Cold snap

Photos: Extreme weather brings snow to Beirut and record heat to Australia

January 10, 2013
January 10, 2013

Already complained about the weather today? If you’re too hot or too cold, you’ve got lots of company around the world:

Australia’s heat wave

The country is struggling with bush fires and record heat with temperatures soaring off the charts. Today, Western Australia is facing a category 3 tropical cyclone, named Narelle, while another large dust storm already whipped up a wall of dust and water on Australia’s northwest coast. There was no immediate risk, but people were asked to prepare for more severe weather.

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Firefighters are battling scores of wildfires in southeastern Australia as authorities evacuate national parks and warned that hot, dry and windy conditions were combining to raise the threat to its highest alert level.(AP Photo/NSW Rural Fire Service, James Morris)

Drought in the Midwest

On Wednesday, the US Agriculture Department designated 597 countries in 14 states as natural disaster areas after they experienced drought and heat for eight consecutive weeks. Farmers in the designated areas are now eligible for low-interest loans.

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Corn stalks stand in a snowy field near La Vista, Nebraska. Despite some big storms in December, much of the US is still desperate for relief from the nation’’s longest dry spell in decades. <em> AP Photos / Nati Harnik</em>

Freezing winter in China

China is going through its coldest winter in three decades. Many airports, trains and highways have been closed while the national temperature average has hovered at 25 degrees Fahrenheit since the end of November—the lowest average temperature in 28 years.

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A man swims in a partly frozen lake on a winter day in central Beijing, China. <em>AP Photos / Alexander F. Yuan</em>

India is shivering, too

Last week, Dehli recorded 1.9 degrees Celcius (about 35 degrees Fahrenheit),  the lowest in 44 years. The Indian Red Cross Society has started distributing blankets in the country’s north. More than 100 people have died from the cold so far. Schools have been closed since Sunday.

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A homeless Indian family rises to start the day, on a pavement on a cold morning in New Delhi, India. <em>AP/Altaf Qadri</em>

Snow in the Middle East

A large storm system has brought heavy rain and snow to countries in the Middle East. Schools and government offices were closed.

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Syrian refugee children have a snowball fight at the mountain town of Bhamdoun, east of Beirut, Lebanon. <em>AP Photos/ Bilal Hussein</em>

A Snowman for Jerusalem

Israel’s President Shimon Peres seemed to enjoy the snow falling in Jerusalem today. “Jerusalem is beautiful in any color but is very special in white,”  said a description of a Facebook photo, showing Peres and a snowman. “This is Jerusalem of Snow; the beautiful white snow unites the city in heart and soul.”

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Israel President Shimon Peres enjoying the winter in Jerusalem.(Gideon Sharon)

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