Weather News In Brief - Jan 10 2011

Iced Rose, Co Sligo. Pic Val Robus
Commenting on the potential for another outbreak of cold weather across Ireland, Irish Weather Online forecaster Peter O'Donnell said: I'll offer 80% probability that there will be another major snowfall event in Ireland this winter, defined as 10 cms of snow or more at four or more of the eighteen stations in first-order reporting stations, or 20 cms or more at any two. Of course, that could be Dublin, Casement, Mullingar and Oak Park, leaving 80% of the country with no snow.

When's the most likely time for a snowstorm and return to severe cold? I would say around 24 Jan to 10 Feb, that period shows up in my research as having a cold set of analogues and high blocking index. But the window of opportunity opens around the 20th of January. Doesn't make any difference how mild it gets this week, 16 January 1947 was a very mild day too.
  • JOE BASTARDI, ACCUWEATHER: Winter releases its icy grip.. no surprise in the north, but elsewhere, updates are needed. MORE
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No new volcanic activity at Mount Etna in Sicily. Read the latest from the foot of the Italian volcano.  Meanwhile, Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano which brough European air traffic to a standstill last year remains still despite reports in local Icelandic media last week about a possible increase in seismic activity.
Magnitude 1.2 tremor in Applecross, Highland, near the Isle of Skye
UK: Edinburgh Airport had to be closed for an eighth time since the end of November after staff struggled to clear around four inches of snow, reports The Telegraph.  Some 20 departures and 16 arrivals were cancelled after airport operator, BAA, was unable to open the runway until 12 noon.  A similar number of other flights were subject to delays, while two flights were diverted to other airports.
AUSTRALIA: Residents of low-lying parts of Australia's third largest city, Brisbane, sandbagged their homes against rising waters on Monday as torrential rain exacerbated record floods that have paralysed the coal industry in the northeast and now threaten tourism, reports News24.  Prime Minister Julia Gillard insisted the cost of the floods would not delay a return to budget surplus in 2012-13, but JP Morgan predicted the disaster would crimp growth this year and could delay another increase in interest rates.
Birmingham, Alabama
USA: Severe winter storm warnings were posted by the National Weather Service for Sunday and Monday for states across the South from Texas and Arkansas in the west to Georgia and the Carolinas in the east, according to the US Daily. The National Weather Service also warned of a winter ice storm in Alabama, while the Weather Channel's website said: "Snow, sleet, ice and rain target the Southeast." The sleet was just beginning in Birmingham, Alabama, late on Sunday afternoon, but Alabama Governor Bob Riley had already declared a state of emergency.  Live view of snow falling in Alabama
IRAN: Iran's official news agency says 70 people have died in an air crash in the north of the country, according to Sky. Initial reports said that 50 people had survived when an IranAir Boeing-727 carrying 105 people made an emergency landing during a snow storm in the city of Orumiyeh, 460 miles north of Tehran. 
Reuters reports that Air France-KLM saw a 2 percent increase in passenger traffic in December after heavy snowfall across Europe and the U.S. that will shave an estimated 70 million euros ($90.36 million) off revenues, the airline group said on Monday.  Europe's largest airline by revenues said the passenger load factor, or proportion of seats sold, rose 0.9 percentage points to 80.6 percent. Cargo traffic rose 2.1 percent as the load factor fell 1.7 points.  Meanwhile, Aer Lingus reported a 25.3% slump in passenger numbers for December as bad weather hit the airline.