The Sheep Mountain 150, the season’s first sled-dog race of significance, was canceled Sunday evening due to a lack of snow.
“There is not enough snow to safely support 45 teams around the entire course,” said Race Director Zack Steer in a statement.
The race was to be held this Saturday and Sunday at the Sheep Mountain Lodge in the Talkeetna Mountains in Sutton, Alaska, approximately 50 miles northeast of Anchorage.
The region has seen less snowfall than usual recently. Normal levels for nearby Anchorage are 23 inches for the season, but only 15.9 inches has been reported thus far.
The upcoming forecast was no help to the mushers. AccuWeather.com is forecasting mainly clear skies over the course of this week with no major snowfall expected for the region.
As recently as last week, Steer had expressed optimism at gomush.com for the race to commence after the lodge saw 14 inches of accumulation on Tuesday. However, by Sunday he was “surprised to see that most of the snow had blown away.”
The Sheep Mountain 150 was to feature many veterans of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, including three-time defending champion Lance Mackey. The race is considered a tune-up by many mushers for the Iditarod with a first-place prize of $1,750.
I was in Vancouver. There was a layer of ash over everything. There was snow in the background, in the mountains.
I was living next to an odd river. I was upset it was fake. It was somewhere up north. I went into the river, it had no water. They always turned off the water in the Fall. I was standing in it, when suddenly someone turned on the water again. I was stuck in the river. There was a child following me.
I was in a strange mall. I wanted to get a camera. It was a Canon and it folded up to be tiny and could be carried on a key ring, but still had all the available features.
I was stuck in a mall. I couldn’t leave. One of the stores was closing down, so I stole something. There was a priest there. My car fell off a bridge into the water. I saw the word horseman.
I was on a boat. There was a swamp we were going through. There were weird animals in the swamp, including a huge snake. I had to meet some strange man named Richard at a coffee shop.
I was at a school reunion. Things were strange, I got lost. Every store was having a huge sale. Staci, a girl from school, had become a missionary. Suddenly, I was at a water park. I had to walk over a huge hole full of water to get to the rides. There was a couple that kept insisting that Ted Kennedy was still alive.
I was with a strange, unknown woman. We were both looking at a map of North America. We were looking at places we thought should have waterfront property, creating floods. We were concentrating on the North. There was a judge living with her son in that area, for some reason we thought it should be flooded.
I was in a mall in Washington DC, with another girl. She was modeling clothes. We were trying to steal tea. Suddenly, I was with Laura Bush. She was talking about her kayak that could fit in the bathtub. We were working on a calendar, I was walking a dog. The dog was trying to eat a poisonous plant, I wouldn’t let him. I tried to eat the plant.
I was at some sort of auditorium with Laura Bush, GW Bush and Obama. There was something wrong, something sad was happening. I was trying to help Laura Bush. I was showing her my cat.
I was standing on a hill, watching the sea. There were a lot of people on the beach, having fun. A huge wave came out of nowhere. People went into the water and drowned. There was a car in the water. It was like a toy and got swept out to sea.
I was in an airplane with a strange man who had wild brown hair and a wild beard. We were trying to get over the international dateline, but we were having problems.
There was a man, somewhere in the Middle East, amongst Arabs. He was not Arabic. He was walking through a very poor village. He got in a small plane to pilot it, it crashed in water. He lived, but had too many secrets. He had a pill, took it, and died. He was in very shallow water.
I was riding a bike along the South American coast, something was wrong, the atmosphere was all weird and a hole opened up in the sky.
I was in Africa. There was terrible flooding. I was trying to get to places on a bus. People kept trying to get into my backpack and steal things.
I was looking at a floor, it was ruined by water and age. There was American money all over the place, but it was moldy and in bad shape. People were trying to grab the money, but it fell apart in their hands.
I was in an old house, getting ready to move. Satan was changing bodies, he was in a little boy. My parents old buffet had stuff in it. Things were empty all over the Quad Cities, all the stores were closed. One of the parks had weeds and plant growth all over it, like nobody had taken care of it. People were gone.
Commuters were facing a battle to get home today after braving the biggest snowfall in almost two decades on their way to work.
The worst snow in Britain for 18 years saw the country’s transport network grind to a halt and prompted one in five workers to stay at home, according to a snap poll.
Those who did make it in were facing yet more chaos on the way home as forecasters predicted a second heavy weather front would hit this afternoon.
With roads blocked, much of the city’s bus service still out of action and all but one underground line suspended, it is feared some may end up stranded.
Helen Chivers, from the Met Office, said more snow would arrive from France this lunchtime, hitting Kent first and then the capital.
‘There are a lot of showers still coming in from the North Sea. It’s winter for a change,’ she said, adding: ‘We don’t get this very often.’
The last time Britain saw such widespread snowfall was in February 1991. The Met Office says up to 30cm could fall in some areas, with others seeing five to 10cm.
It has issued severe weather warnings for much of Scotland and north east England, and is still warning of a high risk of extreme weather throughout the rest of the country.
Temperatures are set to plunge below freezing tonight, meaning conditions could become even more treacherous as snow turns to ice.
The weather is not due to improve until the end of the week, although the snow will gradually lessen and turn to sleet.
Two people are already known to have died in the freezing conditions. The brothers, who have not yet been named, were caught on Mount Snowdon last night.
Their bodies were found this morning after they apparently fell around 300m. It is believed they may not have had the right equipment with them.
Elsewhere, the weather caused more havoc and injuries:
- A 36-year-old man had his arm amputated after his car crashed into a field in County Durham at 6am.
- A 17-year-old boy was treated for hypothermia after falling into a lake in Worcestershire and spending 15 minutes in the water.
- Thousands of residents near Dartford, Kent, were without power as bad weather damaged a power cable.
- Hundreds of ‘non-urgent’ operations were cancelled after many NHS staff failed to make it into work.
London Ambulance Service warned it would only answer ‘life-threatening’ 999 calls because of blocked roads and staff shortages.
Roads were still blocked, airports closed, train services stopped and almost 3,000 schools closed this afternoon due to the massive snowfall overnight.
Drivers, who were told to only travel if absolutely necessary, faced huge tailbacks as cars struggled in the drifts. On the M25 this morning, one queue stretched 54 miles.
In London, there was chaos as the entire bus service was cancelled for the first time in living memory and only one underground line was running a good service.
A very reduced service finally started in the early afternoon, but only three routes were operating fully and another nine on a smaller schedule.
Not even the Blitz stopped the buses and there was anger that gritters had not been able to clear the roads before the morning rush hour.
‘London looks beautiful but I’m really angry the transport system has collapsed,’ said Michael Topper, 24, as he walked to work.
‘They’ve known about the snow since yesterday. The later I get into work the more money we will lose and it’s a really worrying time.’
Colleague Emily Marshall added: ‘I bet the economy loses millions because everyone’s late into work.’
*Let it snow.*
MADRID (Reuters) – One of the heaviest snowfalls in decades closed Madrid airport and brought traffic in the Spanish capital to a standstill on Friday. Airports operator AENA said all flights were halted at Barajas airport from 11:50 a.m. (5:50 am. EST), adding to the misery of passengers already suffering weeks of delays and cancellations due to industrial action by Iberia pilots.
Iberia operates 600 flights a day in and out of the four-runway airport, which handles more than 50 million passengers a year.
Madrid’s regional government convened a meeting of its crisis committee and raised its warning level to orange — the second highest — as snow fell through the day and settled on the capital’s streets for the first time since February 2005.
A transport department spokesman said all Madrid’s major highways were jammed as a result of the bad weather.
The National Meteorology Institute said 10 cm (4 inches) was expected to fall in Madrid on Friday and further snow would fall over much of the country during the weekend.
The high north and central Spanish plateau sees deep snow every winter, but although Madrid sits at 650 meters above sea level, the city’s heat makes snow a rarity.
Television pictures showed a lone cross-country skier in San Sebastian taking advantage of the wintery conditions across the country, using the northern town’s main beach as a trail.
Blizzards and drifting snow are expected to wreak havoc across large parts of Britain tomorrow as the spell of Arctic weather tightens its grip.
From the Midlands northwards, a blanket of snow up to eight inches deep was expected to have fallen overnight, with southern areas likely to see treacherous patches of ice on roads and pavements.
Severe weather warnings were yesterday issued for the North of England and Scotland with warnings of major disruption to roads, and a repeat of Tuesday’s closure of hundreds of schools is likely.
Forecasters said it could be the heaviest early December snowfall in recent years, and with more on the way it resulted in further cuts in the odds on a White Christmas in London.
The snow was expected to sweep across the northern half of Britain last night accompanied by gale-force winds, bringing the threat of blizzard conditions and widespread drifting.
That is likely to see commuters and children in these areas attempting the trip to work or school tomorrow morning (THUR) faced by several inches of snow.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: ‘The main risk is for falls of snow across the north Midlands, northern England and Scotland.
‘On higher ground we could see up to 20cm (eight inches) and lower down and in more populated areas 2cm to 5cm is likely (one to two inches).
TORONTO – More than 36,000 homes in Ontario remained without power Monday following a bout with snow and high winds over the weekend.
Hydro One crews, however, had restored service to about 120,000 residences since late Saturday night.
About 20,000 customers in Penetanguishene and Bracebridge remained without power on Monday morning, while some areas of Barrie, Orillia, Huntsville and Minden are also in the dark.
Poor weather in some areas continues to wreak havoc as repair crews try to restore the lines.
Crews are reporting numerous downed poles and trees that have fallen onto power lines.
Hydro One said in a news release that some of the more remote areas may be without power until later this week.
Ontario’s first winter storm of the season is expected to slam into the nation’s capital Tuesday, blanketing Ottawa with about 15 centimetres of the white stuff, Environment Canada is warning.
Residents in western Quebec and eastern Ontario can expect to see heavy rain become thick white snow beginning Tuesday evening.
“Expect the change sometime around 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening,” said CTV Ottawa meteorologist J.J. Clarke.
By the time residents wake up on Wednesday, a blanket of snow will cover the ground in the regions between Ottawa, Renfrew and Algonquin.
Areas under a winter storm watch include: Prescott, Russell, Cornwall, Lancaster, Maxville, Alexandria, Plevna, Sharbot Lake, western Lanark County, Renfrew, Pembroke and Barry’s Bay.
The storm system, which is intensifying over the eastern U.S. seaboard, will bring with it northwesterly winds gusting up to 70 km/h, causing whiteout conditions and dangerously low visibility for drivers.
The fall storm will hit as many bright coloured leaves still hang on Ottawa trees. Large amounts of packed wet snow may bring down tree trees limbs and power lines, warned Environment Canada.
Last year, the first major snowfall hit the area on November 16. The winter of 2007-08 was one of snowiest in recent memory, with snowfall levels approaching the 1970-71 record of 441.1 centimetres.
Sidewalks and front porches should be all clear for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night as sunny sky and warm temperatures are forecast for the region on Thursday and Friday.