More than 20 Deaths Feared in Italian Hotel Buried by Avalanche

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/more-than-20-deaths-feared-in-italian-hotel-buried-by-avalanche

An unusually frigid and snowy winter across southern Europe delivered its most dramatic blow yet on Wednesday evening, when a four-star resort in the Abruzzo province of central Italy, Hotel Rigopiano, was buried in an avalanche. About 30 people were believed to be in the hotel when the avalanche struck, with two others having survived because they were outside the building. Inside, rescuers carefully combed through the ruined structure. Imagery from inside the hote...<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3545">Read More</a>

Confirmed: 2016 the Warmest Year in History of Global Recordkeeping

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For the third year in a row, Earth has experienced the warmest surface temperatures in global data extending back to 1880. In its annual climate summary released on Wednesday, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) calculated that the average global temperature across both land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was 1.69°F (0.94°C) above the 20th-century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This made 2016 the warmest calendar year on record, coming in 0....<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3544">Read More</a>

A Swarm of 30 Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters Socked the Planet in 2016

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Earth had a tough year for billion-dollar weather-related natural disasters in 2016, with 30. This is the fourth-largest number on record going back to 1990, said insurance broker Aon Benfield in their Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report issued January 17. The average from 1990 - 2016 was 22 billion-dollar weather disasters; the highest number since 1990 was 41, in 2013. The combined economic losses from all 315 weather and earthquake disasters catalogued ...<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3543">Read More</a>

From Freezing Rain to Giant Hail, Great Plains Endure An Icy Weekend

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Freezing rain materialized as expected during the weekend over a large swath of the central U.S., from Texas to Illinois. The ice has been widespread and prolonged, yet the ingredients haven’t come together as they could have for an truly catastrophic ice storm. Temperatures have been borderline--near or just below freezing over large parts of the affected area--and in many cases the ground was still warm enough to help keep surface ice to a minimum. Rainfall wasn...<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3542">Read More</a>

Icy Weekend for Central Plains; La Niña’s Days Are Numbered

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/icy-weekend-for-central-plains-la-nias-days-are-numbered

Near-record levels of moisture for January will be flowing toward the Central Plains this weekend atop a paper-thin cold air mass at the surface--a classic set-up for widespread freezing rain. Ice storm warnings were in place Friday morning along a strip from northwest Oklahoma to southwest Illinois. These warnings indicate that enough freezing rain is expected in the next 12 to 36 hours (typically 1/4” to 1/2”, depending on location) to cause significant proble...<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3541">Read More</a>

As Earth Warms Up, The Sun Is Remarkably Quiet

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/as-earth-warms-up-the-sun-is-remarkably-quiet

If you’re looking toward the sun to help explain this decade’s record global heat on Earth, look again. Solar activity has been below average for more than a decade, and the pattern appears set to continue, according to several top solar researchers. Solar Cycle 24, the one that will wrap up in the late 2010s, was the least active in more than a century. We now have outlooks for Cycle 25, the one that will prevail during the 2020s, and they’re calling for a cy...<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3540">Read More</a>

Second-Warmest Year in U.S. Weather History, and Among the Wettest

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/secondwarmest-year-in-us-weather-history-and-among-the-wettest

Only 2012 ranks ahead of 2016 for average global temperature across the 48 contiguous states, said NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information on Monday in its yearly U.S. climate report. The second-place showing follows a third-place ranking in 2015 (see Figure 1), which means that the last five years (2012 - 2016) have produced the three warmest years in U.S. records extending back to 1895. This national-scale warmth is a reflection of global-scale tre...<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3539">Read More</a>

Winter Storms Hustle Across United States; Ice Potential Rears Its Head for Late Week

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/winter-storms-hustle-across-united-states-ice-potential-rears-its-hea

The much-anticipated twin winter storms affecting the U.S. West and East Coasts over the weekend brought many, if not most, of the predicted impacts. A nose of warm air pushed further inland than expected over the Southeast, which kept snow totals near the low end of hopes and/or fears from northern Georgia (central Atlanta missed out completely on snow accumulations) to southeast Virginia. Update: Parts of the Hampton Roads, VA, area picked up less than 6", but upd...<br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3538">Read More</a>