November 30, 2012

    Photo: torbakhopper/Flickr

Extreme Weather Batters NoCal

Flood warnings, record snowfall

A flood watch has been placed in effect for much of Northern California through Sunday as the second in a series of heavy storms continues to batter the state. More than two inches of rain have already fallen in and around San Francisco, where the city’s Great Highway has been closed due to flooding. In Sacramento, a big-rig crash created a traffic jam several miles in lengths. Over five inches of rain are expected to fall there by Sunday and officials are warning that the Sacramento River could exceed flood stage at several locations.

"This is a very warm series of storm systems with a connection to tropical moisture," said meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "As a result, the rain will be heavy, and will reach high into the mountains; at times this weekend, the snow will only be falling at elevations above 8,000 feet. This increases the risk of flooding." The third storm is expected to hit California on Saturday, bringing the total rainfall to over 12 inches.

Further north, the National Weather Service predicted that storms could bring potentially record-breaking snowfall for Mount Shasta, with up to 30 inches falling on Friday night alone. Shasta holds the current world record for snowfall in a single snowstorm, with 189 inches in six days. Estimates place the potential for this storm's snowfall as high as 218 inches over four days.

Via The Weather Channel


    Photo: Bob Jagendorf/Flickr

Marathon Running: Bad for the Heart?

Cardiologists say yes

The debate rages on. Cardiologists in an article published in the journal Heart on Friday say that exercising vigorously for more than 50 minutes per day could harm your heart. Researchers Dr. James O'Keefe and Dr. Carl J. Lavie compared modern endurance athletes to the original Greek marathoner, a courier who dropped dead after running the 26 miles from a battlefield to Athens. "Even though chronic extreme exercise may not kill you, it may erase many of the health advantages of regular moderate exercise," they wrote. A study of 416,000 people found that 40 to 50 minutes of daily exercise reduced participants' risk of death by about 40 percent over eight years, but that beyond 45 minutes, longer sessions didn't seem to have any benefit.

Via Heart


    Photo: Simone Lovati/Flickr

Italy Plans Artificial Island

Would provide permanent housing for 3,000

What do you do when a town gets overrun by tourists? Build them an island. At least, that’s what’s being planned for off the coast of the Italian resort areas of Rimini and Riccione.

The island project, led by authorities in Riccione and a group of academics from the University of Ferrara, would house a residential population of about 3,000, a number that would rise to around 9,000 during tourist season. While the idea of an “artificial island” has drawn comparisons to Dubai, planners say it would be a reasonably-priced destination.

"It won't be an oasis for VIPs," said Riccione official Cristian Amatori. "The intention is to broaden the tourist experience for this area. The coast has reached saturation point."

An environmental impact assessment will be conducted before more extensive plans are revealed in February 2013. According to officials, funding will be completely private.

Via The Telegraph


Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn     Photo: U.S. Ski Team/Doug Haney

New Women's Course at Beaver Creek Takes Shape

Parallel to Birds of Prey

A new women's downhill course for the 2015 World Championships is taking shape in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The course, which will be tested in next year's World Cup women's downhill and super-G, runs parallel to the men's challenging Birds of Prey course. The International Ski Federation says it expects the women will find it similarly demanding. "This will be the premier downhill for women," said former Canadian downhill pro skier Todd Brooker. "Cortina [Italy] is premier because it's beautiful, but not because it's particularly testing. This one will be testing. It will be amazing."

Via Denver Post