Monday, December 20, 2010
An Arctic wave has brought record cold weather to Cuba on Thursday (December 16) where residents used to mild winter temperatures bundled up using what they could find in their limited closets to confront lows as cold as 35 degrees Fahrenheit (1.9 degrees C.).
The cold front came down from a continental cold air mass that has dumped snow on much of the Midwest and eastern United States and brought ice alerts as far south as southern Florida where many schools were closed or had late starts due to the exceptional weather.
In Havana, residents wearing layers, coats and hats did their best to keep warm in the coldest weather recorded in 50 years.
“In my 65 years I have never felt such cold. It is too much,” said professor, Graciela Palacios.
Surprisingly cold weather was registered in all 41 Cuban departments with mercury dropping furthest in Colon, 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of Havana, where a low of 35 degrees Fahrenheit (1.9 degrees Centigrade) was recorded overnight Wednesday (December 15).
“I'm like, I can hardly walk. My fingers are numb. I am going crazy with this temperature change,” a state employee, Reina Diaz told Reuters in Havana.
"Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”
Dec 20, 2010 (originally posted Monday 20th March 2000)
Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.
Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.
The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east. It is the continuation of a trend that has been increasingly visible in the past 15 years: in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London’s last substantial snowfall was in February 1991.
Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6Â°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.