Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

Blasted by storm: U.S. East Coast buried, death toll 20 - new storm on the way

© REUTERS/Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf/U.S. Coast Guard/Handout via ReutersCoast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug, sails the waters near Chicago and toward the shores off Indiana, in this picture taken February 12, 2014 provided by U.S. Coast Guard.
The U.S. East Coast was blasted by the end of a four-day winter storm on Friday, freezing sales of Valentine's Day flowers and sweets but revving up snowmobiles and ski areas desperate to salvage a lackluster season.

As the storm blew out with a last salvo of thunder snow and lightning, the death toll rose to at least 20, including a 36-year-old pregnant woman killed by a snow plow in a Brooklyn parking lot. Her baby boy remained in critical but stable condition, a New York City Police spokeswoman said.

Snowfall measured 28.5 inches in Pilot, Virginia, about 200 miles west of Richmond, said Chris Vaccaro, spokesman for the National Weather Service. A new storm system was on its way, expected to dump up to 3 inches on the East Coast into Saturday, he said.

Across the South, hundreds of thousands of people were still without power on Friday as the result of broken tree limbs stressed by heavy snow and thick layers of ice falling onto power lines. South Carolina customers may not be back to normal service until late Sunday, said Duke Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Jabon.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was shut for more than seven hours while it was cleared of twisted metal from up to 50 vehicles in multiple accidents that injured 27 people, said Renee Vid Colborn, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The injuries were not life-threatening, she said.

About 1,700 U.S. flights were canceled and roughly 6,600 were delayed on Friday, said flight-tracking website FlightAware.com.


Up to 100 cars pile up on icy Pennsylvania highway

PA turnpike accident
© AFP/William Thomas CainRescue and fire personnel assist on the scene of a 100 car chain reaction pileup accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike eastbound February 14, 2014 in Feasterville, Pennsylvania
Several huge multi-car pile-ups totaling 100 vehicles have shut down part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Friday morning, as icy driving conditions made for a treacherous commute.

The first crash occurred close to 8 a.m. and set off a chain reaction of accidents involving roughly 75 vehicles, while a separate crash managed to snare another 30 cars or so, according to CBS Philadelphia.

So far, up to five individuals have been hospitalized, though no fatalities have been reported.

There's no word on exactly what caused the pile-ups, but local news station Fox 29 said the first accident took place around 7:40 a.m. and involved a tractor trailer. That accident triggered a chain reaction of collisions, which state police believe was caused by the icy road and people driving too fast.

Ice Cube

Great Lakes almost completely frozen! Will they break 1994 record?

© AP Photo/ Traverse City Record-Eagle, Keith King PoolThe Mackinac Bridge over the the Straits of Mackinac spans an ice cover that stretches into the horizon in Michigan.
They haven't frozen over this much since 1994

The Mackinac Bridge over the the Straits of Mackinac spans an ice cover that stretches into the horizon in Michigan.

It's been so cold for such a long time in the Great Lakes region that the lakes are now almost completely covered with ice for the first time in 20 years. Ice cover has now reached 88% across the five lakes, the most since 1994, when 94% of their surface was frozen, the AP finds. Average ice cover has receded around 70% over the last four decades, so this year's deep freeze will do much to replenish lake water levels by limiting evaporation.
© NOAALake Superior is almost completely frozen over


Philadelphia breaks 130-year-old snow record

The onslaught on Wintry Weather continues this morning. Snow is piling up fast across the Delaware Valley as our monster Nor'easter climbs up the Eastern seaboard.

And with the snowfall in the city of Philadelphia Thursday, a 130-year-old record was shattered. For the first time in the city's history, there have been four 6+ inch snowfalls or more in season. In addition, we are now in the top 5 snowiest winters of all-time.

The storm has a history of producing historic snowfall and ice accumulations across the Southern United States and now it is blasting our region with blinding snow, heavy sleet, flooding rain and wicked winds.

This storm also adds insult to injury as hundreds of thousands of people just got their power back after last week's crippling ice storm.


Blizzard to lash Eastern New England on Saturday

Into the first part of the weekend, light to moderate snow will push from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic states, but a blizzard is forecast to develop in eastern New England.

The storm has the potential to bring a new round of ground and airline disruptions to parts of the South and East that were hit with the winter storm at midweek and also to some places that escaped the storm in the Midwest.

The storm is forecast to remain rather weak along most of its journey. However, it could bring just enough snow to treat, shovel and plow from parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to much of Kentucky and Tennessee into Friday afternoon.

Motorists are advised to exercise caution this evening along Interstates 64, 65, 71 and 75 in Kentucky as temperatures falling below freezing can make for icy travel. Similar conditions in southeastern Pennsylvania early this morning contributed to a multiple vehicle accident on the Turnpike, north of Philadelphia.

The storm brought between 1 and 4 inches over a large part of Iowa and northern Missouri early Friday and was heading across central Illinois toward Indiana during the midday Friday. St. Louis received a wintry mix.

A swath of snow will affect portions of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York during part of Friday night. A couple of inches could fall on parts of these states with locally higher amounts. The snow could conceal patches of ice beneath.


Virginia: Storm brought record breaking snowfall to Washington Dulles Airport

The snowstorm that buried the Mid-Atlantic region this week brought Washington Dulles International Airport its ninth biggest one-day snowfall on record, the National Weather Service said Friday.

Dulles got 11.7 inches on Thursday alone. That broke the record for that date of 3 inches set in 1992, and ranks ninth among the biggest daily snowfalls recorded at the airport near Sterling, Va., meteorologist Heather Sheffield said.

She said the storm dropped a total of 13.3 inches of snow at Dulles from Wednesday through Thursday.

Trained spotters reported unofficial, but credible, storm totals of 2 feet or more in north-central Maryland, including a 26-inch reading near the Baltimore County community of Glyndon, the weather service said.

"Just looking at the overall pattern of the snowfall, I don't have a reason to question the numbers," said Calvin Meadows, observing program leader in the agency's Sterling, Va., office.

The nor'easter was linked to at least four deaths in the region.

Snowflake Cold

Tokyo paralyzed by second major snow storm in a week: worst in 45 years

Heavy snow fell on Tokyo for the second this time week, forcing some companies to cancel work and send their employees home. Nissan Motor Co.'s Yokohama office asked its employees to head home early because snow has already impeded plane and railway services.

The Japan Meterological Agency said to prepare for as much as 10 centimeters, or 4 inches, of snowfall within the next 24 hours in Tokyo. Just last weekend, a record 24 centimeters of snow fell on the Japanese capital. Broadcasting company NHK reported that the amount of snow over the weekend was worst snowfall to hit the city in 45 years. Train and plane services were paralyzed because of the snow, leaving many commuters stranded. While ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co., had to cancel 138 domestic and international flights, while six lines from the East Japan Railway Co. were stopped from running. On the other hand, bullet trains such as those from Central Japan Railway Co. were only delayed for up to 50 minutes, as wells as lines from West Japan Railway Co.

Due to the cancellation of 63 domestic flights by ANA, around 9,500 passengers were rendered helpless by the storm, according to Ryosei Nomura of ANA. The heavy snowfall also forced the closure of a runway at Nagoya airport because of the thick ice on the ground. Chris Keefe from Nissan Motor Co. asked employees to leave by 12:30 p.m on Friday because of the dangers heavy snowfall pose, such as slipping off the icy ground, lack of transportation, and roads closed to traffic because it's rendered impassable.

Eggs Fried

Prince Charles ignorantly labels global warming skeptics as "headless chickens" - response from Lord Monckton

© Wattupwiththat
The royal prince in waiting of Britain labels climate skeptics as "headless chickens"

From The Telegraph:
Prince Charles has criticised climate change deniers, describing them as the "headless chicken brigade" during an awards ceremony recognising a leading young green entrepreneur.
Charles, who has campaigned for years to reduce global warming, also spoke out against "the barrage of sheer intimidation" from powerful anti-climate change groups during the event held at Buckingham Palace last night.
The mark of a true leader is bringing people with diverse views and backgrounds together, clearly with this recent pronouncement, Prince Charles clearly has failed as a leader.

I'll point out a few things the prince who may be king should know, but doesn't, or chooses not to.

1. Rational climate skeptics don't doubt that some portion of the proposed greenhouse effect is real, it's just that nobody (and that includes many scientists) seems to be able to agree upon how much. The few who actually deny the Greenhouse effect exists, such as the "Slayers" aka "Principia Scientific" only represent the views of a fringe.


20-inch snow dump burying parts of Northeast in massive winter storm

snow clearing
© AP Don Hammond of Newtown shovels his driveway as snow continues to fall in Connecticut on February 13

As if the East Coast hadn't gotten the point by now, Mother Nature drove it home yet again -- that this is winter, hear it roar.

The storm that threw down a concoction of sleet, snow and freezing rain over the South is pounding an icy path from Philadelphia to Maine Friday.

It is burying many places in the Northeast under up to 20 inches of total snow accumulation, the Nation Weather Service says.

The skies will be teeming with flakes falling at a rate of 2-3 inches per hour in the northernmost regions. Massive piles of snow will become a stumbling block to most people there.

But closer to Philadelphia, freezing rain could make things dangerously slick, the weather service said.

Winter storm wallops Northeast Snowplow kills pregnant woman in NYC Vehicles slipping and sliding in the storm Storm might ruin Valentine's Day

Even in the North, where people are more accustom to dealing with winter's trickery than their compatriots farther South, fast-falling snow on Thursday caused tractor-trailers to jackknife. It prompted authorities in New York to ban commercial traffic on Interstate 84 -- a major east-west highway running through the state.


Where's the snow? On the ground in 49 of 50 states

Snowstorm in Washington
© Michael Reynolds, epaThe Washington Monument is barely visible behind visitors to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Feb. 13.

Some snow is on the ground at the highest elevations of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Snow is on the ground in 49 out of the 50 states - only the Sunshine State of Florida is completely snow-free, according to a map produced Thursday morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(This doesn't mean that those 49 states are snow-covered, of course, only that some part of each state has snow.)

Although this map doesn't show it, there is snow in Hawaii, where webcams are showing snow on the high peaks of the mountain volcanoes of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

HAWAII SNOW: Webcam from peak of volcano

The map also doesn't include Alaska, but it's a given that most of that state is snow-covered this time of year. A quick check with the National Weather Service forecast office in Fairbanks found 19 inches of snow on the ground there.

There doesn't appear to be much snow on the ground in Texas or Louisiana, and with the forecast of mild temperatures, it doesn't figure to last much longer there, if it even makes it through the day Thursday.

The map shows how sparse the snow is in parts of the West, as only small parts of Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico are showing snow because of the ongoing drought and warmth.

How dry and warm has it been in the Southwest so far this winter? January 2014 was the driest January ever recorded in New Mexico, while Arizona had its second-driest January on record, according to data released Thursday by the National Climatic Data Center.

As for warmth, both Arizona and New Mexico, along with California, had a top-10 warm January.