Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

'Lowest temperaure in Bangladesh's history' brings at least 80 deaths

A cold snap which saw temperatures drop to 40-year lows in Bangladesh has killed around 80 people, officials said.

According to AFP, Shah Alam, the deputy head of the weather office, said the lowest temperature was recorded at 3 degrees Celsius in the northern town of Syedpur.

He said the last time the temperature dropped below that level was in February 1968 when Bangladesh was still part of Pakistan.

"The temperature is the lowest in Bangladesh's history," he said.

The Red Crescent said hospitals were packed with patients suffering respiratory illness.

The society's general-secretary Abu Bakar said impoverished rural areas had been worst hit as many people could not afford warm clothing or heating.

Snowflake Cold

Unprecedented cold spell breaks 50-year records in Pakistan

© thenewstribe.com
The winter, normally a season of feast and joy in the region, otherwise known for its enervating summers, has brought with it a strange phenomenon in recent weeks. Record chill has sent people scampering to keep themselves warm, and made commuting a dicey task, especially at night.

The strange thing about this phenomenon this season has been that it gripped the Pothohar region and the plains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well, contrary to the trend of the past few decades when nearly blinding fog mostly affected the plain areas of the Punjab.

This time around, the 50-year cold records in the Punjab plains were broken, while also plunging the wide swathes of Pothohar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in an unprecedented cold spell, which spread over a fortnight or even three weeks, with weather pundits saying that maximum temperatures fell by as much as 10 degree Celsius.

After shivering even in the daytime during the two days in the 'aftermath' of fog-induced cold, Tuesday night brought with it some cheers for the winter-weary people, as a cloudy sky prevented fog to accumulate, also bringing visibility level back to normal for the traffic and keeping the temperatures from dipping to sub-zero level, as was seen in the previous two weeks.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow, torrential rain, gale-force winds batter Greece

© ekathimerini
Bad weather conditions of heavy snowfall, strong torrential rains, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds continued to batter parts of the mainland and the Aegean Sea islands in Greece on Wednesday for a third day this week, disrupting land and sea transport.

Several mountainous areas in particular in northern and central provinces, some suburbs of the Greek capital, as well as the southern island of Crete, have been most affected with blocked motorways even for vehicles with snow chains and closure of schools.

As winds of up to 8 on the Beaufort scale sweep the Aegean Sea, a ferry boat crashed into the dock of a port at the eastern island of Lesvos with no injuries or major damage caused, local authorities said.

The Greek National Meteorological Service (EMY) reported the lowest temperature over the past few days, as the thermometer plunged to -11 Celsius in the northern city of Nevrokopi. Experts at EMY forecast that the cold snap will subside on Thursday.

Ice Cube

Phoenix, Arizona to break 25-year record low - 15 degrees below normal

Crank up the heat: It's going to be plenty cold in the Valley this weekend. Weather analysts are forecasting four days of freezing temperatures, starting Saturday night, running through Tuesday. The last time the Valley had four straight sub-freezing mornings was 25 years ago. Rain also is expected to arrive between 9 p.m. and midnight Thursday.

Chris Kuhlman with the National Weather Service said it will be a struggle to reach 50 degrees Friday.

"It will be very cold. Some areas will see the mid-20s for lows," Kuhlman said. "Other areas will be right at the freezing mark and below. This is a very large system coming off the north Pacific and very cold.

"Right now it's going across California and then we have a reinforcing shot of cold air coming down from western Canada on Sunday and that will keep our area temperatures about 15 degrees below normal."

Cloud Precipitation

Severe winter storm brings snow, flash flooding and strong winds to Mideast

Snowball Fight
© Bilal Hussein/The Associated PressSyrian refugee children have a snowball fight at the mountain town of Bhamdoun, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday. The fiercest winter storm to hit the Middle East in years has unleashed flash flooding, strong winds and a snowstorm that killed six people in the past few days.
Amman, Jordan - The fiercest winter storm to hit the Mideast in years brought a rare foot of snow to Jordan on Wednesday, caused fatal accidents in Lebanon and the West Bank, and disrupted traffic on the Suez Canal in Egypt. At least eight people died across the region.

In Lebanon, the Red Cross said storm-related accidents killed six people over the past two days. Several drowned after slipping into rivers from flooded roads, one person froze to death and another died after his car went off a slippery road, according to George Kettaneh, operations director for the Lebanese Red Cross.

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, a Palestinian official said two West Bank women drowned after their car was caught in a flash flood on Tuesday. Nablus deputy governor Annan Atirah said the women abandoned their vehicle after it got stuck on a flooded road, and their bodies were apparently swept away by surging waters. Their driver was hospitalized in critical condition.

In the Gaza Strip, civil defence spokesperson Mohammed al-Haj Yousef said storms cut electricity to thousands of Palestinian homes and rescuers were sent to evacuate dozens of people.


Athens snow closes roads and schools; city opens homeless shelters

Heavy Snow
© Ekathimerini.com
Heavy snowfall in northern parts of the Greek capital on Tuesday prompted authorities to close roads and schools, while municipal authorities made three public buildings to the homeless shelters as temperatures dropped to the 0-Celsius mark.

The Penteli ring road was closed early on Tuesday due to ice and fog and was reopened to traffic later in the morning, while Dionysos Avenue remains off limits from Anatoli to Dionysos and drivers were advised to use snow chains on the road between Katsimidiou and Aghiou Merkouriou in Tatoi.

The old national highway linking Thiva to Athens was shut off to lorries and other heavy vehicles, with regular cars allowed access only with snow chains, as the road leading from the funicular to Mont Parnes Casino on Mount Parnitha remained closed from Sunday.

Several schools were also given the day off in Dionysos, Penteli, Nea Penteli, Kapandriti, Kalamos, Malakasa, Petroupoli and Liosia, among other parts of northern Attica.

Meanwhile, the city of Athens opened three emergency centers for the homeless on Monday at buildings on the corners of Lenorman and Alexandreias, Mamouri and Dymis, and Aghiou Meletiou and Xenagora. The 1960 hotline will also be operating 24 hours a day where citizens can report the location of homeless people in distress.

Municipal day centers for the elderly (KAPI) will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, providing heated shelter.

The meteorological service expects the cold snap to continue through Wednesday, with temperatures starting to climb back up on Thursday and Friday.

Snowflake Cold

Russian Trans-Caucasian highway closed due to heavy snowfall

Trans-Caucasian highway snow
© RIA Novosti

Cloud Precipitation

Storm hits displaced Syrians, turning Jordanian camp into freezing swamp

Syrian refugee
© AP/Mohammad HannonA Wounded Syrian refugee makes his way over water and mud at the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, near the Syrian border in Mafraq, Jordan, on Tuesday
A winter storm is magnifying the misery for tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing the country's civil war, turning a refugee camp into a muddy swamp where howling winds tore down tents and exposed the displaced residents to freezing temperatures.

Some frustrated refugees at a camp in Zaatari, where about 50,000 are sheltered, attacked aid workers with sticks and stones after the tents collapsed in 35 mph (60 kph) winds, said Ghazi Sarhan, spokesman for the Jordanian charity that helps run the camp. Police said seven Jordanian workers were injured.

After three days of rain, muddy water engulfed tents housing refugees including pregnant women and infants. Those who didn't move out used buckets to bail out the water; others built walls of mud to try to stay dry.


Price of vegetables in China jumps 55% in historic cold snap

© Flickr user thebittenword.comBabi bok choi.
A cold snap in China hasn't gotten much attention here, but it might start to get more, as it's causing massive food inflation.

The Daily Dim Sum translates a Xinhua article:
Monitoring results of the Ministry of Agriculture show that prices of 27 vegetables in the first week of 2013 increased 4.5 percent week-on-week for an average price of CNY 4.17/kg. In the past ten weeks, average price of vegetables has jumped 55 percent.
Weather.com reports on the exact weather numbers:
China is experiencing unusual chills this winter with its national average temperature hitting the lowest in 28 years, and snow and ice have closed highways, canceled flights, stranded tourists and knocked out power in several provinces.

China Meteorological Administration on Friday said the national average was 25 degrees Fahrenheit since late November, the coldest in nearly three decades.

The average temperature in northeast China dipped to -4.5 degrees F, the coldest in 43 years, and dropped to a 42-year low of -18.7 degrees F in northern China.


China's extreme cold snaps records

Tien Shan Mountains
An unusually cold winter across China has some regions hitting their lowest average temperatures in more than 40 years, according to state media reports. The Chinese national meteorological agency said polar fronts caused by global warming are to blame for the frigid air.

The freeze is the coldest winter in 28 years, the English-language newspaper China Daily reported. The national average temperature across China's vast territory was a chilly 25.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3.8 degrees Celsius) since late November. In northeast China, which typically has snowy, cold winters, the average temperature was an icy 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15.3 degrees Celsius), the lowest in 42 years.

Temperatures have dropped down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius) in eastern Inner Mongolia, northern Xinjiang and the Arctic reaches of northeast China. (Mohe, in northeast China, holds China's record low temperature of minus 62.1 F, or minus 52.3 C, set on Feb. 13, 1962.)