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Mon, 03 Oct 2022
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

South America's big freeze causes misery across Peru, Bolivia and Chile

snow south america
Tens of thousands of people have been cut off by the snow and several deaths have been reported
An outbreak of exceptionally cold and snowy weather has hit parts of South America, resulting in at least a dozen deaths.

The arrival of the snow on an Antarctic cold front last week was accompanied by extremely cold conditions, with temperatures as low as Minus 19C, which have persisted ever since. Even Chile's Atacama desert, one of the world's driest, did not escape, receiving its heaviest snowfall in 30 years.

Peru seems to have been worst hit, with the heaviest snow in a decade resulting in the deaths of up to 30,000 farm animals, including llamas, alpacas, cattle and sheep.

Snowflake Cold

Hundreds of skiers trapped at New Zealand's Mt Hutt

Hundreds of skiers are stuck on New Zealand's Mt Hutt after freak weather forced its closure.

© Georgie Boyd
Hundreds are stuck at Mt Hutt
A combination of drifting snow and poor visibility has been blamed. While ski area management were aware of an approaching front and poor forecast, the situation deteriorated quickly, Mt Hutt ski area manager James McKenzie said.

There are 316 people trapped on the mountain.

"We made a decision to close the mountain at 11.30 this morning and a number of people made it safely down the road," he said.

"However at midday a combination of new snow blowing around everywhere and wind gusts of up to 45km/h, especially around the Saddles, meant visibility along the upper section of the access road deteriorated to the extent we closed the road completely.

"Guest safety is of paramount concern and we're continually assessing the conditions. We won't rush to get people down until visibility improves.

He said the skiers were doing well.

"We've got plenty of food, hot drinks and space up here in the base building, so if we do have to hunker down into the hours of darkness our guests will be warm, dry and well looked after."

Snow Globe

Ice delays supply barge for Western Arctic communities

Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean
© Canadian Press
As much as 30 to 40 per cent of the Arctic Ocean remains covered in ice
Several communities must wait a few more days for fuel resupplies. Ice buildup in the Amundsen Gulf is responsible for barge delays that have many Northern coastal communities running short on supplies.

Normally, a supply barge arrives in the area in early summer to replenish stocks of fuel and other necessities in those communities. But this year, that trip is being held up by ice. As much as 30 to 40 per cent of the Arctic Ocean remains covered in ice.

"We have not seen ice with this type of coverage in quite a few years and I really don't know how far back we might've seen it," says Bill Smith, a spokesman with Northern Transportation Company Ltd., which services the communities.

"It's the opposite of what we've been seeing for the last few years where, generally, ice conditions have been improving from a transportation perspective."

Snowflake Cold

Record cold in parts of Alaska

Most notably, Bettles recorded a low of 15ºF Saturday morning, by far the lowest temperature of record at Bettles in August. The previous record at the Bettles in August was 22ºF on August 30, 1969. At old Bettles, about four miles downriver from the current townsite, a low of 20ºF was measured on August 24, 1948.

Other low temperatures included 17ºF at both Chandalar DOT and Coldfoot DOT and a chilly 13F at the Norutak Lake RAWS west of Bettles. These are close to, but not at the record low temperature for the month of August in the state.


Thanks to F. Guimaraes for this link

"The winter could be starting earlier!" says Guimaraes.

Snowflake Cold

More than 25, 000 animals killed in southern Peru

Snow expected to continue for about 60 days. Humanitarian catastrophe unfolding.

1 Sep 13 - Snowfall in parts of the southern highlands of Peru has killed more than 25,000 animals and destroyed 137 homes, according to the National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci).
(These are government numbers. I earlier reported that 250,000 alpacas had been killed in Peru. This is on top of the 70,000 animals killed in Bolivia.
The national government on Saturday declared a state of emergency in 250 localities of the country since the snow is expected to continue for about 60 days.

Until Saturday, there were a total of 5,247 people injured and 739 homes declared uninhabitable in Apurimac (south), Cusco (southeast), Ayacucho (South Central), Huancavelica (center), Puno (southeast) and Junin (center) .

The deputy director of humanitarian assistance and mobilization of the National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci), Eric Cortijo, reported that this phenomenon affected more than 67,000 people. (I don't know what he meant by "affected.")

Fireball 5

Did ancient Earth-chilling meteor crash near Canada?

Impact Event
© Mukul Sharma
The high temperatures of the meteorite impact 12,900 years ago produced mm-sized spherules of melted glass with the mullite and corundum crystal structure shown here.
A meteor or comet impact near Quebec heaved a rain of hot melted rock along North America's Atlantic Coast about 12,900 years ago, a new study claims.

Scientists have traced the geochemical signature of the BB-sized spherules that rained down back to their source, the 1.5-billion-year-old Quebecia terrane in northeastern Canada near the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

At the time of the impact, the region was covered by a continental ice sheet, like Antarctica and Greenland are today.

"We have provided evidence for an impact on top of the ice sheet," said study co-author Mukul Sharma, a geochemist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. The results were published today (Sept. 2) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Snowflake Cold

South American countries gripped by snow


Farmers in the Peruvian mountains have been hard hit by the cold spell
Unusually cold weather and snow in parts of South America have affected thousands of people in several countries.

The cold spell has killed at least seven people in Peru, four in Bolivia and two in Paraguay.

In the latter, the authorities blamed the weather for the death of more than 5,000 cattle too.

Weather forecasters say a cold front from Antarctica entered the region almost a week ago.

On Friday, the Peruvian deputy education minister, Martin Vegas, said schools were closed in 43 provinces in 10 regions.


Bolivian snowfall more than five-feet deep "causing serious problems"

Snowfall in Bolivia
© Noticias Bolivianas
Snow more than 5-feet (1½ m) deep is causing serious problems on the roads - and despair among the inhabitants - at mining centers Pacuni , Argentina , Mallachuma , Amporio , Viloco and Mina Sudamericana. Pacuni mining centers and Argentina have been isolated since last Saturday.

The snow, which has caused severe damage to mining machinery and infrastructure, is not only preventing output, even people find it difficult to walk in those conditions.

Weather conditions during the last days were terrible, said Panfilo Brand , president of Quime City Council. "We are cut off from the rest of the department . Snow has created havoc in our sheds and compressors, which have been damaged and no longer work, which prevents the production in the extraction of minerals. "


Peru snow state of emergency extended to more regions

Peruvian Snow
© Associated Press
An unusual cold spell has hit Peru and its neighbour Bolivia as well as Paraguay.
The Peruvian government has extended to nine more regions a state of emergency called to cope with unusually cold weather and heavy snowfall.

At least two people have died and 33,000 others have been affected by the cold spell, local officials say. Tens of thousands of animals have frozen to death over the past week. President Ollanta Humala has travelled to Apurimac, one of the worst-hit areas, to oversee the distribution of emergency aid.

The state of emergency would be in place for 20 days, an official statement said. The heaviest snow fall to hit Peru in a decade has killed tens of thousands of llamas, alpacas, cattle and sheep, and left farmers destitute.

A man died when the roof of his hut caved in under the weight of the snow in southern Carabaya province but the circumstances of the second death were unclear.

Three people were rescued on Saturday from the same region after their home was cut off by snow. Rescue workers said the three, two girls and an elderly woman, were suffering from frostbite and snow blindness.

The cold front has also hit Peru's south-eastern neighbour, Bolivia, and Paraguay, where a combined total of five people have died.


Snowstorms kill 70,000 animals in Bolivia

Four farmers killed while trying to rescue the animals.

A cold front with snow storms hit in recent days to the departments of La Paz (west) , Cochabamba (center) , Potosi (southwest) and Chuquisaca ( southeast) .

A report by the Vice Ministry of Civil Defense said that the snow storms impacted on livestock killing "40 000 head of sheep and 30,000 cattle and camels in Cochabamba , Chuquisaca , Potosí and La Paz."

"...most damage is in Cochabamba , La Paz and Potosi, said Oscar Cabrera , Deputy Minister of Civil Defense.

Four farmers were killed and 3500 families were affected by the heavy snow, according to official reports published Friday.

Heavy machinery has cleared snow blocking access to the town , said Mayor Pedro Padilla. The cold weather in Cochabamba caused the loss of at least 2000 head of livestock, including sheep and camels, said Víctor Hugo Vásquez, Deputy Minister of Rural Development.

In the mining center Caracoles (400 km from La Paz ), activities were paralyzed as a result of snow.

"Even doctors left," said a clerk at the Erbol mine.


Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link