Thursday, December 31, 2015

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Tadcaster River Wharfe Bridge Collapse In Swollen River In The United Kingdom - Spanned The The River For Centuries; People Evacuated From The Area! [VIDEO]

Tadcaster Bridge near York collapses

December 31, 2015 - UNITED KINGDOM - Dramatic footage has captured the moment when an ancient bridge collapsed into a swollen river.

People were evacuated from the area around the bridge over the River Wharfe in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, after the collapse of the 18th century structure caused a gas leak.

The Press Association video shows the moment the stone side of the structure gave way, with parts dropping into the powerful river below and leaving the roadway and broken pipes clearly visible.

Tadcaster is 10 miles from York and has been affected by flooding caused by storms in recent days.

The bridge had already been closed due to fears over its structural safety before a crowd gathered at the riverside on Tuesday evening, as stone could be heard falling into the water and creaking noises could be heard.

Just before 5pm a huge chunk of the bridge fell into the water just a few feet below.


WATCH: North Yorkshire bridge collapse.




People watching ran as a wave headed towards the bank and a strong smell of gas came from pipes left visible in the gaping hole.

They moved further back as the smell got stronger and a large number of police and fire service vehicles arrived within 10 minutes.

Officers put a large cordon on a section of the main road each side of the bridge telling local people to leave the area due to a gas escape.

The bridge is in the middle of the town and has spanned the river for centuries. According to the Tadcaster town council website, the current structure was built around 1700.

At the scene, Conservative Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams said he had been on the bridge with Communities Secretary Greg Clark earlier on Tuesday.

He said: "It was a few hours before it collapsed. We did go on to have a look at some of the damage. In hindsight, we shouldn't have been on it. But I thought it was important that I showed the secretary of state the severity of the damage and the impact.

"We are where we are now. We need to try and ensure that it's repaired as soon as practically possible and that every possible resource be available to the highways, to the county council to make that happens."

Residents evacuated from their homes were plunged into darkness as a power cut hit the part of Tadcaster which lies to the east of the river.

No-one knew whether this was linked to the bridge collapse.

Buses and mountain rescue teams arrived to take any residents who needed somewhere to stay to a reception centre at Tadcaster Grammar School.

The cordon put in place by the police included a large section of the town, including many of the shops on the western side, along the main street - the A659 which leads down to the bridge.

A second centre - the Riley Smith Hall - was also opened for residents who could not get to their homes.

The loss of the bridge means Tadcaster has been split in two with people having to travel out to the A64 by-pass to get to other side of town, including a lengthy detour to Bilborough Top to turn round on the dual carriageway.

Local residents said a disused railway viaduct might provide pedestrian access between the two sides of the river but this has been closed in the past.

The bridge has been closed a number of times in the past due to concerns for its safety during flooding. The last time was in September 2012, when it was closed for a number of days until divers could get into the river to inspect the stone structure. - Daily Mail.









ICE AGE NOW: Cold Yet - Montreal Breaks 61-YEAR Snowfall Record?!



December 31, 2015 - MONTREAL, CANADA - Montreal was hit with 39.2 centimetres of snow in its first major snowfall of the season, and as always, after the snow fall comes the problem of carting it away.
The major snow removal operations began Wednesday morning. The city says removal will be underway in every borough by 7 p.m. The operation will cost around $20 million.

The city announced its new snow removal policy, an attempt to harmonize the cleanup across all 19 boroughs, in August.

The first priority is the city's main arteries, busy commercial streets, priority bus routes, reserved lanes, hospital entrances and very narrow streets. Then the operation begins on smaller streets, other bus routes, and finally local streets and industrial areas.

About 3,000 city employees will be involved in carting the snow away. Their mandatory 36-hour break will begin Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. and end Jan. 2 at 7 a.m.

The city says the suspension of blue collar workers from earlier this month won't affect snow removal.

The most oft-cited impediment to snow removal is cars that are in the way, so residents are being asked to download the Info Neige app or check out the website, which shows the progress of snow-clearing operations and tells you where and when you can park on the street.

"When we have to tow away a car, this is a major stallblock for us because the convoy comes to a complete hault," said city spokesperson Jacques-Alain Lavallee.

While the app is supposed to provide real-time updates on snow removal, some are finding the information isn't always accurate.

"We're adjusting. The info is updated as quickly as possible but we've just started the operation," Lavallee said.

The city says 5,700 free parking spaces are available to drivers across the city for when they can't park on the street.

Tuesday's snowfall set a record for Dec. 29. The previous record of 30.5 centimetres was set in 1954. - CTV.



Montreal record busting snow sours the mild winter climate narrative

On the 24th December this year, Montreal was a poster child for the "new normal" - mild weather, no snow in sight. All that came to an abrupt end on the 29th, when Montreal strayed off narrative with a record breaking snowfall.

From the 24th;
Montreal's Christmas Eve record-breaking temperature matches Los Angeles

Dec. 24 high of 16 C matches cities synonymous with sunny, warm weather at this time of year

...

The balmy temperature was the last thing Anaum and Muhammed Sajanlal were expecting when the siblings arrived in Montreal from Kuwait recently.

They had big plans for winter fun.

"I was looking forward to building a snowman because we see in the movies and cartoons that they build lots of snowmen. We can't do that in Kuwait," said Anaum, 11, on CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
Read more

Fast forward to December 29th;
Montreal saw a record snowfall for a Dec. 29 on Tuesday after 39.2 centimetres of snow blanketed the city and caused delays at the airport and left streets a mess for motorists and pedestrians.

Environment Canada confirmed the record, which eclipsed the 30.5 cm of snow that fell on Dec. 29 in 1954.

A few more centimetres were expected Wednesday, but no other major accumulations are in the forecast for the moment, Environment Canada told the Montreal Gazette.

City crews and contractors began the lengthy cleanup process at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, with all of the city's boroughs getting to work by 7 p.m. to clear as much snow as possible before a pause for New Year's Eve kicks in at 7 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Clearing operations are to resume Jan. 2 at 7 a.m.
Read more: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-sets-new-snowfall-record-after-tuesdays-storm

No doubt all that snow was due to CO2 causing climate alarmists to make fools of themselves.

Thankfully civic authorities in Montreal ignored the hype; Mayor Denis Coderre's new snow clearing programme appears to be a resounding success. - WUWT.



EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Magnetic Polar Migration Sparks Climate Chaos Across The Global - Europe's Winter Warmth Puts Nature In A Tailspin, BUT Record Snowfalls Hit Canada, Peru, Mexico, United States And China?!


"The world has 500 days to avoid climate chaos." - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

December 31, 2015 - EARTH
- The daffodils are out in London, plum trees are blossoming in Milan and asparagus tips are pushing through the soil in eastern France.

Across Europe, unseasonably warm winter weather has left the natural world in a spin with plants, insects and animals convinced Spring must be just around the corner.

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.


People enjoy the sun and warm temperatures on the "Promenade des Anglais" in Nice, southeastern France, on December 28, 2015 (AFP Photo/Valery Hache)

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by global climate change.

More than 2,000 wildfires have ravaged swaths of northern Spain in recent weeks thanks to a combination of unusually warm weather and high winds.Farmers across Europe meanwhile are grappling with the hard-to-predict implications of conditions which, while boosting the production of some crops, may reduce yields of others and allow pests to thrive later in the year due to the absence of a sustained winter cold spell to kill them off.

- Strawberries for Christmas -

"It is strange to see how certain plants are already flowering crazily," said Hans-Jurgen Packheiser, a 76-year-old beekeper from Halver in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia region.

"Some of the bees in my hives are already out and about looking for nectar. They think winter is already finished."

In the Dordogne region of southwestern France, strawberry producers were surprised to see plants that would normally have to be protected from frost from mid-November onwards continue to bear fruit right up to Christmas.

"Even my father-in-law, who has been producing strawberries since 1956, has never seen anything like it," said Patricia Rebillou, the president of the local producers' association.

It is a similar story in Alsace, where amateur gardener Rene Wolfhugel was able to harvest enough asparagus for his Christmas Eve dinner, four months earlier than normal for a vegetable that traditionally heralds the arrival of Spring.


Firefighters tackle a blaze in an area affected by wildfires near the Basque town of Berango in
northern Spain on December 28, 2015 (AFP Photo/Ander Gillenea)


"When I saw the tips pushing through, I could hardly believe my eyes. I had to call my neighbours to come and see," Wolfhugel told AFP. "They were excellent, just as good as in the Spring."

For French market gardener Jean-Louis Durrieux, the disruption of seasonal rhythms is less welcome.

"I have been doing this for 30 years and I've never seen lettuces so far advanced at this time of year. Salad leaves that we would normally harvest in mid-January were ready at the start of December."

With similar conditions across Europe, the result was a glut of ready-to-harvest plants which had left him with no choice but to throw away 60 percent of his October plantings, Durrieux said.

- Year-round eggs -

It has been a similar story for wild or ornamental plants.

On the French Riviera and in the Basque country straddling Spain and France, Mimosas which would normally not flower until the end of January are already in full bloom, disconcerting florists who struggle to sell them at this time of year.

"They are magnificent this year," said Valerie Torres a grower in Bormes-Les-Mimosas. "But the season for them is going to be shortened because they don't sell particularly well over Christmas."


In Alsace, eastern France, amateur gardener Rene Wolfhugel was able to harvest enough asparagus for his Christmas Eve dinner, four months earlier
than normal for a vegetable that traditionally heralds the arrival of Spring (AFP Photo/Armend Nimani)

Wild Fuchsia, which normally stops flowering in the autumn on the Atlantic coast of Britain and Ireland, remains in full bloom on the Isle of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland.

Local residents Steve and Mary Bavin were half-astonished, half-delighted when their hens resumed laying on November 30.

"It is nice to have fresh eggs in the winter but it is also worrying because along with the higher temperatures we also seem to be getting a lot more rain and wind," said Steve Bavin.

Stephane Longuepez, an official with the northern French city of Lille's parks and gardens department, also indicated that a precocious Spring was not to be welcomed.

"It is easy to think that with the good weather, everything will grow better," he said. "But bulbs like tulips might not all flower this year because they need a cold winter spell for their development which they won't have had." - Yahoo.


Record Snowfalls hit Canada, Mexico, Texas & China – ‘Insanely cold’ in Calif. – Peru sees ‘heavy snowfall’ in Summer

In the past few days, record snow and cold has descended on many parts of the world while other parts have seen record warmth

Below is a small sampling of some of the snowfall records and cold.




Via www.IceAgeNow.com:

Montreal carting away record snowfall – Video – Montreal hit with 39.2 cm (15.4 inches) of snow, breaking a 61-year-old record.

Hard Freeze Warning for the San Joaquin Valley – The San Joaquin Valley produces the majority of the 12.8% of the United States’ agricultural production that comes from California

Mexico – Biggest snowstorm in more than half a century

Heavy snowfall in Peru – In the summer – Surprises inhabitants.




Heavy snowfall in Niseko Hokkaido Japan – Video of JR train in the snow

Record snowfall in China – The snowfall lasted over 40 hours

Historic snowfall closes I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass – More than ¼ of an entire season’s snowfall in one week.

Record snowfall in Lubbock, Texas – More spectacularly, snow drifts ranged from 1-4 feet deep in Lubbock to 7-10 feet in areas along the Texas/New Mexico border.





Ciudad Juarez buried under six to ten inches of snow – Record snowfall – Flights canceled at Abraham Gonzalez International Airport.

Snow paralyzes 30 municipalities of Chihuahua – The temperature dropped to minus six Celsius and is expected to fall further.

Record-breaking snowstorm in New Mexico – “New Mexico Works to Unbury After Record Snow Storm,” reads the headline on ABC news.

Record-breaking cold in California – “20 degrees F in SoCAL tonight,” says reader Jim Pearson. “Insanely cold.”

Green Bay snowfall smashes previous record –  Green Bay, Wisconsin, received 11½ inches (29.2 cm) of snow from Monday afternoon into the overnight hours, according to the National Weather Service office in Ashwaubenon.

Roswell, NM – Snowiest day ever recorded – Parts of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico could expect 8-20 inches (20-50 cm) of snow, said weather service meteorologist Mark Wiley.

- Climate Depot.






INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: 5-Star, 63-Story Luxury Hotel In Dubai Engulfed In Flames - Fire Covers Over 20 Stories Of The Building; At Least 16 People Injured! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]


December 31, 2015 - DUBAI - A 5-star Dubai hotel became engulfed in flames as the city was preparing for New Year’s Eve celebrations, with 16 people receiving injuries. Firefighters are currently battling the fire at the 302-meter tall Address Downtown Dubai.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which covered at least 20 stories of the building near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper. Burning debris rained down from the building as firetrucks raced to the scene.Al Arabiya reported that one person was killed during a stampede in the process of evacuation, however this information has not yet been confirmed by officials.

Eyewitnesses told Sky News that firefighters’ access is complicated by structure and crowds.





Civil defense representative said that all residents have been evacuated, and people are being moved out of the Dubai Mall located nearby.The fire engulfed the hotel from the outside and did not spread inside, according to Dubai’s media office. Officials said that the firefighters have sustained most of the fire, however have not yet extinguished it completely.

As the building just caught fire, panic was reported in the area around the hotel and social media users posted videos of people running away from the scene in crowds.


WATCH: Inferno in Dubai.




The Address Downtown and residential compound has nearly 200 rooms and over 600 apartments. The hotel is situated about 2km from Burj Khalifa, one of the sites of New Year’s festivities.

Officials say they plan to go ahead with the festivities, which include three displays beginning at the Burj Khalifa. The skyscraper is decorated with 400,000 LED lights, while the fireworks display will feature 1.6 tons of pyrotechnics.

In February, a massive fire broke out in the Marina Torch, a residential skyscraper at the Dubai Marina. The residents were evacuated and no fatalities were reported in that incident. - RT.






MASS FISH DIE-OFFS: "This Is Very Uncommon" - Thousands Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore In Hancock County, Mississippi?!

Land servicing crews picked up thousands of dead fish that washed ashore along the beach in Bay St. Louis and Waveland on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. © Jennifer Lenain/Sun Herald

December 31, 2015 - MISSISSIPPI, UNITED STATES - Thousands of dead fish were picked up by land servicing crews in Hancock County on Sunday, and officials say it may be associated with the red tide algae that spread through South Mississippi waters earlier this month.

A dump truck driver told the Sun Herald that he began loading dead fish on the beach near Washington Street early Sunday morning. By 1 p.m., he had made his way to the shoreline in Waveland near Buccaneer State park. He said crews picked up about 15,000 fish.

Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass said most of the fish washing ashore have been black drum. Bass said Hancock County Emergency Management received calls about the fish early on Sunday, and the agency has been working with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to remove the fish.

Bass said the county has received some phone calls over the past two weeks about dead fish washing ashore, and those instances were associated with the red tide algae blooms as it moved westward into Louisiana.

The red tide algae that swept through South Mississippi waters earlier this month was responsible for the deaths of thousands of fish that washed ashore in Harrison and Hancock counties. On Dec. 11, the algae blooms shut down oyster reefs across the Coast, and they may remain closed until March.


Land servicing crews picked up thousands of dead fish that washed ashore along the beach in Bay St. Louis and Waveland on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015.© Jennifer Lenain/Sun Herald

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/counties/hancock-county/article51784535.html#storylink=cpy

© Jennifer Lenain/Sun Herald

© Jennifer Lenain/Sun Herald

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources suspects the deaths are related to red tide algae that moved through the Mississippi Sound in early December. © Jennifer Lenain/Sun Herald

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/counties/hancock-county/article51784535.html#storylink=cpy

Melissa Scallan, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said the agency believes the red tide is responsible for the fish deaths in Hancock County. She said dead crabs may have washed ashore as well. DMR will sample the water Monday to be certain.

Scallan said the red tide algae has been moving west and should be in Texas waters, but the effects can still be lingering in South Mississippi.

Officials told the Sun Herald this string of algae blooms is one of the worst in South Mississippi history.


WATCH: More dead marine life washing ashore in Hancock County.




Algal concentrations, measured in cells per liter of water, must reach 5,000 cells per liter to cause oyster reef closures. Water samples taken Dec. 12 in some areas in Mississippi held concentrations of more than 1 million cells per liter, DMR Chief Scientific Officer Kelly Lucas said.

"This is very uncommon," she said. "We have had a bloom before, in the 1990s, but I don't think we've ever had cell counts that high." - Sun Herald.





ICE AGE NOW: Infrastructure Collapse - Heavy Snowfall Causes Mass Disruption In Turkey As New Year's Holiday Looms; Hundreds Of Flights Canceled As Temperatures Edged Below Freezing; One Person Killed; Many Injured In Mass Vehicle Pile-Ups!

An airport employee walks past an Onur Air aircraft which is parked at the tarmac at Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, Turkey December 31, 2015.
©  Murad Sezer / Reuters

December 31, 2015 - TURKEY - Parts of Turkey have been paralyzed by heavy snowfall ahead of the country’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport has been forced to cancel over a hundred flights, while there are major disruptions at other transport links.

Snow started to fall across many provinces in Turkey on Wednesday that has continued into New Year’s Eve, proving to be a nightmare for travelers wishing to take in the holiday celebrations.

Turkish Airlines was forced to cancel 265 flights in and out of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport and another 37 at Sabiha Gokcen, the city’s second air hub.

During a press conference held on Wednesday, Turkey’s Forestry and Water Affairs Minister, Veysel Eroglu, warned citizens they were in for a white start to 2016, urging those venturing outside to take extra care.

Here are several images from social media:









“I recommend children and elderly people not to go out [unless necessary] due to the freezing weather,” Eroglu said. He also warned drivers of icy roads and advised them to have ropes and chains in their cars in case they need to be towed home, Today’s Zaman reported.

Temperatures edged below freezing and between 10 and 20 centimeters of snow fell in Turkey’s largest city on Thursday.Ferry services, which help to transport people between the Asian and European parts of the city, have also been disrupted in Istanbul. The Istanbul Fast Ferries Company was forced to cancel a number of its ferries between Istanbul and the northwestern town of Bandırma.

At least one person was killed and 30 were injured in a mass pile-up on a major road into Istanbul involving 13 cars. Another large-scale accident saw 15 vehicles collide in a district of Istanbul, leaving three people with life-threatening injuries. - RT.



INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: The Effects Of Magnetic Polar Migration - The Latest Incidents Of Plane Crashes Across The Globe!

The South African plane apparently started losing altitude between Barberton and Badplaas and the pilot was forced to land. Picture: ER24


December 31, 2015 - EARTH - Here are the latest incidents of plane crashes across the planet over the last few days.

Two injured in Mpumalanga plane crash in South Africa

Two people have been injured in a plane crash in Mpumalanga.

The incident occurred earlier today.

The plane apparently started losing altitude between Barberton and Badplaas and the pilot was forced to land.

ER24’s Pieter Roussow says the incident is being investigated by police.

“The pilot in the aircraft had critical injuries and was airlifted to Mediclinic Nelspruit. The passenger in the aircraft sustained moderate injuries and was transported by ER24 to Rob Ferreira Hospital in Nelspruit for further treatment.” - EWN.



Small plane crashes outside Republic High School in Missouri

The plane crash into a fence at the school's football practice field shortly before 10:00 p.m. 

Witnesses reported seeing the plane flying low. 

The couple was able to call 911 after the crash. 

Firefighters cut off the roof to get them out safely.  There was a minor fuel leak that firefighters took care of with foam.






(Pictures courtesy Thomas Leonard)

Police describe the woman's injuries as minor. 

Her husband suffered moderate injuries.

Investigators do not know where the couple was traveling. - KY3.



Freak turbulence injures over 20 on Shanghai-Toronto flight, plane diverted to Calgary 

Twenty-five people received turbulence-related injuries on an Air Canada flight AC88 on its way to Toronto from Shanghai. The plane was diverted to Calgary, Alberta to treat those affected. Some had to be taken to hospital, with at least 6 reportedly in serious condition.

EMS confirmed that 25 people had been injured, with 21 transported to hospital, including three children. None of the injuries were life threatening, an EMS official told the media.

Air Canada has confirmed that the plane successfully landed in Calgary after encountering turbulence en route.

Fifteen transport units were dispatched to Calgary airport, and additional help was recruited from outside the city, the EMS official added.

There were 332 passages and 19 crew members on board the flight. According to Air Canada, “some will require hospitalization for assessment.”

Calgary fire department spokeswoman Carol Henke stated that she was aware of around 20 people who received turbulence-related neck and back injuries. It is not yet known how severe the injuries are.






Numerous passengers were seen wheeled out of the aircraft by emergency crews on gurneys. At least six people were evacuated on stretchers, some wearing neck braces, according to CBC Calgary correspondent Meghan Grant. Two other passengers were taken out via wheel chairs.

Several passengers told CBC that they felt a sudden “massive drop.” The seatbelt sign was on at the time.Flight AC88 departed from Shanghai, China and was scheduled to land in Toronto at 6:45 pm EST.

A passenger from the flight described the ordeal as a “flight from hell.”“It was frightening,” Connie Gelber told Calgary Herald. “Honestly we didn’t know if we were going to live or die.”

Gelber described a girl being thrown out of her seat into the aisle during turbulence.

Another passenger said that some people “just flew.”“It was crazy,” Liu Pinzhou said.

Many described lots of screaming once turbulence hit. “I heard lots of people screaming, like what you would hear on a roller coaster,” Bing Feng told CBC News. “When you are in the situation, of course (you fear the worst). You saw all the oxygen masks drop.”Some praised how the crew handled the situation. “It was a little scary but all the crew were professional, handled themselves well, people had minor injuries a little bit shaken up,” Gord Murray said. “It could have been much worse.” - RT.



ICE AGE NOW: 12-Foot Snow Drift - New Mexico Works To Unbury After Record Snow Storm That Trapped Couple, Suspended Newspapers!

This Monday, Dec. 28, 2015 photo provided by Bill Kshir shows a buried Ford Fusion, outside of Clovis, N.M. a day after a record snow storm swept New Mexico.
Jimmy and Betty Anderson, two newspaper carriers with Clovis Media, Inc., were buried in a 12-foot snow drift
for nearly 20 hours until a tractor driver found them Sunday Dec. 27.

December 31, 2015 - NEW MEXICO, UNITED STATES - Crews worked to clear snow-covered roads Tuesday after a record winter storm trapped a New Mexico couple in a 12-foot snow drift for almost 20 hours, forced four newspapers to suspend publication and prompted authorities to deliver a baby in a snowbound Texas home.

The cleanup continued throughout southeastern New Mexico two days after the region saw more than a foot of snow.

Some city and county offices began opening, though authorities cautioned motorists about traveling in freezing temperatures amid abandoned vehicles.

Near Clovis, a couple delivering newspapers Saturday night tried to make it through the snowstorm but ended up trapped just miles from their home. They were caught in whiteout conditions as wind pushed their vehicle off the road about 2 miles outside of town.

Betty Anderson said she and her husband Jimmy spent the night talking in their vehicle and sending messages via Facebook telling friends and family members they needed help.

The storm was so severe, however, that rescue crews couldn't reach the couple as they sat in their vehicle buried by a 12-foot snow drift.

"We'd fall asleep for five or 10 minutes and then wake up and say, 'Hey are you OK?'" Betty Anderson said. "We just tried to keep each other talking."

Meanwhile, staff at the Clovis News Journal — the newspaper the Andersons had been delivering — grew anxious as the hours passed. Robert Langrell, the publisher, described waiting for updates from authorities and the Andersons, who tried to preserve their cellphone batteries after their car died.

"Anytime two hours passed without an update, it made your mind race in all kinds of different directions," Langrell said. "You're very hopeful the entire time, but they were in extreme danger. We knew that."

Ty Gonser, of Ray Lee Equipment in Clovis, was using his tractor to aid people when he found the couple.

"I saw a weird-looking snow mound with blue-ish color so I just started digging," said Gonser, who rescued 13 stranded motorists Sunday. "I reach a windshield and I saw the lady."

Gonser, 31, pulled Betty Anderson out first, and she hugged him.

"We all got in the tractor and we got really close to stay warm," Gonser said. "I drove them about 7 miles to a city building."

The snow may have led to two deaths in the Roswell area. A man in his late 60s died of a heart attack Sunday while shoveling snow outside city limits, and a man was found dead buried in snow Tuesday, police spokesman Todd Wildermuth said. The men haven't been identified.

Four newspapers did not publish Tuesday editions because of the snowstorm that made traveling almost impossible. The Clovis News Journal, Portales News-Tribune, Roswell Daily Record and Hobbs News-Sun did not publish print editions. All four posted stories online.

In Farwell, Texas, across the state border from Clovis, Police Chief Larry Kelsay and two paramedics helped deliver a baby in a snow-covered home.

Kelsay said he received a call around 1 a.m. Monday from a woman who was about to give birth. The town doesn't have a hospital and roads were closed.

Kelsay called paramedic Weldon Kube and drove him to the home. A second paramedic, Craig Giesbrecht, joined them. The baby was born about 3:30 a.m.

"It was an easy birth," Kelsay told the Clovis News Journal. "Everything went fine. No complications." - Star Tribune.





INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Train Crashes And Derails In Australia - With Over 200,000 Liters Of Sulphuric Acid!

© Ruptly

December 31, 2015 - AUSTRALIA - A freight train carrying 200,000 liters of sulphuric acid has derailed in northeast Australia. Acid and diesel fuel have spilled.

The locomotive and all its 26 carriages derailed at 10:20am local time east of the outback town of Julia Creek.

The perimeter around the spillage was immediately sealed off, to contain the toxicity. Locals told ABC they could smell the acid immediately.

A state of emergency has been declared in a two-kilometer radius."Two drivers have been released and the third is expected to be released later today," said the spokesperson for Aurizon, Australia’s largest freight rail operator.

"At this early stage, the cause of the incident is not known. Both Aurizon and Queensland Rail will investigate the incident and determine its cause,” he added.

"At this time the focus is on recovery of the incident site."






The Flinders Highway has been shut in the vicinity of Julia Creek and Richmond. Queensland Rail says it doesn’t know how long it might take before the line opens again.

Authorities can’t assess the damage, as wet roads from recent rains have made it difficult to get to the site. The rail operator says it’s looking for different ways to reach it.


WATCH: Train carrying 200,000 litres of sulphuric acid derails in Australia.




"Passenger rail services have been canceled. The Inlander has been canceled today and tomorrow from Townsville to Mount Isa,” a spokeswoman said.

The status of the derailed carriages remains unknown. Aurizon says it has put temporary site safety measures in place before the damage can be further assessed. - RT.





WEATHER ANOMALIES: Survey Reveals Above Average Snowpack In Sierra - 136 PERCENT Of Average For This Time Of Year!

Water managers: Too early to declare end of state drought

December 31, 2015 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Results from Wednesday's first snowpack survey of the season provided some good news for Californians during the ongoing drought.

The California Department of Water Resources said the measurement put the Sierra snowpack at Phillips Station in El Dorado County, which is at 6,800 feet, at 136 percent of average for this time of year. The water content is at 16.3 inches and snow depth is just under 5 feet.

"This location this time of year we’re at 136 percent, which is encouraging but obviously not where we’d like to be," Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program. "This is clearly much better than it was last year at this time."

However statewide, the snowpack stands at 105 percent of average.

"A good part of this snowpack is going to essentially soak into the ground before we start to see it as runoff," Gehrke said. "The problem we’ve had in the last couple of years – we might start off ok and then it justs shuts off - literally shuts off."

After four years of drought, Gehrke plunged a measuring pole into a thick field of snow in the Central Sierra, which includes Lake Tahoe. His survey followed an electronic measurement last week that put the water content of the snowpack at 112 percent of normal. Even more snow has fallen since then.

Despite the positive results, state water managers said it's too early to declare an end to four years of punishing drought. They said they'll feel more confident if the April 1 snowpack is 150 percent of normal and depleted reservoirs reach normal levels.

"So there’s hope I think much more so than we had last year," he said. "El Niño is not a slam dunk. I mean it doesn't guarantee you anything, but at least it is a positive sign.”

The snowpack provides about 30 percent of California's water supply during the months when it melts and rushes through rivers and streams to fill reservoirs that remain critically low.

Last Jan. 1, the snowpack was a meager 45 percent of the historical average. On April 1, it hit a record low of 5 percent. - KCRA.






FUK-U-SHIMA: Baby Whales Dying Along West Coast From Unknown Cause - Government Experts Request Rush On Tissue Testing; Scientist Says They "May Have Been Born Weak"; Carcasses Washing Up On Beaches In United States, Canada, And Mexico; Highly Endangered Whale "Dies From Abnormal Blood Clot Formations In The Heart And Lungs"?!


December 31, 2015 - NORTH AMERICA - A female orca calf has been found dead on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Paul Cottrell of Fisheries and Oceans Canada said a surfer spotted the dead whale washed up on Mussel Beach near Ucluelet on Dec. 23… a necropsy was conducted on Christmas Day. Scientists are still awaiting results of tissue-sample testing and a cause of death is not yet known “All our populations of killer whales are at risk, so it’s a shame regardless of which population it’s from,” he said. “You hate to lose a calf out of these populations.” Scientists have requested a rush on the tissue testing He said it’s believed the calf was about two months old Cottrell noted it was especially unfortunate that the calf was female because of their value in contributing to the population. - Canadian Press.


A dead orca calf is pictured on Dec. 24, 2015. The carcass was found on a beach near Ucluelet one day earlier.
Photograph by: HO - Photo courtesy Fisheries and Oceans Canada , THE CANADIAN PRESS

Heavy Seas Beach Dead Whale in Santa Monica… The remains of a 10-foot, 1,200- to 1,400-pound newborn gray whale washed ashore Tuesday afternoon on Santa Monica Beach… Lifeguard Capt. Kenichi Haskett said… officials believe the whale died a day or two after its birth. - The Argonaut.


I rented a blue Dodge Neon in Chula Vista and decided to drive as far down the Pacific coast as a week would permit… I stopped in Ensenda and got a stamp for my passport… That night I stayed at a little ranch by the sea… The beaches were empty. I found a small dead whale on the shore one day. - Weekly Alibi.


Lifeguards closed off beach access to Del Mar Shores Friday morning after a dead, newborn gray whale washed ashore, officials confirmed… According to Jim Gilpatrick with the NOAA Fisheries, the calf is about three to four weeks old Biologists are not sure why the whale died. There was no sign of foul play or fishing lines, and Gilpatrick speculated the animal may have been born weak. They took samples to try to determine the cause death. - NBC San Diego.


Photo courtesy Ian Chun

Provided by Justin Cross


Rodney Kuahiwinui sighted a dead whale at South Point… marine mammal experts were able to identify the animal as a highly endangered false killer whale… Scientists were able to determine [it] died from abnormal blood clot formations in the heart and lungs Only three Hawaiian false killer whales have been reported stranded in the past 18 years. “With less than 200 individuals alive today, every piece of information is critical,” says [Dr. Kristi West, head of Hawaii Pacific University’s stranding program]. - KHON.

Watch the NBC San Diego broadcast here

Compiled by: ENE News.



PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong Magnitude 5.7 Earthquake Hits Off Nicaragua, No Damages Reported - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

December 31, 2015 - NICARAGUA - A magnitude 5.7 earthquake hit near the coast of Nicaragua on Thursday at a depth of 36.5 km (23 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said, but the government said there were no initial reports of damages.

The quake struck 92 km (57 miles) west southwest of Rivas at 1057 GMT, the survey added.

It revised the quake's magnitude down from an earlier estimate of 5.9.


USGS shakemap intensity.

The government spokeswoman, and wife of President Daniel Ortega, Rosario Murillo, told the state-run television station that there were no immediate reports of damages. - Reuters.




Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity

Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.



USGS plate tectonics for the region.



Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Colombia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake.

References for the Panama Fracture Zone:
Molnar, P., and Sykes, L. R., 1969, Tectonics of the Caribbean and Middle America Regions from Focal Mechanisms and Seismicity: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 80, p. 1639-1684.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- USGS.







GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: "Cash Has Run Out" - Puerto Rico Heads Toward New Year's Default!


December 31, 2015 - PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico has about $1 billion in bond payments due on January 1, and doesn’t have the money for most of them.

Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Tuesday that the island’s government will very likely default on at least some of the debt due on January 1, and that it was evaluating which bonds will be paid. The leaders of the US territory have indicated that there might be enough cash to cover about $330 million worth of payments.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has suggested that the US territory is effectively in default already, but that the defaults would not necessarily come on the first day of the new year.

“They’ve already been taking money out of pension funds to pay current bills,” Lew said on Fox Business Network on Monday. “They’ve been shifting money from one creditor to pay for another creditor. That’s effectively default. You don’t have to wait until you miss a coupon payment to say you’re in default.”



It isn’t clear which payments are going to be skipped, but Puerto Rico’s government bank was quoted by a local newspaper last week as saying that January 1 payments on bonds from the Puerto Rico Infrastructure Finance Authority (PRIFA) are not expected to be paid.

PRIFA, highway agency HTA, and others government agencies are subject to “clawbacks” instated by Governor Garcia Padilla, in which the territory can take back revenues.

However, some agencies returning cash to the government are still expected to make their January 1 payments using funds from emergency reserves they had set up in advance, according to The New York Times, although regulatory filings indicate that PRIFA has no such rainy day fund.

Garcia Padilla has previously warned that some Puerto Rican bondholders will lose their investment.

“It is very probable that from here on out, Puerto Rico will not find the mechanisms to make its payments,” Garcia Padilla said in a news briefing this month at the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in Washington, according to The New York Times. “Cash has run out. There are no more fiscal gymnastics that we can do.” - RT.







PLANETARY TREMORS: Moderate 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Southwest Of Bombardopolis, Haiti - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

December 31, 2015 - HAITI - A moderate earthquake with magnitude of 4.6 was reported 43 kilometers (27 miles) from Bombardopolis in Haiti on Wednesday at 21:20:43 / 9:20 pm (local time epicenter).

The exact location of the event was longitude -73.6456 west, latitude 19.4437 north

The tremor had a depth of 10 km or 6.2 miles.


USGS shakemap intensity.


No tsunami warning was issued.

On January 12, 2010, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 struck close to the densely populated city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing over 200,000 people and reducing the city to rubble. Several million people lost their homes and their livelihoods.



Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity

Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.



USGS plate tectonics for the region.



Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Colombia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake.

References for the Panama Fracture Zone:
Molnar, P., and Sykes, L. R., 1969, Tectonics of the Caribbean and Middle America Regions from Focal Mechanisms and Seismicity: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 80, p. 1639-1684.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- USGS.







MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: More Signs Of Magnetic Polar Migration - Freak Storm Pushes North Pole 50 Degrees Above Normal To Melting Point; Triples The Criteria For "Bomb" Cyclogenesis!

This storm in the far North Atlantic is the same storm that caused two tornado outbreaks and widespread flooding in the United States.
Now, it’s pushing temperatures at the North Pole well above average. (earth.nullschool.net)

December 31, 2015 - NORTH POLE - This story has been updated to include buoy measurements that confirm the North Pole temperature climbed above 32 degrees on Wednesday.

A powerful winter cyclone — the same storm that led to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous river flooding — has driven the North Pole to the freezing point this week, 50 degrees above average for this time of year.

From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, a mind-boggling pressure drop was recorded in Iceland: 54 millibars in just 18 hours. This triples the criteria for “bomb” cyclogenesis, which meteorologists use to describe a rapidly intensifying mid-latitude storm. A “bomb” cyclone is defined as dropping one millibar per hour for 24 hours.

NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center said the storm’s minimum pressure dropped to 928 millibars around 1 a.m. Eastern time, which likely places it in the top five strongest storms on record in this region.

“According to the center’s records, the all-time strongest storm in this area occurred on Dec. 15, 1986, and that had a minimum central pressure of 900 millibars,” Mashable’s Andrew Freedman reported on Tuesday. “The second-strongest storm occurred in January 1993, with a pressure of 916 millibars.”


0700Z Meteosat10 enhanced IR image of the intense force low over .
Twitter: NWS OPC


As this storm churns north, it’s forcing warm air into the Arctic Circle. Over the North Sea, sustained winds from the south are blasting at 70 mph, and gusting to well above 100 mph, drawing heat from south to north.Although there are no permanent weather stations at the North Pole (or really anywhere in the Arctic Ocean), we can use weather forecast models, which ingest data from satellites and surrounding surface observations, to estimate conditions at Earth’s most northern location.


Temperatures in the Arctic Circle were hovering around 32 degrees on Wednesday morning, using data from the GFS model. (weatherbell.com)


On Wednesday morning, temperatures over a vast area around North Pole were somewhere between 30 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit, and for at least a brief moment, surpassed the 32-degree threshold at exactly 90 degrees North, according to data from the GFS forecast model.

Data from the International Arctic Buoy Programme confirms that temperatures very close to the North Pole surpassed the melting point on Wednesday. A buoy (WMO ID Buoy 6400476) at a latitude of 87.45 degrees North hit a high temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius — or 33 degrees Fahrenheit.




“Consider the average winter temperature there is around 20 degrees below zero,” wrote the Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow on Monday. A temperature around the freezing mark signifies a departure from normal of over 50 degrees, and close to typical mid-summer temperatures in this region.

In other words, the area around the North Pole was about as warm as Chicago on Wednesday, and quite a few degrees warmer than much of the Midwest.

Meanwhile in habitable areas around the North Atlantic, winds are howling and waves are rocking the coastline. In Britain, a week of excessive rainfall has pushed rivers and streams well beyond their banks, stranding vehicles and buckling bridges.


Flood waters of the River Dee demonstrating their force by buckling Cambus O'May Bridge
Twitter: Bruce Mann

Storm Frank: Rescue operation sees Ten passengers uplifted from bus marooned in flood water http://dlyr.ec/ynT7r9 
Twitter: The Daily Record

In a blog post on Monday, the U.K. Met office said that December has been a record-breaking month for rainfall in parts of the United Kingdom. A Christmas weekend storm brought up to 8 inches of addition rainfall on saturated soil. The Met Office listed just a small portion of the December records that were set this weekend, in some cases blowing away the previous December records by 10 inches. - Washington Post.