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So what if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and held that there'd be six more weeks of winter? CNN doesn't even believe in his credibility: "The good news is that, according to analysis by the National Climatic Data Center, Phil is wrong most of the time."
And if Phil is wrong, then that means somebody's got to be right. For 2014, that honor goes to Ohio's own official groundhog weatherman, Buckeye Chuck, who didn't see his shadow and predicted an early spring. Staten Island Chuck of New York and General Beauregard Lee of Georgia even have their own less influential groundhog opinions, but the fact of the matter is that Ohio's big rodent may be slowly supplanting Phil in popularity and prediction success.
Monaco Travel / France Travel / French Riviera Travel / Luxury Travel / Travel Tips / Weather / → All Tags
The tiny Principality of Monaco just so happens to be both the world's densest country and its richest. Long a favorite of the cruise crowd and wannabe James Bonds, it's more than just Grace Kelly and gilded yachts; Monaco is one destination that deserves a prominent place on your bucket list and all week we'll be sharing why.
The French Riviera always seems like a sunny little destination for all seasons, but the reality is that it has its good days and its bad, its excellent weather and its dreary downpours. Nestled in the undulations of the Riviera coastline is the shining nugget of the Principality of Monaco, and though it seems above the commonness of weather, it too suffers from seasons.
Summer is always a nice time to visit, if you're okay with crowds and too-hot days, but there are plenty other options throughout the year to make a visit to Monaco as sunny and blue-skied as possible.
This week we shared our own snap of some unexpected extreme weather: high heat in Australia! And, while the "Polar Vortex" dominates the United States, it's nice to daydream about locales experiencing steamy, equatorial temperatures.
If your flight has been cancelled or you're still stuck in an airport, have a look at our round-up of some of the highest temps around the world right now:
Nope / Winter Travel / Snow Travel / Delays / Airports / Airport News / Travel News / Storm Travel / Weather / → All Tags
A Delta Connection regional jet gets shovelled out after sliding off the runway yesterday at JFK Airport
Trying to fly somewhere today in the United States? It's going to be rough, no matter your destination, thanks to Mother Nature's mood swings and record low temperatures with record high snowfalls at a list of major airports. Even if there's no cold weather cities on your itinerary, keep in mind that air crew have to be able to get to the airport to work and the airplane for your flight usually has to fly in from somewhere else, and that somewhere else could be one of locations crippled by mass delays and cancellations.
This isn't negativity, but reality. Snowfall in the Midwest tops 12" with polar wind chill, rain mixed with icy gusts has created extremely hazardous icing conditions on the east coast, and Denver is just...Denver in the winter.
At 1pm EST today, JetBlue made the decision to stop all of their flights into or out of JFK, LaGuardia, Boston and Newark airports until at least 10am Tuesday. 300 flights are affected, but that's a smidgeon compared to the total 4,100+ flight cancellations and 11,000 delays today alone. [*FlightAware]
Whitsunday Islands / Australia Travel / Summer Travel / Island Travel / Queensland Travel / Hamilton Island / Weather / → All Tags
As North America's weather deteriorates more and more, we want to remind you that it's not even technically winter yet. With that sad news, we feel the need to share a silver lining; some places on the planet are basking in near perfect weather with nary a thought of bundling up. More specifically, we draw your attention to The Whitsundays, an archipelago of tropical islands at the bottom edge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
The group of 74 islands just off the central coast of Queensland features a handful of resort islands for those looking to escape the stresses of city life or the nip of Jack Frost. While the island's namesake island is the largest, the most popular is Hamilton Island, and it's also the one to feature the widest variety of outdoor activities.
Delays / Winter Travel / Weather / Travel Tips / → All Tags
It's only 10am on the east coast and already airlines have already canceled thousands of flights (it was already at 1,000 cancelled by 9am, according to USA Today) and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have already announced that they're not taking it laying down; JFK Airport is putting into service some 900 tons of salt, 200 tons of sand, and plenty of liquid de-icers, trucks, plows, blowers, and staff.
There's all of this focus on New York City and travelers stuck in the Big Apple's airports, which is understandable considering it's the city at the center of the world with major international flight connections, but let's not forget the scores of tired and cranky folks delayed at other airports around the country, trying to make it to and not away from NYC.
Winter Travel / Weather / Storms / Dubai Travel / DXB / Barcelona Travel / BCN / Tanzania Travel / Ecuador Travel / San Diego Travel / SAN / Lists / → All Tags
Just last week, the US Northeast was facing the onslaught of a Nor'easter that threatened some of the most populated centers (and busiest airports) of the United States. And while the clean up is pretty much complete from storms that rolled through the parts of the country, rest assured this storm wont be the last to close roads, cripple airports and raise tempers.
We know there's no guarantee of how Mother Nature will act each winter, so that's why we've compiled a list of places that benefit from some of the most perfect weather year-round. Dust off your passport and warm up that credit card, in order to warm yourself under the sun of these five destinations:
Chile Travel / Patagonia Travel / PUQ / LAN / Adventure Travel / Only in South America / South America Travel / Travel Tips / Weather / → All Tags
Go south, way south, to Chilean Patagonia. As home to snow-capped mountains, dramatic fjords, extreme weather, exotic flora and fauna, and the world's second largest ice field, it's no wonder this region ranks high on traveler's bucketlists. We've just crossed it off our own, and all week we'll be sharing our top tips to making this dream destination a reality vacation.
Thinking of taking the leap and the long flights necessary to visit Patagonia? Excellent idea, but you should know that it is a destination with weather mood swings.
Patagoniahere we highlight Punta Arenas and the Torres del Paine National Park areasits way down in the Southern Hemisphere, so the summer and winter are the complete opposite of what New York and Europe experience, for example. This is a huge plus, because when NY or London are being battered with below-freezing temps and blustery winds, you can escape down to Patagonia for sunny horseback rides, breezy hikes, and photographing the dramatic landscape under starkly white lenticular clouds.
To make sure you book that dream trip and have the best possible time, we've got some recommendations for when.
Airline News / Delays / Winter Travel / Weather / Storm Travel / Airports / Thanksgiving Travel / → All Tags
While winter storm "Boreas" bears down on the east coast of the United States, travelers around the world are beginning to be touched by the flight delays and cancellations. Hundreds of flights already met the chopping block today, and with the worst of both the storm and the highest travel season of the year yet to come, you can expect it'll be a rough one for the airlines and airports clear through until next week.
Fortunately, several airlines have dropped ticket change fees to allow flyers with flexibility to attempt to fly later, on less hectic and less stormy days. Granted that may mean missing Thanksgiving at home, but if the alternative is an airport Sbarro's, then you know what to do.
American Airlines: Airports affected include New York-LGA, New York-JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, White Plains, Boston, Hartford, Washington DC-IAD, Washington DC-DCA, and Baltimore. Fee-free changes are so far only permitted if your original travel date falls on November 27.
Weather / Storm Travel / Boreas / Thanksgiving Travel / Holiday Travel / Travel Tips / Airports / Layovers / Delays / → All Tags
With perfect timing, Mother Nature is rearing her head for Thanksgiving by dropping a Nor'easter storm named "Boreas" on the east coast. Airlines are already issuing change fee waivers for the major airports of the Northeast, and the rain is supposed to be heavy enough to cause massive delays and cancellations through Thursday and possibly even Friday.
While there's all of this focus on NYC, Boston, Washington DC and Philadelphia, let's not forget the scores of tired and cranky folks about to be delayed at other airports around the country, trying to make it to and not away from the East Coast just to eat some turkey with family.
Thanksgiving travel is never a treat. The roads and airports are always extra crowded, and the destinations - family dinner tables surrounded by people who have no place talking to each other, let alone about politics, like you know they're going to do - are even worse. But at least this year there's also going to be a "deadly winter storm system" laying waste to air, rail, and car travel. So everyone has that to look forward to.
There's one storm that's been making across the Midwest for a week, and should slam into the Northeast on Tuesday and Wednesday. There's another storm that's been dropping ice across the South and should push north past the Carolinas overnight Monday. Those two storms will then combine, and that's when things take a turn.
Eclipses / Science Travel / Eclipse Travel / Weather / Travel News / Events / Eclipse Viewing / Kentucky Travel / → All Tags
Consider this fair warning for a planetary event that hasn't happened in almost 100 years. Now is the time to get planning to make sure you don't miss the big total solar eclipse, even if it isn't due for another three years.
The moon is tracking to pass between Earth and the Sun in 2017, blocking the direct rays of the largest star. This event, occurring August 21 2017, will be the first time since 1918 that an eclipse will pass across the United States, from coast to coast. This means that the lower 48 will have opportunities to see a significant portion of the eclipse.
Something even slightly similar hasn't occurred since 1979, when the Pacific Northwest got a view, and in 1991, when Hawaii was treated to a total solar eclipse.