Extreme Temperatures


NASA image shows Polar Vortex plunging southward into U.S.

NASA today released this image of the polar vortex, the weird atmospheric twitch that flooded into the United States last month. The purple wavy line above that wanders down from the Arctic shows the below-average temperatures that set cold records in many states.

From NASA's Facebook page:

"The Big Chill - Blistering cold air from the Arctic plunged southward this winter, breaking U.S. temperature records. A persistent pattern of winds spins high above the Arctic in winter. The winds, known as the polar vortex, typically blow in a fairly tight circular formation. But in late December 2013 and early January 2014, the winds loosened and frigid Arctic air spilled farther south than usual, deep into the continental United States. On Jan. 6, 2014, alone, approximately 50 daily record low temperatures were set, from Colorado to Alabama to New York, according to the National Weather Service. In some places temperatures were 40 degrees Fahrenheit colder than average."


Next freeze will cover two-thirds of country, weather service says

© Chad Weisser/iReport
Don't pack away those winter coats and hats yet!

We're in for another blast of cold Arctic air, which is gearing up to roll across most of the country this week, but it won't be as bad as the shocking freeze in January.

The National Weather Service says some places from the central U.S. to the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys could be having some frosty high temperatures, as low 20 to 30 degrees below normal.

If you call it Polar Vortex Part II (or III or IV), meteorologists say you'd be wrong -- nor was the first big cold spell of 2014, strictly speaking, a strike of the Polar Vortex.

The Polar Vortex stays anchored over Baffin Bay, to the north of Canada, and doesn't move, says CNN meteorologist Sean Morris. But its shifting pattern allows cold Arctic air to spill southward into the United States.

"When it weakens, this allows the cold Arctic air that is often mislabeled the "Polar Vortex" to spill southward across the U.S. border and bring us bone-chilling temperatures," Morris explained.


U.S. Polar Vortex returns after short period of Spring weather

© IndependentThe US is experiencing a repeat of January's icy weather, which saw the Niagara Falls freeze over.
After a brief taste of spring weather, parts of the US are being plagued once again by the polar vortex.

The worst of the icy weather will centre on the upper Midwest, the Climate Prediction Centre predicts.

"Record cold temperatures are possible for the High Plains, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes later this week," the US National Weather Service said in an online forecast.

There are reports that Minneapolis has been hit by temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below normal, with current reports stating that it is -16 C.

Cities including Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo, are also expected to experience unusually low temperatures, with the mercury in some areas dropping by as much as 40 degrees to below 0 C by midweek, according to AccuWeather.

"The polar vortex is essentially a mass of very cold air that usually hangs out above the Arctic Circle and is contained by strong winds," AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski told USA Today.

Snowflake Cold

Confirmed: Winter misery index

A new winter misery index confirms what many Americans in the Midwest and East know in their all-too-chilled bones: This has been one of the harshest winters of our lifetimes.

And nowhere has been hit harder, relatively, than Detroit.

Sure Chicago, Indianapolis and Philadelphia and Moline, Ill., are in the midst of their third most extreme winters in more than 60 years. But Detroit, a city that is trying to crawl out of bankruptcy, is also slogging through what so far is the most extreme winter it has had since Harry Truman was president, at least, according to a winter extremity index created by a National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Mayes Boustead.

The index is based on cold temperatures and snowfall. And so far Detroit has had more than 6 1/2 feet of snow and 100 days when the thermometer plunged below the freezing mark. Of two dozen cities studied, Detroit alone is in the middle of its harshest winter since 1950.

In better weather, downtown Detroit's riverfront walk bustles with bicyclists, runners, walkers and people watchers. Lunchtime on Tuesday wasn't better weather. With temperatures in the low 20s and a biting wind, Paul Welch was practically alone on his 2-mile trek. He was mostly dressed for the weather, with a fleece pullover, ski jacket and gloves - but no hat. Consequently, his face was pink.


Greenpeace co-founder tells US Senate Earth's geologic history fundamentally contradicts CO2 climate fears

Patrick Moore
© Tory Aardvark.com
Dr Patrick Moore was one of the co-founders of Green NGO, Greenpeace, for several years Moore was chairman of Greenpeace in Canada, until he became concerned at the political direction Greenpeace was taking, and left the NGO.

Moore is far from popular with his former NGO and other Greens, in January 2012 he spoke about the Green folly of wind power describing it as "a destroyer of wealth and negative to the economy."

Then in July 2012 Moore caused more Green outrage and upset when he attacked the warming alarmists for their attempts to cover up the lack of warming for what was then 15 years.

"These people are either completely naive about the relationship between CO2 and plants or they are making this up as a way of deflecting attention from the lack of warming for the past 15 years", said Moore.

In August that year Moore gave an interview to the Washington Times:
Ideology is negative in so far as it tends to divide people into warring camps with no possible resolution. My late Greenpeace friend Bob Hunter suggested early on that in order for environmentalism to become a mass movement, it would have to be based on ideology, or as he called it "popular mythology," because "not everybody can be a Ph.D. ecologist."
On February 25th 2014 Moore appeared before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, his former NGO really will not like what he had to say:

Ice Cube

Six skating children drown after ice on frozen river breaks in China

© BarcroftThe site of the accident in China where six children lost their lives
Six children have died in a skating accident after they broke through the ice on a frozen river.

The children, aged between five and 11, fell into the Huiji River in Pingyao county, China, on Saturday afternoon.

They had been skating on a thin section of ice when it collapsed underneath them.

Police were called to the incident at 5pm and an hour later four of the children were found and the remaining two were discovered at roughly 7.30pm.

Five of the children were cousins and the sixth was a neighbour's child, an officer told the South China Morning Post.

All of the children were taken to hospital but none survived.

A video which captured the dramatic operation to recover the children has also emerged, showing a rescue worker diving into the water within a rubber tube.


Michael Mann's legal case caught in a quote fabrication fib

Michael Mann
UPDATE: it seems the language was lifted from a "Skeptical Science" web page, see below.

Steve McIntyre had a busy day yesterday. While yesterday there was an incorrect story called "Michael Mann Faces Bankruptcy as his Courtroom Climate Capers Collapse" being pushed by John O'Sullivan at Principia Scientific International (aka PSI and The Slayers) claiming Dr. Tim Ball had defeated Mann's lawsuit, Ball confirms through communications with McIntyre yesterday that while stalled, Mann's lawsuit is still very much on. Also, for those who don't know, we've heard that Dr. Mann's legal bills are being paid by the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, where we've been told there are some deep green pockets contributing, so he isn't facing bankruptcy, at least not yet.

I find the name a bit of a misnomer, since AFAIK, no climate skeptic scientists are suing alarmist climate scientists, We have only Dr. Mann's and Dr. Weaver's lawsuit (also against Tim Ball). Perhaps it should be named the Climate Science Legal Offense Fund.

Comment: For some background on Michael Mann read:
Dr. Michael Mann's dishonest political messaging
Climategate: Michael Mann's very unhappy New Year
Climategate Junk Scientist Michael Mann Awarded Half a Million in Stimulus Cash


Polar vortex to make encore performance in Midwest, East U.S.

Consider the weather this week a mere pause in a tough winter that will resume next week with cold air and the potential for snowstorms.

Signs are pointing toward another southward dip from the polar vortex. The polar vortex is essentially a mass of very cold air that usually hangs out above the Arctic Circle and is contained by strong winds.

According to Long Range Expert Mark Paquette, "We noticed a minor Sudden Stratospheric Warming event taking place back on Feb. 6-7, 2014."

When sudden warming takes place high in the atmosphere, it initiates a chain of events that tends to displace the polar vortex between 14 and 30 days later.

"In addition to the exact timing of the cold outbreak is you never know for sure initially which continent the cold air will be directed," Paquette said, "This time it appears it will take aim at the eastern part of North America."


Rare Arctic songbird turns up at Panama City Beach, Florida

© Ron Houser Our members of the Bay County Audubon Society saw a Snow Bunting at St. Andrews State Park on Saturday, Feb. 15. This is a very rare bird in Florida. Its winter range usually extends no further south than Ohio but it breeds in the Arctic, much further north. The last one reported locally was in 1986.
Clear eyes, full hearts and lots of sunshine can't lose.

This week is why you moved to Florida. It's the middle of February and the temperatures will be in the 70s all week. Also, that troublesome rain that you normally associate with great weather like this is nowhere to be seen. At least until Friday when there is a 40 percent chance of scattered showers.

How nice is it? A snow bunting, a rare artic bird is hanging out in Saint Andrews State Park, according to local resident Ron Houser of the Bay County Audubon Society.

Houser captured a shot of the bird Saturday. He said they breed in the arctic and usually don't travel any further south than Ohio.

Also, Spring Break has not started yet which means you have the beach to yourself. That's right, you heard me, you have the beach to yourself locals.

Get to it.

Comment: See also : Thousands of Arctic songbirds invade Ohio farmstead

Rare Arctic bird turns up in Darwin, Australia

UK storms bring in rare Arctic gulls to Pembrokeshire

Storm blows Canadian bird 3,000 miles on to Tyrone lough, Northern Ireland

Bird watchers flock to Portland, UK after a rare Arctic Brunnich's Guillemot spotted

Ice Age Cometh: Snowy Owl invasion coming in North America?

Maine experiencing a Canadian owl invasion

Incredible Hawk Owl invasion in Estonia!

Huge Snowy Owl invasion becomes official in Canada and U.S.

Thousands of Hawk Owls descend on Finland as food in northern Russia runs out

Ice Age Cometh: Unprecedented influx of Arctic Ivory Gulls into UK


Warning signs heralded Korean resort tragedy

Collapsed Roof
© ChosunAn aerial view of the gymnasium in a mountain resort in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province that collapsed under heavy snow on Monday.
The resort collapse in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province on Monday night that killed 10 students and injured 105 was no freak accident.

Record snowfall in southeastern Korea on Nov. 9 had already caused five roofs in the neighboring port city of Ulsan to cave in and another 27 reports of possible structural failure at factories and homes.

On Feb. 10, the roof of one autoparts maker in Ulsan caved in crushing one worker to death, and on Feb. 11, the roof at another factory nearby collapsed, killing one worker and injuring two others.

Gyeongju, just 20 km away from Ulsan, saw 50 to 60 cm of snowfall since Feb. 9, but nobody took the time to voice concerns as hundreds of students piled into the gymnasium at the snow-covered resort.