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Scientists: We Know Why Sheep Get Sexed Up in Winter

Scientist figure out how melatonin levels affect breeding

(Newser) - "Why do sheep get frisky in winter?" isn't the beginning of a bad joke, but rather the question that jump-started a joint study by researchers at the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol. The Guardian reports that scientists may now have an answer, one that could... More »

Chicago's Winter Hasn't Been Like This in 146 Years

City records no snow in January and February

(Newser) - The arrival of March brings a weird milestone to Chicago this year: The city recorded no snow on the ground in January and February for the first time in at least 146 years, reports the Weather Channel . In fact, the last snowfall of more than an inch occurred on Dec.... More »

Check Out What the Sun in Alaska Does on Winter Solstice


(Newser) - The winter solstice is upon us, as of 5:44am EST, and as Wednesday is officially the shortest day of the year for everyone north of the equator, there's not much time to ruminate on an astronomical phenomenon we haven't seen since … well, last December. Here, the... More »

Here Comes the Polar Vortex

Hopefully it won't be as bitterly cold as 2014's

(Newser) - A somewhat ominous tweet from The Weather Channel on Wednesday evening offered fair warning about a returning winter phenomenon. Showing frigid temperatures dipping into the teens, single digits, and even minuses in some parts of the country, the tweet read: "No, these are not forecast low temperatures. These are... More »

The Groundhog Has Spoken

Punxsutawney Phil sees no shadow, predicts early spring

(Newser) - It's Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil already has issued his winter forecast: an early spring. At the annual tradition in Pennsylvania's Gobbler's Knob, the groundhog emerged from his cage (which looks like a tree trunk) and saw no shadow, according to the emcee of the Groundhog Club.... More »

Soak Up Sunlight: It's the Year's Shortest Day

The winter solstice is here

(Newser) - Mondays always feel longer, but that's not the only reason today may be dragging. Yes, it's the winter solstice, meaning Northern Hemisphere residents will be tilted as far from the sun as they will be all year—so it's also the shortest day and the longest night,... More »

Why You Should Do Like the Norwegians This Winter

They beat the blues by actually enjoying the season: study

(Newser) - Starting to feel the winter blahs creep in? A new study offers a tip that could get you back to your usual cheery self: Do like the Norwegians. Stanford PhD student Kari Leibowitz spent almost a year in Tromsø, Norway—200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where the sun... More »

Migrants' New Peril: Winter Is Coming

Border closings in Balkans will only make the situation worse

(Newser) - Governments across the Balkans are scrambling to locate empty buildings, while aid workers are boosting their stashes of coats, blankets, and tents in anticipation of a backlog of migrants who may soon be facing a treacherous winter as they work their way toward friendly Western European countries, the New York ... More »

What This Year's El Nino Will Mean for Winter

It will be wetter than normal in the South, drier near the Great Lakes

(Newser) - The NOAA's winter forecast has arrived, and thanks to a well-known Pacific Ocean phenomenon, parts of the country can expect to be doused in plenty of chilly precipitation. "A strong El Nino is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter," Mike... More »

LA's Warm Streak Ends at 375 Days

It didn't hit 60 degrees for first time in more than a year

(Newser) - It was 48-below in Daniel, Wyoming, before sunrise today, it snowed in Vegas , and the average temperature in the Lower 48 states was 14 degrees, making for the coldest December morning in 16 years, reports the Washington Post . But in the everything's-relative department, the Los Angeles Times points out... More »

No, Not Every Snowflake Is Unique

Chemistry teacher builds graphic that shows 35 different types

(Newser) - When there's a lot of snow out there, you can either make a snowman, a snow angel, or just X-ray the snowflakes. And if you do the latter, you can figure out how many different designs snowflakes take. Chemistry teacher and blogger Andy Brunning has created this graphic , which... More »

You Don't Need to Warm Up Your Car in Winter

And it's costing us $5.9B per year

(Newser) - Warming up the car before hitting the road is a pervasive winter ritual, but it's a pointless exercise for most modern vehicles, the Washington Post reports. What's more, a 2009 study found that idling of all types accounts for 1.6% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions—... More »

'Dead of Winter' Arrives for US

Harsh temperatures set in across nation

(Newser) - If it finally feels like winter has arrived, well, that's because it has. We are, in fact, in the "dead of winter" now, NPR reports. But at least you're not in Langdon, North Dakota, where it felt like minus-51 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday thanks to wind chill. The... More »

Denver Hit With Early Snow

After an unseasonably warm blast of heat

(Newser) - Two days ago, it was above 80 degrees in Denver. When residents woke up today, it was snowing. The swing from high to low temperatures accentuates the weirdness of such an early snowfall; in an average year, Denver's first snowfall would still be two weeks in the future, KWGN... More »

Uh-Oh, This Winter Might Be Nasty

Study blames melting Arctic ice

(Newser) - Get your winter coats ready. Thanks to melting Arctic ice , this year's hot summer could be matched by a harsh winter, reports Business Insider , picking up on a study in Nature . Sea ice levels in the late summer appear to be linked to the distribution of high and low... More »

Man Stuck in Snowbound Car 'for Months'

Swedes rescue starving man in forest

(Newser) - Snowmobilers on a forest road in Sweden thought they had come across a car wreck—until they dug down to a window and saw an emaciated man starving inside, BBC reports. Now he's in a hospital, and reports say he was snowbound in the car without food for two... More »

Death Toll Rises in European Cold Snap

Europeans grapple with worst winter in years

(Newser) - While much of the US basks in unseasonably warmish weather, Europe continues to be locked in a deep freeze that's getting even colder. More than 100 people have died in Ukraine, Italy is suffering its coldest winter in 27 years, and conditions are so severe in Serbia that thousands... More »

Southerners Pay Big Money for Fake Snow

And business is booming

(Newser) - Weird trend story of the holidays: ABC News says people in the South are apparently very happy to shell out big money to have their yards covered in fake snow. One company says it has "booked" more than 230 tons of the stuff this month, up from 140 tons... More »

Tips to Beat Daylight Saving Blues...

Growing darkness depresses, so you need to keep upbeat

(Newser) - The increasingly short and dark days of winter can make many people feel depressed this time of year, and Daylight Saving Time only makes things worse. So to help people out, Time offers eight tips to keep your spirits up:
  • Socializing and exercising. OK, not exactly what you crave when
... More »

Save the Hot Tub for the ... Summer?

Rate of cardiac arrest during bathing is much higher in winter

(Newser) - For those seeking luxury and romance, there are two tried-and-true ways to warm up on a cold winter's night: by a fireside or in a hot tub. Sadly, a Japanese study now shrinks that list by one. The team found that the mixture of a hot bath and a... More »

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