Weekly wrap-up: Temperatures plunge to minus 88 F in remote Russia; Winter storm kills 15 in southern US

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
January 19, 2018, 6:05:04 PM EST

Winter weather wreaked havoc across the southeastern United States this week, causing hundreds of accidents and leaving tens of thousands without power.

At least 15 people have died as a result of the storm, according to the Associated Press. Several were killed in vehicle accidents while others died from exposure due to frigid conditions.

Snow blasted parts of Alabama and Texas on Tuesday before moving east into the Carolinas.

More than 1,600 collisions were reported in North Carolina alone as roads became packed with snow and ice. Nearly a foot of snow fell in some areas.

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(Photo/North Carolina Department of Transportation)

Charlotte Douglas Airport was majorly impacted with hundreds of flight cancellations and more than a thousand delays.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted on social media about his own ordeal, stating that he slipped off a snowy road.

A winter storm in western Europe also created dangerous conditions and travel nightmares this week.

Nearly 10 deaths have been reported across three countries (Belgium, Germany and Netherlands) as Storm Frederike blasted the region.

Intense wind gusts ranging from 53 to 78 mph (85 to 125 km/h) caused structural damage throughout the region, leading to travel delays. Flights out of Amsterdam were canceled, and train travel was delayed.

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In parts of remote Russia, temperatures plunged to minus 88 degrees Fahrenheit this week.

Two men froze to death in Yakutia in eastern Siberia after trying to find help when their car broke down.

Yakutia is home to roughly one million people who are used to intense cold. Students attend school even as temperatures fall to minus 40 F, but this wave of extreme cold led to cancellations this week.

The extreme cold received worldwide attention after pictures of frozen eyelashes surfaced on social media. According to TIME Magazine, the cold barely made headlines in local media.

russia extreme cold frozen eyelashes

In this photo taken on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, Anastasia Gruzdeva makes a selfie as the Temperature dropped to about -50 degrees (-58 degrees Fahrenheit) in Yakutsk, Russia. (Anastasia Gruzdeva photo via AP)

Nearly 40,000 people were forced to evacuate near Mount Mayon in the Philippines this week as the country's most active volcano erupted.

While the recent eruptions have been relatively weak, scientists warned that they could turn explosive at any time, according to the Associated Press. Lava flows on Tuesday forced police to set up checkpoints to keep tourists a safe distance from the volcano.

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) announced this week that 2017 was the second-hottest year on record.

2016, which was an El Niño year, is the hottest. El Niño patterns are known to bring warm weather around the globe.

NASA said global temperatures were on average 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 C) warmer than the mean from 1951-1980.

“Despite colder than average temperatures in any one part of the world, temperatures over the planet as a whole continue the rapid warming trend we’ve seen over the last 40 years,” said Gavin Schmidt, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) director.

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