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Mon, 25 May 2020
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake

Heavy snow keeps Balkans in deep freeze

Children play in the snow in the Montenegrin
© AP Photo/Risto Bozovic
Children play in the snow in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. Heavy snowfall in blizzards have closed roads, disrupted power supplies and shut down an airport in Montenegro, amid a winter freeze that has killed several people and created travel chaos in the Balkans since last weekend.
Podgorica, Montenegro - Blizzards blocked roads, stranded villages, disrupted power supplies and temporarily shut down an airport in the Balkans on Tuesday, the fourth straight day of tough winter weather in the region of southeastern Europe.

In one of the worst-hit areas, snowdrifts and avalanches blocked roads in hilly northern Montenegro, where about a meter (3 feet) of snow fell overnight, officials said.

Across the border in southwestern Serbia, heavy snowfall blocked roads to more than a dozen villages, with some left without electricity and schools being closed for the rest of the week, officials said.

"We have got heavy machinery out and we are doing all we can," said emergency official Samir Bakic. "The wind is making the effort more difficult."

At least nine deaths across the region have been blamed on the snow and deep freeze, with temperatures as low as minus-15 Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit).

Snowflake

Heavy snowfall - State of emergency declared in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine

Oleksandr Popov, head of Kyiv City State Administration, has declared a state of emergency in the capital.

Popov's statement published on the official website of the Kyiv city administration says:
"Because of a potential threat to the economy and the life of the city as a result of the impact of heavy snowfall Kyiv is now officially in the state of emergency. This will allow the capital to engage forces not subordinate to the city authorities."

Cloud Precipitation

Storm dumps more than a foot of snow in Upper Midwest: roads treacherous or impassable

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At least this time the Metrodome roof stayed up.

A slow-moving storm more than a foot of snow in parts of the Upper Midwest, making roads treacherous or impassable and leading to at least one fatal crash.

The system dropped 10.6 inches of snow at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and up to 14 inches on parts of the Twin Cities on Sunday, Minneapolis' heaviest snowfall since a blizzard two years ago caused the Metrodome roof to collapse.

This time around, stadium officials resorted to blasting the heat in an effort to melt snow from the roof as quickly as possible.

Blizzard conditions, blowing and drifting snow made visibility so poor that the state Department of Transportation pulled snowplows off some highways in southwest and west Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported more than 600 crashes by Monday morning, and at least 1,140 spinouts, according to Lt. Eric Roeske, and driving conditions remained hazardous. One person was killed in a crash involving a semi near Red Wing and injuries were reported in 63 other accidents, the patrol said.

Snowflake Cold

Five die as heavy snowfall hits the Balkan countries

At least five people have been killed in the Balkans after freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall caused travel chaos across the region.

Four people have died in Croatia and one in Serbia as a result of blizzards in the region of south-western Europe over the weekend, according to officials.

Airports and roads have been closed during the bad weather, with public transport in a lot of the major cities also being affected.

Snowflake Cold

UK endures coldest autumn since 1993

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© Crown copyright
The UK Met Office report that the UK has just had its coldest autumn for nineteen years, leaving 2012 on course to be second coldest year since 1996.

Mean temperature in November was 0.4C below the 1981-2010 average, the third month in a row when temperatures have been well down on normal.

The average temperature for the autumn in the UK was 8.6C, compared to the long term average of 9.5C and the coldest since 1993. It is also the sixth coldest autumn in the last 50 years.

The year as a whole is currently running as the second coldest since 1996, beaten only by the exceptionally cold year of 2010. Temperatures so far in December are 2 degrees below normal, and the Met Office are forecasting that this will continue for the foreseeable future.

One of the features this autumn is just how persistent the cold weather has been. There have not been any exceptionally cold interludes, as, for instance, we saw with the heavy snow in November 2010. Instead, the weather has just been consistently cold.
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Figure 1

Snowflake Cold

UK braces for more snow as cold snap across Europe shows no signs of letting up

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© Anthony Chappel-Ross/PA
A woman walks her dog through snow in Goathland, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday.
Overnight frosts will continue throughout next week, with increasingly wintry showers turning from sleet into snow

The cold snap gripping Europe shows no sign of letting up as the UK braces for snow next week.

Overnight frosts will continue throughout next week, with increasingly wintry showers turning from sleet into snow.

A few centimetres of snow could fall in the east and hilly parts of the south-east on Friday.

Snow is continuing to fall on higher ground across Scotland, but will struggle to settle after sleet showers.

The rain and sleet will move southwards over the country while other parts will stay dry after clear spells. A cold wind is expected to sweep the entire country as temperatures struggle to rise above 4C or 5C.

Arrow Down

Heavy snow collapses walkway in Turkey

Heavy snow in Turkey piled up on a pedestrian walkway causing it to collapse. Scott Pelley reports.


Bacon

Skeletons in Mediterranean cave show early settlers retained their hunter-gatherer lifestyles from last Ice Age

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The island of Favignana
Skeletal remains in an island cave in Favignana, Italy, reveal that modern humans first settled in Sicily around the time of the last ice age and despite living on Mediterranean islands, ate little seafood. The research is published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marcello Mannino and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany.

Genetic analysis of the bones discovered in caves on the Egadi islands provides some of the first mitochondrial DNA data available for early humans from the Mediterranean region, a crucial piece of evidence in ancestry analysis. This analysis reveals the time when modern humans reached these islands. Mannino says, "The definitive peopling of Sicily by modern humans only occurred at the peak of the last ice age, around 19,000 -26,500 years ago, when sea levels were low enough to expose a land bridge between the island and the Italian peninsula".

The authors also analyzed the chemical composition of the human remains and found that these early settlers retained their hunter-gatherer lifestyles, relying on terrestrial animals rather than marine sources for meat.

Snowflake

Global warming? Heavy snow brings Stockholm to a standstill

stockholm snow
© Jessica Gow/Scanpix
A street in central Stockholm on Wednesday
Heavy snowfall in the southeast has disrupted traffic in Stockholm, where planes have been unable to take off and many bus and train lines stopped running. Several schools closed early on Wednesday. The snowfall is expected to continue through the night. The Transport Authority has advised people in the Stockholm region to avoid traveling by car.

The weather service issued a class 2 warning for Sweden's southeast due to the heavy snowfall and winds, meaning the weather could put the public in danger and disrupt infrastructure.

"Commuters can expect the snowfall to continue," meteorologist Linnea Rehn with the weather service SMHI tells Swedish Radio. There may yet be another 10 centimetres before this evening."

Igloo

Summer snow storm at Falls Creek, Australia

Summer Snow
© ABC/Audience submitted
Zoe 9, of Mt Beauty, makes the most of the summer snow at Falls Creek.
It is officially the fifth day of summer, but it snowed overnight at Falls Creek, in Victoria's north-east.

The ski resort received up to six centimetres of snow.

Resident photographer Chris Hocking says the wind chill took apparent temperatures to minus 6 degrees Celsius at times and the ground has turned white.

"We've probably seen four to six centimetres on the ground [and] a little more up high," he said.

"Temps are in sort of mid-winter chill and [it's] just amazing to see the ground turn pretty much white all around the resort."

Mount Baw Baw and Mount Hotham have also had snow. Gina Woodward from Mount Hotham says it is surprising, given temperatures in the north of the state broke heat records last week.

"[It's] pretty cold, minus 1.6C right now," she said.