Category Archives: Global Warming Hoax

Winter storm pummels central US; most snow in Wichita in a generation

Near white out conditions, thunder snow and strong winds swept into the Midwest, bringing transportation to a halt in several states. And in the South, a wintry mix of rain, snow and sleet created dangerous icy conditions. The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel reports.

NBC News | feb 21, 2013

By Erin McClam and Matthew DeLuca

Lumbering coast to coast, a winter storm hammered the Great Plains on Thursday, and more than a dozen more states were forecast to be hit in coming days.

Accidents were reported across the region, with one death: an Oklahoma teenager who was killed when his pickup truck skidded across a slushy road.

By evening, more than 14 inches of snow had fallen on the ground in Wichita, Kan., the second largest on record and the most the city had seen in 50 years.

The Weather Channel said snow totals would be formidable: Up to a foot of snow for Omaha, Neb., 3 to 6 inches of snow and sleet for St. Louis, 8 to 12 inches of snow for Kansas City, Mo., and 3 to 6 inches of snow for Chicago.

Kansas and Missouri declared states of emergency as plows struggled to keep up with a system dumping as much as 3 inches of snow per hour, and a swath of the country from Ohio to Arkansas prepared for a coating of dangerous ice.

Full coverage from

“I do want to urge everybody in the state: If you don’t have to travel, don’t,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said. “Get out a board game, play with the kids, drink a cup of coffee.”

United, Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, American Airlines and American Eagle said they had canceled hundreds of flights for Thursday and Friday, and Kansas City International Airport was closed altogether. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has already cancelled more 200 flights scheduled for Friday.

Raymore, Mo., reported more than 10 inches of snow. Topeka, Kan., had 9.2 inches, the most in a day since January 1993. Alva, Okla., had more than a foot on the ground.

Advisories for snow, ice, wind or rain were posted as far south as the Texas Panhandle, as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin and as far east as the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Authorities closed a 90-mile stretch of Interstate 70, which forms a belt across Kansas and Missouri.

The speed of the snowfall is “going to be overwhelming even the best snow-clearing capabilities that they have,” meteorologist Tom Niziol said on The Weather Channel. “If you don’t have anywhere to go, don’t. Please don’t.”

PhotoBlog: Winter whiteout slams central U.S.

Along the Kansas-Nebraska state line, up to a foot and a half of snow was expected.

The University of Kansas closed for the day, as did schools in Wichita and Oklahoma City.

The storm is vast: Earlier this week, it closed roads and stranded cars in California and dusted cactus tops in Southwest. At a delayed tournament in Arizona, pro golfers threw snowballs at each other and retreated to the clubhouse for hot chocolate.

The same weather system could dump snow on New England for the third weekend in a row, and a stretch of Georgia and the Florida Panhandle could be doused by 7 inches of rain.

The storm was blamed for at least one death. An 18-year-old was killed Wednesday when his pickup skidded out of control in the slush on an Oklahoma state highway, crossed into oncoming traffic and was hit by a truck.

In Arkansas, a school bus taking kids home in the afternoon slid off a steep, snowy country road and crashed, leaving the driver and three students with minor injuries, Pope County Sheriff Aaron Duval told The Associated Press.

The storm was expected to pummel the Plains with heavy snow and ice for the rest of Thursday and move toward Chicago and Minneapolis on Friday.

A wintry mix of snow and ice was likely to come in the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains, including parts of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, by Friday morning, The Weather Channel reported.

BBC deletes unsubstantiated claim that Africa is 3.5C hotter from documentary

Sir David Attenborough filming opening Of Africa Series, Northern Kenya
Sir David Attenborough filming opening Of Africa Series in northern Kenya. Photograph: David Chancellor/BBC

BBC removes climate claim from repeated final Africa episode

Part of Sir David Attenborough’s narration is cut after an earlier assertion that the continent was warming by 3.5C | Feb 11, 2013

The BBC removed part of Sir David Attenborough’s narration in the final episode of its flagship nature documentary Africa after it acknowledged it contained a mistaken claim about climate change.

In the original episode first broadcast last Wednesday, Attenborough said: “Some parts of the continent have become 3.5C hotter in the past 20 years.”

But following further scrutiny of this claim by the Guardian, it transpired that the ultimate source of the claim could not be readily verified.

A climatologist told the Guardian that the claim could not be substantiated. “Our data does not support the claim of 3.5C warming in the last 20 years in some regions of Africa,” said Dr Tim Osborn at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

The BBC took the decision on Saturday to re-edit the episode for its repeat showing, as well as remove the original broadcast from its iPlayer online catch-up service. In the edited episode, Attenborough’s words were replaced with a lengthened musical score.

In a statement issued to the Guardian, the BBC said: “There is widespread acknowledgement within the scientific community that the climate of Africa has been changing as stated in the programme. We accept the evidence for 3.5C increase is disputable and the commentary should have reflected that, therefore that line has been removed from Sunday’s repeat and the iPlayer version replaced.”

The BBC also acknowledged that Attenborough had not researched the claim himself. It has been placed in his script by the programme’s production team.

In 2011, the BBC was forced to defend itself after it was accused of misleading viewers in its Attenborough-narrated Frozen Planet series when it used footage of newborn polar bear cubs shot at a wildlife centre in the Netherlands rather than in the Arctic. As the viewers were shown the cubs in a den, Attenborough said: “But on leeside slopes, beneath the snow, new lives are beginning.”

Following criticism, the BBC said the narration had been deliberately “very general”, so viewers would not assume it referred to the specific cubs.

Record low temperatures make January coldest month since 1949 | Feb 10, 2013

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue

SALT LAKE CITY  — Utah’s mountains are picking up some much needed snow from a slow-moving storm that is expected to linger into Sunday.

The storm chased away an inversion that had been hanging over the Wasatch Front and is covering up the mounds of snow that had turned gray and dirty from roadway traffic.

Winter storm warnings or winter weather advisories remain in effect for the northern half of the state, where the mountains are expected to get a foot to 20 inches of new snow.

Valley accumulations along the Wasatch Front could reach 6 inches in some locations by the end of tonight, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

The on-again off-again snow storm had already dropped some valley snow that managed to stick by late Saturday.

Roy in Weber County picked up 2 inches of new snow, Brigham City received 3.4 inches  and Alpine in Utah County saw 3 inches. The Utah Test and Training Range was hit with 10 inches of snow as of 5 p.m. Saturday, and Powder Mountain ski area had 8 inches of new powder.

In the Salt Lake City area, the storm’s performance was less impressive. Sandy had just a skiff over an inch of snow and the Salt Lake International Airport had picked up a little more than an inch and a half of new snow.

That dismal showing at the airport is probably just fine for workers who have to clear runways and deal with a storm’s aftermath. In January, the airport had a staggering 190 percent of average snow accumulation, according to Brian McInerney, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

City Creek Canyon had 117 percent of average, while Brighton was only at 72 percent of average.

At Lakefork in the Uinta Mountains at an elevation of 10,966 feet, the snowpack was just 84 percent of average.

McInerney, in his February briefing on water supply, reservoir storage and snowpack said January — despite all its snowiness — didn’t deliver when it came to the mountains.

This past January will go down as the coldest on record at the Salt Lake International Airport since 1949 and the first time temperatures have dipped below zero there since 2008.

Some other facts to consider: it was the sixth coldest January since 1874, as well as the 13th snowiest January since that time.

Reservoir storage, however, is not faring that well.

From February of 2012 to February of 2013, McInerney said Pineview in Weber County is down 36 percent, Deer Creek is down 15 percent and East Canyon is down 34 percent.

Based on the snow stored up in the mountains so far, McInerney is forecasting a runoff that is only 70 percent of average for most of the basin drainages in the state. The others, like the Weber-Ogden River drainage, is less than that at 65 percent of average.

Blizzard hammers U.S. Northeast; while digging out, new blizzard brews in Plains


Reuters | Feb 10, 2013

By Daniel Lovering and Aman Ali

CAMBRIDGE, Mass./NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Northeast started digging out on Sunday after a blizzard dumped up to 40 inches (1 meter) of snow with hurricane force winds, killing at least nine people and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

New York City trucks plowed through residential streets, piling snow even higher at the edges and leaving thousands of motorists to dig their buried vehicles out from mountains of snow.

“I give up,” Giovanni Marchenna, 52, of Manhattan said with a laugh.

“Looks like I’ll be taking the subway to work until the snow melts,” he added, noting he spent more than an hour shoveling snow.

Blizzard hammers U.S. Northeast, five dead, 700,000 lose power

On Monday, additional severe weather may bring more misery, with freezing rain and more snow predicted that would make the trip home for evening commuters even more difficult.

“It will make it a little more hazardous and a little more slick on the roads,” said Kenneth James, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Maryland.

In Boston, Mayor Tom Menino canceled school on Monday after touring neighborhoods throughout the city, where 2 feet of snow fell.

“Our No. 1 priority today is getting to the side streets,” he said, saying it was the fifth-deepest snowfall ever in the city.

Utility companies reported that some 350,000 customers were still without electricity across nine states after the wet, heavy snow brought down tree branches and power lines. About 700,000 homes and businesses were without power at one point on Saturday.

Air traffic began to return to normal on Sunday after some 5,800 flights were canceled on Friday and Saturday, according to Flightaware, a flight-tracking service.

Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and New York state’s Long Island MacArthur Airport reopened on Sunday morning. Both had been closed on Saturday.

Boston’s Logan International Airport reopened late on Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Rare travel bans in Connecticut and Massachusetts were lifted but roads throughout the region remained treacherous, according to state transportation departments.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, residents were digging out their cars and driveways under clear blue skies on Sunday afternoon.

Charles Damico, a retired electrical engineer who was clearing his driveway with a snowblower, said the snow was “nothing” compared to the amount he remembers falling during the blizzard of 1978 that dumped between 2 and 4 feet of snow on the region.

“I didn’t have a snowblower at that time, so everything was done by hand,” he said. “This is nothing compared to it.”

As the region recovered, another large winter storm building across the Northern Plains was expected to leave a footof snow and bring high winds from Colorado to central Minnesota into Monday, the National Weather Service said.


South Dakota was expected to be hardest hit, with winds reaching 50 miles per hour, creating white-out conditions. The storm was expected to reach parts of Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Wisconsin.

South Dakota officials closed a 150-mile (240-km) stretch of Interstate 90 in the center of the state. They also closed 75 miles of Interstate 29 in the state’s northeastern corner near North Dakota.

Officials said motels and other facilities along Interstate 90 were filling up with travelers trying to avoid the heavy drifting and near-zero visibility.

“Travel will be difficult to impossible at times on other highways in many areas of South Dakota,” state transportation officials said in a statement.

Friday and Saturday’s mammoth storm stretched from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic and covered several spots in the Northeast with more than 3 feet of snow. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts took the brunt of the blizzard.

The Connecticut town of Hamden had 40 inches and nearby Milford 38 inches, the National Weather Service said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that 675 pieces of equipment and 975 personnel had been dispatched to help Suffolk County, making up the eastern half of Long Island, dig out of 3 feet of snow.

“Suffolk County has not seen a winter storm like Nemo in years, and the massive amount of snow left behind effectively shut down the entire region,” Cuomo said in a statement, referring to the Weather Channel’s name for the storm.


Amtrak said it planned to run a limited service between New York and Boston on Sunday and a regular Sunday schedule from New York to the state capital in Albany.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said it planned to resume limited service on Sunday afternoon.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and Connecticut Transit said service would remain suspended on Sunday.

Stratford, Connecticut, Mayor John Harkins told WTNH television on Saturday that snow had fallen at a rate of 6 inches an hour and even plows were getting stuck.

The storm dropped 31.9 inches of snow on Portland, Maine, breaking a 1979 record, the weather service said. Winds gusted to 83 miles per hour at Cuttyhunk, New York, and brought down trees across the region.

The storm contributed to at least five deaths in Connecticut and two each in New York state and Boston, authorities said. A motorist in New Hampshire also died when he went off a road but authorities said his health may have been a factor in the crash.

The two deaths in Boston were separate incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning in cars, an 11-year-old boy and a man in his early 20s. The boy had climbed into the family car to keep warm while his father cleared snow. The engine was running but the exhaust was blocked, said authorities.

There were also road rescues along the Long Island Expressway from Friday night to Saturday morning, some using snowmobiles. A baby girl was delivered early on Saturday by emergency services personnel in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Blizzard alert: Northeast snowstorm could be among the worst of all time


Snow and hurricane-force winds are slated to hit the Northeast this weekend. Residents in the tri-state area are scrambling to get ready after last year’s unusually dry and mild winter. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

NBC News | Feb 7, 2013

By Erin McClam

A crippling and potentially historic winter storm barreled toward the Northeast on Thursday, threatening tens of millions of people with 2 feet of snow. Boston canceled school and braced for one of its worst blizzards of all time.

Airlines encouraged fliers to change their plans and get out of the way. There were already delays of more than two hours at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, where tangles can snarl air traffic across the country, and hundreds of flights were canceled.

The culprits were a so-called clipper system moving through the Upper Midwest and a low-pressure system headed for the waters off New England. When they converge, probably late Friday, they are expected to sock the region with its heaviest snow in at least two years, and perhaps much longer.

Propagandist Brad Johnson of ‘Forecast the Facts’ tries to make the pending East Coast blizzard about the ocean ‘warming’ – Fails

“When this hits, it’s going to come down very hard,” said Tom Niziol, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. “This is something we haven’t seen in a while, particularly in New England.”

The National Weather Service put the New York City area and Long Island under a blizzard warning and said those areas could get more than a foot of snow. Earlier in the day, the weather service warned that travel in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island could become nearly impossible.

Full coverage from The Weather Channel

Forecasts called for as much as 9 inches of snow across central Michigan, a foot and a half in the Hudson Valley region of New York, and 2 feet or more across coastal New England. Possible hurricane-force winds off Massachusetts and Rhode Island also made flooding a threat.

In Boston, the storm had the potential to take out century-old records. The city’s biggest snowstorms since 1892 were a 27.5-inch blast in February 2003 and a 27.1-inch dumping exactly 35 years ago, in 1978. Mayor Thomas Menino closed city schools for Friday and pleaded for common sense.

“Stay off the streets of our city,” he said. “Basically, stay home.”

Light to moderate snow is expected to spread through the Great Lakes on Thursday and could reach as far east as parts of New England and New York City by Thursday night, according to forecasters for The Weather Channel.

Snow should begin Friday in Boston and Hartford, Conn., and grow heavy at times during the day in New York, New England and parts of Pennsylvania, the forecasters said.

The most intense part of the storm was expected to hit Friday night and Saturday, with as much as 3 inches of snow falling per hour in coastal New England, including Boston, Hartford and Portland, Maine.

By Saturday evening, snow should taper off in Boston and the storm is forecast to pull off the coast of Maine by Sunday morning, The Weather Channel said.

RELATED: Detailed storm timeline from The Weather Channel

In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was readying plows and said crews would work extended shifts.

“It’s been a quiet winter, but we knew that February could be a tough one,” said the city’s sanitation commissioner, John Doherty.

For at least some people there, the storm was a chance to profit.

“Shoveling, cleaning cars, anything you need me to do,” Isaac Morales told NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston. “I already have rock salt. I already have shovels. I’ve got extra bodies. I’ve got everything so I’m all set.”

But for survivors of Hurricane Sandy, including thousands of people still displaced and many more with disrupted lives, it was more serious. A much smaller snowstorm followed Sandy in late October.

“People were just miserable, unhappy, and it started to get cold,” Annie Petraro of Long Island told NBC New York. “Things just weren’t good. And now it’s freezing, it’s gonna snow.”

The Long Island Power Authority, which was strongly criticized for a slow response to the hurricane, said that it was planning for this one and making sure it had enough people working and enough supplies.

More than 130 flights into and out of O’Hare were canceled Thursday, and more than 70 were already canceled for Friday, according to More than 400 flights into and out of Newark Liberty International Airport were canceled for Friday, as were 100 for Boston Logan.

American, Delta, United and other major airlines said they would waive their fees to change flights, which can run to $150, for people going through major airports in the Northeast, including Logan in Boston and LaGuardia and Kennedy in New York.

Amtrak canceled some runs of its Downeaster train line, which runs from Brunswick, Maine, south to Boston.

RELATED: Travelers brace for ‘monster storm’

Ski resorts were excited by the prospect of a major snowstorm.

“It is perfect timing because it will just remind everybody that it is winter, it’s real, and get out and enjoy it,” Tom Meyers, marketing director for Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Massachusetts, told The Associated Press.


The Inconvenient Truth About Polar Bears: ‘far more polar bears alive today than 40 years ago’

Never Look A Polar Bear In The Eye: A Family Field Trip to the Arctic’s Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows by Zac Unger. Hardcover, 296 pages

I started realizing polar bears were not in as bad a shape as the conventional wisdom had led me to believe, which was actually very heartening, but didn’t fit well with the book I’d been planning to write.

NPR | Feb 2, 2013

In 2008, reports of polar bears’ inevitable march toward extinction gripped headlines. Stories of thinning Arctic ice and even polar bear cannibalism combined to make these predators into a powerful symbol in the debate about climate change.

The headlines caught Zac Unger’s attention, and he decided to write a book about the bears.

Unger made a plan to move to Churchill, Manitoba, a flat, gray place on the Hudson Bay in northern Canada accessible only by train or plane. For a few months out of the year, as the bay starts to freeze, tiny Churchill boasts as many polar bears as it does people.

Unger packed up his wife and three small kids, and set out with a big bold idea. He wanted to write the quintessential requiem of how human-caused climate change was killing off these magnificent beasts.

In the end, he came away with something totally different, Unger tells NPR’s Laura Sullivan.

Interview Highlights

On wanting to write the next great environmental tract

“My humble plan was to become a hero of the environmental movement. I was going to go up to the Canadian Arctic, I was going to write this mournful elegy for the polar bears, at which point I’d be hailed as the next coming of John Muir and borne aloft on the shoulders of my environmental compatriots …

“So when I got up there, I started realizing polar bears were not in as bad a shape as the conventional wisdom had led me to believe, which was actually very heartening, but didn’t fit well with the book I’d been planning to write.

“… There are far more polar bears alive today than there were 40 years ago. … In 1973, there was a global hunting ban. So once hunting was dramatically reduced, the population exploded. This is not to say that global warming is not real or is not a problem for the polar bears. But polar bear populations are large, and the truth is that we can’t look at it as a monolithic population that is all going one way or another.”

On moving his family to “Polar Bear Capital of the World”

“We were in this town in northern Manitoba where polar bears literally will walk down Main Street. There are polar bears in this town. People will leave their cars and houses unlocked, and it’s perfectly good form just to duck into any open door you can find when there’s a polar bear chasing you.

“People use what they call Churchill welcome mats, which is a piece of plywood laid down in front of the door or leaned up against the door with hundreds of nails sticking out so that when the polar bear comes up to pad across your porch, he’s going to get a paw full of sharp nails.”

On Churchill’s strategies for living among bears

“There are definitely polar bears that come into town; there are definitely polar bears that will eat people’s dogs. But Churchill has developed an innovative polar bear alert program. The way it works is you dial a phone number — 675-BEAR — if you see a bear, and a bunch of wildlife conservation officers will come by in a truck with a bunch of guns. And they try really hard not to harm the bears, and they kind of scare the bears out of town. They have a progression that they use: First, they will fire firecracker shells; then they move up to rubber bullets; and as a last resort, they’ll move up to real bullets.

“They don’t want to do that. These are conservation officers so their job is to keep bears safe. Churchill also has a polar bear jail. These are for bears who keep coming into town and can’t be hazed out of town. And what they’ll do is they will trap these bears and put them in the polar bear jail, which is just a great big decommissioned military building. And they will give them no food, and they’re given only snow to drink and then they wait until the bay freezes up. And when the bay freezes up, these bears can be released to go back out on the ice.

“[The bears] don’t want to be in town, they’re just waiting for the ice to freeze. But if they’re a hassle in town, put them in jail, give them a short sentence, and the problem is solved.”

On trick-or-treating when polar bears might be lurking around the corner

“Halloween is when you’re supposed to go up with lots of food and run around with your kids. So we were up there for Halloween … and so what they do is when you go out trick-or-treating you go out with somebody who has a gun — whether it’s a police officer, or a volunteer or someone from the military. They all come out and they help you go trick-or-treating. Now, they have one rule, which is that kids can’t dress in anything white — no princesses, no ghosts — because you don’t want to be dressed as something white in the darkness when there’s a bunch of guys with guns looking for polar bears.”

Moscow, Russia crippled by snowiest winter in 100 years

A Russian man clears the path to an Orthodox church that stands behind the snow-covered trees after snowfall in Moscow, Russia, February 5, 2013. Snow continues to be forecast in the region over the coming days. (SERGEI ILNITSKY – EPA) | Feb 6, 2013

By Jason Samenow

According to news reports, Moscow has endured its snowiest winter in a century, with 216 centimeters so far, or slightly over 85 inches.

Pyotr Biryukov, deputy mayor for residential issues, said the total snowfall is about one and a half times the normal amount for an entire winter (152 centimeters) reports The Moscow Times.

Link: Incredible Aerial Photos of Moscow’s Snow (Business Insider)

Heavy snowfall snarled traffic early this week.

“On Monday night, the overall length of traffic jams in Moscow made up 3,500 kilometres [2,175 miles], which is a distance between Moscow and Madrid,” reports The Voice of Russia.

More than 3,000 traffic accidents resulted from the hazardous conditions between Monday and Tuesday The Moscow Times said.

Link: Snowiest winter in 100 years paralyzes Moscow (PHOTOS)(RT)

Moscow’s snowy winter started fast and furious and has not relented. The city experienced its heaviest November snow in 50 years, logging about 27 cm (8 inches).

The pattern which produced the early season snowfall has been fairly persistent throughout the winter. Moscow has received bout after bout of overrunning precipitation – wedged between strong high pressure to its east and low pressure to its west.

GFS model forecast shows more snow around Moscow Friday as moisture from low pressure its east is drawn northward. (

More snow is predicted Friday as this meteorological set up repeats.

By  |  01:12 PM ET, 02/06/2013

100-year snow paralyzes Moscow

More than 2 meters of snow falls in Moscow

Incredible Aerial Photos Show Moscow’s Snowiest Winter In 100 Years

Snowiest winter in 100 years paralyzes Moscow traffic for 3,500 km

Snowstorm alert: Northeast braces for potentially life-threatening winter ‘blockbuster’

NBC News | feb 6, 2013

By Alastair Jamieson

A winter storm heading for the Northeast could bring major snowfall to upstate New York and New England on Friday and into the weekend – but forecasts are divided on its potential impact.

A clipper from the north is expected to combine with a rainy storm moving through the South to create a snowstorm for many parts of the region late Friday and Saturday, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth.

However, there is still some uncertainty on exactly where and when the two systems combine, he said.

For cities such as Boston, the changing forecast could mean the difference between an icy nuisance and a major winter storm that would dump up to 2 feet of snow, bringing widespread disruption.

“The European model, which is the generally the best model we have, has continued to insist there is going to be this really big storm but the other models are not bullish on it at all,” the Weather Channel’s Carl Parker said. “The difference is — will it be a blockbuster for places like Boston?”

The last time Boston had one foot of snow was in January 2011.

Most of the I-95 corridor is already set for heavy rain on Friday.

Under the European model, the whole region would see significant snow but up to 2 feet would be dumped on Massachusetts – including Boston – and southern Maine overnight Friday.

That level of snow is “potentially life-threatening,” the Weather Channel’s Chris Warren warned.

Freezing February set to be coldest on record since 1986

The UK was blanketed by snow at the end of January (Picture: PA)

Savage winter blast to plunge Britain into sub-zero temperatures | Feb 4, 2013


WINTER is set to make a dramatic comeback this week as temperatures plummet – making this month the coldest February since 1986.

Freezing air from Canada will slam into Britain today, plunging the country into a second round of sub-zero misery.

February 1986 saw a brain-numbing average of -1.2C, with snow cover reported on 23 days in parts of the South and all month in Scotland.

The savage winter blast follows a relatively mild but wet week across most parts of the UK, which came after the country was blanketed with snow and ice from the continent a fortnight ago.

Forecasters even warned of polar temperatures of -15C in some remote parts of Britain.

Forecaster Helen Roberts said: “We will have some really strong gale-force winds across the country next week and it will feel very cold.

Freezing February set to be coldest on record since 1986

January was among Flagstaff’s coldest months

“Air originating across the Atlantic Ocean in Canada is going to hit Britain on Monday, bringing showery and increasingly wintry conditions.

“This is quite rare as usually we get our cold weather from the east and north.

“People in every part of Britain could well see snow and ice, and will certainly have rain and freezing temperatures over the coming week.”

She added: “The next week will be colder than this week, wet and windy, and distinctly wintry. Temperatures will be below average.”

Heavy rain has already waterlogged many parts of England, Wales and Scotland, which is feared could leave roads icy as the mercury drops.

North Yorkshire had some snow on Saturday, causing 20 cars to slide off the A171 near Guisborough. And the Met Office issued a blizzard warning for parts of Scotland yesterday.

Temperatures will drop tomorrow as snow showers spread across the country.

Health officials have issued a level-2 alert warning extreme low temperatures this week could pose a risk to the elderly and vulnerable.

Jonathan Powell, of Vantage Weather Services, warned: “This is a proper Arctic blast on the way. With fierce polar winds we could see temperatures plummet to -15C.”

Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “It’s possible February will be the coldest since 1986.”

Wednesday will be the coldest day of the week with a minimum -4C predicted.

Some warmer air will then move in to arrest the freeze and Thursday will be a dry, bright day in most parts.

Britain shivered through a bitter start to December then, following festive floods, a 15-day late-January freeze cost 19 lives and £4billion damage to the economy.

Scotland braces for coldest February since the 1980s

Scotland is set for more snow in February. Picture: TSPL | Feb 3, 2013


TRAVELLERS are being warned to brace themselves for gales and snowy weather across much of Scotland today as forecasters predicted this could be the coldest February in almost 30 years.

A Met Office 24-hour severe weather warning for widespread sleet and snow in the north and west of the country began at midnight last night with up to 20cm of snow expected to fall on the hills, along with winds of more than 80 mph in some areas, bringing 15-metre waves off the north coast.

The Central Belt and Borders are predicted to see gusts of up to 60mph this afternoon and heavy snow this evening and tonight.

“The whole of Scotland will be affected by this winter storm,” said Andrew Sibley of the Met Office.

January 2013 in Flagstaff coldest in 20 years
Coldest Chicago February start in 17 years

Huge waves, creating what forecasters term “phenomenal seas”, were disrupting ferry sailings with some services, including Oban to Lochboisdale in South Uist, cancelled yesterday and more cancellations expected today.

Mr Sibley said there is a “very wintry period ahead”, adding that after a brief rise in temperatures tomorrow, it will turn colder again in the second half of the week.

Forecasters for online site The Weather Outlook said Britain was facing its coldest February since the mid-1980s.

February temperatures usually average 3.5C across the UK, but the month has often been mild in recent years.

An average monthly UK temperature lower than February 1991’s 1.4C would make this the coldest February since 1986 when thermometers plunged to -1.2C and snow cover was reported in Scotland through the entire month.

Brian Gaze, a forecaster with the Weather Outlook, said: “It’s possible February will be the coldest since 1986.

“Arctic air will push south in the next week and the pattern looks like it will be amplified from mid-February.

“Forecast models show an increasingly cold picture, so there’s plenty of time for [more] snow this winter.”

Met Office forecasters said it was “too early” to say whether the month would beat the icy temperatures of 1986.

However, the Met Office

outlook said: “Conditions tend to remain a little colder than average for much of the 6-15 February period, with temperatures close to or a little below average in mid-month, before signs of a slightly colder spell through much of the period to 2 March.”

The wintry weather was already causing problems for travellers yesterday, particularly those crossing the sea.

A CalMac spokesman said: “A number of Monday’s sailings have been cancelled with many more facing the prospect of disruption due to high winds across our network.

“Ferry travellers are advised to check for the latest service information at or via the smartphone apps or SMS text service.

“We are grateful for their patience and understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

However, a spokesman for the AA said drivers and businesses had learned to deal with snowy conditions following several heavy snowfalls earlier this


The spokesman added: “Drivers have got into their winter groove and businesses have worked out ways of dealing with disruption caused by snow.”

In February 1986 there was plenty of snow about

THE year 1986 was designated the International Year of Peace by the United Nations. It was the year a disaster at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union spread nuclear waste across the northern hemisphere and Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 to win the World Cup in Mexico City.

When it came to the weather, however, it was a very average year: apart from February.

The second month of 1986 would see a continuous period of icy temperatures that has not been repeated since.

The winter of 1985-86 saw several periods of snowfall in Scotland during December and early January, which was not unusual.

But in the last week of January 1986 temperatures fell dramatically. Throughout the whole of February until the first week of March there was six weeks of continuous snow cover in Scotland.

Temperatures during the day struggled to reach above freezing throughout the month and nightfall brought bitter frosts.

The average temperature for the month was recorded at -1.2C.


Snow showers across most of Scotland today, with daytime temperatures averaging about 3C, but feeling a lot colder because of windchill. The temperature will fall below freezing in many areas over night.

Tomorrow will be milder, but become markedly colder again on Wednesday with wintry showers persisting until Friday.