 cm recorded in Chilliwack. It's estimated both communities have received their yearly snowfall average in 72 hours.

Many schools in the Fraser Valley have closed their doors Monday including, the University of the Fraser Valley due to deteriorating road conditions. Langley, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Hope, Mission and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school districts are closed.


Arrow Down

Series of avalanches kill over 100 across Afghanistan

© Ghulam Mustafa / EPA
People remove snow from their house in Ghazni, Afghanistan, on Feb. 5, 2017.
More than a 100 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by days of heavy snowfall around Afghanistan, including 50 in one village, officials said on Sunday, warning the death toll could rise still further.

The avalanches struck after three days of heavy snow, which has destroyed scores of homes and blocked roads mainly in central and northeastern provinces, making it difficult for rescue workers to reach the stricken villages.

The bulk of the deaths however occurred in remote Nuristan province, where at least 50 people were killed in a single village, Mohammad Omar Mohammadi, a spokesperson for the ministry of natural disaster told AFP.

"Avalanches have buried two entire villages in Bargmatal district, 50 bodies were recovered from one village while rescuers are trying to reach the other village," said the spokesperson.

Elsewhere 54 people were killed in northern and central Afghan provinces, where officials said massive avalanches destroyed 168 houses and killed hundreds of cattle.

Bad weather and deep snow had hampered efforts of rescue workers to reach the isolated villages, raising fears the toll could rise sharply, according to officials.



Snowflake Cold

NOAA said in 1974 global cooling to starve the planet; freezing smog engulfs Europe


Poking out of the rock-hard ground and covered in snow, these Spanish vegetables haven't made it to our supermarket shelves
NOAA came out in 1974 and said get ready that a new cooling era on Earth will starve the population, then along comes the once in a 3000 year Grand Solar Maximum delaying what was thought a beginning of a new Little Ice Age in the late 1970's. Now its back, the cooling has begun, vegetable rationing in Europe from cold, New Zealand temperatures drop 1C and freezing smog engulfs Europe.


Sources

Arrow Down

2 avalanches kill at least 10 in Chitral, Pakistan; snowfall breaks 20-year record


Representative image
At least nine people, including women and children, were killed when an avalanche struck in Chitral during wee hours of Sunday.

According to administration officials, three houses were completely buried in the snow and 19 others were affected in Karimabad Valley. Most of the families have been evacuated.


The district administration official told The Express Tribune that Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) had called for helicopter services from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as the area remained inaccessible due to heavy snow in the last 48 hours.

Snowflake

Unprecedented snow claims over 40 lives in Afghanistan, Pakistan also affected


A park in Kabul is blanketed in snow
Sunday declared a public holiday as unprecedented snowfall blocks roads, delays domestic and international flights

Over 40 people have been confirmed dead on Sunday as snowstorms wreak havoc on various parts of Afghanistan, prompting the government to declare Sunday a public holiday.

The unprecedented snow in a decade has led to the closure of main highways leaving many people stranded, out of power and other supplies.

Comment: See also:


Red Flag

Vegetable rationing after extreme weather devastates European crops

© Victoria Jones/PA
European agriculture has been decimated with at least 80% losses which have led to black market sales of produce, rationing, shortages, collapsed greenhouse facilities and bankruptcy for farmers. The losses are beyond epic and this is what is expected in the new grand solar minimum, but the media brushes it away saying its bad weather in Europe.


Igloo

Freak weather - It's snowing in the UAE!

© Naughty dawg 666/YouTube
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its desert climate and year-round sunshine, but freak weather conditions have covered part of it in snow. And as if that wasn't weird enough, heavy winds also caused a crane to collapse, sparking a fire.

One person was injured in the blaze following the crane collapse on Dubai's busy Sheikh Zayed Road, according to officials cited by AFP.

Three vehicles were also destroyed in the fire.

Snowflake

Freak weather in Spain leaves devastated salad crops and leads to rationing of vegetables in UK supermarkets


Poking out of the rock-hard ground and covered in snow, these Spanish vegetables haven't made it to our supermarket shelves
Poking out of the rock-hard ground and covered in snow, these Spanish vegetables haven't made it to our supermarket shelves.

Shops are rationing greens after snow and storms in the Mediterranean have caused shortages which will last until April.

Stunning pictures from Murcia in southern Spain capture the scale of the problem as whole fields of broccoli and lettuce lie buried in snow.

Shops are rationing greens after snow and storms in the Mediterranean have destroyed crops causing shortages which will last until April

Spain supplies more than 50 per cent of Europe's vegetables during the winter. Pictured: Snow covers a tractor near Caravaca de la Cruz in Murcia, Spain

Sun

Record warmth: Longest time Washington D.C. above freezing in January since 1872

© Erik Cox
A sunny, mild day in the capital.
It's nothing compared to D.C.'s record-warm December in 2015 — when the daffodils were blooming and people wore short-sleeve T-shirts on Christmas — but so far, this month has been hovering in uncharted territory, as well.

It's not a sexy record, but it's a significant one. As of Friday morning, the city has had 16 days above 32 degrees, which is the longest span of time it's been above freezing in January since records began in D.C. in 1872.


January is supposed to be the coldest time of the year, but the weird-weather spell is yet another warm milestone for the capital, all of which have occurred since 2010.

So far, this January has an average temperature of 41.9 degrees, which is the second-warmest January since 2000 and the 12th-warmest overall.