Weather News In Brief - Dec 15 2010

NASA image of Ireland from space yesterday, 14 Dec 2010
Snow and freezing temperatures are set to return to the UK within the next 48 hours, with bookmakers slashing the odds of a white Christmas, reports The Guardian. The Met Office has issued its second most severe weather warning across Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of Wales and England, with snow expected in the early hours of tomorrow morningMORE reports: “Cold weather is going to be returning to the country for much of the coming week, and it is likely that most areas will see some snow. However, milder are will intrude to southern areas at times, although by mid-week we may see more substantial snowfall in the south, ahead of milder weather arriving for Christmas.” MORE

Snow set to return while water restrictions continue – Irish Times

Frontal system circled. Heavy snow showers and subzero temps will follow in behind this

Odds on a white Christmas slashed evern further by Paddy Power - MORE

The new transport minister will work through the night as Scotland prepares for another blast of wintry weather, reports PA. With forecasters predicting more heavy snowfall Keith Brown will spend Wednesday night in Transport Scotland's control room in Glasgow. MORE

Strong winds and heavy snow in the US has been moving east from Chicago since Friday. Authorities say the adverse weather has claimed at least 15 lives and necessitated the rescue of scores of motorists from snowed-in vehicles. MORE

Canadian police and military teams were working Tuesday afternoon to rescue about 300 people stranded after what a local official termed the most brutal storm to hit the Ontario region in 25 years. Some people had been stuck in their vehicles for more than 24 hours following blinding snow that piled up so high it made it almost impossible to open vehicle doors. MORE from CNN

THE death toll from the wild weather and flooding lashing eastern Australia has hit seven.  The body of a teenage girl was yesterday recovered from a swollen creek in north Queensland, reports The Australian. Che-Nezce Perrie Shepherd's friends tried desperately to save the 17-year-old when her foot became trapped between rocks while swimming at Alligator Creek, near Townsville, on Sunday afternoon. A severe thunderstorm had dumped more than 100mm of rain on the area in two hours, sending a rapidly rising torrent of water down the creek, submerging Ms Shepherd. MORE

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has decided that the temporary closure of the hunting season for wild birds brought in last week should be extended for a further week due to the continuing cold and freezing weather conditions across the State. Ciaran O’Keeffe, Director of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department said “While the weather improved over the weekend and indeed thawed significantly in some parts of the country unfortunately this only lasted for a few days. Met Eireann are currently predicting that sharp and sever frosts will be prevalent in the middle of this week and some wintry showers are expected before the weekend. Accordingly, as the thaw did not last as long as expected it is prudent to extend the closure of the Hunting Season for one more week.”

Do you want to know which lakes have Arctic Char, or what species have been recorded from each of the different lakes in County Cavan? By combining the Data Centre’s mapping technology and Inland Fisheries Ireland information on freshwater fish, for the first time ever this information is at your fingertips!   The online Atlas of Freshwater Fish in Irish lakes is a collaborative project between the National Biodiversity Data Centre and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). The supporting database was compiled by IFI, with contributions from the Irish Char Conservation Group. A species search tool provides access to detailed information, photographs and a distribution map for 23 freshwater fish species found in Irish lakes. For each species this information includes identifying features; any relevant legislation; and for those of angling interest, the size of the largest fish ever caught in an Irish lake. The lake browser tool provides access to the species recorded from 956 lakes across Ireland. Visit the Atlas of Freshwater Fish in Irish lakes at: