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Wild Winter Weather Around the World

By: Christopher C. Burt, 8:26 PM GMT on February 05, 2014

Wild Winter Weather Around the World

Heavy snow and ice storms have pounded the U.S., southeastern Europe, and Central Asia. Topeka, Kansas measured its 3rd snowiest calendar day on record with 12.9” on February 4th. Amazing ice and snow accumulations have struck Slovenia, Austria, and northern Italy where flooding at low elevations has resulted in deadly flooding.

U.S. winter storm ‘Nika’

The winter storm designated Nika by The Weather Channel has affected over 100 million Americans over a wide swath of the country bringing heavy snow and damaging ice accumulations. The ice has been particularly disruptive for the residents of Pennsylvania where at one point on Wednesday (February 5) over 700,000 people were without power.

Areal coverage of winter storm warnings (purple) and advisories (red) from winter storm Nika February 4-5. Map from The Weather Channel.

Top icing accumulations have been around 0.5” in portions of Arkansas, Kentucky (where .75” accumulated in Marion), W. Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and snowfall up to 15” in Kansas. Top snowfall reports by state have been:

Kansas 15.5” at Eskridge

New York 15.0” at Waverly and Bainbridge

Pennsylvania 15.0” at Sayre 2.8 WNW

Massachusetts 13.2” at Lunenburg

New Hampshire 12.3" at New Ipswich

Vermont 12.0" at Tunbridge

Connecticut 12.0” in Torrington

Missouri 12.0” at Weston

Indiana 10.1” at Claypool 1.2 E

New Jersey 9.8” at Bethlehem and Montague Townships

Maine 9.6" at Standish 3 E

Illinois 9.0” in Watseka 6.9 WNW

Rhode Island 9.1" at West Gloucester

Ohio 8.7” at Anna 3.1 NNW

Oklahoma 7.0” at Fort Supply 4.2 SE

Nebraska 6.5” at Jewell

Iowa 6.0” in Red Oak and Farmington 3.5 W

Arkansas 6.0” at Bruno 3.1 SSE

Texas 6.0” at Lipscomb

Incredible Ice Storm in Slovenia, Heavy snow in Southern Alps

As bad as the icing has been in portions of the U.S., it pales in comparison to the incredible accumulations that have paralyzed Slovenia in southeastern Europe. Ice accretions up to (and perhaps over) 3” have toppled power lines and left 25% of the countries homes without power. Authorities say 40% of the country’s Alpine forests have been decimated. Southern Austria was also hard hit.

Incredible ice accumulations of up to 3” have encased everything in Postojna, Slovenia the past few days. In the capital city of Ljubljana 33 mm (1.3”) of ice accumulated. Curiously, January was the warmest on record there. Photo from Reuters News Agency.

Video 1. A drive through the ice storm-devastated roads of Slovenia on February 4, 2014. The tree damage is astonishing. Thanks to wunderground member aislinnpaps for posting this.

At higher elevations amazing snowfalls, said to be on the order of a once in 75-100 year event magnitude, have occurred in southern Austria and northern Italy. In Austria Dellach saw 92 cm (36.2”) of snowfall in 24 hours February 1st and 116 cm (45.7”) in 48 hours. Kotschach picked up 102 cm (40.2”) in 24 hours and Lienz saw 71 cm (28.0”) in 24 hours and 96 cm (37.8”) in 48 hours. Lower elevations in Italy have seen flooding rains where Rome picked up 240 mm (9.45”) in the four-day period of January 31-February 3. At least four lives have been lost due to flooding in central Italy so far.

The Arno River in the Italian city of Pisa is threatening to overflow its banks as a result of days of heavy rainfall. Photo from AFP (Agence France Press).

Blizzard conditions have also paralyzed southeastern Romania including Bucharest. Even in normally temperate Azerbaijan up to 1 meter (39”) of snow has fallen at Lankaran on the shores of the Caspian Sea south of Baku.

Record cold and snow in Central Asia

Further to the east a cold wave and snow have enveloped portions of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. An all-time record low temperature of -21.7°C (-7.1°F) was measured at Termez, Uzbekistan on February 3rd and even Mazar el Sharif in Afghanistan (at a low elevation of just 350 m/1,150’) reached -19.0°C (-2.2°F) with a 23 cm (9”) snow accumulation. Normally mild Kandahar has seen a significant snow accumulation (about 5-10 cm/2-4”), said to be the heaviest in 30 years. In Tajikistan, news reports claim 80 cm (31”) of snow fell at one (unidentified) location in just “a few hours”. The record cold and snows are only notable for the low elevations at which they are occurring since, of course, cold and snow are common in the higher elevations of these nations.

A rare heavy snowfall dropped 5-10 cm (2-4”) of snow on the restive southern Afghan city of Kandahar this past week. Photographer not identified.

KUDOS: Thanks to Michael Theusner for Austrian snow data and Maximiliano Herrera for information on Central Asia.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Cold Snow Flood

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Thanks for the impressive round up of weather extremes all over the Northern hemisphere! No chance to be bored on WU (and at those places affected in real life) right now.

Chicago is at their 8th snowiest season on record. Detroit and Indianapolis are at their 7th. Will all time records fall? Detroit and Chicago require over 2 more feet to do that, but Indianapolis is more interesting with on 14.1" required to set a new record.
The pictures from Slovenia are INCREDIBLE!  At times, it seems the world's climate has lost all it's moderatness; just rolling from one exterme to the next. 
Fantastic post, as usual!    
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
PRISTINA (Reuters) - Kosovo started rationing water in and around its capital Pristina on Monday as it struggled with its worst shortages in at least three decades, officials said.

Unusually low levels of snowfall and rain had left reservoirs at worrying levels, said state water company Prishtina.

http://www.newsdaily.com/environment/fb8b5eeec0e3 ae871d399e23cd080ebd/kosovo-rations-water-amid-wor st-drought-in-decades
Awesome report Christopher. THanks for the updates
Only see some of this reported in the Australian media

Posted your info on my blog for aussies to read
with credit to you of course

http://weathercycles.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/wil d-winter-weather-around-the-world-amazing-report-b y-christopher-burt/
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