Residents face long, icy wait for power to return

A vehicle drives under a tree that is weighed down by ice on Old Wire Road as a result of wintry weather on Wednesday Jan. 28, 2009, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – More than a million homes and businesses were left in the cold without power Thursday in the wake of an icy winter storm could face a lengthy wait for electricity to come back, even as federal help was promised to two states hit hardest by the blast.

Read moreResidents face long, icy wait for power to return

US freezes as Arctic air blasts in from Canada

America is not unfamiliar with low temperatures, but the present cold snap is exceptional by any standards


Lake Michigan has been turned into a frozen wasteland by plunging temperatures (AP)

Alabama was colder than Alaska, water fountains froze into ice sculptures in South Carolina, and Florida shivered through an Arctic air blast as the coldest week of the winter continued to grip large parts of the US.

The Northeast in particular suffered from the bitterly cold air from Canada that sent temperatures plunging in some places below minus 34C (minus 30F) and left even hardy veterans of such weather reluctant to venture outdoors.

Related article: Weather Eye: temperatures in Western Europe go crazy (Times)

It brought to an end a week which will be remembered for some time in Chicago. The city has now suffered the most consecutive days of snow since records began in 1884 and, on Friday, the wind chill took the temperature to minus 40C.

The cold claimed at least six lives and contributed to dozens of traffic accidents.

One death involved a man in a wheelchair who was found in sub-zero temperatures stuck in the snow, a shovel in his hand, outside his home in Des Moines, Iowa.

Temperatures of minus 12C to minus 18C and sub-zero wind chills were expected in western New York through the weekend, with more seasonable conditions moving in early next week.

Read moreUS freezes as Arctic air blasts in from Canada

North Dakota gets blizzard on top of December’s record snow


This photo provided by bus passenger Maria Nasta shows a scene from a 59 vehicle pileup including three buses and two tractor-trailer rigs that crashed on a snowy highway on Sunday morning Jan. 11, 2009 on Interstate 93 at Derry, N.H. (AP Photo/Courtesy Maria Nasta)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A fast-moving blizzard clogged roads and closed schools in North Dakota on Monday, causing more headaches for residents still trying to dig out from a record snowfall last month.

And, forecasters said a blast of cold air was on the way that could send the thermometer as low as 30 below zero.

Related article:
Storm brings more snow and strong winds to Iowa (Chicago Tribune)
Dirty snow causes early runoff in Cascades (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
First the Snow, Then Comes the Bitter Cold (MSNBC)

“Four-wheel drives are useless – people are just snowed in,” Rhonda Woodhams, the office manager for the Williams County highway department. “People are calling in saying they’re out of milk and diapers for their kids, or they have doctor appointments they need to get to.”

Read moreNorth Dakota gets blizzard on top of December’s record snow

Heavy Snowstorm brings chaos to Madrid

MADRID, Spain (CNN) — A heavy snowstorm caused chaos Friday at Madrid’s Barajas Airport, where flights were suspended for hours before Europe’s fourth-busiest airport reopened in the late afternoon.

A woman enjoys the snow in Madrid, where the airport suspended flights because of the weather.
A woman enjoys the snow in Madrid, where the airport suspended flights because of the weather.

Planes were flying again at 4:40 p.m. (10:40 am ET).

“It’s a huge snowstorm. You don’t see this in Madrid often,” an airport spokeswoman said.

Related articles:
Cold snap in Europe takes its toll (AFP)
12 deaths blamed on snow and cold across Europe (AP)
Central Europe, France, UK, Italy Hit by Cold Air
(Bloomberg)
Thousands shiver in Europe’s big chill
(Reuters)

The airport has 1,205 daily inbound and outbound flights. But for the first time, the airport halted operations due to a weather problem, the spokeswoman said.

Read moreHeavy Snowstorm brings chaos to Madrid

Scientists find greenhouse gas hysteria to be myth

‘Global warming may not be occurring in quite the manner one might have imagined’ WND


Figures from the Compo and Sardeshmukh study

As dignitaries from around the world gather for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, attendees are unlikely to champion a recent study that demonstrates oceanic heat levels – and not man-made greenhouse gases – are to blame for increases in temperature on land.

An estimated 9,000 government, media and U.N. officials are meeting in Poznan, Poland, for the conference, discussing possible international action to combat global warming. According to media relations information provided by the conference, “Climate change is already happening, is unequivocal and this change can now be firmly attributed to human activity.”

Not so fast, says a study released earlier this year by Gilbert Compo and Prashant Sardeshmukh of the University of Colorado and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and presented in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics.

According to Compo and Sardeshmukh’s study, all the greenhouse gases humans have dumped in the atmosphere over the last 46 years – the primary factor most climate change proponents cite to blame humans for global warming – haven’t affected land temperatures at all.

The rise in land temperatures, the study states, can be tied directly to increased heat and humidity coming from warmer oceans, which in turn, the study admits, may be caused solely by natural forces.

Read moreScientists find greenhouse gas hysteria to be myth

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.


Polar bears will be fine after all Photo: AP

The first, on May 21, headed “Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts” , reported that the entire Alpine “winter sports industry” could soon “grind to a halt for lack of snow”. The second, on December 19, headed “The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation” , reported that this winter’s Alpine snowfalls “look set to beat all records by New Year’s Day”.

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Read more2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

Snow Storms Hit Northern Japan; Flights Are Canceled


Traffic moves during a snow storm in Towada City, Aomori Prefecture, north of Honshu, Japan, on Dec. 26, 2008. Photographer: Yoichi Okuyama/Bloomberg News

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) — Japan Airlines Corp. and All Nippon Airways Co. canceled flights between Japan’s northern islands of Hokkaido and Honshu as snow storms swept across the country, prompting warnings of avalanches and gales.

Japan Airlines canceled 78 flights, leaving more than 11,000 people stranded, a faxed statement from the airline said.

ANA had canceled 109 flights affecting 16,729 passengers, according to company spokeswoman Mie Takeichi said.

Read moreSnow Storms Hit Northern Japan; Flights Are Canceled

Ice storm knocks out power to 220,000 in US Midwest

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Snow and ice storms across the U.S. Midwest knocked out power service to more than 220,000 homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio early Friday, local utilities reported.

The storm left 161,000 customers out in Indiana, 47,000 out in Illinois and 15,000 out in Ohio. The utilities said the outages would likely grow as the storm marches across the Midwest toward the Atlantic Coast.

Read moreIce storm knocks out power to 220,000 in US Midwest

Frigid Storm Closes California Freeways, Drops Snow in Malibu


Dec. 17: An ambulance rolls over and crashes in the snow in El Mirage, Calif. AP/The Sun

LOS ANGELES –  Snow snarled major mountain highways and even dusted Malibu on Wednesday as a cold storm hit parts of California. One person was killed by a wind-related helicopter crash, and an overflowing river on the U.S.-Mexico border led to the evacuation of nearly two dozen people, rescues of about 50 horses and the deaths of four others.

Styming thousands of commuters and travelers, snow shut Interstate 15 over 4,190-foot Cajon Pass east of Los Angeles and roads through the San Gabriel Mountains connecting metropolitan Los Angeles to the commuter suburbs of Palmdale and Lancaster in the high desert to the north.

Interstate 5, a major trucking and travel route connecting Southern California with the Central Valley and Northern California, stayed open over 4,144-foot Tejon Pass most of the day, with on-and-off Highway Patrol escorts, then finally was shut down in the afternoon as conditions deteriorated. Massive backups developed below all the passes.

Read moreFrigid Storm Closes California Freeways, Drops Snow in Malibu

Snowstorms cause chaos across Europe’s ski resorts

Ski resorts temporarily closed this week after heavy snowfall sparked avalanche warnings in the Alps.


Mark Wilkinson’s flat in Val d’Isere following heavy snow on Sunday night

Ski resorts across Europe were forced to close temporarily this week after snowstorms brought chaos to the region.

Almost a metre of snow fell overnight on Sunday sparking avalanche warnings in many European resorts.

In Val d’Isere, France, skiers were trapped in the resort on Monday amid fears of an avalanche on the road down to Bourg-Saint-Maurice after 80cm fell.

In Alagna, Italy, the resort was forced to close after more than a metre of fresh snow fell, while in Zermatt, Switzerland, only four ski lifts were open after 80cm of snowfall. Saas Fee was cut off for three days due to a high avalanche risk, but the road re-opened today allowing cars and supplies into the resort.

A spokesman for the Ski Club of Great Britain said that some resorts in Europe had seen the heaviest December snowfalls for at least 10 years.

Read moreSnowstorms cause chaos across Europe’s ski resorts