Extreme Temperatures


Stunning drone footage shows wolves digging tunnels through deep snow in northern China

Drone footage shows a pack of wolves digging tunnels through one-meter-thick snow in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region.

Comment: Meanwhile in not too far away Kyrgyzstan: Snow as high as a horse falls in Kyrgyzstan


Snow as high as a horse falls in Kyrgyzstan

The road leading to the Alaikuu valley in Kara-Kulja district of Osh region is temporarily closed for traffic for 1-2 days due to heavy snowfall, said deputy governor of the district Talant Karmyshakov.

"Yesterday, the road was opened, but due to snowfall and avalanches, it was decided to close the road. The threat of avalanches remains at 52-113 km section of the road, special equipment is delivered to the spot, electricity was restored," he said.

Comment: At the same time in an adjacent region of China: Stunning drone footage shows wolves digging tunnels through deep snow in northern China

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Afghanistan landslide caused by snow kills at least 25, hurts many

At least 25 people were killed while eight others were injured in a landslide caused by heavy snowfall in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan, the country's Disaster Management Ministry said Monday.

"As a result of the landslide, some 25 people have been killed and eight injured," Janan Sayeq said in a video clip shared with media, adding to AFP that the death toll could rise.

An avalanche has killed at least six people and trapped 30 more in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan, a provincial official said on Monday after swaths of the country saw heavy snowfall.

"It is still snowing. Rescue efforts are underway and the number of dead may increase," provincial head of information and culture Jamiullah Hashimi told AFP.

Cloud Grey

Clouds disappear quickly during a solar eclipse, study shows

Disappearing Clouds
© Delft University of TechnologyThe removal of sunlight can lead to cooling of the ground. The rising air, responsible for forming cumulus clouds, is slowed down so that cumulus clouds disappear. When the solar eclipse is over, the ground warms up again and new cumulus clouds often form.
Stack clouds over land begin to disappear almost immediately during a partial solar eclipse. This shows new research from KNMI and TU Delft. Until recently, satellite measurements during the eclipse resulted in dark spots in the cloud map. Thanks to a new method, the measurements could be restored. The results may have consequences for climate engineering. Disappearing clouds could partly nullify the cooling effect of an artificial solar eclipse. The results were published today in Nature Communications Earth and Environment.

Although the effects of solar eclipses have been studied for centuries, it was never known exactly how strongly clouds react. " From Earth you can count the clouds and see them disappear, but that only gives anecdotal evidence ", explains PhD student Victor Trees. " Clouds change constantly even without solar eclipse. "

Measure solar eclipses from space

Satellites in a geostationary orbit around the Earth can continuously measure many clouds at the same time, in large areas including impassable terrain. In the case of a solar eclipse, the measurements were previously not reliable. The algorithms of the satellites did not take into account the decrease in sunlight during solar eclipses. This resulted in large dark spots in the cloud maps of the earth.

We have now managed to restore the satellite measurements during solar eclipses by accurately calculating the percentage of the sun darkened for each location and time on Earth. " By far the majority of the solar eclipse consists of a partial eclipse, in which it is usually still full of light outside ", says Trees. The satellites still receive enough reflected sunlight there to reliably measure the clouds after the correction for the eclipse.

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Avalanches again block roads near tourism spot in China's Xinjiang region

More heavy snowfall is expected in the next few days.
More heavy snowfall is expected in the next few days.
Avalanches have again blocked roads leading to a remote tourism spot in China's far west Xinjiang region, with the area on alert for more snowstorms this week.

One-way traffic has been restored on some roads but others remain closed after heavy snow that began on Sunday triggered avalanches near the Kanas scenic area in the Altay mountains, traffic police said on Monday evening.

There were 13 avalanches on highways in the area on Sunday and Monday, according to its management committee. The scenic area is in the northern prefecture of Altay, which borders Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia.

The committee said the deepest avalanche was 5 metres, while the widest spanned 1km. There had been no reports of injuries or vehicle damage.

Comment: A week prior: Thousands of motorists stranded on roads in China amid heavy snow


Utah ski resort measures 30+ inches of new snow in 3 days

Did you watch the Superbowl last night? A state getting nuked on is kind of like a win when you're not rooting for any particular team: it's good, even if it doesn't directly affect you.

Plus, everyone gets to get together and celebrate. Such is the case with Utah's recent dump: last week, Utah got over 30 inches of snow, according to Deer Valley Resort's X (twitter) post detailing the occasion.

The video, from Stag Lodge at Deer Valley, read: "30" of new snow in the past three days at #DeerValley and it's still snowing!"

Snowflake Cold

Mongolian dzud: Extreme cold weather puts 90% of country at 'high risk'

Men use sticks to wade through deep snow in rural Khovd province in far-western Mongolia. (file)
© Andrew CullenMen use sticks to wade through deep snow in rural Khovd province in far-western Mongolia. (file)
The ongoing "white and iron" dzud in Mongolia has reached a "critical" level, with over 90 per cent of the country facing high levels of risk from the unique weather phenomenon, UN agencies have reported.
About 190,000 herder households are struggling with inadequate feed, skyrocketing prices and heightened vulnerabilities, according to the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia.

Herding and livestock have traditionally been integral to Mongolia's economy, culture and way of life. Estimates indicate that there are over 64 million livestock this winter season in Mongolia.

"The increasing severity of weather conditions further exacerbates the crisis, underscoring the urgent need for humanitarian assistance and sustainable solutions to support Mongolia's rural communities and traditional livelihoods," the Office said in an update this week.

This is the second year in a row that the country has faced these severe conditions. Last winter about 70 per cent of the country was affected.


Storm dumps 2 feet of snow in northern Arizona in 24 hours

A man with a snow blower trying to keep up with the fast-falling snow in Flagstaff.
A man with a snow blower trying to keep up with the fast-falling snow in Flagstaff.
In just one day, the National Weather Service in Flagstaff recorded 2 feet of snow. That's on top of the nearly foot-and-a-half of powder that fell over parts of northern Arizona the day before.

"So our winter storm warning is in effect through 11 p.m. [Thursday]," said NWS meteorologist Paige Konieczny. "And then similarly we have a winter weather advisory, for our northeastern portions of the state, also through 11 p.m. [Thursday]."

She expects there to be continuous snowfall into the first half of the weekend, with a possible break Friday morning.

Portions of a number of highways were closed Thursday afternoon due to weather, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.


Nova Scotia buried under up to 5 feet of snow from days-long snowstorm

Heavy snow pummeled coastal areas of Nova Scotia in Canada over the weekend as a strong low-pressure system stalled just off the Canadian Maritimes.

Widespread snow totals of well over a foot were observed across the province as the storm pummeled the region from Friday into Monday. A volunteer observer in Sydney, Nova Scotia, reported 59 inches of snow, according to Environment Canada. The official observation in town reported just over 40 inches.

Halifax's airport recorded just over 33 inches of snow during the storm, with widespread totals of 12-16 inches in the heart of town.

"I assure you we will dig out. It will take time, but we will dig out," Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said during a news conference Monday. "It has certainly been a historic snow event."

Comment: See also: Nova Scotia, Canada digging out after historic snowfall


Storm dumps 3 FEET of snow in 24 hours on Mammoth Mountain, California

This morning, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, California, issued a "dump alert" amidst a heavy storm that's deposited 33 to 36 inches of snow in the past 24 hours.

The storm cycle, which began in full over the weekend, has dropped between 39 and 43 inches of snow so far. With continued snowfall expected at Mammoth today, the resort anticipates it may "reach almost 4 feet in just 2-days."

As you might expect, the arrival of heavy snow has led to operational adjustments for Mammoth this morning.

"Expect delays this morning as operations assess conditions, dig out, and work to safely open terrain and lifts," the resort wrote on Instagram. Extensive avalanche control efforts are underway, with Mammoth hoping to open the lower mountain and portions of the mid-mountain today.