Extreme Temperatures


'Pretty nasty' snow storm to hit Ontario, parts of Quebec and New Brunswick

© Wayne Cuddington , Ottawa CitizenFile photo of a winter storm in Ottawa, Ontario.
Toronto - Environment Canada warned Wednesday that a dangerous winter storm was moving into the southern and eastern regions of Ontario as the weather system works its way up from the U.S.

The agency said in a special weather statement that much of the province will be walloped by snow starting Wednesday afternoon as the outer reaches of a weather system making its way north from Kentucky crosses the border.

Meteorologist Arnold Ashton said the system will move on to deliver snow to parts of southern Quebec and New Brunswick on Thursday.

"It's the combination of snow and blowing snow that makes this particularly nasty," Ashton said.

Environment Canada said the areas of Dunnville and Niagara in southwestern Ontario and the stretch between Kingston and Cornwall in the east will bear the worst of the storm, getting 15 to 20 centimetres of snow.

The weather agency said other communities in those regions can expect up to 15 cm of snow, while central Ontario residents should get their snow shovels ready for 5 to 10 cm.


About 200 Philadelphia flights cancelled due to storm

Philadelphia - The winter storm has led to the cancellation of a couple hundred flights at Philadelphia International Airport as well as delays in departures and arrivals.

Airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said Wednesday evening that the airport had recorded about 200 cancelled flights due to the winter weather.

She said there have also been delays in arriving and departing flights, with arrivals delayed four hours or more.

The University Park airport in State College in central Pennsylvania said Wednesday night that it had closed due to the storm but planned to reopen Thursday.

Passengers and people coming to pick them up are urged to contact airlines to check on flight status, or check with the airport on its website (www.phl.org ) or toll-free flight information number (1-800-745-4283).

Source: The Associated Press


Numerous Japanese cities reach record lows as freezing temperature persist

Heavy Snow
© The Japan Daily Press
As Japan continues to deal with a persisting cold front, Christmas Day brought record low temperatures to as many as 44 locations, mostly in the northern region and on the island of Hokkaido. The Japan Meteorological Agency warned that cold temperatures would last throughout the week, with more heavy snowfall in the north and areas that face the Sea of Japan.

Tuesday saw temperatures setting a record low for the month of December, with Hokkaido's city of Furano reaching minus 28.4 degrees, the coldest ever recorded since monitoring began. Record lows were also made in Tokyo, at 6 degrees, and the prefectures of Tottori and Saitama with minus 8 degrees. Homes and offices in Japan very rarely have central heating systems, and windows are poorly insulated, making it sometimes difficult to keep warm in the winter. People instead rely on kerosene-powered space heaters, creating a high demand for oil. In areas where snowfall makes it difficult to drive, gasoline stations drive trucks around with tanks of fuel and long hoses, making deliveries so people don't even have to leave their homes.

The city of Monbetsu, also in Hokkaido, reported a meteorological phenomenon known as ice fog occurring on Tuesday. The meteorological agency says this takes place when the water vapors from the ocean rise and meet cold air on land to form thick, low-hanging clouds of very cold fog.

Cloud Precipitation

Freezing rain causes 21-vehicle pileup in Oklahoma

Oklahoma highway officials have re-opened Interstate 40 in downtown Oklahoma City after a 21-vehicle pileup at its intersection with Interstate 35.

The two cross-country interstates meet near downtown Oklahoma City. Freezing rain in advance of a snowstorm slickened the highway overnight, and a semi-trailer jackknifed on a bridge over the Oklahoma River.

Ice Cube

Cold as Christmas: Emergency in Siberia, chilliest night in Moscow

© Reuters / Ilya NaymushinA woman walks past trees covered with heavy hoarfrost and snow on the bank of the Yenisei River, with the air temperature at about minus 26 degrees Celsius (minus 14.8 degrees Fahrenheit), outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, December 24, 2012.
The coldest ever December has rolled through Russia causing the evacuation of hundreds of people in Siberia, where temperature hit below -50C, and plunging Moscow into its coldest night in the season. Will Christmas lift the frosty spell?

­The cold weather that has Russia in its icy embrace has been causing all kinds of havoc. Flights and buses delayed and cancelled, many schools have been closed, and there have been power outages just when power is most needed.
© RIA Novosti / Alexsey NichukchinPolice patrol in downtown Moscow on December 22, 2012.
In the town of Kyshtym, the Urals, 14,000 people are still waiting for the central heating to be restored. On Sunday a break in the central pipe left residents anxiously watching the red line on their home thermometers plunging as temperatures outside slid to -24C (-11F).

Just over the Urals, a state of emergency has been declared and over 2,800 people were evacuated from the village of Khovu-Aksy, the Republic of Tyva, temperatures there a lethal -38C (-36F). A helicopter was sent to pick up kids and women. Two days into the emergency, authorities are frantically repairing central heating pipes while most of the evacuees are staying with their relatives.


Half of the U.S. set for a white Christmas: huge winter storm expected to dump snow from Dallas to Maine . . . and wreak havoc for 87m travelers

More than 150million Americans are dreaming of a white Christmas. Meteorologists predict snowfall could blanket nearly half the nation on Tuesday - from Dallas to Maine - as a massive snowstorm moves from the Great Plains and up into the Northeast. Accuweather is now predicting that 'significant' snow will fall in Oklahoma and Arkansas, potentially giving Oklahoma City its first Christmas snowfall since 1914.

Little Rock Arkansas could get up to three inches. That last time more than an inch fell on Christmas Day was 1926.
© Accuweather
Even Dallas, Texas, could see flurries for Christmas - though likely no accumulation. The last time Dallas saw snowfall on Christmas Day was 1997 - though a 2009 blizzard left several inches behind on Christmas Eve.

'Southern Oklahoma and Arkansas look like they're going to get slammed with some serious snow, strong winds -- four to eight inches in some places. It's a pretty powerful storm system,' Ted Ryan, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth, Texas, told MailOnline.

Cloud Precipitation

Quebec snow storm leaves 130,000 people without power

Canada - Thousands of clients are without power across Quebec after a winter storm dumped 60 to 100 centimetres of snow in the Lanaudière and Laurentian regions.

Approximately 130,000 households were without electricity this morning, according to Sophie Lamoureux, director of regional affairs at Hydro Québec.

Lamoureux said that many Hydro Québec clients will have to wait until tomorrow evening before their power is restored.

The Laurentians is one of the most affected areas, where close to 77,000 people are without power. Many in the Lanaudière and Outaouais regions were also left in the dark.

Yesterday's heavy, wet snowfall was the main cause of the power outages, according to Lamoureux. She said the snow, combined with strong winds, brought down trees in heavily wooded areas in the Lanaudière region and the Laurentians.

She said Hydro Québec crews are working to restore electricity. They have also asked for extra assistance from other regions of the province that were less affected.

Snow Globe

Rare Christmas snow for Dallas, Oklahoma City, Little Rock

Not often does Dallas, Oklahoma City and Little Rock see snow on Christmas, but Mother Nature is ready to defy those odds this year.

Residents of Dallas, Oklahoma City and Little Rock may find it hard to believe snow is on the way for Christmas with temperatures set to warm into the 40s and 50s on Christmas Eve.

In addition, the chance of a white Christmas in all three cities is less than five percent.

However, kids and those young at heart will be happy to learn that snow will indeed fall on Christmas thanks to the arrival of a strengthening winter storm and noticeably colder air. On the other hand, travelers both on the ground and in the air are likely to greet that news with jeers.

Snow from the Rockies will reach western Kansas, western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle during the predawn hours of Christmas. At the same time, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will start erupting across southeastern Texas.

Oklahoma City will also see a few snowflakes (and ice pellets) fly before sunrise on Christmas, but the daytime is when heavier snow will fall and accumulate around three inches.
There could be locally higher amounts in the above 3- to 6-inch zone.


Best of the Web: Nearly 200 killed in cold snap across Russia, eastern Europe

Cold Snap
© Agence France-Presse49 deaths in Poland from cold in December.
A vicious cold snap across Russia and eastern Europe has claimed nearly 200 lives, officials figures showed Friday, as forecasters warned it would last until Christmas Eve.

In Russia, the cold has killed two people in the past 24 hours, the Ria-Novosti agency reported, citing medical sources, bringing the total number of deaths over the past week to 56.

The freeze had also left 371 people in hospital.

Thermometers have been stuck below minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit) in Moscow -- and below minus 50 degrees (minus 58 F) in some parts of Siberia -- for a week.

Russian weather forecasters said temperature in the Khabarovsk region in eastern Russia had dropped to minus 43 Celsius, while Krasnoyarsk in Siberia reported minus 47.

This "abnormal" frost would last till Monday because of a persistent anticyclone, they added.

In Russia's European region, meanwhile, the mercury is expected to fall to minus 31 degrees Celsius on Christmas Eve before rising rapidly afterwards.

Other European countries hit hard by the extreme temperatures were counting the toll as temperatures gradually started to return to normal.


Massive snowstorm in Midwest kills at least seven

The scene of a deadly 25-vehicle pileup on Dec. 20 north of Des Moines. Authorities said drivers were blinded by snow and didn't see vehicles that had slowed or stopped on Interstate 80. / Iowa State Patrol
A major snowstorm that was sweeping across the Midwest and beyond on Thursday left at least seven people dead, clogged highways and forced hundreds of flight delays and cancellations at airports already bracing for the holiday rush.

The deaths included a woman in Utah who died trying to walk for help after her car became stuck in the blizzard. Storm-related traffic deaths also were reported in Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

Blizzard warnings were in effect in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, according to the National Weather Service. The Weather Channel reported that parts of 17 states are under winter weather advisories -- as far west as Washington state and as far east as Maine.

The southern edge of the storm system brought winds and damaged homes in Arkansas, the National Weather Service said. Alabama has confirmed that a tornado hit Mobile on Thursday morning, but the tornado's length and intensity were still being assessed. Tornado watches remained in place in Georgia and Florida.

The storm brought much-needed precipitation for drought-plagued regions but was bad news for holiday travelers. Most of the nation's big airlines responded to the storm's threat by enacting flexible rebooking policies for passengers scheduled to fly into the storm's path.

As of 5 p.m. ET Thursday, more than 1,000 flights had been canceled at airports across the Midwest, according to flight-tracking service FlightStats.com.

More than 600 flights were canceled at Chicago's two airports, O'Hare and Midway. Other flights at O'Hare were delayed between 30 and 90 minutes, the city's Department of Aviation reported at 3:30 p.m. CT. FlightAware reported inbound delays averaging 2½ hours because of high winds.

American Airlines announced that it was canceling flights scheduled to depart after 8 p.m. CT and that flights delayed earlier might leave after 8 p.m.

O'Hare is a major hub for both United and American, meaning the disruption could ripple out and affect fliers at other airports.