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Expert urges people to check avalanche forecasts after eight deaths in one week

REVELSTOKE, B.C. - An avalanche expert says the deaths of eight people this month in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta is especially heartbreaking because there is so much information available warning of the danger. The people who have died since March 8 range from snowmobilers, backcountry skiers, hikers and snowshoers to a father and son who were buried while tobogganing within sight of the Chateau Lake Louise luxury hotel.

Winter storm blasts U.S. mid-Atlantic days before spring

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A late winter storm landed a final punch on the U.S. mid-Atlantic states on Monday, dumping more than a foot of snow in some places, shutting schools and federal offices and cancelling flights. Traditional green worn on St. Patrick's Day was hidden under the winter coats of children enjoying one more sledding day and of road crews manning plows ahead of the official start of spring on Thursday.

Winter takes a parting shot at US northeast

The unusually grim winter in the US northeast showed no sign of relenting Monday, after Washington DC and nearby states were blanketed by some of the heaviest snows of the season. Just three days before the arrival of spring, the US capital was hit by about a half-foot (more than 15 centimeters) of snow, which once again shut down schools and federal and local government. Air transit tracker flightaware.com said that around 550 flights had been canceled and another 600 delayed.

Winter takes a parting shot at US northeast

The unusually grim winter in the US northeast showed no sign of relenting Monday, after Washington DC and nearby states were blanketed by some of the heaviest snows of the season. Just three days before the arrival of spring, the US capital was hit by about a half-foot (more than 15 centimeters) of snow, which once again shut down schools and federal and local government. Air transit tracker flightaware.com said that around 550 flights had been canceled and another 600 delayed.

Father and son killed in avalanche on the shores of Lake Louise, Alta.

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. - A Parks Canada spokesman says the avalanche risk was high in an area where a father and son were killed when snow rushed down the slope where they had gone to toboggan in Lake Louise, Alta. Banff National Park resource conservation manager Bill Hunt says RCMP requested the aid of Parks Canada Search and Rescue personnel to help look for the two on Saturday afternoon. Hunt says a Parks Canada team found a partially buried toboggan in the avalanche debris/

N.African dust stimulates monsoons

Desert dust from North Africa and the Arabian peninsula stimulates monsoon rains over India, said a study Sunday suggesting that desertification from global warming may boost these seasonal downpours. Analysis of satellite data showed that dusty conditions in North Africa and West Asia were followed within days by stronger monsoon rains in the subcontinent, according to research published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Avalanche centre issues special warning after 4 deaths over 6 days

REVELSTOKE, B.C. - A warning has been issued by the Canadian Avalanche Centre after four deaths over six days in B.C. and Alberta. Karl Klassen of the Public Avalanche Warning Service says unstable layers of snow have been a significant problem for weeks and areas once considered safe may not be now. Klassen says the two deaths involving snowmobiles in B.C. occurred in forestry cut blocks, where logging had occurred, which means it's no longer safe riding below the treeline.

Snowstorm paralyzes eastern Canada

A snowstorm paralyzed eastern Canada on Thursday, causing highway car pileups, flight cancellations and school closures. As much as 40 centimeters (16 inches) of snow fell from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning in parts of Canada's Ontario, Quebec and Maritime provinces. The Canadian Weather Office warned of dangerous blizzard conditions, after the region saw a sudden drop in temperatures accompanied by strong winds. In Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax and Quebec City, nearly all flights were delayed or cancelled, according to airport authorities.

Water Security Agency says central Saskatchewan facing high spring runoff

REGINA - Water watchers in Saskatchewan say the overall threat of flooding from spring runoff is lower than last year, but the Prince Albert area could still see significant challenges. The Water Security Agency says runoff could be well above normal from Prince Albert to Waskesiu Lake. A band stretching across the entire central part of the province — including Saskatoon, North Battleford, Nipawin and La Ronge — also faces a threat of above-normal water levels.

Huge tract of Australia in 'biggest ever drought'

The Australian state of Queensland is in the grip of its most widespread drought ever, with close to 80 percent of its territory parched after a failed wet season, officials said Friday. Australia is famous for its droughts and flooding rains, and Queensland was hit by devastating floods in 2010-11 which left much of the state a disaster zone and brought the state capital Brisbane to a standstill.
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