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Extreme Temperatures

Airplane

Snow grounds hundreds of flights across Europe

De-Icing an Airplane
© AFP/Christof Stache
Employees de-ice an airplane in Munich, southern Germany, on January 21, 2013.
London - Hundreds of flights were cancelled and hazardous roads and railways disrupted traffic and caused countless accidents across Europe on Monday as heavy snow and freezing weather gripped the continent.

Frankfurt airport, Germany's main air hub, cancelled around 500 departing and arriving flights, representing 40 percent of its daily schedule.

The busiest airport in Europe, London Heathrow, scrapped more than 200 flights.

Heathrow said a decision was taken 24 hours in advance to cancel 130 flights due to predicted poor visibility, but problems elsewhere in Europe were having an impact too.

"The additional cancellations are because a number of airports elsewhere in Europe are experiencing problems so that has a knock-on effect for us," an airport spokesman said.

Heathrow has spent 36 million pounds ($57 million) on upgrading its snow-clearing equipment since 2010, when freezing temperatures and snow almost brought the airport to a halt in the approach to Christmas.

Freezing rain and snow also led to treacherous conditions on railways and roads, triggering numerous accidents.

Snowflake

England: 'Snowman cars' add to travel headaches as cold snap spreads north and east

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© Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Parked cars in snowy Bath.
More flights cancelled, trains delayed and roads closed, and AA warns over drivers failing to clear snow from car roof.

Heavy snow brought its usual mixture of beauty, fun and serious disruption to most of the country on Monday as the cold front that turned southern England white on Sunday moved east and north.

Hundreds of schools were closed, disrupting some GCSE and AS-level exams, and there were cancellations and delays on roads, rail and in the air as bitterly cold winds added drifting to already deep falls and widespread ice.

Heathrow airport suffered worse disruption than expected with 175 flights cancelled by midday, well over the figure of 130 predicted earlier. Sunshine brought a rapid thaw but the total later crept close to the 260 cancellations of Sunday. The airport blamed poor visibility.

Gatwick and Birmingham airports were also badly disrupted and East Midlands and Robin Hood airports were closed to flights.

Snowflake

More flight disruptions across Europe, as heavy snow causes chaos

Hundreds of flights were cancelled and road and rail traffic was severely disrupted across much of Europe on Monday, as heavy snow and freezing weather gripped the continent. Frankfurt airport, Germany's main air hub, cancelled around 500 departing and arriving flights, representing 40 percent of its daily schedule. The busiest airport in Europe, London Heathrow, scrapped nearly 200 flights. Heathrow said a decision was taken 24 hours in advance to cancel 130 flights because visibility was expected to deteriorate as the day wore on, but problems elsewhere in Europe were having an impact too. "The additional cancellations are because a number of airports elsewhere in Europe are experiencing problems so that has a knock-on effect for us," an airport spokesman said.


Heathrow has spent 36 million pounds ($57 million) on upgrading its snow-clearing equipment since 2010, when freezing temperatures and snow almost brought the airport to a halt in the approach to Christmas. Europe's number three airport, Paris's Charles de Gaulle, was also hit. France's civil aviation authority DGAC said it expected to scrap 40 percent of flights to and from Charles de Gaulle and Paris's other main airport, Orly, in a precautionary measure following heavy snowfall on Sunday. Even Munich, a city usually accustomed to taking snow in its stride, cancelled 161 flights at its airport as it grappled with the exceptional conditions.

Ice Cube

Mayor of London: It's snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age

"The Sun is god!" cried JMW Turner as he died, and plenty of other people have thought there was much in his analysis. The Aztecs agreed, and so did the pharaohs of Egypt. We are an arrogant lot these days, and we tend to underestimate the importance of our governor and creator. We forget that we were once just a clod of cooled-down solar dust; we forget that without the Sun there would have been no photosynthesis, no hydrocarbons - and that it was the great celestial orb that effectively called life into being on Earth. In so far as we are able to heat our homes or turn on our computers or drive to work it is thanks to the unlocking of energy from the Sun.
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As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands - when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

I say all this because I am sitting here staring through the window at the flowerpot and the bashed-up barbecue, and I am starting to think this series of winters is not a coincidence. The snow on the flowerpot, since I have been staring, has got about an inch thicker. The barbecue is all but invisible. By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don't remember from my childhood: snow that comes one day, and then sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more.

Snowflake Cold

Spot gas prices in Europe skyrocket with temperatures fall

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© AFP Photo / Viktor Drachev
Cold weather in Europe has caused this season's record-high spot prices for gas, crossing the $400 mark. But even this does not make stable but higher long-term contract prices more attractive to European customers.

Over the weekend extreme weather has swept across Europe from the UK to Spain, claiming lives and causing flight cancelations and power outages. The freezing temperatures have forced Europe to consume more gas prompting the spot price to reach $406 per 1000 cubic meter. Gas at Britain's National Balancing Point traded at $398.7 last week which was 8.5% higher than in first week of January.

However, Russia's Gazprom, which in 2011 provided 32% of total gas supplies to Europe, will not benefit much from the rise. Only 20% of Gazprom's gas exports to the EU were spot deals, Sergey Vakhrameev, analyst at Metropol told Vedomosti daily. Long-term contracts make up the majority of Gazprom deliveries, while spot supplies are only 7% of total exports, Vakhrameev added.

Igloo

Record snowfall closes lifts and roads in the Pyrenees

Pyrenees Snowfall
© Saint Lary skiresort
This bus was still moving yesterday. But today?
The Pyrenees are experiencing historic, but also terrifying moments right now. Around 200 centimeters of freshies came down in the ski resorts on the French side of the Pyrenees since Sunday. All the lifts in the resorts are closed since Tuesday morning as a precaution.

The combination of a stormy wind (100 km/h), the huge and intense snowfall and the fact that warmer air is coming in this afternoon is causing a very critical situation. Around 200 centimeters came down since Sunday and you can expect another 40-70 centimeters today.
Pyrennees Road Closures
© Wepowder
Lots of roads are closed.

Igloo

Heavy snow sends Northern Mexico into state of emergency

Cold Weather in Mexico
© HispanicallySpeakingnews.com
Cold weather in Mexico.
The Mexican government declared a emergency in 21 municipalities in the northern state of Chihuahua due to heavy snow and a cold wave blamed for six deaths there.

Federal officials said that the measure, which was requested by the Chihuahua government, will allow authorities to access resources within the national emergency fund to cover food, clothing and health care needs among the affected population. Salvador Echavarria Campos, a meteorologist with Chihuahua's UEPC civil defense agency, said that the lowest temperature registered Thursday morning was minus 11 C (12 F) in the municipality of Bocoyna, in the state's mountainous region.

On Tuesday, UEPC director Luis Lujan Peña confirmed that the snow had cut off some 150 communities in the Sierra Tarahumara mountains. So far, official figures are that six people have died in Chihuahua and two others in the western state of Michoacan from causes linked to the low temperatures.

Snowflake Cold

Snowpocalypse Russia: 'Snow tsunami' swallows streets, cars, buildings

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© bigpicture.ru
On Friday, Moscow was on a verge of traffic collapse as more than 10 inches of snow fell on the city, which is more than half of January's average. Thousands of passengers were stranded overnight in the capital's major airports, as several dozen flights were delayed.

Muscovites woke up and found their cars, driveways and houses buried under a thick layer of snow, with city workers unable to get to smaller streets. Moscow's Yandex app showed traffic at level 10, the highest possible, as strong winds created blizzard conditions and built imposing snow drifts.

Additional images

Snowflake

Blanket of snow covers parts of Europe

Parts of Europe, including Russia, France, Austria and the UK have seen heavy winter snowfall.


Snowflake

Europe hit by blizzards, air traffic havoc, deaths

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Extreme winter weather swept across western Europe Saturday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at London's main international airport and claiming several lives in Spain, Portugal and France, including those of three Mali-bound soldiers.

The frigid temperatures also caused delays and cancellations on major railway lines including the Eurostar train service, and transport authorities warned of further traffic disruptions with more blizzards forecast for Sunday.

In London, thousands of passengers were forced to camp out on the floors of Heathrow Airport overnight as hundreds of flights to and from the British capital were cancelled.

"There are lots of bodies lying around in the airport. If feels like there's been a natural disaster," Jerry Meng from Los Angeles, whose flight to New York was cancelled, told British broadcaster BBC.