Maine Local Weather Forecast: Cold rain and wet snow Tuesday!

download (5)Author: Todd Gutner

We’ll have more clouds than sun, with highs in the 50s today. It will be warmest in central and northern Maine, coolest in southern and coastal Maine, with a breeze coming in off the ocean.

Rain moves in tonight. It’ll be cold enough in the mountains of western Maine for wet snow to fall, and accumulate. 1 to 3 inches of snow is likely in the mountains. As heavier precipitation moves in Tuesday morning, it’s possible the cold rain flips to wet snow even closer to the coastline. Coatings are possible in spots. Tuesday will remain chilly with periods of rain and highs only in the low 40s.

Clouds linger Wednesday with a few showers. Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s.

We’ll see a return to some sun and highs around 60 Thursday.

Have a nice day.

Todd

“A Message from the Future with AOC”: New Film Imagines World Transformed by the Green New Deal

APRIL 18, 2019

As the push for the Green New Deal builds momentum in the United States, The Intercept has released a short illustrated video imagining a future shaped by the progressive environmental movement. It’s titled “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The New York congressmember narrates the film to envision an America that has been transformed by the Green New Deal policies, including a just transition of jobs, Medicare for all, and a total overhaul of the country’s energy system. The result is a vision of radical hope and transformation. The film features stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Molly Crabapple. It is presented by The Intercept and Naomi Klein, co-written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Avi Lewis, and co-directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt.

US warms up to flood threat after polar vortex

The US prepares for flooding as bitterly cold weather is replaced by a spell of mild weather leading to a rapid thaw.

The United States has started to thaw out after a week of extremely cold weather.

The fast-rising temperature, however, may not be all good news, meteorologists have warned.

They indicated that the thaw may cause a new set of risks, including flooding on streets and in homes, ice jams in lakes, and slippery sidewalks and driveways.

The national lowest temperature was measured at -48.9 degrees Celsius in Chicago, Illinois during the cold streak.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the harsh weather was caused by the influence of the polar vortex, which is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the North Pole and is normally trapped by strong counterclockwise winds.

As temperatures rose, schools reopened, businesses resumed and people came back on the streets that had been empty for days in Chicago.

“I like the warmer weather a lot. I stayed inside when it was cold. It’s wonderful that it’s warmer and I hope it lasts a long time,” said a local resident.

Temperatures are expected to reach 11-12C in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.

This warm weather looks set to be short-lived with a maximum of around -1C on Tuesday, which brings the threat of the thaw turning back to the ice.

BBC: Polar vortex death toll rises to 21 as US cold snap continues

 

Chicago skyline with lake frozenChicago’s frozen shoreline

At least 21 people have died in one of the worst cold snaps to hit the US Midwest in decades.

Ninety million people – a third of the US – have seen temperatures of -17C (0F) or below. Some 250 million Americans overall have experienced the “polar vortex” conditions.

Hospitals have been treating patients reporting frostbite as parts of the country ground to a halt.

Temperatures are expected to swing to above average over the weekend.

Who are the victims?

Homeless people have been particularly at risk, with warming shelters set up across cities.

But some still braved the freezing conditions and one woman, aged 60, was found dead in an abandoned house in Lorain, Ohio.

A hospital in Chicago has already treated 50 patients for frostbite, and some may end up losing a limb, CNN reports. Half of those patients were homeless individuals , while others had jobs that required them to be outdoors.

Some people were found dead a short walk from their homes:

  • A Michigan man who froze to death in his neighbourhood had been “inadequately dressed for the weather”, officials said
  • In a wind chill of -46C (-51F) an 18-year-old student was found unresponsive a short walk from his dorm on Wednesday and later died in hospital
  • On Tuesday, a man froze to death in a garage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, having “apparently collapsed after shovelling snow”, according to a medical examiner

Dangerous roads have also been a factor in the deaths. A man was fatally struck by a snow plough near Chicago on Monday and in northern Indiana, a 22-year-old police officer and his wife died after a collision on icy roads.

What’s the forecast?

The icy cold is expected to loosen its grip on Friday.

By the end of the weekend, Chicago could see temperatures as high as 10C (50F).

“It’s going to be at least a 60-degree swing for Chicago,” David Hamrick, a National Weather Service forecaster, told Reuters news agency.

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The sudden weather change coming this weekend may be the fastest warm-up on record, meteorologists say.

But as the temperatures abruptly turn warmer, US emergency officials warn of flooding and utility risks.

Pipes can burst with such temperature fluctuations, and rapidly melting snow and ice could cause flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency cautioned.

How cold did it get?

More than 30 record lows were broken across the Midwest.

Cotton, Minnesota, was the coldest place in the US on Thursday with a low of -48C (-56F) based on preliminary data.

Chicago passed the record low for 31 January, while Mount Carroll has probably beaten the Illinois record with a morning temperature of -39C (-38F).

Chicago is using fire to melt snow on the railway and keep the trains running

Cities across Iowa have also broken temperature records.

The chill drifted eastward on Thursday, bringing sub-zero temperatures to north-eastern cities such as Boston.

Much of Chicago River has frozen over

With wind chill factored in, temperatures of -40C (-40F) in the Midwest and Great Lakes have felt closer to -53C (-63F), which is enough to cause frostbite in less than five minutes.

Snow plough in Buffalo, New YorkSnow plough in Buffalo, New York

How is the cold snap affecting daily life?

The Arctic weather could cost the US billions of dollars. In 2014, a similar polar freeze cost the country an estimated $5bn (£3.8bn), CBS News reports.

In Minnesota and Michigan, residents were asked by gas companies to turn down their home thermostats to help handle heating demands.

Consumers Energy, a natural gas provider in Michigan, had a fire on Wednesday morning that damaged equipment and temporarily affected how much gas could be sent out to customers.

Native American tribes in the northern Midwest states helped their members obtain heating supplies as many live in poor-quality housing, the Associated Press reports.

Andrea Cusack, a pharmacist in Michigan, began using her snowmobile to deliver essential prescriptions to snowed-in residents, according to the Lansing State Journal.

More than 2,300 flights have been cancelled and another 3,500 delayed due to the polar vortex.

Social media has been full of photos and memes showcasing just how shockingly cold the Midwest became.

A person takes a selfie beside on the US side of Niagara Falls as seen from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada on January 31, 2019Niagara falls covered with snow

What about Canada?

Areas across the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan, and in the north, remain under extreme cold warnings.

But many parts of the country are moving towards more seasonable temperatures on Friday and over the weekend.

In Toronto, wind chills near -30C (-22F) were expected to continue early Friday before beginning to warm.

There were also winter storm and blizzards warnings active across the country from the east to the west coast.

Environment Canada was urging residents to limit their exposure to cold and keep pets indoors.

Canada did not experience a spate of deaths linked to the polar vortex like the US.

Stephen Hwang, an associate professor with the University of Toronto’s department of medicine, suggested that Canadian cities and public health authorities probably had more experience dealing with the deep cold.

Most homeless shelters also already had protocols in place for when the extreme cold hits.

But he said it was still “fortunate” that cities like Toronto, where homeless shelters have been stretched for resources in recent months, did not see any cold-related deaths among its most vulnerable citizens.

BBC: Polar vortex claims eight lives as US cold snap continues

download28229At least eight people have died in the US Midwest as the region shivers in the grip of its worst cold snap in decades.

An Iowa student found dead outside a college building is among the victims of the deadly freeze.

Hospitals have been treating patients reporting frostbite as life across a swathe of the nation grinds to a halt.

The iciest blasts may still come on Thursday. Ninety million people – a third of the US – have seen temperatures of -17C (0F) or below.

Some 250 million Americans overall have experienced the “polar vortex” conditions, but southern states such as Florida have escaped the brutal chill.

How did the fatalities occur?

  • University of Iowa student Gerald Belz, 18, was found unresponsive behind a campus building before dawn on Wednesday and later died in hospital. Officials said weather was a factor. His father told local news channel KCRG that Gerald was a “mama’s boy with a tough exterior”.
  • A 70-year-old man in Detroit, Michigan, was found dead in front of a neighbour’s home on Wednesday
  • Another Michigan man in his 70s was found frozen to death in his neighbourhood. Officials said he was “inadequately dressed for the weather” and was probably disoriented
  • On Tuesday, 55-year-old Charley Lampley froze to death in a garage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, having “apparently collapsed after shovelling snow”, according to a medical examiner
  • An 82-year-old man in Pekin, Illinois, died from hypothermia after apparently falling outside his home on Tuesday
  • A 75-year-old man was fatally struck by a snow plough near Chicago on Monday. The driver has since been placed on paid leave pending an investigation, according to WGN9 News
  • In northern Indiana, a young couple died after a collision on icy roads
Homeless individual sits outside NYC subway stationSnow and cold weather hits New York City

What’s the forecast?

Thursday could see America’s third largest city of Chicago breaking its 1985 record low of -32C (-25F), according to meteorologists.

The chill is drifting eastward on Thursday, bringing sub-zero temperatures to north-eastern cities such as Boston.

Areas downwind of the Great Lakes are expected to be buried by intense “snow lakes” into Thursday night.

Snow covering the Great Lakes region

The region near Buffalo, New York, should see the heaviest snowfall. Snow could fall at rates of 3in-5in (7cm-12cm) per hour.

The icy cold is expected to loosen its grip on Friday.

With wind chill factored in, the Midwest and Great Lakes have felt temperatures closer to -40C (-40F) and -53C (-63F), which is enough to cause frostbite in under five minutes.

But by the end of the weekend, Chicago could see temperatures as high as 10C (50F).

“It’s going to be at least a 60-degree swing for Chicago,” David Hamrick, a National Weather Service forecaster, told Reuters news agency.

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The Wind Chill City

Analysis by Chris Buckler, BBC News, Chicago

On the icy streets of Chicago they are used to bitter winters but this was too cold even for some people who live here.

Rush hour hasn’t existed in this normally bustling city for the last couple of days as many have chosen to stay at home rather than brave such extreme elements.

Those who did go to work arrived bundled up in layer after layer of clothing. Anything exposed – like eyebrows and lashes – were covered in frost.

“They’ve frozen shut a couple of times”, one man told me about his watering eyes.

The Windy City could be renamed the Wind Chill City given the number of warnings there have been this week.

Below several skyscrapers there are still signs pointing out the dangers of falling ice.

You could argue that a slight thaw has begun given that cracks have started to appear on what was a solid sheet of ice covering the Chicago river.

But temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Saturday at the earliest.

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Much of Chicago River has frozen over

How is the cold snap affecting daily life?

The Arctic weather could cost the US billions of dollars. In 2014, a similar polar freeze cost the country an estimated $5bn (£3.8bn), CBS News reported.

In Minnesota, residents have been asked by natural gas company Xcel Energy to reduce their home thermostats to 17C (63F) in order to help the company handle heating demands.

Michigan residents have had similar requests from their utility companies as providers struggle to keep the states warm.

Native American tribes in the northern Midwest states have been helping their members obtain heating supplies during the chill as many live in poor-quality housing, the Associated Press reported.

Detroit has had more than two dozen water mains freeze over this week. A city spokesman told the Associated Press the pipes were installed up to 1.8m below the frost line, but with such drastically low temperatures, the ground has still frozen through.

The US Postal Service has suspended all mail deliveries for the second day to parts of six states.

More than 2,300 flights have been cancelled and another 3,500 delayed due to the polar vortex.

As ice and snow continue to build up, roads have become increasingly dangerous across the northern US. In Illinois, police said they had assisted more than 1,300 motorists and received 460 calls in eight hours – 10 times the norm.

One woman in the state was caught speeding at 115mph (185km/h) on a snowy road with a 35mph (56km/h) speed limit.

At least two people were critically injured in a 27-car pile-up on icy roads in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

Twenty-one vehicles, including a lorry, were involved in a pile-up in Buffalo, New York, during a snowstorm on Wednesday. Officials have not released details on any injuries, WKBW News reported.

It is reported that the lorry should not have been on the road at the time, due to a weather-related ban.

A sole individual walks down State Street in Madison, WisconsinA sole individual walks down State Street in Madison, Wisconsin

In Minnesota, prison visits were cancelled over the cold, according to the New York Times.

How cold is Chicago?

The Illinois city became a frozen ghost town after temperatures fell to -30C (-22F), colder than parts of Antarctica.

A Good Samaritan paid for 70 homeless Chicagoans to stay in a hotel as temperatures dropped.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Jacqueline Rachev told the Washington Post: “It’s a deadly situation for anyone. We’re thrilled that someone was in a position to be able to do this.”

Most of the thousands of cancelled flights this week were coming out of Chicago’s airports – O’Hare International is ranked as one of the top 10 busiest airports in the world.

Amtrak also cancelled all trains into Chicago on Wednesday, affecting 55 trains, and said most would be cancelled on Thursday as well.

As the Midwestern city is one of the company’s hubs, train services nationwide could be impacted.

The chill was even too much for Chicago’s Disney on Ice show, which cancelled its Wednesday performance.

More than 600 local schools have shut, keeping 360,000 students at home.

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What about Canada?

Most of Canada was under some sort of weather warning – from extreme cold in the Prairies, Quebec and Ontario to heavy snows in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

In Toronto, where winters tend to be milder compared to cities such as Montreal and Ottawa, temperatures had plummeted to -18C (0F). Icy roads and several transit delays made for a hellish commute for the city’s residents.

Environment Canada issued extreme cold warnings for most parts of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, urging residents to limit their exposure to cold and keep pets indoors.

Advocates expressed concern for homeless people living in cities hit by the extreme temperatures.

In Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, temperatures were -40C (-40F), with wind chill factors making it feel like -50C (-58F).

“If you don’t get it in December, you will get it in January or February or March. What do you expect? It’s ‘Winterpeg’,” Caroline Rodriguez told CBC.

In Calgary, Alberta, temperatures were a relatively balmy -3C (27F), but were expected to plummet overnight and through the weekend.

In parts of rural northern Alberta, 15in of snow were expected to fall.

BBC: US to shiver in ‘once-in-a-generation’ polar vortex

Workers de-ice a Southwest Airline's aircraft at Midway Airport

Workers remove ice from an aeroplane in Chicago, which is expected to be one of the worst affected cities

The US will shiver this week in a once-in-a-generation deep freeze, forecasters warn.

The most extreme arctic blasts, caused by a spinning pool of cold air known as the polar vortex, could bring temperatures as low as -53C (-64F).

Weather officials in the state of Iowa have warned people to “avoid taking deep breaths, and to minimise talking” if they go outside.

At least 55 million people are forecast to experience sub-zero temperatures.

A state of emergency has been declared in the Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois as well as in the normally more clement southern states of Alabama and Mississippi.

John Gagan, a National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist, said: “The intensity of this cold air, I would say, is once in a generation.”

The NWS is warning that frostbite is possible within just 10 minutes of being outside in such extreme temperatures.

The coldest temperatures are expected to hit from Tuesday to Thursday, with forecasters predicting that Chicago will be colder than Antarctica.

The Illinois city could experience a low of -27F, with freezing winds making that feel closer to -50F, officials say.

As much as 2ft (60cm) of snow is forecast in Wisconsin, and 6in is expected in Illinois.

Alabama and another southern state, Georgia, are expecting snow, too.

A person with a walker goes over snow as they cross Canfield Avenue on January 29, 2019 in Detroit, MichiganA state of emergency has been declared in a number of states including Michigan

How did President Trump inject controversy?

President Donald Trump, who has questioned whether humans are responsible for climate change, tweeted about the conditions.

“What the hell is going on with Global Warming?” he said. “Please come back fast, we need you!”

Presentational white spaceBut one of the US government’s own meteorological agencies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, posted what was widely interpreted as a rebuttal to the president.

Forecasters are attributing this cold snap to a sudden warming above the North Pole, caused by a blast of hot air from Morocco last month.

This weather system split the polar vortex and caused it to drift south, Judah Cohen, a winter storm expert for Atmospheric Environmental Research, told AP news agency.

The world’s leading scientists have said that climate change is primarily human-induced and can lead to harsher winters.

What impact is the weather having?

Chicago police say people are being robbed at gunpoint of their coats.

Those wearing Canada Goose jackets, which can cost as much as £900 ($1,100), have been targeted, local media report.

Tickets to see the award-winning musical Hamilton are reportedly selling for $70, half their usual value, as theatre-goers avoid venturing out in the extreme conditions.

A tow truck pushes a car up the ramp in DenverMotorists have been told to pack extra supplies and to take extra care when travelling

And the city’s Brookfield Zoo will be shut on Wednesday and Thursday for only the fourth time in 85 years.

More than 1,100 flights were cancelled into or out of the US on Tuesday, including some to Atlanta, Georgia, where the Super Bowl will take place on Sunday.

Predominantly in the Midwest, thousands of schools and businesses have been closed as have a number of government agencies.

Dozens of so-called warming centres – emergency shelters for those with nowhere to go – have been opened in US cities.

A graph showing the risk of frostbite increasing with wind chill
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Will you be working outside in the cold weather? How are you planning to cope with the extreme cold?Let us know by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Germany to Shut Down All Coal Plants by 2038

JAN 28, 2019

H9 germany to end coal use

Germany will move to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 as part of the country’s commitment to renewable energy. The move was announced by a government-appointed commission, which is proposing $45 billion to assist regions most affected by the closure of the coal plants. Germany is also on track to close down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022. Renewables made up over 40 percent of the energy supplied in Germany last year, surpassing coal for the very first time.

trumpcoal