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Freeze Stays, 3 Days Before Christmas

  • December 21st, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

winter-storm-nasa11.jpgWith the Winter chill set to continue in Europe the transport freeze leaves thousands stranded.

The build-up of heavy show and ice across Northern Europe is set to continue up to Christmas Eve.

Weather authorities have forecast sunshine in London in the coming days, but more snow and freezing temperatures in continental Europe.

A severe weather alert is being maintained for the region; see WMO Meteoalarm, http://severe.worldweather.wmo.int/, (21.12.10).

Similar bad weather in the United States is complicating the problem.

European airport authorities have encountered management headaches as delays upset schedules, meaning a build-up of aircraft located off-station – and more cancellations.

In all, some 22 000 flights have been cancelled across Europe in the last week; loose early estimates of losses to the airline companies have run  up to US$500-million.

At London Heath Row, flights are being rationed among the airlines.

Ground crews are moving mounds of 30 tonnes of snow for each aircraft berth to be cleared; some planes have still been unable to taxi to the runway.

The airport authority said more flights had moved on Tuesday than Monday, but traffic was still very slow.

Qantas said it was able to fly out all passengers who’d been waiting at the terminal on Monday to get a seat to Australia; two out of four flights were operating on Tuesday.

A company bulletin says the adverse weather conditions had caused a number of services to Europe to be delayed or disrupted, and contingency plans for passengers were being worked on with airport authorities.

Intending passengers were being advised to make regular checks at qantas.com.

In other impacts of the severe weather, early in the Winter, have seen Eurostar train  services severely reduced; retailers have put out glum forecasts for Christmas sales (alleviated somewhat by online shopping orders betting stuck in the mails, causing customers to brave the snow to go to a store); and oil prices have moved up –   January US crude up 48 cents to $US.50 a barrel on Monday; February ice Brent up 35 cents to $US92.02.

Reference

Qantas, Sydney, (home), Latest information as at 3:00pm AEDT 21 December 2010: “Major Disruptions – Latest Update …”,
http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en, (21.12.10).

World Meteorological Organisation, HK: “World Weather Information Service – Europe”, http://www.worldweather.org/europe.htm, (21.12.10); “Meteoalarm, Severe Weather Warning – Europe”,
http://severe.worldweather.wmo.int/, (21.12.10).

Dmitry Zhdannikov, “UPDATE 2-Oil rises on freezing weather in Europe, U.S.”, Reuters, London, 20.12.10. http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFNL3E6NK0F520101220, (21.12.10).

Picture  Europe Winter storm 2005, nasa

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