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Sat, 08 Aug 2020
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Cloud Precipitation

One dead, 900 hurt in Japan 'Bomb cyclone' blizzard

Tokyo snow
© KYODO
Commuters walk carefully over snow Tuesday morning near Tokyo's JR Shinbashi Station.
The heavy snow that blanketed eastern Japan over the holiday weekend left one man dead and injured more than 900 others, while Tokyo commuters dealt with slippery streets as they returned to work Tuesday.

A low-pressure system, dubbed a "bomb cyclone" by the local media, dumped 8 cm of snow in nine hours, the heaviest snowfall in the Tokyo region since January 2006, the Meteorological Agency said.

Cloud Precipitation

New snowfall could hit most of UK this weekend

UK snow
© Unknown
Snow could fall on most of the UK by the weekend as the cold snap continues to bring freezing temperatures to most of the country.

Eastern areas have borne the brunt of the snowfall with 42 schools closing in Norfolk, all planes grounded at Norwich International Airport and a six-vehicle pile-up on the A11 leaving three people with injuries.

The Met Office recorded snow depths of 8cm (3in) in Norfolk and Suffolk as the snow continued to fall.

Attention

China's inflation accelerates as 'abnormal' weather boosts food prices

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© AFP/Getty Images
Chinese shoppers buy vegetables at a supermarket in Hefei, Anhui province, China. First the US and now China is warning about sharp increases in the prices of food.
China's inflation accelerated more than forecast to a seven-month high as the nation's coldest winter in 28 years pushed up vegetable prices, a pickup that may limit room for easing to support an economic recovery.

The consumer price index rose 2.5 percent in December from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing. That compares with the 2.3 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 42 economists and a 2 percent gain in November. The decline in the producer-price index eased to 1.9 percent.

Chinese stocks headed for the biggest drop in eight weeks on concern that the quickening in inflation makes further policy loosening less likely, after data yesterday on exports and credit growth underscored the strength of the economic rebound. Chen Yulu, a central bank academic adviser, said Jan. 8 that price gains may become a concern in the second half.

"With growth momentum firming up and inflation picking up, the likelihood of any further easing has disappeared and the next interest-rate move will probably be an increase," which could come as early as the fourth quarter, Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong, said in a telephone interview.

Snowflake Cold

Snow and low temperatures in UK may stay for a month, forecasters say

Snow Scarborough
© Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Snow in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
Local authorities urge people to look out for vulnerable neighbours as up to 17cm of snow falls overnight

The UK's first major snow of the winter has given way to colder temperatures as the likelihood of a month of chillier weather increases.

Snow will continue to prowl around for at least a week but in relatively light amounts and the Met Office warns in its longest-term forecast - to Valentine's Eve - that "the frequency of snow events through this period may be more than experienced so far this winter".

Cloud Lightning

Rare thundersnow in Dallas, Texas: 'How is this possible?'

Dallas thundersnow map
© KOCO.com
You have seen snow, and you have seen a thunderstorm, but have you seen them at the same time? If you were in south Dallas this Tuesday morning you would have.

Thundersnow is rare. Most thunderstorms form when warm air at the surface rises, cools and then condenses. Condensation continues and forms storm clouds aloft.

When the air is cold at the surface something else has to force that air to rise. This Tuesday morning, the thundersnow in north Texas was caused by a short wave trough moving through the region.

This trough created upper-level diverging air which in turn creates converging air at the surface forcing air to rise. The snow and sleet created quite a headache for the morning commute. It also canceled many flights out of DFW.

Snowflake

Heaviest snow in 7 years strikes Tokyo

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© Photo credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
A pedestrian looks at the falling snow while crossing the road in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo on January 14, 2013.
The heaviest snowstorm in seven years struck Tokyo Monday, causing thousands of car accidents and disrupting train travel just as the nation celebrated a unique national holiday.

Coming of Age Day, held the second Monday of every January, celebrates those who have turned or are about to turn 20 years old. Ceremonies and parties are held in communities across Japan, and the newly-minted adults often wear traditional kimono for the occasion.

But with wind-driven snow flying in the Japanese capital Monday, getting around proved difficult. Roads were clogged with slush, and the country's extensive rail network experienced delays. The snow was the first of this winter for Tokyo.

Snowflake Cold

NASA: We may be on the verge of a "Mini-Maunder" event

earth
© NASA
Is a Planetary Cooling Spell Straight Ahead?

All climate scientists agree that the sun affects Earth's climate to some extent. They only disagree about whether or not the effect form the sun is minor compared to man-made causes.

Snowflake Cold

Obama's current science advisor warned in the 1970′s of a new ice age ... and is open to shooting soot into the upper atmosphere

Preface: My entire purpose for writing this essay is to urge that decision-makers do what is best for our planet and not do something which will cause more harm than good. Environmentalists should check my background below before dismissing this out of hand.

When I pointed out a couple of days ago that a group of scientists and much of the popular press warned in the 1970s of an imminent ice age, I didn't realize they had such a prominent member.

Specifically, as New York Times science columnist John Tierney noted in September:
In 1971, long before Dr. Holdren came President Obama's science adviser, in an essay [titled] "Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide," Dr. Holdren and his co-author, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich, warned of a coming ice age.

They certainly weren't the only scientists in the 1970s to warn of a coming ice age, but I can't think of any others who were so creative in their catastrophizing. Although they noted that the greenhouse effect from rising emissions of carbon dioxide emissions could cause future warming of the planet, they concluded from the mid-century cooling trend that the consequences of human activities (like industrial soot, dust from farms, jet exhaust, urbanization and deforestation) were more likely to first cause an ice age. Dr. Holdren and Dr. Ehrlich wrote:
The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.

Snowflake

11 dead as Mideast battered by hail, snow, rain

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© Image Credit: REUTERS
A car drives through the snow in Aley area, eastern Lebanon January 9, 2013. At least 17 people have also died due to the storm in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Bad weather has brought misery to Syrian refugees living in Lebanon and Syria.

Abnormal storms which for four days have blasted the Middle East with rain, snow and hail have left at least 11 people dead and brought misery to Syrian refugees huddled in camps.

Officials reported that two women were found dead in the West Bank on Wednesday after their car was swept away in floods, while a 30-year-old man froze to death in Taalabaya, in Lebanon's Bekaa province, after he fell asleep drunk in his car.

Snow carpeted Syria's war-torn cities but sparked no let-up in the fighting, instead heaping fresh misery on a civilian population already enduring a chronic shortage of heating fuel and daily power cuts.

In Occupuied Jerusalem, schools closed at midday and driving wind, hail and rain battered the city as temperatures hovered just above freezing and the polar air mass moving down from Russia sent temperatures plummeting as far south as Cairo.

Raging winds and flash floods caused widespread damage to infrastructure across the Palestinian territories.

"The Palestinian infrastructure is deeply flawed and unable to handle weather like this," said Ghassan Hamdan, head of medical relief in the northern city of Nablus.

Bad Guys

DEA agents arranged prostitute for Secret Service agent

Image
© Manuel Pedraza / AFP - Getty Images file
View of the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, where a prostitution scandal involving U.S. Secret Service agents erupted in April 2012.
Two U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents "facilitated a sexual encounter" between a prostitute and a U.S. Secret Service agent days before President Barack Obama visited Colombia for a summit meeting in April 2012, according to a Justice Department investigation obtained exclusively by NBC News.

A summary of the findings of the investigation, included in a Dec. 20 letter from the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General to Sens. Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins, indicated that a third DEA agent present on the night of the incident was not involved in procuring the prostitute for the Secret Service agent.

"While DEA agent #3 was present for a dinner that took place earlier that evening with the USSS agent and the other two DEA agents, he was not present in the residence when the sexual encounter took place and played no role in facilitating it," the summary said.

All three DEA special agents admitted that they had paid for sexual services of a prostitute, the investigation also found, and "used their DEA Blackberry devices to arrange such activities." In addition, the report says the agents tried to destroy incriminating information or initially lied to investigators about the incidents. All three agents have high-security clearances.