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Sat, 23 Sep 2017
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

Coldest night in 45 years as temperatures plummet in New South Wales

IF you thought winter was over, you might want to think again because spring isn't quite ready to officially take over just yet.

Temperatures across NSW plummeted yesterday with residents in the inland town of Goulburn shivering through the coldest September night in 45 years, with a chilly -5C recorded.

The good news is the cold snap isn't hanging around for too much longer.

Sky News weather meteorologist Tristan Meyer told news.com.au the cold snap was the result of a high pressure system.

"This high pressure system will also lead to predominantly sunny skies and a warm day over the southeast," he said.


September so far has been an almost apocalyptic month of environmental events

Two major hurricanes, unprecedented earthquake swarms and wildfires roaring out of control all over the northwest United States - what else will go wrong next? When I originally pointed to the month of September as a critical time, I had no idea that we would see so many catastrophic natural disasters during this time frame as well. Hurricane Harvey just broke the all-time record for rainfall in the continental United States, Hurricane Irma is so immensely powerful that it has been called "a lawnmower from the sky", vast stretches of our country out west are literally being consumed by fire, and the magnitude-8.2 earthquake that just hit Mexico was completely unexpected. As I have stated so many times before, our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, but most people simply do not understand what is happening.

My good friend Zach Drew is getting married next month, and I would encourage everyone to go wish him well on Facebook. On Friday, he posted the best summary of the major disasters that we have been experiencing so far this month that I have seen anywhere...


Huge spring snow dump of 31 inches in 3 days at Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

Mt Ruapehu has experienced a huge snow dump
Winter's back up the mountain

Mt Ruapehu's Turoa and Whakapapa ski fields are both blanketed in snow thanks to around 80cm of fresh snow fall over the last three days. Snow fell as low as Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa Village & large snowdrifts have buried ski racks next to the Knoll Ridge cafe up at the Whakapapa Ski Area.

The Turoa & Whakapapa operations teams have been working hard in blizzard conditions over the last few days, clearing snow and de-icing lift facilities.

Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager Matt McIvor says, "We've had heavy snowfall to increase our snow bases which should make for epic skiing and snowboarding this spring season, which for us goes right until late October. While our new snowmaking machines are doing a superb job, a helping hand by Mother Nature is always welcomed."


Fresh spring snowfall closes roads and schools across Tasmania, Australia

© Rhiannon Shine
The snow has taken its toll on sheep farmers, coming during lambing season.
Continued snowfall in Tasmania has forced the closure of a number of schools and roads across the state.

The weather bureau said the snow came after a front crossing the state brought very cold south-westerly air behind it.

On Friday morning, snow was falling as low as 200 metres, adding to already significant levels of settled snow in parts of the west, Central Plateau and far south.

The Education Department closed government schools in Collinsvale, Franklin, Geeveston and Huonville.

Forecaster Debbie Tabor told ABC Radio Hobart the snow was expected to continue throughout the day.

"We've got snow to around 200 metres, it's only very slowly retreating to around 500 metres this evening," she said.


Over 3 feet of spring snowfall and counting: It's dumping in Australia

© Richard Phillips
All this snow is opening up new options to stomp
As we celebrate the last days of our North American summer, Mother Nature is showing no signs of slowing up winter in the Southern Hemisphere, even though they're already seven days into spring.

In the past week, it's dumped over three feet of sweet white fluffy stuff at Perisher Resort in Australia.

Temperatures have been brisk and sitting below zero, helping to make this snow extra cold and light; perfect for faceshots, pow slashes, and big sends.

Perisher is experiencing one of the best seasons they've had in the past five years. When this storm is all said and done, it could break a few records in terms of snow depth.

This recent snowfall is the icing on top of the other storms they've had this season, as over six feet of powder has falling in August alone.

Comment: See also: Australia shivers through coldest start to September EVER: Freezing weather and record Spring snowfall turns coastal towns white


Georgia gets its first snowfall three months before the start of winter

© Nick Phaliani
Tetnuldi is the newest ski resort in Georgia
The newest of Georgia's winter resorts, Tetnuldi in Svaneti region in the western part of the country, has experienced its very first snowfall this year today even though winter is almost three months away.

The first snowfall at Tetnuldi has been described as a light dusting and is believed not to last long, but in the coolest months snowfall can be very high and can reach several metres.

Weather experts forecast slushy snow may fall in other mountainous regions of Georgia in the coming days, but despite this, citizens are being advised not to dig out their winter coats just yet as daytime temperatures around the country are set to rise.

Snowflake Cold

Australia shivers through coldest start to September EVER: Freezing weather and record Spring snowfall turns coastal towns white

A massive dump of snow led to one home being 'snowed in', with this incredible photo showing the severity of the snowfall
As the calendar flips over to Spring much of the nation prepares for warm weather in the knowledge summer is not far away - but not Victoria.

While Winter may have come and gone for almost every other state, the mainland's south-east has been lashed by massive amounts of snowfall in the past 24 hours.

But while it's not unusual for a blanketing to hit mountain areas this time of year, the chilly temperatures have seen coastal towns such as Lorne and Apollo Bay turned to white and some homes incredibly 'snowed-in'.

Incredible images posted to social media show the thickness of snow which covered parts of the state on Tuesday.

Towns at sea level turned white with alpine areas receiving up to 30 centimetres and the temperature dropping to as low as -7.5 degrees.

The cold snap caught out two men who found themselves stuck in their vehicle high in the alps for three days before being rescued by the Victorian SES.


Do solar storms lead to beached whales?

© Dan Kitwood/Getty
Sperm whales stranded at Skegness on England's North Sea coast in January 2016.
In early 2016 a spate of sperm whale strandings in the North Sea perplexed scientists. Many theories were proposed for why 29 of the huge marine mammals - all males, most relatively young - died on European beaches in the course of January and the first few days of February, ranging from poisoning by pollutants to climate-change-induced dislocation.

According to a paper published in the International Journal of Astrobiology, however, the real cause was not human activity of any sort - it wasn't even on Earth.

Instead, the authors propose that solar storms threw off the navigation systems of the whales and led them to become lost and stranded. Solar storms, caused by ejections of charged particles from the Sun, disrupt the Earth's magnetic field, especially near the poles, where they are also responsible for producing auroras.

Lead author Klaus Heinrich Vanselow of Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany, had earlier found correlations between solar activity and recorded numbers of North Sea sperm whale strandings over several centuries of historical records. The new study is the first to connect specific strandings to specific solar activity, however.

Cloud Precipitation

Unusual clouds and strange early snowfall begins in North America

© Mervin McDonald
When life hands you snow, make a snowman
Early snows are already starting across North America August 31st snows in New Hampshire, Labrador & Quebec Canada and unidentifiable cloud formations over Georgia, USA. Solutions to expensive installation costs for greenhouses, lets look at what rural Chinese farmers are doing in cold climates.


Despite historically wet winter, Oregon moving toward drought

© MOLLY J. SMITH / Statesman Journal
Boats on the Willamette River on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, near Salem's Riverfront Park. The high for Saturday was forecast for 104 degrees; the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory lasting until Tuesday.
Salem recorded its hottest August temperatures since records started being kept in 1893.

The five warmest Augusts have taken place in the last five years, said David Elson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service - Portland.

"It's pretty clear that something is going on that we are changing our climate," said Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University. "We're seeing climate change impacts already and we need to think about resiliency toward these 100-degree days."

The hot, dry conditions in the Mid-Willamette Valley are a result of a persistent pattern of the growing drier conditions and lack of rain.

Salem recorded just .15 inch of rain on August 13 - the only day there was precipitation in August.

Average rainfall for Salem in August is .45 inches.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to creep into the high 90s on Sunday, hover around 100 degrees on Monday and may reach 103 degrees on Tuesday.

"Normal temperatures would be around 80 degrees around this time of year," Elson said. "We'll be in the ballpark for record temperatures in the next few days."

Oregon is abnormally dry and on the cusp of drought conditions, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.