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Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

Chinese icebreaker that helped rescue global warming researchers now stuck in Antarctic ice

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The Chinese vessel, Xue Long, has expressed fears that it has also become stuck in the ice
The sorry saga continues.

3 Jan 2014 - The Chinese icebreaker that helped rescue "climate change" researchers from a Russian ship trapped in Antarctic ice found itself stuck in heavy ice on Friday.

A helicopter from the Chinese Snow Dragon plucked the passengers from the icebound Russian vessel - the Akademik Shokalskiy - to an Australian icebreaker late on Thursday.

But on Friday afternoon, the crew of the Chinese icebreaker said they were worried about their own ship's ability to move through the heavy ice, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.

The Australian icebreaker carrying the rescued passengers, the Aurora Australis, has been instructed to remain on standby in open water in the area "as a precautionary measure", the rescue agency said.

The Chinese icebreaker got within sight of the Akademik Shokalskiy on Saturday, but turned back after failing to break through the ice, more than 3 meters (10 feet) thick in some places.

A French flagged icebreaker also tried to help, but abandoned its efforts because of strong winds and heavy snow.

Snowflake Cold

Toronto 'exploring' call to army for ice storm help, deputy mayor says

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© FRED LUM/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
A Toronto Hydro worker uses a chainsaw to clear branches from around power lines at Pine and Willow Avenue in Toronto on Dec. 23, 2013.
Toronto's deputy mayor says he is "exploring" whether to call in the army, with the city facing a lengthy and costly cleanup after an ice storm that knocked out power to 300,000 homes and other buildings.

Norm Kelly said extra hands could be needed to get rid of fallen trees, branches and other debris as the scale of the task ahead becomes clear - on Thursday, the city said cleanup will cost $75-million and take up to eight weeks.

The notion of calling in the army was raised among city staff early in the ice storm response, Mr. Kelly said. "And it was met with guffaws because people remember Mel Lastman moving around town in an armoured carrier," he told The Globe and Mail, referring to the former mayor's 1999 decision to call in the army to battle a snowstorm.

But as cleanup cost figures were made public Thursday, Mr. Kelly - who was handed extra powers when council stripped Mayor Rob Ford of some of his roles - asked his staff to explore how they'd make a request for soldiers.

"It's just [a question of] manpower. It's just, if we can get a lot of guys here and we can get into neighbourhoods and just say, 'Hey, can we give you a hand and get that stuff out?' ... I'm not sure technically how the army and its reserves could fit into that, so it's something I'm exploring," he said.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowstorm slams northeastern U.S. as arctic cold descends

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Officials at Boston's Logan International Airport said that up to a quarter of its scheduled flights had been canceled on Thursday afternoon and evening.
A major snowstorm producing blizzard-like conditions hammered the northeastern United States on Friday, causing 2,000 U.S. flight delays and cancellations, paralyzing road travel, and closing schools and government offices.

The first major winter storm of 2014 brought bone-chilling temperatures and high winds from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic coast, with nearly 2 feet of snow falling in some areas of Massachusetts.

Much of the U.S. Northeast saw heavy snowfall and plummeting temperatures late on Thursday and early on Friday, said Jared Guyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The weather service said the mass of Arctic air would drop temperatures to 20 to 30 degrees below normal, with record lows possible on Friday.

It was still snowing in some places, such as Boston, "but we are probably past the peak in terms of intensity at this point," Guyer said, adding that the bitter cold and snow-scattering winds showed no signs of letting up.

Snowflake

Blizzard to reach from NYC to Boston Thursday night

A major snowstorm will reach from across part of the Midwest to the central Appalachians and New England Thursday into Friday. A blizzard will evolve from the storm in parts of the Northeast.

During Thursday and Thursday night, the storm will affect 20 states with more than 120 million people in the Midwest and the Northeast combined and could have a major negative impact on travel for people returning from holiday destinations, heading back to school or resuming business activities.
blizzard storm
It will be far from the worst storm to ever hit the area, but people should be prepared for flight delays and cancellations because of direct and indirect impacts from the far-reaching storm. Some roads may even close for a time.

Igloo

2013: A year of Alaska weather extremes, from Barrow to Juneau

A River ice strewn about the flood
© Ed Plumb / NWS
A River ice strewn about the flood ravaged community of Galena on the banks of the Yukon River. May 29, 2013.
As a whole, the state of Alaska rode a rollercoaster of wild weather in 2013. Devastating floods, record-breaking heat waves and massive storms were just a few of the extreme weather events to hit the state this year. Here's a look back at how Alaska's weather affected residents, farms, and even migratory birds in 2013.

Forever winter

2013 started off with a bang, with January bringing the coldest weather of the year to the state, the National Weather Service writes. The Interior community of Delta shivered through the lowest official temperature of the year, at 63 below zero on Jan. 28.

Related: Families from Galena still displaced by flooding, but holiday traditions go onWith sewer offline in flood-damaged Kotlik, residents welcome aid in form of honeybuckets

Anchorage saw its longest snow season since 1917, with the first snow recorded Sept. 28, 2012, and the last of the season on May 18, for a total of 232 days with snow in the 2012-2013 winter.

Winter hung on into Mid-May for much of the state, the effects of which reverberated through communities across Alaska.

Igloo

Winnipeg deep freeze as cold as Mars

Winnipeg Deep Freeze
© CBC News, Canada
Parts of Manitoba hit -53 C, colder than Mars.
In terms of astonishing weather facts, it doesn't get much more impressive than being as cold as a distant planet for a day. The Manitoba Museum is reporting Winnipeg's temperatures on Tuesday were actually as cold as the surface of Mars.

According to the Curiosity Rover, Mars reached a maximum temperature of -29 C on Tuesday, a temperature Winnipeg only reached shortly before 3 p.m. The deep freeze over much of Southern Manitoba prompted extreme wind chill warnings in the area and most of the north.

In Winnipeg, the daytime high temperature for Tuesday was only expected to reach - 31 C, but the windchill made it feel more like - 40 to - 50. That means exposed skin can freeze in less than five minutes.

On Monday, it got as warm as - 28 C.

In the northern half of the province, in places like Thompson, Nelson House, Lynn Lake, Leaf Rapids and Churchill, the wind chills on Tuesday made it feel like - 48 to - 53.

The entire province was under an extreme wind chill warning on Monday, but it was later lifted in the central portion of Manitoba as well as the southwest and southeast corners.

Whistle

Global Warming researchers ice-bound; 96 percent of network stories censor why ship is there

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© AP
Antarctic ice trapped a ship full of scientists on a climate change expedition. Yet, 96 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers ignored climate change entirely. The ship has been stuck since Christmas morning.

The broadcast networks mostly ignored the reason the Russian ship, Akademic Shokalskiy, was on its way to Antarctica. Twenty-five out of 26 stories (96 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition.

In fact, rather than point out the mission of the scientists to find evidence of climate change, the networks often referred to the stranded people as "passengers," "trackers" and even "tourists," with no mention of climate change or global warming. Chris Turney, the expedition's leader, is a professor of climate change at the University of South Wales. According to Turney's personal website, the purpose of the expedition is to "discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south."

Ice Cube

A dose of COLD reality: The ironic saga of the eco-campaigners trying to highlight global warming and melting ice caps trapped in the freezing Antarctic

  • Australian scientists set out on Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy
  • The £900,000 expedition began full of high hopes early last month
  • But ship was hit on Christmas Eve by a 50-knot blizzard and became trapped in ice
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MV Akademik Shokalskiy trapped in the ice at sea off Antarctica. A scientific research team who headed south to prove the threat to mankind from global warming by establishing that the region is melting have found themselves trapped on their ship
A team of Australian climate scientists set out on a Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy on a mission to raise awareness of global warming.

'The research stakes are high,' claimed a sympathetic report on Australia's ABC TV station.

'Antarctica is one of the great engines driving the world's oceans, winds and weather. But there are ominous signs of climate change . . .'

Up until Christmas, all seemed to be going well. Besides the Russian crew and the Australian climate scientists, the ship's 85-strong company included an Australian Green MP, two environment journalists from the Guardian newspaper and a BBC science journalist eager to relay details of the expedition's vital findings which support their gospel of man-made global warming.

Snowflake Cold

Coldest day in Islamabad in 46 years

Heavy snowfall in upper areas of Pakistan

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Almost the entire country was in the grip of a cold wave on Monday, with a number of cities and towns struck by temperatures ranging between -17C and -21C. The federal capital went through its most uncomfortable day in 46 years as the mercury plunged to three below Celsius.

And even Karachi, known for its mild winters, was not far behind, recording a minimum temperature of six degrees Celsius. The city is likely to face more cold on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A minimum temperature of -2.8C in Islamabad had been recorded in 1984, but the lowest temperature recorded in the city is -3.9C in 1967.

Officials said that the wave was the fallout of extreme cold weather conditions in Europe as cold winds coming from there dry up after crossing the Central Asian region.

These cold and dry winds are also delaying the winter rains as the strong currents push the warm, moist winds rising from the Arabian Sea.

"These systems coming from the northwest last up to five or six days," Meteorological Department Director Dr Mohammad Hanif said. The Met Office forecast very cold and dry weather for Tuesday in most of the country, with cloudy conditions along with rain and light snowfall over the hills at places across a swathe stretching from Gilgit-Baltistan to Lahore and Sargodha divisions.

"But these are not the regular winter rains. They will only bring light rain because these clouds are part of the westerly wave that has separated from the European system and has reached up to Kashmir," Dr Hanif said.

Ice Cube

Bitterly cold New Year expected in much of Canada

Eastern Prairies remain locked in a deep freeze,' with wind chill warnings, says CBC meteorologist

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© Janice Stein/CBC
Yellowknife, above, came close to breaking temperature records Tuesday. Temperatures fell to –43.4 C, around half a degree higher than the record low for Dec. 31, set in 1949.
Canadians awoke to below-freezing temperatures and wind chill warnings in much of the country and can expect a body-numbing last day of 2013, with the wind chill creating extremely cold conditions heading into the New Year.

On Monday, a number of provinces faced below-freezing temperatures, as Manitoba, parts of Saskatchewan, northern Ontario and Quebec were all under extreme wind chill warnings.

In Manitoba, where the wind chill made it feel like - 40 C to - 50 C, the cold weather forced at least one airline to cancel some flights. ExpressJet, a partner of United Airlines, cancelled several flights out of Winnipeg Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Airline representatives said the unique combination of extreme low temperatures and ice crystals exceed safe operating guidelines for their aircraft, which are small commuter planes that carry 35 to 70 passengers.

Passengers were moved onto flights operated by other airlines and rerouted through other cities.