Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

California freezin': Below-zero temperatures in the Sierras; another storm on the way

© LA Times
A series of winter storms have dumped large amounts of snow in the Sierra, and several counties are under freeze warnings through the weekend.
A deep freeze in California's Sierra is continuing, with one spot east of Redding recording minus-11 degrees.

An earlier version of this article said the low in California was minus-14. It was actually minus-11, according to the National Weather Service.

According to the National Weather Service, the Bogard Rest Area in the Lassen National Forest recorded that frigid temperature between Friday night and Saturday morning. The rest area is north of Susanville.

A few other mountain areas posted below-zero temperatures overnight. A series of winter storms have dumped large amounts of snow in the Sierra, with some places receiving more than 20 inches. The NWS said another storm could move in by Thursday.

A good blanket of snow is now sticking to the ground across the mountain range, according to the weather service. The cold temperatures are good news for ski resorts, which are off to a strong seasonal start after several years of drought conditions.

A freeze warning was in place in the Sacramento Valley for Sunday. Officials warned residents to protect outdoor plants and pipes.

Ice Cube

Beijing bracing itself for record breaking cold

© China News Service
November 22 was recorded as Beijing's coldest day in over 1,000 days, leading some meteorologists to expect record breaking cold in the region.
Beijing could be set to experience record breaking cold this week, with temperatures set to drop to their lowest November levels since modern records began, reports China News Service.

Northern China's coldest November temperatures on record were minus 12.3 degrees Celsius on November 30, 1970. That record could be broken however with Sunday recorded as Beijing's coldest day in over 1,000 days.

After blizzard conditions on November 22, Beijing had temporary snow again on Tuesday, leading to frozen roads and cold weather warning announcements from authorities.

Peak daytime temperatures in Beijing this week are likely to stay under zero degrees, according to weather forecasts. Meteorologists have estimated that temperatures on November 26 and 27 will hit minus 12 degrees and possibly lower.

CNN reports that the conditions saw more than 200 flights cancelled in Beijing, as well as the closure of schools and roads.

Ice Cube

Huge ice circle forms in Swedish river

© Torgny Johansson
The ice circle in the River Kalix in northern Sweden.
A Swedish man has described his luck after his picture of a peculiar natural phenomenon in an icy river in the far north of the country hit the headlines in Sweden on Monday.

Torgny Johansson spoke to The Local a day after he snapped the picture of the enormous ice circle floating in the Kalix River at Forsbyn, 75 kilometres north of Luleå, using his drone.

"I have seen one maybe two or three times before near the same place as this one. But nothing as large as this," he said.

Ice circles are formed in slow-moving areas of rivers where a part of the current moves in the opposite direction to the main stream, a so-called 'backstream'.

When the water freezes the circling currents form an ice disc.

Snowflake Cold

Deepest November snow for over 60 years in Sapporo, Japan

© Getty
Sapporo is used to deep snow, but not in November
Residents of northern Japan were surprised by an early blast of winter this week as sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow combined to cover much of Hokkaido with a white winter duvet.

One resident of the prefecture capital, Sapporo, said: "It's a lot, a lot! Last year it snowed around November 8 but it was nothing like this".

In this northern prefecture of Hokkaido, the lavender fields of Furano saw temperatures on Wednesday night drop to minus 21 degrees Celsius. On the same night in Sapporo, the temperature fell to minus 7C.

Sapporo first dropped below freezing on Monday night, with snow started falling in the early hours of Tuesday.

Comment: See also: Russia's port city of Vladivostok hit by icy tempest

Ice Cube

Russia's port city of Vladivostok hit by icy tempest

© libra.anna/Instagram
Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok has been hit hard by gusts of freezing wind reaching speeds of 25 meters per second causing sea water to freeze over anything the giant waves touched.
This Thursday Vladivostok's port turned into a giant slushy machine as sea water mixed with sand started freezing under gusts of cold wind in subzero temperatures.


NASA study: Antarctic temperatures cooled over past six years

Heimdal Glacier southern Greenland, from NASA's Falcon 20 aircraft at 33,000 feet above sea level.
ANTARCTIC temperatures have cooled over the past six years, according to US space agency NASA

An intensive scientific study of both Earth's poles has found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.

NASA's Operation IceBridge is an airborne survey of polar ice and has finalised two overlapping research campaigns at both the poles. In the last few weeks NASA has revealed the overall amount of ice has increased at the Antarctic and the amount of sea ice has also extended. Coupled with the latest announcement of slight cooling in the area, it has fuelled claims from climate change deniers that human industrialisation is not having the huge impact on global tenperature as often is claimed.

Christopher Shuman, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County glaciologist working at Goddard, said: "Field data suggests that there's been a modest cooling in the area over the 2009 - 2015 time period, and images collected during that time by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Terra and Aqua satellites show more persistent fast ice (sea ice that is attached to the shore) in the Larsen A and Larsen B embayments"

However, Mr Shuman warned that in some areas of the Antarctic, glaciers continued to melt at significant levels, despite the slight temperature drop. At the south polio, the mission observed a big drop in the height of two glaciers situated in the Antarctic Peninsula. Mr Shuman added: "These IceBridge measurements show that once the ice shelves collapse, even some cooling and a good deal of persistent sea ice is not able to hold back these larger glaciers and they continue to lose mass overall."

Comment: See also:

Ice Cube

More than 1 foot of snow blankets parts of the Western U.S.

© Via twitter@LaurenKYVZ
Traffic backed up on Highway 97 in Bend, OR.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain could snarl Thanksgiving and weekend travel.

Bend, Oregon, reported 13-14 inches of new snow as of Tuesday night, with snowfall rates of 4 inches in 3 hours, bringing traffic to a standstill on U.S. 97. This in an area that averages only 24 inches of snow each season. Up to a foot of snow in the Sierra snarled traffic on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit as well. Up to 22 inches of snow was reported at Kirkwood Mountain Resort south of Lake Tahoe.

Meanwhile, numerous winter storm watches, warnings and advisories have been issued across the West from the northern Rockies to the Great Basin, Sierra and Tehachapis of California, also for a large swath of the central and southern Plains from New Mexico to Iowa.

Snow started to pile up on Tuesday across portions of the interior Northwest, Sierra Nevada and far northern Rockies. Some freezing rain was also reported in the Columbia Basin.

This system will head into the Plains on Thanksgiving Day and continuing into much of the weekend, bringing a mess of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

It is possible that enough freezing rain will fall to bring down trees and power lines and make for dangerous travel in parts of the central and southern Plains.

Comment: Winter storm brings record breaking snowfall to Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota

Blue Planet

UN Report: Major rise in weather disasters over last 2 decades

A flood-affected resident swims through floodwaters in Kalay, upper Myanmar’s Sagaing region on August 3, 2015. Relentless monsoon rains have triggered flash floods and landslides, destroying thousands of houses, farmland, bridges and roads with fast-flowing waters hampering relief efforts.
Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people & left billions injured & homeless.

Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a UN report said on Monday.

While the report authors could not pin the increase wholly on climate change, they did say that the upward trend was likely to continue as extreme weather events increased.

Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people, left billions injured, homeless or in need of aid, and accounted for 90 percent of all disasters, it said.

A recent peak year was 2002, when drought in India hit 200 million and a sandstorm in China affected 100 million.

But the standout mega-disaster was Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,000 in Myanmar in 2008.


A foot of snowfall causes problems in Croatia

Almost the entire Lika region was caught in snowy weather last night. In Gospić, more than 30 centimetres of snow has fallen, while in mountainous areas the snow cover is even higher. Snow has caused the falling down of many trees which have damaged electrical lines, so the wider area of ​​Gospić was without power this morning. Director of Elektrolika Ernest Petri said that two transmission lines that supply electricity to Gospić have broken down. There are problems with the local phone lines as well, reports Index.hr and Vecernji List on November 22, 2015.

Snow and strong winds are causing traffic problems in the Primorje region. The Lika-Senj Police Department has announced that the Adriatic highway from Karlobag to Sveta Marija Magdalena is completely closed down, and on all the roads in Lika winter tyres are mandatory.


Chicago's first snow of the season brings largest November snowfall in 120 years

© Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune
Snow falls in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood Nov. 21, 2015.
The season's first snowfall dropped as much as 17 inches across Chicago's northern suburbs, and the total of 11.2 inches at O'Hare International Airport made it the largest November snowfall in 120 years.

The steady stream of snow began Friday evening and carried into Saturday, bringing cold winds and slushy puddles to Michigan Avenue. But it also fashioned a wintry backdrop to the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, transporting Chicagoans into a life-sized holiday snow globe.

The chill didn't bother the Kendalls, who traveled from Northwest Indiana for the festivities. They stood in Pioneer Court bundled in snow gear, relishing bites of candy-cane-garnished cheesecake as heavy snowflakes plopped onto their noses.

"It rings in the beginning of Christmas season," said Jessica Kendall. "The roads are warm, the snow's melting and we had a nice, wintry drive."

The storm hit hardest in the northern suburbs.

Lake County was walloped. By about 2 p.m. Saturday, there were reports of 17 inches in Grayslake, 16.5 in Hawthorn Woods, and 15.5 inches in Mundelein, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jamie Enderlen.

McHenry County also was socked, with 13.6 inches in Bull Valley, 12.5 inches in Woodstock and 9.5 inches in Hebron by about 7 a.m. Saturday, according to the weather service.