Europe’s big freeze has deepened. Fresh snowfalls have swept across parts of the continent, the number of deaths has risen. Authorities in Serbia say three more people have died while a further 8 have lost their lives in Romania taking the total there to 65. Army police and firefighters were attempting to clear routes to distribute food and water to thousands who were cut off in this latest white deluge.
Global warming or climate change at its best . . . While Europe is freezing as a result of the influx of Siberian weather fronts, on the other side of the planet quite the reverse is taking place, as documented by the YouTuber and blogger uspimpclub: ‘Unprecedented warmth; Records smashed; 1st early Jan 60s ever in MN!
This is from the MN Climate Working Group and NWS today. “There has never been a 60 degree temperature recorded during the first week of January in Minnesota’s modern climate record. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota during the first week of January is 59 degrees, occurring on January 7, 2003 in Amboy, MN. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota on January 5 is 57 degrees, recorded at Crookston in 1902. Reaching 60 degrees ANY time ANYWHERE in January is quite rare, occurring in only 10 years of the 120 year modern record. The all-time record high temperature for any day in January is 69 degrees, occurring January 24, 1981 in Montevideo.” Many locations not only broke records Thursday, but smashed them by more than 10 degrees! (9 Jan 2012)’.
Much of the United States has been enjoying unseasonably warm weather, and it has many people asking whatever happened to winter? NBC’s Ann Thompson looks at the “why” behind the wacky winter weather.
(1 Feb 2012)
Meanwhile, in the Old World, as reported by the Voice of America: a ‘brutal cold front blamed for hundreds of deaths across Europe is threatening to linger even longer. High winds whipped across Russia’s Krasnodar region Wednesday [, 8 Feb], churning water in the port city of Novorossiysk, tearing apart buildings and causing some roofs to collapse. Heavy snow also blanketed the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, freezing roads and lakes. Officials say the death toll across Europe has now climbed to more than 400 people, with new fatalities being reported in central and Eastern Europe. The French news agency said Russian officials on Wednesday raised their death toll to more than 100, with 44 new deaths blamed on the cold since the start of the month. As parts of Europe issue emergency declarations, forecasters warn it could be several weeks before the vicious cold snap departs. Omar Baddour with the World Meteorological Organization said he expects the sub-zero temperatures to start warming next week. Baddour added it could take until the end of the month for Europe to see a significant change. Hundreds of villages, and tens of thousands of people, have been cut off from supplies as snow continues to pile up. Ice has also been a problem, clogging rivers and shutting down key ports. The French news agency said Bosnian authorities started using helicopters to carry needed supplies to isolated hamlets near Mostar and Kalinovic. Italy has also been hit with heavy snow and at the Vatican Wednesday, Pope Benedict prayed for victims of the bitter cold’.
 “Winter Tightens Icy Grip Across Europe” VOA (08 February 2012). http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Winter-Tightens-Icy-Grip-Across-Europe-138939654.html.