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Wed, 14 Apr 2021
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

'Highly unusual' Arctic blast hits Anchorage, Alaska

Fresh snow April 8, 2021 on a pair of pickups in East Anchorage
© Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media
Fresh snow April 8, 2021 on a pair of pickups in East Anchorage
If you thought winter was over in Anchorage, the National Weather Service has some bad news for you.

Unseasonably cold air swept into Alaska's largest city Thursday, and forecasters expect it to stay through the weekend.

The weather service is warning of wind chills as low as minus 25 degrees. There are also high wind warnings in effect for the Whittier and Seward areas.

The cold is plunging south into Alaska all the way from the North Pole, pushing a band of snow through Southcentral, said weather service meteorologist Ben Bartos.

"And with that, we'll have some very strong winds barreling through the area," Bartos said. "It's going to hit us like a freight train, if you will."

The snow is expected to taper off midday Thursday, Bartos said, with northerly winds picking up to 30 mph and gusting to as high as 50 mph. Winds are forecasted to die down Friday, with the possibility of record low temperatures to follow in Anchorage.

Comment: Meanwhile in Europe: Record-low temperature of -20°C in Slovenia as multiple century-old extreme cold records broken across Europe


Snowflake Cold

French winemakers light up fields to save the 2021 harvest from early season frosts

Winemakers have been using fire to try
© Reuters: Pascal Rossignol
Winemakers have been using fire to try and heat their vineyards to save them from frost.
French winemakers have lit candles and burned bales of hay to try to protect their vineyards from sharp spring frosts, with the forecast of more cold nights this week raising fears of serious damage and lost production.

Temperatures plunged as low as -5 degrees Celsius overnight in wine regions including Chablis, in Burgundy, and Bordeaux, which could hurt shoots already well-developed because of earlier mild weather.

Outside Chablis, known around the world for its fruity, acidic white wine, a deep orange glow from tens of thousands of candles hung over the rolling vineyards in the early hours.

Winemaker Laurent Pinson said he had put between 300 and 600 large candles — burning cans of paraffin — across many of his 14 hectares of vines.

"The harvest is at stake over a few nights — one, two or three nights — and if we have no harvest, that means no sales, no wine for consumers," Mr Pinson said.


Snowflake Cold

Record-low temperature of -20°C in Slovenia as multiple century-old extreme cold records broken across Europe

COLD
Many areas in Slovenia reached their coldest April morning over the last 100 years! The official meteorological station Nova vas na Blokah peaked at -20.6 °C which has set a new all-time national record for the month of April since the records began. Numerous extreme cold records also across other parts of central and western Europe, deep freeze and morning frosts have been destructive.

As we expected, the weather models were not wrong this time. An unpreceded extreme cold has verified across many parts of Europe this Wednesday morning, following the significant and historic snow a day before. Snowfall with some accumulation was reported even at the seaside in Slovenia and Croatia islands (Kvarner area).

In Slovenia, the weather station Nova vas na Blokah hit -20.6 °C and set the new official lowest temperature for April (the previous record at the station Nova vas was -18.0 °C set on April 4th, 1970). There was another record of -26.1 °C recorded with an unofficial weather station in the village Retje near Loški Potok.


Comment: The amazing thing isn't even the record cold - it's the flip from record heat to record cold in just 6 days!


Arrow Down

Alaska DOT: Epic avalanche cascade shuts down Hatcher Pass Road for days

Avalanche debris covers two stretches of the Hatcher Pass Road after last weekend’s storm.
© Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center
Avalanche debris covers two stretches of the Hatcher Pass Road after last weekend’s storm.
A rare cascade of avalanches over the weekend has shut down the Hatcher Pass Road, and it will remain closed for several days as crews wait for conditions to stabilize before clearing avalanche debris.

Forecasters with the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center say that five different avalanches crossed the upper stretch of the road, and one of those extended so far that it hit a second, lower stretch of the road, beneath a switchback. The center, in a Facebook post, said that was the first time such a slide had taken place since the 1980s.

Photos posted by the center show ribbons of avalanche debris covering the upper stretch of the road in several areas, as well as massive piles of snow burying large stretches of Archangel Road, which is groomed for skiing and walking during the winter.

Arrow Down

Skier dies in avalanche on mountain in Banff National Park, Alberta

Haddo Peak in Banff National Park
© THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Parks Canada
Haddo Peak in Banff National Park is seen in an undated handout photo. A skier from Alberta has died in an avalanche while he and another skier were on a mountain in Banff National Park.
One skier managed to escape, but the second was swept away and killed in the slide

A skier from Alberta has died in an avalanche while he and another skier were on a mountain in Banff National Park.

Parks Canada says two male skiers from Canmore, Alta., were on the northeast face of Haddo Peak in the Lake Louise area on Monday when the avalanche was triggered.

Snowflake Cold

Temperatures in UK plunge to -6C as Arctic blast strikes - more snow forecast

UK cold spell
© Katielee Arrowsmith SWNS
There will be frost, snow and ice in places
Brits are bracing for another bitterly cold day with warnings of more snow as well as bouts of rain as Arctic winds continues to sweep the nation.

Up to 3cm of snow is predicted to fall in parts of Scotland while the mercury is likely to drop to sub zero temperatures again on Wednesday.

Lows of -6C will hit central parts of England this morning and forecasters warned that it will be 'a cold start for all of us.'

It comes after temperatures plunged as low as minus 4.2C overnight in parts of the UK, while some regions had 11cm of snow fall.

Today, a yellow weather warning for snow remains in place for parts of northern Scotland until 10am.

The severe weather warning states that 'snow showers may lead to some transport disruption' in the affected regions, with up to 3cm set to fall.

London is set to record the coldest start to April in eight years, after St James's Park saw the coldest average over the first six days of the month back in 2013, the Star reports.


Comment: Historic Arctic cold blast hits Europe: Damaging frost and snow expected across most of continent




Snowflake

The Yukon phenomenon: record Whitehorse snow nearly 300% of normal

snow
Even taking into account the city's Arctic locale, this past winter was epically snowy for the Yukon capital.

It snowed before Halloween, and it never really stopped snowing.

As of April 5th, there's 70 cm of snow on the ground across Whitehorse, Yukon; for the city of 25,000, it's a tremendous amount - the most on record for April 4th.

For reference, the snowpack usually peaks around 30 cm of snow, and by late April, the snow base remarkably diminishes to near zero. The sheer resiliency of the Yukon snowpack is quite peculiar.

Snowflake

Alaska snowstorm dumps up to 3 feet of snow, strands 5 people on North America's tallest peak

SNOW
Five people had to ski through a heavy Alaska snowstorm to a mountain chalet after abandoning their airplanes on a glacier on North America's tallest peak, where they were stranded for the weekend, officials said Monday.

The five landed Friday in three separate small airplanes — a Cessna 180 and two Piper PA18s — on Ruth Glacier on Denali, said Maureen Gualtieri, a spokesperson for Denali National Park and Preserve.

A fast-moving storm prevented them from flying off the glacier, and they spent Friday night in their airplanes at about 4,500 feet. They woke up Saturday and realized they didn't have enough resources to ride out the storm.

"That's when they called for help," Gualtieri said.


Snowflake Cold

UAH global temperature drops below 30-year baseline - Earth is cooling

UAH graph
The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for March, 2021 has come in at -0.01 deg. C below the 30-year baseline, down from the February, 2021 value of +0.20 deg. C, and down substantially (approx. 0.6C deg. C) from where we were around a year ago.

A continuation of this downward plunge is highly probable over the coming months (with the odd bump along the way-climate is cyclic after all) as low solar activity and La Nina conditions persist.

According to the 15x NASA/NOAA AMSU satellites that measure every square inch of the lower troposphere (where us humans reside), planet Earth was actually warmer back in 1983:

Comment: See also:


Snowflake Cold

Historic Arctic cold blast hits Europe: Damaging frost and snow expected across most of continent

extreme cold april europe 2021
An exceptional, more than 100 mbar pressure difference between Greenland and northern Europe on Sunday has released a massive Arctic cold blast towards continental Europe. The sharp Arctic front is racing south and will result in intense snow with blizzard conditions across Slovenia and Croatia on Tuesday. Then, destructive and widespread frost to vulnerable vegetation is expected across central Europe.

A very dramatic weather pattern change is underway this Easter Monday as a deep Arctic cold-core is moving south across western and northern Europe. The first impact is over the UK and Ireland, then the core will spread towards central Europe and the Mediterranean tonight into mid-week days.