Weird weather December 15th

Record low in Denver:

Montana -29

As mentioned on Friday, an arctic air mass has invaded the Northwest, the Rockies and the Plains. Temperatures are bitterly cold. We’re not just talking subfreezing temperatures or teens or even single digits.

We’re talking about temperatures that are falling into the teens and twenties below zero. This is dangerous cold to say the least.

Here is a list of record lows from Sunday:

Record Lows
City: Record Low (previously held)

Billings, MT: -18 (-13/1945)
Lewistown, MT: -29 (-24/1951)
Dillon, MT: -16 (-15/1967)
Fort Benton, MT: -23 (tied with 1948)
Sheridan, WY: -13 (tied with 1940)
Camarillo, CA: 32 (33/2007)
Casper, WY: -18 (-9/1967)
Rock Springs, WY: -10 (-3/1987)
Denver, CO: -18 (-14/1901)
Boulder, MT: -20 (tied with 1967) Great Falls, MT: -25 (tied with 1922)
Gold Butte, MT: -33 (-23/1922)
Havre, MT: -32 (-24/1975)
Martinsdale, MT: -23 (-18/1901)
Simpson, MT: -24 (tied with 1975)
Townsend, MT: -15 (-12/1967)
White Sulphur Springs, MT: -29 (-17/1922)
Yuma, CO: -10 (-9/1963)

That same bitter chill is still on the move this morning; helping to push temperatures down, down, down.

Cities that were near their record high yesterday or even broke their record high are experiencing a huge cooldown today.

Record Highs
City: Record high (previously held)
Tulsa, OK: 75 (74/1933) Mon forecast: 28
San Angelo, TX: 82 (81/1924) Mon forecast: 46
Joplin, MO: 71 (70/1975) Mon forecast: 22
Fayetteville, AR: 68 (67/1975) Mon forecast: 26
Childress, TX: 76 (75/1995) Mon forecast: 33
Wichita Falls, TX: 81 (80/1933 & 1975) Mon forecast: 38

Warm in the east, but this won’t last.


Blizzards, black ice and freezing rain forecast as the bookies slash the odds on a white Christmas

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).

High tide wallops Venice for 2nd straight day

VENICE, Italy (AP) – Strong southern winds pushed the Adriatic Sea into Venice again Tuesday, submerging parts of the lagoon city a day after an unusually high tide caused the worst flooding in 20 years.

Tuesday’s tidal surge peaked at 3 feet, 4 inches (102 centimeters), well below Monday’s 5 foot, 1-inch level (156 centimeters), which marked the fourth highest tide in the city’s recorded history and the worst since 1986.

Still, the water Tuesday was high enough to flood the city’s landmark St. Mark’s Square and other low-lying areas.

Tourists and locals waded through the historic piazza with high boots as alarms warned of the latest bout of “acqua alta.” At least one person decided to enjoy the flooded square, zipping about with a kite-surf until police stepped in to end his fun.

Most locals were not amused by the sea’s return.

“Today is going a little bit better, but yesterday it was a disaster,” said jeweler Adriano Cavassoni as he checked the water flowing in front of his shop’s doorstep.

On Monday, the knee-high water invaded shops, damaged merchandise, idled transportation including the city’s public water buses and led to some power cuts. Most Venetians were surprised because authorities didn’t initially forecast such a high tide level, but no damage to the city’s artistic treasures was reported.

The ANSA news agency reported that Venice was planning to spend euro1 million ($1.27 million) to pay for the damages left by the flood. City officials said authorities and shopkeepers would discuss the issue at a meeting Thursday.

Strong southern winds have been driving the sea into Venice’s lagoon, causing the unusually high tides. Forecasters said the tides are expected to subside in the next few days as the weather improves.

While many tourists gladly splashed around the city, some hoteliers feared that the images of Monday’s high tide would scare away visitors.

“We’ve been flooded with calls from people who want to cancel their reservation because they think Venice is under water,” said Giuseppe Mazzarella, a receptionist at the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal. “We reassured them that it’s all over … and even if it happens again, it’s quite fun for tourists.”

Venice is building a system of movable barriers that would rise from the seabed to ease the effect of high tides, but the $5.5 billion project won’t be completed until 2010 at the earliest.

Weather woes keep thousands powerless in Ontario

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.

As much as 15 cm of snow to blanket Ottawa

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.

Ike death toll increases as two bodies found along shore

The death toll from Hurricane Ike reached to at least 31 over the weekend, with the discovery of two unidentified bodies that were found along the Galveston County shore.

“The more people that are out and about going places, the more likely they are to find folks,” said D.J. Florence, chief investigator at the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Both remains are greatly decomposed, but authorities are hoping to find more clues to their identity during autopsies scheduled for today.

Since the storm, more than 530 people have been reported missing, with more than 400 of the cases still unresolved.

As for the latest bodies, the first, believed to be a Caucasian male, was discovered on the rocks Saturday at about 3:15 p.m. by a fisherman two miles west of an area known as Severs Cut.

Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens recovered the body.

The other, believed to be a Caucasian female, was spotted about three hours later in a debris pile by all-terrrain vehicle riders roaming among the flats on the northwest side of Pelican Island, about 300 yards from Pelican Cut.

The ATV riders called Galveston Police.

Hurricane Kyle races north toward Nova Scotia

EASTPORT, Maine – Heavy rain drenched Maine on Sunday as Hurricane Kyle plowed northward across the Atlantic, triggering the state’s first hurricane watch in 17 years.

Kyle could make landfall in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia or New Brunswick sometime during the night or early Monday, according the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A hurricane watch was posted along the coast of Maine from Stonington, at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, to Eastport on the Canadian border, and for southwestern Nova Scotia, the center said. Tropical storm warnings were in effect from Port Clyde, near Rockland, to the coasts of southern New Brunswick and southwest Nova Scotia.

“Since Saturday, it has picked up in intensity, but it has also stabilized,” said Joseph Hewitt, a Maine-based senior forecaster for the National Weather Service.

Canadians used to rough weather
There were no immediate plans for evacuations in Maine.

Near the Canadian border, residents along the rugged coast are accustomed to rough weather, but more often that comes in snowstorms rather than tropical systems, said Washington County Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Hineman.

“Down East we get storms with 50 to 60 mph winds every winter. Those storms can become ferocious,” he said. Down East is the rugged, sparsely populated area from about Bar Harbor to the Canadian border.

Many lobstermen moved their boats to sheltered coves to ride out the storm, said Dwight Carver, a lobsterman on Beals Island. Some also moved lobster traps from shallow water, but most were caught off-guard by the storm’s short notice.

“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of snarls, a lot of mess, to take care of when it’s done,” Carver said. “It’ll take us a few days to straighten things out.”

Heavy rain lashed the state Sunday for a third straight day. As much as 5.5 inches had already fallen along coastal areas. Flood watches were in effect for the southern two-thirds of New Hampshire and southern Maine through Sunday evening.

Authorities expect wind gusts in Maine to reach up to 60 mph and waves up to 20 feet, said Robert McAleer, Maine Emergency Management Agency director. He said coastal and small stream flooding could be a problem.

Evacuations urged for ill, sick
Residents of coastal islands were advised to evacuate if they depend on electricity for medical reasons, because ferry service was expected to be shut down Sunday, McAleer said. Power failures also were likely over the north coastal region of the state, he said.

Maine hasn’t had a hurricane, or even a hurricane watch, since Bob was downgraded as it moved into the state in 1991. For the rest of New England, the last time a hurricane warning was posted was September 1996, for Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts, the weather service said.

At 8 a.m. EDT Sunday, Kyle was centered about 165 miles south-southeast of Nantucket, or about 440 miles southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the National Hurricane Center said.

It was moving toward the north-northeast at roughly 24 mph and expected to continue that track for the next day or so.

Kyle’s maximum sustained wind speed had strengthened to nearly 80 mph, with hurricane-force wind of at least 74 mph extending up to 200 miles out from the center.

However, it was expected to weaken during the day Sunday as it moved over colder water, the hurricane center said.

Hurricane Bob caused problems in southern New England but lost steam as it headed northward into Maine.

The deadliest storm to hit the region was in 1938 when a hurricane killed 700 people and destroyed 63,000 homes on New York’s Long Island and throughout New England. Other hurricanes that have hit Maine were Carol and Edna in 1954, Donna in 1960 and Gloria in 1985.

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions, with wind of at least 74 mph, are possible within 36 hours. A tropical storm warning means conditions for that type of storm, with wind of 39 to 73 mph, are expected within the next 24 hours.