Extreme Temperatures


Afghanistan Hit with Heaviest Snows in 15 Years

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More than 20 children have recently died due to the cold weather in Kabul which the Afghan capital has been experiencing its worst cold-snap and heaviest snows in at least 15 years, the National Weather Center said Wednesday. According to an Afghan based TV channel, some of the internally displaced people of the country warn that cold weather may claim more lives. Lack of food and firewood is said to be their main problems in the winter.

This year's severe cold weather has raised concerns among the Afghan population, especially the displaced families. "In this winter, eight children, three old men and women have so far lost their lives," one of the displaced people said. "We cannot pass the winter by burning plastic, paper and pieces of clothes. We really need help.""Living under these tents is very difficult," said another displaced person. "Life is difficult when you don't have anything to eat or burn."The families living under the tents in Kabul are badly in need of help and most of them may perish if not helped."We ask everyone to help these needy families, they can help one family and protect them from cold weather," Head of the Afghan Red Crescent, Fatima Gilani said.

The Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Returnees rejects reports about the death of 20 children due to severe cold in Kabul, a spokesman for the Ministry, Salamuddin Jurat said on Tuesday.The refugees living under the tents have not faced any kinds of losses so far, he added. "The reports are baseless and untrue," the spokesman said.Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health confirms the deaths due to the severe cold in Kabul."Because the cold weather was unprecedented and they were living under the tents, they died before arriving to our health facility during last month," Spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, Ghulam Sakhi Kargar told the channel.

There are currently more than 30,000 poor families living under tents in Kabul. There reports of high level of maternity deaths in these camps with 144 out of 1,000 children under five years of age.This comes as the recent avalanches in Badakhshan province claimed lives of more than 40 people.Several houses have reportedly been destroyed in these avalanches. Several routes in Badakhshan, Ghor and Daikundi provinces have been closed due to heavy snow falls.


Europe's Danube Freezes Over, Cold Snap Toll at 460

© Agency France Presse, Vano ShlamovA man shovels snow near the giant icicles on a rock in central Tbilisi
Belgrade - Thick ice closed vast swathes of the Danube on Thursday, crippling shipping on Europe's busiest waterway, as the death toll from bitter cold across the continent rose to at least 460.

As it has every day for nearly two weeks, the brutal cold claimed lives in several countries and killed dozens more in weather-related accidents.

The 2,860-kilometre (1,780-mile) Danube, which flows through 10 countries and is vital for transport, power, irrigation, industry and fishing, was wholly or partially blocked from Austria to its mouth on the Black Sea.


Venice Freezes As Deadly Chill Grips Europe

© UnknownA canal boat struggles to make its way through Venice's frozen waterways
More than 30 more deaths have been reported as a result of the bitterly freezing weather that has swept across Europe.

A dam wall broke and flooded an entire village in southern Bulgaria when snow melted rapidly as a result of heavy rain.

Four residents drowned and four others died when their cars were swept away by the torrent of water.

"There are demolished houses and people in distress," the interior ministry said in a statement.


Cold Spell Affects 40,000 in North China

© AsianewsphotoA resident watches ice cascade outside a building in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Temperatures plummeted to minus 50.7 Celsius after a cold front hit the city last Friday.
A month-long cold front has persisted in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region and caused havoc for more than 40,000 people, said local authorities Tuesday.

Over 1,600 heads of livestock were killed and cracks appeared on walls in over 8,000 homes due to the freezing weather in the city of Hulunbuir, located in the region's northeast, according to a spokesman with the regional civil affairs department.

The extreme weather has inflicted direct economic losses and apartment renovation costs of 13 million yuan (2.1 million U.S. dollars), said the spokesman, adding that no casualties have been reported.

The cold front began to plague Hulunbuir in late December last year and has tightened its grip on the area since the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in late January.

Chenbaerhu Banner, administered by Hulunbuir, registered the lowest temperature to date this winter in Inner Mongolia, 51.9 minus degrees Celsius, said the spokesman.

In addition, five banners and cities administered by Hulunbuir have seen their new record low temperatures during the past month and a half, compared with the same period of previous years, he said.

Bizarro Earth

Scientist: "Gulf Loop Current is Broken": Mini Ice Age Predicted for Europe

According to a study produced in July 2010 by high-level scientists in both Italy & the United States, the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico has been broken, blocking the normal flow of warm water to the Atlantic Ocean and towards Western Europe. Since the end of the last Ice Age, these warm water currents have produced a relatively mild climate in that area, despite the region's high latitude (distance from the Equator).


Deadly cold snap grips Europe - what's causing the extreme cold?

In stark contrast to the mild winter conditions across much of North America, Europe is currently in the grips of its worst cold snap in at least six years. Arctic air has been spilling out of Siberia into Eastern Europe, bringing more than a foot of snow to Istanbul and temperatures as low as -30ºC (-22ºF) in several neighboring countries.

The brutal cold has killed at least 163 people in central and eastern Europe, many of them homeless. In Ukraine, where the death toll now stands at 101, nearly one thousand people have been hospitalized due to frostbite and hypothermia. Temperatures in some parts of the country dropped as low as -33ºC (-27ºF) on Thursday.
© Meteo-France, Austrian Weather Service, NOAA, weather.comUnofficial low temperatures recorded in major European cities, since Jan. 31
In the mountains of Serbia and Bosnia, some 11,000 villagers remain stranded in their homes after several weeks of heavy snow made roads all but impassable. With over 2 meters (6.5 ft) of snow on the ground, emergency helicopters have begun to airlift food supplies and evacuate villagers in need of medical care. The BBC reports that snow fell across the region almost daily since early January, with more expected over the weekend.


Misery as Italy cold snap death toll rises to 17

© AFP Photo / Alberto PizzoliPeople skies in a street over the ancient forum on February 4, 2012 in Rome.
Snow and treacherous black ice caked the streets of the normally mild-weathered Italian capital Sunday, as snowed-in residents warned of food shortages and the cold snap's death toll rose to 17.

Following what was Rome's heaviest snowfall in 27 years, more than 400 members of the armed forces were called in to help clear the ancient city and surrounding areas.

Snow also fell in Milan and areas of northern Italy, and the bitter cold's toll rose to 17 after three homeless people were found dead, including one at Rome's main train station. The bitter cold that has gripped Europe for more than a week has claimed over 300 lives across the continent in total.

Fierce winds knocked over and killed an elderly woman who was walking to mass in Trieste in northern Italy, three men died shovelling snow and a 19-year-old man was killed in Florence when his car skidded off an icy road and into a river.


Death toll from Europe cold snap passes 300

The deadly cold snap that has gripped Europe for more than a week wrought more havoc across the continent Sunday, straining emergency services, grounding flights and pushing the death toll past 300.

The homeless population has borne the brunt of the suffering, with dozens of transients freezing to death in unheated apartments, fire escapes or in makeshift street shelters.
© AFPSwiss temperatures plunged to minus 35.1 degrees Celsius in the eastern Graubuenden canton on Sunday night
French authorities on Sunday found the body of a homeless man who had frozen to death, bringing to at least 306 the number of cold-related deaths reported across Europe.

With night-time temperatures plunging as low as minus 40 Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit) in Finland, the grim winter toll also rose in other countries.


The Littlest Ice Age: Europeans Beg for the Return of "Global Warming"

© UnknownA man walks past an ice covered car on the frozen waterside promenade at Lake Geneva in Versoix, near Geneva, Switzerland, early Feb. 5. The death toll from the vicious cold snap across Europe has risen to more than 260, with the winter misery set to hit thousands of those seeking to escape it as air traffic was hit.
How cold is the Winter of 2010-2011 in Great Britain and Ireland? Well, it has been "referred to as The Big Freeze by national media. In the UK it was the coldest December ever, since Met Office records began in 1910, with a mean temperature of -1°C. It broke the previous record of 0.1°C in December 1981."

And it obviously broke records for cold set before the "Met Office records began in 1910" as indicated in this souvenir:
© Unknown


Japan: Record lows recorded at 38 locations

Ice fishermen
© Kyodo PhotosIce fishermen cast lines Friday in Lake Yamanaka in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Well below zero from Kyushu to Hokkaido and more cold looms

The country experienced severe cold weather Friday and morning temperatures dropped to record lows at 38 locations nationwide, the Meteorological Agency said.

From Tohoku to Kyushu, 16 prefectures recorded their lowest temperatures ever, including the town of Kusu in Oita Prefecture, where the mercury fell to minus 14.7 degrees, and Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, where the temperature plunged to minus 8.4.

Temperatures were below zero early Friday at more than 90 percent of 927 observation points across Japan, the agency said.

The lowest figure was minus 32.6 in Esashi, Hokkaido.