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Sat, 23 Jan 2021
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

Aerial view of rare snow on Taklimakan Desert, China

Taklimakan Desert

Snow covers Taklimakan Desert
View from up high: Sit back and enjoy the winter scape splendor of the in NW China.

Comment: From Wikipedia:

Because it lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, Taklamakan is a cold desert climate. Given its relative proximity with the cold to frigid air masses in Siberia, extreme temperatures are recorded in wintertime, sometimes well below −20 °C (−4 °F), while in summer they can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F). During the 2008 Chinese winter storms episode, the Taklamakan was reported to be covered, for the first time in its recorded history, entirely with a thin layer of snow reaching 4 centimetres (1.6 in), with a temperature of −26.1 °C (−15 °F) in some observatories.

Snowflake Cold

Mongolia facing 'one of the most extreme winters on record'

Mongolia is facing one of the most extreme winters on record, with temperatures forecast to plummet to lows of -50C for days on end. This has triggered the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to release emergency funds to quickly assist some 2,000 vulnerable herder families.

The extreme winter - known as dzud - threatens the health and livelihoods of thousands of Mongolian herders living in the country's remote central and southern provinces.

Hence, as a pre-emptive tactic, the Mongolian Red Cross Society has delivered cash assistance and livestock nutrition kits in target areas to assist them in meeting their immediate needs and save their livestock, which is the main source of livelihoods for the people of Mongolia.

Snowflake Cold

Rare summer snow hits New Zealand + global cooling set to intensify

new zealand summer snow

An unusually unsettled summer is being experienced in Middle Earth, particularly on New Zealand's South Island where substantial snow has blanketed the mountains over recent days and weeks.

There's a fresh accumulation of pow-pow on the peaks around Queenstown this week, after conditions in the Lakes area allowed for flakes to settle.

Frigid polar air left Antarctica on Sunday, and it has lingered over Australasia ever-since. As reported by odt.co.nz, Weatherwatch says temperatures will continue to be down across New Zealand as a storm near Stewart Island slowly tracks eastwards, dredging up the cold. The forecaster elaborated, adding that temps would hold below average for the remainder of the week, with single-digit highs likely through parts of Otago and Southland.

The Remarkables ski area received 10cm (4 inches) of rare summer snow overnight Tuesday (shown below), with another 15cm (6 inches) in the immediate forecast.

Comment: See also:

Ice Cube

Animals are frozen solid as temperatures drop to -56 Celsius in Kazakhstan

Animals including this dog have been frozen solid after temperatures dropped to minus 56C in Kazakhstan

Animals including this dog have been frozen solid after temperatures dropped to minus 56C in Kazakhstan
Animals have been frozen solid after temperatures dropped to minus 56C in Kazakhstan.

Videos show both a hare and a dog frozen to death amid bitter conditions sweeping across the vast Central Asian nation.

The hare was trapped while climbing through a fence before dying in the arctic conditions and its body had to be pulled free by locals.

The dog appears to have become stuck while walking through a snow-covered field.

Comment: See also: Kazakhstan hit by Arctic chill, temperatures down to -40 degrees Celsius with 3 people freezing to death


Rare snow devil sweeps through lines of skiers in Vermont

snow devil
Video of a rare snow devil at Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont, was posted to Twitter on January 18.

Benjamin Trachtenberg recorded a video that shows lines of skiers standing still as the snow devil sweeps through the group. Trachtenberg told Storyful that the snow devil lasted for close to 30 seconds and did not injure the large group.

Certified broadcast meteorologist Tyler Jankoski said on his Twitter post that the weather event can be called a snow devil or a "snownado". According to the World Meteorological Organization, snow devil is "a very rare phenomenon."

Credit: Benjamin Trachtenberg via Storyful

Snowflake Cold

'Disaster zones' declared in Spain following record breaking Storm Filomena, heavy rains and flooding forecast

© (UME / Defensa.Gob.es
Personnel from Spain’s Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME) helping to clear streets in Madrid following Storm Filomena.
The Spanish government has classified Madrid and seven other regions struck the hardest by Storm Filomena last week as disaster zones, a category that will provide emergency subsidies and other support measures. Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Asturias, Andalusia, Aragón, La Rioja and Navarra have also been classified as disaster zones.

The precise details of the subsidies and support have not yet been decided, and each region needs to be assessed individually. The authorities in Madrid and in Castilla-La Mancha had been pushing for disaster zone classification.

The news came as the Madrid regional government also warned that rain predicted from Wednesday could bring flooding and further chaos to the capital. 'The rains predicted by AEMET [the state weather agency], although moderate, are likely to cause floods when all the ice begins to melt,' the regional government said.

Comment: Other reports of extreme weather in the past few weeks:


Coldest air on Earth sends temperatures below -50°C in Siberia, down to -58°C (-72.4°F) at one locality)


Severe frost in Siberia - Yakutsk
A lobe of air that broke off of the polar vortex, which is currently blanketing parts of Siberia, is sending temperatures plummeting across parts of Canada.

Canada is no stranger to temperatures below -30°C, but parts of eastern Russia have plummeted below -40°C since the middle of December, courtesy of the bone-chilling polar vortex lingering over Siberia. One of the more chilling temperatures, in Delyankir, just northeast of the coldest, permanently inhabited places on Earth recorded a -58°C on January 18th, 2021.

A lobe of frigid air that broke off of the polar vortex meandered its way down across North America and is sending temperatures tumbling across Canada. This raises the question, will the coldest air in the world soon make an appearance in Canada?


Drone footage shows Swiss vineyards under snow

snow vineyards
The stunning scenery overlooks Lake Geneva in the Swiss city of Riex.

Between 15 and 20 centimeters fell in this area of the Vaud canton on Sunday (January 17).


More snow as unsettled summer continues on South Island, New Zealand

Snow at The Remarkables ski area this morning.
© Rebecca Winterburn
Snow at The Remarkables ski area this morning.
The unsettled summer is continuing in the South Island today, with snow on the mountains and more wild weather on the way.

There's fresh snow on the tops around Queenstown today, after a dusting on some peaks in the Lakes area yesterday.

Weatherwatch says temperatures will be down in many places as a storm near Stewart Island slowly tracks eastwards, dredging up the cold change.

The forecaster said most of New Zealand would be below average today temperature-wise, and single-digit highs were likely through some parts of Otago and Southland,

Comment: 3 inches of summer snow hits South Island, New Zealand


Snow blankets Maunakea and Mauna Loa summits in Hawaii

This webcam photo by W.M. Keck Observatory shows a dusting of snow in the observatory parking lot on Maunakea.

This webcam photo by W.M. Keck Observatory shows a dusting of snow in the observatory parking lot on Maunakea. Maunakea Access Road is closed to the public at the 9,200-foot level due to hazardous conditions.
The summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa received a dusting of snow overnight, and the National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

"An upper level disturbance will keep clouds and snow showers in the forecast for the Big Island summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa through the day," forecasters said.

The Maunakea Access Road is closed to the public at the Visitor Information Station at the 9,200-foot level elevation due to fog, high humidity and freezing temperatures causing low visibility.