Daily Archives: December 7, 2012

Norway House’s 3 feet of snow likely smashes record

norway
Norway House, Man. received between 60-90 cm of snow on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. (HANDOUT/Charlynn Scribe)

Winnipeg Sun | Dec 4, 2012

Up to 90 cm of snow fell in Norway House and Gods Lake Narrows Monday, likely a new Manitoba record for single-day snowfall.

The numbers aren’t official, but people have called in the 90 cm count — which Natalie Hasell, a warning preparedness meterologist with Environment Canada, says appears to beat out a 76.2 cm one-day snowfall in Dauphin for Manitoba’s record.

Regardless, it was a lot of snow.

“Snow drifts up to five and six feet tall — taller than the average person, here,” said Hasell.

Snow, Cold Weather Sweep Across Eastern Turkey

A wide band of central and northern Manitoba was hit, but other communities only saw one or two feet of snow at once —still enough to count for a record.

“Highways were closed up north — the idea that you have snow drifts that are six feet tall is quite amazing,” Hasell said.

To compare, the biggest one-day snowfall Norway House has on record was just 25.4 cm in 1975 — about a third of what fell Monday. Winnipeg beats that by a bit, with a one-day dump of 38.1 cm March 4, 1935.

Norway House has only ever recorded 96 cm of snow on the ground at one time.

“A snowfall for Norway House of 60-90 cm didn’t happen, for the period (we have recorded),” Hasell said. “These amounts of snow for a 24-hour period is really quite significant.”

People in the small community — an eight-hour drive north of Winnipeg — went a little further.

”It was crazy,” said Norway House business owner Sheryl Apetagon. “Everything was shut down. Everybody’s getting stuck all over.”

The clouds set in a few days ago, but on Monday the snow started falling hard, said town resident Florence Keam.

“Just lots and lots of snow,” she laughed. “It was unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like that. I mean, we’ve had storms before — but nothing that big.”

The school was closed, as were several businesses.

“Most of the trucks, the 4x4s, were getting around — that’s about it. But they had a hard time, too,” Keam said.

While the snow was falling, it was raining on Winnipeg.

More snow a-coming

Hasell says that more freezing rain — and more snow warnings — are coming, soon.

“The next low pressure is developing as we speak and it should be through Manitoba by tomorrow,” Hasell said.

“When we’re looking at these forecast amounts now, 10-20 cm — it’s not quite what we had over the last little while. But what this warning doesn’t tell you is if the wind’s just strong enough, it will be a risk of blowing snow,” she said.

Northern Manitoba will be hardest-hit, but the warning extends south to Tadoule Lake and Lac Brochet.

“So it’s not the end — it’s clearly an active season already.”

Hasell advised Manitobans planning on motoring in the next couple days to ensure they’ve packed an emergency kit.

Their warning this time was bang-on, but she advised telling people where and when you’re travelling, ensuring you have a cell phone charger, and visiting http://www.getprepared.gc.ca to get tips on packing for emergencies.

“Maybe they took the kit out this summer for camping gear and forgot to put it back in,” Hasell said. “Now is the time to remember!”

Snow kidding

Unofficial snowfall totals for Monday, Dec. 3, 2012:

  • Norway House 60-90 cm
  • Gods Lake Narrows 60-90 cm
  • Island Lake 60 cm
  • Oxford House 45 cm
  • Cross Lake 30-40 cm
  • Gillam 35 cm
  • Grand Rapids 30 cm
  • The Pas 30 cm
  • Mafeking 23 cm

Top 10 snowfall records:

  1. 76.2 cm in Dauphin on Nov. 18, 1906
  2. 76 cm in Virden on April 19, 1992
  3. 71.1 cm in Minnedosa on Feb. 12, 1938
  4. 70 cm in Dugald on Feb. 4, 1984
  5. 66 cm in Gretna on Jan. 21, 1899
  6. 65.5 cm in Deerwood, March 14, 1971
  7. 65 cm in Rivers, Feb. 26, 1969
  8. 63.5 cm in Souris, Feb. 26, 1969
  9. 61 cm in York Factory on April 27, 1914
  10. 61 cm in Minnedosa, April 15, 1924

Three of northern Manitoba’s biggest snowfalls:

  • Thompson: 45.7 cm on Oct. 6, 1970
  • Flin Flon: 39.4 cm on April 29, 1973
  • The Pas: 39.3 cm on March 21, 1962

— Source: Environment Canada

Connecting the Global Cooling Dots

themoralliberal.com | Dec 3, 2012

By Alan Caruba

Winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21, but winter has a mind of its own as does all of nature. While the United Nations charlatans gathered in Doha, Qatar to try to save its global warming hoax by first calling it “climate change” and then by fashioning a funding mechanism to transfer the wealth of developed countries to those who are not, winter has arrived “early” around the world.

That might just have something to do with the cooling cycle that has been active for the past sixteen years, “inconveniently” blowing a big hole in the global warming lies we’ve been hearing and reading since the late 1980s.

From IceAgeNow.info, a site by Robert W. Felix, the author of a book about ice ages (the Earth has been through quite a few in its 4.5 billion years), here are some recent news stories:

On December 1, “Heavy snowfall severs Russia” told of “Hundreds of drivers (who) were caught by surprise in a 40km traffic jam after an unexpected snowfall and heavy winds.”

On November 30, “Finland snowstorm causes blackouts” reported that “Tens of thousands of households were without electricity on Friday as the result of a storm that dumped heavy snow across southern Finland and sent winds gusting up to 27 meters per second, felling trees and downing power lines.” That same day, across the former land bridge between Russia and North America, “Fairbanks – Coldest back-to-back November on record” was a news item what reported “The mercury hit 30 below for the first time this winter at Fairbanks International Airport…”

On November 29, the news was about a “Severe snow storm hits northern Japan” during which it was “blasted by an intense snow storm causing widespread havoc to residents of Hokkaido and Northern Honshu.”

On November 28, “Snowfall paralyzes life in China” was the headline of a report that “China has experienced the biggest snowfall in 52 years. Snow caused power outages in 57 villages, brought down thousands of trees and killed numerous domestic animals. Temperatures fell by as much as 14 degrees below zero in some areas.”

You don’t have to be a meteorologist to connect the dots. It is getting colder in the northern hemisphere of the world. To those who would dismiss this, saying that Russia has always been famous for its winters, that is the equivalent of whistling past the graveyard.

Full Article

Ice sheet melt massively overestimated, satellites show

The possible acceleration in ice losses is barely perceptible: it may not really be happening at all.

New science upsets calculations on sea level rise, climate change

theregister.co.uk | Nov 28, 2012

By Lewis Page

A new analysis of data from dedicated satellites shows that one of the main factors predicted to drive rising sea levels in future has been seriously overestimated, with major implications for climate talks currently underway in Doha.

The new methods involve filtering out noise from the data produced by the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) spacecraft, sent into orbit with the aim of finding out just how much ice is melting from the world’s ice sheets and glaciers. Such water then runs off into the sea, providing one of the main potential drivers of sea level rise – which is itself perhaps the main reason to worry about climate change.

“GRACE data contain a lot of signals and a lot of noise. Our technique learns enough about the noise to effectively recover the signal, and at much finer spatial scales than was possible before,” explains professor Frederik Simons of Princeton uni. “We can ‘see through’ the noise and recover the ‘true’ geophysical information contained in these data. We can now revisit GRACE data related to areas such as river basins and irrigation and soil moisture, not just ice sheets.”

Hudson Bay ice extent growing like crazy

Simons and his colleague Christopher Harig tried their new methods out on GRACE data covering the Greenland ice sheet, which is of particular interest as the rest of the Arctic ice cap floats on the sea and so cannot contribute directly to sea level rise by melting. Meanwhile the Antarctic ice cap is actually getting bigger, so Greenland is probably the major worry.

According to a Princeton statement highlighting the new research:

While overall ice loss on Greenland consistently increased between 2003 and 2010, Harig and Simons found that it was in fact very patchy from region to region.

In addition, the enhanced detail of where and how much ice melted allowed the researchers to estimate that the annual acceleration in ice loss is much lower than previous research has suggested, roughly increasing by 8 billion tons every year. Previous estimates were as high as 30 billion tons more per year.

The rate of loss of ice from Greenland is estimated at 199.72 plus-or-minus 6.28 gigatonnes per year. So the possible acceleration of losses is only barely larger than the margin of error in the readings: it’s very difficult to tell the supposed loss curve from a straight line.

In other words the possible acceleration in ice losses is barely perceptible: it may not really be happening at all. Similar results were seen not long ago in GRACE data for central Asian mountain glaciers, another suggested source for sea-level rises.

If the Greenland ice losses aren’t accelerating, there’s no real reason to worry about them. According to the Princeton statement:

At current melt rates, the Greenland ice sheet would take about 13,000 years to melt completely, which would result in a global sea-level rise of more than 21 feet (6.5 meters).

Put another way, in that scenario we would be looking at 5cm of sea level rise from Greenland by the year 2130: a paltry amount. Authoritative recent research drawing together all possible causes of sea level rise bears this out, suggesting maximum possible rise in the worst case by 2100 will be 30cm. More probably it will be less, and there will hardly be any difference between the 20th and 21st centuries in sea level terms.

The new GRACE research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Details of the computer code can be found here.

Latest peer-reviewed studies, data & analyses undermine claims that current weather is ‘unprecedented’ a ‘new normal’

New Report: ‘Extreme Weather Report 2012’: ‘Latest peer-reviewed studies, data & analyses undermine claims that current weather is ‘unprecedented’ or a ‘new normal’  

Climate Depot’s New 35-Page Report: ‘Current weather is neither historically unprecedented, nor unusual’ — ‘Extreme weather events are ever present, and there is no evidence of systematic increases’

Presented at UN Climate Conference in Doha, Qatar on Dec. 6, 2012

Climate Depot | Dec 6, 2012

By Marc Morano

Full 35-page PDF report available here.

INTRODUCTION

The man-made global warming movement has officially shifted from runaway global warming fears over to extreme weather fears. This strategic shift has been in the works for years as global average temperatures have stalled by up to 16 years. First there was a transition from “global warming” to “climate change” and now to “global climate disruption.” Some have suggested “global weirding” others have suggested a “new normal.”

At the opening of the 18 annual United Nations climate summit being held in Doha, Qatar, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, urged governments around the world to “do something about” extreme weather. “We have had severe climate and weather events all over the world and everyone is beginning to understand that is exactly the future we are going to be looking about if they don’t do something about it,” Figueres explained at the opening of the annual UN climate summit.

In June of this year, Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman (Ca) blamed CO2 for wildfires in Colorado and floods in Florida. “It’s time to stop denying science. Extreme events like the wildfires in Colorado and the floods in Florida are going to get worse unless Republican-controlled Congress changes course soon,” Waxman explained.

Global warming proponents claimed that 2012 was a ‘new normal’ in climate with “unprecedented” weather events. Former Vice President Al Gore summed up this view when he wrote: “Every night on the news now, practically, is like a nature hike through the book of Revelations.

Sen Boxer (D-Calif), the chair of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee declared: “Hurricane Sandy has shown us all what the scientists sitting right in this room said the day I got the gavel, & they told us exactly what would happen and it’s all happening.”

 

But the latest peer-reviewed studies, data and analyses undermine claims that the weather is more “extreme” or “unprecedented.” On every key measure, claims of extreme weather in our current climate fail to hold up to scrutiny.

Deaths due to extreme weather are radically declining, global tropical cyclone activity is near historic lows, the frequency of major U.S. hurricanes has declined, tornados have dramatically declined since the 1950s, droughts are not historically unusual nor caused by mankind, there is no evidence we are currently having unusual weather.

· Hurricanes: Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.: ‘Remarkably, the U.S. is currently experiencing the longest-ever recorded period with no strikes of a Category 3 or stronger hurricane

Professor of Environmental Studies Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado, summed up the latest science on weather extremes. : “There is no evidence that disasters are getting worse because of climate change,” he wrote. “There’s really no evidence that we’re in the midst of an extreme weather era – whether man has influenced climate or not,” Pielke added.

Full Article

 

Monckton evicted from UN climate summit after challenging global warming

Monckton to UN: ‘In the 16 years we have been coming to these conferences, there has been no global warming’

Calls to ‘deport Monckton’ from UN conference in Qatar

Inhofe, Monckton crash U.N. talks with gusto

eenews.net | Dec 6, 2012

by Jean Chemnick

Lord Christopher Monckton attends the 18th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in his guise as "Monckton of Arabia." Earlier in the week he rode a camel with, he said, "indifferent success." Photo courtesy of CFACT.

Lord Christopher Monckton attends the 18th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in his guise as “Monckton of Arabia.” Earlier in the week he rode a camel with, he said, “indifferent success.” Photo courtesy of CFACT.

DOHA, Qatar — Delegates at the U.N. climate talks here who have complained about President Obama dragging his feet on everything from emissions reduction to aid for poor countries got an earful today from an American who maintains Obama has done far too much on climate change.

“Over the past decade, I have been leading the charge in Washington to make sure the global warming hoax is exposed,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in a video address shown at a side event hosted by the skeptic group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Also appearing was Lord Christopher Monckton, another celebrity among climate skeptics.

Inhofe introduced himself as the “chief critic of President Obama’s far-left green agenda,” which drew laughs from some in attendance.

The top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Inhofe has visited previous rounds of the climate talks, serving, in his words, as a “one-man truth squad.” His prediction at the Copenhagen, Denmark, talks three years ago that Democrats would fumble cap-and-trade legislation proved true, though the Obama administration is moving ahead with greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act.

The United States has failed to act quickly enough in the views of many delegates and participants here. The air regulations and other steps the country is taking might let it meet its Copenhagen commitment of a 17 percent emissions reduction by 2020, they say, but they won’t be enough to avoid the worst effects of man-made climate change.

Speaking on a panel immediately after the CFACT event, China’s head of delegation Xie Zhenhua dismissed as “inadequate” both the U.S. emissions pledge and its offer of financing for poor countries’ adaptation and carbon reduction projects.

U.S. negotiator Todd Stern’s statement this week that America would at least hold steady at its current rate of climate-related giving was jeered by poor countries whose delegates said the United States should ramp up from the $7.5 billion it gave between 2010 and 2012.

Inhofe disagrees. He criticized Obama for helping to broker a deal in Copenhagen in which industrial nations pledged to donate $100 billion a year by the end of this decade to help poor countries cope with climate change. He called it a “slush fund.”

“While he has been racking up huge deficits and talking up tax increases, the president has already sent billions of American taxpayer dollars to the United Nations — and he’s managed to do it quietly so that no one will notice,” Inhofe said.

Some of that money appeared to be allowing delegates to live it up each year at meetings in exotic locales, he said, and he advised his comrades from CFACT to get in on the party.

“Remember, the worst crisis that happened in Copenhagen was that they ran out of caviar, so get some good stuff before it’s gone!” he said.

There has been little caviar in evidence at this year’s event. Qatar’s emir did throw a dinner party earlier this week for the lucky elite, but most attendees have been subsisting on soggy tomato sandwiches and weak coffee from the “Grab and Go.”
Monckton dons desert garb, promotes his paper

While Congress’ lame-duck legislative session prevented Inhofe from coming to Doha, Monckton has been in attendance all week to talk with delegates and promote a new study that he says shows there has been no temperature rise for 16 years.

Acting to curb emissions, he said, would be costlier than adapting to climate change after it happens, if it happens.

Earlier this week, Monckton sported a traditional Qatari white robe and gutra, or traditional headdress, given to him by his host — an unidentified local businessman — at dinner one night.

He said in a brief interview before the CFACT event that the desert clothes were “eminently comfortable” and that his host had been impressed he had made use of them.

“But of course, the downside is you look a bit of a twerp,” he said.

Monckton, who’s a British politician and former newspaper editor, said he had encountered considerable push-back from attendees when he attempted to share his findings that man-made climate change doesn’t exist and that there has been no warming of any kind for more than a decade.

His findings conflict with the research of almost every national scientific organization, the World Bank and numerous other institutions.

“It’s beginning to be a bit of a hard sell to the public that they need to have the largest tax in history imposed upon them in the name of saving a planet that was triumphantly saved 2,000 years ago and doesn’t need to be saved again,” he said, in an apparent reference to Christ.

The governing class, he said, is in cahoots with grant-seeking scientists in “clinging by its fingernails to these exotic stupidities,” out of fear that they would be seen to be wrong and lose credibility.

Monckton waved away the notion that his study is less valid than those conducted by degree-bearing scientists from relevant fields, most of which have supported the idea of man-made climate change.

He says his study relies on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on likely temperature rise this century and former World Bank economist Lord Nicholas Stern’s data on the cost of that rise, even though he said, “I don’t believe either of those.”

The Monckton paper then considers a “standard appraisal” of the cost of carbon mitigation and concludes that it is nearly 50 times as expensive to stop climate change as to adapt to it.

His conclusion: “Even if there were as big a problem as the usual subjects would like us to believe, it would still be an order of magnitude more cost effective and less expensive to spend not a single red cent on any climate change related activity at all today, and instead to direct resources in a focused way toward adaptation in the future.”

Last year, he and a few like-minded companions jumped out of a plane to gain publicity for their point of view, but the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley found a safer way to make waves this conference.
Monckton gets evicted

After the news conference, and as diplomats gathered for the climate conference president’s assessment of how close countries are to agreement, Monckton quietly slipped into the seat reserved for the delegation of Myanmar and clicked the button to speak.

“In the 16 years we have been coming to these conferences, there has been no global warming,” Monckton said as confused murmurs filled the hall and then turned into a chorus of boos.

The stunt infuriated negotiators and activists here who gather every year to address what they believe is one of the world’s top threats, the steady rise of man-made global warming.

As Monckton was escorted from the hall and security officers stripped him of his U.N. credentials, several people noted that just a few hours earlier a group of young activists had been thrown out of the convention center and deported. Their crime: unfurling an unauthorized banner calling for the Qatari hosts to lead the negotiations to a strong conclusion.

By late today, several activists attending the conference had posted calls to “deport Monckton” on their Twitter feeds.

. . .

From Climate Depot

Related links on 16 year global warming pause:

UK Daily Mail: ‘Global warming stopped 16 years ago’ according to UK Met Office ‘quietly released’ report — ‘Pause’ in warming lasted about same time as when temps rose, 1980 to 1996′

‘The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land & sea, was issued quietly on internet, without any media fanfare, & , until today, it has not been reported. This stands in sharp contrast to release of previous figures 6 months ago, which went only to end of 2010 – a very warm year…From beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temps.’

UK Daily Mail: ‘Claim that there has been any statistically significant warming for past 16 years is therefore unsustainable’ — Reaffirms ‘a 16-year ‘pause’ in rising temps’

‘Two new separate peer-reviewed studies, published in prestigious academic journals last week [challenged ‘Hockey Stick’] — ‘The level of warmth during the peak of the MWP in the second half of the 10th Century, equaled or slightly exceeded the mid-20th Century warming.’ There was also a pronounced warming period in Roman times’

Flashback 2011: A PNAS peer-reviewed admission that ‘global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008’

Prof. Judith Curry on 16 year global temps: ‘ Nothing in Met Office’s statement…effectively refutes [UK Daily Mail] Rose’s argument that there has been no increase in global avg. surface temps for past 16 years’

Curry defends UK Daily Mail article: ‘How does this refute Rose’s argument? No statistically significant positive trend, and it makes it look like [warmist Skeptical Science] hasn’t done their homework with the latest data’

Prof. Curry: ‘I think Rose’s 2nd article is well done. He lays out arguments the other ‘side’ is making, & provides his response. It is a reasonable portrayal of debate surrounding this issue’

Judith Curry: ‘The trend since 1997 is very small, much smaller than the decadal trend of 0.2C that we have been led to expect by the IPCC for the early part of the 21st century…’

Analysis on 16 year ‘pause’ in global wamring: ‘Regarding the significance of the period from 1997, recall that Dr. Ben Santer claimed 17 years was the period needed’

‘They find that tropospheric temperature records must be at least 17 years long to discriminate between internal climate noise and the signal of human-caused changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere.’ — MIT Professor Richard Lindzen said something similar in a WUWT guest post: ‘There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995.’

Lüning/Vahrenholt On HadCRUT’s 16 Years Of No Warming: ‘Tough Times Ahead For Climate Science’ — ‘It turns out that everything that had been suspected was confirmed’

‘This is a completely unexpected development when one considers how all the boldly confident forecasts from the IPCC predicted more warming. The release of new HadCRUT figures occurred almost in absolute silence, without any media buzz whatsoever…One really has got to wonder that Jones has suddenly extended his personal threshold of pain to 20 years, and now claims that phases of no warming 15-16 years long had always been expected.’

Prof. Judith Curry: ‘The data confirms existence of a ‘pause’ in warming’: ‘The natural variability has been shown over past 2 decades to have a magnitude that dominates greenhouse warming signal’

Curry: ‘It is becoming increasingly apparent that our attribution of warming since 1980 and future projections of climate change needs to consider natural internal variability as a factor of fundamental importance. I sincerely hope that the AR5 provides an assessment of what we know and what we don’t know and areas of disagreement, rather than trying to manufacture a consensus.’

New Phil Jones quote: ‘We don’t know what natural variability is doing’ — ‘We don’t fully understand how to input things like changes in the oceans’

‘…and because we don’t fully understand it you could say that natural variability is now working to suppress the warming. We don’t know what natural variability is doing..’

Climategate’s Phil Jones ‘insisted that 15 or 16 years is not a significant period: pauses of such length had always been expected, he said’ in 2012

‘Yet in 2009, when the [temperature] plateau was already becoming apparent and being discussed by scientists, Jones told a colleague in one of the Climategate emails: ‘Bottom line: the ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.’ — ‘In other words, though 5 years ago he seemed to be saying that 15 years without warming would make him ‘worried’, that period has now become 20 years’

Flashback 2009: Prof. Pielke Jr.: ‘Kudos to NOAA for being among the first to explicitly state what sort of observation would be inconsistent with model predictions — 15 years of no warming’

‘The UK Met Office says world has warmed by 0.03 deg C per decade since 1997…But what the Met Office doesn’t say is that this is statistically insignificant’

‘There is no case to be made for a statistically significant increase in global temperatures as given in the Hadcrut4 dataset between 1997 and August 2012. The Met Office says the 15-year standstill is not unusual. This is true but again the Met Office is being economical with the truth’

NOAA’s ’15 year statement’ from 2008 puts a kibosh on the current Met Office ‘insignificance’ claims that global warming flatlined for 16 years

‘Yet, today, we see evidence of the goalposts being moved again as the Met Office tries to paint this lack of warming ‘plateau’ as being insignificant…So we are at 16 years, soon to be 17 years. What happens when we hit 20 years? Either the models are worth something or they aren’t. In this case it seems they aren’t’

UK Met Office: CO2 causes warming; other factors cause cooling — ‘We have known for some time that [multi-decadal oceanic cycles] may act to slow down or accelerate observed warming trend’

‘We also know that changes in the surface temperature occur not just due to internal variability, but are also influenced by ‘external forcings’, such as changes in solar activity, volcanic eruptions or aerosol emissions. Combined, several of these factors could account for some or all of the reduced warming trend seen over the last decade – but this is an area of ongoing research’

Analysis: Global Warming Standstill Confirmed:

‘There is now no consistent increase in temperature seen in this data. The data, displayed this way, reveals that far from showing a steady underlying rate of warming the global temperature has had two standstills, with curiously, the 1998 super El Nino delineating them.’

Moscow sees heaviest November snow in 50 years; wintry in Germany, central Europe

washingtonpost.com | Nov 29, 2012

By Justin Grieser


Motorists stand in traffic jam during a snowfall on the Moscow ring road, in Russia, 29 November 2012. (SERGEI ILNITSKY – EPA)

A major snowstorm has brought Moscow to a standstill, disrupting road and air travel in a city that’s no stranger to harsh wintry weather.

The Associated Press reports that over 8 inches (27 cm) of snow fell in the Russian capital in the past 24 hours. That’s half of the city’s typical November snowfall. Moscow’s city hall has called it the biggest November snowstorm in half a century, and local forecasters expect the snow to continue into Friday.

European media outlets have said Moscow could see snow totals of up to 22” (55 cm) by the end of this week.

In the wake of massive traffic jams, authorities in Moscow are encouraging residents to stay off the roads and use public transportation. Relief agencies are also distributing warm clothes and hot tea to the city’s homeless after last year’s frigid winter claimed 100 lives in the Russian metropolis. High temperatures remained 3-4 degrees below freezing on Thursday, with only a slight warm-up forecast through the start of the weekend.


Weather simulation shows Moscow sandwiched between low pressure to the west and high pressure to the east with precipitation falling in this convergence zone. (WeatherBell.com)

Wintry conditions have also extended westward into central Europe. In central and southern Germany, icy road conditions led to multiple accidents, including one death. Spiegel Online reports more than 10” (27 cm) of fresh snow fell atop the Feldberg in the Black Forest. Freezing temperatures and heavy snow also affected the Swiss and Austrian Alps – though such conditions are hardly unusual there for this time of year.

This week’s winter onset comes after much of central Europe experienced an otherwise warm November. The German National Weather Service reports that temperatures this month have averaged about 1.5 degrees (F) above normal.

Responsible for the winter conditions is low pressure system “Heike,” which carried Mediterranean moisture into cold air centered over Eastern Europe.

Video: Moscow experienced its heaviest November snowfall in 50 years on Thursday, disrupting flights in and out of the Russian capital and bringing havoc to the streets.

See below for photos of snow across Russia and Germany:


People walk across the Red square during snowfall in Moscow, Russia. (YURI KOCHETKOV – EPA)


A bulldozer removes snow in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, early Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (Alexander Zemlianichenko – AP)


A municipal worker uses a snow blower to remove snow from a road in a park in Moscow, on November 29, 2012. Muscovites woke up today to a blanket of snow covering the Russian capital. (ANDREY SMIRNOV – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


Honour guards march at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall during a heavy snowfall in central Moscow, November 29, 2012. (SERGEI KARPUKHIN – REUTERS)


Honour guards march at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall during a heavy snowfall in central Moscow, November 29, 2012. (SERGEI KARPUKHIN – REUTERS)


People walk in a snow covered park in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (Misha Japaridze – AP)


A souvenirs vendor shelters under her stall canopy during snowfall in center Moscow, Russia, 29 November 2012. (YURI KOCHETKOV – EPA)


A bench is covered by snow in Oberfrauendorf, eastern Germany on November 29, 2012. (ARNO BURGI – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


A car drives carefully on a street covered with snow in Oberfrauendorf, Germany, 29 November 2012. (ARNO BURGI – EPA)


An ambulance car stands next to a truck slipped from the snowy road in Hinterzarten, southern Germany, on November 29, 2012 (PATRICK SEEGER – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Moscow faces coldest winter in decades “like in the good old times”

moscow
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vyatkin

themoscownews.com | Dec 6, 2012

by Alina Lobzina

Muscovites are to brace for the coldest winter in 20 years, a weather forecast service warned on Wednesday.

“It will be like in the good old times – snowy and frosty, with no deviations,” a representative of the Fobos weather center told RIA Novosti.

Winter seasons when Muscovites wade through the rain and slush are not typical for Moscow’s climate, the expert said. This time temperatures are to stay within the norm, he added.

Moscow’s coldest winter was registered in 1940 when the temperature plunged to -42 degrees Celsius in January. The warmest winter was in 2008, when in December thermometers showed almost +10 degrees Celsius.

Petitions for Missouri secession continue to gather signatures

Residents of Missouri, other states sign petitions for secession

stltoday.com | Dec 6, 2012

By Elizabeth Crisp

msThe number of people who want Missouri to leave the union has grown considerably since we first reported about online pro-secession petitions last month.

But the Show-Me State has yet to meet the threshold required to get an official response from the White House.

Of the two petitions filed on behalf of Missouri, the one with the most signatures is about 4,450 shy of the 25,000 names needed by next Monday’s deadline.

There’s really no chance that the signature gathering will result in secession because the petitions created through the White House’s “We the People” program carry no legal weight and the Constitution doesn’t allow secession.

But a little issue like legality hasn’t stopped people in all 50 states from pushing the petition effort. Those advocating secession have drawn a lot of attention since President Barack Obama won a second term in office last month, and the petitions have garnered nearly a million signatures as of last week.

Missouri’s petition was created by a person identified on the site as “Andrew J” of St. Louis.

Signatures from people who say they are Missouri residents, as well as those from residents of other states, have continued to trickle in this week, but the pace has slowed since the petition first gained attention.

Anti-gun Illinois state senator caught with a gun at O’Hare International

examiner.com | Dec 6, 2012

By Dave Workman

CCRKBA's Alan Gottlieb blistered the hypocrisy of an anti-gun Illinois state senator who was arrested Wednesday at O'Hare airport for having a gun and ammunition in his carry-on bag.

Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter (Center): CCRKBA’s Alan Gottlieb blistered the hypocrisy of an anti-gun Illinois state senator who was arrested Wednesday at O’Hare airport for having a gun and ammunition in his carry-on bag.

Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter, the South Chicago Democrat who was arrested at O’Hare International Airport Wednesday for having a gun and ammunition in his carry-on bag, was to be in court today for a bail hearing, which ought to double for his resignation announcement.

Trotter came under scathing criticism yesterday from the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for his gross hypocrisy. During his freshman term as a state representative, he pushed the Prairie State’s first legislation aimed at banning so-called “assault weapons.”

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb heard about Trotter’s misadventure ironically as he was at Seatac Airport, waiting to board an airplane for a meeting in San Francisco. After that momentary jaw-drop and eye-roll that usually accompanies hearing about something like this for the first time, he issued a statement that summed things up pretty well.

Despite Arrest, State Senator Still Running to Replace Jesse Jackson Jr.

Senator Donne Trotter, Gun Control Advocate, Arrested for Attempting to Board Plane with a Weapon

“A man who favored banning firearms for thousands of his fellow Illinois residents shouldn’t even have a gun, much less be packing one illegally into an airport,” Gottlieb observed.

He said the incident “demonstrated the monumental hypocrisy of gun control advocates who try to disarm average citizens while reserving the right to bear arms for themselves alone.” Gottlieb has flown with firearms, as has this columnist. It’s not that difficult if one follows the rules.

Trotter, until yesterday at least, was a front runner to succeed Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. Jackson quit Congress recently after revelations about personal problems dogged him for several months. The anti-gun South Side Democrat was carrying a .25-caliber Beretta pistol and a loaded magazine in his bag. He reportedly told authorities that he had packed after working the night before as a security guard.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Trotter is employed as a security guard, which seems kind of an odd occupation for a man who was once senior administrator at Cook County Hospital and deputy director of the Cook County Board of Public Health.

Gottlieb gives Trotter no slack, however. He said Trotter should not even be serving in the state legislature, much less be running for a seat in Congress. The incident at O’Hare, he said, “underscores just how pathetic the anti-gun philosophy has gotten.”

Trotter isn’t the only anti-gun hypocrite. The landscape is full of them. Given enough time, they land in the spotlight.

TSA agent busted in sting, accused of stealing iPads

ipad tsa
Sean Henry: One bad apple in a bushel barrel of rotten fruit

examiner.com | Dec 7, 2012

By Howard Portnoy

Several weeks ago, it was noted in this space that a cargo handler at New York’s busy John F. Kennedy International Airport was nabbed after stealing a shipment of iPads valued at $1.9 million.

On Thursday ABC News reported that a second theft of the popular electronic devices had occurred at JFK. This time, the thief attempted to abscond with just two iPads. The combined value of the stolen merchandise was estimated at between $800 and $1,000.

Yet, in one respect, the more recent crime was the more heinous. Why? Because the perpetrator, 32-year-old Sean Henry, was an officer of the Transportation Security Administration. He is entrusted with providing “security and protection” for “air travelers.” His job description does not mention pocketing their belongings when the items are momentarily out of their sight.

A TSA agent at Florida Airport was arrested for stealing more than $50,000 worth of electronics from passenger luggage over the past six months.
TSA agent arrested for stealing passengers’ iPads

The larger problem is that Sean Henry is just one bad apple in a bushel barrel of rotten fruit. Back in March, it was revealed that Kennedy Airport is the scene of 200 thefts each day! Kenneth Mollins, a JFK security attorney, commented that “the belly of the airplane has become like a flea market for airport employees. They go in there and go through all the luggage unencumbered, unchecked.”

Only a small fraction of these crimes are committed by TSA employees. ABC News conducted an investigation in September and determined that 381 TSA officers had been fired for theft between 2003 and 2012. Eleven of those firings have occurred this year.

Yet one TSA theft is one too many. It violates an implied covenant between the U.S. government and its citizens.

ABC quotes TSA spokesman David Castelveter as saying that the agency has “taken the steps to begin processing [Henry] for termination” and that it “holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace.”

That’s all very reassuring, but when is the Department of Homeland Security, of which the TSA is a wing, going to start taking steps to better screen its screeners at the hiring phase? That the agency has implemented a sting operation to ferret out the crooks in its ranks is all to the good. That they are squandering taxpayer money to carry out this covert operation instead of nipping the problem in the bud is not.