Extreme Temperatures
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Roses

"It's bloomin' incredible" say botanists: More than 600 species of British flowers were in bloom on New Year's Day - usually it's 20-30

hawthorn
© AlamyHawthorn has been spotted in flower at New Year, a whole five months earlier than expected

Nature Studies: In a normal winter botanists would expect no more than 20 to 30 plants to have been in flower


It's unheard-of: after the warmest and wettest December on record, more than 600 species of British wildflowers were in bloom on New Year's Day 2016, a major survey has shown.

In a normal cold winter, botanists would expect no more than 20 to 30 types of wild plants to be in flower in the British Isles at the year's end - species such as daisy, dandelion and gorse.

But a survey by the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) has discovered that on 1 January, no fewer than 612 species were actually flowering, including some from late spring and high summer - an occurrence which seems to be without precedent, and has left plant scientists astonished.

"It's incredible," said Kevin Walker, the BSBI's Head of Science. "I've never seen anything like it."

Just like December's astounding weather regime of record rainfall and warmth, the mass out-of-time flowering is suggestive of a substantial climatic shift. "It is what might be expected with climate change," Dr Walker said.

The appearance of many familiar and well-loved springtime species was a complete surprise: cowslips and cow parsley were both recorded four months early, normally appearing in April, while yellow archangel, bulbous buttercup and red campion are all expected in May.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall and freezing weather strikes China

Freezing China
Heavy snowfall and freezing cold temperatures in China, Hong Kong and Japan have been breaking temperature records, as well as causing transport gridlock.

Camilla Schick reports.


Snowflake Cold

Cold snap sweeping East Asia kills 85 in Taiwan

Heavy snow in Taiwan
© AFPThis highway in Guangdong province was closed because of heavy snow
A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has killed at least 85 people in Taiwan and stranded 60,000 tourists in South Korea.

Taiwanese media reported deaths from hypothermia and cardiac disease following a sudden drop in temperature over the weekend.

Meanwhile heavy snow forced the closure of the airport on the Korean holiday island of Jeju, cancelling flights.

The cold spell has also hit Hong Kong, southern China and Japan.


'Sudden drop'

Many of those who died in Taiwan were elderly people living in northern regions such as Taipei and Taoyuan. Those areas accounted for 66 of the deaths.

Another 16 were confirmed dead in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

The temperature in Taipei city fell to a 44-year low of 4C (39F) on Sunday, and many homes in Taiwan lack central heating.

Many victims reportedly had heart trouble and shortness of breath.

"In our experience, it's not the actual temperature but the sudden drop that's too sudden for people's circulatory systems,'' said a city official quoted by AP news agency.

Comment: For other related articles pertaining to the extreme cold spell affecting Asia, see also:


Igloo

The sun is cooling - Garbage science of global warming

Ice_Age_1
© Dr. Sircus.com
Western government propaganda is increasing as the weather around the world defies global warming predictions. The latest publication insists that global warming is likely to disrupt a natural cycle of ice ages and contribute to delaying the onset of the next big freeze until about 100,000 years from now is utterly senseless.

In a new explanation for the long-lasting plunges in global temperatures that cause ice ages, scientists pointed to a combination of long-term shifts in the Earth's orbit around the sun, together with levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They forgot though to mention what every astrophysicist knows is that the sun itself has cycles of higher and lower output (sunspot, solar winds and movement of solar belts on the sun itself) and that these variations cause mini ice ages that occur frequently.

"Humans have the power to change the climate on geological timescales," said lead author Andrey Ganopolski. The findings suggest human influences "will make the initiation of the next ice age impossible over a time period comparable to the duration of previous glacial cycles."

We are being convinced at great expense in the global warming scenario. We need to be convinced because it simply is not true no matter how many times they tell us it is true.

Smiley

Film of excited panda rolling around and absolutely LOVING the snow from freak blizzard

Panda
Loving it: Tian Tian can't get enough of the snow in Washington DC
Heartwarming video has been captured of a panda absolutely loving its time in snow.

The panda rolls around with a beaming smile, almost basking in the snow.

The footage was taken at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC, after the heavy snowfall today sparked by Storm Jonas.

The animal in question is Tian Tian, whose name means 'more and more'.

He excitedly rolls and slides in the snow as he enjoys the weather that has hit the United States Middle Atlantic region, causing a shut down in the nation's capital.

Tian Tian is playful and happy as he throws the white stuff over him.


Snowflake Cold

2 killed, 100 injured as cold air mass hits Japan with record-breaking heavy snowfall and low temperatures

Otaru under snow on the island of Hokkaido, Japan
© Peter Enyeart / FlickrOtaru under snow on the island of Hokkaido, Japan
Two people died and more than 100 were injured Sunday as a cold air mass gripped Japan, with record-breaking heavy snowfall in western and central areas of the country.

With a bitterly cold air mass in place above the Japanese archipelago, heavy snow fell and strong winds blew in Sea of Japan coastal areas from the central to southwestern regions on Sunday, disrupting air and land traffic.

The first snowfall in almost 115 years was recorded on Amami-Oshima island, a subtropical island located some 380 km (235 miles) southwest of the city of Kagoshima, while temperatures fell to record lows in western and southern Japan.

In usually warm Naha in subtropical Okinawa Prefecture, temperatures plummeted to 8.9 degrees Sunday morning, far below January's average low. The temperature in the town of Kunigami, in the north of the main island, it dropped to a record-low 4.2 degrees Celsius at 6 p.m.

The Meteorological Agency called for vigilance against strong winds and high waves across much of the country as well as heavy snow and snowstorms in the Hokuriku region and in western Japan through Monday.

Comment: Earlier last week heavy snowfall caused transport chaos in Japan injuring 250 people.


Snowflake Cold

As blizzard rages on, Washington D.C. braces for 12-36 inches of snow

DC snowfall chart
The Blizzard of 2016 will continue to evolve and shut down travel into Saturday from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City, with some areas of the mid-Atlantic bracing for 1-3 feet of snow and strong winds.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "This will be a rare event for the region as there are not many storms that bring a foot or more of snow over such a large area and last more than 24 hours."

Be prepared for lengthy power outages, immobilization

Winds and the rate of snowfall will increase as the storm strengthens. Massive drifts will develop, where sleet and rain do not mix in. Gusts along the mid-Atlantic coast will frequent 40-50 mph.

An all-out blizzard will unfold from northern Virginia to southwestern Connecticut. Periodic whiteout conditions will occur farther west from south-central Pennsylvania to part of western North Carolina.
Blizzard chart
Snowfall rates from New Jersey to Virginia and West Virginia will be 1-3 inches per hour at times and the storm can last for more than 24 hours. Thunder and lightning could accompany the heavy snow in some locations. In some communities, roads could be blocked and the power could be out for days.

Multiple state officials have declared a state of emergency and are urging people to stay off the roads or risk being stranded during the storm.

Comment: 'Historic' blizzard expected to hit US east coast on Friday


Snowflake Cold

Cold snap in North Korea worse than usual; minus 16 degrees Celsius recorded

An aerial view of the frozen Taedong River in Pyongyang on Wednesday
© Associated Press Television News An aerial view of the frozen Taedong River in Pyongyang on Wednesday
The date known on traditional calendars as the day of the "Big Cold" lived up to its reputation Wednesday in North Korea.

The country has been hit by a severe cold wave sending temperatures plummeting to minus 16 degrees Celsius (3 Fahrenheit) — or about minus 24 (minus 11 F) when the wind chill is calculated.

Wednesday was the coldest day of the year so far, though forecasters said the worst may be yet to come.

Some pedestrians in the capital Pyongyang walked backward to avoid facing into the biting wind, but the cold did not stop intrepid fishermen from squatting on the frozen Taedong River in the center of the city in the hope of catching a local delicacy — a fish called sokari in Korean, golden Mandarin fish in English.

They hack holes through 40 centimeters (16 inches) of ice to send thin lines into the water below.

Pyongyang's indoor ice skating rink has also been teeming with skaters, despite the freezing temperatures inside as well as out.


Snowflake Cold

About 80 settlements in south Ukraine remain without power following heavy snowfall

LIGHT IN DARK
© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Seventy-two settlements in the Kherson Region, five in the Mykolaiv Region and one settlement in the Odessa Region currently remain without electricity

A total of 78 settlements in three regions in Ukraine's south remain without electricity, the press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said on Thursday.

"On Wednesday specialists from utility companies completed works on restoring electricity to settlements that were left without power as a result of complicated weather conditions - gusts of wind, snowfall and icing," the press service said.

Seventy-two settlements in the Kherson Region, five in the Mykolaiv Region and one settlement in the Odessa Region currently remain without electricity. Repair works are underway.


Snowflake Cold

Extreme 'cold wave' weather chills 90 percent of China, as temperatures drop to -30C

Fishing boats frozen by sea ice in China
© RexFishing boats frozen by sea ice at the sea area in Qinhuangdao, a port city in north China's Hebei Province

An extreme 'cold wave' has hit most of north and east China, with low temperatures and frost expected to last for around a week


These amazing pictures show the astonishing effects of an extreme 'cold wave' that has hit 90 percent of China.

Parts of China suffered a bitterly cold chill this week as temperatures dropped to the lowest they've been in 30 years.

These pictures show residents in Harbin, the northernmost provincial capital in China, as they battled the elements in -30C.

One image shows a huge clump of ice frozen in mid air above a man's head as he threw water over himself.

Another man's eyebrows collected freezing icicles on them which had twisted into clumps 'growing' from his brow.

And a woman smiled through the cold as ice collected on her wooly hat and the ends of her hair while she wore a face mask in the bitter chill.


hot water freezing in air in China
© RexA man throws hot water into the air at Songhuajiang river in Harbin

Comment: See also: Very low temperatures and heavy snowfall in Mongolia; mass death of livestock