Monthly archives: January 2008

Jan

31
2008

Disaster declared as winds fuel Texas fires

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FORT WORTH, Texas -1.31.08- Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster proclamation for more than half the counties in the state on Wednesday because of wildfires that have already destroyed at least two dozen buildings and could do more damage later this week. Perry’s order makes 152 of the state’s 254 counties eligible for state assistance. Fast-moving fires Tuesday destroyed buildings and consumed about 2,000 acres in north, central and west Texas. Two firefighters were injured when an 18-wheel truck whose driver was blinded by smoke rear-ended their vehicle, officials said. Read more


Jan

31
2008

Rare snow blankets the Holy City of Jerusalem

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A winter storm which was forecast several days ago arrived in Jerusalem on Wednesday, blanketing the Holy City with a rare covering of snow. The Israeli weather service said up to 20cm (8inches) of snow fell in the city. It was an unfamiliar scene on Wednesday as streets were left deserted during what would normally be a busy rush hour. With the streets left buried by several centimetres (inches) of snow, few cars ventured on the roads and public transport was forced to operate on a reduced service. As schools closed for the day children across Jerusalem rushed out to enjoy playing in the rare treat of snow. Read more


Jan

31
2008

Wild storms, icy cold blast Midwest, Northeast

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-1.30.08- Winter storms that pounded the West moved Wednesday into the rest of the country, bringing with them strong wind, dangerously low wind chill readings and heavy snow. Wind chill readings of 35 to 45 degrees below zero were reported Wednesday in Minnesota, where some interstate highways were closed overnight because of blizzard conditions. Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and fierce winds took aim at the Northeast early Wednesday. Read more


Jan

31
2008

Rapid decline of Arctic island’s ice caps tracked

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Ice fields on an Arctic island have shrunk 50 percent in the past 50 years and will be gone in 50 more, scientists said this week. Located just west of Greenland, Baffin Island is the fifth largest island in the world, with an area of 196,000 square miles. That’s larger than California. A study published in the Jan. 28 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters reveals the expanses of ice blanketing Baffin’s northern plateau in the Canadian Arctic are smaller than at any time in at least the last 1,600 years. Read more


Jan

31
2008

Study quantifies warmer seas, hurricanes

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WASHINGTON -1.30.08- When the water in the hurricane breeding grounds of the Atlantic warms one degree in the dead of summer, overall hurricane activity jumps by half, according to a new study. Scientists have long known that hurricanes get their enormous energy from warm waters, so the warmer the water, the more fuel a storm has to either start up or get stronger. The study calculates how much storm frequency and strength is due to warmer sea water, said author Mark Saunders, professor of climate prediction at the University College London. Read more


Jan

31
2008

Winter storms cost China $4.5 billion

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BEIJING, China (CNN) -1.31.08- China’s worst winter in more than half a century showed no signs of abating Wednesday as forecasters warned of three more days of snow and sleet. The weather has paralyzed transportation, frozen the power grid and delivered a $4.5 billion hit to the economy, according to figures released Wednesday by the Civil Affairs Ministry. The situation is compounding economic problems for China. Destroyed crops have resulted in increased food prices, while the inability to transport goods has further inflated prices and led to shortages at stores. China’s railways and roads are the lifeblood for its manufacturing sector, one of the fastest growing in the world. Read more


Jan

30
2008

Bolivia recovering from heavy rain and flooding

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-1.27.08- Bolivia is assessing the damage caused by heavy rain and flooding over the past few weeks. At the start of the week the country’s president Evo Morales declared a state of emergency as a result of the rain, which has been lashing the country since November. The rain has hit seven of Bolivia’s nine provinces, causing 30 deaths and displacing around 25,000 people. Flooding has been particularly severe in Santa Cruz, Beni and Cochabamba, where a number of highways have been completely wiped out by the heavy rain. Read more


Jan

30
2008

Arctic cold, snow head into Midwest

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BOISE �1.29.08- A series of winter storms packing heavy snow and stiff wind gusts continued to wallop the West on Tuesday, prompting avalanche warnings, school cancellations, road closings and official notices to take precautions against potentially fatal wind chills. “It’s extremely cold � even for North Dakota,” said Lt. Mike Gerhart of the North Dakota Highway Patrol. “If you get caught in that type of situation and you’re not prepared, it can be fatal.” At least four weather stations in the state reported 55 below zero wind chills Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasts said the bad weather would arrive today in the Midwest. Read more


Jan

30
2008

Severe storms race across Indiana; reports say 3 dead

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) �1.29.08- A line of severe thunderstorms packing wind gusts up to 80 mph raced across much of Indiana, killing three people, authorities say. Firefighters pulled two bodies from a mobile home Tuesday night near Poseyville in southwestern Indiana. Storm winds knocked over the home and caused widespread power outages and other damage in the area. Read more


Jan

30
2008

Strong winds fuel wildfires in Texas

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FORT WORTH (AP) �1.29.08- Conditions that fanned wildfires and forced evacuations in parts of Texas were expected to improve Wednesday, but areas still faced the threat of wildfires through the end of the week. Read more