18th January - Today's News: Historic Snowstorm Bears Down in Seattle

In Seattle, schools closed, flights cancelled as twin winter storms slam Pacific Northwest - though I have to say that 5" doesn't sound all that much snow.

Here in Britain, the high pressure that brought a brief spell of settled but more wintry feeling weather has receded and we're back to mild and damp again. Though we should see some snow showers in the north from later in Thursday and the Met Office long range forecasts - in part supported by model output - suggests we may see some colder conditions set in towards the end of the month and, if high pressure settles in the right place, continuing for a time into February. At present that looks like winter, so far as the south of Britain is concerned. It's too early to say where we may see any snow fall then.

Elsewhere in the US, tornadoes strike Mississippi, Indiana and Kentucky, the lack of snow turns Yosemite National Park into a very different place compared with normal for this time of year whilst in contrast, snow-buried towns dig out from massive pile-up in Alaska's Prince William Sound.

Drought emergency in central Argentina and Paraguay continues

In SA, heatwave claims labourers, 5 in hospital

With drought and now low temperatures, Mexico food aid sent to crisis-hit Tarahumara Indians

Data from end of last Ice Age confirm effects of climate change in oceans

Light pollution: is there a solution? Yes, invent the off switch .... and save millions in electricity bills in the process.

Highland committee opposes Allt Duine wind farm plan - though isn't it ironic that they used a similar scar on the landscape, the Cairngorm furnicular, to assess the impact the turbines might have?

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