Thursday, March 7, 2013

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Across The World

March 04, 2013 - EARTH - Impacts from a storm targeting millions of people in the eastern states will range from travel disruptions caused by heavy snow to power outages produced by strong winds to flooding from storm surge. A major storm will bring heavy snow from parts of North Carolina to portions of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey spanning Wednesday into Thursday. The storm will be moving through the central Appalachians toward the mid-Atlantic coast during the middle of the week, after blasting portions of the Plains and Midwest Monday into Tuesday.

 DC, Virginia, Maryland Midweek Snowstorm.
Based on the latest information, the area that is most likely to receive a foot or more of snow lies from northwestern North Carolina through northern and western Virginia, the mountains of West Virginia and western and part of central Maryland. Charlottesville, Roanoke, Harrisonburg and Winchester, Va.; Frederick and Hagerstown, Md. and Martinsburg, W.Va. appear to be in the middle of the zone with the greatest snow potential. This potential would be immobilizing snow. The weight of heavy, weight snow can bring down trees and power lines in this area. However, dozens of other cities in the region could receive anywhere from a couple of inches of slush to a foot or more of back-breaking snow. These include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., Richmond, Va., Dover, Del. and Vineland, N.J. These areas are likely to receive rain during part of the storm and a larger percentage of the snow that falls is more likely to melt for a time. As the rate of snow becomes heavy, roads can quickly become clogged with snow, potentially stranding motorists. Deicing time will increase at area airports in the path of the storm. Potential flight delays and cancellations from heavy snow will hit Minneapolis and Chicago first, then will spread to multiple airports in the I-95 mid-Atlantic with the possibility of delayed aircraft and crews elsewhere across the nation.

There is still the risk the storm strengthens upon nearing the coast and either turns farther to the north or grows in size spreading snow and other effects farther north.  Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg are also on the bubble with the chance of a period of heavier snow that can bring a big accumulation or lesser snow to primarily a rain/snow mix. These details will not be known until the storm is virtually under way. A shift in track of the storm and its heavy snow by 50 miles can make the difference. New York City is likely to be on the northernmost edge of the lesser snow area. Unless the storm stalls and expands substantially northward, a heavy snowfall appears to be a low probability. Cape Cod and Long Island, which extend out into the Atlantic a bit more, have a slightly higher chance of a period of accumulating snow.  A slightly more southerly track would throw heavier snow farther south over western and central North Carolina. As a result folks in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh, N.C. and Norfolk, Va. should watch this storm closely.

Wind, Coastal Flooding and Beach Erosion
Based on the latest information, meteorologists feel this storm will deliver the punch of a moderate to strong nor'easter. Such storms produce winds over a large fetch of water and drive that water toward the coast. The shape of the coast and wind direction determines which areas are most susceptible to coastal flooding. The duration and strength of the onshore wind determines the severity of the water rise.

Winds can become strong enough to cause sporadic power outages from eastern North Carolina to southern New Jersey. Gusts to 60 mph are possible. A 24 to 48 hour period of pounding surf will cause moderate beach erosion in these areas. Offshore seas can reach 30 feet.  Areas from eastern North Carolina to southern New Jersey are most likely to have coastal flooding problems during times of high tide Wednesday into Thursday. While it is a bit too early to be highly confident on water level rises, there is a chance of tides levels running between 2 to 4 feet above published values. Fortunately, astronomical impact around the time of the storm be minimal with significant distance between the new and full moon phases.  Because of the track and speed as to which the storm will strengthen, the risk of coastal flooding problems over portions of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays cannot be eliminated at this time. There may be a period where winds are from a direction to cause water to back up. - AccuWeather.

 Snow spreading East.

Pacific Storm Pushes Heavy Snow, Winds Into Alberta, Saskatchewan.
Poor road conditions are a concern today in Alberta
and Saskatchewan.
© Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press.
The rain storm that drenched the B.C. South Coast over the past few days has become a snowstorm as it pushed over the prairies, bringing freezing rain, heavy snowfall and strong winds throughout the day today and Monday. 

Precipitation from this system had already started to fall last night, in a line from west-central Alberta into southern Saskatchewan, with Edmonton reporting light rain in the evening and freezing rain around midnight. This switched over to all snow, heavy at times, overnight and continued to fall through the morning, with gusty winds causing blowing and drifting snow. 

The storm is spreading into southern Alberta this morning. Heavy snowfall is expected at times throughout the day, dropping between 10-15 centimetres of snow by tonight, with blowing snow from winds gusting up to 70 km/h. The snow is expected to stop in central Alberta this afternoon, and in southern Alberta by midnight tonight, however with the strong winds, blowing snow will remain a concern until Monday. 

Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for much of central Alberta, and winter storm warnings for southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. The Canadian Avalanche Centre is still warning of a high risk of avalanches in the Columbia Mountains, and in the Rocky Mountains from the South Rockies to Jasper. 

Anyone traveling today should be cautious as road conditions worsen and visibility is reduced by blowing snow.  A few flight delays and one cancellation have already been reported at Edmonton International Airport, and more delays and cancellations are likely at airports throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan as the system spreads and the winds increase in speed. - Yahoo.

Winter Storm Saturn Sets Its Sights On Southeastern Wisconsin.
© Denise Konkol.
A third storm in as many weeks had been initially looking to miss us to the west, but a change in track has placed Southeastern Wisconsin in the bullseye, with up to 9 inches expected by Tuesday night. According toPatch's media partners at WISN 12, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for all of southeast Wisconsin for Monday night through Tuesday evening. 

If this sounds familiar, this is the third storm in as many weeks to barrel through the area during a winter that started off relatively warm and rainy. For those keeping track, this is Winter Storm Saturn. 

Current predictions have the storm dumping totals of 6-9 inches over much of the southern third of the state, beginning Monday night. Light to moderate snow will develop between 9 p.m. and midnight Monday, according to Weather Watch 12, and periods of moderate to heavy snow will be possible after midnight and through Tuesday. 
Also like Rocky, the storm that had exceeded expectations of how much snow would fall, Saturn will likely feature lake-enhanced snow, bringing a higher potential for heavy snow totals along Lake Michigan. Brisk northeast winds developing by Tuesday afternoon are to blame for that, and will also cause blowing and drifting snow into Tuesday night for everyone else.  - Waukesha Patch.

Lowest Temperatures For A Century Hits Calcutta, India.
Dressing for the cold has become a major talking point in Calcutta, where the temperatures are the lowest for a century. One piece of cold-weather gear appears to be de rigueur in this city - the monkey hat.  When my newspapers started arriving two hours late, I asked the delivery man why.  He replied: "No-one can get up early in this cold so why do you need your papers? Go with the flow."  At least I think that's what he said, I could hardly hear through my earmuffs.  When you think of India you think of heat - whether it is the country's temperature, or its food.  So how do people here cope with winter? Well, that varies from region to region.  When I asked a friend of mine from southern India they laughed as they replied: "We do not have a winter, it is always hot."  My family in Delhi - in the north, where the temperature really does drop - just shrugged their shoulders and said: "We are used to it". 
© Associated Press.
They also have a few brandies (sometimes more than a few) to help them through the cold months.  But here in Calcutta, in the east, there is a different reaction.  This year the mercury dropped to 9C (48F) - balmy for London or New York in winter, but here it was the coldest day for 100 years.  Calcutta is known as the "city of joy". But believe me, on that day there was little of it in India's former capital.  And all across one of the world's biggest cities you could hear millions of mothers frantically telling their children "Toopi por, thanda lege jabe," which means, "Wear a hat, otherwise you will catch a cold."  To be fair, it is a phrase they can use even when the temperatures are as high as 20C (68F). Whatever the thermometer says people here start wrapping up warm in December and keep their hats on until February.  And they do not just wear any old hat - it has to be a monkey cap. I had never seen one until I came to Calcutta.  When I told my cousin this, he looked at me like I was mad.  "You live in England," he said. "Surely you must wear one even in the summer?"  When I explained that I was from Yorkshire, and that even on the coldest days some people only wear T-shirts, I thought he was going to faint.  After recovering all he could say was: "To think the British ruled us for so many years and they do not even know how to dress."  

For those of you who have never seen a monkey cap here is a quick description. It is a thick woollen hat that totally covers your head, your neck and your ears.  The only parts which are open to the elements are the mouth, eyes and nose.  It has come to be known here in India as the Bengali topi or hat. Basically, it looks a bit like a balaclava.  When an American friend of mine landed at Calcutta airport recently, to be greeted by the sight of everyone walking about wearing one, he joked that he thought that he had walked into a city holding a bank robbers' convention.  

© Getty Images.
This year there is also a new fashion accessory to accompany the monkey cap.  With the temperatures dipping even more, ear muffs are the new must-have.  From a distance, it looks like some older Bengalis are wearing huge headphones.  And it can lead to some comical scenes.  Recently I noticed two elderly gentlemen attempting to have a conversation. They both appeared to be wearing half their wardrobes to keep away the dreaded cold.  One of them was trying to speak, but his mouth was covered by a scarf and, anyway, his friend could not hear anything as he had huge ear muffs on.  I politely interrupted their attempted conversation and asked them why they did not just take their winter paraphernalia off for a few minutes, so they could understand each other.  One of them laughed and mumbled, "But then we might catch a cold, it is not worth taking a chance like that".  And that is what many here feel. Winter means staying in.  So, at night, streets in this crowded city are deserted, except for those who have to live on them. The homeless huddle around fires as they desperately try to keep warm.  It also means days start later. When I asked my wife why she was going to work at 10am rather than 9am, she replied that everyone was coming to work late - because it was cold.  And that is what you have to do in Calcutta in the winter.  Anyway, I have to go and get ready. Now, what colour monkey hat should I wear today? - BBC News.

Texas Blizzard Breaks 120-Year Old Record.
Amarillo emergency personnel help a stranded motorist on
the I-40 service road during Monday’s blizzard. (AP Photo).
The blizzard that hammered the nation’s midsection broke a 120-year-old record in Amarillo for one-day snowfall in February with 19.1 inches.  National Weather Service meteorologist Krissy Scotten in Amarillo says the snowfall total Monday bested a record set Feb. 16, 1893, when 19 inches fell.  She says the city’s snowfall was the second-most in a 24-hour period, just behind the 19.3 inches that fell March 25, 1934. The storm that moved across the Texas Panhandle also was the third all-time snow event. The most snow in one event was 20.6 inches that fell March 25 and 26, 1934.  Scotten says Amarillo normally receives 17.8 inches of snow for the winter.  Roadways across the region remained icy and snow-packed early today. Warming temperatures throughout the day are expected to improve conditions. -ABQ Journal.

Toronto Breaks February Snowfall Record.
GTA residents had a difficult time shovelling the heavy wet
snow, Feb. 27, 2013  Photo by: Momin Qureshi/680News   
It’s another sloppy drive to work and school Thursday morning as the slow-moving storm system that dumped record amounts of wet snow on the GTA Wednesday continues to hang around. 

Snowfall record
Toronto broke a snowfall record for Feb. 27, according to Environment Canada. At Pearson International Airport, 12.4 centimetres of the heavy wet snow covered the ground, breaking the record of 7.1 centimetres set in 1967.

Storm cleanup
The slush is still flooding some city streets. City officials are asking homeowners to stop shovelling the slushy snow onto the road as it’s blocking the catch basins. According to a report in the Toronto Sun, the city said the cost to clean up Wednesday’s slushy mess is around $2.5-million. However, that figure doesn’t cover any potential plowing, Thursday. Toronto had set aside $82-million for snow removal this winter. Peter Noehammer, director of Toronto’s Transportation Services, told theSunthat despite Toronto’s rough winter, the snow budget is still in “pretty good shape.” - 680 News.

Heavy Snowfall Knocks Out Power To Thousands In Quebec.
Montreal was blanketed with about 16 centimetres of snow yesterday, and Environment Canada is forecasting about 4 more centimetres will fall by end of day Thursday.  © CBC
As Quebec residents wake up to a snowy morning commute, thousands are without power across the province.  Wednesday's heavy, wet snow fell on power lines and tree branches, knocking out power to more than 30,000 homes and businesses in Quebec. The Montérégie region was hit the hardest by power outages, where about 20,000 clients are in the dark.  Hydro Québec said it's not clear how long it will take for power to be restored.  Montreal was blanketed with about 16 centimetres of snow yesterday, and Environment Canada is forecasting about 4 more centimetres will fall by end of day Thursday.  Quebec City could see up to 12 centimetres of snow today and overnight. - CBC.

Six People Die As Blizzards Hit Northern Japan.
Snow-covered rooftops across a neighborhood in Tokyo on February 6, 2013. At least six people died in a
spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido
over the weekend, police and news reports said Sunday. 

© AFP Photo.
At least six people died in a spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over the weekend, police and news reports said Sunday.  A 40-year-old woman and her three teenaged children were found dead late Saturday in a car buried under snow in the town of Nakashibetsu, eastern Hokkaido, a local police spokesman said.  They are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning as the car's exhaust pipe and was blocked by snow and the windows were up, Kyodo News said, adding that snowfalls of more than two metres (6.6 feet) were recorded in the area.  A 23-year-old woman who went missing in the same town was found dead on Sunday in snow some 300 metres away from her car, Jiji Press news agency said.  In Yubetsu, northwest of Nakashibetsu, a 53-year-old man was found dead on Sunday after he and his nine-year-old daughter became buried in snow on farmland, Jiji reported.  The two went missing after leaving their home Saturday in a truck. They were found outside in the snow and it appeared the father had placed his body over his daughter's, Jiji reported.  He was pronounced dead in hospital, while the girl was found to have no life-threatening injuries.  Japan's meteorological agency issued a warning of strong winds and heavy snow in northern Japan, with gusts of up to 135 kilometres (84 miles) per hour recorded in Erimo cape, southern Hokkaido, on Saturday. - AFP.

Massive Ice Balls Attracting Attention Along Lake Michigan.

People in Michigan are enjoying a very cool winter sight.  Massive ice balls are washing ashore. They are created when pieces of ice break away from ice floes in the lake and are rounded off by waves.  Thousands of them have piled up near Good Harbor Bay where they have become quite an attraction for local residents and tourists. - MyFOX Chicago.

WATCH: Ice boulders roll onto shores of Lake Michigan.


  1. the extreme climate means something unusual is happening in the world.

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