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Tue, 24 Jan 2017
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

At least 9 dead as blizzards and icy weather grip parts of Europe

© AP /Amel Emric
Bosnian worker tries to clear a mountain road near Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. The region is bracing itself for a spell of extremely cold weather with temperatures expected to remain between - 11 and - 26 degrees centigrade (from 5 to - 14.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Blizzards swept parts of Europe on Friday, causing at least nine deaths, closing roads and resulting in traffic accidents, travel delays and medical evacuations.

In Poland, the cold snap was blamed for five deaths in 24 hours.
Three people died from hypothermia, while two more died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by malfunctioning heaters, the government Security Center said.

Officials in neighboring Ukraine reported that four people had died from effects of the cold in the Lviv region near the Polish border.

In Romania, authorities said 90 people were rescued from stranded cars and that crews were working to save people stuck in some 30 cars on a major highway. More than 40 trains were not running due to snow on the tracks.

Senior emergency situations official Raed Arafat said Romanian authorities also evacuated 622 people who needed dialysis and 126 pregnant women. The blizzard is expected to ease off late Friday.



© AP/Mindaugas Kulbis
A man with frost on his face runs along the bank of the Neris river as temperatures dipped to -21 degrees Celsius (-5.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall disrupts life in Himachal, India: Electricity, water supply hampered in Shimla

© Deepak Sansta/HT 
People walking on the snow covered road at Sanjauli, Shimla on Saturday.
Winter's first heavy snowfall intensified the cold wave while it disrupted normal life in the state's capital Shimla and its surroundings.

Strong western disturbances brought intermittent spell of snow in the capital town that affected the normal life. Shimla's highest point Jakhu recorded 15 centimetres of the snow.

Snow covered roads disrupted the traffic movement in the capital town, hampering supplies of daily commodities. Kalka-Shimla national highway remained block beyond Taradevi, as the vehicles could not ply on the snow laden roads. Thunderstorm that lashed the town during the last 24 hours also impacted electricity supply in the town.

Many areas of the town including brockhurst, Jakhu, US Club and Khalini were affected . Kufri the closest tourist destination from states capital recorded 24 centimetres of the snowfall. The strategic Hindustan Tibet road has been closed for traffic beyond Sanjauli. The famous tourist resort Narkanda experienced 30 centimetres of snow.




Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowstorm paralyses Istanbul, Turkey

© AFP/Ozan Kose
People walk during snowfalls in Istanbul on January 7, 2017
A heavy snowstorm paralysed life in Istanbul on Saturday, with hundreds of flights cancelled and the Bosphorus closed to shipping traffic.

The snowstorm dumped almost 40 centimetres (16 inches) of snow in parts of the Turkish metropolis overnight, causing havoc on roads as travellers sought to leave the city for the weekend getaway.

For those not travelling, the snow however provided a rare chance to see Istanbul's famous minaret and dome-studded skyline caked in a white layer of snow.

Flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) cancelled some 500 flights from both the main Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports, with the snow also bringing poor visibility.



Snowflake Cold

New cold record of -41.7C and freak winter thunderstorm in Finland

© Saana Antikainen
Nuorgam on January 4, 2017.
Early Thursday a new cold record for this winter of -41.7 degrees Celsius was set in Muonio, Finnish Lapland. It was nearly as chilly in the village of Naruska in Salla, where thermometers showed -41.4. On Thursday night temperatures are expected to fall further in southern and central Finland as well.

Shortly after midnight, this winter's new cold record of -41.7 degrees Celsius was set in Muonio, Finnish Lapland. It was nearly as chilly in the village of Naruska in Salla, where thermometers showed -41.4.

A day earlier, the record was snapped twice in Finnish Lapland.

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), thermometers sank to -38.7 degrees Celsius shortly before 7 am at Nuorgam in the northernmost municipality of Utsjoki. Just after noon that record was bested by the village of Väylä, slightly further south in Inari. There the mercury plunged to -39.8.

Igloo

US in the grip of the 'The Big Chill'

We've known that the USA is in for a bi-coastal blast of cold air, snow, and heavy rains, but this map by Jesse Farrell shows just how much of the contiguous USA has below freezing temperatures this morning.

Here is a summary of temperatures seen this morning by states:
  • All States except Florida (80% of US Land) are less than 32°F
  • 25 States (30% Land) Below 0 °F
  • 6 States Below -20°F
© Jesse Farrell
Of course, though not seen in the map above, Alaska has subfreezing temperatures, and Hawaii has subfreezing temperatures on the mountain peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea -not unusual for this time of year, but it is important not to exclude the 49th, and 50th states from any discussion about the USA.

Meanwhile, a once in a decade storm will hit California this weekend.

Binoculars

Rare waxwing birds from abroad that signal harsh winter seen across Gloucestershire, UK as temperatures plummet


Waxwing
Delighted twitchers came out in force after groups of rare birds said to be a sign of a harsh winter descended on the county in search of berries this week.

Groups of waxwings have been spotted across the county in recent days.

Crowds or birdspotters have been gathering around sites where the feathered winter visitors have arrived from colder climes looking for food.

At the minute many are gathered at Lidl in Cinderford where around 16 Waxwings have been spotted feeding from the winter berries.

Two waxwings have been spotted feeding on berries outside the police station in Cirencester and a pair have been seen at the The Boars Head car park in Berkeley.


Snowflake Cold

U.S. Snowstorm moves across the West into Rocky Mountains

© AP
States from California to Colorado and Wyoming are dealing with heavy snowfall, as a fierce winter storm moves across much of the western U.S. (Jan 5)


Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow, winds, leave 16,000 households in Poland without power

© PAP/Andrzej Grygiel
Snowfall in Katowice, southern Poland.
Almost 16,000 households across Poland were left without electricity on Wednesday after heavy snowfall and fierce winds downed power lines.

Forecasters have said that regions close to the mountains may see up to half a metre of snow over 24 hours from Wednesday but added that heavy snowfall is not expected in most other areas of the country.

Meanwhile, temperatures are set to plunge at night as arctic air arrives in Poland from the north. The mercury in northeastern Poland is expected to drop to minus 17 degrees C.

The authorities have warned that homeless people may be in danger unless they find shelter.

Source: IAR/PAP

Snowflake Cold

Severe winter weather warnings stop trains throughout Austria

© Ximeg/Wikimedia
A violent winter storm pattern will thrash through all of Austria this Wednesday. Recent forecasts have put the entire country under red alert and are predicting very difficult winter conditions that have gone so far as to impact the national train service.

According to Heute, the region of Upper Austria is currently under heavy snowfall and the outskirts of Vienna have already been hit by incredible wind speeds, peaking at 131km/hr. Within the city itself, gusts of up to 100km/hr were measured, which has lead to the closure of many major public parks, including the Augarten, Burggarten, Volksgarten, the grounds of the Belvedere Palace and Glorietteberg.

Even the city's central ice rink located in front of town hall known as the 'Wiener Eistraum' was forced to shut down due to potential dangerous conditions. City police have also reported trees toppling over onto the street, one even crushing a parked car in the district of Ottakring.

Ice Cube

Somali immigrant abandoned during blizzard, found dead in Bulgaria

© AFP
Bulgarian police reported finding the body of a Somali immigrant in Mount Stranja (southeast) near the Turkish border.

The young woman was in a group of about 30 illegal immigrants caught by border police Sunday near the town of Ravadinovo, about 40 km from the border. Police learned during interrogation that the group abandoned the woman amid a blizzard.

The body was found Monday, noting that temperatures at night fell to more than ten degrees below zero. Two Somalis teenagers, a boy and girl, 16 and 14-years old also suffered from frostbite.

The group included 25 Afghans and three Pakistanis and three Somalis.

Bulgaria is witnessing the incident at the external borders of the European Union in the crowded immigrant reception centers, particularly as a result of the closure of Serbia's borders, cutting the road to central and western Europe.