MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Ice Age Now – Perilous Conditions Of ‘White Easter’ As Britain Faces Perfect Winter Storm; UK’s Coldest Spring In 50 Years Claims 5,000 Lives, Final Toll Could Be ‘Horrendous’; 30,000 Could Die from Extreme Cold!

 March 25, 2013 – UNITED KINGDOM – Britain’s snow chaos is set to continue this week, with parts of the country blighted by blizzards right up until Easter Day.
Perilous Conditions Of ‘White Easter’ As Britain Faces Perfect Winter Storm.

Forecasters predict temperatures could plunge to -10C, there will be widespread snow showers and 45mph winds in the lead-up to the holiday weekend. Snow is now highly likely in some areas on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Day, with only a slight respite expected on Bank Holiday Monday. It comes as homes in North Yorkshire, Cumbria and East Anglia have already been buried in drifts as high as four feet. The Met Office still has weather alerts in place, sweeping from south-east England up to southern Scotland and the snow and ice, which caused continuing problems on the nation’s transport network over the weekend, is expected to continue until after Easter, with temperatures dropping to -5C.

Drifting: A man walks past a packed wall of snow in Dinbren, Denbighshire, caused by snow drifting.
Walls of snow: High winds and snow along with freezing temperatures brought traffic chaos to rural parts of North West Lancashire.

Up to an inch of snow fell across eastern Scotland and central parts of England, the Midlands, East Anglia and Lincolnshire overnight on Saturday, but the severe weather conditions may also bring a silver lining. The freeze is being brought over from Scandinavia by what meteorologists call a ‘blocking pattern’, which is set to make March the coldest in half a century.

But, according to the three-month forecast from the Met Office, the same pattern may also bring a heat-wave towards the end of Spring if – as is likely – it shifts slightly south. The freezing conditions continue to cause disruption on the roads and leave homes without power. Helen Roberts, forecaster at the Met Office, said falling snow was going to become less of a problem over the next few days, although the cold weather was expected to last throughout the rest of the week.

Swirling snow: The snow is whipped up by the swirling winds in and around the village of Anderton, near Chorley, Lancashire.
Frozen: Banks of snow are formed by the winds near Chorley, Lancashire.

She said: ‘At the moment we have got a weak weather front but it’s becoming increasingly weak, so increasingly light and patchy.’ She said: ‘The main concern is the strength of the cold easterly wind, which could lead to drifting and the blowing of lying snow. It will be cold next week. Even in January and December we would not be expecting the type of snow we have had for the last few days.

‘It is very unusual for this time of year. The first half of March was around two degrees lower than we would normally expect. There is still some time to go in March, but we are certainly looking at some unseasonably wintry conditions for the rest of the month and foreseeable future. The Easter Bunny will have to have his winter coat on this year.’ – Daily Mail.

Freezing conditions: A man wraps up warm as he braves the cold near Chorley, Lancashire.
Walk on by: A person walks past a snow drift on the Cushendall Road, in the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland, as wintry weather continues to cause havoc across the United Kingdom.

WATCH: Thick snow has made roads impassable in parts of Ulster.


UK’s Coldest Spring In 50 Years Claims 5,000 Lives, Final Toll Could Be ‘Horrendous’.

Freezing Britain’s unusually harsh winter could have cost thousands of pensioners their lives. This month is on track to be the coldest March for 50 years – and as the bitter Arctic conditions caused blackouts and traffic chaos yesterday, experts warned of an ‘horrendous’ death toll among the elderly. About 2,000 extra deaths were registered in just the first two weeks of March compared with the average for the same period over the past five years. And for February, 3,057 extra deaths were registered in England and Wales compared with the five-year average for the month.

Campaigners at Age UK, which says 26,000 people die needlessly in winter every year, said the current weather could prove deadly for thousands more. Director general Michelle Mitchell said: ‘Colder, harsher winters tend to lead to an increase in life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes which in turn leads to a high rate of excess winter deaths.

‘For every one degree drop in average temperature, there are around 8,000 extra deaths.’ The Office for National Statistics said the extra death rate ‘could be to do with the prolonged period of cold weather we’ve been experiencing.’ But it cautioned that it was too early to make an absolute link. The March figures are still provisional.

Deep snow: A car is covered in snow in Birmingham, when the heavy snow made roads impassable, had to dig their cars out to return home.
Whitewash: A man digs his car out of drifting snow at Sandy Lane, near Bradford.

Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, said that last month almost 700 of his members had died, compared with 250 last year.  ‘If our membership is a representative sample that was replicated across the general population, then we could be looking at a horrendous number when all the figures are in,’ he said.

‘An increase in fuel costs and the extended winter means that more people are going to suffer, and more will be unable to afford to eat and heat their homes. It’s a scary prospect.’ It is not just pensioners who are at risk. The body of a 27-year-old man who went missing while walking home from a night out was found in deep snow in farmland near Burnley, Lancashire, yesterday afternoon. Police said the man would not be named until all family members had been informed.

Chief Inspector Derry Crorken of Burnley Police said: ‘Early indications suggest that it is a very tragic incident where a young man has been out with friends and has become caught up in the weather last night on his journey home.  ‘I would urge people to only go out if it is necessary.’

All white: A picture taken from a plane coming in to land at Luton Airport shows the Bedfordshire countryside blanketed in snow.
Gale force: Strong winds battered the coast in the north east. A huge wave crashes against the South Gare lighthouse, Teeside.

Blizzards and power cuts wreaked havoc across large parts of the country yesterday, leaving snowdrifts of up to 15ft in Cumbria and night-time temperatures plunging to -7C (19F) in the Pennines. Power lines were down in Northern Ireland, Scotland and North Wales, leaving 50,000 homes without electricity. Ulster was hardest-hit, with 29,000 properties without power and 1,000 without water.

The transport network was also crippled. East Midlands, Leeds, Robin Hood (Doncaster) and Humberside Airports were all forced temporarily to close runways for snow and ice to be cleared. Train services in the North-West were severely hit and even major roads were treacherous. In Cumbria 70 people were put up in a school after being stranded in their cars on the A595. In North Wales, the Red Cross was brought in to transport vital medical staff to hospitals in 4×4 vehicles because the snow had made roads off limits to normal cars.  The M62 near Rochdale was closed for a time but gritters were out to ensure the route between Manchester and West Yorkshire remained open overnight.

Yesterday’s sporting programme was also badly hit, with Northern Ireland’s football World Cup qualifier against Russia called off for the second time in 24 hours as Belfast’s Windsor Park was unplayable. Elsewhere, seven Football League games in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North were cancelled and race meetings at Doncaster and Newbury were abandoned. Theme parks at Alton Towers and Drayton Manor Park closed, too. The Environment Agency had 59 flood alerts in place last night, covering the Midlands, East Anglia, the south east and the south west.  Hundreds of schools were forced to close on Friday and many were expected to remain closed tomorrow, causing headaches for parents.

Whiteout: Blizzards caused huge snow drifts leaving these cars nearly completely covered in Hadfield, Derbyshire.
Collapse: Tonnes of chalk is scattered over the coastline at Dover after a landslip from its famous White Cliffs caused by wind and freezing temperatures.

Weathermen forecast that the harsh conditions would gradually diminish over the coming week but a biting wind from the east would ensure temperatures remain at 4-6C (39-42F), well below the seasonal average of 11C (52F). Greg Dewhurst of the Met Office said: ‘While the rain, sleet and snow will peter out, it will still feel very cold because of strong easterly winds. The signals are that temperatures will start to return to normal after Easter.’

The weather is also taking its toll on retailers, especially fashion chains where spring lines are remaining on the racks. For DIY chains and garden centres, this is normally one of the most important months. But Mandy Murphy of the British Retail Consortium said: ‘Bad weather could feed through to sales being poorer than hoped for over the big bank holiday weekend.’ It is all in stark contrast to the same time 12 months ago, when sunbathers swamped beaches as temperatures hit 22C (71F), sparking fears of a possible drought. – Daily Mail.

30,000 Could Die From Extreme Cold.

Around 2,000 more deaths than normal were recorded in the first two weeks of March and last month 3,057 extra deaths were registered in England and Wales. The Office for National Statistics said this could be due to the “prolonged period of cold weather”. The National Federation of Occupational Pensioners said deaths among its members had more than quadrupled since the end of last year.

Blizzards: The Peak District was one of the worst affected areas as blizzards swept the UK overnight.
Tight squeeze: A motorist drives slowly past another vehicle that has been trapped in snow near Belfast.

Chief executive Malcolm Booth said almost 500 of its members died last month, double the January figure. He said: “At the rate we are going, and if this extreme cold continues we could be looking at 30,000 deaths.” Age UK said extreme cold weather can increase the risk of serious illness in elderly people.

Director general Michelle Mitchell said: “Colder, harsher winters tend to lead to an increase in life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes which in turn leads to a high rate of excess winter deaths. “For every one degree drop in average temperature, there are around 8,000 extra deaths.” – Express.


~ by cloudslikemountains on March 26, 2013.

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