I have mentioned several times this year in relation, say, to the
hurricane that was off the coast of Portigal, that the Eurasia side
of the Arctic Ocean was as open as any time in recorded history.
This is the time of year when finally the ice begins to cover those
opened waters and the jetstream changes are very very interesting to
monitor. As many of you know I am not a GHG warmer but rather
consider CO2 to be highly significant ELECTRICAL conductivity element
in the oceans and that the danger from human activity and
specifically CO2 from fossil fuels is INSTABILITY leading to neo
glacial conditions. Look at some of these recent weather headlines
and notice, again, the proximate connection to the region of open
ice. It should also be pointed out that the earth's magnetic field
has weakened dramatically over the North American side of the north
EMF pole, but over Eurasia, the second node has not weakened.
Overall, the earth's magnetic field has decreased its intensity about
8 percent over the past 100 years . . .:
VERY COLD IN UKRAINE
DONETSK, January 21 (Itar-Tass) - More and more cities and villages
of Ukraine are left without electricity supply because of bad
weather. By Saturday morning their number reached 237, mostly in the
Zaporozhye, Nikolayev, Kirovograd, Dnepropetrovsk and Poltava
Regions. Repair teams of the regional power-supply services have been
working hard for the past two days almost in Arctic conditions.
According to the information of the weather forecasting service, the
temperature is now the lowest in the eastern and northeastern parts
of Ukraine. The night temperature in the Rovny, Kharkov and Lugansk
Regions was 29 to 32 degrees below zero.
The first victims of the frost were registered on Friday. Seven
drunken vagabonds died of cold in the Lugansk Region and one in the
Vinnitsa Region. Several dozens people were hospitalized with signs
of frostbiting in Kharkov, Kiev and other Ukrainian cities.
In Odessa five babies were born in complete darkness, because the
maternity home was cut off from electricity supply.
According to weather forecasts, strong frosts will remain in Ukraine
for another week.
DEADLY COLD CONTINUES ACROSS RUSSIA
MOSCOW Jan 20, 2006 Arctic temperatures gripping most of Russia
pushed the reported death toll close to 40 on Friday as weather
forecasters warned that no major thaw is expected in Moscow before
Five people died overnight in the capital, city ambulance service
chief Igor Elkis said. The toll in Moscow, locked in a deep freeze
since late Monday, is now at least 16 while the nationwide toll is at
The true figure, however, is likely higher because many regions have
not reported cold deaths.
The arctic temperatures have severely taxed parts of the nation's
infrastructure, with electricity use surging to record levels as
towns and cities struggle to keep indoor temperatures up and Russians
turning to supplemental heating sources including electric radiators
to keep warm.
The cold wave was even affecting Russia's southern regions which
typically see more temperate winter conditions. In the town of
Apsheronsk, some 750 miles south of Moscow, three people were killed
when a gas canister exploded after it was improperly hooked to the
heating system in a private home. And in the Caucasus region of
Adeigei, a wood stove fire killed two people who were trying to heat
Overnight temperatures in the region near the Black Sea dropped to 17
degrees below zero.
On Friday, Moscow temperatures were slightly warmer than Thursday,
when the mercury hit 24 below, the coldest on that date since 1927.
Friday's low was minus 20 degrees. By Monday, the thermometer was
expected to reach four below, Moscow weather service spokeswoman
Natalya Yershova said.
A weather service official, however, told Ekho Moskvy radio that
temperatures in the capital were unlikely to rise above that mark
Forecasters said the winter has been Moscow's coldest in a quarter
Russians are used to the cold many live in Arctic areas where such
temperatures are normal for winter and frustration and suffering
mixed with high spirits or ambivalence.
At a zoo in Lipetsk, south of Moscow, director Alexander Osipov said
monkeys would be given wine three times a day "to protect against
colds," the RIA-Novosti news agency reported. Rossiya television said
a circus sea lion was being treated for pneumonia with brandy body
MOSCOW, January 21 (Itar-Tass) - The Arctic chill that settled in
Russia's European part early this week is tightening its cold grip
causing more deaths and damage across the country. The energy systems
are working to full capacity and are hardly coping with excessive
A cold temperature record had been set this week. Never before since
1978 the temperature kept plunging lower than 25 degrees Celsius for
three days running.
Though the met offices are refraining from long-term forecasts, some
believe the severe frosts in European Russia will last until
Roman Vilfand, the head of the Russian Meteorological Office,
explained that the cold air was not moving. He said the frosts would
weaken slightly in Moscow and the Moscow region during the weekend.
The temperature will rise to minus 22-25 degrees Celsius. However,
strong winds will decrease the effects of warming. Cold air from
northern Asia will gush into European Russia again early next week
bringing the temperatures down to 30-35 degrees Celsius.
Bitter frosts have already killed more than a hundred people in
Moscow. One hundred sixteen people have died in the 10-million
Russian capital this winter, the Political News Agency reports.
Seven people have died of overcooling in Moscow in the past 24 hours,
111 people, of whom 60 were hospitalized, suffered frostbites of
various degrees, a Moscow public health service source told Itar-
In St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, 75 people have
suffered from severe frosts, of which 59 were hospitalized.
Two people have died and 16 have received cold injuries in Volgograd
where the temperature has dropped to minus 30 degrees Celsius.
Eighteen people have been frostbitten in Nizhny Novgorod.
Three people have died and 15 have been rushed to hospital because of
minus 30 degrees frosts.
Bitter frosts have claimed 14 lives in Arkhangelsk in the last three
Most of the dead were drunk. People suffering from cold injuries are
aged largely between 20 and 40. They were not warmly dressed and had
no hats or gloves.
A heat main accident has left 43 apartment buildings in Tomilino near
Moscow without heat.
An emergency situation has been announced in the city of Balei, the
Chita region. An accident at the central water pipeline has brought
the work of four city boiler rooms to a halt. They used to supply
heat to 69 orphanages, four children's homes and two schools. Almost
three thousand people were left without warmth. Classes in many
schools have been cancelled.
However, most Russians are in good mood and don't lose their sense of
UN MEETING POSTPONED DUE TO BAD WEATHER
SUKHUMI, January 21 (Itar-Tass) - The Georgian delegation failed to
come on Saturday to the office of the U.N. mission in the Gali
District, where a Georgian-Abkhazian meeting was planned to be held,
because of bad weather. It has been postponed till January 24, Sergei
Shamba, foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Republic of Abkhazia,
Sergei Shamba and Georgy Khaindrava, Georgian minister for the
settlement of conflicts, were expected to discuss some security
problems and the problem of chicken flu with the mediation of the
U.N. mission and the CIS Collective Peacekeeping Force in the zone of
the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict.
A snowfall, the first this winter, took place in Abkhazia on
Saturday. The air temperature is minus one degree Centigrade.
Heavy snowfall covers Tokyo
The heaviest snowfall in five years is blanketing the greater Tokyo
region, causing injuries and disrupting transportation.
The Otemachi financial district of downtown Tokyo has received six
centimeters of snow, while 10 centimeters of snow covers neighboring
The Japan Meteorological Agency expects as much as five more
centimeters of snow to fall in Otemachi by 9:00pm local time, making
it the heaviest snow fall since January 27, 2001, when the area saw
eight centimeters of snow.
"Today's snow is wet, so it might not stay on the ground to
accumulate. But certainly it is a heavy snow fall," said an agency
At least 45 people have suffered broken bones and bruises from
slipping over in snow in the Kanto region of eastern Japan.
The snow has also caused the cancellation of at least 82 domestic
flights departing or arriving at Haneda airport in Tokyo.
Major train lines are also experiencing delays, with the Shinkansen
bullet train service delayed for up to 10 minutes.
The meteorological agency has issued heavy snow warnings for most of
Japan through Saturday evening, with many areas facing the Sea of
Japan also receiving avalanche warnings.
The coastal regions have experienced Japan's deadliest winter in more
than two decades, with at least 102 deaths recorded by Tuesday, many
of them crushed by snow or falling from buildings while clearing snow
Most of the dead have been elderly people.
It has been the highest death toll since 1983-1984 when 131 people
died in snow-related incidents.
Avalanche kills 9 in Turkey
An avalanche killed nine and injured 17 passengers in a coach
traveling between the eastern Turkish cities of Bitlis and
Eastern Turkey was hit by heavy snowfall in recent weeks as big
cities like Istanbul in the west prepares for a wave of cold weather
from the north.
Roads connecting small villages to the cities are closed in
mountainous eastern Turkey for several weeks during the region's
harsh winter and coaches are the main form of transportation between
More deaths in eastern Europe's big freeze
Much of northern and eastern Europe remains in the grip of bitterly
cold weather as an Arctic freeze claimed victims from Lithuania to
At least 17 weather-related deaths were reported over the weekend.
Moscow's death toll from Siberian temperatures jumped to at least 79
after three more people froze to death overnight on Saturday local
Another 20 were hospitalized with hypothermia, the Interfax news
Temperatures in the Russian capital eased slightly to about minus 18
Celsius degrees, after reaching as low as minus 23 degrees overnight.
In Estonia, where temperatures fell to minus 26 degrees in the
southeastern part of the Baltic nation, several fires were caused by
overheating, killing two people.
Fire engines from the Soviet era had to be taken out of mothballs as
they were more effective in resisting the icy temperatures.
Two more people died from cold in Lithuania over the weekend,
bringing the total to eight and about 100 fires were caused by faulty
Three elderly people also died in Ukraine, raising the total to 21
deaths since temperatures dropped at the start of last week.
Five deaths from hypothermia were reported in neighboring Poland,
where rail and road traffic was seriously disrupted Sunday, bringing
the total of people to have died from the cold since October to 127
In Turkey, a man died of exposure after walking in snow-covered
mountains in the north of the country, the Anatolia news agency says.
In eastern Germany, a man died in a pile-up caused by black ice.
Across the northern swathe of Europe, from Russia across the Baltics
to the Scandinavian states, authorities sought to keep energy
supplies running, road and rail traffic circulating and health
authorities alerted in the midst of the extreme conditions.
In the Moscow region, authorities resolved a number of cases of
failed heat supplies to homes and traffic problems caused by heavy
snowfall, news reports say, while regions struggled to keep ageing
heating systems operational.
Forecasters there say temperatures will fall on Monday to minus 24
degrees but would rise later in the week to minus 12 degrees on
MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) - Seven more people died in Moscow during
the weekend of hypothermia bringing the death toll to 135 since the
end of October, a source in the city's ambulance service told
Interfax on Monday.
Thirty-one more people were hospitalized during the weekend as a
result of exposure to severe frost.
Twelve thousand residents of Podolsk, Moscow region, have been left
without heating after a pipe ruptured, the press service of the
Russian Emergency Situations Ministry told Interfax on Monday.
"An accident occurred between a boiler house and the Parkovy
residential area at 9:45 a.m., which stopped heating supplies to 26
nine-storey houses," the press service said.
FRIGID CASPIAN SEA REGION
BAKU, January 24 (Itar-Tass) - Subzero temperatures have come to Baku
for the first time over the past six years. Snow has covered the
According to the weather center of the Ministry of Ecology and
Natural Resources, the mercury dropped down to minus eight degrees
Centigrade in the Azerbaijan capital last night. It will be a bit
warmer at daytime. According to forecasts of weathermen, average
temperatures till the end of January will be three-four degrees below
the annual average.
The frosty weather and snow created a lot of problems for residents
of the southern city who are not accustomed to cold weather.
Motorists were the first to feel the nuisance: it was difficult for
them to reach their places of destination on icy roads. Kilometers-
long jams built up on some thoroughfares, especially those linking
Baku with suburbs. There were dozens of minor collisions. Since some
residential areas in the capital have no central heating, people use
electric heaters, which results in overloading power grids.
A special meeting of the Azerbaijan parliament, which was scheduled
for this Tuesday and was supposed to form a new composition of the
Central Election Commission of the country, was cancelled over the
This notwithstanding, the cold weather did not make any adjustments
in the program of the official visit to Azerbaijan by Russian vice-
premier and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. He visited on Tuesday the
grave of Azerbaijan national leader Geidar Aliev in the Alley of
Honorary Burial Places in the mountainous part of Baku and expressed
his idea of settling the Karabakh conflict in an interview with
Opening the meeting with Azerbaijan Defense Minister Safar Abiev,
Russian Defense Minister Ivanov made a joke in connection with the
cold spell in Baku: "We can share with you not only weapons, but also
Russia's new cold war: -96 degrees F.
By Fred Weir
It has to be awfully cold before most Russian men will abandon their
traditional machismo and lower the earflaps of their fur hats.
Normally that pegs one as a wimp - or a foreigner. (Though Canadian,
I've long-since adopted Russian ways and watch the other guys on the
street before deciding whether to lower my earflaps.)
But it's been strictly flaps-down weather for over a week, as a
relentless Arctic deep freeze strains the country's patience - and
its sagging infrastructure. Moscow has endured bone-chilling
temperatures, hovering between 4 and 29 degrees below zero F. for the
past eight days, with another wave of frigid air in the offing.
Meteorologists recall that thermometers plunged slightly further, to
36 degrees below zero F., during a bitter 1979 cold snap. But no one
can remember anytime when it was this cold for this long.
"We get a cold snap like this maybe once in 50 years. This isn't
normal," says Nadezhda Satina, a leading specialist at the Moscow
Weather Bureau, which has been deluged with calls from anxious
Muscovites all week.
But despite their concern, Russians are proud of their winters, which
have helped to defeat invaders from Napoleon to Hitler. So when the
mercury nose-dived last week, the nation's traditional display of
bravado went into high gear.
Thousands came out to mark the Orthodox holiday of Epiphany last week
with the famous rite of plunging three times into icy waters and
crossing themselves to affirm their faith. At Bezdonnoye Lake, in
northern Moscow, the dippers included dozens of shivering politicians
who vied for the attention of TV cameras.
Ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhironovsky, wearing a floral-
patterned bathing suit, emerged from his dive with frosty hair and
flung a taunt at the outside world: "The reason Americans and western
Europeans don't understand Russians is because they don't commune
with nature like this."
But Mr. Zhirinovsky also implicitly acknowledged that much of the
country's Soviet-era infrastructure had seen better days, instructing
his chilled compatriots to turn off their refrigerators. Men should
stop using electric razors and women forgo their daily TV soap
operas, he added. And, oh yes, everyone should eat more high-calorie
ice cream to stay warm, particularly the popular Zhirik brand - in
which Zhirinovsky reputedly has a business interest.
But many Russians are resorting to a more traditional ritual to stay
warm: drinking a few shots of vodka. Sales of alcoholic beverages
soared by 30 percent over the past week, according to the Moscow-
based National Alcohol Association. And in the town of Yaroslavl,
about 180 miles north of Moscow, an elephant went berserk and ripped
his cage apart after zookeepers fed it a bucket of vodka in an
attempt to help it feel warmer.
Moscow shops report a huge surge in the sale of valenky, the toasty
warm Russian peasant boots made of felt that have long been spurned
as unfashionable. "People come in, buy valenky, put them on and leave
the shop," says Viktoria Dubrovik, director of the Bitsa clothing
shop in Moscow.
Of course, it's all relative. The coldest temperature ever recorded
in Moscow, according to the city's weather bureau, was 47 degrees
below zero F.in 1940. For Russians in the country's vast Asian
landmass, Siberia, that's a typical winter's day. Thermometers in the
northern Siberian city of Yakutsk hit a numbing 96 degrees below zero
F. last week.
Still, international crises such as Iran's nuclear gambit and
Palestinian elections have dropped from sight as Russian TV scrambles
to cover the fallout, some of it grim, from the pokholodaniya, or
The cold has killed more than 150 people this winter, about a third
of them in the past week. In several Russian towns, central heating
systems - once the pride of Soviet engineering - have been knocked
out by burst pipes, leaving tens of thousands without heat in their
Fires have multiplied in Moscow apartment buildings, due to overuse
of electric heaters, makeshift fireplaces, and gas stoves left
unattended, says Yury Nernashev, head of the State Fire Prevention
And Monday the electricity monopoly Unified Energy Systems imposed
power cuts on hundreds of factories and businesses as electricity
usage soared beyond the grid's capacity. As voltages plunge, lights
dim, TV screens flicker, and microwave ovens simply stop working.
But even if household freezers fail, at least that Zhirik ice cream
won't melt anytime soon.
Arctic cold sweeps into southern Europe
ATHENS - Freezing weather has killed scores of people in eastern
Europe and snowstorms forced the closure of the Acropolis in Athens
and blanketed parts of Sicily and Turkey on Wednesday as the Arctic
air pushed south.
Ukraine said 66 people had died there since the freeze set in last
week. Neighboring Russia has asked it to restrict gas usage as demand
has rocketed during the coldest winter in a generation in the region.
The Romanian Health Ministry said extremely low temperatures in the
country had caused 27 deaths in the past three days.
In a statement it said the victims, ranging in age between 33 and 86,
died of heart attacks and hypothermia caused by temperatures of
about -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Seven of them were homeless.
Ten people froze to death or died of burns while trying to keep warm
in the Czech Republic in recent days after temperatures fell -22 F,
Police said another 14 people have died of exposure in Poland over
the past 24 hours.
The bitter cold has spread to the far south of Europe, regions which
normally enjoy milder winters.
36 hours of snow in Greece
In Greece, more than 400 villages and towns were cut off after 36
hours of continuous snowfall and hundreds of snow-clearing vehicles
struggled to keep main routes open.
Ports across the country stayed shut as icy gale-force winds swept
across the Aegean, casting a carpet of snow over the islands.
A Cambodia-flagged cargo ship sank in the northern Aegean amid a
snowstorm on Tuesday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. All but two
of the 16 mainly Turkish crew were rescued by the coastguard and
rescuers were search for the missing.
Athenians also enjoyed the rare sight of the Acropolis under a
covering of snow. One of the world's most visited monuments, its
marble temples were closed to the public for a second day.
In Turkey, Education Minister Huseyin Celik said the country's
schools, due to resume classes after a mid-year break next week,
would remain closed until Feb. 6 because of the freezing weather.
Much of Turkey, including Ankara and Istanbul, was covered in snow
while shipping was halted on the Bosphorus because of hazardous
Bulgarian officials said the country's two main ports of Varna and
Bourgas on the Black Sea had been closed because of high winds and
Bulgarian media reported that three people had died of exposure since
the cold spell began on Tuesday.
Snow in Sicily
Italy was also suffering from the cold snap, with the thermometer
falling to -31 F in mountains in the northeast. At the other end of
the country, heavy snow swept parts of the Mediterranean island of
Sicily early on Wednesday.
Newspapers reported that two people died of exposure near Imola in
the north of the country, while cities around Italy opened metro
stations and railway waiting rooms overnight to provide shelter for
The harsh winter has led to a surge in demand for gas as Italians try
to keep their homes warm, forcing the government to introduce
emergency measures to preserve dwindling gas stocks.
The famous canals in the Dutch city of Amsterdam froze briefly and
television news showed footage of commuters on bicycles skidding on
black ice, which also caused hundreds of car accidents, ANP news
Snow-covered Roof in Poland Collapses: Seven Confirmed Deaths, 500
Death Toll Rises to Sixty Six - 29 Jan 06 - With temperatures dipping
as low as minus 25C
(minus 13F), few - if any - more survivors are expected. (See article
Migratory Birds Leaving Ukraine to Escape Snow -25 Jan 06 - Severe
cold and snow in Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula has prompted
migratory birds to leave for Turkey, increasing the risk of new
domestic outbreaks of bird flu, Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry said
on Tuesday. Bird flu, which has killed four people in Turkey so far,
continues to be a serious
concern, with the wild migratory birds believed to be the main
infectors of Turkish poultry.
Rare snow storm in Portugal
Today an uncommon snow storm covered much of Portugal. Apart from
mountainous regions, snow is usually a rare vision in this south
European country because flat terrain and a Mediterranean climate.
However, January 2006 saw a cold wave sweeping across Europe, and
since early morning snow fell in seaside towns like Figueira da Foz,
in central Portugal, and the storm reached record south locations
such as Algarve.
Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, received snow for the first time in
52 years. Other towns with a record snowfall were Leiria, Santarém,
Évora, Setúbal, Portalegre, Sesimbra, Palmela, Fátima, Pombal,
Abrantes, Torres Novas and Ourém.
Highways and roads were closed in much of central and south Portugal.
In Montejunto, one hundred people were evacuated from their vehicles.
The storm caused electricity to be cut in Elvas and other parts of
the Alentejo region. A number of car accidents and fallen trees were
reported to have only resulted in minor injuries. In Lisbon, the city
government demanded subway stations to remain open overnight, so that
homeless people could find shelter.
At 1500 GMT, phone companies saw a record level of calls and text
messages due to surprised people contacting and warning each other.
11,000 Turkish villages cut off by snow
Hungry wolves prowl the streets - 27 Jan 06
Some 11,000 small villages and enclaves have been cut off from road
transport and several hundred are without electricity or telephone
services, as heavy snow and cold winds keep a tight grip on Turkey.
Hungry wolves failing to find food in the mountains have reportedly
started prowling the streets of Gevaç in Van province. (This sounds
almost medieval, doesn't it?) People said they were worried
about three separate wolf sightings; most made sure they were at home
before darkness set in. They said if officials left some food in
areas far from residential neighborhoods, the wolves would not bother
As snow continued to fall on Istanbul , roads leading to several
suburbs on the European side of the Bosporus, which cuts through
Istanbul , were blocked. In parts of Istanbul , snow depth had
28 cm. Some 3,000 municipal employees worked round the clock to clean
up the snow. The Turkish Red Crescent provided food and blankets to
around 1,200 people who remained in their cars.
Snowfall was continuing in the Beylikdüzü, Bakırköy, Eminönü and
Boğaz regions of the city on Thursday, with officials warning that
the precipitation would be followed by ice.
Severe storms in the Marmara Sea are preventing ships from entering
the region, with one ship sinking in Şile.
In Ankara , the country's capital, the mayor said that if natural gas
were disrupted (a real fear), residents would be left without any
Officials are forecasting more freezing weather.