Weather News In Brief - 20 Jan 2011

Frozen canal in Naas, Kildare this morning. Pic Roger Parrow.
In his long range outlook for Britain and Ireland, meteorologist and astrophysicist Piers Corbyn of Weather Action is predicting that February will be “mostly cold on a Northerly and Easterly air flow with heavy snow at times including in the South; although often milder in Ireland and SW England & sometimes N/W Scotland.” The forecast is only available to subscribers on Mr. Corbyn’s website.

: Forecasts of another seven years of the extreme winter that triggered the burst pipes crisis in Northern Ireland may force changes to how water is plumbed into homes, the regional development minister has warned, reports The Belfast Telegraph. Conor Murphy, facing questions from his Stormont scrutiny committee on the Christmas emergency, said some meteorologists believed the region had entered a weather cycle that would see successive deep freezes.

SPACE: The search is on for fragments of a meteorite which blazed across Irish skies Tuesday evening. The meteor - described as 'huge' by Astronomy Ireland - is known as a fireball. Astronomy Ireland says it is likely to be a piece of a comet or asteroid that passed near Earth's orbit sometime in the past. It appeared in the moonlit sky at approximately 6pm, or shortly after. MORE from RTE

WORLD: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has dispatched one of its highly specialized aircraft to collect atmospheric data over the North Pacific Ocean to enhance forecasts of winter storms for the entire North American continent. NOAA’s high-altitude, twin-engine Gulfstream IV-SP jet will be stationed at Yokota Air Force Base in Japan through February before repositioning to Honolulu in March. From these locations, the aircraft will be tasked by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction — a division of NOAA’s National Weather Service — to collect information such as wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature and humidity. The data will be sent via satellite to global operational weather forecasting centers and fed into sophisticated computer forecast models. “Data collected from these flights will help provide a more refined snapshot of the atmosphere, which in turn improves forecasts,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, in Camp Springs, Md. MORE

A sheet of plasma more than 350,000 km wide is rising and falling along the sun's southwestern limb today.
This image from NASA's Dynamics Observatory illustrates the activity.
Arctic Sea Ice Extent 2007 and 2011. Image by Ric Werme

SPORT: European horse racing has been once again hit by cold weather today as the meetings at Gowran Park, Ireland, and Ludlow, UK, have had to be abandoned on Thursday 20th January 2011. MORE

NATURE: THE AIR Corps is to undertake the first dedicated aerial survey of whale and dolphin activity in Irish waters this week, reports the Irish Times. The survey, with a team from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, will leave Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, this morning, weather permitting. Two humpback whales currently feeding off the southeast coast are among many cetaceans (whales and dolphins) which the team hopes to observe during the flight in a slow-flying Casa maritime patrol aircraft. 

Western Europe Airmass image from forecast for the UK over the coming week: Colder weather ahead with snow showers in the east.  High pressure becomes an increasing presence over the coming days. It is going to be bringing lots of dry weather to many areas, but colder weather too. Snow showers are likely along eastern coasts during the weekend as the winds turn into the northeast. Further west it should remain dry.

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Live surf, tide, swell and wind data for UK and Ireland


January 18, 2011
Time: 11:04:15.6
Lat./Lon.: 57.788 -4.637
National Grid: 243.2 km E, 880.6 km N
Depth: 3.2
Magnitude: 1.7

January 17, 2011
Time: 14:28:11.1
Lat./Lon.: 51.586 -3.568
National Grid: 291.4 km E, 188.7 km N
Depth: 5.9
Magnitude: 1.8

WORLD QUAKES FROM 0000-1200z 20 Jan 2011-01-20
3.9     SOUTHERN IRAN    2011-01-20 12:21
2.2     CENTRAL ITALY    2011-01-20 12:04
4.1     AEGEAN SEA    2011-01-20 12:16
5.3     RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN    2011-01-20 12:06
2.4     MONTENEGRO    2011-01-20 11:40
2.5     AEGEAN SEA    2011-01-20 11:21
3.2     CENTRAL TURKEY    2011-01-20 12:05
1.8     MONTENEGRO    2011-01-20 10:25
2.3     GREECE    2011-01-20 12:07
2.7     WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 10:18
4.9     CHIAPAS, MEXICO    2011-01-20 12:03
2.4     WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 11:00
2.8     EASTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 09:41
2.6     WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 09:38
3.4     KYRGYZSTAN    2011-01-20 08:58
2.4     NEAR THE COAST OF WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 10:20
3.4     GEORGIA (SAK'ART'VELO)    2011-01-20 08:20
2.8     WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 07:12
2.2     CENTRAL ITALY    2011-01-20 07:55
2.6     SICILY, ITALY    2011-01-20 06:56
3.9     SOUTHEASTERN IRAN    2011-01-20 06:40
3.2     GEORGIA (SAK'ART'VELO)    2011-01-20 08:20
5.1     KOMANDORSKIYE OSTROVA REGION    2011-01-20 08:18
3.4     POLAND    2011-01-20 08:17
2.8     WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 05:17
3.0     WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 05:39
3.0     EASTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 05:44
2.5     ARMENIA    2011-01-20 10:19
5.3     SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION    2011-01-20 08:15
2.0     MONTENEGRO    2011-01-20 02:24
4.3     WESTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 08:14
3.1     EASTERN TURKEY    2011-01-20 03:50
3.0     TURKEY-SYRIA-IRAQ BORDER REGION    2011-01-20 08:11
2.1     GREECE    2011-01-20 00:05

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