Extreme Temperatures


Five skiers found dead and one missing in Swiss Alps during snow storm

The bodies of five missing skiers have been found in the Swiss Alps, police have said.

Local authorities are still searching for a sixth person.

A huge search and rescue operation was launched on Saturday after the group went missing near the 3,706m high Tete Blanche mountain.

They had set off from Zermatt, home of the famous Matterhorn mountain, on a ski tour towards Arolla along the Swiss-Italian border.

Five of the six skiers were found at 21:20 local time (20:20 GMT) "without any signs of life," a statement from Swiss Valais canton police said.

Authorities had previously told the BBC that the skiers were all Swiss nationals, and range in age from 21 to 58 years old.

Local police said teams on both sides of the route were alerted but severe weather was hampering the operation.


Wintry weather hits south of Spain

Five provinces in the region of Andalucía are under alert for rain, snow, wind or rough sea conditions.

Spain's state Met Office Aemet has warned of a weekend of unsettled and "wintry weather" this weekend in five of Andalucía's provinces.

Storm Monica has caused rough rain, snow, wind or rough sea conditions and is due to continue until Sunday night.

Since 10am on Saturday, much of Andalucia has under yellow and amber alert - making the impact of the weather as low (for yellow warnings) to severe (for amber), with some disruption to travel.


Storm dumps up to 90cms of snow on Newfoundland, Canada

Credit for the image above goes to Edgar Slade in Western Bay, NL
Credit for the image above goes to Edgar Slade in Western Bay, NL
A late-season storm brought heavy snowfall to eastern and northeastern Newfoundland from late Thursday through early Saturday morning. Significant amounts of ice were also observed over southern Avalon and Burin Peninsulas on Thursday night and Friday morning.

Here is a preliminary list of snowfall totals from around the region:

Kilbride: 90.0 cm
Bay Roberts: 80.5 cm
Paradise: 79.7 cm
Victoria (CBN): 79.0 cm
St. John's East: 78.0 cm


Record snowfall blasts North Platte, Nebraska - 17.4 inches in a day

Record snowfall impacts North Platte
Record snowfall impacts North Platte Thursday
A winter storm rolled into the area yesterday evening and blasted North Platte with snow. The snow began falling just around 5:00pm Thursday and as the evening progressed, the snow came flying down.

According to the National Weather Service, North Platte Office, a new single-day record was shattered when the weather service reported at 6:00am that 17.4" of snow was recorded. The previous record 13.9" that was set on January 18th, 2023.

Nebraska Department of Transportation crews are still clearing roads and travel is not advised. I-80 westbound is still closed from Paxton to Kearney while I-80 eastbound is closed from Sidney to Gothenburg. Highway 30 is also closed from Ogallala to Gothenburg. click here for the latest road conditions.

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Avalanche forecaster Nick Burks killed in avalanche near Anthony Lakes, Oregon

Anthony Lakes, OR. |
Anthony Lakes, OR.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, an avalanche accident occurred on the north side of Gunsight Mountain (8,342′) in the Elkhorn Mountains near Anthony Lakes, Oregon.

Nick Burks, an avalanche forecaster with the Northwest Avalanche Center and a part of the snow safety team at Mt. Hood Meadows ski area, was killed due to trauma sustained in the slide.

The Central Oregon Avalanche Center shared the news of the slide on Thursday, March 7, writing on social media that its staff was deeply saddened to announce the death of Burks and stating that a full investigation and report will be forthcoming in the coming days.

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Massive snowstorm leaves high avalanche danger in the Alps after 2 meters of snow fell

Erezberg avalanche.
Erezberg avalanche.
Huge amounts of snow have fallen in parts of the south west Alps. An avalanche struck an open piste in Saas-Grund in Switzerland killing a skier.

A 16-year old boy died in Italy. Some resorts remain closed with disruption to transport. UPDATED

A skier was buried by an avalanche on the pistes in the Kreuzboden-Hohsaas area of Saas-Grund in Switzerland on Saturday.

The avalanche risk was at Level 3 - considerable.

According to the cantonal police an avalanche occurred at around 11:40 a.m. and hit the slope above the mountain restaurant in Hohsaas.

The avalanche caught a skier traveling on the 1a "Gletscher Hohkraut" run and buried him under a meter of snow.

Comment: The same source reports on March 4:
The storm that hit the south-western Alps over the weekend has delivered some truly staggering snowfall totals in places.

Much more than originally predicted.

"Some areas have seen between 1- 2m of new snow in the last three days, and in some cases 1m or more in just 24 hours alone," said Fraser Wilkin from weathertoski.co.uk


Here's how much snow fell during the Sierra blizzard in California - up to 10.5 feet

California blizzard hits Sierra Nevada mountains and closes key highway
California blizzard hits Sierra Nevada mountains and closes key highway
A powerful blizzard that pounded the Sierra Nevada over the past several days dumped well over 100 inches of snow in some locations, according to the National Weather Service.

Here's a breakdown of how much snow piled up between 4 a.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. Monday in the following locations, per the weather service.

Sugar Bowl: 126 inches
Soda Springs Caltrans: 116 inches
Kingvale Caltrans: 106 inches
Palisades Tahoe: 93 inches
Dodge Ridge: 89 inches
Sierra Snow Lab: 75.2 inches
Boreal: 74 inches


Metre of snow in Pyrénées and floods hit south-east France

Severe weather struck several parts of France at the weekend causing dramatic scenes, particularly in the south-east.

Heavy rain caused flooding in a number of towns and coastal gales brought down trees. Snow covered the lowest altitudes of the Alps and more than a metre fell in the Pyrénées.

A roadside assistance worker was killed near La Turbie, close to the French border with Monaco, after consecutive accidents on the A8.

The man was responding to an initial accident between two cars, caused by the rainfall, and was subsequently hit by a third vehicle driving too quickly in the heavy rain.

Four other people were injured, two severely, including another roadside assistance worker and two gendarmes.


Large ingenous events, cosmic impacts and crises in the history of life

© Randall Carlson Newsletter - March 2024
Last month, in the February 2024 issue of the Kosmographia Newsletter I reported on new research correlating a series of large-scale igneous events which produced the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) and the Siberian Traps with mass extinction episodes. On February 8 another paper was published in the journal Global and Planetary Change which further supports correlations between mass extinction episodes with gigantic volcanic eruptions and catastrophic cosmic impacts. The lead author of the paper is Michael Rampino, who has for decades been in the forefront of researching catastrophic events in Earth history. I have been following his work since the early 1980s and hold him in high regard as a scientist who is willing to think outside established paradigms of Earth history. The abstract to the paper begins:

"We find that Large Igneous Province (LIP) volcanism, mostly continental flood basalts (CFBs), along with the largest extraterrestrial impacts show significant correlations with mass-extinction events in the Phanerozoic geologic record. The ages of the 6 major marine mass extinctions (≥ 40% extinction of genera) of the last 541 MY ̶ the end-Ordovician (~444 Ma), late Devonian (~ 372 Ma), end-Guadalupian (~259 Ma), end-Permian (~ 252 Ma), end-Triassic (~201 Ma), and end-Cretaceous (66 Ma) extinctions are significantly correlated with high-quality U — Pb zircon and 40Ar/39Ar ages of 6 continental flood basalts (CFBs) ̶ the Cape St. Mary's, Viluy, Emeishan, Siberian, CAMP, and the Deccan Basalts.

U — Pb zircon dating (Uranium-lead) is a widely used method for dating metamorphic rocks typically employing a thermal ionization mass spectrometer. Zircon is used because it includes uranium and thorium atoms in its crystalline structure when forming but rejects lead, so any lead found in a zircon crystal is radiogenic, meaning it results from radioactive decay. Argon dating can measure Argon isotopes from a single mineral grain. The ratio of Argon 40 to Argon 39 yields the age of the sample.

The extinctions listed above are considered to be major events in the history of life on Earth. A number of less severe extinctions have taken place, although these events are somewhat more difficult to discern in the geologic/palaeontologic record. Nevertheless, a correlation can be discerned between these extinctions and both volcanic eruptions and cosmic impact.

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Avalanche blocks tunnel in Northern Italy: 6 thousand people isolated

6 thousand people remained isolated after an avalanche in the Aosta Valley hit a tunnel in the municipality of Gaby, in the province of Aosta. The tunnel is located on regional road 44 in the Lys valley and, due to the fall of an impressive snow avalanche, it has been closed for a few hours now. The two municipalities further upstream are completely isolated from the rest of the region.

Italy is currently affected by a strong wave of bad weather. Cyclone Fedra gives no respite in the North, where, on Monday 4 March 2024, the orange alert has already been triggered, in particular in Piedmont and Emilia Romagna.