Articles Tagged "Snow & Ice News"

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Lingering snow could make for ideal climbing by Craig Hill
Sunday, September 19th 2010, 10:50 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Low on the south side of Mount Adams, the terrain that unfurled below the climbers was a welcome site.

Usually in late summer, this part of the descent would be a slow, knee-jarring scramble over and around large rocks. But this year is different. The climbers were looking down a steep, snowy slope.

Andy Sturdivant and Tom Williams of Eatonville grabbed their ice axes, took a seat and shoved off. Jack and Tara Mowreader of Puyallup and Kevin Bell of Bellevue – finishing a one-day climb that takes most people twice as long – were right behind them turning a 15-minute descent into a 90-second glissade.

This was late August, but wilderness ranger T.J. Broom says the route still has more snow than normal. The workers who dole out Mount Adams climbing information at the ranger station in Trout Lake say they’ve never seen a year like this in the 27 years they’ve lived in the area.

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Early coolness a predictor of snowy winter by Michelle Boss
Saturday, September 4th 2010, 10:05 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
My husband wants us to purchase a snowblower.

Normally, one wouldn’t be thinking about such purchases during the last month of summer, but a few events have pushed the idea to the forefront.

As I have mentioned in previous columns, the waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean have cooled, marking the beginnings of La Niña. I know I don’t have to remind anyone about the La Niña winters of 2007-’08 and 2008-’09.

Secondly, on the last day of August, numerous records were broken because of the unseasonably cold weather. High temperatures in the low 60s broke the record for “coldest high temperature” in both Wenatchee and Ephrata, Wash. At the Mullan Pass weather station (elevation 6,100 feet), the high was only 45 degrees! Spokane and Coeur d’Alene also saw afternoon temperatures around 15 degrees below normal, with highs only in the lower 60s.

Finally, a preview of winter weather came early at the summit of Big Mountain in Whitefish, Mont., (elevation 6,817 feet), which received three inches of snow last Sunday. Of course, incidents like these – and even La Niña conditions – don’t necessarily point to another record breaking winter season, but it’s likely that we’ll see above normal amounts of snow.

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Extreme La Niña brings illness and misery to Peru by Chrystelle Barbier
Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 10:31 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Mass of polar air also hangs over Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil

Dionisia was waiting her turn in the crowded medical centre, her baby bundled up on her back with a manta, the traditional multicoloured Andean cloth. "My son has got a problem with his lungs," explained the young mother, who believes that it is due to the cold spell that has hit Lima.

Dionisia lives in Manchay to the east of the Peruvian capital, a sprawl of plywood houses with makeshift roofs of corrugated iron, plastic or cardboard that offer little protection from the winds that sweep over the hills.

For the first time in 40 years, temperatures in Lima fell to 8.8C at the end of July. Since then they have hovered around 13-15C. Houses are poorly insulated in Lima, and according to Percy Mosca of the Peruvian department of meteorology and hydrology, "the cold is made worse by the unusually strong winds in the region, as well as high humidity of more than 80% and sometimes even 95%".
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Huge Snowfalls in the Swiss Alps, Argentina & New Zealand
Sunday, August 22nd 2010, 7:02 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Switzerland’s two open glacier ski areas have seen remarkable August snowfalls with Saas Fee reporting 45cm of new snow on Sunday, with more falling since, including another 5cm yesterday. Neighbouring Zermatt, the only area open 365 days and home to Europe’s highest lifts, reported healthy snowfalls too. Saas Fee describes current conditions as “packed powder” and has a 1.6m base with Terrain Park and half pipe open. Both resorts set off Powder Alarms on, triggered for snowfall of 20cm or more, obviously a rare event in August. Zermatt triggered another powder alarm on Tuesday with another 28cm of snow reported.

The heavy snowfall spilled over in to Italy where Zermatt’s Italian neighbour, Cervinia, received a 20cm fall. Val Senales has also been receiving more snow, with another 5cm on Tuesday, the latest of about 10 days of regular snowfalls there. It currently has a one metre base with Passo Stelvio also open.

In France, the glacier ski areas at Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both entering their last fortnight of summer operations. Les 2 Alpes has the better snow cover with a metre depth while Tignes has 30cm. Both areas received a little new snow at the weekend. The picture is a little less good in Austria where the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier remains closed for a second week due to warm temperatures and a diminished snowpack – down to 10cm on the glacier with temperatures above freezing still and rain falling. It’s a similar picture on the Dachstein glacier where the lifts are running but the downhill slopes and Terrain Park are closed – they report a 30cm base but that the snow is “wet”.
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1 Million Fish Dead in Bolivian Ecological Disaster
Saturday, August 7th 2010, 10:07 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Over 1 million fish and thousands of alligators, turtles, dolphins and other river wildlife are floating dead in numerous Bolivian rivers in the three eastern/southern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and Tarija. The extreme cold front that hit Bolivia in mid-July caused water temperatures to dip below the minimum temperatures river life can tolerate. As a consequence, rivers, lakes, lagoons and fisheries are brimming with decomposing fish and other creatures.

Unprecedented: Nothing like this has ever been seen in this magnitude in Bolivia. Inhabitants of riverside communities report the smell is nauseating and can be detected as far as a kilometer away from river banks. River communities, whose livelihoods depend on fishing, fear they'll run out of food and will have nothing to sell. Authorities are concerned there will be a shortage of fish in markets and are more concerned by possible threats to public health, especially in communities that also use river water for bathing and drinking, but also fear contaminated or decaying fish may end up in market stalls. They've begun a campaign to ensure market vendors and the public know how to tell the difference between fresh and unhealthy fish.

In university fish ponds and commercial fisheries the losses are also catastrophic.
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Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen
Thursday, August 5th 2010, 6:38 PM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
For a second day running it snowed Wednesday in Southern Brazil and in twelve of Argentina’s 24 provinces including parts of Buenos Aires as a consequence of the polar front covering most of the continent’s southern cone with zero and below zero temperatures.

Light snow storms in Brazil were concentrated in areas of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. O Globo network aired snow flakes falling in early morning, cars covered with a thin white coating and some roads dangerously slippery because of ice.

In Argentina the phenomenon extended to Northern provinces, geographically sub-tropical while in the Patagonia and along the Andes snow reached over a metre deep, isolating villages and causing yet undisclosed losses to crops and livestock.

The extreme cold weather is expected to peak Thursday dawn with below zero temperatures and even lower with the wind chill factor.

After a harsh weekend, Argentina’s National Weather Forecast Service announced the cold weather is expected to stay until Thursday although it could again reach a freezing peak over the coming week-end.
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Peru declares state of emergency amid plunging temperatures
Sunday, August 1st 2010, 6:48 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Hundreds die from extreme cold in remote mountain villages also struggling with severe poverty

Peru has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of children died from freezing conditions that have seen temperatures across much of the South American country plummet to a 50-year low. In 16 of Peru's 25 regions, temperatures have fallen below -24C.

Reports from the country say 409 people, most of them children, have already died from the cold, with temperatures predicted to fall further in coming weeks.

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D.C. record snow in 2010 not due to global warming
Friday, July 30th 2010, 6:59 PM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
article image
Top panel: Global surface temperature trends over the last 50 or so years, courtesy NOAA. Bottom panel: Snow at the Capitol this past winter. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.
Memories of the record-breaking cold and snowstorms of last winter, including Snowpocalypse, Snowmaggedon and Snoverkill, have probably faded, as eventually will be true of memories of the record-breaking heat this summer. Unless, that is, the extreme winter and summer weather prove to be just a preview of conditions that become the new normal as a consequence of global climate change. Should that prove the case, it might be hard to forget "the good ole days" when the extremes of winter/summer of 2009/2010 were the exception, not the rule.

How likely is that we're entering an age where extremes in weather become the new normal? Personally, I believe the weight of evidence viewed objectively points in that general direction, although there is much uncertainty about details of how, when, where and in what phenomena and parameters extremes will appear and have consequence in human affairs.

In regard to the snowstorms that affected the D.C. metro region and other mid-Atlantic and northeast coastal regions, a new study by a team of scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory argues that global warming was not involved. Rather, the study finds the anomalous winter was primarily the result of convergence of an exceptionally strong El Nino and unusually strong negative phase of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

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Freezing temperatures threaten thousands in Peru
Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 4:41 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Plan is providing emergency supplies to thousands of children and pregnant women in Peru who are suffering from a cold snap that has already caused the deaths of more than 200 people from pneumonia.

Temperatures have plummeted as low as -24C° in some areas, far below the average for July.

Plan programme units in Cusco and Lima have been badly affected, and the freezing weather has caused the Peruvian government to declare a state of emergency in 16 out of 24 regions of the country.

Thousands at risk
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Return of winter frosts threaten to kill off ‘vintage’ spring by John Bingham
Tuesday, May 11th 2010, 5:05 AM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A bout of unseasonably cold weather is threatening to cut short the most spectacular spring for Britain’s gardens in recent memory.

Gardeners are being warned to prepare for up to a week of unusually late frosts which threaten to kill off spring blooms.

It could spell an end to what horticulturalists had been hailing as a vintage spring after the effects of the winter “big freeze” caused many plants to burst into flower simultaneously.

Experts also warned gardeners and allotment enthusiasts to delay planting out tomatoes and other delicate fruit and vegetables, which would normally be safe to plant out in May, this year.

With overnight temperatures set to fall as low as 26F (-3C) in some parts of Scotland over the next few days, even milder areas in the south are being warned to prepare for over overnight lows close to freezing.

Daytime temperatures will also be unseasonably cold, with highs of between 50F (10C) and 59F (15C) expected, and the wintry conditions could last into next week, the Met Office warned.

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