Blizzards vs Droughts

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  • blizzard vs drought
    • north American blizzard
      • facts
        • feb 2003
        • hit east coast, especially Boston to Washington
        • Lasted 5 days
        • snow 40-80cm deep
        • very low temp and wind chill
        • 75km/h winds
        • blizzards in boston
      • cause
        • blocking high pressure system over Canada
        • air was forced from rockies to cross cold interior
        • cold air then met with warmer air off the coast
      • impacts
        • 27 deaths
        • transport paralysed
        • 95,000 homes blacked out in West Virginia
        • schools closed for a week
        • some damage to buildings by weight of snow $14 Million
        • high cost to snow clearing, $20 million in new york
    • European drough 2003
      • facts
        • 2003 drought lasted Feb to october
        • normal drought is considered 15 consecutive days without rain
        • lowest rainfall since 1921
        • august-october 77% below average
        • evaporation 15% above normal
        • high temp (37) recorded
        • increased thunderstornms due to air so dry
      • cause
        • a series of intense anticyclones
        • forced depressions north or south of UK
      • impacts
        • high pollution, pollen, sunstroke, skin cancer
        • expansion of tourism 4% to cool coasts
        • retailers expanded sales of beer and ice cream
        • 900 deaths from poor air quality
        • loss of work days as people took time off £10 million per day
        • harvest yield fell 20%  milk yield fell 15%
        • water shortage and hosepipe bans
        • roads melted train tracks buckled
        • reservoirs dried 50% below capacity
        • fires killing rare birds Eg on dorset heath

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