A blizzard hit Alberta, Canada, including the Calgary area onb the 2nd. Locally, more than 60 cm of snow fell and resulted in dangerous travel conditions. Kootenay Pass, Alberta, received 61 cm of snow, while Paulson Summit received 44 cm . Amounts were lighter at Calgary International Airport, where 14 cm of snow were measured.
Bonnyville, Cold Lake, St. Paul, and Lac La Biche were under a freezing rain warning on the 27th. Areas further west and south were under snowfall warnings including: Grande Prairie, Slave Lake, and Whitecourt. A Weather Statement was issued for the City of Edmonton and surround communities. Environment Canada said some areas south of Grande Prairie and Cold Lake received up to five millimeters of rain on Thursday and temperatures were expected to drop below freezing in the evening, creating the potential for very slippery conditions Thursday evening in many areas of Northern and Central Alberta. There were reports of freezing rain early Thursday afternoon. Highway 16 between Highway 43 and Wabamun was hit particularly hard. A number of vehicles spun out off the road. Sanding crews were sent to the area to help modify the situation.
The Canary Islands have experienced some flash flooding over the past few days. In the 24 hours from 0600 GMT/2nd 195 mm of rain fell at Valverde in Tenerife. 57 mm seen at La Palma’s airport in just six hours during 0600-1200 GMT on the 2nd. The average monthly rainfall for the island of Tenerife is just 44mm in December and the annual average rainfall across the Canaries ranges from 100-300 mm.
A major storm has hit northern Europe on the 5th, leaving at least three people dead, causing transport chaos and threatening the biggest tidal surge in decades. A lorry driver was killed when his vehicle was blown over in Scotland, while a man died when he was hit by a falling tree in Nottinghamshire. In Denmark, a woman died after a lorry turned over in high winds. In Germany, the port of Hamburg is bracing for a direct hit and a massive tidal surge. The hurricane-force storm Xaver hit northern Europe on Thursday, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power. Winds gusting up to 142 mph battered Scotland Two sailors were reportedly swept overboard from a ship 22 km (14 miles) off the southern Swedish coast, and air-sea rescue services failed to find them. In the low-lying Netherlands, the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier has been closed off for the first time in six years. Dutch authorities said they had issued the highest possible flood warning for four areas in the north and north-west of the country. Dutch airline KLM cancelled 84 flights from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, while more than 120 were cancelled or diverted at Hamburg airport. Rail travel was badly affected, with all train services in Scotland cancelled because of debris on the lines and damage to equipment. Services in northern England were also hit. The Oeresund road and rail bridge between Sweden and Denmark - which links the Danish capital Copenhagen with the Swedish city of Malmo and features in the hit television series The Bridge - was due to close from 1500 GMT. Railway lines in Sweden and Denmark were closed, while Germany's national railway, Deutsche Bahn, warned of likely disruption across a swathe of northern Germany. Ferries to Germany from Sweden and Denmark were cancelled.
A tidal surge has hit coastal towns on the east of Britain after thousands of people were evacuated from their homeson the 5th-6th. The North Sea surge, predicted to be the worst for 60 years, reached north Norfolk in the evening and made its way south through the night. Scotland is facing snow alerts after a fierce storm earlier battered the UK, claiming two lives. The Environment Agency, which covers England and Wales, has dozens of severe flood warnings in place. Many of the severe warnings - which mean "danger to life" - relate to areas in the east of England, where there are also about 200 lower-level warnings and alerts. 9,000 people have evacuated their homes in Norfolk, mainly in the Great Yarmouth area, where at least 26 properties have been flooded and a lifeboat station has been washed into the sea There are also yellow warnings for ice in parts of Northern Ireland and north-west England, and wind on England's east coast. Yellow warnings mean "be aware".
Dense fog has forced at least 280 flight cancellations at London's Heathrow Airport on the 11th , causing disruption for thousands of air travelers. Further cancellations are likely on Thursday as staff deal with the backlog and more fog, a spokesman warned. London City Airport was shrouded in fog through the day, with every flight on Wednesday morning cancelled or delayed. At Southampton Airport, the fog had cleared by midday but 16 flights were cancelled in the morning.
Severe winter storm caused major travel problems in parts of western Europe, stranding passengers travelling for Christmas at Paris and London airports and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power on the 25th. The storm caused four deaths in Britain, including a man who jumped into a fast-flowing river to try and rescue his dog. The severe weather also left a 12-year-old boy crushed to death beneath construction materials in Normandy, France. In Britain, thousands of people trying to get away for the holidays were affected by reduced or cancelled train services due to landslides and fallen trees and flooded roads, Flight delays were triggered by power outages at London Gatwick Airport's North Terminal. The airport, the country's second-largest, said it was investigating the cause of the outage, but said it was weather related. Across the English Channel, nearly all long-haul flights out of Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport were delayed because of the storm, according to the Paris airport authority website. Electricity provider ERDF said the winds left nearly 200,000 homes in western France without electricity. France's Interior Ministry says the 12-year-old boy was killed at a construction site in Saint Germain de Tallevande and another person was seriously injured.
High winds, torrential rain and crashing waves killed two people and temporarily shut a Spanish opera house in Madrid, while blustery weather elsewhere in Europe delayed trains and caused severe flooding, authorities said on the 27th Friday. A 47-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl drowned in the Canary Islands when they were swept away by waves on La Graciosa Island on Thursday, the regional government said in a statement Friday. In Britain, Friday’s foul weather complicated efforts to clean up from a previous storm which hit just before Christmas, lashing the island nation with driving rain, causing floods, cutting power and snarling travel for thousands. British energy authorities said that some 20,000 people were without power across the country. The outages led to an on-camera confrontation Friday for Prime Minister David Cameron, who was visiting the flood-hit village of Yalding, in southern England. A woman accosted him and accused authorities of going on their Christmas break without assuring power was turned back on. France’s national weather service raised the flood alert for much of France’s northwest on Friday. The Interior Ministry warned that areas that were flooded in another storm earlier this week could be hit again.
An ice storm, which could be the worst to hit the United States in years, will unfolded across portions of the southern Plains on the 6th. The most significant icing occurred from Texas to Kentucky. This caused widespread power outages as ice weighs down tree branches and power lines, while treacherous travel developed in areas receiving freezing rain, sleet and snow. In some locations, the storm has the potential to allow one half of an inch or more of ice to accumulate on the ground and accrue on elevated surfaces. Power suppliers in the path of the ice storm are mobilizing in anticipation of major power outages. Entergy Arkansas, Inc., which serves nearly 700,000 customers in 63 counties of Arkansas, lies in the zone expected to receive ice for the longest duration.
The storm that coated parts of Texas in ice struck with unexpected force Sunday on the east coast on the 8th, blanketing some spots in a foot of snow, grinding highways to a halt, causing power outages and closing schools or delaying start times. The federal government was allowing workers to arrive up to two hours later than normal Monday or take unscheduled leave as freezing rain fell.
Rain fell on the 10th-11th around Rio de Janeiro, than would normally be expected during the entire month, meteorologists said. The downpour flooded major thoroughfares, toppled houses in working class suburbs, disrupted train and flight schedules and created such chaos that the city's mayor, Eduardo Paes, asked residents to stay home.
U.S. government offices in Washington DC and schools in many cities have closed on the 10th as the east coast braced for a snow storm that did not arrive as feared. More than 1,300 flights were cancelled, with some eastern airports reporting delays of up to five hours. The wintry weather follows a storm that dumped several inches in Philadelphia and parts of Maryland on Sunday. That storm contributed to several multi-vehicle pile-ups, including a 50-car accident that began when a man was struck and killed as he got out of his car following a smaller accident. An ice storm also wreaked havoc on the southern US, especially Texas last week, forcing the cancellation of thousands of flights and stranding people in airports for several days. Public schools in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC and parts of West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee were closed on Tuesday amid a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service. By mid-morning, the National Weather Service downgraded its winter storm advisory to three inches and in Washington DC, the streets were virtually clear of snow by early afternoon.
Heavy rainfall and subsequent floods and landslides continue on the 23rd affecting Java Island in Indonesia. As of 23 December, BNPB reports approx. 4 000 people displaced in Purwerejo district, Central Java, while evacuations in Jember, East Java, were still ongoing on 22 December.
Weather improved in the Kashmir Valley on the 25th after three days as there was no rain and snowfall even as the night temperature stayed below the freezing point in most parts of the region. The high altitude areas of Jammu and Kasmir experienced snowfall since December 21, the day when the 'Chillai-Kalan', considered as the harshest 40-day winter period, started. Snowfall ranging from one feet to four feet was reported from the high altitude areas, including the famous cave shrine of Amarnath in the three days, while the plains received light snowfall and rains.
Trinidad and Tobago was spared the damaging winds and rain which wreaked havoc on other Caribbean islands between Christmas Eve and the 26th as a tropical system barreled through the region. Five people in St Lucia lost their lives as landslides and flooding heavily damaged some of the island’s infrastructure, including George FL Charles Airport, which was ordered closed on Tuesday night due to flooding on the runway. Flights heading to the island had to be diverted to Piarco International Airport, resulting in delays for several passengers hoping to get home in time for Christmas. St Vincent and the Grenadines sustained an even heavier blow, with seven reported killed on the main island.
According to the Meteorological Service, yesterday’s winds in Trinidad and Tobago gusted in excess of 50 km, but although it warned that flooding was expected there were no reports up to last night. By midday yesterday, conditions in Trinidad and Tobago were described as “settled”, according to the Met Service.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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