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Tue, 07 Feb 2023
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Two killed, one missing after avalanche in Himachal Pradesh, India

Representative Image
© ANI
Representative image
Two labourers were killed and another is feared trapped under the snow after an avalanche hit the Shinkula-Darcha road in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, officials said on Monday.

The avalanche hit Chika village on Sunday evening, they said.

Three labourers were buried under the snow along with snow cutters in the avalanche, the officials said.

A team comprising police personnel, health officials and district disaster management authority members rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation, they said.

The bodies of Ram Budha from Nepal and Rakesh from Chamba have been recovered. The third labourer, Passang Chhering Lama (27), a resident of Nepal, is missing, according to the state emergency operation centre.

The rescue operation was stopped at night as the temperature and visibility dropped. It will resume on Monday morning, the officials said.

Snowflake Cold

Snow and winter storms cut power, disrupt traffic across the Balkans

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Gale-force winds and snowstorms closed roads and left more than 25,000 households in Serbia without power on Sunday, while fallen trees disrupted traffic in neighboring Croatia and Montenegro.

In Croatia, a red alert was issued for the regions along the Adriatic coast due to north winds estimated to reach 130 kilometers per hour.

Authorities in Montenegro's coastal town of Budva warned citizens to stay indoors after strong winds on Saturday destroyed a school roof, brought down trees and lamp posts, sank a tourist boat and disrupted traffic along the coast.


Snowflake

Authorities on alert as heavy snowfall continues in Greece

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The cold weather front 'Barbara' hit Greece with snowfall that started late on Saturday continued on Sunday as far south as Central Evia, cancellations of boat schedules, and snow chains on tires required in Attica and sections of the Peloponnese.

Meanwhile, the Civil Protection, Fire Brigade, police, regional, and city authorities are meeting again since 11:00 on Sunday morning.

In Attica, traffic police has said drivers moving in the entire road network of the Attica prefecture must carry snow chains or other non-slip equipment. It also banned heavy trucks of over 3.5 tons from several highways. Authorities have also banned such trucks from sections of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road as well.


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Austria and Switzerland: 10 dead in avalanches in Alps over weekend (UPDATE)

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Austrian authorities logged at least 17 avalanches in the popular skiing destination of Tyrol over the past 24 hours. The dangerous conditions there and in Switzerland have already claimed five lives.

At least five people were killed in avalanches in the Austrian and Swiss Alps, authorities said on Saturday.

Three of the dead were killed while visiting the Austrian Alps.

Officials in the Austrian state of Tyrol have urgently cautioned tourists, skiers and other winter sports athletes to avoid the slopes amid a very high avalanche risk.

Comment: Update February 5

BBC reports:
Weekend avalanches kill 10 in Austria and Switzerland

Ten people have been killed in several avalanches across the Austrian and Swiss Alps over the weekend.

Tourists from New Zealand, China and Germany were among the dead at a number of different ski resorts.

Austrian authorities put in place a level four avalanche alert - the second highest - following intense snowfall and wind in the area.

Despite the warnings, ski resorts in western Austria have been filling up due to school holidays in Vienna.

Austrian police announced five deaths on Sunday, including that of a 59-year-old man who was using a snow plough in the western region of Tyrol.

They also recovered the bodies of a ski guide in Sankt Anton am Arlberg and a 62-year-old man who was cross-country skiing around the summit of Hohe Aifner.

On Saturday, a 17-year-old New Zealander, a 32-year-old Chinese national and a German man in his 50s - who were all said to be skiing off designated ski trails when avalanches hit - were also found dead.

In Switzerland, a 56-year-old woman and 52-year-old man were also killed by unstable snow in the south-east canton of Graubuenden on Saturday morning. Swiss police said a third member of their group managed to escape unharmed.

Avalanches are common in both countries. According to Austria's APA news agency, 30 avalanches were reported in the Tyrol region on Saturday alone - 11 of these involving people.

Austria's level four alert level means "very large avalanches are likely" - it advises inexperienced skiers to remain on open ski runs and trails and for experienced skiers to stay away from very steep terrain.



Snowflake Cold

Arctic blast sweeps through US north-east with record-breaking temperatures

Steam rises from Boston Harbor as
© Joseph Prezioso
Steam rises from Boston Harbor as temperatures reach -7F (-14C) in Massachusetts, on 4 February.
An Arctic blast has swept through numerous parts of the north-east, leaving millions of people under wind chill warnings and cities and states issuing emergency warnings.

Record-breaking temperatures will be 10 to 30 degrees below average over parts of the north-east and into the coastal mid-Atlantic, the National Weather Service announced on Saturday, with wind gusts potentially reaching up to 40 to 55mph (64 to 88km/h).

The wind chills from the blast have the potential to be once-in-a-generation cold, the agency added.

The cold, which is expected to last throughout the weekend, has prompted officials across multiple states to issue emergency orders and warnings that urge residents to remain indoors.


Snowflake

70 people trapped by masses of snow in Austria - up to a meter of snowfall within 24 hours

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Heavy snowfall in Austria have cut off 70 people from the outside world and caused traffic chaos, local media reported on Friday.

Due to the tense avalanche situation in the Austrian province of Styria, several roads had to be closed Thursday night, according to daily Kronen Zeitung.

It also said numerous vehicles got stuck on the roadway due to snow. In the meantime, traffic jams of 10 kilometers (six miles) in length occurred.

According to the reports, 80 centimeters (34.5 inches) of fresh snow fell within 24 hours. On Friday morning, several smaller avalanches are said to have already gone off.



Snowflake Cold

Upper Midwest, Northeast bracing for arctic blast bringing sub-zero temps, 'life-threatening' wind chills as new polar vortex system moves in

polar vortex february 2023
© FOX Weather
Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories have been issued for most areas across the Northeast in early February 2023
Wind chill warnings and advisories are active in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, far north New Jersey and all of New England

New England is preparing for some of the coldest air it's seen in five years as a "dangerous" polar vortex quickly moves into the Upper Midwest and Northeast, bringing sub-zero wind chills and plunging temperatures, FOX Weather reports.

Places like Chicago and Des Moines, Iowa, will be the first to experience the bitter cold Friday morning as morning temperatures are forecast to be in the negative single digits. Other areas in the Midwest, like Northern Minnesota, could even see temps in the negative 20s or 30s.

The highs across the Midwest will struggle to make it out of the single digits Friday afternoon.

Wind chills are expected to be even worse, with feels-like temperatures dropping all the way to negative 50 in some areas. FOX Weather reports frostbite and hypothermia can form on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes in this type of "dangerous cold."

Snowflake

Snow turns Australian Alps into winter wonderland in the middle of summer

Up to 5cm of snow fell at Perisher and Thredbo.
© Valhalla Perisher
Up to 5cm of snow fell at Perisher and Thredbo.
Parts of Victoria and New South Wales have shivered through the morning with snow falling in alpine areas while their northern counterparts in Queensland continue to endure a heatwave.

The overnight wintry blast left a light dusting of snow across the Victorian Alps including at Mount Hotham.

Chamber of Commerce president Steve Belli said while it was an incredible sight, it was not too unusual for snow to fall in February.

"[The weather] is a little bit unpredictable these days. You never know what's going to happen ... but it's Mother Nature, you've just got to work in with it," he said.


Igloo

Achieving net zero in the graveyard of the failed green religion

Global Warming
© Salt Bush Club
According to the clerics of the Green Cult, once we blow up our last coal mine, send all diesel engines to the wreckers, stop using concrete, reinvent sailing clippers, cover the grasslands and hills with solar clutter and wind machines, and then slaughter all of our cattle... global climate will become serene - not too warm, not too cold.

Wild weather will cease, and there will be no more droughts, floods, cyclones, or snowstorms and no more plant and animal extinctions.

But the records written in the rocks tell a far different story about climate changes. Even when nature was in full control, it was not a serene place.

Long before the first steam engine puffed along the first railway, the Earth was periodically battered by natural disasters - earthquakes, tidal waves, pole shifts, magnetic reversals, volcanic eruptions, wild weather, and droughts.

Huge areas were covered by suffocating continents of ice, desert sands, massive flows of mud and lava, beds of salt, and thick coal seams. Thousands of species disappeared including dinosaurs, mammoths, and Australia's megafauna.

Modern humans are not immune to the threat of extinction, but it will not come from today's warm, moist atmosphere or from the gas of life, carbon dioxide.

It will probably come from the next glacial climate cycle of this era, where long bitter glacial eras are separated by short warm periods. These global weather cycles are triggered by changing orbits in the solar system.

Ice Cube

As ice storm continues in the South, parts of the Northeast brace for brutal wind chills not felt in decades

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As hundreds of thousands remain without power in Texas on Thursday amid frigid temperatures and icy roads, the Northeast is bracing for a blast of bitterly freezing air that forecasters say could be the coldest felt in decades.

Texas has been bearing the brunt of a dangerous ice storm that dumped several rounds of sleet and freezing rain, causing life-threatening road conditions in surrounding states including Oklahoma, Arkansas and the Memphis area in Tennessee.

On Wednesday, Texas reported a third person had died during the storm after losing control of her truck on an icy road north of Eldorado. One person was killed in Austin in a 10-car pileup, and another person died after their car rolled over in the Dallas-area city of Arlington, officials said.

And while Thursday is expected to bring some relief from the deadly storm as temperatures slowly rise, the piling of multiple layers of ice and sleet has snapped tree branches and limbs and led to power outages for nearly 400,000 homes and businesses in Texas as of Thursday morning, according to PowerOutage.us. That means thousands of people likely don't have proper heating or hot water as ice coats the ground.