Weather News In Brief - Dec 29 2010

Local authorities across Ireland are today continuing attempts to restore water supply to thousands of consumers.  Water shut-offs are continuing and further burst water main bursts have been reported in 21 counties.

Water shortages are believed to have been caused by pipes bursting during and after the cold spell, as well as the huge increase in demand for water.  Northern Ireland Water says it is working 'as fast as we can' to restore running water to 40,000 people affected by burst pipes.

Water Services Updates By County:

See other local authority websites for more.
  • Ireland's best-known 'amateur' weather forecaster, who accurately predicted a white Christmas, has said Ireland will get a break in the new year -- but only briefly. The Belfast Telegraph reports that Postman Michael Gallagher, who forecasts his weather from movements of animals and birds around his Bluestack Mountains beat in Donegal, says the thaw will continue for another few days but we can expect the snow to return by mid-January. 
  • Household bin collections which were missed during the snow will resume this week., reports The Irish Times. Waste collectors have said they will take extra bags left neatly beside bins on the next household collection date.  

  • AIR: Airline passengers are advised to check with their airlines website before going to the Cork of Dublin airports. There has been major disruption to flight operations in the east coast of America due to severe snow storms in recent days.  ROAD: Gardai are advising motorists to continue to avoid the Wicklow Gap and Sally Gap in Wicklow due to icy conditions. 
  • South Africa: South African authorities have begun the relocation of 3,000 families after huge sinkholes appeared close to their homes near Pretoria, reports the BBC. The depressions are said to be the result of a massive extraction of water by farms in the area, causing underground caverns to collapse.
  • USA: With more than 80 million Americans reported to be impacted by recent severe winter storms along the East coast; it’s not surprising that more awful conditions, bitter cold and more snow blizzards is on tap for the New Year, say forecasters. More
  • Canada: It was one of the three warmest years recorded since 1850. It also marked the end of the warmest 10-year period since the beginning of instrumental records, reports The Montreal Gazette.   "The most extreme warm anomalies ... extended across most of Canada and Greenland with mean annual temperatures 3 degrees Celsius or more above normal in parts of west Greenland and the eastern Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic," according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization. "Temperatures averaged over Canada have been the highest on record." 
  • New Zealand: Holiday-goers were battered by severe gale-force winds and torrential rain that swept across New Zealand, wreaking havoc, according to the Manawatu Standard.  The strong winds blew over tents and gave a cold shock to campers and trampers in Manawatu yesterday.

THE SUN: 29 DEC 2010
Sunspot 1038. Click to enlarge Image Credit: SOHO/MDI