Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 21 Feb 2020
The World for People who Think

Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

Ice balls appear on Lake Michigan beach, wash up 'by the thousands'

Thousands of ice balls formed and washed along the shore of Lake Michigan on Friday.
© Holland State Park/Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Thousands of ice balls formed and washed along the shore of Lake Michigan on Friday.
Goodness gracious, great balls of ice!

A bitter blast of Arctic air that brought dangerous wind chills across the Midwest last week also helped create the conditions for a rare phenomenon known as "ice balls" on a Lake Michigan beach.

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids said Friday that it "took a while" but the conditions needed to form the balls finally got just right.

"These can usually be seen as early as late December and early January when temperatures fall into the teens and single digits," the Weather Service said.


Arrow Down

2 men killed in large avalanche in Colorado

avalanche
Authorities in Eagle County, Colorado, confirmed the deaths of two men Sunday, CBS Denver reported. The pair was killed in an avalanche Saturday on Muddy Pass near Vail. The Eagle County Coroner's Office has identified the deceased as Dillon Block, 28, and Cesar Almanza-Hernandez, 30.

According to law enforcement, three mono-track riders triggered a large avalanche Saturday afternoon. All three males were buried, but one victim had managed to dig out of the slide. The other two never surfaced, officials said.

Some witnesses were approached by the one victim who dug himself out. They all rushed to rescue the other two people.


Ice Cube

Giant ice wall appears on China-Russia border lake, over 20 meters tall

ice wall
A giant ice wall extending more than a dozen kilometers has sprung up on Xingkai Lake, a border lake shared by China and Russia, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The wall has grown from a mere two-to-three meters high to being over 20 meters tall.

This ice wall has appeared a little bit earlier than usual due to strong winds in the area, which piled up chunks of ice to create the wall. It is expected to get even taller in the coming days.


Snowflake

Six-meter-high snow blankets northwestern Iran

The photo shows a snow blockade on the Mahabad-Bokan road in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, on February 10, 2020.
© IRNA
The photo shows a snow blockade on the Mahabad-Bokan road in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, on February 10, 2020.
Six-meter snow covered the Qarah Bolagh district in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan of Iran, a provincial official said Monday.

The heavy snowfall blocked the Mahabad-Bukan road in the northwestern province for the third day on Monday, Head of Mahabad's Road Maintenance and Transportation Office Mohsen Khademi said, IRNA reported.

The heavy snowfall, which began on Saturday in Iran's western and northwestern provinces, caused some roadblocks in the region.

The snow storm has been unprecedented in the region for the past few years, the official said.


Snowflake Cold

Saudi Arabia shivers from unusually cold weather as the temperature drops to -5°C

In Tarif, on the border with Jordan, the temperature hit minus 5 degrees Celsius

In Tarif, on the border with Jordan, the temperature hit minus 5 degrees Celsius
Saudi Arabia is experiencing its coldest weather since 2016, meteorologists said Thursday, with overnight temperatures dropping below zero in the country's north over the past two days.

In Tarif, on the border with Jordan, the temperature hit minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the weather services. It dropped to minus three in Hail further southeast, and minus 2 in Arar on the border with Iraq.

In the capital Riyadh, the temperature dipped close to zero and the streets were deserted Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

The desert kingdom is known for its extreme heat, particularly during summer.


Snowflake Cold

Abnormal cold front in Turkey affects citrus groves

frost damage
A heavy cold front hit Turkey with snow and temperatures dropping to -15°C in some parts of the country. Fruit and vegetable crops were affected, particularly citrus groves in the Adana region, the leading citrus fruit producer in Turkey, boasting around 30 thousand hectares destined to the cultivation of oranges, lemons and tangerines.

Around 70% of companies have reported heavy damages, but the effects will be fully visible only in a few days' time. During 4-5 nights, the temperature dropped to -7°C. Luckily, most of the fruit has already been harvested, but the problem remains due to the typical effect of post-frost phylloptosis on plants as leaves wilt and tend to fall.

Snowflake

Early February setting records for snowfall in south west Montana

snow chart
The first nine days of February have been impressive for snow across SW Montana, especially east of the divide.

The month began with near record highs wiping out most of the lower valley snowpack. That quickly changed by the 2nd of February with storm after storm through the 8th of February.

Many (not all) valleys east of the divide across SW Montana have seen between 1' to just under 2' of snow in the first nine days of the month and ski resorts are reporting around 3.5' of new snow.

Comment: A few days later days on the 12th heavy snowfall continued in the area with Showdown being dumped upon with 28 inches of the white stuff in 24 hours.


Snowflake

Unusually heavy snowfall in Kurdistan region of Iraq blocks border crossing, main roads

Snow covers the Kurdistan Region's border town of Haji Omaran, Feb. 13, 2020.
© Kurdistan 24
Snow covers the Kurdistan Region's border town of Haji Omaran, Feb. 13, 2020.
The main road at the Fishkhabour international border crossing in the province of Duhok has been blocked due to unusually heavy snowfall that has covered most cities in the Kurdistan Region, as well as several others southward in Iraq where snow is rarely seen.

Local sources reported that transportation has been closed due to snow accumulation, stopping travelers and transport of goods between the Kurdistan Region and Syria.

The Fishkhabour border crossing is located on the Tigris River in Zakho district, 85 km west of Duhok city. It was established in 1991 and remains a key gateway connecting the Kurdistan Region to Syria, though the volume of goods passing through is limited.


Snowflake

Heavy snowfall, avalanches leave 21 dead, 7 missing in Afghanistan (UPDATE)

snow
The collapse of mud houses in remote mountainous Daikundi province caused deaths, six from single family

Heavy snow and avalanches claimed at least 15 lives, including six people of a single family in Afghanistan, an official confirmed on Thursday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Assadullah Sarwari, regional head of the Afghanistan Disasters Management Authority in central Daikundi province said, avalanches have caused death and destruction in the past 24 hours.

He confirmed the death of 15 people, including six members of a single-family. "Among the victims included two pregnant women who died because of their inability to reach to hospital for the delivery", he said.

Comment: Update: News18 reports on Feb 14th:
At least 21 people were killed after a series of avalanches struck a central province in Afghanistan, authorities said Friday.

According to Ahmad Tameem Azimi, spokesman of the ministry for disaster management, seven people remain missing following the avalanches in central Daykundi province on Thursday. Ten people have been injured.

The 21 killed were all from two families in the area, Azimi said. At least 50 houses were destroyed. Azimi added that search and rescue teams have been working since Thursday to find the missing and help the victims.

He said the number of dead was expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts. Most highways have been closed for weeks, due to heavy snowfall and fears of avalanches.

This winter in Afghanistan has been harsh, with heavy snowfall, avalanches and flash flooding. Thursday's deaths bring the death toll from avalanches and flash floods in the country in the past two months to 72.

Scores have also been injured and 2,400 houses have been swept away in flash floods since the start of winter. Afghanistan has suffered through more than four decades of war and conflict since the Soviet invasion in 1979.

But natural disasters such as landslides, floods and avalanches have also taken a heavy toll on a country with little infrastructure or development outside of its major cities. Environmental degradation has also worsened the problems.



Snowflake

Flake news: Big snow at Showdown, Montana - 28 inches in 24 hours

snowfall
Showdown Montana reported on Wednesday that it received 28" of snowfall in the last 24 hours.

Showdown said in an email that "it was all hands on deck at Showdown today for snow removal, with almost all employees dredging waist deep in powder all morning."

They have received 238" of snowfall so far this season.

Showdown is open Wednesdays - Sundays; closing day this season is scheduled for April 5.