Saturday, December 29, 2012

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Across The World - Record-Breaking Snowfall Across Canada, Heavy Snow In South Korea Breaks December Record, Coldest Winter In Decades For Russia !

December 29, 2012 - CANADA - The winter storm that dumped a record-breaking amount of snow on Montreal is now hitting Newfoundland, with Environment Canada saying northern and central parts of the province can expect 20 to 30 centimetres.  "Heavy snow and strong easterly winds over southwestern Newfoundland this morning will spread northeastward today," Environment Canada said.  By 2:30 p.m. local time, there were snowfall accumulations of 13 centimetres in Deer Lake, seven centimetres in Gander and less than a centimetre in St. John's, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Rodney Barney.

Montreal blanketed by more than 45 cm of snow from storm moving east. © CBC News.
Record-Breaking Storm Moves To Newfoundland.
Winter storm warnings are in effect in many parts of central and northern Newfoundland, with Environment Canada warning that "dangerous winter weather conditions" are expected in some areas.  The low-pressure system producing the storm is expected to move from southern Nova Scotia to near Cape Breton by Friday evening. The system will then track across eastern Newfoundland at night before moving to the northeast of the province on Saturday.  Strong easterly winds will accompany the system, with gusts reaching 100 km/h along Newfoundland's south and west coasts, and gusts to 150 km/h in the Wreckhouse area.  Wind speeds in Wreckhouse had reached a peak of 143 km/h by 2:30 p.m. local time, Barney said in a post on Twitter.  Eastern Newfoundland can expect snow turning to mixed precipitation, and then rain. - CBC News.

Atlantic Canada is bracing for more harsh winter weather set to
hit Saturday night. © CBC News.
Atlantic Canadians Brace For Second Winter Wallop.
With another blast of winter weather headed for Atlantic Canada, people are being urged to prepare for a lot of snow throughout the Maritimes and up to 140 km/h wind gusts in Newfoundland.  The storm is expected to start Saturday night in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.  Nova Scotia may see 40 centimetres of snow by Sunday night in the province's north and the Annapolis Valley.  Meteorologist Andy Firth said the nor'easter would bring snow, blowing snow and rain to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as well as southern and eastern New Brunswick.  "This is a significant nor'easter storm," Firth said from Dartmouth, N.S., on Saturday. "We have warnings out for snowfall, blowing snow and storm surges."  Firth said parts of New Brunswick and P.E.I. would see around 15 to 30 centimetres of snow.  Flurries were expected to begin over the western Maritimes on Saturday evening, with heavy snow beginning around midnight and continuing until around noon Sunday. - CBC News.

Montreal's massive snow clearing operation will start on Friday morning. Claudine Nicol took this
photo of parked cars entombed in snow in Villeray on Thursday. © CBC News.
Record-Breaking Snowfall In Montreal - 47 Centimetres In Just One Day.
The City of Montreal said snow removal is going to take longer than expected following Thursday's record snowfall.  Michel Frenette, a spokesman for the city, said snow removal will take about nine days to accomplish.  The nine days also includes a break period for workers.  "We will stop operations on the evening of the 31st and come back 36 hours later on the morning of Jan. 2," said Frenette.  He said it is taking longer because snow blowers have to go over the same area multiple times to remove all of the snow.  Three thousand people are working to clear the snow. - CBC News.
A homeless woman has a charity meal distributed by volunteers in Russia's
southern city of Stavropol on Dec. 25, 2012. © Reuters.

Coldest Winter In Decades For Russia With Snow As Much As 5 Meters (1616½ Feet) Deep.
As temperatures plummet to -50 Celsius in some parts of Russia, thousands have been evacuated from their homes in the country's Far East and Siberia. More than 120 people have died from the severe cold -- at least seven in the last 24 hours.  Meteorologists say the country is experiencing one of its coldest winters in decades.  In the Far East region of Magadan, 300 kilometers of roads remain blocked by heavy snow. Plows and machines can not reach those roads to clear them. In some places, snow is as much as five meters deep.  Irina Bryarkina lives in the Tyva region of Siberia where temperatures have been -40 C for several days. It is so cold that many heating pipes have frozen and thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.  Bryarkina says the situation is not good. She says they've got nothing. It's good that there's lots of snow, she says, so that they can gather it and melt it for water. She goes on to say that temperatures insude her flat are below freezing too.  Emergency services in the area have evacuated many residents to local schools and hospitals.  Aria Dagbaldai says the shelters are a welcome relief. She says she has spent two nights in a school where conditions are good and warm and there is even warm food.  Temperatures are expected to warm in the next few days but not by much. Meanwhile, emergency workers say they are doing their best to fix the broken pipes and restore central heating in Tyva. - Chosun.

Soldiers are mobilized yesterday morning to remove snow from roads in front of tollgates near the Baekyang
Tunnel in Sasang District, Busan. As snow was not cleared in time, dangerous roads caused traffic jams during rush hour. Heavy snowfall is rarely seen in the southern port city. © NEWSIS.
Heavy Snow In South Korea Breaks December Record.
Yesterday's rush hour was a nightmare for a 47-year-old civil servant surnamed Roh who commutes from Gimhae to Changwon, South Gyeongsang, every day.  He left home at 6:15 a.m. and reached the Changwon Tunnel that connects the two cities in 10 minutes, but soon had to turn his car around as the tunnel was closed due to snow.  Roh then passed through Jangyu and Dongmasan IC (interchange) and finally arrived at his office in Changwon at 9:40 a.m.  It usually takes only 25 minutes if he takes the tunnel route, but it took 3 hours and 25 minutes.  On his way to the office, many vehicles were waiting for assistance after being damaged in car accidents due to the slippery roads.  "It doesn't snow much in Gimhae," Roh told the JoongAng Ilbo. "Not many drivers have tire chains. It was terrible to drive because many roads are icy due to the early morning snow."  The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said yesterday the Chungcheong and southern regions of the country, including Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang, had heavy snow from 1 to 3 a.m.: 31 centimeters (12 inches) on Ulleung Island; 20 centimeters in Geoje, South Gyeongsang; 16 centimeters in Hapcheon; 14.6 centimeters in Jinju; 15.5 centimeters in Daegwanryeong; 12.4 centimeters in Daegu and 8.5 centimeters in Gumi as of press time. - Korea Joongang Daily.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Very Rare California Tornado Damages Greenhouses in Monterey Bay - The 7th Tornado To Hit The Area In The Last Decade!

December 29, 2012 - UNITED STATES - A small tornado in Santa Cruz County near Watsonville last Saturday lasted only three minutes but knocked down walls of some greenhouses and uprooted trees in its path, a spokesman for the National Weather Service said.

Damage from Saturday's tornado in Watsonville is seen. One of only 7 tornadoes to hit Bay Area counties
over the last decade.  © National Weather Service.
The tornado started as a waterspout on the surface of Monterey Bay at 6:59 a.m., crossed over Sunset State Beach and grew to 20 yards wide with winds reaching 75 mph as it swept east to inland areas, said Logan Johnson, a weather service spokesman in Monterey. The swirling winds crossed over a large farm, sent fiberglass and plastic sheeting flying off of the walls of some greenhouses and caused the metal support structure of one to cave in and damage crops growing inside, Johnson said. The twister also blew out fiberglass windows in two other greenhouses and propelled debris into a field 30 to 50 yards from the greenhouses, Johnson said.

The wind sent agricultural cloth in the air, wrapping it around a utility pole, and uprooted several trees on San Andreas Road before ending at 7:02 a.m. just over a mile from where the tornado started, Johnson said. The tornado, which took place about a mile south of the private Monterey Bay Academy Airport, came from the major storm front that hit the Bay Area last weekend, Johnson said. The 20-yard width of the whirlwind was "pretty small," Johnson said. "The largest and strongest tornados can be one quarter to a half mile wide." Tornadoes in the San Francisco Bay Area are fairly rare, but not without precedent, the most recent one occurring up north in Santa Rosa in Sonoma County in March 2011, Johnson said. The weather service has recorded seven tornadoes in Bay Area counties over the last decade, Johnson said. Kitayama Brothers Watsonville, at 481 San Andreas Road, the farm in the tornado's path, grows flowers in its greenhouses, including snapdragons, gerbera daisies and hydrangeas, according to Carolyn Do, branch manager of the firm's San Jose office. - Pleasonton Weekly.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Giant Sinkhole Opens Up At Busy Shanxi Intersection In China!

December 29, 2012 - CHINA - The sinkhole strikes again! While not as epic as the gaping Xi'an collapse in May, a road in Shanxi has imploded, damaging gas and infrastructure in the area. No one was hurt, and the only significant harm was caused to underground pipes. Shanxi should be glad not to have the bus-eating holes of Nanjing or pedestrian-assassins of Xi'an. - Shanghaiist.

© China Daily.
© China Daily.
© China Daily.

EXTREME WEATHER: Airplane Incidents - United Flight Skids Off Runway at Albany County Airport In New York, And Moscow Plane Crash Kills Five!

December 29, 2012 - RUSSIA - The fifth victim of Saturday plane crash near Moscow Vnukovo Airport has died, succumbing to her injuries. The horrible crash was captured by a dashboard camera in one of the cars on the highway.  The footage of the actual plane crash recorded by a dash-cam in one of the cars driving by appeared online overnight. The 30-second video shows the plane crashing into a road safety barrier and its debris hitting the car carrying the camera is placed and another car passing by. 

Plane wreckage on a highway near Moscow's Vnukovo airport December 29, 2012. (Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva).
Moscow Plane Crash - Death Toll Rises To Five.
The highway was not busy at the time of the crash so drivers managed to avoid a major accident. Yet the incident caused a massive traffic jam, hampering rescue teams and ambulances rushing to the scene, witnesses say.  Drivers who happened to be near the scene of the crash were trying to rescue those on board injured.  Eyewitness Nikita Kasperchik helped two men who had suffered many injuries, rescuing them from the debris.  “We tore off part of the plane, put it on the ground and put the guys on it. There were blankets scattered everywhere, so we covered them with blankets,” he told Rossiya-24 TV-channel.  Rescuers by chance also tried to organize victims` transportation to hospitals.  “We were looking for a car where we could place him [a crash victim], unfortunately, a passenger car would not fit him, so we stopped a minibus taxi… put the victim in it and took him to hospital,” another witness said.  The only people drivers could not help were the pilots, who were trapped in the cockpit. Witnesses tried to break the glass to reach to them, but it was too thick, so they had to wait for rescuers to arrive. - RT.

WATCH: Jet Tragedy - Tu-204 plane crash step by step.

© Albany County Airport.

United Flight Skids Off Runway at Albany County Airport In New York.
A spokesman for the Albany County Airport Authority says a regional jet skidded into a snow bank and became stuck, stranding passengers. No injuries were reported. The United flight was leaving the gate in Albany en route to Chicago Saturday when it slid off the paved road. The 65 passengers and crew were uninjured and were evacuated from the plane, put on a bus and sent back to the airport.

Airport authority spokesman Doug Myers says the accident didn't case any other airport delays. The plane was removed from the snow bank and will be inspected for any problems. Myers said the airline would determine what happened with the jet. It was snowing lightly at the airport Saturday. - CBS New York.

EXTREME WEATHER: "Powerful Cyclone" Bears Down On Gulf Of Alaska!

December 29, 2012 - ALASKA - The National Weather Service has issued a warning for warm, strong winds on Saturday night through Sunday afternoon as a strong storm system makes its way into the Gulf of Alaska.

A view of Dalzell Creek with Rainy Pass visible in the distance. USGS photo.
"A powerful cyclone across the North Pacific will move northward into South Central Alaska tonight through Sunday," The NWS Alaska reports on its Facebook page. "Along with unusually warm air, this system will support powerful Chinook winds through Turnagain Arm, Portage Valley, Anchorage, and the higher elevations near Anchorage."

Accompanying the winds will be unseasonably warm temperatures. A special weather statement said that any precipitation Sunday in the areas affected by this storm system likely won't be snow:

"This powerful storm is originating well to the south over the subtropics and is expected to bring unseasonably warm air with it," the statement said. "This should allow temperatures to rise near 50 degrees. This will allow the lion's share of precipitation to fall as rain."

Much of the Southcentral region had already seen warmer temperatures since Friday night, as high winds whipped through the Mat-Su Valley, eastern Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage, making a mess of streets previously frozen solid and topped with recent snows.

According to the NWS, winds could reach as high as 100 mph along Turnagain Arm, the Anchorage Hillside and Portage Valley. In Anchorage, gusts could hit up to 70 mph on Sunday afternoon. Portions of the Interior are also expected to see high winds. - Alaska Dispatch.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Electric Power Poles Burst Into Flames In Texas?!

December 29, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Thousands of people in the area are waking up without power.

Austin Energy says up to 50 pole fires sparked overnight due to dirt and moisture on equipment, causing power outages for about 4,000 customers.

Experts say the mist in the air Friday morning turned dust on electric poles to mud, which created the sparks.

There have also been reports of outages for Pedernales Electric customers. Officials ask those customers to call 888-883-3379 to report an outage.

Austin Energy says 16 crews are working to restore power in 32 locations. - KVUE.