Extreme Temperatures


Best of the Web: Signs of Change: Extreme weather and environmental upheaval in June and July 2015 (VIDEO)

© HawkkeyDavisChannel/YouTubeA first? Wildfire torches moving vehicles on highway near Los Angeles, California
Video compilation of extreme weather events (and general environmental chaos) from the past month or so.

Record high temperatures in Germany were immediately followed by unusually strong storms and hail. Record rainfall in China was followed by a record heatwave there. In the US, there's been a record heatwave in the West, and record rainfall in the South. There's been record cold in Australia, and record heat in Pakistan. Volcanoes erupted in Indonesia, Japan and Mexico, while there was a strong earthquake in China and an earthquake swarm in Iceland... And in between all that; powerful storms and record rainfall.

Things be intensifying!

Cloud Precipitation

Mudslides force 10,000 to evacuate in Tajikistan

© Image: Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team in Tajikistan.Map of debris and floods.
The rapid melting of snow and glaciers due to higher temperatures between 01 and 15 July 2015 have triggered mudflows in the Shugnan District in the eastern region of Gorno-Badakhshan, Tajikistan.

The mudflows have caused damage to buildings and infrastructure in local villages. The debris has also blocked the flow of the Gund river, creating an artificial lake which has flooded areas along the river.

As of 18 July 2015, the UN's Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT) in Tajikistan reports that at least 56 houses have been destroyed and 10,000 people forced to evacuate to safer sites. Schools, stores, roads and electricity lines have also been damaged and 80% of the communities in the region have been without electricity. No casualties have been reported.

There is a risk of the lake overflowing or breaking through its temporary blockage. REACT say that this could cause devastating floods in Khorog and nearby communities, including three districts of Khatlon Oblast.

© Focus Humanitarian Assistance in Tajikistan

Snowflake Cold

Confused Australian animals struggle to cope with freezing weather

A Channel Seven cameraman recorded his encounter with a Tasmanian devil
Even Australia's most iconic animals couldn't escape the Antarctic blast that blanketed parts of the country in snow on Friday morning.

Adorable pictures of wombats, emus, Tasmanian devils and kangaroos caught out in the snow were posted on social media throughout the day, with the animals seemingly as surprised by the wintry blast as the rest of us.

A kangaroo was caught out in the unexpected snow that blanketed parts of Australia, including Orange, NSW (pictured)
Most of the pictures were snapped in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, which received some of the heaviest snowfall.

One of the photos showed a snow-dusted recreation of Australia's coat of arms, with an emu and kangaroo locked in an intense stare down. Presumably, neither took a backwards step.


Roads closed in snow-covered Eastern Cape, South Africa

Heavy snowfall in the Eastern Cape has resulted in motorists being warned to make use of alternative routes as mountain passes on two national roads have been closed indefinitely due to the snowfalls.
Heavy snowfall in the Eastern Cape has resulted in motorists being warned to make use of alternative routes as mountain passes on two national roads have been closed indefinitely due to the snowfalls.

According to Snow Report the Lootsberg Pass between Middelburg and Graaff Reinet, forming part of the N9, as well as the Penhoek Pass between Aliwal North and Queenstown, forming part of the N6, have been closed indefinitely, due to the heavy snowfall.

The Barkly Pass on the R58 between Barkly East and Elliot and the Boesmanshoek Pass between Steynsburg and Elliot have also been closed.

Here are some pictures sent into Snow Report on their Facebook Page of the snow.
© Hendrinne Feiertag Snow in Eastern Cape (Dordrecht area)


Thunderstorm brings snowfall to Hawaii in July

Mauna Kea Weather Center
An overnight thunderstorm dropped 1½ to 2 inches of snow on the summit of Hawaii's tallest peak in July.

Cameras at Mauna Kea's summit showed some snow still on the ground midday Friday. Mauna Kea Weather Center forecast meteorologist Ryan Lyman says it should be melting quickly.

National Weather Service meteorologist Maureen Ballard says snow can fall on the summit any time of year, though there's a greater chance in the winter.

The latest snowfall came as a thunderstorm extended high into the atmosphere, above the mountain's peak elevation of nearly 14,000 feet.

Ballard says temperatures at the summit were about freezing overnight.

The low in the nearby city of Hilo was 71 degrees. Kailua-Kona on the west side of the Big Island, had a low of 78 degrees.


Unusual lightning, a bizarre blanket of fog, freezing temperatures, and first-time snow: extreme weather shocks Australia

Wild and wintry weather is sweeping through Australia as incredible thunderstorms hit Sydney following a morning of thick fog
Wild and wintry weather is sweeping across Australia overnight, bringing chilly temperatures, lightning storms, frosty winds and even snow.

As temperatures plummet to its lowest in 15 years, Sydney awoke to a cityscape engulfed in thick fog on Saturday morning, which saw the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge disappeared into the thick blanket of fog.

The strong cold front from the Antarctic has continued to drift through the southern and eastern coast of Australia with temperatures dropping three to seven degrees below average for five days running - the coldest spell some states have experienced in five years.

Temperatures in Brisbane are set to dip up to five degrees below the July average and snow flakes are expected to cover Eukey near the NSW border.

By Sunday morning, temperatures in Melbourne are expected to drop five degrees, with forecasters projecting the city will be the second coldest capital in the country after Canberra. Possible snow in some of Melbourne's outer suburbs is expected with forecast to fall down to 500 metres in alpine areas.

People have been warned to batten down the hatches ahead of the worst of the storms overnight as the effects of the icy blast will be felt from Sunday and temperatures are expected to remain chilly until Friday.

Snowflake Cold

Global warming, LOL! Record cold snap brings heavy snowfall to 3 Australian states

Residents across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will rise to find a thick blanket of snow has fallen along the eastern coast after reaching sub-zero temperatures overnight
Residents across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will rise to find a thick blanket of snow has fallen along the eastern coast after reaching sub-zero temperatures overnight.

Schools in Katoomba have given students the day off while snow continues to affect train lines and major roads in New South Wales.

Drivers have been stranded after the Hume Motorway towards Sydney, the Great Western Highway between Leura and Katoomba, and the New England Highway near Glen Innes were closed amid safety concerns.

Towns in southern Queensland have seen their best snowfalls in more than a decade, with the cold snap blanketing them in white powder.

Falls of up to eight centimetres have been recorded in Stanthorpe and nearby Eukey overnight, sending residents scurrying outside in their pyjamas to take in the scene.

Towns in southern Queensland have seen their best snowfalls in more than a decade, with the cold snap blanketing them in white powder

Ice Cube

New Zealand records lowest maximum temperatures in decades

New Zealand records lowest maximum temperatures
© John Bisset/Fairfax MediaEmbrace the cold: New Zealand records lowest maximum temperatures in decades.
Complaints about the cold weather this month are justified, as some parts of the country have reported their lowest temperatures.

More than 30 weather stations around New Zealand have also had daily maximum temperature recordings that are either the lowest ever recorded, or at least in the top four coldest for July.

Kaitaia, Kerikeri and Warkworth have all recorded their lowest July temperatures. On Saturday Kaitaia experienced 0°C, while a chilly Sunday brought Kerikeri to -0.7°C and Warkworth to -2.3°C.


Mid-July frost recorded in central Europe

After the European heat wave of last week, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme.

Currently the weather pattern dominating Central Europe is bringing unusually cold air over the continent, and early this morning regions in a number of countries were hit by ground surface frost.

Parts of Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic saw surface frost - even down to the lower elevations (Belgium is hardly a mountainous region).

German site Wetter24 twittered here a map depicting the frosty areas gripping this 10th of July, 2015. Also see map here.

Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann here writes and supplies a link showing a German video reporting conditions that the German Eifel region woke up to early this morning. At the 1:50 mark the video reports:
We saw fields that were snow-white. That on the tenth of July I have never seen before. My colleague Fabian had also never seen this before. It just looked wonderful. We just thought that indeed we are not in autumn or spring; we are actually in July. These pictures impressed us, and that we found this frost."

Ice Cube

Unusual cold weather hits northern Vietnam

cold weather in Vietnam
© Dan TriPeople wear coats by a smoke oven in Sa Pa as it became suddenly cold on Monday morning.
Sa Pa, the favorite resort town in northern Vietnam, is going through the second winter in only six months. Or at least that's what it feels like here. The town became suddenly cold on Monday morning and many people had to wear extra coats to deal with the temperature, which fell to 12.6 degrees Celsius (54.7 degrees Fahrenheit) at 7 a.m., right in the middle of summer.

Both locals and tourists in Lao Cai Province said they woke up very surprised. They said it felt cold like winter, but it got warmer later in the day. According to AccuWeather, the minimum temperature will be between 14 and 16 degrees throughout the week. Luu Minh Hai, director of the province's weather forecast center, said the region has been suffering from a depression which caused long, heavy rains the past days.

The temperature in other mountains in the region also dropped to 16 and 17 degrees Celsius. Hai said such low temperature in summer has hardly ever been seen in Sa Pa. The town, which is the only place in Vietnam to have snow in winter, recorded temperature as low as 14.4 degrees Celsius in July 2005.

The cold weather is even stranger considering the country has been going through the hottest year in a decade, with heat wave gripping northern and central Vietnam for months now.

Comment: See also: Winter is coming: Earth approaching 'mini ice age' in 15 year, solar cycle study suggest