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Snowflake Cold

78,000 still without power after Pennsylvania ice storm as big freeze continues

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Frozen: About 78,000 customers in Pennsylvania and Maryland are still without power, and faced the prospect of yet another day without electric heat or light.
Utility crews restored power to thousands of Pennsylvania homes Saturday and early Sunday, yet some customers in the dark for days after a tree-snapping ice storm may not regain power until early next week.

About 78,000 customers in Pennsylvania and Maryland remained without power early Sunday, and faced the prospect of yet another day without electric heat or light.

The majority of them are in the Philadelphia area, with utility PECO reporting about 77,500 outages, as of 1 a.m., down from about 155,000 earlier Saturday.

The latest outages include nearly 39,000 customers in hard-hit Chester County, or more than one in five customers.

Igloo

The heaviest snow in two decades has struck Tokyo

Tokyo Snow
© AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi
A jetliner of Japan's All Nippon Airways taxis at Tokyo's Haneda airport covered by the heavy snow on February 8, 2014.
The heaviest snow in two decades has struck Tokyo and other areas across Japan, leaving at least seven people dead and more than 1,000 injured.

Up to 27 centimetres of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.

The storm hit Tokyo on the eve of its gubernatorial election. Observers say the heavy snowfall may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people.

As a depression moved along the Pacific coast on Saturday, the north-eastern city of Sendai saw 35 centimetres of snow, the heaviest in 78 years.

Local media said at least seven people have been killed in snow-linked accidents - mostly crashes after their cars skidded on icy roads.

In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car slipped on the icy road and rammed into an advertisement steel pole, a local rescuer said.

Snowflake

Heavy snow claims two lives in Japan

Tokyo international airport
© Unknown
Jetliners of Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) are parked covered in snow at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), February 8, 2014.

Heavy snow and severe weather in Japan have left at least two people dead and nearly 90 others injured.


Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday that nearly 90 people were wounded in snow-related accidents in eastern Japan. Seventeen of them, seriously.

Two passengers, aged 88 and 90, lost their lives in a car accident on their way to a nursing home in Ishikawa, central Japan, the broadcaster added.

Over 600 flights were canceled in the country as the weather agency issued a severe storm warning for the capital, Tokyo, which received as much as 12 centimeters (4.8 inches) of snow on Saturday afternoon.

Railway operators also temporarily suspended services of Shinkansen bullet trains in western Japan, the NHK said.

According to meteorological agency, a quickly developing low-pressure front is approaching eastern Japan.

Igloo

More signs of global cooling? Sun's record weak polar field may forebode Maunder-like Minimum

The Sun in January 2014 and News of the Sun's Polar Field
By Frank Bosse
(Translated, edited by P Gosselin)

Over the last month solar cycle 24 (SC24) has seen some rather brisk activity. The sunspot number (SSN) reached a value of 82.0, which however was only 77% of the normal value (106) for the 62nd month into a cycle. The southern hemisphere (SH) contributed to most of the overall result in January, outperforming the northern hemisphere (NH) 61:21. The following graphic depicts current activity (in red) and normal activity (in blue):
Global Cooling_1
© NoTricksZone
Figure 1: The course of SC24 in relation to the mean value of all observed cycles.
The figure also shows SC5 in light red. SC5 has some degree of similarity to the current cycle so far.

Ice Cube

Ice Age Cometh: Great Lakes ice cover spreading rapidly - Lake Superior sets new record

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© NASA
This breathtaking satellite image from NASA shows a broad view of Great Lakes ice.
Ice continued to build this past week on the Great Lakes due to the cold air and temperatures staying below freezing, and Lake Superior's new record shows it.

The lake is 92 percent frozen, toppling a 20-year-old record of 91 percent set on Feb. 5, 1994. That statistic helped total Great Lakes ice cover soar, and we can expect to see more form in coming days.

The air temperatures this past week averaged around five degrees below normal for the Great Lakes area. This amount of deviation from normal means it was a fairly cold week.

As of February 5, 2014, the entire Great Lakes system is now reportedly covered 77 percent with ice, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Last week at this time the ice cover was 66 percent. The 77 percent ice cover now still lags behind 1994, when the entire Great Lakes system had an average ice cover of 84 percent on February 5. This data is according to Jia Wang, physical oceanographer at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Center in Ann Arbor, MI.

Let's look at each individual lake.

Comment: Then again perhaps there will be no thaw and no normal spring.


Cloud Precipitation

Increasingly common 'rare snow' blankets Iran's capital Tehran

Heavy snow in northern Iran has left around 480,000 homes without power and some towns and villages cut off.

The winter storms were the worst in 50 years, with two metres of snow falling in some areas since the weekend.


Snowflake

Homes buried as severe snow strikes Austria

Large parts of Europe have been hit by severe weather, with snow, rain and high winds causing disruption in several countries.

Houses in Austria were buried under a thick blanket of snow, as the BBC's Rebecca Donovan reports.


Igloo

Record snowfall buries Italian village

Record snowfall in the north of Italy has left some people trapped in their homes.

Villagers in Madesimo had to dig their way out of their properties after several days of wintery weather.

Rebecca Donovan reports.


Ice Cube

CryoSat shows Arctic sea ice volume up 50% from last year

Measurements from ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice has significantly increased this past autumn.

The volume of ice measured this autumn is about 50% higher compared to last year. In October 2013, CryoSat measured about 9000 cubic km of sea ice - a notable increase compared to 6000 cubic km in October 2012.

See evolution:
ice thickness
ice thickness
ice thickness
ice thickness
Over the last few decades, satellites have shown a downward trend in the area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice. However, the actual volume of sea ice has proven difficult to determine because it moves around and so its thickness can change.

Galaxy

Signs of Change in January 2014

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Dazzling green fireball filmed above Belgium, January 2014
Mysterious booms across the US, often occuring in and around earthquakes - A series of unusual earthquakes in Australia - More 'strange sky sounds' - More meteor fireballs raining down - Massive sinkholes swallowing houses, cars and people - Storm after storm battering the UK and Western Europe, bringing massive waves, widespread flooding and landslides - Mass whale stranding in New Zealand - Polar Vortex (twice!) freezing most of the US in ice age conditions and making it colder than Mars - Major flooding in Florida, while hurricane-force winds smash into Oregon and the Carolinas - Tonga flattened by most powerful cyclone to hit the region half a century - A strong earthquake hit Puerto Rico - 100,000 people affected by major flooding in the Philippines, while another 40,000 were displaced by heavy rainfall in Indonesia - Bats falling out of the sky as wildfires rage in Australia's record heatwave - 'Winter wildfires' raging across snow-covered US - An eerily quiet Sun that hasn't been seen since the 17th Century - Several volcanic eruptions in Indonesia causing multiple deaths and the evacuation of thousands - Another strong earthquake in New Zealand - More mass animal deaths, including a whole pod of pilot whales off the coast of Florida - Record-breaking snowfall across the US...

2014 has stated with a bang, literally, with a surge of loud booms being heard and felt throughout much of North America. But then again, didn't the last few years start this way? This video includes strange and extreme weather, geological and cosmic events, covering most of the month of January. Things aren't looking good for certain few heavily populated areas...