Weather News In Brief - Jan 04 2010

Met Eireann is warning that up to 10cm of snow will fall across the country on Thursday night and Friday morning as a frontal system extends from the SW. ME says band of rain will develop in the southwest early in the night and gradually spread northwards to all areas overnight and through Friday morning, turning to snow as it extends north. ME are also warning of possible drifting due to fresh, gusty easterly winds. More HERE. View Irish Weather Online's forecast HERE

Eclipse at 9am, seen from Ashford looking over Wicklow Town Pic by Diarmuid Canning.   New moon occurred today while the Sun rose partially eclipsed around 0830-0900h.  As much as 86% of the solar disk was covered by the Moon at dawn in some parts of western Europe.  Much of the country missed the rare sighting due to extensive cloud cover. However, you may have noticed that it stayed a bit darker than usual after sunrise. 

  • USA: Heavy snow and ice cut off parts of California after the main interstate highway was shut in treacherous conditions, reports The Daily Mail.  Hundreds of motorists were left stranded overnight as a winter storm closed mountain passes and brought snow to even low lying parts of the state.
  • QUADRANTID METEOR ALERT: Earth is passing through a narrow stream of debris from shattered comet 2003 EH1, source of the annual Quadrantid meteor shower. Peaking ithis morning at a maximum rate of about 100 per hour. Tune into SpaceWeather Radio for live meteor echoes from the US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar in Texas.
Arctic Sea Ice Imagery. More here
  • Russian weather puts risk in focus: Russia's summer heatwave has dimmed prospects that northern countries will “win” from climate change thanks to factors such as longer crop-growing seasons or fewer deaths from winter cold, experts say. Canada, Nordic countries and Russia have been portrayed as among a lucky few chilly nations where moderate climate change will mean net benefits such as lower winter heating bills, more forest and crop growth and perhaps more summer tourism. More from the Irish Times
  • CHINA: Reuters reports that freezing rain has pummeled parts of southern China in the past few days, paralysing traffic and straining power networks in some areas ahead of the vast migrations of people for the Lunar New Year holiday next month. Temperatures in southern and southwestern provinces and regions including Guangxi, Guizhou and Hunan stayed below freezing on Tuesday morning, 3 to 5 degrees Celsius lower than the average for this time of year, according to news reports.
  • BEEBE, Ark., USA: Thousands of dead red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky in an Arkansas town on New Year's Eve after massive trauma, tests by veterinary officials concluded on Monday, according to MSNBC.  As many as 5,000 birds mysteriously rained on Beebe, Ark., after nightfall.  "The birds suffered from acute physical trauma leading to internal hemorrhage and death," the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said in a statement. "There was no sign of chronic or infectious disease."
  • ITALY: Slideshow on volcanic activity at Mount Etna, Sicily. Click HERE (select Jan 03 from the calendar)